Before Staley, mini-cations were a typical part of Zach and my yearly routines. It wasn't uncommon for us to drive up to Chicago or down to St. Louis on a whim for a week-end away. Jetting off to Washington, DC for a long week-end visit happened several times a year.
Staley is a great traveler, but mini-cations now require a lot more forethought and planning. Packing takes twice as long. Do we have enough diapers? Blankets? Books? Toys? Did we get the stroller? Pack and play? Snacks? Instead of winging it, leaving whenever we are ready and doing activities on the fly, we now have to plan drive time and activities around naps and bedtime. Finding hotels with pools is a priority, and hotels with suites so that Staley can sleep while we stay up is a bonus. Staley loves to travel, and we love to travel with Staley. It's just different now.
But different can be good. And we had a great time this past week-end on our family mini-cation to Chicago. Zach and I had tickets to the Bear's game on Sunday and because a.) the game would be occurring during Staley's naptime, b.) we didn't think 3 hours sitting on our laps watching a football game would hold her attention, and c.) cold and windy might not be the best elements to keep our child out in for hours at a time, my mom came with us to watch Staley during the game.
Staley happily talked and played on the ride up to Chicago on Saturday. She was too excited to nap when we got to the hotel, so we passed on naptime and enjoyed time at the aquarium instead. The highlights for Staley? Watching the sea lion do tricks, checking out the jellyfish, watching the aquatic show, and finding the seahorses, crabs, penguins, and starfish. On Sunday, Staley enjoyed time swimming at the pool with Grammie and napping while we went to the game. Then she got to swim AGAIN with Daddy while I did a little shopping with my mom. The weather warmed (and the wind calmed down) on Monday, so we enjoyed time walking around in the city. We visited the children's section of the Chicago Public Library and spent some quality time at the Disney store. My tired little girl then slept the whole ride home.
Waiting for the show at the aquarium
Taking a break from swimming time with Grammie
A last-second Bear's comeback victory made sitting in the cold for 3 hours well worth it.
A mini-cation can wear a girl out!!