This summer has been very different from any other. Typically the girls and I would go on a few trips since we are all off, and then on Phil’s vacation we would all go somewhere together. To accomodate Bekah being in the summer production of The Music Man, Marissa’s summer job and driver’s ed, and the general cost of going anywhere these days, we stayed home. Until this week. Last night we got home from our mini-vacation away, and I’m pretty sure I’d still be sleeping if a text hadn’t woken me up. Does anyone sleep well in a hotel??
The girls really wanted to go to Six Flags Great America, so we planned the trip around that. It’s in Gurnee, Illinois which is only about 2 hours away. There’s an indoor waterpark/resort across the street from Six Flags and we thought that would be fun for one night. We’ve done indoor waterparks in the Dells before; Great Wolf Lodge, Kalahari, and Wilderness. Key Lime Cove in Gurnee was way smaller than the other 3 we’ve been too, and now that our girls are older, we had played out the waterpark in about 2 hours. Kind of a let down, but the resort did have really cool wristbands that were your room key also! You just hold your wristband up to the door and it opens it. Magic! We are an easily amused family. The indoor water park wasn’t bad, just kind of small. Although we did have fun playing h-o-r-s-e in the basketball court pool. Our family is also extremely competitive. I enjoyed the lazy river and the wave pool, but one can only float around for so long.
The cool thing about the package at Key Lime Cove was that our Six Flag tickets as well as a shuttle to and from the park were included. We decided to go to Six Flags on Thursday to hopefully avoid crowds. That we did! The park was not at all crowded, and the lines for the big coasters were blessedly small. Of course the rain may have had something to do with that. The morning was just cloudy which actually made things nice. Marissa, Rebekah, and I rode pretty much all the big coasters together while Alisha and Phil waited for us. A lot. I rode the carnival type rides with Alisha and Rebekah since Phil and Marissa tend to get motion sick on rides that go in circles. Did you catch that? I rode almost everything! Things were great until around noon when the skies opened up. We ate lunch hoping for the rain to let up. It didn’t. This didn’t stop the rides, and it didn’t stop Marissa, Rebekah, and myself from riding the Batman and Superman (that one was SO cool!) in the rain. We also rode the Viper which was terrible! Wooden coasters are the worst, and in the rain they are downright painful! The rain stings your face and the shaking of the coaster knocks everything out of joint. I’m still regretting riding that one. We made it until about 2:00 when the thunder and lightening started and they shut down all the rides. We were soaked! And by soaked I mean when we stood in one of the store to seek shelter for awhile, there were puddles under us from the dripping. The only coaster we didn’t get to in time was the Raging Bull which I was on the fence about anyway. Have you seen those little seat restraints? I’m not sure about that one. We had so much fun!
After Six Flags we checked into a much more affordable hotel, sat in the hot tub to warm up from being drenched, then went to the mall to eat dinner. There are more choices at the food court (for the picky eaters), and much cheaper than the restaurants around our hotel. We were so tired we didn’t even shop! However, we went back the next morning and walked and shopped the entirety of Gurnee Mills Mall. Slowly though since we were all pretty sore and tired from Six Flags.
We obviously weren’t shopped out though since we decided to stop at IKEA 🙂 on our way home. Mostly for dinner, but also to do some shopping for my classroom. As a side note I would like to report that while a little tough, it was possible to maintain my gluten free eating the whole time. The hardest place was Six Flags, but thanks to apples and GF Larabars I did not starve.
Here are some of the things I’m sure will become favorite memories:
- foregoing icecream at the mall for dessert to walk from our hotel to Cracker Barrel to buy candy
- watching the Olympics in our hotel room (while eating candy)
- getting soaked and riding crazy roller coasters
- playing games in the kiddy casino…I mean the arcade…and seeing who could get the most tickets for crappy prizes (Skee ball is my favorite!)
- Marissa and I were discussing lousy hotel coffee…Me: You know what we should get for trips like this? Alisha: Matching shirts? (I was going to say Starbucks Via
This may not go down in Mongold history as the best vacation ever, but it was a very good one!
What’s your best vacation story?