Summer break is upon us and we're doing our best to start if off with a bang. Soren took a trip to the Cascades in Seattle to climb Mt. Shuksan with his climbing buddies last week. He rarely gets the chance to go spend time in the mountains so we put him on a plane and he went on a mini vacation.
Meanwhile, we went on our own little trip. Kansas City is only about three hours away from Omaha and every couple of years we like to go spend the night and visit the zoo. My parents and two of my younger brothers wanted to go too so I knew I'd have help- even without Soren. We booked a hotel, loaded the van and headed out.
My kids are all at really good ages and temperaments to easily handle a 24 hour trip like this. But a few days before we left Knox started to get really irritable and feverish. It developed into herpes gingivostomatitis which is basically like cold sores all over his gums and inside his mouth. Mis-er-able. For all of us. I considered not going, but he started to feel a little better the day before we left so we decided to go anyway. I think that was the right choice, but he definitely didn't feel great for most of the trip which meant twice as much work for me.
BUT I was determined we were going to have a good time- and we did! On the way up there we stopped for dinner and it was great to spend time with my parents. Knox basically couldn't eat anything but chocolate milk and oatmeal so I made sure he had unlimited access to the stuff. The other two drank their share as well!
We got to the hotel pretty late- almost 9 pm, but the boys were still set on swimming. I was exhausted from the three hour drive with a crying baby so Knox and I just sat on the sidelines and watched. Yet another time I needed Soren- but thankfully my Dad was there to play with the boys in the pool. They had a great time remembering how to swim and getting the last of their energy out.
I swear hotel rooms with two separate rooms are the only way to travel with kids, but this time I didn't have that luxury. I shared a Queen with Knox and the two boys share the other bed. They were almost too excited to sleep but we all crashed pretty hard after a long day.
Breakfast with the family. Easton ate his weight in sausages and Kesler ate his in strawberries. Kesler also spilled an entire cup of chocolate milk on my outfit for the day- which I wasn't prepared for! I always bring the kids extra clothes in case of an accident or something- but apparently I need to bring myself extra clothes too!
I found some extra clothes and we got packed up to go to the zoo. I sure love my boys- they really did help me a lot with the trip and were wonderful to travel with- even without Dad.
The zoo was just perfect. We had overcast and warm weather all day. Knox got to pet the goats at the petting zoo and we saw the bears and the monkeys. My favorite part was the orangutan mom with her little baby. She sat right against the glass so you could see the baby so well. It was just adorable with its wild hair and how it hung onto its momma.
The boys loved the aquarium. Easton loves sharks and so the shark tunnel was a hit.
Another favorite part of the zoo was the jungle. The entire building is a big jungle and you can walk around the canopy and then the ground as well. It was so well done and there were so many animals to see.
Of course boys liked climbing on the vines too! I swear they enjoyed climbing the entire zoo more than seeing the actual animals.
I'm so thankful for my brothers and my parent's help on this trip. I try to be pretty self-sufficient- but they really made this trip easier on me and I think we all had more fun being together. We are so bless to live close to them and have family to do things like this with!
All in all it was exhausting and totally worth it. Traveling with kids isn't easy- but the memories are why we do it. You'd think you remember the hard parts because they are so stressful, but everyone really only remembers the fun things and the new experiences. Just give me a few weeks to forget the stressful parts before suggesting a new trip okay?