This year we went on a Mattern family vacation to Hot Springs, Arkansas. We stayed in a house on Lake Hamilton with Greg's parents, sister's family, and brother (we missed you Mel Mel!) for a week and had a great time.
Hot Springs is a 6.5 hour drive without stops. I was not looking forward to the drive but it really wasn't too bad. We left at 7:30 am and stopped a couple hours in for an IHOP breakfast. We drove a couple more hours then stopped at a small children's museum and Sonic for lunch. Then we pressed on for the final stretch and no one threw up, yay! The kids were so excited to see their cousins.
That evening we all loaded in the boat to enjoy the fireworks show from the water. I was nervous how Colton would do on the boat but he was adorable in his baby life jacket and was so calm and relaxed. Holding my sleeping 8 month old while watching fireworks on a peaceful summer night was the perfect way to celebrate the 4th.
We went out on the boat almost everyday (and sometimes twice a day). Cambry and Hollyn loved being pulled and bounced around in the tube. The guys took turns wake surfing and did great. We all enjoyed swimming in the lake except for Lainey who preferred to just stick her legs in.
The guys went fishing one day and caught huge fish. I think these were personal records for all of them.
One day we went to a really cool children's science museum. Another day we went downtown and toured some of the original bath houses and then ate lunch. We also visited these pretty gardens where they had a fun scavenger hunt bingo for the kids and we got to see a peacock super close. For some reason there were a lot of fits on that particular outing but in between the crying we had a good time.
Colton was a MAJOR mama's boy on the trip. If he even caught a glimpse of me while I was not holding him (i.e. Someone is holding him and I walk past the kitchen) he would start crying. A couple times I tried wearing a head scarf of sorts so he would not recognize me, ha!
I got mastitis at the beginning of the week and Greg actually got sick on the trip for several days. We weren't sure if it was a stomach bug or food poisoning but thankfully no one else got it. Although no one had to visit urgent care this trip so that's a plus!
Overall it was a wonderful trip and great to spend time together with everyone. The weather was beautiful and the boat was so much fun. The drive home was not too bad either. Colton did amazing. I think he cried for about 30 seconds the whole time and was otherwise happy as a clam. A certain 2 year old was not a fan of being in the car that long but I really can't blame her.
We are thankful for a wonderful vaca with the Mattern family!