Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Inexpensive Family Vacation

      As much as we would like to, family vacations aren't always in the cards for us. When you're a family of five, any vacation is going to be pricey. You have to account for transportation, food, and attractions and that can wipe out your savings unless you were able to get an amazing deal.
      Living near the Chicago area, there are cheaper one day options all over the place. Yesterday, we took our family to Shaumburg. There is an Ikea and a Cabela's in the area that our whole family, kids and adults, enjoy walking in and that was part of our plan.

   We started the morning on a secret mission and decided to eat at a Red Robin (thanks to my ability to use reward cards and coupons, lunch wasn't too expensive) that was located in Woodfield mall. It has been many years since I was there and it was awesome. My kids who hate to shop asked if we could go back. The mall is a maze of walkways, bridges, and elevators. It kind of reminded me of the Jetsons.

 Kids People Watching

     After we went to the mall, we went to Duluth Trading Co. (the store). Generally, this is a store that I enjoy going to because the names of all of their inventory is hilarious, but I sat out in the van with the kids while my husband and m-i-l went inside. The three year old had fallen asleep on the way there and he needed his nap for our next adventure and I'm glad he did, because this is where our family vacation happened.

     My family went on vacation this weekend. We were going to fly all over the world, but our trip was delayed when my plane left me behind. The family was all in the air plane when I remembered that I had forgotten our pb&j sandwiches in the car. I went back to get the sandwiches and the plane took off without me.

     The pilot realized her mistake and pointed to a mountain. She wanted me to get to the highest point where she would land the plane so I could get on.

      I began to climb the mountain, but got really tired. I saw an elk and he let me climb on his back to ride up the mountain with him. It wasn't easy because his antlers were wide, causing me to duck every time his turned his head.

    This is the airplane as it was turning, preparing to land in a spot near me, to take us to our destination. 




  Our view was spectacular. We were going to Alaska!

The wildlife was incredible! This raccoon liked to check us out. He eventually stole our sandwiches.

I've never seen a fox up close before.


     This bear was risky! He did get the honey and he didn't even care about all of the bee stings. He let us have some honey when he was finished.

I couldn't believe how huge this moose was! My kids could have easily sat in each antler.

We were getting hungry after our hike around Alaska. Since the raccoon ate our sandwiches, we had to go fishing for our lunch. We didn't have fishing poles, so we had to swim to catch our lunch.

 Swimming for our lunch
We caught this guy and a nice catfish. We wished we had some salmon, but the bears were pretty territorial. 
The wildlife was getting pretty up close and personal.

 My son was so scared of the bear, he didn't watch where he was going and ran into this tree.
Look out! It's a mountain lion or something! Get me out of here dad!



     This ram was just chilling when this mountain lion saw it. We were afraid that we were going to witness him becoming the lion's dinner when the lion decided that we would be better eating. 
We said, "We're outta here!"

    We were going to stay in a nice, warm hotel, but our hotel got overbooked. We had to stay in this deer blind that we found, instead. It wasn't very big or cozy, but we at least stayed warm by snuggling and stayed out of the elements.


When we woke up the next morning, we were freezing! It had snowed and we had no coats. The wildlife was getting out of hand and kept tracking us down. We were lucky to escape this polar bear!


We left just in time! This caribou took our place for these wolves' breakfast!

We hopped on the plane that morning and flew to Africa! Talk about one extreme to another!


We were taking a family photo of us with the African scenery. An elephant startled me, making his presence know by grunting. I'm glad we didn't get charged!




It was after we saw this that we realized that we wouldn't be safe no matter where we went. We flew home briefly after this lion's dinner. 

     So fake vacation aside, we had a great day. The kids and adults all enjoyed looking around these stores and even had fun pretending. It may not have been a trip to the Dells or Disney World, but it was something that we did together and that's what really matters.

     I want to end this blog post not with a question, but rather a challenge. I challenge you to go out and do something fun with your kids or friends. It doesn't have to be expensive. Then, when you do, I want you to take pictures of your adventures. If you're feeling brave, post it on here or share them with friends. We may not always remember the adventures that we've been on so taking pictures is awesome! They are proof that you did something and in the end, you'll be glad to have those memories.




4 comments:

  1. That's what I say about taking pics! Matt always teases me, but just the other day he says, "thanks for always taking pictures, I'm glad that you do even though I tease you." It was very seeet. Loved your little adventure. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I always feel bad when there are breaks between pictures. Usually, it happens when I need a new camera or phone. Unfortunately. When the kids are so small, it doesn't take much time to miss their milestones.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I enjoyed the story of your fake vacation. It was very entertaining.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks! I made up another one about 4 or 5ish years ago and had blast. It still makes me laugh whenever it shows up on my Facebook feed.

    ReplyDelete

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