Last Thursday our family spring break started. The Big Guy, the girls and myself jumped into the Rally Red Mitsubishi Outlander that I was driving for the week and headed to my mom’s house in Chicago. I was excited because after a week trapped in the house with a husband with bronchitis and two very cabin-fevered little girls, the open road was exactly what we needed to blow the stink off spring break.
We loaded up the Outlander with all of our goodies for the weekend, including the girls and their favorite stuffed animals, bathing suits for days and all the pillows in the house. I was impressed the sporty little Outlander held it all, with plenty of legroom. Those adjustable seats in the second row really made traveling comfy for the girls. Then we made our way west for a pit stop in Chicago before picking up Grandma and heading to the Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells to celebrate 3 of the cousins’ birthdays. What can I say, apparently we Cruz girls are affectionate in the late summer months.
We loved driving the Outlander because it drove sporty, fast and handled well. I loved the built in GPS. My only issue was that you couldn’t operate it while the vehicle was in drive. I know it’s a great safety feature just a little frustrating when you don’t know ahead of time. I also loved that it only took $30 to fill it up.
The first day of our road trip included a stop at, my sister, Bertie’s house to discuss wedding plans. I’m the matron of honor and love being able to help plan her big day. My girls played with my nephew, my husband and soon to be brother-in-law bonded, and we girls made wedding playlists, discussed flowers, hair styles, make-up and tuxedos. To make the night perfect, my mom ordered our favorite hometown pizza. It may sound boring but we cherish these moments because there are never enough of them.
I come from a big family of six brothers and sisters and I miss seeing my sisters everyday. Sisters are the built in best friends and I miss girl talk with them and raising our kids together. Being at my sister’s house hanging out, planning her wedding and hearing all the love and laughter fill the house made this one of the best spring breaks ever for me.
The next morning, we loaded my mom into the Outlander and made our way to the Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells to meet my other sister, Mellie and her family. We’d never been before but this is how the kids wanted to celebrate their birthdays and who am I to stand in the way of kids’ birthday wishes?
We arrived at the Great Wolf Lodge. The girls nearly bolted out of the Outlander headed straight for the waterpark. As soon as you walk through the doors, you are immediately aware that you are in a kid-friendly, nature themed lodge. We headed to our room and were welcomed to the hotel with a few surprises to help the birthday kids celebrate their birthday in style. The kid’s received Paw Passes from the hotel. I would highly recommend that if you ever go to the Great Wolf Lodge you get one for your kids.
It included fun thing for the kids to do like a MagicQuest Game, a MagicQuest wand (to play the game), A Great Wolf Creation animal (think Build a bear but much softer), Paw Points arcade card with 20 points, 12 oz. Mike and Ike Candy Cup, Great Wolf Lodge swim goggles, Glitz Glitter Tattoo, personalized Leather bracelet, Clubhouse crew adventure game and more.
This was nothing we had anticipated but I assure you, we will never go there again without getting one of these passes. This made the experience next level. After hours swimming and riding water slides, the tornado being our family’s favorite, we were able to let the kid’s wind down playing MagicQuest. Then the next afternoon, they got to hit the arcade and gift shop to collect all of their souvenirs.
Know what the best part of the entire vacation was? Hanging out with my mom, my sisters and talking, our guys bonding and the cousins giggling and getting to spend real quality time together. That truly is the priceless part. I can’t wait to do it again. We took plenty of photos and video, including one of those cheesy vintage photos and we had a blast doing it.
Do you ever travel with your extended family? If you don’t you definitely should. I know it’s hard organizing a vacation with multiple families but it is also the stuff memories are made of. My girls will never forget this trip because they got to share it with their cousin.
Disclosure: I was provided the Mitsubishi Outlander to drive for the week by STI and The Great Wolf Lodge provided Paw Passes for my children but all opinions about our family spring break are my own.