Every year mom-and-dad in-law take all of us kids and grandkids to a hotel for the weekend. The hotel location is not consistent. We have spent time in Steinbach, in Winnipeg and, last year, in Grand Forks, ND at the casino. A little over a week ago, we went to Winkler. I know, great family destination location. Really, the things that are important are a pool and waterslides for the kids and a continental breakfast for the rest of us. The choice of hotels are based on those criteria plus cost-per-night -- kind of important when you book 5 rooms for 2 nights. So, this year it was the Days Inn in Winkler. Because we are a family of 7, most hotel rooms do not accomodate us. We were fortunate to get a 2 room suite that had room for all of us. Jay and I had our own room, complete with TV and a queen bed (the room was not much bigger than the bed though) and the rest of the suite was another queen bed, a sofa-bed, a small kitchenette and the bathroom. We left the soft-bed as a sofa and set up 2 playpens so there was plenty of room for us. I loved having the fridge and microwave plus cupboards for all our snacks. We had more food than usual as we were celebrating RJ's 4th birthday while there. The big party was yesterday but she knew which day was her birthday and birthdays are VERY important to her so a celebration, with cake and candles, needed to happen.
The weekend is mainly spent in the pool. Well, that is what the kids intend. My intentions were to watch as much HGTV and TLC as possible while crocheting. As you can see, the two don't really go hand-in-hand. After we arrived Friday afternoon, into the pool we went. AJ, my youngest son, never goes in the pool. He hangs out in the hot tub. We figure it is because he actually has no body fat and gets cold way too easily. However, just before we left the room, he did tell us that we would go down the slide by himself because he was now 5. I was gonna believe him when I saw it. When we got to the pool he actually. Went. In. The. Pool! AJ has NEVER gone in the water. He would swim in the hot tub and avoid the pool like the plague. He went in the water. I was shocked. And very pleased. The water was warmer than other pools so that may have been the clincher. Or the fact that he was 5, as he said.
Pepe, our oldest, is a little fish in the water, as is RJ. Both love the water and the slides and have no fear of either. As this was baby girl Ari's first time in the water, we wondered how she would do! Typical of her personality, she loved it, splashing and kicking!
Little side story. Last year, we went to the casino outside Grand Forks and there is a huge water park there. I was 7 months pregnant with Ari at the time. All the other kids had life jackets on. AJ was in the hot tub, as usual, as was Ali. RJ was cruising around with some of her cousins. At one point, I couldn't see her anywhere. That water park has so many structures in it that it is hard to see around all the corners and into every part of the pool. I handed off Ali and went to search for RJ. When I saw her, I had to try hard not to panic. She was floating, on her back, in the deep part of the pool. She knew she was in trouble and was trying to grab onto whoever was close to her but everyone tried to avoid her. The lifeguard was pretty unobservant as well. "Don't panic. Don't panic" That is what I kept telling myself as I scooped her up in my arms and breathed a huge, "O, thank you Lord for keeping her safe!" We had a good talk and she never went to that part of the pool again. That was a stressful weekend! This past weekend was so much better - you could see the whole pool all the time. Water parks are not good for us at this stage of the game.
So, anyway, there was lots of swimming, lots of eating and a bit of TV (not enough, in my opinion. And, with only a few hours on the weekend, you really don't get to see a bunch of shows. But, the bit I did see was good! I know, I know, we could just get cable here but then I would never get anything done and it would take just that much longer to get our next house! I know my priorities!!), a touch of crocheting and small bit of sleep. These weekends are never relaxing for us as the mom and dad but it is so memorable for the kids that we look forward to it each and every year. Thank so much, mom and dad!!