Thursday, August 25
Way back when Kenna was small, I heard about this fantastic family Hotel called Great Wolf Lodge. I checked it out, and then tucked it away in the back of my mind for when the kids were older. When Daniel and I started researching our trip, Great Wolf Lodge came to mind and lo and behold, there was one on our route. Yippee! (as Meg would say; love you Meg! :o) So we packed up, said some tearful goodbyes (well, I got teary as we pulled away at least; our fellowship with Meg and Jeremy was awesome and we have no idea when or if we will see one another again this side of eternity. I am still cherishing the time we had), and headed to Grand Mound, WA.
Miles Logged: 89
If asked, my kids will tell you this was the best part of the trip. Check out the pictures, and understand we were able to spend 12 hours in this indoor water park attached to the lobby of the hotel for the cost of a 1 night stay, and their answer will not surprise you.
Also understand that on my top 10 list of things I DESPISE are: Public Swimming, Chlorine, and Water Parks. I *might* qualify for Best Mom Ever award.
In our room was a Kids Log Cabin with bunk beds and a 3rd bed, plus their own TV and very fun murals on the wall. Even though the room was expensive for a night at a hotel, it was cheap compared to visiting a waterpark and staying in a hotel, and much cheaper than any So. Cal amusement park. We brought PB&J, bread, milk and cereal and took advantage of the mini frige and free coffee in our room. That way we only had to leave the waterpark for a few minutes to re-charge. ;o)
One thing we have worked on consistently with Mckenna is for her to set realistic expectations; all too often she gets a very elevated picture in her mind about how something will be, and when it is less than she expected she crashes down and sometimes ruins the event for all of us. I get it, because I feel that way sometimes too. At bed time the night we were there she told me, "Mom, I tried to keep my expectations low so I wouldn't be disappointed. But this....well, I couldn't have been more excited to have something be better than I hoped for. This is beyond my wildest dreams! Thanks Mom!"
Like I said: Best. Mom. Ever.
(Until the next day, that is; you know how that goes).
Friday, August 26
When we were sufficiently wrinkled and water logged, we showered, got dressed, ate our sandwiches, and piled back into the car. A few days before I realized we would be headed through Portland, where some of my favorite Youth Group kids now live, and we put a quick plan together to meet up.
We had the absolute blessing of seeing 4 former students (plus 1 awesome spouse), and spending a few hours with them at a park, before we got back on the road. Many times in ministry you spend hundreds of hours and many years pouring into students and encouraging them in their faith and their lives. Rarely do you get to see more than a glimpse of what they become. I got to see 4 young women (and 1 awesome spouse) who live and breath the love of the gospel of Jesus Christ. To God be the glory for the things He has done in and through them! To Him be the praise for the encouragement to me their lives are!
A few hours and a quick local burger (there is something very cool about eating what has been grown right in the community!) and we headed back down to Rogue River, back to Grandma's house. We pulled in at 11:00 pm.
Miles Logged: 371
Total: 2, 523