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Our Journey to Simplicity: Part 26 – Reward Yo’self!

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Sometimes taking a step away from the process is just what your heart needs. After everything with Adelynn, we are more thankful for our kids than ever before. Something we have never done as a family is to take a vacation. We have always had our finances wrapped up elsewhere and since we are learning a new way of life, there’s a little more financial freedom. Choosing to spend it wisely – on experiences and giving ourselves a break – is exactly what we needed! We took a long weekend in Kansas City. Here are the highlights!


We left Friday and broke up the trip by making a few stops on the way for lunch and shopping.

As soon as we got there, we realized how close we were to IKEA! We planned to go there on Sunday, but were too excited to wait! So we did a short trip Friday night and finished up Saturday morning…and forgot something, so we made a 3rd trip Monday!
Our HUGE haul… with those prices, it’s hard not to go a little overboard.
We paid, loaded up, and went back inside for lunch. Swedish meatballs were awesome.
After lunch at IKEA, we took a break at the hotel and then headed to Sea Life Aquarium.

Touching starfish and a shark egg! (pictured)
Ava still talks about the “fishies”!
In the Octonauts exhibit. Ava was driving the ship and saying “Arrr matey!”
Next to a shark.
Eel. They are like water snakes and they are creepy.

We ended our time there with Ava having a meltdown in the top of a play place. She couldn’t figure out how to get down and she was running on little sleep. We literally drew a crowd… SO glad that happened in another town!

After all the emotion at the aquarium, we decided to numb the pain with a cupcake! Adelynn goes with her Grammy almost every week for a cupcake in town. That’s the thing they do together. However, she has become a cupcake lover and so we surprised her with this place. They have been featured on MTV, in USA Today, on Food Network, and The View. Huge, delicious cupcakes!
Ava had such a rough day. After the play place excitement, she hit her head on the chair in Smallcakes, and then fell asleep on the way back to the hotel from there. When she woke up, we got in the pool, she swallowed water and threw up her cupcake (it had been digested for at least an hour). We got out and avoided the pool after that, so hopefully the filter took care of it 🙂


Started off with Caribou Coffee… MMM. Every day did, actually. It was so close to our hotel. It’s my favorite!
We went to Lego Land! They showed us the process of how Legos are made. This is how many Legos it would take to be at Adelynn’s height (105ish)
Lego Land doesn’t allow adult entry unless accompanied by a child. (But they do have Adults Only nights on Thursdays.) If anyone wants to go and needs a kid, I bet Adelynn would accompany you!
They had a huge portion of downtown KC made out of legos. The girls raced the Lego cars.
Their big Lego statues were impressive!
 IMG_2787  IMG_2789 IMG_2795
Then we watched a 3D Lego movie where the wind blew, lights flashed, and we actually got wet!
IMG_2791 IMG_2793  
Adelynn and I rode the Lego ride. 

We ate lunch and then on the way to the Zoo, Ava fell asleep. She still needs her naps and had been trooping right along, but Friday evening –when she had no nap- got pretty miserable. She snuck one in on this day and we gently moved her from the car seat to the stroller so she could sleep. Several moms appreciated that we had her blankey up as a sun shield. They really would have appreciated it if they had known it was fashioned with a bobby pin!
Feeding the deer.
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Ava was fascinated with the map! She was pointing out that we were on the tram. We were impressed! Little map guru…
   IMG_2821 IMG_2823
Still looking at the map on the train. (She put her sunglasses on her head. As you do.)
IMG_2830    IMG_2836
They begged for the carousel.I rode an animal too!
Then it was Adelynn’s turn for a nap. Sister walked a really really long way at the zoo.
We ate at Fritz’s burger place. Our food was delivered via train! It drives along, carrying a little platform below. When it gets to the right table, it drops the food box onto the correct platform (at our table). We take it off, and the platform lifts back up! So interesting!
Of course, riding the train before we left.


We switched hotels so we could go to Great Wolf Lodge! The girls were big helpers loading our bags and taking them to the car.


Did I mention we went a little overboard at IKEA?
We drove to Paradise Park Monday morning after checking out of the hotel. This place was fantastic! The girls had fun with everything there. IMG_2922   
They had a real fishing pond (with magnetic fishing poles and fish). Ava admired her catch.
Adelynn was too busy for a picture in the ball pit. If you threw a ball into the target, it went through the ball washing system and dropped back in. Ava is sitting right where the clean balls come down. Adelynn only put one color of ball into the target over and over again… any guesses about what color she chose? 🙂
After Paradise Park, we had lunch at Cheesecake Factory and headed to a museum. It was lame and not worth the money. But it gave Ava a nap in air conditioning and then they had a chance to look through some microscopes.
We had dinner at the T Rex restaurant in the Legends area. And…
Finally it was Great Wolf Lodge time! I had way too much fun to take any pictures. We will definitely go back!!

We have gone on vacations with both Dave’s family and my family, but we have never gone on our own. The girls had a great time, Dave and I had a great time, but there’s always that feeling that you need a post-vacation vacation. A few weeks ago I warned my chiropractor that I would be coming! 🙂

I encourage you to give yourself some breaks! We are home and putting things together from IKEA and finally tackling the basement. We wouldn’t have had the energy for that without taking some time off.


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