Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Kansas City Weekend

We spent Memorial Day weekend in Kansas City with Scott's family for his cousin's wedding. We've had this weekend on the calendar for months and months and I knew it would be feat but by golly, we did it! Traveling with twins is not for the weak of heart but we survived and maybe even had a smidgen of fun along the way. 

Scott's sister and her family came down a night early to split up their trip from MN and it was so nice to get to have some extra time with them. The weekend was so busy for me caring for children that it was hard to sit down and talk with people so I'm glad I got the opportunity at our home where the girls are most comfortable. My niece is growing up entirely too fast!

We left mid morning on Friday and took the day to drive down to KC. The drive was smooth and we stopped midway to eat lunch outside at a Sonic drive in. We normally do not dine at Sonic but something was appealing to me about eating outside and eliminating the extra step of actually going inside a restaurant. 

We arrived to our hotel around 3 and got settled in. We stayed at Chase Suites and Hotel and it gave us plenty of room for the girls and Michael. It was right by the hotel where all the wedding guests were staying but not really in a good spot for walking. So that was a bummer but there was no way we could have stayed at a regular hotel especially when we needed a kitchen area and multiple rooms. We are quickly realizing that 5 people is a big family!! 

We ate that night with some of Scott's family at Jack Stack BBQ and it was delicious but a little overwhelming with the girls and Michael. Luckily this was only one of a handful of times we ate out at an actual sit down restaurant the whole weekend. I went in to the weekend knowing that the girls would not be able to do it at every meal and so I think it was nice having that expectation knowing we might have to bow out of some plans. It was just hard to keep them happy at dinner time (which is normally their bedtime), keep them entertained while strapped in a chair, and try and get them to eat something without getting too messy (normally our meal times are followed by a full on bath). It just felt like a lot of work for me! 

Anyway, dinner was uneventful with the girls and the next day we hung out at our hotel until late morning when we headed to the Crown Center for some lunch and then to the Legoland experience. We had talked up going to Legoland for Michael for a while and he was so excited. We didn't know what exactly to expect so we'd been calling it the "Lego Museum". :o) Anyway, I panicked the night before we were going because I didn't realize you were supposed to reserve your tickets and time slot ahead of time. We wanted to right away in the morning but when we looked at times online we only had a handful of choices left (one being 1:30 which we chose). I had a coupon I wanted to use but it was for walk up tickets only and it was the same price as the online tickets. Plus they couldn't guarantee you the time slot you wanted when you did walk up tickets. So since we only had one day to do Legoland I figured we would just get what we could take and got the 1:30 tickets even though it wasn't ideal. Michael would have been heartbroken if for some reason we couldn't get in and it was because of my lack of planning.  It ended up working out pretty well so that was a relief! 

We arrived at the Crown Center about two hours before our time slot at Legoland which gave us time to navigate parking, do a little shopping (candy store!) and eat lunch at Fritz's. 

Fritz's is on the lower level of the Crown Center right across the street from Legoland and it was really fun! There was a long line to get in but it moved quickly and there was plenty of seating inside. You call in your order on this old school phone and then the train brings you your food! It was fun to see the train whizzing around the restaurant and see kids and adults genuinely happy with smiles on their faces when their food dropped down to their table. It was also pretty fast service and we were in and out under and hour. 

The girls did GREAT! It was a tight fit with the two high chairs at the end of the table but we made it work. We also were allowed to wheel our double stroller in and then park in the corner although most people had to leave the strollers at the front of the restaurant. Pretty much every table had a high chair at the end of it which made for tricky navigating through the restaurant but it worked! 

Here comes our food!

Michael loved it! 

It is definitely not the world's greatest food, mostly diner-type fare, but Michael and I both got grilled cheese and it hit the spot. Scott got a chocolate milkshake and a chili cheese dog and we all had onion rings to share. 

After lunch we headed across the street to Legoland! 

When you arrive you line up at your time slot and then they check you in up front. After checking in, you have to wait in another long line to board the elevators up to the "factory". I estimate we spent about 45 minutes of waiting before we were actually inside- something to consider if you plan on visiting. We also were not allowed to take our double stroller in- they said it was a hazard even though it really is not that much bigger than a regular stroller or a wheelchair. I was upset because I was planning on giving the girls their bottles and then reclining them so they could snooze while Michael enjoyed himself. We had to use this stroller they gave us which was better than nothing but it wasn't exactly comfortable for two cranky babies. I managed to feed them by squatting down and holding a bottle in each hand while we were waiting in line but it was difficult because they were getting messy and they couldn't recline. They were so tired and I was flustered and that unexpected waiting almost did me in!! 

We finally made it in and we did a fun shooting ride with Michael and then headed to the Star Wars section- so fun! I mostly just wanted to play with all the toys because they looked so neat. Unfortunately, not an option in this section!

After the Star Wars area I found a bench and took a cranky Brynn out of her stroller and just snuggled with her for a bit. She fell right asleep and Anna quickly followed in the stroller. Anna would only sleep if I was cradling her head so I looked pretty silly holding one baby and trying to hold another while still in the stroller but I made it work. Scott and Michael stood in line for another ride and then did the play area and I had plenty of people watching to keep me busy so I did not mind camping out on the bench for about 45 minutes. 

The girls woke up from their power nap and had fun watching the kids in the play area. Michael thought this was the most fun part- it was like a huge jungle gym thing with foam blocks you could build with or jump in. There were lots of kids just his age and he had fun running around with them. 

We finally lured Michael out with talk of the Lego Store where he purchased a big Minecraft set. The store was neat with lots of things I hadn't seen before. 

I also liked the mini-land where they had all sorts of sets from around KC and other places. The lights would dim and everything would be lit up and then they would come back on again. It was fun to see all the details! 

Overall, Legoland was a success for Michael. If I would have known what I know now, I would have let him and Scott go together and I would have just hung out with the girls somewhere. The Legoland experience seems very geared towards kids just his age so I'm glad we did it and hopefully we can go back again next summer. He would have loved to just stay and build with all their neat legos for hours and hours. Also as much hassle as the time slot ticket thing was, it was nice that the experience was not overcrowded with people and there were opportunities to do everything without a mass of people. I would recommend it but would also advise you to check out the website and read the details about things like the tickets and strollers. 

After Legoland we headed over to the other hotel for some swimming time. It was the girls' first time in the water!

They did well and Michael had fun cruising around in his life vest. Many thanks to our helpers for the extra arms for the babies!

Later that night, Scott headed out to dinner with his family and Michael and I stayed in. We put the girls down and then had some snacks for dinner while putting together the new minecraft set. 

I mentioned it earlier, but our hotel was so nice. There was tons of room with a kitchen area, eat at counter, living area, two bathrooms and two separate sleeping areas. It was nice to have a quiet, dark room for the girls to sleep especially since they nap and go to bed so much earlier than everyone else. 

The suite was lofted and had a little staircase the girls thought was SO fun! They loved standing up next to the little step- just their size! 

Snoozing babies!

Sunday was the wedding! We got all dressed up and out the door to the church...yay! The wedding was beautiful and the bride was stunning! I caught a glimpse of her and her father right before they walked down the aisle while I was soothing a cranky baby and it was so sweet! A special day for Scott's cousin for sure. 

The girls did so well at the reception and we brought along our stroller so they could snooze or just have a place to rest. We took some chairs out of the table so the stroller could cozy right up and it didn't seem too in the way. I was thankful for a more casual reception and loud music! The girls had fun dancing with all their family members and Michael and I had fun on the dance floor as well. It was probably the most fun I had the entire weekend, mostly thanks to all the extra arms who could help with babies. I am so thankful for everyone who helped make it easier! Everything at the reception was wonderful- great drinks, food, music, and cake. We loved the setting also. 

All in all, I was proud of our family for making it work this weekend away from home. We can count on one hand the times we have taken the girls somewhere like to a restaurant or even church and we have only taken them away for an extended day trip once and that felt like a disaster to me with fussy babies and no quiet places to nurse or rest. Things that went well on this trip were that I felt like my expectations matched reality: I knew it wasn't going to be a party for me and that it would be a lot work. I knew I might have a little fun but obviously caring for my family came first. I also thought our hotel set up was great...except it was far away from parking and on the 2nd floor. I think that was the only option for the larger room but definitely something to request in the future. I also thought we were well prepared in terms of having what supplies we needed when we were out. We only had three diaper accidents and each time they were addressed in time- once someone started peeing before her diaper was on, one leaky diaper on to pants (but it was only a small spot and they were dark) and one dreaded diaper explosion but it was contained in party tights to save the dress. I think this was my biggest fear as it seems like these things only happen when you are away from home! We were very thankful for the large family restrooms in the crown center- props to them! We had several people banging on the door but honestly to change two baby diapers and get all the bigger people to use the restroom too takes a while! 

As for the negative, I was not feeling well the entire weekend and this really put a damper on my spirits. I had a terrible head cold and headache that would only get slightly less worse with medication. I didn't sleep well because I felt so terrible and because I was so anxious about the girls not sleeping well in a different place (they were great- even zonked out for 13 hours one night without making a peep!). I had even come down with a fever the afternoon we arrived and had to rest by myself for a few moments. I really wish I had been feeling better because I feel like then maybe my fuse would have been a little longer and things wouldn't have seemed so hard. But I guess that is reality, even when mom is sick the show must go on! I ended up losing my voice entirely by the time Tuesday arrived and I am finally feeling more energetic almost 10 days later. It's the pits. But I am proud of myself that we did it and it gave us a little confidence that maybe we can tackle more out of the house activities this summer. We'll see...stay tuned!

Thanks for reading this ridiculous long post!

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