I grew up going on a summer vacation each year and I have so many fun memories that I wanted to try and do this with my family. Luke is at the age where he remembers a lot of things so we felt it was time to start this tradition. However, the girls are still so little that I did not want to go too far from home in case we ran into sleeping problems or other issues. At first we thought we would spend a week traveling around Wisconsin. After Ted and I talked about it, we decided touring southern Wisconsin would be good enough for us. So the last week of August we took off on our first family of 6 vacation.
Our first stop was to visit an old college friend. It happened to be the same day that they had a outing at the farm with their mom’s group. Our kids got to climb in a bunch of different farm machinery. They had a wood plank with railings hooked up to a tractor with a lift. Our kids were really excited to ride up on the lift. As the lift came down the two different railings, one built by the farmer to make it safe so kids didn’t fall out and the other actually part of the tractor would pinch together. No body really knew it happened until Luke’s fingers got pinched in between the two railings. All I saw was a happy little boy and then a look of terror and a scream. By the time I realized what was going on, Luke had managed to pull his finger out. He was very upset and decided to sit in a bob cat for the rest of the visit.
He cheered up a little bit after we started racing, I was trying anything to get him distracted. After we left my college friend and his family, we headed to our hotel where the kids were excited to find a indoor water park. We were in the Dells area but we stayed at a smaller hotel which had about 5 slides for little kids. Luke, Ryan, and Quinn ran all over the place. It was probably a little small for Luke but he kept himself busy by helping Quinn down the slides. He also helped another 18 month old down the slide. Apparently the little girl really wanted to go down but her parents were done after about 5 times so Luke stepped up and took over.
Jenna was a bit more reserved. She spent a lot of time sitting on the side of the pool or playing peek-a-boo with me.
While in the area, we went to Circus World. It had a museum on the history of the circus. But they also had shows all day long. Our kids loved the magic show and the small animal tricks…. think jumping dogs, cats, and monkeys.
As we were leaving our first stop we went to Devils Lake State Park. I asked the park ranger which trail she recommended and she told us. We started off. Ted carried the lunch, Luke the GPS to go Geocaching which left Ryan with the map. It made his day.
Luke had a blast. Half of the time he was so far ahead of us climbing on all of the rocks I would yell out to him to make sure he hadn’t fallen. All of the other kids were a different story. Ryan was scared so he wanted to hold a hand at all times. Ted and I didn’t trust the girls who if you remember would not walk a step on their own a year ago without a full blown temper tantrum. They really have come a long way. Both girls liked the walk but they were a little wobbly on some of the steps, partly due to their short little legs. At the end of the descent, we found a stone table that looked right out of the movie The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe. So of coarse we had to have our lunch of crackers and cheese there.
As we left the park, Ted had found a town that had a free active ferry instead of a bridge so of course we had to take that route. Luke and Ryan were very scared when they saw the road drop off into the lake/river but after a few minutes, they noticed a boat coming closer. They thought it was just hilarious that we were going to put our van on the boat to cross the river. It was well worth the 5 miles out of our way.
.I know I have only made it through the first part of our trip but it is getting late and this post is already pretty long so I will give you the rest later. Hopefully sooner then later. I will finish with one more picture, Ryan and me. Hope you enjoyed the first part of our vacation.