January 2, 2010

Mini Vacay . . .

Last year during Christmas Break we surprised our kids with a three day trip to New York City, made possible by an offer from friends who allowed us to stay in their empty apartment for free. Great memories were made and our budget remained intact.

Two weeks ago, in the middle of a record breaking snowstorm, the Hubby exclaimed, "Let's surprise the kids and go somewhere during the Christmas break!" I immediately thought of the reasons why this spontaneous decision wouldn't work:

*We have nothing planned!*
*There's no budget for it!*
*We have a little often-times-crabby baby!*
* I don't want to pack for it!*

But he had a plan. And this is what it involved:

First, cash in some of his gazillion Marriott points for ONE night in a hotel just far enough away from home to feel like we'd actually gone somewhere but not far enough to make the car ride painful for the parents. {cost: free}

Second, take the kids out to dinner at a fancy-to-them restaurant containing Hannie B's FAVORITE FOOD EVER in the name. {cost: more than we normally pay, but discounted slightly because we went early enough to get lunchtime prices}

Third, on the way back to the hotel stop off at one of our usual holiday favorites, the Washington D.C. Temple's Festival of Lights to see not only the beautiful lights, but also the Nativity and tree displays. {cost: free}

Fourth, let Ollie roll around in the hotel room and suck on his toes while the big kids swim their hearts out in the hotel pool. {cost: free}

Fifth, eat pancakes the size of our heads for breakfast the next morning. {cost: minimal}

Sixth, take the kids into "the city" to do something really special -- visit the National Botanic Garden's Christmas Train Display {With bridges, buildings and miniature monuments recreated using all natural materials. Cost: free!}.
{Library of Congress reproduction - AMAZING!}
This mini vacation was just short enough to not do me in and just long enough for everyone to feel happy - including Little Ollie who was a trooper until the last hour of our time in D.C., which is when he let us all know he was done.
So way to go Hubby for coming up with such a great idea at such a little cost. {He's pretty darn good at that.}

dragonfly signature


The Queen Vee said...

What fun pictures, great memories and one terrific idea. Now aren't you glad you followed through on this little mini vacay?

Love me some roly poly toe tasting Ollie.

Tobi said...

Good idea. I love the Cheesecake Factory. It's my favorite!

Apis Melliflora said...

The Hubby is brilliant! Good food, a pool, smiling faces, culture, a garden...what great family memories. Next year, do it all over again, just the two of you!

TracyS. said...

What a fabulous little trip!

Sunny said...

What a fun trip. And hopefully Travis helped pack for the trip...that's the worst part.

Kiasa said...

What a great escape! Great way to use your resources and I love your attitude!