I have been home two full weeks and have not managed to bring you a vacation post because 1. We arrived home just in time for the July 4th celebrations. 2. I have had family in town since the fourth, and 3. My great friend at http://www.cyberbones.com/ and her fabulous family have been in town. Whew! So, I started this post a while back and might finally manage to finish it now!
I am not sure how to give you a vacation summary, so I am going to do it the best way I know how.........
My Summer Vacation 2011 - or Random helpful thoughts, facts, and vacation trivia from our family to yours.
1. Teeny tiny towns in west Texas can be scary and depressing places. Often times there are more people at the rest stops on the way out of town than are listed on the Population "251" signs.
2. I married lucky because I love, love, love my in-laws. Despite the fact that they live in one of these teeny tiny towns I manage to have a fabulous time when we go visit. I weakly (weak because I have eaten too much yummy food) offer to help my mother-in-law and when she says, "No, that's okay. You rest." I say, "Okay." If that's wrong, then that's not what I did the entire time we were there.
3. When there is an ad in the two sheet local newspaper for Star Gazing and it starts at 5:00 p.m. when the temperature is still 112, know that the star you will be gazing is......................THE SUN. ;o) (That's just a little star gazing tip just in case you are in west Texas someday in a teeny tiny town and you decide to head up to Copper Breaks State Park for a little "star gazing.")
4. Despite it's incredible beauty, another name for Copper Breaks State Park is Too Damn Close to the Sun State Park.
5. It takes a two year old a while to adjust to "vacation time." This adjustment will usually be complete the day you arrive back home.
6. Have everyone pee and poop before you get back in the car to drive back to where ever you are staying after any trip out from that place. OR stop 100 times for every 30 miles, OR have a place to thoroughly wash a car seat.
7. Did I say I married lucky because I love my in-laws? My kids do not annoy my in-laws and I love that. My mother-in-law knows just what to say (or not to say) when my two year old is having a holy hell meltdown after she has peed all over her carseat, has not napped or had a decent nights sleep in three days, and nothing will calm her.
8. You can make a two hour road trip with four kids feel like Disneyland by taking your four kids on an eight hour road trip four days beforehand.
9. Great Wolf Lodge http://www.greatwolf.com/grapevine/explore was my kids' paradise (and thereby mine)...or damn close.
10. GWL developers are thinkers for several reasons - one of which - they positioned the bar right next to the baby pool. ;o) My GWL schedule went something like this: swim, drink, slide, eat, sleep, repeat.
11. Turns out you are never too old to enjoy the hell out of a water slide.
12. All the deprivation my kids endure on a daily basis because we are broke, or because momma doesn't believe in it pays off when we go to places like GWL. Without getting on a soapbox, I am talking about things like McDonald's happy meals and indoor play areas, tons of video games, pedicures and manicures for girls who don't have jobs, movies on demand, eating out everyday of the week, and other things that don't happen regularly at my house. I can honestly say that my kids asked for no extras at GWL. And know that as much as I loved GWL, it is a suck-you-in-and-eat-all-of-daddy-and-momma's-money kind of place.
13. My nine-year old boy made me smile so hard I nearly broke my face when he sheepishly asked if he could have a Build-A-Bear too. AND agreed to be photographed giving his wolf a "bath."
14. That SAME boy made me smile hard again when he didn't want to leave Legoland http://www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/dallasfw/en/plan-your-visit/how-to-find-us.htm. I wanted to bottle that feeling I had and save it for when he does something really stupid in high school.
15. And 15 only because I like multiples of five. It was the best vacation to date, but there is really nothing like sleeping in your own bed after 7 days on the road.
Thanks for the read and I hope you are having a GREAT summer. :o)