Saturday, July 21, 2012

Picnicking at the Radisson

(A post written on Tuesday)

For the sake of perspective, I need to start this post by saying that I am the daughter of a chemist who served in the business world for many years. On occasion, he would have a business trip to an interesting location so my mom, sister, and I would tag along.  The hotel room was then a business expense, and his meals and airfare were covered.  We traveled from the East Coast to Disneyland for a fraction of the cost by touring while my dad was in meetings and then enjoying the best of the city’s fare with him and his colleagues at night.

One of the ways we would also cut costs was by taking breakfast foods with us.  A couple bags of bagels and a jar of peanut butter, and I’m a happy woman.  That may seem incredibly cheap to some of you; but when a glass of orange juice is $4, I don’t even want to know how much a bowl of corn flakes would be.  It’s not even that my dad didn’t make a good living (or that we don’t have plenty to meet our needs), it’s just that they (and we) have other places we’d rather invest our money.

Imagine my delight when Teacher Man told me that he had not one but two conferences at our state’s capital!  So here we are in the hotel, getting settled in for our first day of vacation.  At first, I felt crazy bringing my Coleman cooler into the Radisson; but then I remembered that I’m a mom with small children.  If I can meet their food needs and likes with a quick breakfast in the room and a yummy picnic lunch wherever we are, then we all can splurge a little bit for dinner.  Plus, we also won’t be waiting in lines trying to order lunches while have a low-sugar meltdown.

Because we arrived at the hotel at 11 a.m. the children’s stomachs were already starting to growl by the time we got settled in the room. No problem!  I pulled out a lunch picnic in two minutes, and thanks to PBS Kids, my children are convinced this is the coolest hotel ever. 

Tonight, we’ll check out the mega mall that is attached to this hotel and find one of the city’s finest, kid-friendly restaurants.  Tomorrow we’ll be going to a living history village and farm, and then next day it looks like we’re meeting a friend who lives here for a walk on the local trails.  I’m super excited about all of this, and I love seeing the world through my children’s eyes.  Everything is new and exciting.  Around every corner, a surprise is hiding.  Vacationing with a 3 year old and a 1 year old definitely limits where we go, but I feel like I’m seeing so much more because I get to enjoy seeing it through their eyes.  And to them, everything’s magical.

So just in case you hear about a crazy family who brought a cooler to the Radisson, it’s us.  I would spend more time worrying about what people are thinking of our nuttiness, but I have a book that is calling my name, and two children who are finally napping.  

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