Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Our mini-vacay // Part 1
The day before New Year's Eve, during the second week of our Christmas vacation, we packed up our bags and loaded up our van for a short drive north to Minneapolis. I had decided about a month prior that we deserved a little getaway - a little something different to look forward to before starting the new year. I made reservations to stay at the Waterpark of America Hotel, bought tickets online ahead of time for Nickelodeon Universe and the Sea Life Aquarium at Mall of America, and surprised the boys with the trip on Christmas day.
Of course a trip up north wouldn't be complete (especially for Cody) without a stop at Cabella's. And since he always receives Cabella's gift cards for Christmas from both sides of our family, it was pretty nice that this time he was able to shop in person rather than order online.
And the boys, being boys, loved this place. Even though our trip was only a three-hour drive, our stop here on the way up - coupled with lunch during our stop - helped break up the road trip a bit.
I told Jaden to stand under the elephant so he could get a feel for how big these things really are.
And though this mini-aquarium was nothing like what we would see the next day, it was filled with turtles that the boys couldn't get enough of.
After Daddy found his toys, we had just another hour on the road before rolling into our hotel mid-afternoon. While we unpacked and got settled in our rooms a bit, the boys immediately did what all kids do once they reach a hotel room - throw themselves off the bed over and over again. What is it about hotel rooms that brings out the jumping monkeys?!
We then spent the entire afternoon and evening at the indoor water park. It was nice after a day of driving to settle in one spot and be able to take our time. And since it was lightly snowing outside, we felt pretty lucky to be able to spend an entire day swimming.
The waterpark itself was great. It wasn't quite the Wisconsin Dells experience of a couple of years ago - but for the price and the distance, it more than delivered. Whether it was the lazy river, wave pool, activity pool with basketball hoops, tree house and slides or - for some reason the boys' favorite - the numerous hot tubs - we were occupied for hours. We never even made it to the taller slides and raft rides!
Lots of pictures...
We ate our dinner poolside, played a little more and then headed back upstairs for hotel bubble baths and late bedtimes. We let them stay up much past bedtime, and I even got some reading in while they watched movies!
Stay tuned for Day 2!