Friday, April 10, 2015

Vacation Fun (One Memory at a Time)

Making Trips Fun...One Game at a Time!
Ripley's Hatfield's & McCoy's
We have never taken a true family vacation but boy when we finally got around to it we went all out! We were celebrating so many amazing life changes in our family like the fact that we survived two years of a medical review board and came out on the
other side with good results, a new job for my husband, and a big birthday milestone for my husband as well. We decided we needed to get away and refocus on us and figure out who we were without all that stress. So of course we went to Gatlinburg...Antiques and foodie paradise for me, race cars and carnivals for the boys! We got an amazing deal on a beautiful cabin, packed the car the way I always do for any drive with a kid and off we went to have fun and make some memories...

I mean cute are these cousins!
The only thing I did different was plan for the aquarium. We were meeting up with my sister and niece there for a few days so our kids could finally meet and we wanted to take
the kids to the Ripley's Aquarium to see the penguins and sharks. Since my son has issues with crowds and noise and needs help focusing in on what is happening, I made an "I Spy" book for both the kids. Ripley's has certain types of fish that are special to them and certain features that are unique to their building. I put the animals that are linked to those in the book so he knew where to focus. As well, they are out of order so he had to be careful walking through and pay attention to the animals around him. It was a lot of fun. It was still overwhelming for him in the long run but let's face city, new people, new toddler world that equals Crazyville. By the time we got home and he was looking through his book he was remembering the cool things he had seen and was asking questions about them. Definitely worth the time and effort put into the book. Now the fun part! Making it available to everyone!!! 

Inside the Shark Tunnel!

Simply print out the pages, staple them together, and bring a crayon for them to check off the animals as they find them. In the kids center is a great "Sunken Treasure" machine where you can get a gold coin with a Ripley's animal on it. That's what we used as a prize. You can use whatever you want (My kid is partial to pirates).

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Whether you're taking a long trip or just going up the road I'm a firm believer in planning ahead. I also love games! Just remember that sometimes as moms we get trapped behind the camera and computers because we're so busy planning and recording that we don't get involved in the moment. I used so many other games done by so many other great moms and I truly hope you use this one. Anything to get a few extra moments with our babies and to truly enjoy hanging out with them in the moment. 

Best Wishes,
Jules & Monkey

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