Thursday, August 22, 2013

Family Vacation 2013!

We just got back from our family vacation this past Sunday evening. Last summer, we spent the weekend in New Hampshire and went to Santa's Village for the first time, and then did a hike of the Flume Gorge that Sunday, and then came home. For those of you not familiar with the east coast, Santa's Village is a Christmas themed children's amusement park. We started this tradition of going there last year, so this year of course we planned to go there, and decided to try out Story Land as well. Story Land is another children's amusement park an hour from Santa's Village, and is based, of course, on all of the Mother Goose nursery rhymes and fairy tales we all know and love so well.

This year, we left on a Friday, and had a 2 hour drive ahead of us. Of course with stopping here and there, it took a little more longer than expected. Connor and Merasia fell asleep soon into the trip, but Mason held on awake for most of it.  I was surprised! He had a rough time riding for so long. He kept bothering Kendall, crying, screaming, throwing his paci, asking for snacks, and everything else. He kept singing his ABC's the entire ride, practically! it was cute, but a little much after the billionth time! ;) He did eventually pass out for a little while, though, so it was nice to drive in a little bit of peace.

We got to the place we were staying at, unloaded the van and got things semi set up at our cottage.

After we got semi settled in, we drove down to the local grocery store to get a few things the kids and us needed, then went back and tested out the pool! It was pretty cold, but I did get in a little dip and the kids enjoyed dipping their toes in the water and splashing around a bit!

After we dipped and played in the pool, we cooked some frozen pizza and had dinner, and got Mason in bed at 6 that night. An hour or two earlier than normal, but he had already had a LONG day of traveling and very little nap, and was miserable, cranky, and exhausted. He went right to sleep with no problem and only woke once or twice during the night for some milk in his cup. After we laid him down for the night, Frank and I went outside with the twins to spend a little time with them while Kendall was napping. We got them changed in their pajamas, and hung out outside, then roasted some marshmallows and had some yummy s'mores!

We were all so glad to see our beds that night! We woke up bright and early the next morning and got everyone bathed, dressed, packed up, and ready for the day, and got on the road for the hour drive to Santa's Village! We had a BEAUTIFUL day full of FUN! We went on just about every ride at the park, the kids got all of the punches in their punch cards from the elf statues all over the park, we visited with Santa's reindeer, played in the water park, ate some lunch, saw some friends from home, and, of course, visited with Santa. We got some special treatment from Santa. I went to his house to ask his elf helper when we could see him, and she said they had to let the line inside the house die down some before they could let anyone else in, but told us to come back in a half hour or so. So we were going to go on some rides and kill some time. While we were standing outside deciding where we wanted to go next, the elf came back out and said we could come in if we wanted, but Frank had gone to check something out real quick and I didn't want to go in without him so we said we would wait. By the time Frank came back, the elf was telling everyone to come back in 20 minutes or so, so we planned on that but then the elf came back out to us and said we could go in, but she was still turning everyone else away until later. It was so nice of her to let us go sneak in at the end of the line that was already inside. We waited much longer last year! When we did get to Santa, he gave each of our kids (except the baby, of course) 3 or 4 candy canes, and his elf helpers told him to take extra special time with us. Merasia and Mason did go up to him to get their candy canes and then Mason ran back to the stroller with daddy. I figured that would happen! At least he didn't cry this year like last year! Connor and Kendall sat on his lap, and Merasia got her candy canes and talked to him, but didn't want to sit on his lap. He asked all the kids what they wanted for Christmas and if they were having fun that day, and some other questions. It was so cute for them to get that extra special time with famous Santa! ;)

Here are some photos from our adventures at Santa's Village:

Merasia was a little nervous to go on the water slides alone last year, but this year she was much more brave and went on them over and over again by herself:

Mommy and Merasia on Rudy's Roller Coaster:

She puts her hands up on every ride, even if it's not a fast one or not a roller coaster:

Loving the train ride:

First Santa's Village photo as a family of 6!

Santa's Robe hanging in his house :)

The back side of the water park:

Connor driving the antique cars:

We asked one of Santa's Helpers to take this photo for us, but he didn't get the Santa's Village sign in the background :(

Kendall meeting Santa for the first time!

All 4 kids were fast asleep within seconds of leaving the Santa's Village parking lot!

We had an hour drive from Santa's Village back to where we were staying, so the kids got a fairly good cat nap in, and we went to Dairy Queen for dinner when we got back to the town we were staying in. I have NEVER been to a Dairy Queen in my whole life, so I was PSYCHED for this!! We got dinner, ate outside and enjoyed the nice weather and sunshine, and then had some ice cream afterwards! I had my FIRST ever REAL DQ Blizzard (S'Mores!)! It was beyond yummy!

We all fell into bed, utterly exhausted that night! We were up bright and early the next morning to get everything packed up and loaded back into the van. While hubs did that, it gave the kiddos time to get outside and play on the playground at the place we were staying at.

Finally, we were all loaded back into the van, checked out of the place we spent the weekend, stopped for coffee and donuts at a store downtown, and then headed to Story Land! This was all of our first times at Story Land, and it was a complete BLAST!!!

We rode on a bunch of rides, went in and out of all the houses and cool places to explore there, met Cinderella, Tinker Bell, Alice in Wonderland, Little Red Riding Hood, Mother Goose, and the Little Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe, saw lots of animals, ate yummy food, and made so man new, special memories. It was bigger than Santa's Village, so there was quite a bit that we didn't get to do with having a 2 hour drive home ahead of us, but we will be spending even more time there next year, and we already can't wait!

Here are some fun photos from our adventure at Story Land:

 Connor and Merasia with Tinker Bell!

The Three Billy Goat's Gruff:

In The Three Little Bear's House:

Riding the Bamboo Chutes!

Peter Rabbit's House! He was hiding inside so we didn't see him though :(

Cinderella's Castle!

In Cinderella's Pumpkin Coach to ride up to the castle and meet Cinderella herself!

Baa Baa Black Sheep:

Pirate Ship ride:

Riding the Pirate Ship:

The show that Tinker Bell, Alice in Wonderland, and Little Red Riding Hood put on:

Driving the anitque cars at Story Land:

Chicken House:

Getting a sticker from the Little Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe:


Mason meeting Alice in Wonderland!!

Dancing at the show:

Connor and Merasia with Alice in Wonderland!!


The Three Little Bear's House:

Three Billy Goat's Gruff:

Safari Ride:


Connor shooting the Pirate Ship:

Merasia driving the tractor:

Gift Shops, etc.:


The Three Little Pigs:

The Shoe:

Mason on the Pirate Ship:

Mason driving the antique car:

The Three Little Pig's houses:

Connor driving the tractor:

Pumpkin Coach Ride:

Mary and her Little Lambs:

Pirate Play Area:

Inside The Three Little Bear's Home:

Walking the bridge from the castle back down to the park:

Cinderella's glass slipper:

Roller Coaster:

Swan Boat Ride:

Posing with Humpty Dumpty:

Little Red Riding Hood's Grannie's House:

Rock-A-Bye Baby (the cradle was really rocking!):


School House:

Overall, it was a great trip! Exhausting, but great! We made so many new, fun, amazing family memories and the kids just had a complete blast and haven't stopped talking about the trip since! We are already greatly looking forward to next year's trip!

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