Posted in Family, Friday Favorites, Travel

Friday Faves {#62} and FBF: Spring Break

Hello and Happy Friday! Usually, Friday means a hectic week is wrapping up, but today, Friday, means Spring Break is almost over. Ugh!

Today, I’m sharing a twist on my normal Friday Favorites posts. I’m still linking up with Andrea and Erika, but this is a special Flashback Friday edition.

Spring Break is always a favorite, so I’m taking a look back on our previous Spring Break trips because those places and those memories will always be favorites for us.

I love Spring Break, and I honestly love being at home. March is always a hectic month, and I know that April-May will be busy with activities and end of school things, so it’s sometimes (always πŸ˜‰ nice to just be home, relax, unwind, and regroup for the last couple of months of the school year.

Before the kids started school, we never took a Spring Break vacation. We usually had family visit during that time. Once the kids started school, we did make a point to start going somewhere for a few days. What I’ve come to love about Spring Break is we do something different each year. We usually plan to go to somewhere in the middle of break, so we have a few days at home on either side of the trip.

Upon reflection (this post!), I love that we’ve provided our kids with these various opportunities and created so many memories in different places!

Knoxville {2016}:

When the kids were in kindergarten, I was teaching in a neighboring district. We ended up having different Spring Breaks that year (which never happens…and hasn’t happened since as most districts in KY tend to have the same break the first week of April).

Anyway, on the first weekend of my break, we headed to Knoxville because Kentucky was playing Tennessee in baseball, and we knew the kids would enjoy that. We were gone Saturday-Monday, so the kids missed school that Monday. (Kindergarten and already skipping school! haha)

As soon as we arrived, we checked into our hotel and headed to the ball park to watch the game.

That evening, we went to dinner and the kids are all about a hotel pool!

That Sunday, they swam some more, and we hit up some local attractions like the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster and miniature golf. We went to dinner that night and headed home on Monday.

It was a fun little getaway.

Hilton Head {2017}:

In 2017, I was teaching in the same district as the kids, so we for sure had the same Spring Break πŸ˜‰ We decided to head to Hilton Head. We love South Carolina. The weather was on the cooler side but perfect for playing in the sand (and the kids braved the ocean!) and swimming in the heated pool at the resort.

Can’t beat sunshine and the ocean.

We ate lots of great food, Hadley and Travis rented bikes one day, (After a fall the summer after kindergarten, Hayden refused to ride a bike for a couple of years. I wish I was kidding!), the kids collected seashells, played in the ocean and the pool, and we had lots of other fun.

One of my favorite family photos!

The beach and the pool can never be beat!

South Carolina is always a great place to visit.

Asheville {2018}:

Spring Break 2018 location came about because Hayden was adamant about visiting the Biltmore. We went to Asheville for four days and three nights. We spent one entire day at the Biltmore wandering around the property and taking the tour. Once it was our turn to enter, we toured on our own. Hayden was mad we didn’t pay for the head sets and guided tour. He’s a history buff!

I would definitely like to go back there again.

On the other days, we hiked a couple of times including to this waterfall. The scenery was stunning.

We always hit up a few breweries…

Of course, the hotel had a pool, and then on the last day, we hiked a bit more before heading out of town.

On our way out, we drove past The Red Rocker Inn. Long story short, Travis took me there after Christmas in 2003. I thought he was going to ask me to marry him. He did not. We didn’t get engaged until May of 2004. πŸ˜‰

We actually went back there a few years ago and stayed as a getaway for Trav’s 40th birthday.

We always have a great time in Asheville.

KC/Vegas {2019}:

As our summers have gotten more hectic, we don’t always make it to KC to see family in the summer. We decided to go visit family for Spring Break 2019, and then Travis had the idea to leave the kids with my mom and he and I headed to Las Vegas for a few days. Airfare from KC to LV is always cheap, and it’s a pretty short flight.

Well, even with that plan in place, we had an even better surprise. The Kentucky Wildcats would be playing in KC for the Sweet 16 on the day we were to arrive! So, Travis, Hayden, and my mom went to that game…and the CATS won!

Then, Hadley and I joined the three of them for the Elite Eight game on the first Sunday of break. Travis and I weren’t flying out until later that night, so it all working out perfectly.

Once we were inside, my mom and Hadley made their way to their seats while Travis surprised Hayden (and me!) with…

FRONT ROW SEATS!

Hayden was so excited, loved to shake the pom poms, and hoped that Coach Cal would hear his advice.

Well, the game was tied at the end of regulation…and this was Hayden’s face…

Hadley was at the game for all the free swag she could find…and Tyler Herro. He’s still her crush!

I sent Hadley the Herro photo from where we were sitting, and told her he was winking at her.

Unfortunately, the CATS lost in overtime, and Hayden was very upset. I told him not to cry or he’d be the kid that CBS zooms in on, and that’s not the the national TV recognition that he would want!

We all went back to my mom’s, and Travis and I headed to the airport for Vegas.

We landed around 8:00 Vegas time and guess who we saw waiting for his Uber? O.J. Simpson! I spotted him, and Travis didn’t believe me. Then, he was waiting with us as we got our Uber…and it was him.

We were in Vegas for 3 nights and 2.5 days. We hung out by the pool,

went out to dinner,

ate lots of great food, and Travis gambled bit.

The first two nights, we stayed at the Aria and then moved next door to Vdara. Travis White is known for booking multiple hotels on single trip because he either 1. waits to long too book or 2. find a better deal!

On our last night, we went and saw The Beatles: Cirque Du Soleil. It was out of this world amazing. I’m so glad that we saw that performance.

Afterwards, we had a delicious steak dinner and walked back to our hotel before an early wake up call for our flight. Travis White is also known for finding the earliest flights possible!

It was a great trip and the kids had fun with GG while we were gone. We’d just lost our dog Shiloh right before Spring Break and that KC/LV trip was just what we needed to get away.

Spring Break {2020}:

Ugh! Last year, we were supposed to visit NYC. We had our air fare and hotel booked for the week, but of course we didn’t get to go.

Nashville {2021}:

This week, we decided to take the kids to a place that’s been on our list for a couple of years: Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville.

We stayed in the Cascades Atrium section of the resort.

The kids had lots of fun at the Sound Waves park.

and we enjoyed our first Top Golf experience in Nashville.

This Spring Break has been pretty perfect with nice weather in Lexington, fun with neighbors and friends, a few days in Nashville, and still a couple more days left (and Easter!) before we get back to school next week.

What do you normally do for Spring Break?

Weekly Recap:

Here are my posts from this week!

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and a lovely Easter.

See you back here next week.

Posted in Life Lately

Life Lately

Hello! We are getting back in the groove of school and work (the at home edition) this week. I thought I’d share some of out activities from “spring break” in this Life Lately post.

I thought I’d start with a laugh. This meme below had me chuckling with the Oregon Trail reference.

Scavenger Hunts

Hadley actually had the idea for an indoor scavenger hunt. I started to look on Pinterest, but she put one together herself based off some that she had seen.

Of course, this activity didn’t take long and I had to set some rules (no running in the house, no pushing each other, …my kids are both very competitive…especially with each other…haha), but they had fun. Home base was the couch, so first one with their item and on the couch won the round. For the record, Hadley won 8-7!

After that activity, I thought it would be fun to do a (non-competitive) outdoor scavenger hunt. Again Pinterest has lots of ideas, but that evening I so happened to see Jen Reed post this (a re-share) on Insta Stories.

Hadley started to write it out, and I helped her finish the list up. We wanted to put it on a clipboard as we walked through the neighborhood. So, last week the kids and I took about thirty minutes to just walk through the neighborhood and see what we could find. We found most everything—even Christmas lights. We never found a license plate that spelled a word or a camper in the driveway. We had fun and got fresh air at the same time.

April Fools Day

Hadley brough her “A” game to April Fools Day! She tricked Hayden by offering him the last sips of my Diet Coke, but she had put soy sauce in the bottle instead! Then, she put Vaseline on his door. Her third prank was she offered him two “mint” Oreos filled with toothpaste. He doesn’t like mint Oreos, so he declined…and also realized what day it was!

I’m no good at pranks, but I tried to help him out. She didn’t fall for apple cider in her apple juice, but he did make a comeback filling her pillow case with baseballs and then freezing her toothbrush overnight. So, the morning of April 2, she had the frozen toothbrush surprise!

Outside Activities

Hayden “played” golf a bit in the backyard. He really started liking golf last summer, but then other sports kind of took over as usual, so it was fun for him to get back at it. We learned our lesson last summer after he broke a neighbor’s window; now he uses plastic golf balls in the yard! Also, I cracked up because he used one of our decorative 4th of July flags for one of his holes!

The kids ride their bikes pretty often, but we’ve tried to go on at least one bike ride as a family each week.

We use our fire pit pretty often in the spring and fall (and sometimes in the summer). Who doesn’t love s’mores?! πŸ™‚

First s’mores of the season

Hayden helped Travis with some yard work on Saturday. Real talk: the yard work came about as a punishment, but Hayden ended up having a good attitude and being quite helpful. Hayden and Travis ended up playing catch in the yard afterwards.

We woke up to a sweet surprise yesterday morning. We were “egged”! Unfortunately, I didn’t realize until around 11am, and some of the chocolate had melted in the eggs we found. This was definitely a fun (and sweet!) treat.

School

Last week, the kids had some trial runs with Google Meet with their teachers and classmates. I went in to wake Hadley (early for her—at 8:40) on Friday for her 9:00 meeting to find her still getting her beauty sleep!

Sleeping Beauty
Homer wanted in on the 4th grade meeting!

Arts and Crafts

This craft popped up on my Pinterest feed. When I clicked on it, it just sent me to Google, so I winged the project! It’s probably a craft I would have planned when the kids were younger, but Hadley loves to paint, and we have plenty of eggs (cartons) on hand.

I just used good scissors to cut the bottom of the carton into three flowers. Then I snipped around the edges and cut in the “V” for each flower to make the “petals” better. Then, Hadley and I each painted a flower. I have cute straws in a jar on our kitchen table, so we each grabbed one and I taped them on the flowers for the stem.

Finished product:

I put them out to freshen up the sun room…and then realized they’d probably get attacked by Homer sitting out there that low and unattended! So, I moved them inside. This would be a cute craft to leave on a neighbor’s doorstep or stick in a pot of real flowers as an addition.

Homer

I honestly think Homer loves having us home so much! He continues to keep us on our toes…and Saturday he got in trouble because he pulled the box of Trader Joe’s Molasses Cookies off the counter and ate at least 7 of them!

So, that’s a bit of what we’ve been up to lately. While it wasn’t the Spring Break we envisioned, I’d say we definitely made the most of it. That being said,…

More real talk, y’all: Some days are difficult. I feel like we are all ok being at home (well, Hayden and I are…Travis struggles with having time on his hands, and Hadley misses socializing with her friends), but I just feel like there are times when our best sides aren’t showing…whether we are stressed, anxious, tired, missing friends, etc., I just feel that it’s a rarity for all of us to be on the same page and bringing our best attitudes to the table at the same time.

So, these activities have been fun and some of them we wouldn’t necessarily do but for the fact we have this extra time on our hands, but we are still navigating these waters every day. I do love that most days I’ve done all the things I love in one day: reading, watching a show, working out, napping! BUT my kids get sent to their rooms every once in awhile; heck, I send myself to my room just to get through the next half hour.

Thankfully, the weather continues to be in our favor, and I do feel like this new school routine will continue to provide the structure that we need. The kids love seeing their classmates and teacher in their daily Google meetings, so that brings some sense of normalcy to their lives.

I know we’ll look back on this time and cherish the extra time at home, the extra time together, and the extra slow pace that is being forced on us, but some days are difficult juggling all the hats all the time.

See you back here tomorrow for the Let’s Look (at Easter at your house) link up with Shay and Erika.

Take care,