Last week we prepared for our first weekend get-a-way of the summer as a family of seven to a beautiful amusement park a few hours away, Busch Gardens. We packed up the car as we headed for a lovely stay at the Hilton Garden Inn. Staying in a good hotel is a must when you are traveling with so many children. It can make or break your trip and the hotel had a beautiful indoor pool. It made the trip. We are no longer able to all fit into a standard sized hotel room so it was nice to be in a suite that was just steps away from the front desk. Ideal location when you are hauling things to and from the parking lot!
We arrived Friday afternoon to the hotel and immediately hit the pool since we couldn’t check-in just yet. This was Grayson’s first time in a pool so I couldn’t wait to see how he reacted. After we spent some time relaxing, we headed to un-pack and get ready for dinner. We took the kids to Outback Steakhouse — and well, that was a production in itself. Another first taking all 5 kids to a restaurant, but they did well! Minus Sadie trying to play peek-a-boo with the booth next to us. It was nice to unwind and relax as a family. We headed back so I could catch-up on the work I missed through the day and Andrew took the oldest ones to the pool while I stayed back with the little ones. It was early bedtime since we had to be up and out the door to head to Busch Gardens by 10 AM.
Saturday was so much fun! Grayson didn’t cry once being out in the 92 degree heat for almost 12 hours. He enjoyed every minute as did all of the girls. Grayson watched every minute of what they were doing when he couldn’t tag along. He sat back in his stroller and took it all in. He loved people watching and got so much attention in his Stokke Xplory stroller, which really was such a huge hit. I don’t think he would have made it through the heat without the stroller because of the parasol that attaches. He was able to stay nice and cool the entire time. Grayson turned 8-months-old on Saturday and truly enjoyed every minute of his vacation!
Take a look to see all of the happy faces from the weekend!
Grayson’s First Trip! 1 of 21
Click-through 20 photos of Grayson's first hotel stay at the Hilton Garden Inn and our trip to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA!
The Hotel Surprise 2 of 21
Upon arriving at the hotel we were welcomed with a sweet surprise! Needless to say, my kids went crazy. It was such a nice gesture as a first time guest at the Hilton Garden Inn and a wonderful first impression.
Stud Alert 3 of 21
Beach Ball Fun 4 of 21
Grayson loved the beach balls in the basket from the hotel. He played with them every chance he could.
Grayson LOVES the Pool 5 of 21
Grayson was loved the indoor pool at our hotel so much. He couldn't wait to get in the water. The best part? It was like our own private pool! No one was ever there.
Family Time 6 of 21
My life. These six right here! I don't know what I would do without them.
Pool Time 7 of 21
Looks like someone is really enjoying his mini-vacay!
Big Sisters 8 of 21
Group shot by the pool of the girls! Grayson just loves his big sisters so much.
Mommy and Grayson Time 9 of 21
While everyone enjoyed the pool after dinner, Grayson stayed back with me while I worked a little bit. I enjoyed all of his smiles and company. And the very quiet hotel room!
Ready for the Day 10 of 21
Zoe and I had to take the obligatory mirror picture as we headed out the door for the day. Yes, my 10-year-old is the same height as me.
Happy 8 Months Grayson! 11 of 21
Grayson Meets Elmo 12 of 21
As big Sesame Street fans, Grayson was all smiles when he got to take a picture with Elmo. He couldn't get enough of our furry friend and even gave him a hug.
Relaxin’ 13 of 21
It's a vacation right Mom? So, I am relaxing!
Ready Mom 14 of 21
Sunglasses. Check! Hat. Check! Amazing stroller. Check! Sunscreen. Check! Grayson is ready for his day!
Buy the Stokke Xplory stroller
All Smiles 15 of 21
I couldn't believe how happy Grayson was knowing he was somewhere different and just so excited to watch his sisters play.
Catching a Ride 16 of 21
Kennadi catching a ride on the sibling board of Grayson's Stokke Xplory. Seriously, having a good stroller helps so much when you are going to be using it for ten hours.
Enjoying the Birds 17 of 21
Busch Gardens has a beautiful bird exhibit where sometimes the birds even land on you and you can feed them. It was so fun to see him interacting and enjoying wildlife.
Taking a Break 18 of 21
And this is what traveling with 5 kids around an amusement park looks like. Yes, two strollers are needed. Zoe, Kennadi and Grayson took a little break while we watched the others on the rides.
Sibling Love 19 of 21
Grayson loves his big sisters and Sadie just can't get enough of "my baby".
So Much Fun! 20 of 21
First time on the carousel! Look at that face. So priceless!
Oh, This Face 21 of 21
This face says it all! At the end of the day, even after 10 hours at the park, Grayson was still laughing and having the time of his life.
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