Sunday, June 30, 2013

Vacation // 2013

Vacation.. nothing like it. Our vacations are not about spending the majority of the trip in a plane.. they are not about cramming as many activities into a week as possible.. nope, ours are about family and relaxation. I love them and wouldn't have it any other way. 

Speaking of relaxation.. this is how we began this vacation.. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! Pedis with my momma are the best!!
As you have seen with some previous years, we travel in my parents motorhome. This is usually my view. Chaz loves these trips. This year we picked the Dallas area again. Remember last year when we went to St Louis and stayed at the Yogi Bear Jellystone park? Well, we discovered there is an even better one right outside of Dallas. Sold! 
We always pick something that is super touristy. This year, Medieval Times. Dad and I made this decision about a month before we left. I wasn't really sure what all the hype was about but I had fully accepted my boymom status and was willing to give it a go. I have only heard great things so I thought it would be a good time. I was beyond impressed, it was a blast!!
They tell you to be prompt.. and they are NOT kidding. This is about 20 minutes early. The line was around the corner.
He was so excited and had no idea what it was even about.
I gotta say, these people do it right. They herd you into two lines and start assigning you knights. They give everyone a crown with the color of your knight. We were yellow. They they continue to lead you into different places, one is a picture with the princess--which they hit you up for $20 at the end of the show, and they have another section where you can dress up in the period clothing-- we didn't do that but I can only assume they ask for another $20 for that picture. Then they lead you through two huge doors and into the bar area-- score! This bar area is actually huge.. and full of more things to buy. Within two steps of walking in the room, you are pretty much on top of the cart with all the light up swords, princess crowns, prince crowns, capes, mugs, etc. Yes, dad was a sucker and bought each of the boys one -- bye bye $30, hello happy kiddos.
They leave you in this room until everyone has gone through the same process you just did.. It seems like hours! Especially when you have two kids and this was to begin at 7.. I guess the experience is what started at 7, not dinner. The volume of fruit snacks that was consumed before the show was impressive.
Yes, this happened about 500 times. Dane actually did two stints in time out.
Now, I did some research beforehand and knew they served you food of the time period. This wasn't that weird to me because the menu said chicken, rolls, potatoes, etc. We could do this.. but then I look at my setting.. notice anything missing?? Our waiter dude quickly informed us that we would be eating as the "nobles" did... sans utensils. You can only imagine my father's face when they said this. Amazing. We would be drinking our soup and peeling our chicken apart with our fingers. Thank goodness for diaper bags and baby wipes!!
I think Chaz ate half a roll but that was expected. I figured he wouldn't eat anything. The food was actually delicious. Again, pleasantly surprised.
Thanks for playing in the reindeer games you two! My parents are such good sports in the world of being grandparents, they just roll with it.
The hubs didn't mind to eat like a Neanderthal, this was his cup of tea. Notice the baby cramming a roll in his grub-hole. .
This was our waiter dude. He was awesome!!
and this was our knight. We yelled "YELLOW" about 837,945,780,343,275,893,408 times. Even the baby was yelling it! HA!
Here is the picture they sell you at the end. It is an adorable picture of all of us, complete with yellow paper crowns. Yep, that is my daddy in a yellow paper crown. HA! It came in a very fancy case, just so you could stomach the $20 price tag. I tried to refuse when they asked us to purchase it but daddy wasn't having it. He wanted me to have this picture. He has always been such a good vacationer. We also ended up with 2 wooden swords, 2 LED light swords, 4 paper crowns, 4 yellow flags, 1 larger yellow and black flag, 4 tall beer glasses, 1 light up cup and 1 small picture frame. We are all suckers. HA!!

This is how the boy traveled anytime we were on the grounds of the camp. You could only drive like 2 miles an hour and we were in the Hummer so we figured he could drive. Why not, it is vacation!!
This camp had SOOOO much to do. Multiple pools, activity center, bounce house park, large arcade center, climbing wall, maze, plenty of places to ride bikes, etc. It was amazing!
This is the maze. Think corn maze with metal walls. Chaz mastered it on the first try.
This was a little campfire place with large stumps to take a seat. It was really cute.
Dane was NOT having this. Clearly.
Yes, that is my boy. Throwing down the upside down horns, in the state of Texas. Such the rebel.
There were all sorts of bridges and ponds. We just wandered around one afternoon. It was so much fun!
Bike rides.
Pool time. I think we were in the pool at least twice every day, sometimes three times.
Papa trying to teach him how to fall backwards into the pool. It didn't work.
Goggles are a must. He brought these from Gaga and Papa's house. I love this kiddo.
Then he was FREEZING. Please note, the pool was warm and it was in the upper 90s outside. I love him but he is a total mess.
Sweet baby boy. He is just so happy go lucky, never fails.
Yes, this happened. He didn't "have time" to run to the motorhome so he "just had to go there"  I am sure Papa LOVED that!
While we relax on vacation we do have a lot of fun and between the biking, roaming and swimming. I am pretty sure we wore him out. Just a guess.
video
While he was sleeping we headed to the activity center. They had lots of different activities every day.  Chaz really wanted to paint so that is what we ended up doing.
They even had a little ceramic center where you could paint. Chaz chose a car. The one in front was his guide as he wanted his to look exactly like the example.
Love the concentration faces. This was serious business.
They had a little train that went around the park every day. Chaz loved this and did not miss it, ever!
Such the good big brother!!
Still hamming it for the camera.
We did our day at the Grapevine mall, one of our favorites! A little lunch at the Rain Forest Cafe is always a must!!
A quick ride in the train for ALL my boys!
And then we sent the baby with Gaga and Papa so we could enjoy Legoland!
He was just a little excited.. just a little.
The scenes they had created were AMAZING!! This was the Texas state fair. Of course, this was all made with Legos. AMAZING!!
DFW
Cowboy Stadium.
Downtown
We watched the Lego movie.
He was in awe. He seriously would not move.
They had a cool little play area where there were tons of Legos available for you to build whatever you wanted.
and a bunch of ramps and such so they could race the cars they built. Of course the hubs is right in the middle of all the fun!
All Legos. I mean for reals, this stuff was super cool!

Lego Starwars video games.
One of the coolest things was they had this indoor/outdoor track where the kids can drive life little Lego police cars.
Again, super excited!
They even had some rides. Of course, I got volunteered for this but I didn't mind, he was so excited!
Love this goofy kiddo!
Back to the camp. We really didn't have to leave the camp at all and would have had an amazing vacation. There was just so much to do! Blow up climbing wall. One of Chaz's favorite things.
Back to the crazy maze.
Love these boys. And yes, Dane is in his pjs. It is vacation. I am pretty sure I went showerless for a few days. Who cares?!?!
What do you con your daddy into at Jellystone? A BooBoomerang (get it?!?!) So we decided to test Papa's patience and see if he could teach the almost six year old how to throw one of these silly things.
This picture looks far more impressive than the actual throw.
Maybe if you add goggles, you can throw it better.
My crazy boys. Well, 2 of the 3.
This was in the arcade area. Yes, a ride in the arcade area. Told you this place was awesome!
I only took my camera to the water park a few times so here you go. I will prewarn of any background people.. It is a waterpark which is basically the best people watching on the planet (second to a NASCAR race or BikeBlues and BBQ)
This was his favorite. You had to wait in line, which he did a few times. But he eventually got tired of that and starting putting me in line as his spot saver. He is a smart kiddo.The also had a bunch of slides and pirate ships but I was too busy riding to take pictures of those things.
Dane loved these little fountains in the shallow parts of the water. He "washed" all of our shoes, a strangers shoes, himself and the baby sunscreen.
He let me lounge in my beach chair for the most part but there were a few times whee he made me go with him. I absolutely love the view of my life.
Long day at the water park equals passing out in the car ride back to the RV. Note, this is less than a 2 minute drive.
There was also a large, very large, area with lots of blow ups. It was hot so the fun didn't last long this day but it was still a lot of fun!
I know you have seen these. You strap a bungee to your waist and try to run to the end. Chaz did pretty good!
And the hubs tried to run with a baby in hand. Hilarious
There were some crazy big blow ups. It was so much fun!!
It was so hot, we decided to retreat to the arcade. Dane totally wants to be his big brother.
There was a HUGE climbing structure. There were all kinds of tunnels, slides, climbing nets, etc.. Dane couldn't go by himself so guess who got voluntold? Yep, the momma. Oh well, I will take it. We had such a good time! Forgive the major hotness. I am pretty sure this was one of my "no shower" days. Deal.
and then this happened.. again.
We did TONS of this. Seriously we spent about half the time in the pool, which is just fine by me! Note: The baby is fine. This was the baby pool it is very shallow, he could touch, and there is a ledge around the entire thing. He liked to be on his belly on the step, which is what he is doing here. He loved it!!
 And we did tons of this. Everything was close enough to walk but it was so much easier to ride out bikes. We were able to carry anything we needed and tote the baby in the buggy.

So every day the hayride came around in the morning, again mid afternoon (I think) and then late afternoon. The rule for late afternoon is it was the "water ride." It rounded the corner right in front of our spot everyday. We often talked to the driver and he was quite the hoot. Well come to find out, on this day the regular driver had some help... a new guy. The also have a firetruck ride (which we did as well.. we do not miss an activity like that!!) Well he let the new guy pick, fire truck or last-of-the-day hayride. You see what was missing there? He "forgot" to tell him it was a water hayride.. Yep.

He also made sure to tell the mischievous people at the last spot around the corner. They began the planning, the setting a spot and the setting up of materials.

The little guys set the spot.. 
And the hubs carried out the attack.
unsuspecting victim...
Yes, he even ran after them. HA! Such dedication!
Notice the one kid towards the front.. just trying to protect the rest of the crew.
Passed out.. Goodnight sweet thing!
We decided to head to the kids aquarium. It is really cool because it is very hands on and all at a kids level.
Chaz was immediately turned off because it had the smell of an aquarium...you all know that smell and my child has his mother's sense of smell, not a good combo. Luckily it subsided so we could continue with our day. It was really touch and go there for a bit. Drama King.

Brothers checking out the albino crocodile. He is behind glass.. don't worry
The tank where you could pet sea urchins, touch star fish, etc. It was gross and cool at the same time.
The baby was ALL about it. Chaz was a little standoffish buthe did finally get close enough to touch them.
They are typical brothers with yelling, stealing toys, kicking, etc.. or maybe that is just siblings.. But when you aren't looking, they are sweet. Super sweet.
Kickass jellyfish.
The most GINORMOUS turtle I have ever seen. The info said he only moved about every hour. The hubs watched for a few minutes and then all of the sudden he was moving and a shaking. ... well for a 75 year old.. 
He was awesome!!
The had some beautiful coral displays. The kids were less than interested as it wasn't a cool animal.
Love them! Oh, I love them all so much!!
Another few moments of pure sweetness.
Check the smashed face.. HAHAHA!
I can't believe how big he is getting. So stinkin' cute!!
Next up was the shark tank. So cooooooooooool!!
Open tanks with sharks and stingrays equal some smell... hence the nose pinch of my boy. I still love this picture!
This is how the picture turns out when you have an mobile little guy!
There we go!!
and there is the "oh crap!"
We went to visit the stingrays next. Dane wasn't so sure about it. Papa tried his best to coax him into loving them.
I didn't really want to pet them. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with stingrays, long story. HOWEVER, I was telling my boy to do it so I figured I needed to lead by example.  I didn't win out, he never touched one. Maybe one day.
When we exited the aquarium, we realized we were right next to the Texas State Fair. It wasn't happening at that time but what I didn't realize earlier was that the fair is ALWAYS happening in Texas! We decided, although it was really hot, to go ahead and give it a shot. It isn't fully functioning but they have a good majority of the rides and activities in action.  When you walk in you get a lei. Chaz decided to pose with his and I just love how it turned out. Precious face!
First up was the GIANT Farris Wheel.
 
Captain fearless was just that. We actually had to keep hold of his clothes or I think he would have tried to parachute over the side.
 It went high! Really high!!
Once we were at the top he decided it was pretty cool.
Yes, that is the football stadium. Very cool!
When we got off the Farris Wheel we noticed this rather interesting looking ride. I could tell by the looks of things that it would just be the hubs and me on this venture. I love things like this so I didn't really care what it was going to do, I just knew I had to tell the hubs it would be a good time. And let me tell you, it was a good time. This thing started off slow but we were quickly upside down and literally swirling at G-force speeds. It was amazing. I did my typical crying from laughter and the hubs was just yelling "What the crap?!? Did you know it was going to do this???" BWAHAHAHAHA!
Funny thing.. when we got to the carousel, the hubs jumped right on... you see, I can do crazy rides at G-force speeds but the sweet little carousel is simply too much for me. I feel very sick and almost toss my cookies. Every.single.time. Oh the irony!
These last two are simply photo ops. The three of us (Popsicle, mom and me) cannot handle the evil carousel.
As we headed to get our lunch of the every nutritious fair food---hot dogs, nachos and french fries--we passed this VERY cool. birdlike-man-thing. Dane was super interested. Chaz was not having it.
They has some great kid rides and we took full opportunity.
Some required an adult and seeing as I have stubs for legs, I was voluntold.
Another grown-ups only ride. It was a good time.
We rounded the corner and found a dog show. I mean what better place for a little boy and a baby.....and the hubs. Oh, did I mention it was air conditioned in the arena? Yeah, it was about 102 that day. Take me to the dog show!!!
Kiddos checking out the map and determining our next stop.
Back to the dog show! These dogs were amazing!! This is a healer just like our Wrigley. I am pretty certain he can't do that... but I am also pretty certain the hubs will attempt it one day.
Afterwards we got to pet the pups. Dane was on cloud nine!
"You see the dog??"
"The dog bite me" To be clear, lick = bite... yep.
Chaz had to check it out!
As we walked out into the blistering heat, we came upon the fountain strip. At first it was Papa trying to convince Chaz to run in the water.
After one quick run through, he turned to me and asked if he could run. Yes! It is 102 degrees and feels like 150, go for it!!
He was beyond happy! And drenched..
Next up was the log ride. I signed the hubs up for this one as I took one for the team with the cramped roller coaster.
I promised games, so I gave into the games. This is the trickle down from how I behaved as a kid. I am certain I won more fair/six flags/carnival crap than you can shake a stick at. My daddy bought me a shirt/bag/shot glass/figurine at every restaurant we visited on any and every vacation. Yep, I blame this on.......me.  I honestly can't even remember what he won. I think (think) he won a crappy plastic kit of police officer gear (which we have since lost) and a little bear for his brother. At least he was sweet to his brother, right?
We left the little with my parents as I was 99% sure he was about to pass out for a nap... 99% sure. When I returned I saw this. Momma though the was just too hot and needed to play in the water. I guess what you do for one, you need to do for the other. Oh well, it is vacation!!
Vacation with a droopy, water filler diaper. We were THOSE people.
He was almost dry ..
and as we were walking out we saw this. With this sweet grin on his face he was at least good enough to ask if he could. I am pretty sure if I told him no he was still going to run through the fountain.
I would have never told him no... I mean look at this thing!
and he disappears.
Pumped, I say!!
We did change his diaper but we didn't have any dry clothes.
The little wasn't having this but I still think it is cute. I vote we go back in 2033 (20 years) and reenact this one. It would be precious but Dane may not like to be in a diaper at 21.
Before we headed home the next morning, we took one last run at the arcade.
 
and we hit the JACKPOT!! Seriously, the LAST bit of money we had won us the jackpot. I think we walked away with a fiber-optic gismo, a set of Chinese handcuffs, a few bounce balls and a couple of suckers for little brother.
And on the way home we got another one of these priceless moments. I am going to call this vacation a SUCCESS!!!!
video
Thanks again Gaga and Papa for the amazing and relaxing vacation. I look forward to this week every year. We love you to the moon and back!!

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