Monday, April 16, 2012

Just Far Enough.....

Last week, we enjoyed a little family get-away.  We didn't have time to indulge in a major spring break trip, but still wanted to do something fun.  Henry and Anna both loved last year's escape to downtown Minneapolis.  The fact that we parked the car and walked to and from our hotel for three days - well, Henry still talks about how cool that was.  So, we decided to do the same this year - - just a different hotel, with a better pool (read: water park), and on the other side of downtown, near the Mississippi River. 

Besides lots (!) of swimming (bonus for Mom: really warm water!), we took walks downtown and along the river, went to the Mill City Museum, ate out a lot (another bonus for Mom: no dishes!), ordered room service, went to see Mirror Mirror and had popcorn and candy, did a little window shopping, bought books, watched movies and snuggled in bed, had lots of treats and - of course - jumped on the beds!

Really, what more could we ask for on a fun family weekend??

(Well.....maybe the beach.  But, I'll take really-darn-close-to-perfect!)

Every once in awhile as we were walking, Anna would claim that she was just too tired to walk one more step. "Carry me, pleeeeaaaaasssssse!" 
Giving up on her chances to be carried, I'm pretty sure Anna is hailing a taxi in this photo.

The swimming pool was definitely at the top of the kid's weekend favorites list. But, Henry especially loved exploring the downtown skyways, and Anna couldn't wait to hop on another escalator.

Clearly, it IS the little things that the kids will remember most.

Window shopping.  (really, I didn't pose Henry).

For me, getting this picture was one of my favorite parts of the entire weekend.

So, the water park at the hotel was attached to an arcade and the kids were excited to play a few games before we left.  When we arrived home on Sunday, after the hotel and the Easter festivities at Grandma and Grandpa's, Henry decided he wanted to build his own arcade game.

 He found a big box, and within an hour or so, he created the "Penny Slide."

Described as "Epic! Cool! and Fun!", the trick to the Penny Slide was to do just that - - carefully slide a penny down the shoot, and make it into one of the bowls.  Each bowl was designated with a certain amount of points.  Players would earn points, and once a certain level of points was reached, Henry would crawl inside the box and push his homemade prize tickets out of a little slot.  Tickets could be used towards a few of the prizes he had assembled.

Clearly, this was VERY epic, VERY cool and VERY fun!  Chuck E. Cheese doesn't have anything on this kid!

I was so impressed.  The project entertained Henry for the better part of the afternoon. And, he started making plans for all the other games he could build....

As Henry continued to dream up his next cardboard arcade game, I just happened to stumble on this video on Monday.....

Henry has watched the video about a dozen times.

Inspiration at its best!

I feel a BIG summer project on the horizon.....Does anyone have lots of spare cardboard boxes? 

And a REALLY big garage?

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