Friday, September 23, 2016

Family Vacation 2016!

Why did we take vacations when the kids were babies? I can't remember. I'm sure I'll say the same thing about this age when they're older. By the 3rd morning, we definitely were dealing with a few attitude issues, but it seemed calmer & less stressful than former vacations. Only having to drive a few hours really helped. It also helped that I, the Queen of Vacation Freak Out, decided beforehand to attempt to stay calmer & more flexible, to take what comes. (Haven't I decided that at the beginning of every vacation, though? ;) ) Whatever the reason, while physically drained, we had a blast at Great Wolf Lodge & Legoland for 4 days & 3 nights.

Kids loved the room & their bunks

Dallas sunset

Skipper loved the characters.

The boys have been begging me to go to Legoland. CA is a little bit of a drive, so I was thrilled to learn there's one right here in TX. I found BOGO tickets online as well!

The water park, the main attraction. I may have had more fun here than the boys did.

Vacay tips:
  • Plan, plan, plan! While you don't have to plan every second or every meal (unless you're on a tight budget), know where you're going to stay & what you're going to do for the most part. Last minute decision making, when energies are low & drama is high, is a time waster. Planning also lets you know what to pack, and some tickets are cheaper if purchased ahead online.
  • Leave some wiggle room; be flexible! 
  • Pace yourself. It's tempting to jam pack the days so you can see & do everything, but it's important to plan some down time so you don't burn out, especially if traveling with babies or small children! We had an hour of "in your bunks" time in the middle of each day. I also planned 1 day for myself to sleep in. (I crash & burn quickly without that.) If you'll be gone a week or more, plan a couple of half days off from activities.
  • Trade time away with your spouse. Super Dad wanted to watch football Saturday evening, so I took the kids to the kiddie pool. Then Sunday afternoon, the boys wanted to stay in their hotel room & build legos, so I slipped away to lay out in the hot tub for an hour. Both being introverts, it's best for my husband & I to have some of that time away.
  • Pack breakfast if your hotel doesn't include it. (GWL didn't.)
  • Pack non-screen activities for the car. We use screens; I just didn't want them on them the entire trip. We also do 30 minutes of "quiet time" when things get crazy for the adults' sanity.
  • Don't go far when your kids are little. It's just not worth it unless you're going to visit family.

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