Since I’m not exactly sure how much time I’ll have at the computer before the boys begin to stir this morning, I am going to dive right into our weekend recap. Let’s get to it!
Return to Jellystone Golden Valley
Right around 5 p.m. on Friday evening, Ryan, the boys, Sadie and I piled into the car and made the 90-minute drive to Golden Valley, North Carolina to spend the weekend at Jellystone Golden Valley. We’ve been itching to return to the family-friendly campground since our summer visit and when the kind folks reached out to invite us to come back again, it was a no-brainer. (Full disclosure: We were invited to the campground and our stay was hosted, however I did not receive monetary compensation outside of our stay for sharing our experience.) We selected this past weekend because we figured we might see some changing leaves and get to experience fall weather and we lucked out with both of those things!
We stayed in a cozy cabin (the Lisenberry Loft Cabin) and laughed because Ryder was livin’ the life and actually had the one bedroom in the cabin all to himself and his pack ‘n’ play. (We typically utilize a spare bathroom or a large closet for Ryder’s pack ‘n’ play but since our cabin had neither, he was king of the cabin! Oh the perks of needing a quiet space away from everyone for naps and nighttime sleep.)
Ryan, Chase, Sadie and I bunked up together in the large loft area which was outfitted with two queen-size mattresses. It was actually really awesome! Chase called the loft his “tree house” (a nod, I’m sure, to his favorite Magic Tree House books) and the set up worked well for our family. We keep saying that one day we’ll get brave enough to attempt tent camping with our boys but I’m not sure if I’m ready to do that until Ryder is out of a pack ‘n’ play so “cabin camping” (if that’s a thing?) is more our jam at the moment. If you’ve tried tent camping with little ones, I’d love to hear how you do it!
We filled our day on Saturday with campground activities and kicked things off with a pancake breakfast at the lodge before saying hi to Boo Boo since Chase’s obsession with characters is at an all-time high.
Ryder shocked us by being all about the characters on this visit as well and wanted to give them a million high-fives. (The kid has no fear, I’m tellin’ ya.)
During an evening dance party with Yogi and Cindy Bear, Ryder followed them all over the place and repeatedly tapped them on their legs for high fives.
The weather on Saturday was sunny and hovered in the mid-50s. It started out quite cold so we were all bundled up in the beginning of the day and shed some layers as the day went on.
Coats naturally came off at the jump pad where the boys practiced their MyGym skills and we all jumped and rolled around.
We also spent some time on the tennis courts and played “mini tennis” and made up tennis court games that the boys enjoyed.
We made sure to stop by the arts and crafts building because the shark glitter tattoo Chase got during our summertime visit was such a hit and we knew he’d be excited for another one. He selected a green lizard glitter tattoo this time and since temporary tattoos have a way of remaining on a child’s body for all the days, please wish me luck on scrubbing the remains of that thing off his arm in a week or two. Chase also ended up painting a ceramic car while we were there and Ryder thought water painting on the purple paper tablecloth was just as cool.
After our arts and craft time, Ryder needed a nap, so we headed back to the cabin for a little down time. Chase and I read a Magic Tree House book together and then the two of us headed off to the lake to attempt paddle boating while Ryan stayed behind with Sadie and a sleeping Ryder. I think we lasted all of 15 minutes in our paddle boat which I probably should’ve expected since I’m pretty sure I’ve enjoyed paddle boating exactly zero times in my entire life. I find it slow and boring and laughed out loud when Chase said, “Mom, that one gets two thumbs down.” Clearly the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
We had a lot more success with gem mining once Ryder was awake!
Chase and I also really enjoyed matching his gems to the gems in the little brochure because it listed a fun fact about each gem under the gem’s name. I’m pretty positive we’re now the proud forever-owners of a few pieces of quartz since Chase learned that the quartz he found is the same kind of quartz found on the moon.
We rounded out our Saturday with a tractor ride around the campground (clearly our family selfie skills need some work), a dance party with Yogi and Cindy Bear and s’mores by the fire.
The fire outside our cabin was roaring and the heat from the flames was very welcome because it got quite cold at night.
This is the face of a 16-month-old when he learns that touching those flames is a big no-no:
What a pitiful little expression! Don’t worry, he perked right up when I handed him a graham cracker.
We called it an early night on Saturday and thanks to the time change our crew was all awake by 6 a.m. on Sunday. We hung around the campground for a couple of hours and hit up the tennis courts for some outside time before heading back home in the mid-morning.
We spent the rest of our Sunday around the house, assembling furniture for our screened-in porch, packing away Halloween decorations and unpacking from our weekend away.
Now I’m ready to ease back into normalcy and I’m crossing my fingers our crew adjusts to the time change within the next few days. Enjoy the week ahead and, as always, thanks for making my blog a part of your day!