Vacation – Part 2

I’m not sure we could top the water park on the second day of vacation, but we thought we’d try!  We got up early Monday morning and drove to Adventureland.  Ashton wasn’t too patient on the car rides, but found this map of Kansas to be pretty entertaining for at least 30 minutes.  We never knew Walmart, and Adventureland could be found on the Kansas map:)

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In years past, Monday’s were never very busy there so we were banking on that again this year.  Unfortunately, I think it’s late enough in the summer that everyone was trying to get their vacations in because when we pulled in the lot, there was a LONG line to park…so much for thinking we’d have the place pretty much to ourselves!  Luckily the weather was really good, so that made the crowds more bearable.  We always hop on the train around the park as our first stop.

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After the train, we hit up the skyfari to take us to the other end of the park.  The view behind me was all of my favorite people.

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We did a couple of rides and then thought we would do the Raging River – along with 1,000 other people.  The line was long but we didn’t gauge how slow it would move.  We thought the wait might be 30 minutes so we decided to get in line.  After 1 1/2 hours, we finally made it to the front to front of the line….Ashton had about lost his mind by that time and we were all pretty cranky.  We decided it wasn’t worth the wait for the 5 minutes of entertainment.  Lesson learned!

We grabbed some lunch and then hit up a few more rides – by this time the people had all moved to the water park so the rides were less busy.  The kids were all about the Tilt-A-Whirl and the Scrambler and I was happy to sit and watch – those kind of rides don’t sit well with me anymore!

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Ashton was obsessed with this guy – had to run and give him high fives whenever we saw him!

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We ended our visit to Adventureland with a stop at the ice cream shop and then headed home.  Luckily, the ride home was pretty quiet and the kids got all wound up about 15 minutes from home.  Here’s the response I got when I asked for a picture showing how they felt about almost being home:

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We had a great little vacation…it’s always fun to get away even if only for a short time.  I love spending time with these people and hope that the kids will remember it for a while!

 

Mini Vacation

It’s been hard to find time to get away this summer with softball and 4H pigs, so we decided to do a quick vacation the last couple of days.  We left Sunday morning and headed to Kings Pointe Water Park in Storm Lake, IA.  I knew a few people that had been there before and it had good reviews.  It was a HUGE hit with my kids!  Ashton wasn’t tall enough for all of the slides, but there was one big outdoor slide (the orange one in the picture below) that he could ride down on a tube with an adult (it was fully enclosed and completely dark most of the way down, which was actually pretty nerve-wracking, but it didn’t seem to bother that kid!).  I think Joe and I each carried a double tube up the huge set of stairs to the top of the waterslide at least 15 times (quite the workout!!), but it was worth it because I’ve never seen Ashton more excited.  The girls were brave and tried every slide there – even the ones that went straight down that Joe and I wouldn’t even go on!  We managed to spend the entire day there between the outdoor slides/pool and the indoor ones.

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The kids were pumped to find their own American Ninja Warrior course:)  Apparently, Ashton was happy to tell anyone (even the kids he didn’t know) that fell in the water during this obstacle that they were an American Ninja Warrior loser!

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Both Ashton and Jayde we excited about the diving boards.  Ashton was pretty entertaining to watch running and jumping off of the low diving board.  He really wanted to try the high dive, but Joe and I decided that might scar him for life so we made him stick to the low dive!

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Jayde went off the high dive a few times and then decided she wanted to try a flip like she saw some of the other kids doing.  It started off okay, but then ended in a back flop…she came up crying (which made me convinced that she broke her back or something since I’m a huge worrier!).  In the end, I think it just scared her and probably hurt a little (or a lot!), and Joe was trying hard not to laugh at her!  It might be a while before she tries that one again.

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We ended the day with a little park play time at the park next door to the water park, and we walked up to the top of the lighthouse for a quick picture.

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We had such a fun day!  The kids were excited to spend the night in a hotel (which apparently we don’t do often enough).  I think Jayde would have been happy just staying in a hotel for the night.  Stay tuned for day two of our mini vacation….

Grandma Camp

Last week, Joe’s mom took all of her grandkids for the week and had their annual “Grandma Camp”.  The kids always look forward to several days with their cousins and it’s always a nice break for Joe and I.  This was the first year Ashton got to spend the entire week there so he was excited to be one of the big kids.  They went to the cabin on Sunday night and we picked them up on Friday afternoon.  The kids were busy horseback riding, swimming, miniature golfing, doing projects, and they even got to go to Ronald McDonald House to donate all of the pop tabs they have been collecting throughout the year – they use the money from these to pay the electric bill at the Ronald McDonald House.

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My kids came home tired and that’s always a sign of a fun week!  Jayde told me this was the best Grandma Camp she’s ever been to, so Grandma must be doing something right!  They’re already talking about next year – and so am I because having 5 kid free days never happens!

 

Weekend “Adventuring”

I love Summer and the ability to take weekend adventures to new places.  This weekend we had fun “adventuring” as the kids called it!

Friday night we got to celebrate my nephew’s 4th birthday.  Somehow I only took one picture – of Danika and the dog:)  The girl does love dogs and often reminds us that she’d love to have one again some day (I keep pretending I don’t hear her!).

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We had plans to go to to a drive-in movie Saturday (there are only 2 drive-in movies left in Nebraska, and the closest one to us is 2 hours away).  Neither Joe or I had ever been to a drive-in and the kids couldn’t wait to go.   We went back and forth about taking the camper up to Neligh and finding a camp site or getting a hotel and letting the kids swim.  We ultimately decided we should take the opportunity to use the camper, so we had no real plan except to pull the camper up there, hope to find an open camp site and go to the drive in.  We left Saturday morning on our adventure!

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After stopping in Norfolk for lunch and a few groceries, we headed to Neligh.  Once we pulled into town, we found the park and were a little nervous when we saw that there was a ball tournament going on and it appeared there were a lot of campers there.  We did find an open spot so we set up camp.  It was a very nice park/camp ground and the pool was right there too.  It had a fun water slide and basketball hoop so the kids were in heaven.  The kids thought it was so fun that we played a game of “PIG” at the basketball hoop in the pool.  We swam for a couple of hours and then played at the park for a bit before heading back to the camper for supper.  There’s nothing more I love than spending an uninterrupted, mostly unplanned day with my people!

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We hung out at the camper for a while and then Danika wanted to go on an adventure in town.  We packed up for the movie and then drove around town – we found some cool old bridges to drive over and located the town “airport” before heading to the drive-in.  We got our snacks and were ready for the movie!

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The movie started about 9:45 and by 10:20 Ashton was asleep on top of me and I’m pretty sure Joe and I were asleep long before the movie was over (that’s the downfall of putting an air mattress and lots of blankets in the back of the pickup!).    The drive-in plays two movies a night but we only made it through one before deciding we better head back to the camper.  I’d definitely recommend checking this place out if you haven’t already – we loved it!

We headed home Sunday morning, let the kids rest for a couple of hours and then headed down to the cabin to swim.  Again, I failed to take pictures but we had a great time and the water felt amazing on such a hot day!

I’m hoping this week I can get back into some home projects since our evenings are finally freeing up!  Maybe you’ll start to see something on this blog rather than our weekend updates….maybe!

Have a great week!

 

 

Weekend Recap – Long Weekend Edition!

We had an amazing LONG weekend!  Joe took Friday/Monday off of work, so we had a 5 day family weekend and it was just what we needed!  Friday we finished up softball season with Danika’s last game.  The girls both had great seasons and learned a lot!

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Saturday Joe had to cook meat for a wedding, so we hung out at home for the morning and Danika helped me make some treats for family picnic Sunday.

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I went with Joe to deliver/set up the meat at the wedding while the kids hung out with my niece Reagan.  After we got home, we went out to the lakes for a while.  The kids had fun playing and we got to see some neat fireworks when it got dark.

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Sunday we had a family picnic at Joe’s aunt and uncles cabin near North Bend.  The weather was perfect and the kids had a blast tubing and swimming.

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Monday we decided to go back to the lake and swim some more!

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We had fun lighting off fireworks when it got dark.

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We had a great 4th of July – the girls and I tie dyed shirts over the weekend so they were excited to wear those.  We also went through the Hooper 4th of July parade for Joe’s BBQ business.

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It’s hard to see such a fun weekend end, but glad that it’s a short week!  We’ve decided we are going to take full advantage of what summer we have left!