Mini Family Vacation: ERie, PA

Friday, December 13, 2013

We took a little family vacation to ERie, PA in late October.  When we first were married, we lived in ERie in a little townhouse, just B, Me, and Lola kitty.  On particularly difficult days now, Brandon and I will look across the room to each other and say, 'Remember Cabernet?' (our townhouse street name).  By that we mean, remember when we had unlimited amount of hours to spend together doing carefree activities like playing scrabble and watching movies?  HAH.

It was nice to go back to our starting point if even only for a few days on our mini-vacation.  We arrived and got the kids suited up nice and warm and headed over to the ERie ZooBoo! night event at the zoo.  We wore abbreviated versions of our TMNT costumes and walked around collecting candy at various trick-or-treating points and checked out all the animals.  The zoo was decked out for Halloween and the kids really loved it.

 After our fun but chilly evening at the Zoo, we headed back to the hotel and it was further proven that our kids seriously love hotels.  We jumped on the beds, opened every drawer possible, and hit the indoor pool - much to the children's supreme delight.

The only problem with hotels is that both kids prefer to sleep in their own beds, so when bedtime rolls around everyone gets antsy pantsy and tossy turny.  But we made it through the night because the kids knew that Splash Lagoon was waiting for them on the horizon.

We grabbed a quick breakfast (Bob Evans, how I love thee) and played some mini games to keep our children occupied in public places.

jelly container memory

who's eye is who?

We then headed over to Splash Lagoon and watched our children lose.their.freaking.minds.  Seriously.  It was their best day ever of their whole lives thus far.

The great thing about Splash Lagoon is that it has lots of different areas that suit lots of different ages.  We hung out in the kiddie pool area for hours without any complaints of boredom or loss of interest.  The kids rode those mini water slides like enthusiastic little fish.  It was awesome.

 After awhile, Booboo built up his confidence and announced that he wanted to try the "Big Red Slide" (aka Maui Wowie) and so he and I went up to the top while Brandon and Gem stayed at the exit to see him off.  He was one of the youngest riders and I kept a look of encouraging excitement on my face, but know Mummas, that I was having a mini panic attack inside.  He sat his little butt in that slide when it was his turn next and a flash of worry stabbed my mind, 'if he flips over face down and somehow can't turn back around, will he get to the bottom of the slide before he drowns?!"  Seriously, awful awful thought.  He gave me one last ear-to-ear grin and off he went.  All the way to the bottom with that smile and proceeded to ride it approximately 589 times throughout the rest of the day.

After the Maui Wowie success, Grey had enough courage to attempt a tube slide with B and I.  We then had to ride the Big Kahuna 589 times in a row - but it was fine as Gemmi had certifiably passed out at this point from sheer water-fun exhaustion.

We spent the rest of the day eating snacks, giggling in the wave pool, and hanging out in the mini hot tubs sprinkled throughout.  It was such a great, great family day.  And somehow the end of October was the perfect time to go as there really weren't many people visiting yet.  We've been to Splash Lagoon in high tourist season where the lines are sort of long and it's a little cramped.  But we had a perfect day and we're hoping to be able to go back and visit one day this winter (maybe in the longest month of the year, March) when cabin fever is at it's peak.

After the kids were sufficiently wiped out, we headed over to our cousin's house to catch the Steeler game and grab some dinner (hi, Fortes!) and then it was back to the hotel to crash.  On Monday morning, B got up to do some steelhead fishing and a little hunting with Baby Kev (he's a grown man, but we still call him a baby because he's my younger like 3 years, but whatever, hah).  The kids and I got lucky to spend time with one of our favorite family friends - Jessica, Samantha, and Kate (hi, JP!).

hahha, Greyson.

the best kid group shot we could manage - hiiiilarious.
Jess is one of my oldest friends and so it's nice to be together and chat endlessly about whatever weird thing pops into our brains.  There's this comfort level that comes with knowing each other so long that I really am so grateful for.  Plus, being with JP always inspires me in some way because she's awesomely creative and intentional - so double bonus for me.  We had lunch, played all early afternoon, and the kids were tuckered out just in time to make the three hour trip back home.

It was a great mini vacation and the kids were such a nice age to be able to do all the things we did.  Bud and I wondered at Splash Lagoon how long it would last that the kids wanted us to be with them the whole time - how long until they just want to hang back away from us, or play together or with friends without us?  It was a perfect little dose of family fun to recharge our batteries before the winter.

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