Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Vacation 2012 // Part 1

Vacation time! Aka, picture overload. Hence the "Part 1"
We decided a few years back to dial it back and make vacations meaningful and fun for the kids. We didn't need to travel a bazillion miles or spend an ungodly amount of money. There are TON of things to do that are not very far from home. It is shocking really. We are lucky enough to have my folks who are totally on board for making the memories alongside us. They are amazing and the boys love them so very much.  Here is a look at Summer 2010
Last year, we did travel a bit too far. Remember, we are in the motor home so there is only one driver. We have to be conscience of my dad and not overdoing him. I don't want him to be exhausted and not be able to have fun on vacation. The magic number this year was 6. We could go anywhere within a 6 hour drive of us. I did some looking around, talking to tons of friends, lots of Googling and ended up picking St. Louis. 
Chaz was SOOOO excited when we told him. One night I pulled up some of the places we were going to visit. He simply couldn't contain his excitement. He asked me everyday when we were going on vacation. Why do I constantly do this to myself??? HA!
We headed to Mom and Dad's Thursday evening when I got off work. Needless to say, he was very disappointed when I told him we weren't leaving until the next day. The next day.... he was ready to go. We were going in and out of the house, loading things into the Motor home and I lost track of Chaz (Yes, Mother of the Year award right here, folks!!)  Anyways, this is where I found him. Shoes off, sidekick Build-A-Bear Spiderman dog, colors and coloring book in hand, favorite pillow... in the back bedroom of the motor home. He was ready.
This was our ride for the week. Awesomeness!
My momma got a sweet little shot of me and my little guy napping. Pure sweetness.
You think he is happy to be on vacation?
He loved sitting up front and telling us what was going on.
Dane loved it too!
Dane also got his first Cheeto. I wasn't really sure how he would react but in true Dane form, he inhaled it. This kid is a garbage disposal. He will eat (almost) anything! It is pretty comical.
Dad is such a good sport with everything. He let the kiddos "drive" the motorhome. No, we weren't moving. C'mon people!!
See, parked. Told you. I know you didn't believe me and were totally judging.
He was having such a great time. He would screech little monkey. It was a riot!
Yep, me and my Papa. We have SUCH a fun time!
He loved the radio. But no, he doesn't have a handle. HA!
Sweetness. The Hubs is such a good daddy. Dane adores his daddy.
And someone has Gaga wrapped around his little finger. She is simply amazing on all levels. Chaz was getting super cranky and needed a nap like none other so my sweet momma curled up on the couch with him and read a book. Awesomeness!
We stayed at Jellystone Park. Yes, Jellystone, like Yogi Bear. It was great for many, many reasons. One reason (as you can tell by the smiles below) was the train ride. This adorable little train drove around the entire park twice a day. It took us a couple days to get into the groove but soon we were hopping aboard this train a few times a day.
My little tot working the pole. HAHA!
Told ya it was super cute.
After the train ride, the park invited you to go visit Yogi.
There was a cute little fence with little peep holes in it. Chaz was all about them and trying to catch a glimpse of Yogi.
Dane even tried to get his own little peek.
And out he came!
Notice who is missing from this picture........Yeah, big brother wanted NOTHING to do with Yogi. He was literally hiding behind me. I thought he was going to vapor-lock. He never likes the big stuffed things, I don't know why I thought this would be any different.
Insert super amazing grandparents. Yes, this happened. He told me that if Gaga and Papa came with him he would take a picture with Yogi. Shocking. Simply shocking. Smiles and all.
And a high five? There is no way in creation he would do this for me. Wowza
We played hard that day and on our way to see the arch, they were zonked. Totally zonked.
There she is! So pretty.
I am pretty sure 1) he wasn't very impressed and 2) did NOT want to wake from his nap. Needless to say, this is some major foreshadowing into this little excursion. Should have let him sleep.....
Dane is infatuated with his Papa. Aren't we all.
It was such a beautiful day!
So if you have ever been to the arch, you probably know you shouldn't park on this side. Well, we forgot.. or didn't know or whatever. We had to hike this. In retrospect we probably should have gotten back in the car and driven to the other side, but oh well. The boy thought the stairs were very cool (note: this is really one of his few shining moments of this afternoon)
Yeah, we had the stroller. HA! The Hubs is such a trooper! No, the baby is NOT in the stroller. Remember, Papa is carrying him. Promise, check the very top of the stairs.. yeah, that is them. I followed in the back, with the camera, trying to control my laughter.
"Chaz, put your arms out. Out, buddy! Like ALL the way out." Ok, nice try. The effort isn't unnoticed.
These two are so stinkin' cute.
Back to that Mom of the Year award... Well, the Hubs could easily qualify for the counterpart with these antics. A few things to note (in his defense) 1) No, he is not holding Chaz by his neck, although it looks that way, that would be terrible. 2) The Arch is not hot. You would think maybe it was but, no.    And Chaz was screaming like a girl. No nap + goofy dad = really ticked little boy.

We decided to go see how long the line was to go up into the arch. We went through security. That was fun with a stroller packed to the nines. My hubs was nice enough to hold my mom's purse. I think it goes great with his eyes. Ha!
The boys decided to make the stroller a double stroller. Well, it makes for good pictures. I really need to invest in a real double stroller. We quickly learned the wait to go into the arch was an hour.... that was after you waited 45 minutes for the line for the line. Yes, a line for a line???.. Reminds me of when we went to NY and wanted to visit the Statue of Liberty. What is this big city crap of a line for a line?? Whatever. Obviously, with these little bits and lunch quickly approaching, we didn't waiting in either line.
We did go through the museum below the Arch, I had no clue!  Chaz loved the museum. It was really cool. His favorite part was the teepee but he was none to happy that he couldn't get in it. Sorry, buddy!!
Chaz was in charge of the map. This is a common theme in our world. He is always in charge of the map!
Love these pictures. It was such a beautiful day!!
Ryan was trying to get a picture of Dane in front of the Arch. It was with good intentions but considering the boy can crawl, almost walk, it didn't turn out how we hoped. The pictures sure make me giggle.
Something about those little toes. Yummy!
 Yes, "Sunshine" was in a wonderful mood after lunch. Ugh to the ugh.
And I am the mom who takes pictures of he kids throwing fits so she can show them how silly they look. Don't judge.
Finally a smile!!! This is one of my favorite pictures from the ENTIRE trip. I heart this little one!
My love.
The goofy up-the-nose-double-chin shot. BAHAHAHAHA!!
Papa taking one for the team and pushing the baby and the boy!
Me and my momma! Rarely do we get a picture together. I love this!!
And this is what happens when the Hubs lays down on the ground to take said picture. It takes a little longer to get up nowadays.

Down the stairs was a little easier..
Well, for some.
All Chaz could talk about was how bad the horses smelled. Hilarious. He was all bent out of shape about the poop. God love little boys!
Stay tuned for Part 2

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