Monday, August 15, 2016

Vacation With The Graham Fam

So about a year ago, Jill and I compared notes and agreed that Story Land is one of our favorite places.  Jill and I agreed that this summer, we would do the trip together.  We knew the kids would have a ball.  Even though she surprisingly got pregnant, we did the math, and knew that Baby Graham would be at least three months old so we could still make our trip happen.  

Story Land actually has been one of my favorite memories with Diana when she was a baby.

We took Diana when she was two and had a wonderful time watching her play.  My parents came along too and we all had a ball.  You can see my post about that trip HERE 


Jill was our "Cruise Director."  She planned and organized our entire trip.  She said we should go during the week as it is less crowded.  She suggested staying two nights and also doing Santa's Village.  She then said we must stay at the Mountain View Grand.  Her, Eric and the kids do this trip every year so she knew what spots to hit and she also knew that if you check into Santa's Village after 3pm, you get into the park for free the next day- For The Win!

We took off on Thursday morning.  I had to snap this pic of our girls holding hands in the back seat- so precious.

It was HOT on Thursday but it didn't stop our kiddos.  With Jill's direction we hit EVERYTHING in the park.  Well except for one thing.  We waited in line for 20 minutes for the pumpkin carriage to take us up to Cinderella's castle and when it was our turn, the ride broke down.  We had to laugh.  Other than that, we did it all: Fairy Tale Houses, Alice's Tea Cups, Farm Animals, The Crazy Barn, The Farm Tractors, The Great Balloon Chase (Ferris Wheel), The Polar Coaster, The Turtle Twist, The Splash Pad (where we may have lost Charlotte for 5 minutes), The Loopy Lab, and Rory's Dino Dash!




















































 and though we were AWESOME parents and fed them ice cream for lunch, we did it up right and hit The Red Fox Bar and Grille in Jackson for dinner and drinks.  Just like Jill had described, it was PERFECT.
You can check them out HERE 
They actually have a separate play room for the kids where they can play and watch a movie.  Of course, we shipped those kiddos into that room and had a somewhat relaxing time.  Food, drinks and service were outstanding.  They actually opened early for us so we could sit down and get a drink before the Story Land crowds arrived.  It worked out perfectly.

After dinner, it was time to drive to our hotel in Jefferson (which is closer to Santa's Village).  So beautiful driving through the mountains (pictures don't do it justice.)



It was about a 45 minute drive but so worth it.  We stayed at the Mountain View Grand.
I was so excited driving up to the resort.  It was so beautiful and it felt like going back in time.



Once we got there and got settled in, the kiddos insisted that we hit the outdoor pool.  I really felt like I was at some type of Beverly Hills Beach Club.  It was beautiful.







The next morning, we enjoyed having breakfast and just relaxing around the resort- we never relax- this was a treat!



The resort had a kids program called, "The Mountaineer Club."  At 1pm, we sent them all (except for Baby Maggie and Eva) to this program.  For two hours, they got to do a nature hike, pick berries and play games while we enjoyed a wine cellar tour at the main building and then lunch and cocktails.  Jilly really knows how to plan a good trip :)










We certainly got fueled up for our trip to Santa's Village.  We had been to Santa's Village with Cass and Steve and the girls in the past.  They had us join them for one of their timeshare vacations.  It was cold cold cold when we went in early December but still so so magical.  You can read about that trip HERE

This time, it was muggy and somewhat rainy but timing was on our side and it didn't start pouring until we were leaving when the park closed at 6pm.  We got in some attractions during the couple of hours we were there.  The flume was Diana's favorite and she begged us for two days after to go on it again- ha ha!
We also did the Skyway Sleigh and got our family picture on an ornament to take home.  We also hit the bumper cars, The Himalaya, The Little Drummer Boy, The Polar Coaster (which  had a maintenance issue and an uncomfortable injury which had us peeing our pants) and The You Tubing.

























After the park closed, we headed back to the hotel and agreed to do a pizza dinner at the Tavern.  Sounds simple and casual and quick right?  Wrong.  We waited an hour for a table and almost two hours for our food.  The resort was obviously understaffed.  With that aside, we made the most of it and had many laughs.  Needless to say, after dinner, we crashed.  I actually stayed up to watch some more Olympic events with Rob.  There is just something about the Olympics- I will always remember that they were part of this little vaca!  So much fun.

The next morning, we enjoyed our last meal at the Tavern.  I had to snap a pic with our waitress who was so sweet to our girls and just so kind.

 We hung around the resort, played checkers and relaxed.  It was pouring outside so we were undecided for the day.

and then as we saw the skies brightening up, we decided to give it a go.  We checked out and headed back to Santa's Village for our FREE day!  So glad we did.  It drizzled a little but most of the time, the weather was perfect!  The kiddos were so so happy too of course.  We hit the rest of the attractions: Rudy's Rapid Coaster, Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, The Pixie Mix, Hot Shots Fire Brigade, The Antique Cars, Santa's Express Train, The Carousel and The Chimney Drop.  We got to meet Santa, also see "how tall you are at Santa's Village" and decorate Gingerbread cookies.  Oh....so....fun!!!!



















 We all had a ball.  We are tired but it is a good tired.  I highly recommend this trip.  So hokey...so fun...surrounded by beautiful NH landscapes...you can't go wrong and your kids will remember it forever.

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