Sunday, July 13, 2014

Branson Vacation

Vacationing is really important to me. This might sound silly to some but it was a tradition in our house to go on vacation every summer. We never missed a summer. Sometimes the vacations were close to home and other times the vacations were far away. We had decided that since Nora was just born this summer we weren't going to do a big vacation. However, I was adamant that we needed to do something. 

I never understood why vacationing was so important to my mom as I was growing up. She would start planning months ahead of time and she always had a detailed itinerary by the time we left. I understand now. She needed to get away. Away from the house cleaning, grocery shopping, home improvements, work.... you get my point.  Even though the planning, packing, and traveling can be a little stressful - it all seems worth it when you finally reach your destination. 

So when the time came to talk about vacation, we decided somewhere close and it just happened that our dear friends were doing the same thing. PERFECT! Let me sidetrack for a minute. We have some of the bestest friends in the world. We truly live life together. When our families get together it is like a one big family. We truly love each others kiddos. We are actually really lucky because we have multiple family friends that are like this. This time it just happen to be the Sharky family. Our kiddos stair step each other so they get along really well and everyone has someone to play with. Well actually, Sam doesn't yet, but soon he will! When Nora starts moving and grooving, they will have a great time. Sam already loves Nora. He sneaks up next to her when she is sleeping and says "Baby". on to the vacation. 

We went to Branson and stayed at Castle Rock. It is great because it is a hotel that has a water park, both indoors and outdoors, right smack in the hotel. This allowed us not have to leave very much, which was helpful when you have 6 kiddos ages 7 and under. I will let the pictures tell the story. 

Here is Day 1: 
And we were off!! The parents got the "super cool" award because we let the kiddos switch cars. We had the older kiddos - totally first born children. They talked about the plans of the vacations and all the details. They also played a math game on Madeline's computer. John played the game and Madeline make tally marks as he passed each level. I hear the other car was full of excitement with Sophia and Makenna. There was talk of princesses, how exciting this trip was, and I am sure the list goes on. Bonus - Nora did awesome and slept most of the time we were in the car! 

When we got there we got some dinner (which was crazy with 6 kids who had been in a car for awhile) and were off to "Ride the Ducks". It was super hot but the kids seemed to enjoy it. Look at this pretty girl as she is happy to be on vacation!
Oh the quakers...they are quite the gem. All the kids got to drive the duck ride, except Sophia who choose not to. John had quite the conversation with the Captain of the Duck. They talked about Blue Springs and what if the springs are green. John also gave some advice on places to go in Branson and places to eat. 
Finally back to the hotel to hit the water park. Yes we did allow our kids to go to the water park at 8 pm. We hoped it would wear them out for a good night sleep and we were right!! 
                                                 Maddie and John - they are besties. Swimming in the big pool.                                                                                                      
                                                 I couldn't resit putting her in a swim suit. She actually has 3.                                                                                                    

Look at those sweet faces. I love these kiddos!

Day 1 done! It was a great ride down and a great way to end the evening. 

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