When we moved to New York, leaving precious family and friends behind in The Good Life (Nebraska), we knew our family “vacations” would almost always be a trip back to see everyone we know and love and miss. While visiting family is important and oh so exciting for us, there’s also something to be said for making memories as a little family on your own.
Enter..Groupon and The Great Escape Lodge! We scored a pretty sweet deal to stay just one night (and trust me, with a 3 1/2 yr old and a 20 month old, one night is all you can handle in a hotel!) We booked our stay less than a week in advance, so we really played it up with Bailey and let the anticipation build. I thought she was going to burst when she realized we had arrived.
We immediately ran to see the indoor water park before we even got to our rooms to change. And when there’s 2+ feet of snow outside and the temperature freezes your boogers, who can blame her for being excited to be in 80+ degrees and a swimsuit?
Best part of an indoor water park? No sunscreen!
So the air might have been 80 degrees, but when there’s no sun shining on you and the water isn’t terribly warm, it gets kind of chilly kind of fast. The little one’s lips turned blue pretty quickly, but she didn’t seem to mind one iota. Bailey actually rode one of the big waterslides (not pictured, it was a tube slide that went outside the building and was PITCH BLACK)–you could sit several people in one tube, so James took her down it the first day and I went with her the second day. She didn’t make a peep and said it was fun, but I actually hated it! We ended up going down backwards and every drop and turn made my stomach flip and I am not crazy about that feeling at all.
There’s a little joint called Johnny Rockets that captured my heart in Denver in college, and there just so happens to be one attached to the lodge! So after a few hours of swimming, we cleaned up and prepared to eat burgers and fries like it was going out of style.
Most of you know Hope has some annoying food intolerances and her diet is pretty restricted. At first I wasn’t sure how it was going to work with her out of the house without my own kitchen to make sure her tummy was safe. But then I decided to relax and if she accidentally got some dairy or gluten and ended up with diarrhea (hopefully not in the water!) we would figure it out and clean out her system when we got home. The memories we’re making with the girls were more important than 2 days of clean eating. And guess what? She did amazing. I mean, who wouldn’t love eating hot dogs and fries for dinner and lunch?? Praising Jesus for no serious reactions and no tummy upset!
After dinner we may have sprung for a wand for Bailey for the interactive scavenger hunt throughout the entire hotel. (I convinced myself it was worth it because we can keep the wand and use it when we come back. And since this place is only 45 minutes away from home, as long as we can find groupons in the future, I fully intend upon returning!) The girls were visibly exhausted and the game was over Bailey’s head for sure, but they really did enjoy the hunting and exploring (and there may have been some all out running in the halls).
There are days where I wonder if we were crazy to have these girls only 21 months apart. And then there are weekends like this where they play well together and love each other and really enjoy being together and I am so thankful. I can’t wait to see their relationship develop as they get older. Does this just not melt your heart??
They definitely made themselves right at home.
Snuggled in while daddy read a bedtime story. Bedtime ended up being a 2 hour gigglefest and finally ended up with James laying with Bailey and Hope passing out in her pack and play around 11pm. Of course, Hope then woke up at 6 am. Good morning!
Friday morning we got up, enjoyed a free continental breakfast (not a normal occurrence but just happened to get a deal on that as well) then completed more “adventures” around the hotel.
When the pool opened, we checked out of our room, and made our way back to the water for a few more hours and a little more junk food. We were all sufficiently pruned and exhausted when we finally left that afternoon. Hope fell asleep before we made it out of the parking lot. Both girls threw monumental meltdowns upon our arrival home, but with so little sleep and so much activity, we couldn’t really blame them, so we just put them to bed at 6:30. 🙂
(again, covered in ketchup and happy as a clam)
I was so thankful for the ability to get away for even one night and really just have FUN. The joy in both girls eyes made the money spent and sleeplessness and resulting meltdowns all worth it. I’m already dreaming of a day when we can take our kids to Disneyworld! Yes please! Who wants to donate to that fund? 😉