Every winter we come to a point where the itches to get up and go take hold and we need to get away for a bit. We can only take so many months of hibernating. A few weekends ago we did just that. Packed up the van for our first trip as a family of five. It just so happened to be the first spring-like weekend, and, apparently, 50 degree weather in February brings all the Minnesotans to the zoo. After an hour in line waiting with all the other families eager to escape hibernation, we finally made our way through the gates. The long wait in line threatened to bring us down as we all battled our impatience and crabbiness. But after picnicking on the cool ground--our moods didn't allow for time to scour the zoo for picnic tables--and the first exhibit of playful monkeys, we salvaged the trip. Jillian's first zoo visit went something like this: Ooooooh monkeys. Comfy, cozy Mommy. Zzzzzzzzzzz. Ooooooh fish. Our first and last exhibits. Maybe next time she'll enjoy the stuff in the middle, too.
Since the boys really only care about the hotel, we've learned to plan less excursions and more downtime filling up their hotel quota instead. Elevator riding. Bed jumping. Pool playing. Snack eating. Desk chair riding. Take-out food eating. More and more pool playing. You know, the easy entertainment we take for granted as adults. They never, ever, ever want to leave.
This year we had the pleasure of my cousin and her daughter visiting us at the hotel for the babies' first swimming experiences. They were ambivalently pleased, I'm assuming from their lack of enthusiasm or disgust.
Next year our annual winter trip will look slightly different with a new toddler joining in with her brothers' opinions on what we should do and eat and what time we should sleep and who gets to push the beloved elevator buttons. With each season brings new joys and obstacles.