Friday, August 5, 2011

Christmas in July

A week ago today we left the heat of Missouri - crossing over the State Line into the heat of Kansas and the refreshing coolness of the water park at Great Wolf Lodge Resort.  Merry Christmas everyone!

I couldn't help speculate how things have changed for us over the years as we sped across the state in our Honda CRV - our nice and roomy, less than a year old CRV.  There was a time when we barely limped to town and back home each day, all five us cramped in our little Dodge Omni.  More often than not we had lumber or some other building material strapped to the roof top. 

In the car with us was two of the grandkids, Dakota and  Austin.  Nostalgia took over when we about reached Independence.   It took me back to a trip we took to the Ozarks.  The kids had driven us close to insanity with their bickering as we topped a particularly scenic overlook.  Jim finally blew his top and told them the only thing he wanted to hear out of them was "Oooh, Ahhhh, Look!".    As Dakota and Austin jabbered away, I looked at Jim and asked, "Are we at the Oooh, Ahhh, Look! stage yet?"

Wow, as I am writing this, the skies have darkened and the thunder is rolling in.  I hope this is not another case of mother nature once again teasing us.  We will take any amount of rain she'll send our way.  Jim took his 4-wheeler down the road to have it worked on.  He is either going to be there a while, or he is going to get wet!  (I hope...)

Back to our trip.

It was a wonderful weekend.  Great Wolf Lodge (there are many around the nation) has a ginormeous water park and archade.  This one happens to be within walking distance (we drove) of Cabelas, Legends Shopping, great restaurants, and Nebraska Furniture.  There was something for everyone to do. 

After playing for hours in the park the first night, we ate Pizza in the hotel room.  Speaking of the hotel rooms, they were pretty cool, with two beds  and a bath down and a third bed and bath in a loft.  The eighteen of us fit in three rooms.     

(It's raining~!!!!  Yea!!!!)

The next morning was breakfast at I-Hop (kids ate free).  I'm not a big I-Hop fan.  It seems a bit pricey and the food is so-so.  But they did it right for us, putting us in a room by ourselves.  Was this for our privacy or did they sense a rowdy bunch and secreted us away to protect the other patrons?  Maybe a bit of both....

Breakfast at I-Hop.  Smile everyone!

Everyone split up after breakfast. 

Nebraska Furniture was my downfall.  This place is a vacation in itself... if you like shopping, which I usually don't.  In a few weeks they will be delivering a new couch, kitchen range, and a gorgeous braided rug  to us.  In our defense, we left without buying the 48 in. flat screen TV.  How's that for showing some constraint?

As luck would have it, the AC went out in the room where Greg and Alicia and their kids, and Jim and I were staying.  The repairman was in and out trying to fix it until 3 am.  Everyone else went to sleep while Greg kept watch.  The resort gave us 10% off of one night's cost of the room.... not near enough for the inconvenience, but better than nothing.

The best part of the weekend was that we were together and yet on our own.  Nobody's schedule depended on anyone elses.  The very fact that we were at a water park, though, guaranteed we would be spending time together as a family. 

As we were packing to go home, we remembered we hadn't taken a family photo.  Since I forgot my tri-pod, the camera is perched on a ledge.  The TV is a perfect back-drop for the picture, don't you think?  I know.... but it was the best we could do.
In two years we hope to plan another family vacation Christmas Present.  So far we have done a Branson Vacation, a Float Trip Vacation, and this one.  We used to go camping at Alley Springs every year, but my camping days are over.  Maybe our next vacation can be a rodeo, or concert, or..... who knows... but we'll come up with something!

I'll leave you with a video, for those who want to watch it!


Pix at Under the Oaks said...

Deanna how nice! A great family vacation in the tradition of good old summer vacations. Well except for your lovely spending spree for your home :) And I just think how cool these family get-togethers are for the younger family members because they will be important memories that they will talk about when they are our age, remembered fondly. Welcome home and yep it is pouring down our way too with just a little rumbly after some big thunder. We have had a little over an inch in two days and I can hear every thing outside letting out a little sigh. I am over my weather cranky and that makes CH very happy.

tmarie said...

You forgot to mention that we then said, "Ooh, Ahh, Look!" for the next hour!

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

It's Raining, it's raining, the old man is snoring. What ever that means.
Loved your Christmas present, we should think about doing that.
Your shopping spree sounded good too. We are on the lookout for a new flat screen, our big screen is drying a slow death.
Have a great weekend!
Wanna play in the rain with me?

Just Stuff From a Boomer said...

What a wonderful adventure to have so many of your family together. That must have taken some planning. Not only great memories for the kids but for you too. I love those memory making events.

jewelzmomof4 said...

HAHA Tessa beat me to it!!! We did torment them for hours after Dad blew his top by taking turn or saying together "OOOOHHHH , AAAHHHHHH, LOOOOK!! LOL hey we followed directions to the T LOL. Mom I love the video very good and travis picked some good music too!!

Rita said...

I am so glad you are getting some rain!! Looks like such a fantastic vacation for the whole family--only I think they should have given them a LOT more off for no AC and keeping them up till 3am! Great pics and nice video. Whoohoo! What a fun time! :)

Steve Skinner said...

Your vacation weekend looks like a real blast!

ChicagoLady said...

Looks like everyone had a fabulous time! Not sure which grandchild, but the one with the big blue goggles on, those shots are adorable!

Nice presents to come home with! You should be proud of yourself for not giving in and buying the tv too, lol.

Lynn said...

Oh wow Punkn how wonderful to be able to take a trip with all the family like that! It sure looks like everyone had fun and I agree with you IHop is very expensive to me. That is a real bummer about the AC breaking down on yall and only 10% is all they could do, my hubby would have been having fits for sure LOL Im glad yall had fun though and got to go on your trip :o)

Toriz said...

Glad you got some rain, and also that you were able to take a nice trip together. :)

Vicki Lane said...

What a nice tradition!

Queenie Jeannie said...

You have a beautiful family!! What fabulous photos you have to prove it too!!!

I don't like I-Hop now either. Once upon a time though it was realllly, realllly awesome!

"Ooh, Ahh, Look!" =!

Intense Guy said...

Of course I wanna watch the video!! and what a production it was!! :) Your grands really enjoyed playing in the water!! They look like they had a blast-

I wonder if the Ihop waitress was pleased to see your crowd or went "Oh Lord, why me? what have I done to deserve this?"

Looks like a nicely scrubbed well-behaved lot to me though!!

I glad you had a great time and that you got some rain - with luck Jim got thoroughly soaked (only 'cause you need the rain that is...)

:) HUuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugs! Missed you...

Intense Guy said...

It's raining; it's pouring.
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed and bumped his head,
And he couldn't get up in the morning....

..but I've absolutely no idea what it means...

AliceKay said...

What a great family vacation! Looks like everyone had a great time. I am so envious. :)

I love reason why I loved going to the boardwalk in Wildwood, NJ.

Thanks for sharing your family with us. I loved the video!

AliceKay said...

By the way, as I started to read this, it started pouring down rain outside my window.

Flat Creek Farm said...

Love it! Your video is fantastic, Deanna. And the music choice - perfect!! What great, fun memories were made, and more to come.. of that I am sure! Love that idea for a Christmas present for the fam :) Enjoyed catching up with you today. Yours & Patti's tomato soup looks and sounds awesome. -Tammy