Sometimes, I just have an itch to go out on an adventure, have some fun. Sometimes, I plan something for the family so we can have fun and spend some time together.
And sometimes, it seems to be a failure.
Fall Break. I made a plan a couple of months ago for a special weekend getaway staycation for the weekend. It would be using up some hotel rooms I had to from a separate event, a chance to continue the celebration of Zach's 6th birthday, and a chance for some fun at places in Indy that we don't visit that often.
The plan was to go to The Children's Museum on Friday, hang out downtown for dinner and maybe walk around on the Circle. Then head to the hotel, go swimming, off to bed. Wake up for a fun trip to the Zoo before heading home.
Then Jeff had to work Friday. So instead of being downtown and staying there, the kids and I spent the day at the Museum and then drove back home to pick up dad. I called a couple of downtown restaurants to get a dinner reservation and every place was booked so we ate closer to home before heading down. The hotel pool was fine but very chemically and I had a slightly negative reaction to it. The day at the Zoo was supposed to be sunny and in the 50's but it was cloudy, windy, and in the low 40's (COLD). The sun did come out and warm things up - after we left.
Teagan had a freak out over her hair, had to have an attitude adjustment time out at the Zoo. Zach was tired and on the verge of tears a few times. I cried watching a film about Anne Frank at the Children's Museum and thought Teagan might be impacted by her story as well... but she didn't care at all.
If you look at our pictures, it looks like we had a great time. And that seems to happen a lot, doesn't it? What we see on Facebook or what's shared on a blog makes it look like this family has it all, does it all, enjoys it all, loves it all. And we often compare our own lives to what we are perceiving in other people's posts and pictures and stories. I have great pics to share - but the experience of our weekend getaway staycation wasn't all sunshine and rainbows.
I came home feeling... let down. Things just didn't work out the way I'd planned. My hopes for a great time, a family fun time, a happy and content time... just didn't really happen.
Or did it?
At the Children's Museum:
- Zach faced his fear and went through the Light On Haunted House like a champ.
- Teagan climbed a rock wall for the first time and almost made it to the top!
- The kids played together everywhere they went. I hung back and let them do their thing and they had a blast.
- We ended up at Sapporo's and loved it (our first time there).
- We shared a hibachi with a married couple - he's an Army Sargeant and was in uniform. He and his wife had an adorable "fight" about him having a drink - her telling him he's allowed and him arguing that he's in uniform so he "shouldn't." I then insisted on buying him a drink - he couldn't turn down a gesture from a civilian, right? From there, they enjoyed our company and we enjoyed theirs!
- Zach was especially entertaining during dinner and kept all the adults laughing.
- The koi pond was impressive and Teagan really enjoyed it.
- I got to witness a wife brought to tears when another table bought their dinners.
- Jeff and I took turns soaking in a whirlpool in the pool area.
- Zach wasn't scared of the water.
- Teagan got to swim.
- We made friends with a boy Teagan's age and got to play with him for a little bit.
- We had adjoining rooms and the kids loved having their own room, each having their own bed, and having their own TV in their room.
- We had the Ocean exhibit to ourselves first thing. We especially enjoyed the dog sharks. They seem to be extra curious and friendly early in the morning before they've been overwhelmed by crowds.
- The walrus was hilarious. He and Jeff had an entire "conversation" with each other.
- I had Lorikeets take a liking to me and while it was a little freaky, I totally loved it!
- We had a great time at the dog show!
- The kids would have happily spent the entire day on the carousel. I think they rode it half a dozen times!
- The gibbons were in rare form - very vocal and active.
- It was very chilly on our 2 rides on the train but that meant I got some big time cuddles with my little boy.
So I guess the important thing is that while it wasn't a staycation filled with warm fuzzies and Hallmark movie moments... it was a weekend full of memorable moments. And that's really what I want from these adventures - I want my kids to remember the first time they conquered their fear of a haunted house, the first time they rock climbed, the time the birds landed on mom, the time the hibachi chef set his hat on fire (part of his act).
That's the real reason we go out and experience things, right? To create memories. To hold on to moments that we look back on fondly. It's the memories that are priceless. It's the memories that form who we are, who we become. I came home feeling disappointed. Until I stopped to reflect on the making of memories. Now I feel like it was truly a success.