Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Vacation to the City of Parks

Even though my mom is away, she wanted to make sure we used her timeshare for our annual trip to the City of Parks. It has become tradition, so I know the kids would have been bummed if we hadn't been able to go. We split the week up between our family and the families of my two sisters who were in town. We checked in for the first part of the week, overlapping for one night with my sister, Art, and her family. Then my sister Martha came and her family overlapped with Art for another night and then took up the rest of the week. It worked out perfectly.

We arrived a little before check-in, so we figured we'd just go to the park for a bit to pass the time. The kids really love this park, although Edith was a little bummed her shorts were so short. It made for a slow and sticky descent on the slides. Ouch. :)

After the park, we went and checked in at the hotel and went for a swim. It was lovely. That evening I played Bud in a few games of Rack-O. I love playing games with that kid.

We went on a swim the next morning before lunch (no pictures, I was swimming!). We were really glad we did because it got cooler and really rained in the afternoon. Perfect weather to go to the little bookstore we love. 

We spent a lot of time exploring, both in the rain and out, and had a great day. More game playing was in order that evening, of course. I love Ginger's photo bomb in the mirror.

The next morning we awoke to rainy and cool weather, so I figured rather than swim we would go for an after-breakfast hot chocolate treat. It was delicious. Edith looks a little sad, though, because she burned her mouth taking a big gulp. Next time we'll remember to warn her when it's too hot. Poor kid.

We were able to swim when the weather cleared up a little, and I actually managed to get a couple of pictures. Rophone and Bud were at the store, so they aren't pictured, but Bud did come and swim for a few minutes with us before dinner. I loved seeing how much more comfortable all of the kids were getting in the water.

There was a big enough break in the weather that they opened up the rides, so we jumped at the chance. We got the kids dried off and ate a quick dinner, fingers crossed that the rain wouldn't return. Rophone took Big and Edith up the chair lift to ride the Alpine slide, Pen rode the chair lift to do the zip line, Bud and I decided to try the Alpine coaster, and Ginger declined the opportunity to ride anything. It was perfect weather to do the activities-- not too hot and sunny, and the weather kept the crowds away. There were no lines! Instead of having to wait in line for an hour, we just walked up and got on the ride. Perfect.

The funny part is that Pen didn't know she needed to ride the chair lift, so instead of riding up with Rophone and the two youngest, she ended up all alone on the chair behind them. My sister, Art, saw them and thought that Pen was just being "teenager-y", trying not to be seen with her family. Edith was tremendously worried when she looked back at Pen and saw that she hadn't lowered the bar on her chair. She yelled at Pen, afraid she was going to fall and die, but Pen just thought she was saying "hello" and kept waving "Hi". Ha!

I really loved doing the coaster with Bud. Camera use isn't permitted on the way down the track, so Bud and I acted out an I'm-scared-on-the-coaster picture as we slowly made our way up to the top. My sister says we look like twins. I told Bud to let me know on the way down if I was going too fast, so he did: "A little too fast." "Slow down a little please." "Um, a little anxious here!" It was super cute. We had a ton of fun and have decided we'll do it again next time. 

We finished before the Alpine sliders, so we located Pen (also done zip-lining) and Ginger and waited at the bottom of the track. It was Big's first time riding alone, so we were all hoping it went well. The fact that the weather made for fewer riders lessened the fear that he would have tons of people stacked up behind him when he came into view. (That happened to Ginger a few years ago, so she hasn't been super enthusiastic about the rides ever since.)

Happily, it all went well and they had a blast. I absolutely love the look of joy on Rophone's face. Edith is definitely a daredevil-- she kept urging him to go faster! 

After the rides, we explored around a little bit with my sister, Art, and her family. The weather really was overcast and perfect. Just how I like it. 

Art took this picture of the family. Ginger's unimpressed expression in all of the photos from the trip makes me totally laugh. She really was having a great time, but was obviously not happy about the photo-taking. Ha!

My sister got her boys in bed and then played some games with us and did nails with Pen and Ginger. She's such a good aunt. They had a blast. That's what vacations are all about.

We woke up on our last day to more misty weather. It was a bit too cool to want to swim,  which made it perfect for a hike. I thought so, anyway. Hiking in that type of weather is one of my favorite things to do. It really made me think of the hikes I took growing up in Oregon. The hike was my favorite part of the trip, hands down. I just wish I could have gotten more people to do it with us. Rophone took the non-hikers on a walk to Starbucks while Pen, Big, and I went hiking with Art and her family. 

We spent the rest of our rainy last day exploring the resort, finding fun things to do. Big was obsessed with the Bimini Ring Game. That kid sure can stay focused on things when he's into them. 

I love the look on Edith's face here:

Rophone and Bud found the time to play two games of chess while we were there and they ended up winning one game apiece. I think a tie-breaker is in order soon. 

I managed to find the chance to walk with the kids to the park one last time, too. It's amazing how much you can fit into a day when you don't stop. :) The very last thing we did before we left was attend a magic show there at the resort. I didn't get any pictures, but it was a lot of fun. The magician's puns were groan-worthy, but the magic was pretty good and the kids were entertained. A fun end to our trip. 

I think this was one of the most enjoyable vacations I've spent at the City of Parks. We managed to do a little of everything, just like I wanted. Can't get much better than that. Thanks, Mom, for making it possible!


patti's place said...

It was fun to see your re-cap for your vacation. Glad you enjoyed it!

jww said...

Man! It looks SO FUN!!! :)

Sue said...

It was great to spend time with you guys there and I'm glad you had such a great trip!