Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Break Vacation 2010

The problem with not writing for a couple days is that there is no way to "catch up" from the retreat.  We've had a blessed week and wonderful trip with so many, many moments of joy.  I don't think it is possible for me to capture them all but I'll highlight some of my favorites...

First of all, the views were magnificent.  I'm so glad we planned this trip in the fall.  We visited during peak season and the trees were beaming with prideful colors.  It made me smile to see rows of trees with just the tips glowing yellow...or a random bright orange tree in the midst of muted tones.  Whether it was along our drive, at the many stops along the way, or by train, I soaked up every vibrant leaf.

After about the fifteenth stop for leaf and family pics, Noah began to say, "Mom, when are we getting to our hotel?"  Not are we there yet?  "Mom, when are getting to our hotel?"

By the time we made it to French Lick, he was so excited he couldn't sit still, like bouncing, jumping jelly beans in the backseat.  He rushed us through check-in and within minutes of making it to our room, he was changed into his swim trunks and eager to head to water.

We're not one for theme parks because Noah's never been a big ride-goer so it seems like a waste of money.  I thought this hotel, with an indoor water park, might be a nice transition.  He loves the water and I thought at the very least, he'd enjoy the smaller attractions.  On the way down the elevator, he began reminding us, "I've never been on a water slide stomach's a little nervous......I might need to do a test run on the kiddie you think they'd care?"

We all jumped in and enjoyed the lazy river and it didn't take long for Noah to brave the smaller of big slides.  He and Tim enjoyed one slide in particular but both chickened out of the mega slide.  What set this slide apart was the large open tornado section that whipped you in circles for a few laps before shooting you back into another tunnel.  I dared, I begged, I pleaded but Noah would have nothing of it.  I continued to ask for a second day and soon gave up.  He shocked me on our last day by bouncing to our table, shaking the water off his body like a wet dog and practically yelling, "I did it!"  He wanted his first trip to be on his own and a surprise.  When he made it to the bottom, loving every second of it, he had to quickly share the news...and then bolt back for another run.  He remained on that slide, or in line, for the rest of the day.
We took a few excursions from the hotel during our stay, including a visit back to the Overlook, just for the view not the food, and two train rides.  We skipped the high price menu and lines at Overlook and snuck into a little hole in the wall place by the river Tim and I found on our previous trip.  (They make the best fried bologna sandwiches...and cheap!)

The train rides were among Noah's favorite parts of our vacation, and ours too.  We took the Haunted "Legend of the Lost train" ride one night, which included scary and silly Halloween moments, both inside and out of the train.  Complete with every scary movie character and goofy spooky song, it was great fun.  Our last two hours of our trip were spent back on the train for a robbery ride.  Noah just thought it was a scenic tour and he was shocked when the conductor announced for us to be on the lookout for a band of robbers.  When he saw the horses and heard the gun shots, his mouth dropped and eyes lit with excitement.  Yep, worth every penny for that moment alone!

Some random funny and favorite times....

Noah cracked us up continually on this trip.  He is the king of one-liners and I wish I carried a little notebook around to capture all the things he said.  Tim and I were rolling with laughter every day.  His favorite saying of the weekend became "long story medium," which he used every time he had something to tell us.  He said this because he knew he couldn't tell it quickly and he knew his dad, jokingly of course, was going to roll eyes a few minutes in at the length.

I grew up in the country, as did Tim, and we live right on the county line now, so seeing deer is nothing new to any of us.  I don't know why it is when we do see one, we have to stop, mesmerized all over again.  This night, we were walking into a restaurant and noticed a baby doe in the field.  We were surprised he was so close, given all the noise and traffic.  Noah crept off into the field, hoping for a picture.  The deer shocked us all, as Noah could've tossed a rock at him, he got so close.

The first night we were there, I had Noah call the front desk and ask for a wake up call.  Being able to do an "adult job" alone was fun for him but he was even more excited the next morning when the phone rang.  I got tickled at his enthusiasm as he answered the phone.  Maybe that's how I should get him up for school from now on?

And there are so many other moments, too many to capture on one blog post so I'll close with one of the sweetest.  Noah likes to have a glass of milk at bedtime.  While I'm a great trip planner and do pack both a snack bag and cooler, I did not think of bringing milk.  I did however pack Oreos and when he found them the first night, he sighed softly and said to himself, "milk sure would be nice."  I told him to call the front desk and see if they had any.  To my surprise, the lady must've answered yes because Noah's comment was, "Ok, will you get it ready for me?"  A few minutes later, he was back, smiling, with a big glass of frothy milk and the money I sent with him.  She was so sweet, she'd snuck into the closed restaurant to get him some and didn't charge.  He took advantage of this knowledge and new friendship for the remainder of our trip.  He'd make his way down to visit Lois in his PJs, come back with a glass of milk, and sneak a few cookies to dunk before falling asleep.  I'm sure this made his dreams even sweeter.  His happiness on this trip sure did wonders for mine.


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