Monday, August 22, 2011

Our First REAL Family Vacation

We went on a family vacation, our first one that I can think of that didn't involve visiting family. Family vacations are good. If you've been reading along here for a while you know we took a huge road trip down south to visit family last year. There were awesome things about that trip. Growing up we always spent our summers visiting family. One thing my parents were really great about is stopping somewhere for just an immediate family vacation. It was usually Florida. There is something different, special about a daddy having time with his kids without it being about him being around his extended family. In my opinion it helps the kids to see that we can do fun things just us, that just us isn't only about the daily routine (which frankly is mostly them and mom). I've been asking to do this for a long time, so I was really, really, really, really excited to go. I also love the schedule being completely at the discretion of what is going on in our immediate family. With young kids that makes it so much easier. When you are with others, it's a little harder to just say "No, our kids are too tired, we aren't going to do that now." So this was really great!

We headed east of the mountains towards Spokane. On the way we stopped at The Grand Cooley Dam.  The kids the Learning Resource Center. There were tons of hands on things for them to do. We even watched a little movie about the building of the dam.

We stayed in Spokane Valley at the Hampton Inn. It is by far my favorite hotel chain. It's always a little piece of paradise. They have a hot breakfast that satisfies my husband and the kids love getting to choose what they eat. I love the spacious rooms. We happened to get an extra large one because it was handicap accessible. Loved it! I love hotels on vacation. I am really not a fan of camping, which we do most vacations, so this one was special to me.

We arrived at Riverfront Park and headed for the Carousel because the main rides weren't open yet. Great way to start, really tame and not too crazy. The kids loved it.

I discovered I am not a fan of The Spider. It made me so sick. Gracie and I went on that as our first ride and I was NOT feeling good afterwards. I couldn't wait for it to be over. There were no seat belts so I was holding on to her, scared to death she was going to fly out of the ride. SHE loved it and asked to go again. I said no, there were lots of OTHER rides.

The strawberries were a good follow up.

Then the ferris wheel.

By lunch the kids were tired, but we still had a lot of day to go.

There was a bee that was driving Daniel nuts. He kept moving away from it, standing up, dancing behind me.

Gracie loved miniature golf. Guess we'll have to take her again sometime.

They had a play structure that was a HUGE Radio Flyer red wagon. The kids thought it was awesome!

So tired by the end of the day... ALL OF US!

 The next day we headed home and stopped at a little railroad museum in Ritzville.

The best photo from the whole vacation was taken by Daniel. He's become quite the little photographer!

From the moment home I felt like counting the days until our next true family vacation. Loved it!


  1. Thanks for sharing your wonderful family vacation. When A & S were small, they went on the giant Radio Flyer slide and just loved it. Looks like they have added lots of nice rides and stuff since then. That Carousel is one of the oldest in the Country. It is so beautiful!

  2. What a wonderful vacation. The most precious thing about doing it on your own as a family is that you can be free, without a schedule. You look so relaxed :)

  3. Oh, those sweet family times build memories and forge links within the family that you can all carry with you deep in your hearts. And starting them when the kids are young makes it even better!

  4. Your vacation sounds wonderful! I grew up about an hour from there and I really remember that slide and the carousel. How great to be able to spend time with just your hubby and children.