For a Fun Vacation- “Just Add Water”

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This past week we joined our co-op friends for our annual Kalahari vacation. The church of a previous co-op mom rents a wing of rooms at Kalahari Waterpark in Sandusky, Ohio every May. This year was our fourth year joining our friends for this fun, end of the year, mini vacation.

The deal that they offer is incredible. For $125.00 (for a family of five) you could get a night stay at the resort and two all day passes for each member of the family. Now that we are a family of 7 our cost is a little bit more.

The kids woke up early on Wednesday morning eager to get to the waterpark and begin the water fun. Before we left, however, there were animals to feed and water, and chores to be done. When we were ready to leave we had one more stop before we could get on the highway:

Rainbow Veterinary Clinic.

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Teddy, our new baby goat, is too little to stay home for long periods of time on his own. He is still on a bottle four times a day so we needed to board him where he could get the round the clock care that he needed. We arrived at the vet office and the girl working the front desk was unsure of what to do with this little anomaly. He had a stall in the barn booked for two days but they didn’t want him all by himself in the barn. (There were no other farm animals boarding.) They didn’t want to board him in the puppy room for fear that all the barking would scare him. We assured her that Teddy was quite accustomed to barking, noise, and all other forms of chaos, and that he would do fine with the puppies…and he did. 🙂

After dropping off Teddy we began the three hour drive to Sandusky, Ohio. The kids got more and more wound up the closer we got, and then they saw it!

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There were shouts and cheers as we arrived.

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We unloaded the car and began the walk into the resort over the wooden bridge that connects the resort to the parking lot, stopping to check out the water fowl.

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There had been some renovations on the resort since our visit last year. The biggest change was the new revolving door at the front entrance. Tyler, who is quite the fan of “spinning doors” declared this one the “best one ever!” It was quite impressive with its display windows and the large number of people who could fit in it.

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After checking in we went up to our room to change into our swim suits so we could begin enjoying the indoor waterpark.

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We met up with some of our co-op friends, found a place to park our things, and began playing. The kids were a bit disappointed to discover some of the slides were closed for repairs, but were excited to find out that, as an apology for the closures, the resort gave us 200 tokens to spend in the arcade and a free day pass to return to the resort at another time, for each member of our family.

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Well worth the loss of a few slides, don’t you think?! 🙂

The kids loved all that the park still had to offer:

The wave pool,

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The water slides,

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The play area for the kids,

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And the lazy river…

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The kids had fun riding the slides and hanging out with their friends, and Toby and I enjoyed the more relaxed feel of this year’s vacation. Oh, what a difference a year makes…and this trip really showcased that growth. Last year was a much harder year and our last visit to Kalahari was filled with temper tantrums, high anxiety, and a lot of emotional meltdowns. This year there were no time outs. Everyone listened well, acted obediently, followed directions and as a result the little boys were allowed a bit more freedom to go off on their own with older siblings and friends. This made for a much more relaxed vacation for Toby and I. It was so good for us to be able to see the incredible growth from last year to this year. Ozzie was a different child and it was wonderful to be able to celebrate his growth and successes.

His joy is finally bubbling forth…

Ozzie looks so much like my brother as a child. I have no idea how that is possible... ;)

Ozzie looks so much like my brother as a child. I have no idea how that is possible…  😉

For dinner we joined friends at a pizza joint that had received great reviews:

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Because of our large size as a group we were placed in a back room where we had the place to ourselves. Our entire family ordered the pizza/wing bar where everyone enjoyed salad, many types of pizza and six types of all you can eat wings. There was something for everyone and everyone left FULL!

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When we arrived back at the hotel Toby took the little boys back to the room to get ready for bed and put his feet up, and I took the big kids to the lobby where we met up with friends for some late night visiting. While the parents visited, the kids sprawled out in the corner of the lobby to play board games.

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When we arrived back to the hotel room Toby was almost asleep  and everyone was ready for bed. That long day of swimming and climbing wore everyone out and the combination of sleepy kids and really comfy beds made for a great night’s sleep! In the morning we met friends for breakfast at Steak n’ Shake. We told the kids to fill their bellies. The goal was to have them last until we left so we didn’t need to buy food in the park. So the kids stuffed their bellies and then we took off.

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Our friend, Wendy, couldn't join us so we made a "Flat Wendy" so she could join in the fun. Here she is, complee with he very own limerick:  Thee once was a girl named Wendy, who was as sweet as candy. She came for the fries, and we drew in her eyes. Now she is good and bendy."

Our friend, Wendy, couldn’t join us so we made a “Flat Wendy” so she could join in the fun. Here she is, complete with her very own limerick:
There once was a girl named Wendy,
who was as sweet as candy.
She came for the fries,
and we drew in her eyes.
Now she is good and bendy.”

Then it was back to the waterpark for another day of swimming. Here is a look at the fun we had on our mini vacation:

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Love this freckled faced cutie!

The day ended with a trip to the arcade to use our 200 free tokens. The kids loved this unexpected treat. It was also a good incentive to get the little boys out of the water and dressed. Nothing like the promise of video games to get the boys moving toward the door!

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Another wonderful year at Kalahari!

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For a good time- “Just add water!”

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