___________ March 14, 2016__________

Our Winter Adventure

What. A. DAY it was, day…!  Holy wOw.  (And by the way, if my play-by-play is boring or tedious, you can feel free to pretend like you were interested and just not read it.  Totally okay.  Just clarifying, before I launch into everything.)

Actually can I start off by backing up to Saturday?  I did the laundry (LOTS and LOTS of laundry), went to town for critter food (Saw a mom of 7 who had a beard.  It freaked me out.), went home and totally de-doggie-doo-doo-ed the yard.  I hate dogs only one day of the year, and it’s that day in spring when I have to go out and get rid of all the piles that had been buried/frozen over winter.  It’s a LOTTA poo-poo, just sayin.  And I’m not a happy person during that time, either. So since I was already having kind of a downer of a thang, I just…

ANYHOW.  It’s done, now.  I may never own a dog again, after Ellie cacks off.  I swear, we have THE shittin’est dog on the face of the earth.  Even Brian agrees, that pooch can really go!!!!  And even if we were to get another dog, it’d have to be a stupid breed next time.  The kind that isn’t talented, can’t walk and poop at the same time.  Who can’t split logs in to bite-size pieces as she’s tra-la-la-ing across the yard, because a nice PILE is far more preferable to the tra-la-la nugget chasing I have to do.  REALLY ought to shorten that chain.  By a lot.  This is TMI, isn’t it?  Okay, sorry.

We watched ‘Indiana Jones #4′ last night.  HomiGOSH, was that good!!  Lydia says it’s her favorite out of them all.  You would love to be there, when we watch movies, because we’re SO vocal.  And when that kid tossed Indy a *SNAKE* to get him out of the quicksand?  I screamed.  Lydia screamed.  Four boys screamed.  Simultaneously.  It was hilarious.  And we were all heebie-ba-jeebie-ing like crazy, squirming and squealing in horror thru the whole thing.  Brian was bustin’ up, somethin’ fierce.  It was really good, though.

Okay, anyhow, today was officially vacation.  ((((YAY!!!!))))   Brian had asked me yesterday morning when I wanted to leave today, and I said about noon, but he said he had side work in the barn that he might have to finish in the morning/early afternoon, so I agreed we could bump it out til later.  Then he worked in the barn (while I was de-dook-ing), and got it almost finished last night, and said that in the morning he’d get up and wrap everything up early, then take it all to his Dad (it was work for his shop).

So I thought that meant we were still good for noon, and he was still thinking later, and didn’t communicate that.  So while he ran the stuff to his dad’s, I cleaned the kitchen (dishes done, counters wiped, no standing food), fed fish, watered plants, had the food packed, the electronics packed, the bathroom stuff packed, the kids’ backpacks squared away, the kids dressed and ready, we’re all in shoes and coats and at the door at 11:50… and he was nowhere to be found.  Where was he?  Starting on ANOTHER project in the barn, unbeknownst to me!  He hadn’t showered, hadn’t packed, and was lining things up on the next job.  Um… no.  Needless to say the vacation kind of had a rocky start, but we managed to get on the road half an hour later.

Our trip ended up being about five and a half hours (it’s 3.5 hrs away), because I like to stop and see things here and there on the way.  It was POURING rain, but we first stopped in Montague and saw the world’s largest weather vane (and pussy-willows, and took this river walk, and saw a sculpture park, and the waterfront marina with a village church and scenic town n’ all…).  Then we went to Kaleva, where there’s a house make out of glass bottles (like the old Coke bottles) and a giant metal grasshopper.  Turns out it was only two miles from where my cousin Steve lived when he was ‘Plain’, so Brian took us to peek in the windows of their old house (it’s now abandoned) and the kids got to swing on crazy swings hung from giant logs.

We took the scenic route to Great Wolf, and it was a nice, long drive.  Then we landed in the room, unpacked and let the kids take a breather and move for a little in our space, and we relaxed for an hour or so.  When people started getting hungry, we headed out – to the oldest operating restaurant in Michigan – Sleder’s Bar & Restaurant.  It was CRAZY old, with bare wood floors, tall ornate booths, tables with wire seats, an old massive cash register, and the kind of bar you only see in old Westerns.  There were animals of every kind on the walls… and the food was AMAZING.  They gave the kids ice cream cups for dessert, with the old-fashioned little wooden paddles to eat with – they thought that was SO cool, and had to keep them.

And as a grand finale, there’s Randolph the Moose on the wall, and if you ‘smooch the moose’, they ring this big bell over the bar (like the kind of bell they used in old-fashioned boxing matches).  So we all ‘smooched the moose’ – yes, even me!  Well… we pretended to.  I told the kids they might not want to actually touch their lips to that germy thing.  He was actually quite a cute moose, by the way.

After, we made our traditional trip to Meijer for snack-y foods.  I always pack a cooler of stuff for lunch, but we usually get milk and sweet things for breakfasts in the room, and snack-y stuff to munch on, too.   The cool thing is that when Brian worked the last two Sundays, apparently his work gave him not only double time pay, but a $25 gift card to Meijer for each day.  So our stop at Meijer ended up costing $2 or so.  Blessings!  Also, because it’s our 12th annual trip to GWL (<< they keep track, I don’t), we get a $25 guest credit – which will pay for much of our pizzas from the hotel restaurant, tomorrow night.  Nice!

Oh!  And the way to work a GWL trip is to reserve the room (at $269/fees/taxes), but if you extend a day, then you can get the second night for $109 instead of another $269.  So that’s what we do.  It’s really much nicer, that way.  So with all of our little ‘helps’, it’s really not such a bad trip, for a family of seven!

Yes, we could’ve gone in the pool – we got here about six and the water park is open until 10pm, but we’ll just go 10am-10pm tomorrow.  Believe you me, that’s enough!  Besides, we did a LOT of stuff, today.


G’morning.  At least I hope it’s a good morning for you.  It has NOT been a good night/morning for us.  About 3am, Aaron got the flu.  No, I’m not kidding.  He was up the rest of the [morning] being sick every 20 minutes or so.  I’d say we’re going home, but we’re not – I paid too much money for the other four kids not to enjoy this trip.  And he’s already been sick in the room for hours, so… it looks like I’m going to stay in with Aaron while the five other members of the family who are *not* sick go play in the water park.  I’d worry about giving people germs, but the likelihood is that we got it here, anyhow… (!?!)  My hope is that nobody else gets sick, and at least 5/7th of us can enjoy the vacation.  6/7ths, if I can talk Brian into taking room duty after lunch.

The other horrible thing is the family in the room over ours let their children jump off the furniture, starting at 7am.  We’d had a restless night as it is, and didn’t get to sleep in at all, because they were slamming down on our ceiling so hard that the metal art and pictures on our walls were banging against the walls!  We let it go for a while, but it got worse and worse, until it sounded like they were launching from a balcony down onto the floor.  We ended up calling in and asking them to talk to the people about what was going on up there.  A lesson for *our* kids in thinking of others.

Anyhow, it looks like I’m going to have LOTS of internet time, today (<< free wifi at GWL!)… not exactly what I had anticipated, but not a bad thing.  Maybe I can download those videos I wanted to get for homechool, hm?  A working vacation – hahahahahem.  Aaron is seriously NOT happy, but he’s the child who has to touch EVERYTHING.  Not a lot of guesswork as to why he’s the one who got the bug.

Praying that nobody else gets the sickness if I send them all off to soak in chlorine…  🙂

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