It was very last minute and not really well organized. We made plans on Saturday and left early Sunday morning; truthfully, I didn’t even know where we were going and I thought the amusement park was in northern Indiana. (Side note: I never pay attention to directions. I am married to a human map and even when we travel, he’ll have the city or town memorized an hour after we arrive. So I haven’t had to pay attention to where we are in about eleven years. This is not my fault, it’s just a skill I do not need.)
We started to pull out of my driveway and my friend Christine asked which way. I responded, “I don’t know, is it near Chicago?”
I’m sure our husbands would have died if they knew we were taking off with four kids and we had no idea where we were actually going. But thanks to Google and the handy maps app on our phones, we were on our way to southern Indiana within a few moments.
Crisis averted…before we even left the driveway. We totally got this.
Other things we didn’t tell our husbands when we returned because we would not be allowed to go on road trips together anymore:
-We missed our exit on the way down because we were talking so we used an emergency turnaround going really fast on loose gravel. There was screaming and sliding but NO ONE GOT HURT. Plus, it made a really great story. (I’m really hoping Chris forgets to read this post…)
-I forgot pajamas for my children. When will those little princesses start packing their own bags? Is four and six too young? Because obviously I can’t handle it anymore.
-On Monday we sneaked into the nearby campgrounds so we could scope it out for our next trip. It’s amazing what you can get away with if you just act like you belong somewhere. We even talked maintenance people into letting us tour cabins while they were working. Life tip: Just act confident and people will let you do anything you want.
Best mom road trip ever.
We planned to spend two days at Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari in southern Indiana, but Monday got really cold and wet so we swam at the hotel, broke into the nearby campgrounds, and damaged a 1970’s cot before coming home Monday evening. It was relaxed and wonderful. Traveling with no expectations and one of your best friends by your side is the best, I highly recommend it.
-Soft drinks are free. No, like, really free. I’ve always heard the commercial about free soft drinks and I figured you’d have to go to a certain place, ask for a drink, get a little attitude from an employee (like at the restaurant when you ask for a refill), but I was totally wrong! They have these magical buildings set up all over the park and you just walk in, get whatever you want, and then drink until your little heart is content. And when ordering food, all the drinks are free and do you realize how much money you save when you don’t have to pay for drinks at an amusement park? So.much.money.
-You’re going to need two to three days to get everything done. We left with every intention to come back soon because one day left us with so much undone. Plan for as many days as you can, even being there from open to close isn’t enough time if you only go one day. There’s just so much to do.
-Plan all your meals around Utterly Blue ice cream. It’s by the Mexican restaurant and the BEST ice cream I’ve ever had. (And I don’t mean to brag, but I eat a lot of ice cream…). I had the Oreo flurry because I like classics, but everyone had something different and they were all amazing. Seriously, it was the creamiest ice cream I’ve ever had.
-Something else I’ve heard on the Holiday World commercials is how clean their place is. But I was skeptical…because, well, I’m always skeptical. But it was seriously the cleanest amusement park I’ve ever been to. The bathrooms were immaculate and someone was always walking around cleaning but there was never actually anything to clean so I don’t know what they were really doing. It was like a magical twilight zone where there was just no trash or dirt and I need to figure out how it works so I can re-create it at my house. I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t have something to do with the ice cream, but I’m not 100% sure. (I probably need to go back and do more “research.”)
-So many kid zones! I sometimes hesitate to buy tickets to amusement parks because we just spend all our time at the kid areas and I don’t actually get to ride anything which makes me feel like it’s not a great use of our money. But at Holiday World, they have different kid areas spread throughout so I could sneak in an adult ride on the way to a kid ride and we didn’t have to walk halfway through the park with whiny kids that didn’t want to leave their mini-coasters. It was set up perfectly.
-Favorite coaster: The Raven. It’s short but so much fun. Ride it at least five times. Minimum.
So get on it: grab your best friend, some kids, and take a last-minute road trip. Because it’s summer and summer just begs for an adventure.