Kids always have a way of being simply entertained. You can give them a cardboard box, roll of foil, spray bottles, or whatever the heck you want to give them and tell them to find something to do with the objects. It always amazes me what my kids can create with their imagination. I have a feeling if I gave an adult the above objects they would look at me with a puzzling look on their faces. Sometimes I wish I could go back to the day where I too saw things from the eyes of a child. I find the vision of children so intriguing! Simplicity usually wins in their eyes, so why do adults, most of the time, feel the need to complicate things? Here is a perfect example…
Recently, we went on a Spring Break weekend getaway to Chattanooga, Tennessee. No bells or whistles, it was just a low-key simple getaway. I don’t feel right calling it a “vacation” because I am pretty sure I was still working quite hard as a mom while on the family trip! The kids had a BLAST and they were just raving that Chattanooga was amazing and so much fun. Our seven-year old even went as far to tell me, “Mom, this was WAY better than Orlando last year!” Seriously, child?!? That’s when I got the idea. Why don’t I have Larson, our sweet seven-year old son, compare the last two Spring Break trips? I couldn’t wait to see what he had to say from his child’s perspective!
Orlando vs. Chattanooga, which city/trip wins?
– reviewed by Larson Mabry with the detailed help from his mom, Sarah
Spring Break 2014
Travel time: 12 hour road trip one way with two kids. Total: 24 hrs in the car.
Location: Orlando, Florida
Length of Stay: Eight nights
Hotel: Marriott Grande Vista Resort.
Pool: Several elaborate kid friendly pools with fountains and shooting cannons.
Entertainment: Magic Kingdom and Lego Land
Trip Struggles: I was 32 weeks pregnant hobbling around the theme parks. John’s prosthetic wasn’t fitting great so he was in a motorized wheelchair while I pushed the double stroller. Luckily, my mom came to help! Also, Austin threw up the first night in the hotel all over my mom’s bed at 11 p.m.
Trip mishaps: After a long day at Legoland, we made it back to our car only to find that our car was dead. We had to sit out in the Florida heat until we were able to find someone to jump our car. We also misplaced our nice camera so we didn’t have it during our day at Disney. Luckily, we found it when we got back to the hotel.
Larson’s classic Spring Break quote: …the morning leading up to a full day at Disney, “I can’t wait for this day to be over so the fun can finally begin.”
Larson’s overall review: Disney was boring. The only fun ride was Space Mountain. I don’t like the pool because there is too much splashing water. It was so cold while we had to wait in the long lines. The haunted mansion wasn’t scary at all. I only liked the Legends of Chima ride at Legoland. The car ride was long.
Spring Break 2015
Travel time: 2.5 hrs road trip one way with three kids. Total: 5 hrs round trip.
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Length of Stay: 3 nights
Hotel: Marriott Springhill Suites.
Pool: Normal indoor rectangular hotel pool.
Entertainment: Tennessee Aquarium and Creative Discovery Museum.
Trip Struggles: 10 month old teething and crawling baby who enjoyed crawling all over the hotel bathroom floor. She also enjoyed sucking on restaurant high chairs and the hotel room remote.
Trip mishaps: We accidentally missed the road we were supposed to take to Chattanooga and ended up in Alabama before we noticed. At least we got to see a rocket ship on the side of Alabama’s interstate. On our way out of town, about 20 minutes into the trip, we realized we left our credit card at the restaurant where we ate lunch downtown Chattanooga. We had to turn around and get it. Luckily we found our credit card!
Larson’s classic Spring Break quotes: “ The aquarium was way better than Disney World.” “I like Chattanooga and this hotel better than Orlando.”
Larson’s overall review: I really liked the short road trip. We didn’t have to be in the car that long. I liked the breakfast at the hotel. They had good donuts and waffles. I liked the card to unlock the door at the hotel. It was also fun to push the buttons on the elevator. The hotel had the game, Corn Hole. There was a playground close by with a climbing wall. I liked that. The aquarium was neat. I didn’t know King Crabs were so big! My favorite animals were the otters. The Children’s museum was a little to young for me. I liked that mom popped popcorn and we got to watch basketball in the hotel room. Cartoon Network channel didn’t work though. I won more Yahtzee! games than anyone! Chattanooga was a cool town.
I think it is clear which trip Larson liked better and I believe Austin (our 4 yr old son) probably would agree with Larson. Next year I might just plan a staycation and pack a few bags of popcorn. Who knows, maybe I will even throw in a cardboard box, roll of foil, and a spray bottle for our entertainment! If there is one thing I learned from these trips, simplicity is the better. Life doesn’t have to be so complicated to have a great time with your family!