Last year after driving 1,800 miles to visit Williamsburg, Virginia among a few other stops, the highlights for the boys were the frog pond behind our condo, Bush Gardens, and the water park we visited. Really? We looked at each other and thought, well, we could have done all of that without leaving the state. That’s when we decided this summer would be the year of the staycation (although in the end, we did leave the state a couple times).

We started with a long weekend at Camp Hascher. Andy’s cousin Nancy and her family proved to be the most gracious hosts when we stopped in Cincinnati as part of our trip last year, and now they will never be able to keep us away!

Emily and Will hanging out in the pool

We enjoyed a relaxed weekend hanging with family (cousin Christie also drove in from Indianapolis) in the pool and eating well. Scott cooks a mean breakfast, and we took full advantage of his hospitality. We enjoyed perfect summer weather all weekend.

The kids were also excited to see Bimini, the sweetest Basset, and Ben especially spent lots of time giving her love.

So far we haven’t had too much “can we get a dog?” backlash. We made a quick stop at the U of I on the way home to visit our new favorite frozen yogurt place. If you get a chance to visit, be sure to stop by Cocomero (on Wright Street where Joe T. Garcia’s used to be). It is a serve yourself frozen yogurt place complete with a huge bar of toppings. After creating your treat, they weigh your haul and charge by the pound. Yes, this can be a problem! My favorite is cheesecake yogurt topped with blueberries and strawberries. Yum!

Tuesday we hit the weather exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. Ben’s favorite thing was the baby chicks. We even got to see one break out of his shell! Will was pretty into the model train exhibit, not surprisingly.

Wednesday we drove to Lake Geneva and spent the night at Timber Ridge. We’ve been going there since Ben was one or two, and the boys always enjoy it. This year Will got to ride the big slide with Daddy. Andy got a pretty good workout climbing the 4 flights of stairs over and over! Wednesday evening we headed into town for a change of scenery, and I couldn’t resist taking advantage of the gorgeous light.

We wrapped the week up with Great America on the way home. It was crowded and the lines were long, but we had a great day. The boys are 42 and 46 inches now, so they were able to go on all the same rides, making it much easier to navigate the park as a family. Their favorite was the Whizzer, which we rode last. Will perfected his roller coaster scream complete with hands thrown up in the air. He is most definitely our daredevil.

Happily they both still get a kick out of the little kid rides, too. I think they especially liked the short lines! I thought we might last an afternoon there, but we ended up staying until 9:30! Needless to say, Andy and I were exhausted and sore the next day. The boys went to a movie and I got some quiet time on Friday.

It’s hard to believe school starts in two weeks, but I think we are all ready to get back to a routine. I am sure keeping the boys entertained until then will be a challenge.

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