Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring Break Surprise

My husband and I are both teachers and therefore, have the same work schedule. It is really nice! Our entire summer is completely devoted to our kids - we pack it full of fun! We also really cherish our Christmas vacation and spring break together as a family. We are not the "take a cruise" type of people during spring break. We are usually so worn out, we just want to be close to home.
This past week we were on spring break and, as always, we jam-packed it full of family fun. On Friday, we told the kids we were going to have Family Fun Day. That is all they knew.
I had little rhyming clues written up to give them throughout the day. This was the first one...
Chicken, beef, or fish meat
Are you hungry?
Let's go out to eat!
They then assumed we were going to McDonald's. I told them that the place we were going was special and it wasn't a place they had been to before.
We took them to Mongolian BBQ where they could pick out their own meat, veggies, and sauce and watch it being made right in front of them. They loved it! The chef we had put on a really good show for them too doing lots of tricks and encouraging them to use the mallet to hit the gong really loud!
Now I realize that not every 2, 4, and 9 year old would appreciate a place like this but our kids...well, they ate their meat, veggies, and noodles in silence as they shoveled in one forkful after another. We really got our money's worth. Ryan and I were laughing at what a hit it was! I did not take any pictures though. I wish I would have.
When we were finished Hugh read the next clue for us...
Flitter flutter pretty wings
Hugh is right about these things.
Hugh had been guessing all along that we were taking them to the butterfly garden which is where we go every spring break. It is about an hour and a half drive from home. I took a gazillion pictures. I tried to narrow it down to share with you here. There are still a lot - my apologies! It is just such a beautiful place!
We walked all through the gardens there and crossed lots of bridges.
Claire (4) has a thing for bridges. She is fascinated by bridges big and small! She was delighted with all the different bridges we could walk across.
Hugh's annual picture with the pig!

Oliver was content playing in the sandbox and the little house.

Our annual picture by the waterfall!

My little sassy girl!

The next clue read...
Eww, yuck, stinky, gross
This is the place you'll like the most!
This clue took us to the museum to see a Grossology exhibit!
Hugh and Claire were really into the clues but Oliver didn't really care!
The Grossology exhibit was all about how the human body works.
Think gas, vomit, mucus, bile, pus, pimples, poo...It was gross!
Oliver inside a mouth... 
The kids all climbed the wall of skin - complete with hairy moles, pimples, sores, and wrinkles.
And snot is always fun...

The kids shot balls of "debris" from the air into a giant nose. Eventually, the nose sneezed back at them! Hugh loved this!

We also visited the exhibits that are permanent at the museum. The kids' favorite is always the farming area. Here they are inside a virtual combine...
After the exhibit, we got back in the car and read them the next clue...
Mommy's the best,
Daddy is cool.
Let's spend the night
at a hotel with a pool!
They could not believe we were really going to do that. They immediately were saying, "But we don't have our swimsuits!" and "We didn't bring our pajamas!" To which I said, "Oh, yes we did! We have everything we need packed in suitcases in the back!" They were so excited and very surprised!
"Watch, mom! Watch this! Are you watchin'?"
We were all pretty worn out by the time we got to the hotel. They were thrilled to go swimming though, and daddy and I were thrilled that there was a pool that was only 3ft deep the entire length. The kids had such a good time and they were safe. It was actually a relaxing time for us.
Oliver was so much braver than the last pool experience we had.
It was fun to see how much his confidence had grown.
He is such a character!
It was dinner time after we finished swimming so we returned to the room and ordered pizza. This too was such a treat to the kids. They were delighted!
And they were exhausted...
We had originally thought we could fit in bowling too. I don't know what I was thinking. The day was busy and tiring as it was. If we had fit in bowling too, they wouldn't have had as much time to swim. We would have probably had 1 or even all 3 kids in tears over gutter balls. This was our bowling clue we had prepared for them though...
Shoes, a ball...let's get a strike
Fun at the alley - it's what you will like!
We will take them bowling some place soon.
In the morning, we had breakfast at the hotel and then packed up our things.
We then gave the kids the final clue...
Fishing pole and soccer cleats
We need to run some errands
now stay in your seats!
Ha! This clue sounds like a tired mommy and daddy, doesn't it?
Hugh needed new soccer gear before practice starts this week and daddy promised Claire a new fishing pole. We got those things and got Oliver a new tackle box. Everyone got to pick out a fishing lure too. After that we headed home.

It was a fun mini-vacation that the kids were thrilled with! I know they will always remember the clues and the surprises. Can't wait until summer for more family fun like this!
The gardens and butterfly house are here...
The museum is here...

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