We needed it – this little vacation. We needed a time to reconnect, to get away from the jobs and responsibilities at home, to breathe in and out as a family. We didn’t go far, but that didn’t matter. And we didn’t stay long, and that didn’t matter either. The point is that we went together.
We took off last Thursday after Madison got home from school to Columbus. We ate a quick meal at Five Guys Burgers and Fries – good food, but few healthy options to add to the girls’ meals. (Better hamburgers by far than other chains, but I like that other places offer yogurt, apple slices, mandarine oranges, etc.) We checked into the hotel. Ellie, especially, was super excited about staying in a hotel. It is the coolest thing to her. In fact, she would have been happy going to the Royal Star hotel in Riceland; she asks about staying there most times we pass. We brought up the bags and immediately did the most important thing: changed into our swimsuits. It is not my most important thing, but that is not what matters in times like this. I was just hoping that the pool was not cold, that there was at least a bit of warm seeping through the waters. Thankfully, there was. The pool area was warm, tropical, which was a good start. The pool itself was good, although I wouldn’t have complained if it was even warmer. I was grateful it was no colder. The girls went right in. Madison didn’t take long taking off her swimvest. She did a great job practicing her swimming underwater between Jeremy and me. It was good to see her conquering the water again. Ellie did not cling, but started swimming all around, too. I am glad she had not reverted to her fear of water after an absence of swim time.
We showered, put on some PJs, read some books, and crawled into beds. I will say this is when I am so grateful to have my Kindle Paperwhite (no, I am not being paid in any way, although if they would like to sponsor me…). When you share a room with your kids and they need to go to bed at least an hour before you, the TV is not an option and neither is leaving on a light. So, an e-reader that allows me to read a little and enjoy a little solitude is most welcome.
The next morning we enjoyed the hotel breakfast – donuts, waffles, yogurt, sweet cereals, etc. Then, we headed to the Columbus Zoo. We were a bit worried about the rain, but it ended up being a beautiful day there. Madison decided that she wanted to draw the animals that she saw. This was a great idea and so neat to watch. (It also made me work on being in the moment and not rush between animals.) Her pictures were great – penguins, two kinds of fish, a flamingo, and an alligator.
We rode the train and that was fun. I was prepared to for the girls to do both the train and the carousel, but they must have thought they needed to just choose one because they declined the carousel.
They burned off some energy at the Polar Bear play area before heading out.
We had lunch at Olive Garden. I love their salad. I am not sure if it is just the dressing or what it is, but I could eat three bowls of that stuff! (Side note: Do not take it home in a to-go box. The result is a soggy, disgusting salad not worth the trouble of transporting.) The girls enjoyed pizza and spaghetti. We ended the day with shoe shopping for the girls They only had summer shoes, and the temperatures are taking a turn toward fall. It lasted a good 2-3 hours! For shoes! For a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old! They both got a pair of tennis shoes – Ellie was super excited, Madison mildly okay with that. Madison also got a pair of dressier school shoes and another pair of black boots to grow into. The drive home was fairly quiet.
We stopped at Grandma and Grandpa Yoh’s to pick up Jeremy’s car before heading home. It was good.