Thursday, August 15, 2013

Family Vacation Recap

After my first day of work today, I’ve really settled in back home after our vacation. Even though it was stressful for hubby and me to entertain the girls all day long, we all had such a great time. Here’s a little recap of our first real family vacation ever!

After packing and cleaning in the morning, we headed out shortly after lunch. The car ride was easy;  we arrived after about 2.5 hours at our destination and moved into our vacation rental. The girls got the bedroom while hubby and I took the fold-out beds on the gallery. After some unpacking we went into town for some exploring and learned that the store closes in this neck of the woods even earlier than everywhere else and we would not be able to shop until Monday. We had a light salad dinner before getting the girls ready for bed and enjoying some couch time.

Violet having fun at the slide

 It was a really hot day, so we decided to spend it at the local lake. The girls played at the playground in the morning and spent the afternoon splashing. The water was icy and we had to pull Violet out a few times to avoid hypothermia. We had a picnic lunch at the lake and returned to the apartment for naptime in the late afternoon. Before dinner we planned on exploring the local labyrinth and eat at the outdoor restaurant, but just as we headed out, wind picked up and it cooled down a lot. The sky promised a nice thunderstorm, so we decided to return to the apartment and have pasta and tomato sauce for dinner there. Yet another quiet night for mommy and daddy, watching the thunderstorm, catching up on "The Unoverse", and discussing physics.

Lily taking a dip in the lake

We finally got to go shopping in the morning and stocked up on fresh fruit, veggies, and yogurt. In the late morning we headed out to explore the tree path, a bridge-like construction at tree level only a few minutes’ drive from our vacation home. We all loved it, even though I became really uneasy at the panorama point, when people started to really sway the bridge. Besides the walkway, there was a nature path for the girls to learn a lot about the forest as a natural habitat; before the summer break, Lily’s kindergarten class covered the topic “forest”, so she especially liked to tell her sister about the different trees, animals, and mushrooms. We had fun at the cave of visual illusions and at the petting zoo, where Lily met llama Lilly. After lunch we checked out the upside-down house, which was not too good an idea for Lily, who became rather nauseous. We returned to our home rather exhausted in the early evening, had a light lunch and turned in for the night fairly early.
The girls with the owl

Walking at tree-level

We were all very excited and decided to have a break and spend the day at the playground, explore the park, and just relax. We really needed this break! Hubby and I spent the evening after the girls had gone to bed trying to figure out a new role playing game that he had owned for years but never unpacked. We did not find it very playable unfortunately, and hubby was quite disappointed.

Fun at the playground

I had found a flyer on a wildlife park a good 45 minutes away. We packed in the girls after their nap and headed out. There were a lot of animals from the local wildlife and a little petting zoo with goats to feed and the cutest little bunnies you can image! We all had fun, even though Lily swears that she was SOOOO bored (how will she be as a teenager, I wonder??). We decided to forgo watching the wolf feeding to feed the bunnies a little more (to be honest, I was out-voted by the family..). On the way home we picked up salad makings and had a quick dinner before the girls turned in for the night. We played some games and enjoyed just being together.

The girls feeding the goats

Yet again, a morning at the park. The girls just loved the playground and spent most of the morning playing with a couple of other kids, running around and just enjoying themselves. That gave the two of us a much-needed break. After an early afternoon nap we headed out to explore a local curiosity, a little labyrinth with a riddle to be solved. It was a lot smaller as I had thought, but the girls had fun; the riddle was solved at the end and we all rewarded with fresh popcorn. The girls went on to play with other kids there, and hubby and I enjoyed the view. We had dinner there and headed back home for the girls' bedtime. We enjoyed yet another beautiful thunderstorm with racing clouds in the valley.

Violet navigating the labyrinth

Lily sharing her seat with the cat

The weather was overcast and cool this morning, but Richard was convinced it would clear up and get warmer later. So we packed up the kids and headed to a nearby amusement park with a summer bob sled. I was scared and Violet enjoyed the speed, so much she rather went with daddy the second time around. The girls enjoyed the arcade games, the trampoline, the playgrounds, and all the other fun stuff there. During lunch, it started to rain and cool off even more. When even an hour later, it still hasn't gotten better, we decided to head back to the vacation rental, pack up and drive home a day early as there was not really much to do for us any more and our beds were not very comfortable. 
Daddy and Missy Violet in a speed rush

Lily on the trampoline

We were exhausted when we arrived home, and slept so well in our own beds that night. Lily and Violet were happy to have their toys back and Violet has been sleeping with her new pink elephant ever since. We are so glad we had the opportunity to go on this vacation to decompress, have a change of scenery, reconnect, and last but not least have a new appreciation for home.


  1. Oh so glad you had such a wonderful vacation, but happy to see you back, too!! Loved seeing the pictures of your girls. They are just too cute and some of their reactions sound similar to my own girls.

    1. Thanks a lot, Janine! Your girls are about the same age as mine, so I bet their bahavior may be similar. Is Emma also 4 going on 14? Maybe Lily is picking up some behavior from the twins downstairs, but she drives me nuts at times ;-)

  2. Wow just beautiful! That slide looks so fun!

    1. Thanks, Jen! The slide was fun, espacially climbing up the stones ;-) It was scary to watch Violet climb up though, so she had to use the stairs..

  3. Looks you guys had a great time! I totally get the new appreciation for home, every time I como back home from Colombia after being there for 2 weeks, my bed feels like one of those luxury beds from a very expensive hotel. That looks like a very relaxing and fun place to be.

    1. Thanks a lot, Natalia! It was a lot of fun. The own bed is always the best I suppose ;-)

  4. So many great pics! Looks like you guys really had a blast! Good to see you are back!:-)

    1. Thanks, Joy! Thank you to have YOU back!! Can't wait to see your pics!

    2. I posted them on Thursday already! :-)