Monday, July 4, 2016

Vacation Recap!

Now considering that my last blog post featured a picture of a bruise the Kiddo left on me, you might be thinking "She just took him on vacation?? Is this chick crazy??" The answer to both would be a resounding "YES!"  But if you are unfamiliar with our family, you will soon learn that it takes way more bodily harm before we stop. I have almost three weeks to fill before this Kiddo starts ESY (Extended School Year) aka "Summer School". It's way easier to keep him busy by being on the road.

I've written before on how we travel with our Kiddo and what tips and tricks work for us. You can read that here if you like. 7 Travel tips when your kid has autism

I've also said many times that each trip teaches me new things to do or not do for the next one. I'm not saying this trip was perfect but it's certainly one for the record books. This trip came with some new challenges. It was going to be at a new place and the Kiddo was coming off several bad weeks of anxiety. My heart was a bit weary but the alternative of sitting at home looked less appealing. Plus my husband works hard and the only way for him to actually stop working is to take him out of the state with the promise of seeing another Presidential home. That man loves him some Presidential history. (James Madison to be exact in this case.)

Not the Kiddo though. Kiddo and I chilled poolside while Daddy got his history thrills. 

This year French Fry Inc vacationed at the beautiful and freaking HUGE Omni The Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia. One thing we have learned with life with the Kiddo, we are a resort family. If the set up is everything is on the property, then it's going to work. Kiddo does much better when we don't have to get back into a car to go out to eat or do things.  (He thinks that means we're leaving.) The place had a lot of stuff to do and even had shuttle buses to take you to the various things, which thrilled the Kiddo to pieces because that was extra fun. Okay, Kiddo. Whatever floats your boat.

We took a nice carriage ride in the woods and I pretended it was Doc Baker giving us a lift into Walnut Grove like in Little House on the Prairie.

The mighty double pool slide where the Kiddo and my husband spent a majority of their time.  

And the lazy river where I spent a majority of my time.

And when he needed a break from sliding, there was a pretty cool splash park for Kiddo to chill in. 

Behold the Bacardi Bucket O'Booze. Cause it's important to have a handle on your drinking! I was sitting on a lounge chair while Kiddo was splashing around sipping this bad boy.  It was awesome. I told my husband we were never ever leaving.  

Eventually we did have start making our way back to New Jersey and the Kiddo was soooooo bummed. BUT we had one more surprise left. 

BONUS WATER PARK!!  Shout out to the Double Tree in Lancaster PA for this sweet set up. We've actually been here before and the Kiddo loved and missed it. So this was a fun surprise to spring on him. 

By now you might be thinking "So all they did was sit by the pool?" and for the most part that answer is "YES". We have discovered what works for our Kiddo and it's not dragging him to a dozen things a day that he doesn't enjoy or have any interest in.  The pool and swimming is his happy place. Why not just kick back at a kick ass one with slides, splashground, and a lazy river? Not to mention BUCKET O' BOOZE drinks for Mom and Dad. We actually got to lay out side by side poolside while the Kiddo played. We did take him on that carriage ride, which he enjoyed. My husband and Kiddo rented bikes the second day and went off on an adventure.  Later my husband told me all the Kiddo talked about was finishing the ride and getting back in the pool. :-) 

We did have some bumps on this trip.  Despite me hoping he hadn't packed it, Kiddo's anxiety came along for the ride too. Although it was less, it was still very present and at times, very loud. We definitely did our part in raising autism awareness all over the joint. Plus as luck would have it, our portable DVD player decided to DIE this trip. Which meant no beloved watching of "The Polar Express" before bed. Combined with the WiFi not working in our room for a day and a half, that's when Mama was pretty sure all was lost and had her own mini meltdown over the Kiddo's meltdowns.  Like that's gonna help? Seriously, why did I do that? Dumb. So dumb. 

Eventually the WiFi got fixed and we just stayed with the constant water theme plan and things settled. I mean, what else can we do here? You just gotta roll with it and tag team each other to take breaks or visit Presidential homes when you need it. 

But this picture in a nutshell shows how worth it the hassle was.  Chocolate milk, hot dogs, AND a side of fries poolside.  PERFECTION! 

I mean, really.  This is "Happy" in a picture. :-) 


  1. So glad you had a great time (mostly)!! I'm really impressed you do go on vacation, we have done it a few times and as I have said on more than one occasion I would rather stab myself in the eye than go away with my three darlings again. But if we were to ever give it another shot, I would totally try a resort!!! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us! xo

  2. Love and appreciate your blog on this. Our granddaughter is now 12 and we've been taking her every year to the Smokies on her spring break. This year, we had paid the extra $ and stayed at The Resort of Govenors Crossing. Indoor water park, outside heated pool and lazy river. Perfect for her, as she is like kiddo, much happier in da water! We decided since she was older now to spring for the 2 bed condo, so she had her own bedroom and bath. I loved I didn't have the clean it! Tiring enuff to "help her" pick up all her things every night! We stayed 5 days, she did take her mess (I'm always conflicted about that) and like you, for the most part, we all did well!

  3. "But if you are unfamiliar with our family, you will soon learn that it takes way more bodily harm before we stop. I have almost three weeks to fill before this Kiddo starts ESY (Extended School Year) aka "Summer School". It's way easier to keep him busy by being on the road."

    I can appreciate that.

    Did Hubby get into the Hamilton craze, Mama Fry? Because if you are thinking of good Christmas presents...

    Shuttle buses are way cool especially this one which looks like a horse and carriage.

    And that jellyfish dripper!

    How much fun are double slides - you can face each other as you so wish or not.

    Lancaster PA ... what a great way to travel. I think one of our activists is near there.

    As Sparrow said "Sometimes my anxieties have anxieties".

    The bike bit must have been fun.

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  5. I'm sure you do already, but I just want to make sure you truly appreciate that you can go on family holidays, because with all the bumps you might get along the road, know there are families like mine that are unable to do this.
    Seriously, I'm near tears seeing his smiling face. It's a beautiful sight. Well done. While I do get to take some WONDERFUL holidays on my own (as does my Hub), there is still a yearning inside me to pack the family up in the family truckster and have an adventure together.

  6. That water park looks amazing! What a great way to spend the summer :) Looks like you're all having a great time!

  7. Can I get two buckets of booze for our flight to Alaska tomorrow? Looks like a wonderful getaway!

  8. No WIFI? Broken DVD player? Lol, sounds like a vacation with an autistic kid. We like staying in hotels because our kid is a runner and we need a solid locked door. We learn a little each trip and now can't live without our mini vactions to the mountains.