Friday, July 17, 2015

Wisconsin Dells- Day 3

Our final day of vacation can be summed up in one word:  waterpark!  After a quick breakfast, we were ready to go when the park opened at 10.  Even Carter got in on the action, albeit briefly.

I'll just let this total overload of pictures do the talking...














Rather than spending $7 for a kid's burger at the cafe at Great Wolf, we opted for a little Culver's as a late lunch in our room.

After lunch, we went back down to the waterpark, but a certain someone was sooo tired.  I situated us on a chair at the pretend beach overlooking the wave pool, and Carter was out!  I had to post this picture because I can't remember the last time I've held a napping kid.


Once Carter woke up, he was back to his old self. :) :) :)


The rest of the kids continued to play until we had to get ready for dinner.  For dinner we went to Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty, which is kind of like Cracker Barrel on, well.. crack!  The amazing thing was that Gary, Anna, and Frank all remember coming here when they vacationed in the Dells in the '80s.  Meals are served family-style, and the gift shop was huge.

For our final activity, we headed over to Knuckleheads, a huge family fun center.

We did a little bumper car riding,



played some arcade games, and rode some other rides.  If it's called, "Tornado," you know my kid is going to try it!



Hey, what about me?


Carter even found a little car ride that he loved.


I have to give props to Jenna at this point, because after finding out he enjoyed that ride so much, she used her own tickets to let him ride it again. There might be a reason Carter is so smitten with her!!

Meanwhile, Frank and Brett were having some sort of face-off with a crazy game where the objective was to stomp on the floor and kill aliens.


We finished out our night by jumping on a huge jumping pillow while Jenna and Brett went to another area to jump on trampolines.




Best part of vacation?  Tired kids!!



Thanks for the memories, Great Wolf Lodge!  We will be back again!






Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wisconsin Dells- Day 2

On Day 2, we had planned to switch hotels, so we packed up our things (Hey, I remembered everyone's bags this time!) and decided to hit the town until our room was ready.

Downtown Wisconsin Dells has a huge "strip" with tourist-y t-shirt and knicknack-type stores.  I learned that these stores are Jenna's jam, and I think she could have shopped all morning!

The boys waited patiently.


Well, Carter waited no-so-patiently...


After lunch, we decided to ride the duck boats, which travel both on land and in water.  There are duck boats allll over the dells, so we were pretty excited to see what all the fuss was about.

Our driver took us through a wooded area and then to the lake, back through the woods, and back to the lake.  I love boat rides anyway, but the land/water twist was pretty cool, and the scenery was great.  Frank and I agreed later that this was our favorite activity of the whole trip.






By now, it was time to check into the hotel.  We stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge, and it definitely lived up to the hype.  The kids got wolf ears when we arrived. (That were green and looked more like bunny ears, but whatever; they were cute!)

Little Janello Wolves!

Of course, what the kids wanted to do first was GO TO THE WATERPARK!!!  Great Wolf has an amazing indoor waterpark as well as an outdoor pool area.  It was in the low 70s, so we opted for the indoor park that afternoon.  

This kid has no fear.  And with the exception of one, he was tall enough for all of the mat rides and waterslides.  Plus, he had Jenna and Brett to play with!  He was in heaven! 


Since Carter has been enjoying swimming lessons this summer (Seriously, he asked to take lessons, and he actually likes it.), I thought he might be open to the waterpark idea.


Nope!

But Grandma bought him Icees, and he was happy as a clam to sit on Grandma's or Grandpa's lap and watch the action.  So no fussing= win.

That evening, we went to Buffalo Phill's Pizza and Grille for dinner.  This place was on our must-do list, since your food is brought to you via a toy train!

Here were our drinks coming out!

The person running the train keeps it moving almost constantly, and it comes out from the kitchen not only with food, but with different arrangements of toys, etc.

The best part was when the train came out with a bubble maker!


No wait, the best part was when the train came out with our food!


A fun ending to a fun day!





Thursday, July 9, 2015

Wisconsin Dells- Day 1

Last week we took a trip to Wisconsin Dells with Gary, Anna, Jenna, and Brett.  Everyone spent the night with us on Saturday, and we set out bright and early on Sunday morning.  After making only one pit stop, we arrived in the Dells early in the afternoon


(Obligatory vacation photo in front of a state sign)

We discovered our hotel room at the Super 8 wasn't quite ready yet, so we decided to miniature golf.  Now, everyone has a different idea of what "vacation" means to them, but one thing that is synonymous with vacation to me in miniature golf.  We found a great place called Pirates Cove that was very scenic and also had a petting zoo.  We also found out that Carter loves to miniature golf, even though his version more closely resembles playing pool and ends with him dropping the ball in the hole!




(This picture of Brett might be my favorite one of the whole trip!)

After golfing, the kids we ready to swim, so we went back to our room to change.  I laid Carter's trunks on the bed and went to get Jacob's... and froze.  

Jacob's suitcase.

I didn't remember loading Jacob's suitcase.  But I didn't remember loading Carter's, either, and it was here, so surely... 

Nope.

All of those cool little vacation outfits were folded neatly in his suitcase, which was now three and a half hours away.  #momfail.

After a quick trip to WalMart, we were good to go.  Fortunately, if I was going to forget anyone's suitcase, that was the cheapest one to forget, since Carter's also contained his diapers and both of their toiletries. Two shirts, two pairs of shorts, and a pair of swim trunks later, the incident was behind us.

The first night, we went to dinner at an awesome little pizza place.  The best thing about traveling with a group of family is that there is always so much food to be shared! "Want some fries?  Have some of mine."  "Do you want some of my pasta? I won't eat it all."  "Have a bite.  No seriously, have more."  I think we all had our dinners plus a little bit of everyone else's! 

After dinner, we did a little swimming, and then both kids made a beeline for Grandma and Grandpa's room.  I think all four of them (or maybe all six of them?:) ) loved being next-door-neighbors on vacation.  Lots of back-and-forth,what's-the-password kind of craziness!

*** To Be Continued***




Wednesday, June 10, 2015

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things


A fire in the firepit


Backyard pool shenannigans


S'mores


Attending the ILCBA Anniversary Gala at the Willis Tower


These three faces


Frank and Brett's game of cul-de-sac tennis


Cartie eating snacks and watching a performance of Summer Stories in the Park


This monkey, who won't let his daddy have any peace and quiet, ever


My parents swinging with the kids


These guys cleaned up for church, weirdo faces and all


Salad-stuffed shells (recipe coming soon!)


Children who are so tired from sun and fun that they sometimes fall asleep in the middle of the day!