Monday, January 2, 2017

Christmas Adventures 2015 (for 2016)

I explained in this post about how we did Christmas adventures instead of tons of presents last year. Here's my post about what our adventures (which we experienced in 2016) were. 
Before I tell you about them, I want to mention that it was so much fun to have adventures to look forward to during the first part of 2016 from the Christmas presents. We loved that a lot. AND I want to note that the major way this saved us money was in the fact that instead of buying lots of stuff to mess up my house on Christmas, I bought far less stuff, and spent the money on adventures we would have through the year...adventures we were planning on anyway! By planning ahead and presenting them as Christmas Adventures, we paid once for twice the excitement! It was glorious!
For Christmas 2016, we did 4 adventures. Here's the 411 on each of them.

Adventure 1

This adventure was based on a wish of our middle child. He is both #TomBradysBiggestFan and #StephanCurrysBiggestFan. His wish was to see Tom Brady and/or Stephen Curry play live. I looked into it and found that Stephen Curry (and the rest of the Golden State Warriors) would be playing in Portland (a short 2-3 hour drive for us) on Jan 8, 2016. So, that became our first adventure. Tickets for the whole family to that game on January 8. Here are some pictures of that adventure:

Adventure 2
This one was based on my oldest child's wish to see the Broadway tour of Wicked. Sadly, we had just missed Wicked coming near us so we had to settle for another (family friendly) Broadway tour. I found that Newsies was going to be coming to both Seattle and Portland (both near us) and that the Portland one was on a weekend when my husband was off. So, adventure 2 was tickets for the whole family to go see Newsies in Portland on April 23. One hitch with that one. After buying the tickets we learned that kids under 6 were not allowed to go, and our youngest had JUST turned 5. So, he got to spend the day at his BFF's house and we took BFFs oldest sister with us to the show with us. Here are some pictures of that adventure:

Adventure 3
Our second child wanted to ski this year (as did his dad). Wes (my husband) and the kids had a long weekend off in February, after which Wes would start working in Yakima on his weeks off from his job in Aberdeen at the time (he officially started in Yakima full time in April, the kids and I followed him here when they got out of school in June). Adventure 3 became a ski trip to Leavenworth  where the kids got to take lessons and learn to ski after which we stopped for a day in Yakima for the kids to see where we would be moving. It was quite an adventure. All the kids loved it except our oldest. Skiing is not much her thing apparently (which I get). Here is picture overload from that adventure:

Adventure 4 
All 5 of our kids had heard that Harry Potter land was opening at Universal Studios in California in April 2016. They all wanted to go so badly. Adventure 4 simply stated that at some point during 2016 we would be going to Universal Studios and Harry Potter land, but the exact dates would be a surprise. That was a FUN adventure for us! We did not tell the kids when we were going. Remember how I said Wes moved to Yakima in April, and we were still in Aberdeen? Wes tried to come home on weekends, but it was about a 4 hour drive and got daunting, so sometimes we tried to go there. On this particular weekend in May, I told the kids we were meeting dad in Seattle (about 2 hours drive for each of us) to celebrate our 4th child's birthday. When we got to the hotel, we gave this cake to our daughter:
If you can't read it, it says "Happy Birthday Kindle, we're going to Disneyland" and, we added also to Harry Potter land for our final adventure. It was so fun to surprise them all over again! We splurged on or Harry Potter day and did the VIP pass at Universal Studios. It was AWESOME, but I won't go into detail as I posted about it here
We loved our adventures so much we decided to do it again this year! Stay tuned to see what we planned for 2017!