This past weekend I accepted an invitation to go along with my sister and her family on a mini-vacation to the Amana Colonies area in Iowa. I was super excited because I haven't been on a vacation in ages, and the plan was to stay at a hotel with a WATER PARK. I mean, seriously, could it get any cooler?
When we got to the hotel, there were a bunch of CORVETTES in the parking lot. Apparently they were part of some organization out of Illinois. I scoured the drivers for my future husband, but alas, the youngest of them appeared to be in their 50s. Bummer. Oh well.
Maddy and Allie were so excited to be at the hotel. We couldn't check in yet, so we played on the wooden playground. Allie hung out the windows and I ferried Maddy across the monkey bars. Emily and Martin played too. On the tire swing. It was awesome. Finally, we got to check in. Dinner at the hotel was so delicious I took a picture of it. The chicken was shaped like a heart. Awesome.
We played at the water park for a while. Maddy was fearless, going down the slides she was just barely big enough to ride, and jumping off the side of the pool like a pro. She just passed level one of swimming lessons. My favorite part, however, was the whirly pool. No, not the hot tub/whirlpool. It was a round pool off the main pool that carried you around in circles. Kids were trying to swim against the current, but I just put my feet up and swirled forever. It was awesome. I can now say that I have an idea of what it feels like to be a turd.
Friday we went into Coralville. We were sitting in the food court and Allie was chowing down on her pizza when she announced, "This is the best day EVER!" which Maddy followed up with, "I've always wanted to take a vacation in Iowa!" I made some snarky comment under my breath along the lines of, "You don't hear that every day," and Maddy looked at me and said, "That's only because I usually don't say it out loud." Touche, little one, touche.
In the mall there was a children's museum. I've decided that when I get rich I am going to replicate it for my children. So much fun. I wish I had someplace like that when I was little! Even Martin enjoyed playing in all the different areas. We learned about grocery shopping and making pizza, doctor's offices and the post office. The girls even put on a puppet show for us. Afterwards we watched people skating in the indoor ice rink by the food court, and wandered the mall. I found super cute little yellow ballet flats. It really was the best day ever, especially with more time in the whirly pool later on.
Now, in the hotel, I got the privilege of sharing a bed with my five year old niece, Maddy. Sharing a bed with a five year old is an interesting experience. They notoriously move a lot, and Maddy is no exception. It didn't help that I had joked about cuddling with her. While I love to cuddle when I'm awake, when it's time to sleep, I prefer not to be touched. I always joke that when I get married I will have to get bunk beds. So that first night, no sooner did I try to get to sleep, but Maddy was attached like a monkey to my back. I tried to scooch her back over and she just rolled right back, as if there was a magnet pulling her to be as close to me as humanly possible. My sister got up and tried to move her several times in the night, as did I, but it didn't work. I think she was trying to sleep on me. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep that night, and certainly not good sleep. The second night was better, since we had a talk before bed. "But I just like to cuddle with you, Auntie Rena!" she said sweetly, big brown eyes open wide. She's too too much.
Saturday was a long day of shopping in Williamsburg at the outlet mall. I got a lot of good deals, but I am so not a shopper and it totally wore me out. In fact, I slept 12 hours last night just to try to recover. Insane. While we were shopping, I heard a couple of girls talking about some shoes they found. One goes, "Wow, these are cuter than crap." I tucked that statement away and shared it with Emily and Martin later. We decided that there are actually a lot of things that are cuter than crap. We made a list. For example: grass, cows, road signs, the road, computers, meat, my cell phone, toilets, water, mail, toenails, and Allie's boogers. So I really have no idea how cute those shoes actually were.
I had a fabulous time. I've spent today, Independence Day, sitting on my couch watching movies. It's been a good day, really. I can already hear the fireworks people are setting off outside.