Sunday morning (in early June) we got up and got dressed, ate breakfast and hopped in the van for the drive to French Lick, Indiana. We got on the road even a little earlier than we had hoped too. The ride was pretty uneventful. Lots of questions, little bit of whining, etc. We made one stop in a no name town for Jason to use the restroom and get a drink. I had him ask the gal in the gas station where the city park was so that the kids could stretch their legs, as we had been driving for a couple of hours. The clerk laughed at him and said “in this town?” so we pulled over on a side road by the fairground barns and let the kids get out of the car and walk around for a couple of minutes. We piled back in and headed back down the road. The last part of the trip was very curvy roads and lots of hills, but was very pretty country. We stopped again at the last town before French Lick for Katie to use the bathroom.
We finally arrived in French Lick and drove straight to the train museum, I was expecting this to be Kyle’s favorite part of the trip…. But I was wrong…. Too much stuff that he could not get into, onto, or touch and he just basically freaked out the entire time we were there. I took the 3 older kids to the bathroom while Jason handled the screamer; in there Jake managed to get LOTS of hand soap IN his eyes – so I had to deal with my own screaming mess. By this point I was ready to get away from the stares of the other people and out of the heat, it was hot and humid. We headed for the McDonalds in town (knowing that chicken nuggets – ALWAYS calm Kyle down) and went in. The place was packed, only one open table and it was a table for 4 people. We made it work, with Kyle on my lap. We got our bellies full and then headed out to go to the water park. As we left the very crowded restaurant, Jake was sure to tell everyone we saw “Goodbye! See you later! I am going to the pool park now!”
We went to the Big Splash hotel and indoor water park. We got there several hours before check in, but they had our room ready so we were able to go right in to get changed and go down to the water park. Our room had 2 sets of bunk beds and a king size bed in it. It was a cool setup and I wish more hotels had it for traveling families! Kyle LOVED the top bunk; I wasn’t such a fan, as he kept leaning over the wall to wave at me! We all got our swim gear on and headed down to the water park. It took the kids a bit to get comfortable with the new surroundings, but once they did, they had a great time. If we would have had a fit bit on Kyle and Jake I think they would have easily each got a million steps in!! They were constantly on the go running up the play structure to go down the water slides or to play with the water features. Jake made friends with every kid playing and Kyle would drag Jason and I up to the slides and go down with us – covering his eyes with his hands each time! The girls’ favorite part was swimming in the outdoor pool. After swimming a few hours on Sunday afternoon, taking a break for the boys to nap in the hotel room and eating pizza in the room and the n going back down to the water park for a while – we lured the kids out of the water park with the promise of ice cream. We went to the local DQ and waited in line for an eternity to get the ice cream, luckily we opted for the drive thru and had the DVD player to keep the kids occupied. We ate our ice cream (or threw it on the ground, if you are Kyle) and then went to sleep.
Monday morning we got up and went down for breakfast and then back up to the room to pack up. Loaded up the car and then went back to the water park for another couple hours. Kyle was shot after the first 45 minutes and just cried after that. So I sat down in a chair with him and he actually fell asleep in my arms. I held him for 30 minutes while everyone played and then decided it was time to get going. We changed into dry clothes and then headed to DQ for lunch. After that we got back in the car for the long ride home. The ride home was very uneventful. The kids couldn’t have been better! No whining or complaining or crying! Kyle was the only one awake in the back for quite some time, and he made it until we were about 10 minutes from home and then conked out.
Once home we got unpacked and laundry started then went out and played softball out in the yard with the girls. Jake came out about 45 minutes later and wanted to try his hand at T ball – that was the biggest laugh I have got for a while, as he would scream “WHACK IT!” and hit the ball off the tee with all his might, and a little jump-spin for good measure.
Overall it was a great trip and I am glad we have made our maiden voyage with the boys and know that staying in a hotel room with them won’t be completely miserable!
PS – 4 weeks later, Jake still asks me to check him on regular basis to see if he is big enough for the red slide yet… he will ask – drink a glass of milk and ask for me to check him again 2 minutes later so that we can see if that milk helped him get big enough for the RED slide at the “Pool Park.” (42 inches is his goal!)