The plan was to do a road trip to Missouri, like we did last year. We were all packed and ready to go on Thursday, when Ryan called and said Janelle had the flu bug that's going around (we all had it the week before). So my dad and I did some googling and found a park called Storybook Gardens in London, Ontario. We figured since it was Labor Day Weekend it would be hard to get a hotel here, and since everyone healthy enough to travel had a valid passport, we decided to head up there for a day or 2 until Janelle was feeling better.
Storybook Gardens was pretty fun. It was really inexpensive to get in, and it was a big park with a lot to do. They had a playground area, a waterpark area, a maze, puppet shows (ok, the puppet show was pretty lame...it featured Otto the otter and Baa-rbra the sheep. They also had a petting farm, and a lot of photo ops. The whole thing had a nursery rhyme theme, so the farm was Old MacDonald's farm, and they had a lot of statues of different characters, which you'll see in the pictures below.
We drove around looking for a hotel that wasn't busy, turns out Canada has a Labour Day, same day as our Labor Day...go figure. We had to call a bunch of hotels to find one that had a room for us. We checked in, went to the pool, and had a late dinner (which is a story of its own) and went to bed.
The next day we had breakfast at the hotel, checked out, and went to the London Children's Museum. It was no Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, but it was pretty good. The best part was a mini city, complete with child sized 2 story house, McDonalds restaurant and drive through, grocery store with conveyer belt, and an atm machine, among other things. They had cars and shopping carts, it is great for preschool aged kids. Jenavieve didn't get as much out of it, but she did enjoy pushing a shopping cart around.
As far as London as a vacation spot for families, I would definitely recommend it, especially for people who live around here. It was only about a 3-3 1/2 hour drive and had a lot of fun things to do for not too much money.
Janelle was starting to feel better so we headed back and met with them for dinner, and the next morning, we drove out to Grand Rapids. We tried the Meijer Botannical Gardens, but they didn't have power, so we went to the John Ball Zoo, which was a good zoo, you could get pretty close to the animals. Then dinner at Golden Corral, which was a special treat since we don't have one near us! Jenavieve loves buffets, she really enjoyed having me take her down the row of food and she could say "no, no, no, yes!" to the food she wanted. After she had 2 plates of dinner and some dessert, she wanted more food, so I took her back by the dessert to see if she wanted any treats, and she said "no" to everything there. I kept walking down the rows of food, asking her what she wanted, and she finally got excited when we got to the stalks of steamed broccoli. I put one on a plate for her, but she insisted on holding it like an ice cream cone and proudly showing it off to all the tables on the way back to ours. My silly girl.
Then we went back to the hotel pool to play until bedtime (actually Vivi and I went to bed and everyone else stayed up in Janelle and Ryan's room playing games).
The next day we decided to try the gardens again, and I'm glad we did, it was really fun! They had a children's garden that was very cool, and a lot of interesting sculptures.
I've been trying to finish this post for days and keep getting interrupted and having to save it, so I'm just going to post it, the pictures say enough about how much fun we had anyway :)
|Family Vacation 2010|