Thursday, September 3, 2015

Vacation Mode

This summer has been, by far, one of the best summers we’ve had. I think its due to a lot of different things - the kids all being at a great age, moving to the new neighborhood, having a little extra money to do things, and lots of family and friends willing to hang out with us!
The first few weeks of summer were spent doing a lot of playdates and meet ups with friends. It was great, but we were looking forward to later in summer when we could start our travels and see some family!
We headed up to New Jersey in July to spend a week with Maria. It was a week packed full of stuff to do and we loved every minute of it! We made an overnight trip to Sesame Place which was probably the kids’ favorite part. They got to ride their first roller coaster! I was a little worried that JJ wouldn’t be tall enough and that we’d have a problem with jealousy. Luckily he WAS tall enough so Josh and I rode with him and Audrey. They were in Heaven. I thought JJ was a little scared but at the end he asked to do it again so I guess he wasn’t that scared! Audrey, we already know she’s wild, and she sat right in the front row of the roller coaster. haha. She even rode with her hands up! We waited in long lines to go on all the rides and the water slides too, but it was so worth it to see how excited the kids were. There was plenty for Nathaniel to do also, but he napped straight through the Sesame character parade. It was a HOT day, so we left around 4 and went back to the hotel to relax. The next day we got up and did it all again! We didn’t stay as long the second day, but still had a blast. We also took a quick train ride up to New York City one day, so it was exciting for them to ride the big “mima train” as they call it. We took them to the huge Toys R Us in Times Square and Maria spoiled them with candy and toys and all sorts of goodies. :)
The rest of the days we were there we hung out at the pool, the awesome playground, Chuck E Cheese, and the movie theater (we saw The Minion Movie!). We all had so much fun that week and when it was over, we were sad to say goodbye. We sure would love to have Maria closer to us so we could spend time with her more often!! 
We took a few days at home resting before mom flew in. We spent time with Liam and went to the park, and then left for Texas early Saturday morning. The drive is about 19 hours so we drove 9 the first day and stopped overnight in Nashville. We found a fun park and a hotel with a pool, and left again at 3 am Sunday morning and drove another 10 hours to moms house. We were all so happy to be out of the car and we went right over to Uncle Bryan and Don’s house to swim. The 2+ weeks in Texas were just as packed as the week at Maria’s. Lots of time at the pool, splash pad, playing in the baby pool, and hanging out with Tiernan. Lexi was even nice enough to take Nathaniel one night so I could get a good night’s rest before driving again.
We drove down to San Antonio for a long weekend to visit David and Debbie (Josh’s dad and his wife). They live down the street from Sea World so we got to spend a few hours there watching the dolphin and Shamu shows! Audrey couldn’t stop asking about the penguins so we made sure to visit them before we left. It was H-O-T that day and the park was packed, so we didn’t spend a whole day there, but we can’t wait to go back and visit again next year and maybe do Sea World again. We did a lot more swimming, chuck e cheese, shopping, and lots of attention for the kids. At this point I think I was so tired I was just delirious. However, Nathaniel decided to sleep a whoooooole night in his bed without waking up for me to come get him! Not sure what it was about their house, but he slept well! Once we were back in North Texas, we met up with Iliana (josh's sister) and went out for pizza and more games!
We took a trip to LegoLand with Lexi, Shawn and Tiernan - it was so cool! Fun stuff for all four of the kids and a really neat water area too. My kids, for some reason, were cranky and didn’t want to get wet so we didn’t spend as much time as we could have out there. Back inside JJ spent quite a while building while Audrey and Tiernan explored some of the older kids’ exhibits. The rest of the time we were in Texas was more pool time, splash pad, and we ended it with a big pool party with the whole family. OH! And I almost left off the best part (for Audrey) - she got to have her very first sleepover with TIernan!! They stayed up until midnight (!!!) playing Paw Patrol, playing in the rice table, more Paw Patrol, and watching Tangled. On the drive over to his house she kept telling me, “This is going to be the best night EVER!”. She was just so excited and the sleepover did not disappoint. :) Too cute.
We’ve been home 2 weeks now and have been taking it suuuuuper easy. We’ve been to the park a few times and have been playing out back on the bikes, but we’re all still regaining our energy from those exciting few weeks. We still have 1 more week before school starts, so plenty of time to hit the pool and catch up with friends some more. I think after this summer its safe to say we have three very spoiled, loved, water logged kids. :) 

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