Our summer included a whirlwind of t-ball, softball, camps, swimming lessons, swim team practices and meets, Dillon Nature Center classes, Vacation Bible School, and grad school for daddy.
After all of that was said in done - and we knew without a doubt that daddy was in fact done with grad school - we hit the road the last week of July for to re-connect, re-energize, and refresh, just the four of us.
We let the kidlets ultimately decide where we were going this summer. Due to the timing of vacation, we opted for a short trip - either Oklahoma City or Kansas City. We talked both of them up, as if we were making big-time presentation defenses to our 4 and 6 year old, and KC won out....despite going there last summer for vacay, too.
Our family decided to keep a few favorites from last year, but to venture out and try a few new adventures, too.
Of course we took in Royals games at the K...and ultimately "had" to buy tickets to a second night after the Royals were blitzed our first night there. It was the first time our children had witnessed a loss while attending a game there...quite the opposite from when their parents were growing up and attending games. It was a game of firsts for Mackie and Brax - first time to see them lose and the first time a player acknowledged them. They got a kick out of catcher Savlador Perez (Salvy, as many of us lovingly call him) wave to them before the game. Nothing like seeing the joy and giggles of delighted kids to see a big-league player wave back!
We managed to witness a rare July win against the Angels the second night we were there, and the kidlets even learned how to keep the scorebook. (This lasted until about the 4th inning, when mama took over, and then in the craziness of the game, she forgot to keep up and realized she had missed the 6th and 7th inning plays midway through the 8th inning...whoops!).
We also hit up Legoland again at Crown Center. Both of the kidlets absolutely loved this place last year - and so did we! We spent the morning building, playing, creating, and shopping for (two!) new Lego sets for Brax-man. Little man saved every single penny, quarter, and dollar between last vacation and this year and ended up having more than $70 to spend at his favorite store!
While at Crown Center, we made a lunch stop at Fritz's and the fountains. In our opinion (the parents speaking here), the food isn't that great, but you pay for the kidlet experience - and what an experience it is! There's nothing quite like seeing your kidlets don those cute little conductor hats, either.
New this year was a trip to Schlitterbahn Waterpark. We had hemmed and hawed the last few years about taking the kidlets to a water park. We knew Brax needed one more year (last year), so everyone was excited about spending a day in the water. It ended up going better than any of us expected - and we will be making a return trip! About an hour of the total time was spent actually riding the slides, and the rest of the time was spent between the two larger bodies of water - the rapid rivers in the inner tubes, and the wave pool/lazy river. The kidlets could have spent the entire day going around and around (and around and around), jumping the waves!
We also treated Mackie to an early birthday with a trip to the American Girl store. Caroline had her ears pierced, and Mackie used her piggy bank money to purchase an outfit and a "care kit," complete with a cast, crutches, bandages, ice packs, everything! (apparently Caroline fell and broke her leg and needed a cast while on vacay)
Jack thought the entire place was a racket; Brax loved tagging along with sister; and I smiled from ear to ear at the entertainment between daddy shaking his head, Brax bee-bopping all over the store, Mackie oohing and aahing, and Caroline "telling" Mackie that her ears hurt a bit from the piercings. (you can only imagine!)
We also enjoyed more "treats" than usual, such as 9 p.m. ice cream runs in the hotel dining room; swimming in the indoor hotel pool; iMovie time while mama and daddy worked out in the exercise room; jumping on the beds; eating breakfast/brunch at restaurants; and not having to take naps or have quiet time every day.
I love, love, love our family get-aways...even if it's a few hours away to a city we already frequent throughout the year. There's nothing like a mini road trip away from the hustle and bustle (and normalcy) of life, just the four of us.