When I was little, my siblings and I would go to “Grandma Camp” every summer with my cousins, and spend a week at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.
Everyday we would go to their store for the morning in Danville, PA, walk to the library to check out a movie, go back to their house for swimming and lunch (we would go through an entire loaf of bread every day because my grandma made the BEST grilled cheese sandwiches), and then come in for dinner and a movie- by the time it was 9 o’clock we would pass out. One day out of the week, my grandma and grandpa would take us to Knoebel’s Grove Amusement Park.
As we got older, the tradition faded away, and unfortunately, a series of events (a house fire, sicknesses, Alzheimer’s, etc.) changed the relationship we had with our grandparents… and I haven’t talked to them for years.
Then the sudden loss of a co-worker coincided with the opportunity to visit my grandparents last Sunday.
I took it as a sign… another chance to hug my grandparents and introduce them to my babies for the first time.
We spontaneously packed up the car (I didn’t even make a checklist!… and we booked our hotel room the morning we left!) and left for Pennsylvania on Saturday afternoon.
The kids were excited and sang, “Hooray, hooray for Family Day! Let’s take a trip and go away!”
Knoebel’s is the largest FREE amusement park in the country. It’s free to park and free to enter. You pay for a book of tickets to get on rides and for food. Most of the kids’ rides only cost $.75-$1.00. The drinks were only $1.50! What other amusement park only charges $1.50 for a drink?!
A couple of weeks ago, we had our annual family beach vacation. You might remember one of my first posts on how a day at the beach for us hasn’t always been “a day at the beach.”
It’s a lot of work to take a trip with our brood… but it’s getting easier every year.
The memory card on my camera was FULL (*forehead slap*), and so I relied heavily on other people’s accounts of our week in Topsail and their photo skillz. I did snag my mother-in-law’s camera a couple of times to take some pics, but for the most part, I just sat back and enjoyed my kids and the ocean. All of the pictures in this post came from my MIL’s new spiffy camera.
One of the reasons we LOVE Topsail so much is because it’s not PACKED with tourists and we typically have the entire beach to ourselves… and the dunes are so small, oceanfront not only means you can see the ocean from the deck, but we were also able to see our family laying and playing on the sand at the same time. Don’t tell anyone though- we want to keep Topsail a secret!
The first thing we do when we get to the beach is unpack… made much easier with the house’s elevator (although I was sick of the kids asking to play in the elevator by the end of the week). Since we cook all of our meals, rather than going out to restaurants, unpacking is quite a big task. We made the house and kitchen looked “lived-in” within minutes.
We had homemade spaghetti and meatballs the first night (it’s kinda tradition), and enjoyed a kids table for the first time. WOW- are they all really old enough to be at a kids’ table now? YUP. And the extra elbow room was GLORIOUS.
Don’t you just love the feeling when you first start vacation? The anticipation of an entire week of playing, relaxing, overeating, making memories… it’s like the feeling we get on Christmas morning as kids, but for 7 days in a row.
Our days were filled with cornhole, sandcastles, crab/digger hunting, shark teeth searches, kite flying, and boogie boarding, while our evenings were filled with food that makes my mouth water just thinking about it, cotton candy martinis, and hilarious forms of entertainment like the annual Poker tournament, Mexican Train, Minute to Win It competitions, and midnight Cornhole on the beach (midnight = 9PM).