does it count as a "babymoon" if you bring your toddler?

4.07.2017


Hello, I'm alive!

The funny thing about being off social media is that if I'm not posting anything on the socials and I'm not blogging, I am basically entirely off the grid. It's like I'm back in the dark ages of the '90s and I won't lie: I don't hate it. I need to increase the suspense factor in my life every once in a while, you know? Keeps things interesting.

My life has pretty much been go, go, go since last Friday, when Jordan, R, and I left town for a mini family vacation! I don't know if it technically counts as a "babymoon" if you bring your toddler along, but back in the beginning of the year I told Jordan that I wanted to take a long weekend and go on a family trip together before Baby Boy arrives and we have no money and no energy to travel ever again. My location requirements were as such: 1) somewhere I'd never been, 2) somewhere not crazy expensive (read: how we budget for travel), 3) somewhere within driving distance, which for this trip meant 6 hours or less (I'm not scared of the 16-hour road trip, but in this case we didn't want to waste an entire day in the car).

Ever since I moved to Oklahoma in 2009, all I keep hearing about is how everyone takes family trips to Branson, Missouri. It's apparently the place to go! At first I was hesitant about the idea because it felt too cliche, but it fit all of my vacation criteria, and the kicker was that our Sunday school teacher's mom has some kind of time share at the Hilton downtown, so our lodging was going to basically be free. And I'm not kidding; we stayed three nights at the Hilton in a nice big room with two beds and a balcony, plus free valet parking, and it cost us $25 TOTAL. Basically all we had to pay for during our vacation was food and gas! (And boy did we eat gooooood this trip. We've had a few lame experiences food-wise on previous trips, but that did not happen this time. I'm semi-nervous for my weigh-in at the baby doctor on Monday.)

We left Friday evening after work, drove 3 hours, and stayed the night at a hotel just on the other side of Arkansas. I had never been to Arkansas before, so I added a state to my list! I wanted to do that because then we only had a few hours left of our drive to Branson on Saturday, so we didn't feel rushed at all to get going in the morning. We ate breakfast at the hotel and then stopped mid-morning at a local park to let R run around for a bit. We ate tacos at this super hole-in-the-wall place in the middle of Arkansas (the name was literally the Taco Shack) and arrived in Branson around 3:00 that afternoon.

We were there Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and checked out Tuesday morning and drove the five hours back home. For some reason R stayed awake for the entire drive home and didn't even come close to falling asleep once, which we thought was weird but whatever. She got mad a few times but mostly just read books and drew pictures and pointed out body parts and made duck noises and then laughed at herself. 

At one point she started screaming, and when we asked her what was wrong she pointed to her bottom and said, "Pooooo," so we said, "Did you go poop?" She nodded and continued to scream, so we pulled off the toll road to check her diaper. (She had correctly identified a poopy diaper just a few hours before.) This time, however, it turns out she had just farted, which confuses her sometimes. Considering we paid 75 cents to get off the highway and another 75 cents to get on, that was one expensive fart.

When we finally got home around 3:00 in the afternoon, she refused to let us unbuckle her and just sat happily in her carseat watching us unload the car. She is weird and awesome, and I love it.

The vacation came at a perfect time, the weather was mostly wonderful, and it was kind of a slap in the face to go back to real life. Cooking dinner? Laundry? Work? What is this madness????

The post-vacation blues hit both Jordan and I hard on Wednesday morning when our alarm went off, and I haven't had time to go to the grocery store or put anything away because we've had things scheduled every night this week so far. But. It's almost the weekend, and I will hopefully have time to get myself in order and relax a bit. I'm certainly not complaining, but why does it always feel like you need a vacation from your vacation? (Possibly it has something to do with the fact that having a toddler on vacation is hardly what I would call relaxing, even if it does up the cuteness factor by 1,000%.)

I took a bunch of videos throughout the trip and am working on a travel video, so I'll share that when I finish. I've made a few travel videos (BahamasVirginia, and Chicago) and I think they are such a fun way to look back on our trip. I love having R around, but one thing that does make me sad is just that, especially when we are on trips, I've found it very hard to take pictures and videos like I used to, and I miss it. But I still did get some good stuff, so there's more to come from Branson!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

19 comments:

  1. I think this totally counts as a babymoon! Love your travel videos so I can't wait to see this one. My inlaws have been to Branson several times and really like it!

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  2. I ALWAYS feel like I need a vacation after my vacations...
    The expensive fart line has me laughing so hard! Glad it was a good trip!

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  3. Sounds like a great trip! That photo of the butterfly is awesome! It's always hard to get life back together after a trip though!

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  4. haha - expensive fart. that made me laugh.
    Glad you got in a fun trip before #2 comes along :)

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  5. Glad you got to go on a little trip! Post-vacation blues are REAL, man. And I always wondered what the hype was about Branson, too.

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    1. I totally get why people love Branson now! It was very family friendly and there's lots of stuff to do and really good places to eat! It lived up to the hype IMO and we didn't even really get to do a whole lot of the stuff. We would definitely go again.

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  6. So fun! We're taking Amelia on our babymoon in June -- because I don't want to leave her, and also because I feel like she deserves some quality alone time with us before the baby comes too! I think it counts, for sure!

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  7. I would definitely go to the place that cost me $25 total to stay in! That was awesome. I'm glad you got some time away before Baby Boy gets here. I think that the best gifts Nick and I give ourselves is time together, especially a nice weekend away when we can! You need that time to get away from the laundry and the cooking and to just relax!

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  8. Love the fart story too funny! How great that she wanted just sit tight while ya'll unloaded..haha

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  9. The fart story cracked me up! She's too cute. And she really sounds like a dream to travel with - what a doll.

    Also that is amazing that your accommodations cost you $25. You can't turn that down!!

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  10. Who needs a baby moon anyway? Haha. So glad you got to get away as a family of 3 before baby comes! And I'm glad it was a good trip and so inexpensive...win and win.

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  11. That's awesome that you had such a great getaway together! I've heard so many people talk about Branson and while it's nowhere near Philadelphia I do think it would be fun to visit someday! And $25 for the hotel the whole time? Amazing!

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  12. Um, I'd never even heard of Branson before this post? So...you're definitely not being cliche in my book, ha ha.

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    1. I hadn't heard of it before moving to Oklahoma, so I mostly just meant it's popular for around here. Everyone around here goes to Branson all the time! Being in the middle of the country, our options are limited for vacation spots ;) I'm glad I could finally go and see what the fuss is. It actually was really neat. Very family friendly and lots of things to do and good places to eat!

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  13. Girl, so much fun! So glad you got a getaway. And you got to go somewhere new too! I grew up going to Branson :) And, I like how you travel - $25 for hotel, YES please!

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  14. I am just so confused by Branson haha it's a big thing out here in Missouri and Arkansas (obviously) but I just can't seem to get on board. To be fair, we have only done a few quick stops there on our way to see family elsewhere. I'm curious to hear more about what you guys did there.

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    1. Before I moved to OK, I had never heard of Branson before and it was funny to me how many people went there for vacations and such. We didn't end up "doing" a lot of the main stuff like Silver Dollar City or the Sound and Light Theater production or any of the caverns and stuff like that because R is just not big enough to a) care and b) behave enough to make it worth our money. We've talked about going back when she is a few years older and doing more of the actual attractions they have.

      But we had a fantastic time and it was honestly the perfect spot for what we wanted out of this trip (plus the cheeeeap and awesome hotel room). I am not sure if two adults on their own would love it as a vacation spot (although I'm sure some people do), but for us it was extremely family friendly, lots of stuff to do outside, and everywhere we went was really nice/accommodating for us having a toddler (even all the restaurants). We also ate some really, really good food, and the last two vacations Jordan and I have been on were kind of a bust as far as the food goes, so we were loving it. ha! It's no Disney World, but after going there I can see why people around here like it, especially as a family vacation spot.

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  15. 1. Super awesome on the ultra-cheap accommodations. That's the best. I love not paying for places to stay. I think we're not going to have to pay to sleep anywhere in the USA for our entire 3-state trip. Some of the time we're staying with people I've never met (Angel's relatives) but I will just always be sooooo grateful for a free place to sleep!
    2. I have also known a lot of people who go/have gone to Branson but I have no idea what's even there or why they go there.

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  16. Yay for such a cheap (nearly free) place to stay! That's awesome!! I'm glad to hear that you guys had fun! We went to Branson a couple of years ago with some of our friends and had a great time together. I saw in one of your comments above that you guys didn't go to Silver Dollar City which I totally understand with R being so little still, but that was definitely our favorite part. We love roller coasters and they have several good ones there (not that you could ride one right now, now that I think about it haha). But the whole set up of Silver Dollar City is cool because they have all the masters out there working (so like someone is actually blowing glass, leather working, doing carpentry, iron forging, etc). It's so neat to watch them work. Christopher got caught up talking to the carpenter forever when we were there and it was kind of adorable. Oh, and we had excellent food while we were there too so I'm so glad you guys liked what you ate! I look forward to seeing your video! :)

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