Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Sometimes You've Just Gotta Get Away

Going on a frugal vacation with a toddler and baby in tow is not my idea of fun. You're basically asking the mom to do everything she does at home, but with fewer resources. It never really turns out to be much of a vacation for aforementioned mom. I know, I've been her before.

However, I wasn't her last weekend! My husband surprised us and took our family away for 2 nights at the Disney All-Star Sports resort. He also purchased the Quick Service Dining Plan for our family so that I didn't have to prepare a single meal. It really was a vacation for this mom!

I walked away from last weekend feeling wonderfully rested, something I'm not accustomed to after a family vacation. In fact, everything went so smoothly I can't find a single thing to complain about. Nothing went wrong. It's as if we were meant to have this fun, relaxing weekend together as a family. No distractions in the form of wi-fi hot spots or accommodating 4 other adults preferences for what to do or where to eat. Just us, doing as we pleased, and enjoying one another's company.

A great feature of this resort is its heated pool. On Friday night, Bruce and Charlotte went swimming around 8 PM and had a great time. It was too cold out for me and Mary needed some sleep so I stayed inside. When the two brave swimmers came back I was told that Charlotte could have stayed out there for another hour, easily. All four of us finally made it into the pool on Sunday morning and it was perfectly lovely.

We spent Saturday morning at the Animal Kingdom and found really short character greeting lines at Camp Minnie Mickie. Mary was so shy and could barely be coaxed to take her head off of our shoulders.

It seems as if Charlotte wasn't very excited to meet the characters, but that just isn't true. She loved it and even had a present for each of the characters. It was a single leaf she picked up off the ground. This is an expression of great love from her because she loves leaves, especially when they are whole with pretty colors.

I think Charlotte was most happy to meet Minnie. I especially like that Minnie got down on her level too, instead of putting Charlotte in that awkward position of hugging her leg.

Here's one where everyone is being a little bit more participatory. Even me!

After a morning with the animals, we went back to the hotel and all napped or rested until about 5 pm. Our plan was to keep the girls up late enough for the 10 pm fireworks show. Charlotte enjoyed it, but Mary fell asleep during it. I kept telling Bruce that I had never seen Cinderella's Castle look so beautiful as it did before the show. All of the turrets were draped with lights and it was just gorgeous.

The Quick Service Dining Plan did not disappoint. Our first night at the resort, Bruce and I both had a london broil dinner with an amazing wine gravy. It was so good I sopped it all up with my roll. All of our meals provided more than enough food to feed us and I usually had food left on my plate (at least until Bruce saw it). And did I mention how wonderful it was to not have to cook or prepare a single meal?!

If I remember correctly, when Bruce took this picture he declared that this would be the cutest they'd look all day. I think he only said that because they were sitting still and being quiet.

On Sunday, after we were done at the hotel, Bruce suggested we have lunch at Mara, over in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. This is a picture of the girls and I in front of an Ijele mask, made by a member of the Igbo tribe. It is worn by just 1 person and this is the first and only time one of these masks has ever left the Igbo village.

I really just can't thank Bruce enough for thinking to take us away for this mini vacation. It was something our family really needed since it had been 1 1/2 years since we'd done anything similar to this. By staying at the budget resort, utilizing a meal plan, and then asking a family member who works at Disney to take us into the theme park, this was also a very frugal vacation for us.

I know not every family is going to be able to get away to Disney World for a weekend, but I hope, before the weather turns to cold, that you and your family can find a way to experience some close time together without the distractions of technology or chores.

Where is your favorite quick getaway place?


  1. You're welcome. I had a great time.


  2. I'm so glad that you all were able to do this...great idea Bruce! It looks like a fun weekend!

  3. So happy for you all to be able to do this! Looks like you had a wonderful time together. Love it!

  4. That is so sweet of Bruce! I enjoyed reading about your weekend getaway at WDW.

    My favorite quick getaway places would be any theme park around here. ;) I can forget about the real world stress (i.e., work and school) and just have a good time.

  5. Awe! How awesome!!! We have 3 girls and have planned on going to Disney for a full week. We wont be able to go for at least another year or two. Such great times. I need a vacay RIGHT NOW!!!


Thanks for commenting! Be sure to leave an email address in your profile or in your comment if you'd like a reply.