Our first family getaway was a success, if I do say so myself. Road trips are so fun! We loaded up the car with two days and one night's worth of clothes/essentials (which came out to be more than you'd think...) and took off!
Stopped in Emporia to eat at Applebee's (G's meal was free for the holiday - whoopee!) then back on the road. Gwen finally took a little dozer - so did mommy. I couldn't help it!
Checked into the hotel Marriott at the Country Club Plaza. They even opened our car doors for us! Ha! The room was cozy - a nice King bed for mommy and daddy, a pull-out couch for munchkin. But no time for laying around, it's H&M time! So off to the plaza we RODE! Shuttle service = awesome. Front door delivery, doesn't get much better. G in the stroller, rocking the shades indoors. Mama trying to get in the shopping mood (not as easy as it used to be). $150 later, I have one new shirt, daddy has 2, and G has a dress, 2 leggings, and a headband that she picked out herself (then refused to wear since...) Then A/X - mama's favorite. Flippy floppies and a jacket.
Time to eat again! Cheesecake Factory, here we come! Andy and I split the meal so that we'd have room for dessert of course. Who could go to the Cheesecake Factory and not eat cheesecake?!?!
I planned the trip as best I could, selecting a hotel then changing my mind again and again before finally settling on the Marriott near the Cheesecake Factory. Andy gave me one rule - do NOT put us in the hotel that's way up the hill/mountain from the plaza. We've made that mistake before. Well, unfortunately AFTER purchasing the non-refundable room, I Google mapped it. Oops. Oh well. A little exercise after eating all that we had wasn't a bad thing... But first, we stop to rest our bodies a bit before the hike - at the gorgeous fountain.
One more tiny rest, then into the car again as we head downtown to the casino's parking garage roof. We heard from the gal working at Lucky that it's a great spot to watch the fireworks display. We showed up way early so we decided to make our way down to the actual River Festival festivities. Basically paid $10 for the porta-potty (priceless). We made our way all the way back to our car and enjoyed a gorgeous fireworks show at a comfortable distance. Gwen thoroughly enjoyed. And even though her usual bedtime was hours before the show even began, she did an amazing job staying her sweet lovable self the whole day through.
She even argued as we slowly made our way out of the garage that it wasn't over yet! There were still fireworks! But we had to call it a night. And she was ready. Her in her bed and Daddy and I in ours, she said 'sweet dreams - turn out the light!'
The morning came too quickly - if not for the knock from housekeeping about 9AM, who knows when we might have started our day! No rush getting ready, some fun photo ops before check out...
Our view of the Plaza:
Lunch at Fritz's - a burger joint where the food is delivered via train. A track runs along the wall near the ceiling and places the food on a tray that lowers to the table. Genius. And a blast for the kiddos (obviously, because the place was packed!) Luckily, we were there right at open.
Then to the Aquarium. Not really what we had expected - it was more geared towards the kids. A very, keep-the-pace feel as opposed to others we've been to where is was more of a casual stroll. But Gwen had a lot of fun and saw lots of 'bloop-blups.' That's what we call fish. A 'Bloop-blup' is to fish as 'Moo moo' is to cow. We played the animal sound game long ago - this one really stuck! hehehe
I do think G was a bit disappointed that there were no mermaids...
One more stop at Kaleidescope (sp?) for some quick arts and crafts, then we finally had to say 'uncle'. Headed Home Sweet Home. We hardly made it out of the parking garage before Gwen was slumped over in her carseat, dreaming of fish and shopping bags and fireworks.
Stopped for some ice cream at a turnpike McD's. Home early evening - fit in a bike ride to the playground and back before bed.
What a fun trip! G's ready to see the fireworks again next year already! How do you explain - 'not for another year' to a 3-year-old? What's a year? I used to think it was a long time. Seems lately, they go pretty quick... Savoring every moment.
Thank you, Lord, for my wonderful life. For my wonderful family.
Blessings all around ♥