Monday, July 21, 2014

Family Vacation 2014: Day 1

This summer we didn't block off days for our family vacation until we had filled in all our other summer activities.  This was, of course, a bit of a problem and really only left one three-day weekend to play, but play we did.  This year, we took and Oklahoma vacation and focused on "Chickasaw Country" in south central Oklahoma.  I'm breaking it apart by days so as not to overwhelm you with photos :)

We started with Starbucks, which was more a treat for Mom and Dad than anything, but fun :)
We arrived in Pauls Valley around 9:40, which left us 20 minutes before the Toy and Action Figure Museum opened so we headed straight to the train depot. The Amtrak train was just doing its morning stop so we saw the current passenger train juxtaposed against the backdrop of the older train and caboose in the park.
B was big enough to climb all over by himself.  The others needed a little help, but everyone loved the trains.

Yes! Three in one photo, even if they aren't quite smiling, we'll take it!  Wandering the park also left Brent and I some time to observe old town Pauls Valley, and M some time to examine the outside of the depot buildings.
Next up: 10am Toy & Action Figure Museum with the Hoppers.  E loved the bat car.
Nate was obsessed with this Harry Potter outfit.  Everyone loved this room as there were lots of toys and costumes to try out.
This is probably my favorite picture. To the left is one of the huge displays and to the right our crew, partially in costumes and partially not, but all having a great time.
From another angle.  The Moms and Dads got to tell the kids all about toys we recognized from, as Nate put it, "our days."  After an hour and half or so, we headed to lunch at the Pig Shop on Anna's recommendations.  The good news is we happened on to Anna's mom and sister, and had a delicious lunch.  The less good news is B threw a fit about something random and was carried out crying by Brent.  Embarrassing and a mood killer.
Next up: Stratford peach festival.  The good news is M & E got to ride ponies again.

E loves it, in particular, and was so sad to get off of his horse tickles.
This is the closest we got to peaches -- bluebell peach ice cream--- I kid you not.  They were sold out of peaches and we didn't even find any peach products to buy.  We did remember that we don't like festivals or waiting in line that much.  We had delicious kettle corn and shared the "experience" with the Hoppers, Sandifers, and Carrs.

We bid our friends adieu and headed back to our hotel.  I "had" attempted to reserve a room at the Artesian.  It was supposed to be the splurgy part of this trip, but on Friday noticed I didn't have a confirmation and my credit card hadn't been charged. I called and, of course, no reservation.  Luckily, Brent found a room at the Days in of Pauls Valley.  Not as splurgy and no pool.  However, our kids positively adored the hotel and thought it was the coolest thing ever.  The free morning breakfast was also a huge hit and saved us probably $20 a day.  We promptely spent that $20 down the street at the Pauls Valley Aquatic Center.  We spent 1.5 hours there the first day and loved every bit of it.  There were slides, a long lazy river, a DIVING BOARD, lap pool, kiddie play area and small fish slide where E took up permanent residence.  It was also nice, clean, and not crowded.  Definite win all around for our crew.

After swimming we changed again and headed to Tios, also an Anna recommendation.  It was positively delicious and our kids loved it too.  They ate everything and B pronounced it an instant favorite.  (Thanks, Anna!)

After that, it was back to the hotel, and 12 hours of all trying to sleep in the same room.  It went OK, but was a little tricky at times as you'd imagine.

Day 1:

Where we went:
Pauls Valley Santa Fe Depot & Park -- (Museum was closed)
Toy & Action Figure Museum - Check for groupons as you can usually get 1/2 off
Stratford Peach Festival
Pauls Valley Water Park

Where we Ate:  We have rule against eating at places that exist in Edmond/OKC while on vacation so you'll see lots of local choices each day:
Bob's Pig Shop

Where we stayed:
Days Inn - Pauls Valley

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