Our “Staycation”

This summer we were thinking about driving up to South Dakota to visit but the summer has literally gotten away from us.  We have been so busy and I have started my part-time job at the church so we opted instead for a “staycation” this year.  We budget a certain amount every month through the year to be able to go on vacation but this year we are using some of that money to stay close to home.  There are so many places to go and things to do around here that we often mention and never find/take the time to do.  So this year we’re checking a few of them off our list. 

IMG_2987 (1024x982)IMG_2975 (1024x768)

Last week we tackled Adventureland.  The kids have been curious about this place for a long time now since we drive by it weekly on the way to piano lessons.  They had no idea what it was all about.  We are REALLY not amusement part kind of folks but we toughed it out for the kids and spent an entire day there.  Literally.  We were there when they opened and left when they closed.  My legs still hurt.

IMG_3028 (1024x435)

Being 1/2 Italian makes our kids 1/4 so I thought it would be fun to take them to the Annual Italian-American Festival to show them a bit about their roots.  Unfortunately the night we went it was seriously hot and that made for a less enjoyable evening.  However, the food was good, though expensive and Lilly really enjoyed watching the dancers.  We’ll be doing a unit study on Italy this school year so this will be a good experience to pull from.

IMG_3142IMG_3071IMG_3136 (1024x768)IMG_3124 (1024x708)

It has been a couple of years since we spent time in Indianola for the National Balloon Classic.  The last time was a rough go with a brutal migraine that spoiled the night.  This experience certainly made up for it though.  It was a beautiful night and breathtaking to see all those balloons.  We had a local newspaper that had pictures of all the balloons and their names.  The kids had such a great time marking them off as they saw them fly over.  It is such an awesome site to see those massive balloons in the air. 

IMG_3189 (790x1024)IMG_3190 (1024x723)

A few nights ago we headed down to Principal Park for an Iowa Cubs baseball game.  I’m not sure how into the game the kids were but they loved the experience of the ballpark.  Mark is huge baseball fan so we stayed as long as we could for him but headed for home after the 7th inning stretch.  

Other things we are planning to do this summer/fall are:

Take a ride on the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad.

Spend a weekend this fall at Honeycreek Resort.

Spend this weekend camping with my family.  Mark even took Saturday off so we can hit the highway 141 garage sales!!

Spend a day or two at the Iowa State Fair.

There are few other little things that we are thinking of and I’m sure more opportunities will come up.  We are thinking of spending any leftover money on camping supplies and possibly a tent.  Or we may end up saving it and putting it toward a small pop-up camper in the near future instead.  We would really love to be able to camp when we go on future vacations to save money and just because it would be fun. 

Aside from not spending as much money on a road trip we have been able to sleep in our own comfy beds, see things that we have not taken the time to see even though they are so close, and spread out the fun over the entire summer.  It has been a crazy busy summer already but it sort of feels like an extended vacation with all of the fun things we have been able to do.  Another benefit is that Mark didn’t have to stress over being gone from the shop for a whole week at one time.  He has been able to spread out his days off and take them when we want to do something instead.

If you have any other ideas for things we should check out/do we would love to hear from you!     



  1. //

    Looks like y’all had a wonderful time! Love all the pictures!!

  2. //

    Have you guys considered a trip to the Grotto in West Bend? Seems like it would be right up your alley.
    I see on the site that there’s even a campground (and a nearby hotel with pool).
    Just a thought.

    1. //

      Hi Sara!

      I have wanted to get up there for a long time but I knew that when the kids are preparing for their First Communion our church takes a retreat up there so we are waiting for that. I am so excited because Toby will be doing just that in the spring! I also have a friend that grew up right across the street from the Grotto and her parents still live there so we will definitely be getting there soon.


Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.