Monday, July 2, 2012

Wisconsin Dells at Mt. Olympus Resort

So we went to Chicago as a pre-trip, but the real vacation was going to Wisconsin Dells.  We had so much fun on this trip.  Half my family came with us, which is pretty good.  My brother Jeremiah, brother Andrew, and sister Anne came.  I looked around on the internet and found hotel rooms in the far corner of the Mt. Olympus resort for about $125/night.  This included our resort passes for everyone in the room, which are $40/person.  We felt like we got a really great deal for a great park and we would totally do it again.  Plus, they even give you an extra day of passes for the day you check out.  

So we drove up Thursday morning and got naps in the hotel room and then let the fun begin!  They had tons of water slides and roller coasters and go-kart tracks.  

Hannah said her favorite ride was the slide behind our hotel room, pictured below.  

This is Jeremiah saying "you better not put me on your blog". 

 Yes, this is as scary as it looks. Why is Blake smiling about it?

It was quite a slide.  

Look at these two.  What a a pair.  This is pure happiness, I think.

I didn't dare take my nice camera in the resort since we kind of left our stuff on a chair and then had at it.  So these pictures aren't the best and are not very comprehensive.  But we had lots of fun trading watching kids and riding water slides and taking the kids down little slides and taking Isaac on the teacups, balloons, swings, and train.  

James LOVED the train.  When we discovered it he was insistent "choo choo......choo choo......choo choo" until we rode it.  5 times in a row.  It was really slow and James sat so still the whole time.  Has he ever been that still in his life?

You can see the Trojan Horse go-karts in the back.  When we drove up initially, we were ahead of everyone else by a few hours.  When they called asking where the hotel was, we were laughing at our instructions to them.  "Ok, so you pass the Trojan Horse and turn right at the building that's upside down."

There was this super cool roller coaster with an unbelievable drop called Hades.  I also really liked the really tall water slides.  Love those butterflies! 

Isaac's favorite was the pirate ship slide, but this duck that was "eating him" was a close second.

James got tired of the water and I think he's relieved to play with toys again.  

It was such a fun trip.  Fun to be with my family.  Fun to go on rides.  Fun to see the kids have so much fun.  Fun even though getting the kids to sleep was a major pain.  Fun even though it was a 7.5 hour drive.  Fun to have a whole week with Daddy before he begins the dreaded first year of neurology.

Our trip to Chicago

So Blake got a surprise week off.  He started intern year early and I just thought he would go straight into residency, but instead he got a break in between.  We took advantage of the break and went up to Chicago to visit my brother and his family.  

I love this picture where James is saying "chzzz" and Hannah and Isaac are intent on the book.

Hannah and Isaac played together very well and were instant buddies.  Last time they got together a year ago they clashed and fought over everything.  

We took the kids to a Children's museum that is associated with the Magic House, where we have a membership, so we got in free.  It was a really fun one with lots of train things, a really awesome music room, and do-it-yourself face painting.  Blake got a tiny football. 

I didn't want to take my camera to the beach, but we also went to the beach one morning, which was beautiful and tons of fun.  

We took the kids on the "El" downtown.  They loved the train ride.  James said "choo choo" like nonstop.  We went to Millennium Park first. 

Ok, is this not the cutest boy ever?

How can you resist him? 

The bean fascinated, as always.

This day was so exhausting.  The kids did really well to walk a little bit, but we carried them on our shoulders a lot.  I think we probably did 4+ miles this day.  

The kids loved splashing in this fountain.

I love how James is mimicking Blake, who's taking the picture.

We walked and walked and walked and finally reached Navy Pier to meet up with my sister Anne and sister-in-law Megan.   We rode the Ferris Wheel and the carousel and walked down the pier.  

I love this picture of Blake and how he looks like such a proud daddy.

Honestly, James doesn't love rides.  He was trying really hard to get out of the Ferris Wheel, making me really nervous, and wanted to get off the carousel before it even began.  Actually, once it got going, though, he did enjoy it for a little bit and yelled "neigh, neigh!", even though he was riding a frog. 

We were squished back onto the train with about a million Cubs fans on their way to a game, which made for a pretty miserable 15 minutes.  But we made it back to home base fine and James took a super long nap.    We took it easy the rest of the day.  The next day we drove up to the Wisconsin Dells!

Castlewood State Park

So we tried going hiking Memorial Day weekend.  We went to a new place I was really excited about.  And, just like usual, we got there and it was a big disappointment.  Hiking in Utah is so much better!  Anyway, we got there and did a little 1 mile loop and then went back to the car to go to a longer hike overlooking a river.  Well, apparently the roads are closed on the weekends.  Who in the world decided that?  To add insult to injury, we paid $10 for a park entrance fee.  I was so irritated I went back to the visitor's center and got our money back on our way out.  

So when Blake had some more time off, we decided to go back to the one place we have had good luck hiking, Castlewood State park.  We had a great time looking at the river on our hike, going down hundreds of stairs, going in a tunnel under the train tracks, and ending up at a little beach.  Isaac and James took turns riding in the backpack.  It was a very coveted position.  Isaac did a good job hiking, too, for a little bit.