Got Summer Vacation Plans?

Ah, summer vacations. I wish for our family that meant lounging on the beach or jet-setting across the globe. But unfortunately our budget gives us the big thumbs-down on such excursions. Someday I hope that we’ll be able to take the boys to experience the ocean or another culture, but for now, we’ll have to settle for making the most of opportunities close to home.

My fab friend Jody at Family Rambling is hosting a contest for HP, and she’s giving away an HP Photosmart Premium All-in-One Printer. Yeah, I knowβ€”what a prize! To enter, we’re supposed to post our favorite vacation photo, and tell why it’s our favorite. The photo I chose is from last summer, not necessarily for what it shows in the photo, but what it represents.

This was taken last summer at Union Station in Kansas City. The reasons I love this photo are:

  • It was taken on our “moochcation,” where we stayed with my BFF and her family for a few days, and then they came up and stayed with us.
  • We didn’t have to spend a lot of money because we stayed with friends (and then returned the favor) and only did a few things, such as golfing and a water park, that charged admission. We spent a lot of time visiting and watching the kids all play together. It was relaxing and gave my BFF and I a chance to catch up and engage in some quality time together before they left for a five-year mission trip to Slovenia.
  • If you hadn’t noticed, Boy #3 is wearing an Incredible Hulk costume. He and his new friend had been playing superheros before we left, and Boy #3 insisted that he keep his costume on. We did get a few looks walking through the skywalk between Crown Center and Union Station, but looking back, I love that I let him wear it. He didn’t care what people thought, and I’m glad that I didn’t either. Kids grow up all too fast as it is.
  • Even though I wish I could PhotoShop out my double chin, I like that I am actually in this photo. Someday my kids will look back at photos of Christmases, birthdays, and vacations and ask, “Where was Mom?” The answer is: behind the camera, sons.

Since it’s nearly July, it’s time to think about this summer’s vacation plans. With my job, I have to secure my vacation days with plenty of notice since we have to make sure there are enough editors in-house on any given day. And Husband has something like four jobs this summer, too, so days off during the week are looking pretty unlikely. Weekends are looking like our best bet. Here’s what we have on the docket so far:

  • July 3-4-5 β€” We’ll be in our hometown for our annual small-town-Iowa 4th of July celebration. We look forward to this every year. We get to spend time with both of our families, see lots of friends, and participate in all the activities the town has to offer. And if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I love to document the carnival and the parade. So look for my report next week!
  • July 17-18 β€” I booked us a night at the Little House on the Farm Bed & Breakfast, outside of Decorah, Iowa. Although Husband is totally teasing me about this idea, I’m confident that we will have a good time. Inspired by the “Little House on the Prairie” books and TV show, this couple built a “little house” on the foundation of an old barn on their farm. We get the whole house, which sleeps 6, plus we have the run of the farm, which includes a tire swing, lots of cats, chickens, and roosters named Ben & Jerry. And a farm-fresh breakfast in the morning. Mmm… At night they build a campfire and roast marshmallows. Score! I think it will be nice to spend some time as a family, away from computers, video games, and the business of life. We’ll bring some board games, and there is a “hidden” TV in case of an emergency. We’d better have fun, or else I’ll never live it down!
  • July 24 β€” We’ll be back in our hometown for our 5-year 10-year 15-year 20-year class reunion. Really looking forward to this. We had an awesome class, and Facebook has allowed us to get back in touch with so many people. And since Husband and I both graduated from the same school in the same year, we have tons of mutual friends. The only bad thing? I had planned on losing 15 pounds before the reunion. Let’s see. Considering it’s nearly July and I haven’t either started an exercise routine or gone on a diet, I’m not sure it’s going to happen. Unless I come down with a bad case of dysentery. Keep your fingers crossed!

And although currently unscheduled, we’re hoping for another moochcation in Rochester, Minnesota, with my sister-in-law and her family. Hopefully we can squeeze that in before school starts.

So what about you? Got summer vacation plans?


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