Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring Break Shenanigans

     Oh my word do I ever love Spring Break!! It's not just about the break y'all.....but what it signifies. For us that homeschool, Spring Break is a sign from above.....a beautiful break in routine yes, but oh so much more. Let me explain in plain English. It means 'You survived the 3rd nine weeks of school,' (man, oh man the hardest by far!!)........and only ONE more 9 weeks ahead of us! We can do this! We got this girls! I can FEEL the momentum going forward!
     The Doc was able to take the entire week off with us this year. Can't remember the last time that happened. We wanted to take a family vacation that was as fun for the parents as it would be for the kids. We didn't want to travel far (to have more time to play) and didn't want it to be a lot of work for us....the parents because we REALLY needed a break too. Our schedules have been insanely crazy the past few months and we were looking to chill as much as we could. The theme for me this Spring Break was 'perspective.' I needed to get that back. I needed time to think, read, process and be. Renewal was calling. We needed to do nothing......(like our kids would let us really do that....silly us....but you get the point, right?)
     So where'd we go? We hopped in our SUV and invaded Disney World's Fort Wilderness Campground for the week. We usually make it here at least once per year. Not the camping type? Well, camping at Fort Wilderness is not exactly camping. Being Disney, everything is first class from the acres and acres of wooded campsites to the pristine bathrooms to the magnificent pool and grounds. You can rent 'cabins' (fully equipped motor homes made to look like log cabins), bring your own RV or tent camp. The programs for kids are incredible and you really never need to use your car the entire time as the bus system is fantastic, and/ or you can ride your bikes everywhere. What is amazing to us is that you feel like you are in the middle of the quiet woods yet you are just minutes away from the theme parks if you want to hop over and back during the day. We have been coming here for well over 20 years and it just doesn't get old. There is something for everyone for sure. For the last 5+ years we have alternated staying in the cabins with tent camping with the cousins. This year though we tried something different .....which turned out to be the best yet.
     This year we located a company that rents RV's and trailers at Fort Wilderness. When you arrive at your campsite you find it completely set up for you (read.....the Dad has to do NO set up....sweet!) and they even 'theme' it out for you according to your family's tastes. We rented a pop-up trailer for the week.....with hot/cold indoor plumbing, refrigerator, stove, queen, king beds and cable TV. The girls love "Frozen" so when we arrived the entire trailer was decorated with Anna and Elsa.....and gifts awaited each girl upon her bed. So cool. All we brought was clothing and our food. Some of the Doc's favorite memories from his childhood are of the camping trips he and his two brothers shared. Since we have 3 girls at home we want them to experience the same close-knit family connections, and we work really hard to make sure that happens.....all while managing and loving jobs, friends, church, etc.
     Even though we were very active all week this was one of the most restful vacations we've ever had. A very needed break without a lot of the work.....and a lot of bang for your buck. Check out Fort Wilderness if you are ever in the Disney area. You won't be disappointed. Commercial done. Enjoy the pics:)

This is before we settled in and dirtied it up a little:)

Huge pool, water slides, fun activites, craft classes, arcade.....all while the parents got some much needed R&R. 

We hit the MK with our friends visiting from Maryland.

Had so much fun catching up with friends we hadn't seen in a while. The kids just picked back up and had a blast!

Outdoor pancake breakfasts:)

Lots of early morning snuggles:)

The girls had a blast playing with kids from all over the country.....doing what kids do. This was street graffiti day:)

Every night at Fort Wilderness there is a bonfire and outdoor movie. Such awesome memories made while making s'mores and hanging out as a family. A little flashlight tag on the way back to camp is a must too!

Blondie is our reader. I think she read this one in less than 2 hours. Yep, the whole thing.

I love that they had time.....lots of time to just be. And not have to wear shoes. Or be anywhere except in the moment.

This girl looked like this the whole time. Net over shoulder.....being drawn into the nature world around her. She sees things the rest of us don't. Mark my words.....she's going to be a brilliant biologist one day.

She always finds something. This trip she found bats......and bunnies.

There's a story here. Always a story.

Love this pic of our Blondie. Great kids. 

Many of the Disney horses are kept of course....there is where Nature Girl could be found.

The Wubbanator conquers the Fort!

Everywhere we go (we are waiting for our name to be called for dinner) she finds a way to fit in gymnastics. Every.where.

She sat for hours and caught/released fish. Hours. See how gorgeous it is??

Preferred method of transportation when in foot, bike or golf cart. We put some miles on this baby.

See the deer? 

The Doc and I made it a point to have some together time each day....mostly by running the trails through the campground. We love the quiet woods....running into a deer or two along the way. Our kind of awesome.

Until next time! Only one more 9 weeks until the next adventure!!

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