Monday, February 28, 2011

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

It's Monday.

Butter Cake takes the sting out of Mondays. 

Before I post this recipe, there is one thing you need to understand.  I love gooey desserts.  I like my cookies underbaked and my chocolate melted.

There is no better way to enjoy a candy bar than after it's been in the car for a few hours in the middle of June.

I fancy raw cookie dough and I lick the batter off my mixer attachments.  

Crispy cookies make me cry.  A stiff brownie has no place in my kitchen.  I have stringent dessert guidelines that my baked goods must live up to.

I refuse to invest the calories unless the dessert is ooey, gooey and divine. 

This butter cake is all of the above.  Gooey is the best word for this sinful, sinful pleasure.

After I baked this I immediately cut myself a square.  I ate it.

My taste buds sung to the heavens and my butt cried a tear.

Before I ate it all I offered my munchkins each a square.  They ate it.

And then they all ate another square.

I finally knew what had to be done.  I needed to cut a large portion to bring to my mother, who fancies desserts such as coffee cakes.

She ate it.  And then ate more.

By the afternoon this dessert was no more.  And we all immensely enjoyed every last trans-fatty-stick-to-the-butt calorie.

You will too.

Mommyhood's Butter Cake

1 package plain yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick butter, melted
3 cups sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare crust.  In large bowl combine ingredients with a wooden spoon until moist.  Spread evenly in bottom of ungreased 13x9 baking pan.
Prepare the filling in large mixing bowl.  Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Add the eggs, vanilla and melted butter.  Mix well.  Add the sugar one cup at a time until mixed in.

Pour filling over crust and spread evenly with spatula.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until browned, but center still jiggles when pan is shaken. 
Cool 30 minutes and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Then settle in for quality time with a square of butter cake.  You'll hit it off.  I promise.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Road Trip: The Conclusion

We just drove 19 hours.  It stunk.

We left Florida and it was a pleasant 70 degrees.  At 5am.

We arrived home and it was a miserable 34 degrees.  At 12:30am.

The highlight of this time-never-passing-drive was seeing my aunt and uncle in Virginia.  They are lovely people.  We met at this gigantic mall and ate a quick dinner.

Oh, and another highlight was LLG inquiring if Santa Claus dies in quicksand.  

The low point of being stuck in a box for 19 hours that was headed to frigid temperatures?  The Gymnastics Queen announcing her urgent need to use the toilet while we were on a four lane highway in Washington DC.

We had no where to pull off.  We would be at the mall in ten miles.

Ten miles was 1/2 mile too long.  She puked her tiny guts out from holding her potty.  And from riding in the backseat.  And from sunshine withdrawal.

The boys shrieked and I tossed our car goodies around to get her a bag.

Afterward the car smelled phenomenal.

And then we suffered through another 5 hours of stale car air before we were home.

A major bonus was that my munchkins behaved.  They were champions.  This ride could have been much much much worse.

It could have been laced with "Are we there yet?" inquiries and whiny "he touched me" complaints.

I shudder at the thought of bad car behavior for 19 hours.  Hubby may have jerked the wheel in the Carolinas if we had that nonsense going on.

To summarize:

Road trips are not fun when you are on your way home.  They stink like monkey butts.

Have a rockin' Sunday.  All of Mommyhood shall be sleeping until Monday morning.

Try not to miss me.

Mommyhood Footnote:  I love my bed. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

For all of my tips on Walt Disney World's Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, order my book on Amazon!

This is an excerpt from Chapter 17: Fun for the "BIG" Kids....

A few years ago on our annual trip to Walt Disney World I spotted wee whittle girls prancing around Downtown Disney dolled up as princesses. 

In Disney it is not uncommon to see anyone in costume.  After all, it's a magical place.

But these girls were fancy.  It was the work of a professional. 

Before long I had discovered Disney's Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.  It's a marvelous place.  A place that dreams truly come true if you are a Disney Princess at heart.

The first time we made reservations at the boutique we opted for the Castle package.  This package is pricey (Approximately $200 with tax) but I feel we got our money's worth.  It was also a birthday gift to my daughter from my parent's.

Grandparents are swell.

The Castle package includes everything but the kitchen sink.  And you could probably get a sink if you asked for one.

We arrived and they asked my daughter what princess she wanted to be.

She said Cinderella.

They asked what size she was.  And they wanted all the details.  Her dress size and shoe size. 

They returned with a costume, shoes, wand, tiara and the "Fairy Godmother" to lead my little princess to a dressing area.  I dressed her in her new princess attire fresh from Disney.
Then the magic happened. 

Ever since we opened the Bibbidi Bobbidi can of worms we must make a reservation every time we trek down to Disney. 

Because we now foot the bill, I insist the boutique is done "Mommyhood style".  Which is on a budget.

To keep the makeover exciting but affordable I always bring a dress from home.  To make it special I buy a pair of princess shoes or a new pair of earrings for her to wear. 

This year we brought Gisele's dress from Enchanted and I bought these snazzy shoes for her.
All little princesses leave with a sash, a tiara or decorative pins/barrettes and the makeup their "Fairy Godmother" used for their makeover.  They also keep their comb.

So if you are worried about sanitary conditions, worry no more.  They have little makeup kits for each princess.

Mommyhood believes in making a trip to Disney magical.  I believe in treating my munchkins to experiences they will remember forever. 
If you are traveling to Disney with a little one who dreams of being a Disney Princess, this is a must do. 

Bring your camera and enjoy.  And try to resist jumping in the chair and demanding the princess makeover you always dreamed of for yourself.

You may scare the children.

Have a fabulous Saturday!
Mommyhood Footnote:  The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique does not discriminate.  They offer a VERY affordable "Knight's Package" for little boys.  They give the boys crazy hair and it comes with a shield and a sword.  The price as of now is approximately $15.00.  A nice alternative to the Pirate Makeover which runs at least $50.00/child. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Disney Dining Plan: To Do or Not To Do?

Walt Disney World is always ten paces ahead of the rest of us. They have made eating and staying in their parks so convenient you can't resist. It's brainless. Just what the doctor ordered when you are traveling with kids.

One of the most debated topics when planning a trip to Disney World is the Disney Dining Plan. The Dining Plan is prepaid, and when you stay in a Disney resort (and book through Disney or an authorized agent) you have the option to add it to your package. There is no doubt that you get your money's worth on the meal plan. Disney makes using the plan easy, and they add it onto your room key. Every time you purchase lunch, or sit down for dinner, they swipe your room key and it will deduct how many meal “entitlements” you used.

Five things to remember for every type of plan:

1. Gratuity is NOT included. You will have to pay that separately for your sit down meals.

2. EVERY person in your room must be on the dining plan. You can't purchase it for you and your spouse and not for your kids, or the other way around. When you book a room in Disney, they ask who will be in your room. Everyone must be on the Dining Plan. Adults are age ten and up (same as tickets) and children are age three to nine. Children must order off the children’s menu if one is available. Kids under age three can plate share or parents can choose to order off the menu (and pay separately).

3. You must purchase the dining plan for every night you stay in Disney. When you book your trip, the meal plan will be added and they will charge you for every night of your stay. If you arrive at 10pm on a Friday, your meal plan will include Friday. Obviously no one will be eating a restaurant meal, hot pretzel and a burger and fries by midnight. Before you debate the cast member booking your trip, look at these meals as extras and use them towards reservations that use two entitlements. They also may come in handy on the day you leave, especially if you have a later flight.

4. Not all meals are created equal. When you have a dining plan that includes a table service meal (the standard or deluxe plan, NOT quick service) a table service meal is a restaurant meal.  If you use it for breakfast, you are not maximizing on your dollar.  We always use the table service meal for dinner.  Prices are higher for dinner meals and you can enjoy buffets and meals with steak and fish, as opposed to meals with waffles and eggs.

You can also use your table service for a late breakfast, expecting to use only a snack credit for lunch and then quick service for dinner.  We bring granola/protein bars in our luggage and eat in morning, snack credit late morning if necessary, quick service for lunch, table service for dinner.

5. There are meals (Cinerella's Castle in the Magic Kingdom) that use 2 dining entitlements for each person.  So if you choose to do the princess meal in the castle, expact to burn twice as many entitlements.  I always suggest the princess meal in Norway in Epcot (Akershus Dining Hall).  Mostly the same princesses, better value. 

For a list of dining options and how many table credits they use in Disney click HERE.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Epcot: The Most Underrated Park in Disney World

I continuously hear Disney trip planning people say, "We're just doing Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios...there isn't anything for the kids to do in Epcot...."

What?  Seriously?  You are missing out on a fabulous place bursting with happiness, love, beauty and kick arse attractions for all ages. 

Oh, and there is food.  Good food. 

Here are Mommyhood's reasons you need to visit Epcot when you make the trek to Disney World:

1.  Must DO attractions for everyone in the family.  Epcot is full of Mommyhood favorites:

Soarin', Test Track, Frozen Ever After (ride in Norway) and the World Showcase. 

For little ones there is Nemo, Imagination and many many MANY activity centers throughout the park.

Today I was teary eyed to see the return of Captain EO.  I grew up vacationing to Disney every year, and Captain EO was the biggest deal in 1986. And 1987. get the idea.

I hadn't seen it in twenty years.

Today I shared Captain EO and all its 80's cheese with my family and our loyal travel buddies.  Definitely the highlight of my day. 

Maybe the highlight of this trip.  And it was in Epcot.

2.  Epcot sells beer.

Nothing makes Hubby happier than a cold beer in Germany.  Which takes us to this picture and #3...

3.  The World Showcase.  See #2 for information about beer. 

The World Showcase opens at 11am. We usually plan to walk the entire way around.  Yes, we do.  And our kids do as well. 

While walking, Hubby drinks Beer.  He aims for one in every country.  He then aims to remain upright.

I eat food.  Lots of it.
We walk with our munchkins, eating and drinking, experiencing all the World Showcase has to offer.  They see characters (Jasmine in Morocco, Snow White in Germany, Pooh in England and many more) and shop in Japan.

Ever seen Pokemon or Hello Kitty toy heaven?  It's in Japan.
When we are ready to leave Epcot I roll myself out and Hubby walks sideways.  The kids carry their new toys from Japan.

4.  The Scenery.  There is some high priced gardening talent workin' for Disney.  Try not to speed walk past these beauties without admiring them and all their amazing-ness.
5.  See 1 through 4. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Moopa Meets the Pool

Yesterday Moopa met the pool.

Due to the "walk in" design it was a very relaxed introduction that required no Valium and no giant annoying baby rafts.

The person who invented zero-entry pools is my hero.  They have added years to my life.

And so with the older munchkins happily swimming under Hubby's supervision, I decided to let the Moopa live a little. 

We hit the pool. 

She was hesitant at first. She took inventory before making any hard and fast decisions.

The large body of water filled with strange people was a new, unfamiliar experience. 

A large body of water alone was a new experience.  She is a fourth baby which translates to speed showers. 

Baths are for first and second munchkins. 

But eventually she sat and tested the waters.  And I still can't figure out if she then gave me the stink eye or if she was just ensuring I was still there. 

Either way she sat.  And looked at me.  Possibly with a stink eye. 
Before long she was happily doing the classic flop and splash.  It looks like this: 
And she flopped and splashed until it was time to shower for dinner.  Speed shower of course.

Before I sign off it needs to be noted that Moopa is wearing a fitted swim diaper AND a snug suit. 

I'm noting this because five minutes after we left the pool it was evacuated.

There was a doodie floating exactly where Moopa was flopping and splashing.

Yes, a doodie.

And it wasn't my kid.  Her swimming getup makes it an impossibility.  No doodie was sneaking out of that iron clad swimming attire.

Mommyhood is not responsible for the doodie in the pool.  Pooping in pools is generally frowned upon.  We don't like to be frowned upon.

The end.

Have a fabulous Tuesday.  Don't poop in any pools.

Mommyhood Footnote:  Dinner was at 1900 Park Fare.  Mommyhood highly recommends it.   Wonderful variety of food and the characters are a delight.  A full review will eventually be posted on my Disney Tips N' Tricks page.

The Confectionery

Obviously I am a fan of Disney World.  We leave here and I can't sleep at night until I have a general idea of when we'll be back again.

There is something in the water.  Or the air.  Disney is putting something into something to make people suffer "Disney Withdrawal". 

But as much as I love the parks, the characters, the shopping and the resorts, there is something that truly sings to me.

A place that makes me happy.  A place I feel at home.
The Confectionery.

Growing up, when I came to Disney with my parents every year, I aspired to work here.

I imagined myself dipping apples and sporting the white and pink apron dress. 

I always dreamed big.

The Confectionery is fully stocked with Disney candies, cookies, fudge, chocolates, gifts and homemade confections that would knock your socks off.

The items I find most appealing are the size of my head.  Literally.
Hubby knows that hell will freeze over before we leave the Magic Kingdom without a visit to The Confectionery. 

No way, no how am I leaving Main Street USA without a bag full of trans fats.

Not only do I enjoy the merchandise, I just like to be there.  It calms me. 

It's like my mothership is calling me home.

And so after our munchkins made their purchases yesterday I spent time in The Confectionery.

It made me miss my mother, who also appreciates this most magical place.  I didn't get my sweet tooth by accident. 

Luckily our travel buddies appreciate stick to the gut desserts almost as much as I do.  We share a special kinship when it comes to unhealthy food selections.

I settled on a chocolate chip cookie that was the size of my fist, a chocolate covered oreo that was also the size of my fist, and a football cookie the size of my face for the munchkins to share.

I swear in an hour's time my legs had more jiggle and my pants begged for mercy.  The confections in Disney play no games.

So in between walking parks every day I am fitting in 30 minute runs.  I'm even pretty sure I gave myself shin splints again.

But man, it is worth every bite.

Mommyhood Footnote:  In my Disney Tips N' Tricks page I discuss how we have our munchkins bring their OWN money for souvenirs.  We supply the lodging, park passes and food but not souvenirs.  We learned from my parents how essential it is to teach munchkins about limits, and money. 

And I never tire of seeing them make their purchases.  They wait all day to shop (shopping is done on the way OUT of each park) and they weigh every option carefully.  This has taught them countless lessons about wasteful spending. 

And it has saved us mucho denaro.
LLG making his first purchase of the vacation in the Magic Kingdom.

Have a MaGiCaL MoNdAy!

More Disney tomorrow!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mommyhood Hits the Road

I've been posting a lot about our impending road trip.

And I'm happy to announce that we survived.  And I'm still married.  What a relief!  I have too much baggage to date again.

It wasn't anywhere near the torture I was expecting.  Hubby may say otherwise, because he drove 15 out of the 18 hours. 

Before we left, I told him I was good to drive for three hours.  He needed to choose my shift wisely.

In case you missed one of my posts about my driving skills I'll fill you in.  They leave little to be desired.

The night of our trip, we left at 8:30pm.  Hubby was semi-rested from his afternoon snooze.  This was a requirement of mine.  If memory serves my exact words were:

"I'm taking all the munchkins to dinner and you better sleep.  At least 2 hours. Or I swear it we aren't leaving."

I love to speak to him like he's five.  He doesn't share this sentiment.

And so we departed our snowy, cold hometown with sunshine on the brain.  Munchkins fell asleep just as we'd hoped. The only exception was the Moopa.  The girl pulled an all night ripper.  I tell you no lies.  Every time I took inventory of the backseat tiny eyeballs were looking right back at me. 

I was waiting for a screaming "I want out of this seat" protest but it never came.  She must just enjoy the nightlife. 

Courtesy of Five Hour Energy Hubby drove ten straight hours until we hit the southern end of North Carolina.  This is where we met up with our travel buddies at approximately 6:15am.

We had breakfast.  This was when I remembered I blog, and I should be documenting our trip. 
Post breakfast I offered to take my generous three hour driving shift.  Hubby agreed and then claimed he felt a second wind.
I swear the second I climbed into the driver's seat Hubby's life flashed before his eyes.

He lasted an hour behind the wheel.  I graciously switched with him on the side of the road near South of the Border.
I enthusiastically drove through South Carolina and Georgia. 
Good thing I self-entertain, because Hubby wasn't much of a conversationalist.
Towards the end of my three hours I started to swerve.  Hubby claimed that type of thing would cause an accident.  

But before we switched drivers again I pulled up alongside of our travel buddies.  I held our position nicely so Hubby could snap this picture.
Luckily for us Moopa crashed hard after her all nighter.  She spent much of the daytime ride truncated in her carseat.
This, along with the other napping munchkins made for excellent driving conditions.

And so after 20 long hours in the car we finally arrived at our destination.  The dreaded road trip was a roaring success. 
The only downside is we have to do it all again to get back home. 

And I could be wrong, but I would imagine road trips are more tolerable when you're headed away from frigid temperatures.

But until then, I shall blog about how Mommyhood does Disney. 

So stay tuned, because you don't want miss a thing!

Mommyhood Footnote:  One upside to road trips?  The many "did we read that right?" moments along the way. 

Why I LOVE Moon Sand

I love Moon Sand.  It's fascinating. 
Every time I set it out I mold something.  I can't help myself.

This sentiment is shared by munchkins everywhere.

Moon Sand can be messy, but it keeps munchkins quiet.  And busy.  And away from the television.  My munchkins play with it for hours.  They mold and create and talk to themselves.  It's endearing.

And it gives me an hour to myself.
I need to stipulate that Moon Sand is a treat in our house.  We don't have Moon Sand play whenever the munchkins feel like it.  This Mama don't do mess.  I need to be mentally prepared before I whip out any kind of "crafty" activity.

I always have Moon Sand play coincide with clean the floors day.  Or we set it up outside on a nice afternoon.

There is always a method to my madness.  Always.

Moon Sand is also a marvelous birthday gift.  When I don't know what to buy I default to an activity.  They're affordable.  And they don't accumulate like other toys and cause clutter.  They're more about the experience.

Moon Sand is no different.  This is because after a few rounds of solid play it is garbage.  At least it is at my house.  Colors are mixed and gets all funky. 

And then I dance the jig because I can throw it out.  It served it's purpose and it's gone.

If only stuffed animals had the lifespan of Moon Sand. 

This is not a sponsored post.  I love what I love and I wanted to share.  That's what Moms do.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Mommyhood Review: My Favorite Ice Creams

Unfortunately for me, this IS NOT a sponsored post.  But if any of these brands would like to send me free ice cream at any time, be my guest.  It may just be one of my favorite gifts ever.  That and chocolate covered marshmallows. 

It is time for me to write an informative post.  There is so much useless information in my mommybrain I tend to forget about sharing the information that is valuable.

This post will focus on ice cream.    

You may want to bookmark this page for reference, you will need it when you make your grocery list for next week.

If you read my blog, even on occasion, you know I love ice cream.

Eating ice cream at night is as routine as brushing my teeth.  I tell you no lies.

I have approximately 7-9 half gallons of ice cream in my freezer on any given day.  Naturally this is not all mine.  I do have four munchkins.  But about half of it is mine.

And I feel no shame.
Yes this is my freezer.

Due to my blatant love of ice cream, I have had many favorite flavor inquiries.

I love ice cream so much I hate to play favorites.  It's just not nice.  But I do have my preferred brands that frequent my freezer most often.

And there are many flavors I love that I have not included in my stellar ice cream review.  I only have so much time in a day.

I need to note that I only eat low-fat or non-fat varieties.  I try to minimize the damage.  My butt thanks me for this.

I also fancy several flavors that have live and active cultures.

And I always remind myself that if one serving has 10% daily recommended calcium then the 5 servings I eat is 50% of my daily calcium!

I'm tryin' here.

The only exception to my low fat/no fat ice cream rule is if I am getting ice cream out, such as at Cold Stone Creamery.  Then all bets are off.  I dive in without calorie caution.

I can only review what I ingest regularly.   These flavors include:  Mint Chocolate Chip, Coffee, Cookie Dough, Chocolate Brownie and Cake Batter.  I have happily sampled every store bought (lowfat/nonfat) variation of these flavors. 

Thank heavens for treadmills.

Mint Chocolate Chip Variations:  All time most favorite "I-love-it-so-much-I-even-buy-it-full price" (gasp):  Turkey Hill Skinny Minty
This flavor blows my mind.  There are chunks of sweet chocolate cookie swirled in that are to die for.  If you are a mint chip fan, and you like grasshopper cookies, try this now.  Try it RIGHT now.  Leave and go to the store.  Do not finish reading this post.

However, if you like "chocolate chips" to chew on, try Edy's Light Mint Chocolate Chip.  Creamy and minty and delicious.

Regular Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream: Ben and Jerry's.  All the way.  No questions asked.  The chocolate chips are the size of mini chocolate bars.  Eating this ice cream actually requires effort from my jaw.  I break a sweat.

It's almost like exercise.  Almost.

Coffee:  My "I-love-you-so-much-I-want-to-marry-you" coffee ice cream:  Edy's Slow Churned Cappuccino Chip Frozen Yogurt.
There is no competition.  None.  This ice cream is uber creamy and the chips are big and chunky.  I have a love affair with it several times a week.

Runners upEdy's Light Coffee and Hood Mocha Fudge Frozen Yogurt.

Edy's Coffee has just the right amount of "coffee" and shares the creamy texture of Cappuccino Chip.

Mocha Fudge is nonfat, with live and active cultures.  It even has 3g of protein per serving.  Booyah!
Regular Coffee Ice Cream:  Three Way Tie.  Friendly's (ever try a Coffee Fribble?),  Breyers All Natural Coffee or Ben and Jerry's.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:  There are three brands that really rock my world.  But if I had to choose ONE to buy, if would be Hood Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt.  The cookie balls are large and the chocolate chips are plentiful.
Runners UpEdy's Light Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Turkey Hill Light Recipe Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Ben and Jerry's Half Baked Frozen Yogurt

Regular Cookie Dough: Cold Stone Creamery or Ben and Jerry's.

Cake Batter:  I only go regular ice cream on this one.  And the ultimate winner is definitely Cold Stone Creamery.  Did you know they were the first company to offer Cake Batter ice cream? 

Runner Up: Ben and Jerry's Cake Batter

Chocolate Brownie:  Breyers Smooth and Dreamy Chocolate Fudge Brownie.  This is fat free, and very delish.  I promise.
On any given night I can be found curling up to my favorite television shows with a bowl overflowing with any two of these above flavors.

I add sprinkles and always a hefty serving of whipped cream.

I then drop sprinkles all over my jammies.  And a glob of whipped cream.  Never fails.
Mommyhood Footnote:  My love of ice cream goes hand in hand with my love for running.  And Jillian Michaels.  Exercise is a necessity.  Eating ice cream has been known to make butts bigger and love handles hang over jeans.  Unless you like this look, you will need to run.  Or kickbox.  Or something.

Just tellin' it like it is.

*Pictures from Edys, Ben and Jerrys, Breyers, Hood and Turkey Hill*

Travel Buddies

Our Disney Vacation is rapidly approaching.  I'm packing.  Planning.  Unpacking and repacking.  And changing our plans.

I'm an indecisive mess.  

Have I mentioned I'm a Libra? 

Our bedroom has a corner reserved for the bags I packed for this trip.  It has grown out to the center of the room.  I have bags for the front (snacks), bags for the trunk (more snacks), bags for the roof rack (clothes and snacks) and bags for each munchkin for the ride (entertainment and snacks).

With four munchkins you can never be too prepared.  You can also never have too many snacks.

I'm also feeling gratitude for our travel buddies.  Friends of Hubby's from college, we have become so close we are family.  I have blogged about them before.  They are quite "blog-worthy".

They have stuck with us through Disney Vacations and road trips to the beach.  We have navigated airports, sat through delays and spent hours trying to locate rental cars. 

They still vacation with us even though our family has grown.  And grown.  And grown.

Why they haven't "de-friended" us by now I'll never know.

I will now share eight  reasons why they we love them.  I have more than eight, but I have breakfast to make.
1.  We don't scare them.  But I'm pretty sure Krista (KRock) is searching for a Valium in this picture.
2.  They aren't embarrassed to be seen with us.  And we're embarrassing.
3.  They also have a desire to broaden their horizons.  We do this by seeking out strange events such as Lumberjack Festivals.
4.  We enjoy the same things.  The ladies shop and eat Auntie Annie's pretzels and the men golf, go to the bar and drink la cervezas.
5.  They are not cheap bastards like another person I know.  This other person is me (gulp).

They invest in necessities such as beach tents that my munchkins would otherwise have to do without.
6.  They do things like get in the pool on vacation and make "trains" with the munchkins.  I love this the most because this means I don't have to get in the pool.

I don't do pools unless the temperature is that of bath water or it is 110 degrees outside.  I'm a "jump in jump out" kind of girl.
7.  They own a boat.  Please make friends with someone who owns a boat.  Make friends with them even if they stink.  
My friends don't stink AND they own a boat.  I'm so lucky.
8.  It is not uncommon for us to dress our munchkins the same. We have style.  We dress them in jumpers. 
This girl wishes she had a jumper. 
And so with a 20 hour road trip ahead of us I am grateful they are crazy enough to join in the fun.  They could vacation in peace with their two munchkins and yet they torture themselves. 

But we laugh.  A lot. 

After all, every trip is an adventure.

 It may be mass chaos, but an it's an adventure just the same.

To read more about our trip, click here and here.