For Father's Day (who am I kidding, it was more for me than Russ), I arranged a trip down to Kitchener and the African Lion Safari from Sunday to Tuesday. I was expecting a nice, relaxing few days away with my husband and lovely children, which clearly shows how pregnancy-induced retarded I can be. Ok, it wasn't that bad, but it certainly wasn't very relaxing, except for the 5 minutes I allowed myself to sit immersed up to the hips in the hot tub at the hotel. Here are some things I learned on our trip:
1) Mapquest hinders as much as it helps sometimes, particularly when dealing with obscure country roads.
2) The more entertainment you provide for normally self-entertaining children in a car, the sooner they will get bored and cranky, and the more they will demand.
3) If the small waterpark at your destination is what a 3 year old is most looking forward to on a trip, they will ask "When are we going to the waterpark?" every 15 minutes from the time you leave home to the time you actually go the the freaking waterpark.
4) "I want to go home!" (3 year old language) translates to "I'm overstimulated, exhausted, and need a nap".
5) 17 month-olds find car seat buckles much more interesting than the giraffe licking your windshield.
6) 17 month-olds find power windows fascinating, particularly when you're stopped directly between a hungry-looking lion and a sign that states "Dangerous animals! Absolutely do not open windows!"
7) Just because the pamphlet states that the African Lion Safari has 10 different places to buy yummy food doesn't mean that any of them are open before prime season. Oh, except for the place with the crappy-looking burgers and chicken fingers charging $10 for a combo (but if you want salad instead of fries that's an extra $2 please).
8) The sign saying "Hot Pretzels" doesn't mean said hot pretzels haven't just been sitting under a heat lamp for the past year getting ultra-stale.
9) Small children pick the salt off of hot pretzels and eat only that, leaving $7 worth of hard, stale, yucky bread to be tossed into the garbage. Thank goodness for that container of grapes and cherries we brought!
10) Grapes and cherries should not be used as a pacifier or meal replacement.
11) 17 month-olds do not chew grapes and cherries before swallowing.
12) Unchewed grapes and cherries pass through the digestive system relatively unscathed.
13) Too many grapes and cherries lead to major stinky carseat accidents which require more wipes than one has brought on a trip.
14) Whole-fruit-filled leaky diapers smell oddly fruity.
15) The air conditioner, blowing straight back, makes a 6+ hour car trip in a fruity-poop-smelling van mostly tolerable.
16) Washed and dried fruity-poop-smelling carseat covers still do not smell fruity-poop-free.
17) Febreze is a good thing to keep on hand.
I hope you've all learned something from this. Namely, don't take your kids on vacation until they can drive you there.