Monday, March 24, 2008

Vacation Survival Guide

Oh, the pains of crawling out from under a sugar hangover this morning. Why must the Reeses Peanut Butter eggs tempt me so?

And why must I see the need to eat my weight in them, year after year?

But the headache and sugar withdrawals were miraculously cured the minute that I saw this beautiful sight lumbering down the street, carrying my children:

So our little mini-spring break vacation.

What to say?

Well, we took the kids up to Chicago Wednesday night. Left behind the five-day rainstorms that had plagued our town, hoping for sunshine and blue skies.

Which we got.

Until the six inches of snow blew in. And suddenly we found ourselves pining for the wet rains of St. Louis. My life is absolute living proof that the grass IS NOT GREENER. Punch anyone in the kidneys who tries to tell you that it is. It's not.

We did have a great time, but I learned a few things on this trip. Thought I'd share my them with you, my interpeeps, in case you ever find yourself trapped in a tiny hotel room with three children over spring break.

Stie's Spring Break Survival Guide: What Not to Do Edition

When passing through a town with this sign, know immediately that you do not now, nor will you ever, belong here. Accept the fact that everyone you know would immediately laugh at your return address because they know you.

And you are anything but normal.

When staying at a hotel with your children, never assume there is going to be a pool. Sometimes at big, fancy, downtown hotels, they don't have pools.

But they do have gyms, and you will gladly remember your sudden, extreme need to exercise for the chance of a few minutes to yourself. Even if that means you actually will have to, you know, exercise.

Hotel beds are perfect for doing things that are not allowed at home. Like jumping or simultaneously falling flat on your face to see who gets there first.

The Children's Museum at Navy Pier is the absolute coolest museum ever. Plan on opening and closing the place down, with only a brief intermission for lunch. Your kids will not want to leave thanks to the endless hours of learning, entertainment, and play.

And the best part? There are benches and chairs everywhere so you can sit and watch the learning, entertainment, and play. Without having to learn, entertain, or play.

Standing in front of a fun house mirror will give you insecurities all day that you really might look like this:

Or worse, this:

Sharpay is fully to blame for the slightly awkward, very diva-like pose that your daughter will strike every time a camera is near. When asked about it, she will proudly say that she looks like Sharpay, but sings like Gabriella.


And when returning eagerly to your non-snowy state, try not to drown yourself in a bowl of cereal when you look outside to see snow falling in droves on Easter morning.

Monday WILL come, and they WILL return to school.

And you might just find that you miss them a little.


2happy+2 said...

Cute Easter pic of the kids. Cuties as usual. It could be worse you could be back in Utah and your kids would have had today off as well.
I am glad you got away with the hubbie and kids. Those are the vacations that make the best memories.

Jessica said...

Okay that hip is hilarious. I loved that there were so many of them.

andrea said...

you are really very funny. probably because you lived in boston.
that picture of the kids falling onto the bed is awesome! glad you guys had so much fun. in my opinion, however, funky leg picture B is better than funky leg picture A. i'd rather be tall and lean and leggy than short and midgety and squatty.
think of it as stork over penguin.

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

They are so much better (or worse, depending on how you think) at naming towns west of the Mississippi. Where else can you find town names like "Intercourse" and "Normal?" With a name like "Normal," by the way, I'm sure they are anything but normal. It was probably named "Normal" to hide its obvious lack of normalcy. Sounds like you had a good break!

Melissa Walker said...

I'm glad you enjoyed Chi-town (minus the snow) I could have warned you about that had I known you would be in my backyard! We proudly donned our spring Easter outfits and headed to church in our 8 inches of white fluffy stuff. I also could have warned you about the lack of pools in posh downtown hotels! When you come again, let me know and I'll tell you about some of the best things to do!

Melissa Walker said...

Oh yes, and Chicago (and in fact the whole state of Illinois) is east of the Mississippi! The Mormon pioneers crossed over it from Nauvoo to Iowa--just a little geography/history lesson.

Rochelleht said...

Love me some Chicago. Also love the pic of your kids diving on the bed. That is GREAT!! Hope the snow melts soon. I think I would kill myself. That shows how wussy I've gotten in the last 10 years. Even the one day we had it a couple of weeks ago found me hovering on the suicidal point. Ok, perhaps a bit dramatic, but not too...

Kristin said...

Okay the Sharpay pose made my whole day. To only have a girl, all we get are muscle poses and ugly faces around these parts.

Rosie said...

Oh, your kids are so cute. I ate two bags of Cadbury mini eggs yesterday. Easter candy is by far my favorite candy of the year.

Kimberly and Devon said...

Did you go without the husband? What a good mom you are...right now I can't ever picture myself doing anything like that ALONE without the help of the husband! I want to go and check out the museum there. Hannah's poses are to die for...Taylor has a friend who is obsessed with HSM and does similar things...too cute!

Lisa-Marie said...

Sharpay? WHO IS SHARPAY? I've been reading about Sharpay all over blogland and feel confused. Is there a Sharpay Club that I have been left out of?

Oh, and your trip looked like loads of fun! You guys always do the most fun little quickie trips!

Christie said...

No, I did NOT attempt a trip like this alone. He actually had business in Chicago and we piggy-backed along with him.

Lisa - Sharpay is the brat in High School Musical. Count your blessings that you don't know about her. You will, my friend, you will.

gab said...

Your kids look SOOO cute! Hannah is a red least in the photo. She is adorable!

Hopefully this week's journey will be a li'l bit better.

Mique (as in M-i-c-k-e-y) said...

Oh I love this post- I don't even know where to begin...let's start with- I actually dated (ok went on one date) a guy from Normal. Let's say I agree- Normal is not normal.
I second the grass is greener idea.
Love that chairs provided lots of bum sitting. And that the museum was so fun (I hope I get to that stage in my life where I can just sit back and watch....).
And again, our daughters would be best friends for sure. I've got the same thing going on here. I love her explanation- very well thought out.
The Easter pic is adorable. And I don't envy the snow on Easter. Isn't it supposed to be White Christmas? Not White Easter?
Buses are my best friend, btw.

RobynandJoe said...

I didn't know who Sharpay was either...thanks for the explanation! I would've stood in front of the mirror all day...I love those! Great pictures by the way! Loved it!

Becky said...

It was a break, none the less, right? You were brave to try it, and I LOVE children's museums for all the reasons you said. Cute Easter pic- handsome boys, cute girl.

Meggan said...

What a good looking family you have! I was shocked to read your I thought my husband was the only person alive who liked to punch people in the kidneys...didn't know where my kidneys were before I met him. Looks like you had a blast!

Purple CJ Diva Duckie said...

Another great post!
Loved the list, loved the tips, and loved the pictures too!

Queen B said...

Sounds like a fun break...

The museum sounds great!!

Bridget said...

That Hannah is so darn cute! We can pair her with Ethan right? She's just a few months older, that works.

One of these days Nathan is taking me to Chicago and we are going to eat at Charlie Trotters. Remember Nathan raving about that place?

Lauren said...

That Sharpay pose is FIERCE! My favorite one is in the upper left (and the same one in the bottom right) So cute!

I loved the pictures! That museum one behind the green looking screen looks very artistic. You are a great photographer. Of course, how could you go wrong with such adorable subject matter. The action shot of the freefall onto the bed is AWESOME!

Man, can you imagine how hard it would be to shave your legs if they really were that long? Talk about labor intensive.

DanandCindy said...

You are the dorky Mom out taking photos of your kids as they head off to school... A word of advice, that has to stop, McKay will not think that it's cool that you take a photo of him getting on the 7th grade bus. So come up with some other time to shoot your lame pre-posed blog photos.

Lindsey said...

Ah yes... I love the site of that school bus. I wish it would have picked up the eternally crabby baby that I had at home.

Ashlee said...

Love your freakishly long legs! :0) And your daughter is super sassy! These pictures you will be able to use against her when she is older. Treasure them.
Sorry to hear about the snow. We haven't had any more here. {knock on wood} And're such a good mommy because at least you miss them. I was SO ready for the school bus yesterday. :0)

Amanda said...

Great picture of the kids on the hotel bed. You might be the coolest mom ever. I don't ever let my kids do that.

kari said...

Cute pics! I love the funhouse mirrors on Navy Pier. Last year, I went with my daughter and her 5th grade class to Chicago. My friend (another mom) and I had such a blast with those goofy mirrors; we were laughing so hard we were crying. I think my daughter was a tad embarrassed by our behavior, LOL!

And, I'm already missing the Reese's peanut butter eggs. I just didn't get my fill of them this year;o)

Holly said...

I don't know Sharpay, we have not discovered High School Musical--yet--I probably can't avoid it forever. Anyway, Hannah certainly has that pose DOWN! Funny girl!

katie said...

I LOVE the bed picture! priceless.

You left your town to come visit mine?? tsk, tsk, I could have told you don't come. stupid snow.

I have never been to the museum at navy pier, only been here a year. I'm a bad mom. We've even been there a couple of times (to the pier) but not the museum. I'll have to go.


melissa said...

Hillarious! Sounds like you had a great time.. not learning, entertaining, or playing. Love it. ( :

Lisa-Marie said...

Okay. Thank you for the Sharpay explanation. I actually have been wanting see that movie. I LOVE anything musical. (almost.) Or would I regret it?!?!?

Julia said...

Great survival guide! Just this morning my daughter decided to dress up as Sharpay for her friend's movie night birthday. Gone are the days of Princess, welcome High School Musical and Hanna Montana. Ugh.
I have to go to Normal someday. Maybe I could live on the outskirts and continue being ABnormal.

Julia said...

Great survival guide! Just this morning my daughter decided to dress up as Sharpay for her friend's movie night birthday. Gone are the days of Princess, welcome High School Musical and Hanna Montana. Ugh.
I have to go to Normal someday. Maybe I could live on the outskirts and continue being ABnormal.

Annie said...

Awesome photos. My kids loved getting a good glimpse at yours. Glad you had a good getaway. Nothing like leaving your life behind for a few days!

byebyepie said...

Oh my shattered Sha Ne Ne! I LOVE the new design! And I love the picture of your kids flying onto the bed, like Peter Pan kids. So glad I ignored work and stopped by.

Celia Fae said...

If I see one more post about how everybody's kids are back at school, I am going to die of jealousy. Seriously, couldn't you wait another week for the recap?

I'm going to go outside now. It's 70. Eat your heart out, Christie-Who-Has-Kids-At-School-But-It-Is-Cold-There.

Lindsey said...

Oh yes, I promise the Bachelor is Bad TV!! I wish I had Bravo. I could catch more horrible shows!

Sincerely Anna said...

ooooh, I haven't been here in a while and look at your new's beautimous!

I think you have three of the most gorgeous kids I've ever seen. Your daughter's poses made me laugh, I bet she is so much fun!

Kristy said...

I loved the quote, "looks like Sharpay, sings like Gabriella." Guess what?! HSM 3 is supposed to be coming out this year or next year. Woohoo--more songs to get stuck in my head for days!! (Even the hubby can sing most of the tunes from the previous "musi-CALS" as Ms. Darvis would say.) I'm just glad to be leaving the Barney & Dora stages.

The pics are great! The being stuck in the tiny hotel room might have driven even me to exercise:)

Wendi said...

Thanks for all the survival tips. I will definitely keep them in mind on my next trip.
Hannah has the "Sharpay" thing going on! What a scream! She and Claire would get along smashingly.
I am very jealous of the yellow bus. We won't see one on our street for another week!
I am not jealous of the snow. We have still not seen a flake.
The last photo of the kids is priceless. You have a beautiful family.

Hollyween said...

You and I are the same with the reeces PB eggs. Only I bet your addiction stops there. Mine doesn't. I like the Russel Stover's marshmallow eggs too and I've never been more grateful that Easter is over in my life. I have to stop. Now.

I love all the pictures. And your posts are so much more creative than mine. Usually when I go around commenting and then finally get to my blog to post, my creative juices are drained. So there. It's all your fault.

Family Adventure said...

What awesome pictures. Your kids are absolutely gorgeous...:)

Glad you had a good break, and thanks for the museum tip. Noted and filed.


lainakay said...

Too funny! Welcome back, love the bloggy facelift. The Sharpay pose is killing me! So cute! We have a couple Sharpay lovers in my house, too!

Jenibelle said...

Maybe if I went to a magic mirror and saw my legs thin it would inspire me?

We have a pool in our backyard and my kids STILL have to go to hotels with pools. Oh, and jumping on beds, ask my sister about the $500 bill she got after her kids BROKE a bed in a hotel. No kidding, I thought they were supposed to be bomb-proof. I guess they werent' Hayden proof.