A few days before he left, we were watching that show "My Big, Crazy Family Adventure" on the Travel Channel. While I think the trip these people took with 2 small kids was a little nuts, I have to say that it inspired me. I was inspired to take the kids somewhere really fun in the middle of Alex's trip that would make the 2 weeks go by faster.
I did a little research, spoke to some friends, and decided to take a road trip with the kids to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It's only about 3 hours in the car and there is lots to do there. I specifically wanted to take them to Dutch Wonderland. It's a really cute, small amusement park designed for young kids.
The plan was made and we hit the road!
We stayed at the Eden Resort, which is a very kid friendly hotel with an awesome outdoor pool and playground. The restaurant next to the hotel was family friendly and made dinner out with 4 kids as stress-free as possible. A big glass of Pinot Grigio didn't hurt either.
I'm normally fairly strict about what the kids are allowed to eat......but not on vacation. All rules go out the window on vacation.
Well......maybe just a little broccoli. I can't help myself.
It took quite a while for them to settle down after the gigantic Mud Pies they had for dessert, but eventually they fell asleep. We had a 2 bedroom family suite. Brendan, Hayden and Mason stayed in one room while Royce slept on the pull out couch in my room.
The next morning, I was woken up by a loud knock on our door. When I opened it up, there were two Lancaster County police officers at our door. Turns out, I didn't disconnect the phone in Mason's room correctly and he dialed 911. After filling out a police report, we headed down to breakfast.
After breakfast, we took a short drive to Dutch Wonderland. Such an adorable place, perfect for kids. We had a very full and totally awesome day.
We got back to the hotel around 3:30, changed into our bathing suits and headed out to the pool. After 6 hours in the amusement park solo with 4 kids, I was very excited for my poolside glass of wine.
The next morning at breakfast, we decided to spend the day at the Strasburg Railroad. There's a lot of love for trains in our house.
The drive to the Strasburg Railroad took us into the heart of Amish Country. The kids loved seeing the cornfields, cows and the horses and buggies. Really great for them to see all these different things only a few hours from home. They couldn't get over the clothing lines hanging outside of the Amish homes with wet clothes drying in the sun - laughing hysterically whenever they thought they saw someone's underpants.
When we got to the Strasburg Railroad, we were all fascinated by the huge steam locomotives. We decided to hop on the next train for the 45 minute tour. I thought it might be a little long for the kids, but they enjoyed it. So did I.
After the train ride, we got a snack......homemade chocolate whoopee pies. The kids were in heaven.
After a fun few hours at the Strasburg Railroad, we loaded into the car and headed home. We stopped once during the road trip to eat the last vacation sugary snack and made it home safe and sound.
This trip was amazing. The kids really bonded with each other and also bonded even more with me. They loved going to a different state and seeing some fun things.
It was a lot of work to take 4 kids on vacation by myself and there were definitely moments of frustration and meltdowns, but overall, the trip was a huge success. We all had a blast and I didn't lose anyone in the amusement park. I couldn't ask for more.
Some of the outtakes....because nothing is perfect.