Adventures,  Kids,  Personal

Summer Weekend Getaway with Kids

Why I Plan, Especially for Trips

Thinking only about what is in front of me right now does not come naturally to me. In fact, it’s UNNATURAL for me. I’m still planning 10 steps ahead in the background as I pretend to be in the moment… You see, I always prepare; it takes the stress of being unprepared away, at least in my mind. Planning for trips beforehand helps us to stay within budget, usually get the best rates, learn from reviews on where to stay, what to eat, what to do, etc. Although I know you can’t perfectly prepare for every possible scenario and even my best-laid plans never go according to plan anyway, I can’t stop myself. It’s a Catch-22: I still want that reassurance of already knowing what I’d do in a situation rather than having to think on my feet, because I freeze up when I actually do have to deal with a change or problem in this moment that I didn’t already prepare for!

The Best Laid Plans

These two girls are little kindred spirits and the closest of cousins, giggling on the phone about what they would play together on their visit coming up that weekend. The original plan was for my brother and his family to visit us at our home. My daughter L hadn’t seen her cousin in years from canceled visits, and this trip was about to be added to that list thanks to us getting sick. Luckily, I was trying out this new thing—“What Would Jeremy Do?”

What Would Jeremy Do?

Jer is great with doing things on-the-fly, making decisions right now with very little information, adapting to all the plans changing, and being spontaneous. All. My. Worst. Nightmares. One of the things he often says to me when I overthink pre-planning something? In a very adventure-loving way:

“Let’s just get up and go!”

He also loves his kids, and wouldn’t just stand there (as I was) watching our little girl sobbing, truly heartbroken and desolate over not seeing her cousin again. So what happens? The kids and I were on the tail end of a cold, and decided to meet my brother’s family 4 hours away. I threw my hands in the air and consequences to the wind. Expenses, timing, masks in 94 degree weather?? We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, I soothed my brain as more and more questions threatened to break this new spontaneity overtaking me. They stopped when I shouted as Jer had so many times before, “Let’s just get up and go!” We grabbed PJs, swim stuff, and food. I brought the garbage to the curb, we got in the car, and just DROVE… without stopping. Yeah, completely crazy, right?? The kids were filled with adrenaline at this New Mom they had, too. I never thought I would take a trip with my kids and improvise the entire way—let alone without my husband!

Beating the Heat in Hurricane / St. George

We got together outside with masks and hand sanitizer, bought boxes of pizza and chilled (or more accurately roasted) at a park while we figured out the weekend.

It was super hot in Hurricane / St. George Utah area! We were also carting a bunch of little kids around, so we wanted to pace ourselves. A visit to the local Splash Pad with water guns and water toys tired them out one day! Dinner at a park that had a zip-line, climbing spots, monkey bars, and a covered picnic area covered the rest.

When we stayed indoors, I ordered groceries from the local Walmart just up the street from our hotel and brought it to my sister’s while I prepared meals for the whole family. They were recipes I had planned to make for my Vegan brother when he came to visit! We also sat around the table and talked, which we normally do over the phone but it was super fun for me to see my family’s reactions in real-time.

Since we had a hotel with a pool, we went to the pool every chance we could! It was spacious, secluded, clean, AND there was a water slide! While the kids chased after diving toys and splashed about, my brother and I got to talk and relax in the jetted hot tub. My sister-in-law got to work on her yarn projects. It was fabulous!

Fun Staying at a Hotel with Kids

The kids were thrilled with staying in a hotel! The kids had their hearts set on swimming, so I found a hotel with a pool that we could stay at. We had packed our giant blow-up ride-on crocodile pool toys, which I inflated in our hotel bathroom and the hotel staff got a kick out of as we carried them around. My brother booked at our hotel, too, so we could play together and still be able to have our own space when needed. We met up at my sister’s with the rest of the cousins so they could play. The hotel made this weekend so nice for the kids and I with:

  • The Continental Breakfast Bar with foods we never eat like orange juice, flavored yogurt, and Jimmy Dean’s breakfast sandwiches haha
  • Riding in an Elevator- our kids had never been!
  • Riding on a Luggage Cart
  • Playing on a Waterslide
  • Watching shows we don’t have on their down-time
  • Fresh baths before bed after hot sweaty days
  • A clean room and fresh towels after tiring adventures

There were also a few hiccups that happened, including F (my 6-year-old) breaking out into a rash when he woke up. I tried to decide if we needed to go home and see a doctor, determine if he had a fever, etc. I might have frightened the hotel staff about COVD-19 when I asked about a thermometer. They told me that if anyone may have COVID, they were to leave immediately… Hold those horses, the kid was doing great as soon as he got some allergy meds in him! We found out he might be very allergic to cats. My sister-in-law was a great source of strength and comfort to me since she dealt with lots of allergies with her daughter, too.

What Happened When I Lived In the Moment

Jer was so shocked when I texted him on the road and updated him on my spontaneous getaway with the kids. He also told me he was so proud of me. Heck, I was proud of me! I finally felt what it was like to just let go and take things as they come. I was a lot calmer than I thought I would be. I was a lot more patient with my kids, even amongst diaper blowouts and whining… I didn’t freak out. I don’t know how to explain it, there was just this comfort and ease following me even with lots going on. I prayed a lot, and Heavenly Father took care of things. We drove safely in summer thunderstorms and heat waves. We had enough money. We had enough to eat. We had quality time with family, which is what we came down for. We made memories and strengthened bonds. I did things I never thought I could do, things I thought I wasn’t strong enough or quick enough or in the right frame of mind to do. Now I know that I can do it and the entire universe doesn’t collapse if I don’t plan for something, I’m not afraid of being more present and in the moment. It’s something I want to do more often! Perhaps I might just find myself on an adventure… 🙂

Love, Kat

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