Labor Day Weekend Adventures

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The epic balloon battle

The parts of Eastern Washington that aren’t still on fire, are filled with smoke, leaving the air quality (according to my mom) “very bad for kids, elderly, and asthmatics like me.” She asked that we change our Labor Day weekend plans to their house to something else, entirely. The conversation went something like this:

“We’d like to pay for a night at the Great Wolf Lodge for all of us.”

“Sounds fun. Crazy, but fun.”

To be fair, it was a little more in-depth, mostly around the discussion that Boof would not feel comfortable with us all sleeping in the same room, but that would work out great because he’d drive the 1.5 hours home to let the dog out, thus eliminating the need to get a dog-sitter for the weekend.

So, four adults and 1 child, set out on the Great Wolf Lodge adventure. And I’m happy we did it, despite the craziness of all the kids running around the lodge on their Shadow Quests and heading to the water park. If you haven’t checked out their whole clever practice, you should. For added packages kids get magic wands and can go on these quests throughout the lodge, unlocking secret things.

The thing Potamus loved the most? The free balloon sword in the lobby on Saturday night. I hate using gendered cliches, but give a boy a balloon sword…wait…give 10 boys balloon swords, and a balloon battle of “hiyas” will ensue. Seriously. We were just sitting there, and like five little boys in footed pajamas approached Potamus to engage in epic battles. It was hilarious. And adorable. And rambunctious. And made me glad I only have 1 kid. I know that’s going to change, but I’m hopeful the age difference will allow me a different sort of crazy than the Irish twins I saw running around.

My adventurous boy loved the water park as much as the balloon battle. Not only did he get adventurous and go down a (smallish) water slide by himself, he was obsessed with the wave pool. Even braving the depths in mama’s arms, to rock in the deep waves. Thankfully I’m 6’1 and could always touch, since it got kinda crazy out there. In grandparent focused moments, Boof and I were able to sneak away to ride the super fast tubular rides. I only managed to get a small concussion falling out of the speed tube slide and cracking my head against the wall, and feeling the shame as I had to slide down unaccompanied by my tube. I’m still nursing a bruise on my noggin, but got back up in the pony saddle the next day as I took my dad on the same ride. He’s a thrill seeker, too.

I couldn’t have asked for a better vacation. Sure it was tiring, but a 1 night stay was the perfect amount of time, and left the rest of the weekend for getting things done around the house. It’s back to work this week. So I’m glad to have had a little mini hurrah before the grind begins again…

What Happens in Vegas…

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…gets blogged about!

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We’ve been planning this trip for months. Ten days after the last tax return was filed, we headed out (super early, I might add) to Vegas with my friend Mari and her husband. The last time I had been to Vegas, I was 14 and playing in an AAU basketball tournament, so the experience was a little less than…debaucherous (to say the least. I ended up with heat exhaustion for the water park and barfed the last two days of the trip). 

At any rate, we landed in Vegas, dropped our bags off at the hotel, and headed out on the town. It was 10 am, and we were STARVING! So we headed out to the Fremont district, where we got some breakfast and spent our time playing nickel slots at Mermaids. 

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Because Mari and her husband have visited Vegas enough, they have their favorite cocktail waitress, Ling Ling, and boy did she not disappoint! I won a few good payouts on my own (to the tune of $14), but Ling Ling found me a machine that someone had abandoned with a whopping $16.50 on it to claim! Woo hoo!

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After a few hours of nickel slots, we headed out to the Tropicana to see my buddy Adam Ray headline at the Laugh Factory. He and I went to elementary and middle school together, and he’s now blowing up (starring in movies like The Heat with Sandra Bullock), and he got us into his show for free! It was fun to ‘shoot the shit’ with him after his show, before he went to his next set. We then stumbled into our hotel around 12:30 pm, and I realized that parenting has made me the perfect candidate for Vegas…able to function off a little sleep and still manage to have fun! 

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On Saturday we had breakfast buffet at the Bellagio, and wandered the strip for awhile, which made me angsty and sweaty. We headed back out to Fremont district to see my college roomie Marie! I love introducing my friends to my friends, and so we had a lovely evening drinking and eating and then finished the night off with some dancing at an old school arcade. All around amazing getaway, that I hope to repeat again in the future!

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Cabin Camping on Cama Beach!

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Potamus, Boof and I met up with my parents on Camano Island at the lovely Cama Beach State Park. We stayed in their pet-friendly cabins, which were RIGHT on the water! While the shores of Puget Sound can’t really compare to the majestic Oregon Coast, in terms of magnitude of waves and loveliness of sand, it was really nice to be within a stone’s throw of the water! While our cabins were in the 2nd row, we could still see (and hear!) the water from our front porch!

Our days were spent swimming, drinking beer, watching Potamus climb driftwood and collect rocks/shells. He slept great the first night and crappy the second, but who said vacations were supposed to be relaxing for parents, anyway? The weather was amazing, and it was lovely to beat the heat of Seattle! Since it’s only 1 hour and 30 minutes from Seattle, I think the consensus was that this place will be an annual trip, while we’ll save the big years for the Oregon Coast extravaganza! So, here you go, a few pics from the trip:

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the waves are smaller and the beach is rockier, but he is drawn to the water nonetheless!

 

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people can rent sailboats (and kayaks and rowboats) right there at the Center for Wooden Boats right on the beach!

 

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cabins, taken from the beach

 

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swimmin’ lessons!

 

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driftwood fort with grammy and grampy

 

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spatulas, good for making dinner…or scooping sand (er, rocks)

 

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the shoreline was gorgeous

 

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shoulder rides with daddio

 

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taxidermy freaks me out

 

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building a little wooden sailboat at the Center for Wooden Boats children’s area!

 

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wagon rides

 

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always covered in marinara

 

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this’ll probably end up as our Christmas card