Redeeming our Family Vacation: Choosing Joy Amidst the Hardship!

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I thought today I’d share a bit about our family vacation last week. We left Sunday morning to travel to our vacation destination: Colorado Springs! We had never been there and were excited about some of the fun things we had planned to do. Little did we know how our trip would begin….


We ended up getting a flat tire about an hour and a half down the road. Thankfully we had a good spare and my husband was able to safely get the tire switched out. We then headed to the closest Walmart (about 40 minutes away) to get a couple new tires. While we waited for the mechanics at Walmart to do their thing, we ate lunch and then walked around the store until it was done. We ended up losing about 3 hours of driving time. We were hoping to get to Colorado Springs for dinner, but now that looked like it wasn’t going to happen.

We did get to Colorado Springs and to our motel safely. We ate a yummy dinner at Denny’s and then crashed for the night. We were all so tired!

The next morning we woke up to a sick kid. He was having terrible stomach cramps, and other issues we won’t discuss! So we ended up staying at the motel all morning, trying to get him feeling better. We were so thankful for a nice motel room (suite) that had a kitchenette in it. We were able to get some bread and jelly and make him toast to eat.


After lunch I decided to take the kids (minus the sick one) swimming at the motel pool. We got all the intertubes inflated, swim suits on, etc., and headed to the pool…only to find that it was closed the whole week for maintenance! We were so disappointed.

By later afternoon my son was feeling better, so we headed to this fun “Penny Arcade” that someone had told my husband about. No, the games were NOT a penny, but we did have a lot of fun! After we were done there we headed to a restaurant for dinner. We got our dinner ordered and then my youngest daughter complained her stomach hurt. I ended up heading to the car with her before our dinner even got to the table. She proceeded to throw up (yes I did have a bucket in the car..thankfully), and then was soon joined by my son who was still not feeling the best. My husband and the other kids finished up eating and got our food “to go” and we headed back to the motel.


By Tuesday morning my daughter was much better and my son was on the mend as well. I decided to stay at the motel with the younger kids and my husband and two oldest children headed back to Garden of the Gods for some more pictures. We drove through Garden of the Gods the previous day, but could not stop or anything because of a sick kid.


So they enjoyed going back, getting out and walking on some of the paths, and taking lots of amazing pictures. It was just beautiful!


After they were done, they ate lunch at The Trading Post (the gift shop at Garden of the Gods) and had buffalo burgers!


By Tuesday night my son was doing really good, so we headed to the minor league baseball game (we purchased tickets before we left for their $2 Tuesdays game)! It was a lot of fun and the kids go to see some players that they recognized that had played in the majors at some point.


On Wednesday we visited Focus on the Family. The kids had so much fun going down the big slide (yes, I even went down it once)!




We ate lunch in the Whit’s End Soda Shop.


We also shopped in the book store (of course!) and bought a few Adventures in Odyssey videos for the kids.


When we were done we headed to a little miniature golf course that my husband found that you can golf for $2 per person. It wasn’t the fanciest golf course, but we all had fun. Our day ended by visiting a neat toy store in downtown Colorado Springs, and then having dinner at Cracker Barrel.

What is kind of funny is that before we left on vacation we all said, “Nothing is going to ruin our vacation! Whatever happens we are just going to enjoy being together.”

Little did we know what was in store for us! As each “hard” thing happened to us, we all kept reminding ourselves of what we had said before we left. God was good, though, and even though things didn’t go the way we had planned, we ended up getting to do almost all we had planned on doing and having fun too.

Now we are back, laundry is done, suitcases are unpacked, and I am ready to get back into a schedule again. We start our homeschool next week, so this week will be busy getting things ready for that. Have a blessed day!

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  1. Sheri, I totally relate! Last summer, our vacation turned into a staycation because impending bad weather canceled our camping trip. This year, money was tight, so a week turned into 4 days (Thursday-Sunday). Our condo plans fell through at the last minute and we were trying to figure out where to stay. Unfortunately, on that Monday before our vacation was to start, my husband had to hurry out of town to care for his sick mother. We followed him down later that day. He had to care for her 24 hours a day (and he would barely let me give him a break) until Friday, when she went into the hospital. We did a couple "vacation-y" things after that, but no one really felt like having a good time. She passed away on Monday after our "vacation" ended. We spent the next week boxing up her belongings and preparing arrangements and refereeing between her other two sons who wanted to fight over every personal belonging. I promised the kids that next year we'd have a lovely, "real" vacation and remember GiGi throughout it.
    1. Thank you for sharing Leigh. I am so sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. That must have been really hard. But I really do believe that God works in our lives through these times -- the good and the bad. I will pray that next year you can have a real vacation -- one a little less eventful! God bless!

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