Life. Love. Family. Our Perfect Imperfection. Living life as a Catholic, homeschooling family with three amazing, unique boys, a too-oft serious, frustrated and anxious but also loving momma, and a fun-loving, hardworking dad.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Vacation update

It's been a lot longer than I intended (again!) but here we are. HELLO AGAIN! Miss me? Ha!

We are still planning our family vacation for the summer. It's gone from a road trip down south to Florida and WDW to just heading east to PA - well, southeast for us ;).

After researching and taking our time, really thinking about our choices and budget, Jas and I both felt we can get more bang for our buck as well as a more relaxing, enjoyable vacation skipping WDW this year. J is still pretty young and I'm not sure waiting in line with 3 boys at one of the biggest, busiest amusement parks (I know, it's more than an "amusement park" but for lack of a better description) during the hottest and busiest season is an ideal situation for us. That's not to say we won't decide to go there down the road, maybe even during the school year, or something like that. Maybe we can even make it a trip with his parents, siblings, and niece, also!

Right now, on the table, is a little over a week spent in PA.

Decisions yet to be made 100%:
Hotel or cabin.

The hotel would include a king size bed and sofa-bed (J would be in the pack and play), a pool, and complimentary breakfast. We would have to eat out for lunch and/or dinner for 9 days, which is obviously not cheap for 5 people. Fast food is definitely not our favorite thing to eat but would most likely be our fall-back most days. There is a mini-fridge available but it's unlikely we would buy things to pack lunches due to the inconvenience of not having a fully-equipped kitchen.

The cabin would be a "deluxe" and include a kitchen, queen bed, sleeping loft for the older boys, and a pool. We would have the option to cook all of our own meals, including packing lunches and snacks. This option is more expensive up-front, but the savings on food could potentially be tremendous, as we would cook dinner most nights there. Also it's a cabin at a campground, so it's separate housing, quiet, and has a playground, pool, etc for any downtime we might want to take.

*Update!!* We found a lovely hotel that has suites and includes a king-size bed, sleeper sofa, sitting area w/tv, and a full kitchen! Full-size fridge, stovetop, microwave and it sounds like it has dishes, utensils and at least a pot and pan. Plus free breakfast and an INDOOR pool! So if it's raining or cool, we can still enjoy a few hours of swimming. The cost? Less than the campground if we stay 8 nights - the cabin is only available for 8 of the 9 nights we are planning - and if we stay the full 9 nights, it's only about $30 more than the cabin is for 8! That's the option we are going with.

On the itinerary:

Hershey Park for 1 (or 2 days?)
Dutch Wonderland for 1 day

There are so many things and places to go see in those 3 locales, and as a history lover myself, I'm intrigued! As soon as I mentioned Philadelphia, the older boys asked about seeing the Liberty Bell. Of course, that's not the only thing we would go see but that's top on their list.

Gettysburg is very high on my list, as I just recently learned my 3rd great grandfather on my paternal grandmother's side (Let's see if I can make that any more confusing, LOL. My dad's mom's great grandfather. That's important to my extended family, such as my aunts, as to which of their parents' ancestor it was.) fought in the Battle of Gettysburg, as well as several others. He did not die there, but was injured in the Civil War, as well as had the measles and pneumonia, all of which contributed to his death a few years later. When he died, he left behind a young widow and 8 young children, the youngest only a couple of years old and my direct ancestor! has been amazing.

If you've been to or lived in any of these places or nearby, do you have any MUST DO activities? Or is there anywhere you would avoid like the plague, either because it's too costly/not worth the money, boring, super-crowded or whatever other reason?

June will be here quicker than we realize, and as we wait for the last day of school so we can leave for our trip, I hope that we have lots of ideas. I even ordered the free guides for Philly, Lancaster County and Gettysburg, so we can look at the calendar of events, in case there is anything super interesting going on during our time there.

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