Saturday, December 5, 2009

Our weekend excursion

Lauren got a gift certificate to Build-A-Bear for her birthday, so last week we told the kids that we would go to Buffalo (the nearest honest-to-goodness mega-mall) on Saturday (today) to let her use it.

What we didn't tell them was that we were actually going up on Friday afternoon to spend the night in a hotel with an indoor pool first. When the boys got home from school yesterday, I had the suitcases sitting in the kitchen ready to go. It was so much fun to surprise them.

I told Lauren about it yesterday morning, and she said, "When Joshandethan get home, I'm going to say, 'Guess where we're going! It starts with h-o-t-e-l!'" (She made the sound for each letter, basically saying the word very slowly.) "They'll never guess!"

So it was that we headed out of town around 3:30 yesterday afternoon - after jumpstarting my van because it seems to have a fear of travel and dies every time I'm pulling out on a trip.

I'd love for you to have the full experience of being there with us, so imagine as you're reading this post that you are interrupted every 70 seconds or so by, "Are we almost there?" "How much farther?" "She's getting a longer turn with the Leapster than I had!" "I'm hungry." "I don't like this song." "I'm thirsty." "I need to go to the bathroom."

Make sure you imagine it the loudest, whiniest voice possible and that you imagine your husband asleep in the passenger seat as you drive. (Though he has an uncanny ability to tell me, while sleeping, what the speed limit is every ten minutes.)

Arrived at hotel, ate some takeout from Applebee's. Next stop: the indoor pool.

Wouldn't you assume if a hotel - in Buffalo, NY - advertised that it had an indoor pool, that said pool would be heated? Yeah, me too. Sadly, we would both be mistaken. Ohmygod, it was cold. Send shivers down your spine cold. The kids and David managed to acclimate to it, but it never ceased to feel like sheer torture to me.

When I couldn't take it anymore, I decided to try the hot tub. David and the kids joined me as I dipped my legs into the scaldingly hot water that felt like a million needles piercing my frozen skin. Again, David acclimated and climbed in all the way. I sat on the side with my legs in. I admitted that it was feeling less painful over time, but I was pretty sure that was just because I'd lost all feeling. Ethan and Lauren did the same thing, but Joshua insisted it was fine and got in all the way.

While this was going on, another lady who was using the hot tub decided to go see if there was a way to turn on the jets. She came back and told us that there was a hot water alarm going off and a sign saying, "If alarm is sounding, do not under any circumstances use whirlpool."

Oops. Pround Parenting Moment #5872.

The rest of the weekend went well, and we all had a great time. Here are the high's and low's.

  • Five people sharing two beds. (Three of those people appear to have approximately 48 elbows and knees.)
  • Keeping track of three kids in an enormous mall three weeks before Christmas. While carrying three giant Build-A-Bear boxes. While also toting my purse that weighs 15 lbs, I kid you not, because it contained my digital SLR camera, my camcorder, my wallet containing every receipt or coupon I've possessed in the past seventeen years, my makeup, and six orphans.
  • Twenty thousand people in one Build-A-Bear store. One checkout line.
  • Lots . . . and lots . . . and lots of trips to public restrooms.
  • Five people. One minivan. Lots of whining.

  • Seeing the kids' excitement as they chose their stuffed animal skins. (I had not given the boys a definite answer as to whether I would let them "build" one as well, since this was for Lauren's birthday. Tonight as I was putting Josh to bed with his newly stuffed snow leopard, he said in the most grateful voice ever, "Mom, thank you for letting us do these.")
  • Snuggling with the kids as we watched tv in bed until 11 pm.
  • The massive continental breakfast. (I'm pretty sure buffets are a bad idea for Joshua, who has no "stop" button when it comes to eating. "I'm just gonna go see what else there is," he must have said a dozen times. All told, he had a large belgian waffle, a bowl of fruit loops, a cup of yogurt, some bacon, a danish, and about a quarter of an apple.)
  • Adding another suprise to the end of the day . . . we met the kids and youth from our church at a roller skating rink about 45 minutes from home for Family Skating. Our kids have not been skating since we moved and were THRILLED.
  • Eating at restaurants, none of which starts with Mc.
  • Target.
  • Playing games in the car with the kids. When they weren't whining.
  • Seeing Ethan's face light up when he realized that he had not forgotten how to swim. "Mom, I can still swim!!"
  • Josh's enthusiasm for the ice machine in the hotel. I think we could have just skipped everything else and let him fill the ice bucket all weekend.
  • The milkshake at Fudrucker's.
  • Lauren's delight as she roller skated - on the actual rink, not just the carpet - for the first time.
  • Making memories with my four favorite people on the planet.
Clearly, the high's significantly outweigh the low's. Thank you, God.

1 comment:

Lenae said...

What a fun, quick getaway! (Well, fun for the most part...) What is up with the unheated pool? In December?! Not cool.