This past week, my wife and kids (and my in-laws) spent seven nights at the Massanutten Resort in McGaheysville, Virginia.
I was originally apprehensive about the trip because I hadn’t heard of the resort before and I didn’t think there would be much for us to do. I was thinking about something a little closer to the beach.
Anyway, I went into the trip with a bad attitude. It didn’t help that I planned on working during the first day of the trip.
As the week went along, there were some unexpected surprises. I found myself enjoying the vacation. Sometimes it takes the unexpected to turn things around.
Looking back, it was a good week.
Here are some of my favorite highlights (in no particular order):
1) Almost getting kicked out of our condo because we were being too loud. The whole family (all 16 of us) were having dinner and apparently we were a little too loud. Imagine that!
2) Driving 40 minutes out of our way to take a family picture at a scenic overlook only to realize that the guy that took the picture didn’t know anything about taking a group picture. It didn’t look so good on our mobile phones. We had to get back together before we left the resort to re-take the picture.
4) Having lunch with Ethan (and my father-in-law) and spending time at the resort’s arcade using our gift cards that we won during the Madden tournament. Ethan walked away with a foam football, some playing cards and a few parachute men for his sister and brother.
5) Land tubing with the entire family. We go snow tubing at Perfect North every year. Land tubing is fun but not nearly as much fun as going on the snow.
6) Watching my kids (and nieces/nephews) complete an adventure rope course (multiple times each).
7) Making duct tape bracelets with my kids.
8) River tubing with Mary, Camden and Maddie. We bought one of those disposable aqua cameras but haven’t yet dropped it off at the store to get the pictures developed. I can’t even tell you the last time I had to get pictures developed.
9) Getting in some quality time with my Xbox One. I haven’t had the time or desire to play lately so I decided to take it with me on vacation. It was a nice escape when I was worn out or needed a little time by myself. Playing Madden 2015 helped prepare Ethan and I for #4 above.
10) Eating a hamburger with a hot dog on top of it and deep-fried Oreos at Jack Brown’s (a local burger joint). Their sweet potato fries were pretty good too.
11) Teaching my wife and some of the kids how to dive into the pool. Check out my form. Sorry for the poor video quality.
12) Jumping/diving off the diving board at the resort’s swimming pools with the kids. I hadn’t jumped off of a diving board since I was a kid. Fortunately, all my kids loved it as well.
13) Having my niece, Josie, rub my summer mo-hawk. It was the closest she’s gotten to me for any extended period of time.
14) Watching the kids participate in a community kickball game with other kids staying at the resort. My oldest showed some serious aggressiveness (which I love). I’d just like to see him take that with him on the basketball court.
15) Finding a Coke with my name on it, sort of. My wife found this in a gas station on our way back home. Up until about two and a half years ago, my legal name was Earl. I legally changed it to Jay because that’s what I’ve always gone by. Having my employer put Earl on my ID card was the last straw so I made the change.
16) Watching a magic show. We weren’t sure what to expect but the magician, Wes Iseli, and his family (wife and daughter) were really good. We really liked it.
17) The 7+ hour drive to and from the resort wasn’t all that bad. Having tablets/iPods, a DVD player and headphones saved the day (as always).
18) Throwing a football with Ethan at a rest area on our way back home. Camden also drove his radio controlled truck around the paths as well. Man, was it nice to get out of the car! The weather was beautiful.
Overall, it was a fun vacation with a lot of unexpected adventures.
I’m a little sad though. My next planned vacation isn’t until the week after Christmas.
Hopefully, we’ll have plenty of mini-adventures between now and then.