What a much needed get away this past weekend to visit my in laws in Wisconsin. First family vacation for 2021. Last Monday, I sent a group text to my in laws that we were planning on visiting for the weekend. We haven’t seen my husband’s side of the family since last summer due to covid, with the exception of my mother and father in law, who visited us a couple of months ago. We were mainly waiting for the updates that my husband’s grandparents were fully vaccinated for us to safely visit them. It was also the ideal weekend as it was my brother in law, Brandon, and their grandfather’s birthdays.
My in laws own a condo at The Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells so my father in law mentioned that he was going to check for any availability for that Friday night. Of course, getting back into the grove of packing and getting ready for the trip took a learning curve and we didn’t arrive to the Great Wolf until 8pm, which was the time that the waterpark was closed but that was fine, we still had the next day. Friday night was all about settling in, celebrating my Brandon’s birthday, and mainly watching my boys play with their cousins late into the night.
Saturday morning came, my husband took off with his brothers to go grab breakfast from McDonalds and coffee from Starbucks for the family. Realized the night before that we had forgotten my toddler’s (Zane) swim trunks and the waterpark didn’t open until 10am, so my mother and I went to the gift shop in the main lobby that opened at 9am in search of swim trunks, unfortunately, that gift shop didn’t have any but I was able to grab some cute souvenir clothing for my boys. By that time, my husband and his brothers were back at the hotel room and my mother and I made our way back for our coffee and quick breakfast.
Breakfast was gobbled down, had my coffee to sip away. My mother and I took off shopping at the outlet mall that was in walking distance from the Great Wolf. Most of the stores at the outlet mall didn’t open until 10am, so we walked around and waited to get into Old Navy. And if you’ve been following me, you know that my Zaney is obsessed with dinosaurs, so I was able to grab him a cute dinosaur swimming shirt with dinosaur swim trunks to go along with it. Along with Zane’s swimming outfit, I was also able to get flip flops for the four of us and a pack of masks (just in case the boys lost their masks, always gotta have a back up).
While checking out, I was chit chatting with the cash register and mentioned how cute the swimwear was, and she mentioned that I was pretty lucky because they had just had just received a shipment of the swimwear collection to the store. Which worked out for me because they were such at a great price.
Shopping was over and done with, made our walk back to the hotel room to pack and checkout by 11am and then take the boys swimming. Of course, while my teenager, Micah, was putting on his swim trunks, he noticed that they were too small for him. Wished he would’ve told me he needed new swim trunks earlier when I was at the store, but I guess that’s just how kids are. Funny thing he said to me was, “Do you expect me to know if my swim trunks fit me or not?” and I looked at him and started laughing and said “Yes, I do!” Mind you, he’s 14 years old.
Finally loaded up the car with our luggage just in time for check out. Made our way to the waterpark, my husband took Zane to go swimming first while I took Micah to go purchase a swim trunk at the gift within the waterpark. I sat at a table with our belongings and watched my husband and my boys enjoy their time at the waterpark and soaked in the moments.
After we were done with swimming, we made our way to the arcade where my boys were able to get their game fix on.
After the arcade, we went to the gas station near by to get some drinks and snacks and wanted to show Zane the huge dinosaur that was the entrance to the gas station.
At this point we were in for a major appetite for a late lunch. When at the dells, we always make sure to make a stop for my favorite Mac and cheese restaurant at Mac and Cheese Shop.
My usual is the Jalapeño Popper and this time I wanted to try the Buffalo Mac and Cheese and I gotta say it’s now my second favorite off their menu.
After lunch, we made our drive to a relative’s house to celebrate my husband’s grandfather’s 90th birthday with the rest of his family and got to see how much the kids have grown.
Spent the night at my in laws house and had my leftover Buffalo Mac and Cheese for breakfast with a glass of homemade coffee while my boys ate scrambled eggs and Malt O-Meal that my mother in law made for them. Made our way to go visit my husband’s grandparents at their apartment and spend some more time with them before we made our way back home.
Food for Thought
I’m beyond grateful to witness life’s blessings in watching our loved ones grow old and the memories that we make. This weekend, I constantly reminded myself to take everything in and to savor these moments. Intently watch my kids play at the waterpark and just thinking about other moments that led up to this moment: their numerous swimming lessons, love of games and dinosaurs, and watching them learn about the world. I’m beyond awed at celebrating grandpa’s 90th birthday and reminiscing about how we just celebrated his 80th birthday. What a difference 10 years make not only to our elderly loved ones but also our kids growth.
Time is moving too fast and if I can just hug them a little longer, plan more trips and vacations, then maybe time can move a little slower. It’s important to be present is what I’ve learned. In the meantime, I’m capturing these moments in hopes that I can refer back to them when I’m hopefully 90 one day.