I have to admit, I have been a little scared to take my three kids on vacation. The idea of hours of travel, via plane or car, have intimidated the hell out of me. Because of this, the furthest we’ve taken our kids is to Lake of the Ozarks last summer. And that was only like 5.5 hours and we left the baby behind.
If I can get my mind beyond the travel, then I start picturing all of us in one hotel room and I see sleepless nights, cramped quarters and a jug of milk in an ice bucket for the baby. I picture eating out for several meals and I see spilled drinks, a crumb-covered restaurant floor and kids whining about their food.
I also have to admit, I have often wondered how the heck my parents got motivated to take my brother and I on vacations when we were little. I vividly remember fighting relentlessly in the back seat, begging for pricey souvenirs and asking “are we there yet?” a few too many times.
But they did it. Many, many times. We traveled all over this country. Often, in a conversion van (which sounds SO nice now!). And I know of many other families that have braved the trials and flown with their kids. So it can’t be that bad, right? Or, let me rephrase myself – it is worth it, right?
We took our crew on a little vacation recently and I got a glimpse of what fired all of the traveling I did as a kid. Seeing your kids experience new stuff and get excited for it is awesome. Totally worth it.
We went to Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City (only three hours away). They have an indoor water park, amongst many other kid-friendly attractions. The kiddos were beyond pumped to go – we talked it up for days prior to leaving. Seeing their faces the first time they got a glimpse of the water park was priceless. Watching Lilah, who is almost five, conquer new things (like giant water slides) so fearlessly was incredibly rewarding.
And yes it was work. Timing naps was difficult. Sitting still at restaurants was tricky. And it seemed like no matter how prepared we were, the kids inevitably needed to go to the bathroom as the most inopportune moments. We had to sit silently in our hotel room to get them to fall asleep (thank goodness for iPhones!) We nearly drove the car off the road to get Owen to quit crying.
But, it was all worth it. And, believe it or not, I am looking forward to our next family vacation! I highly recommend Great Wolf Lodge for a quick getaway. Go during the week if you can, for sure.