A recounting of our recent attempt at a ‘fun family day’… not something we attempt to do very often, as our family time generally just circles around and focuses on food consumption 😉 It was too long to explain on an instagram story and as it was Lake’s first ‘vacation’ I felt it would best be to be documented here.
It began as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed one day, when a post from a local Saskatchewan page caught my eye.
(It’s found under ‘Cherry Lane Mansion’ on Airbnb, so spread the word so no one else has to fall prey)
It was a listing for a privately owned pool, available to rent out for a few hours at a time.
It looked pretty appealing, was a decent price and sounded like something fun we could do as a family, while waiting for spring to truly appear 😉
So, after showing the rest of the family and glancing at some reviews, a plan was made to make it happen!
The day of our booking came and we loaded up, me with a little bit of cautious anticipation, since I’d had a dream that the guy who owned the place was super creepy and was showing us all of his parrots and telling us his eating plan and wouldn’t leave when we wanted to start swimming etc.😅
But that was just a dream and nothing to be worried about.
Or so we thought 🤪
As we drove towards the address of the pool house, the surrounding homes gave us hope.
There was a large castle-esque home, newly built mansions and the Saskatchewan river was nearby.
Then we pulled up to the parking space of the house that was our destination.
The outside of the house itself was interesting.
The condition of the yard and entrance to the pool area, were also…’interesting’.
We entered the pool area timidly, not really understanding what the host was muttering through his mask aside from him saying something about the water looked cloudy but that it would clear up in the next hour.
(Not great when you’re only booked somewhere for three hours but ok sir 🤪.)
He went out and my sister and her family came in from their car.
The kids excitedly wondered when they could get their swim stuff on and go in and the adults slowly looked around, trying to hold in the grimaces and just accept the fact that we most likely would not be staying to do any swimming 😬
Our parents arrived right as we were turning to go back out the door and say adieu to the place and try to come up with a new game plan for the day…
We told the man we wouldn’t be staying and he mumbled something or other about it being perfectly clean and fine but we politely disagreed and left.
(He did send an almost full refund shortly after we’d left, before we even had to ask for one, so that was nice to not have to message and fight for.)
The sister found a nearby park to go to eat the Una pizza our parents had picked up for us all. Luckily, eating outside was possible, since it was a beautiful, +16, sunshine filled day.
We enjoyed our lunch and tried to think of what to do with our day, as the kids rambled around, exploring on the path beside our table. Due to Covid, many things required booking a slot or weren’t open, thus making them impossible since we had no notice and no where to comfortably wait around for openings what with two babies, no strollers and four kids 🤪
Pizza eaten and no real plan in place aside from probably going for ice cream, we walked over to the playground. Where the adults and babies simply enjoyed soaking up the sun as the kids ran off some energy from the drive and built up pool anticipation.
They all did fabulously and didn’t complain a bit about missing out on the pool though ♥️
Though our appetites weren’t all that large yet, we decided to go for the ice cream and then probably go on our separate ways, since the day appeared to hold no more real purpose 🤪
Homestead Ice Cream was visited and Lake awoke just in time to taste test the multiple flavours that were offered to him from the surrounding cones 😜
The parents decided to do Costco and then head back home as they had two grands with them.
The sister and her family found a second hand bike to go check out for their eldest and then had to plan according to their newest wee ones eating schedule, as to what else filled their day🤪
I showed Mike a pool with water slides at the Travelodge and he proceeded to immediately call and ask if by chance a room could be booked and the pool used but they couldn’t say unless you were there in person, if a pool slot was available.
We didn’t really need anything in the city so we figured we might as well head home too.
If you can imagine, the emotional state of the day was a little, ‘roller coastery’ 😬😜
I’ll be the first to admit that I do not respond to changed and unknown plans very well, so I was a bit stressed and that was showing up.
I think perhaps a little bit for all of us, in different ways 🤪
So it truly felt like a bit of a wasted day, though we’d had enjoyable bits between the stresses.
As we drove past the hotel with said pool and slides on our way out of the city, Mike looked at me and I can’t remember what we said but it was something along the lines of, ‘it seems dumb to go pay for a hotel room for a little wee bit of swimming but it also feels like it was such a pointless day, so do we check anyways?’.
Mike turned around and I fed Lake a bottle in the truck while he asked prices of a room and if there was a chance of getting in for swimming.
He came back out with a room key and a time slot 😜
We then got in touch with my sister before they left the city and their girls were dropped off so they could at least enjoy some swimming too.
We got into the room and I want to say it was happiness from being out of his car seat and not some deep, instinctual need to travel obtained from his father, that had Lake squealing and kicking in excitement at being on the hotel bed 😉
We had 30 minutes to kill before it was our turn to go into the pool but that passed by pretty quickly.
With the girls exploring every bit of the small hotel room 😉
*Side note – I got Lake a reusable swim diaper 🤪
The disposable ones are not only expensive but they also always look so useless and uncomfortable that I figured this way was worth a shot.
I think it worked out well 💁🏻♀️
It did feel odd to be in a hotel room, as lame as that seems and as sad as it is that it was just in the city an hour away from home 😅
The lack of travel since this virus nonsense really changed things, which we knew, but I didn’t expect it to feel so fun, just to be in a hotel room 🙈
We walked to the pool and I watched as Mike confidently walked into the water, giving Lake zero adjustment time before submerging him up to his neck 🤪🙈
I’m happy to report, Lake thoroughly enjoyed himself 😁
Lake duty was then handed off to me, as ‘Uncle Mike’ had to take over from Daddy mode 😉
Quickly taking the girls to the waterslides, where they continued to go down them, many, many times ☺️
They convinced me to join them, once on each slide and I can safely report that I STILL abhor waterslides that are enclosed with tunnels and I went down with my eyes closed, telling myself just to breath and the tunnel would end soon 🤪
The slides ended into shallow pools of water though, making it a much nicer exit for the wee people, rather then being catapulted into the deep end of a pool 👍🏻
(To continue the vacation dream, I told Mike to imagine it was some far away church tower we were climbing up and around, as we ascended the waterslide steps 😉.)
Mike cajoled and puppy eyed until I finally gave in and let him take Lake down the slides.
It stressed me out a bit but Lake didn’t seem care either way and it gave his dad much joy 😉
We girls also thoroughly enjoyed the hot tub, where as Mike flinched away in discomfort 🤪
Our time allotment came to an end, just as Lake’s span of enjoyment was over as well, so that worked out perfectly.
He nearly fell asleep during the very short walk from the pool, to our room 😅
We detangled ourselves from the sopping towels and soggy swim clothes before picnicking on the bed from the snacks the girls had been sent with 😉
And, thus ended the shortest hotel stay of our history! 🤪
There was a spring storm of pretty serious implications (snow, rain and winds up to 100 km per hour) being warned about beginning in the wee morning hours, or we probably would have made due with our odds and ends and spent the night but I felt that was too risky.
And as one of the small persons pointed out, ‘we don’t have pyjamas though!’ 😜
It would have been a lack of Lake diapers that concerned me more than pyjamas, but whatever😉
We clamoured into the truck, satisfyingly tired and eventually lost each mini person to slumber…
Actually though, I just wanted to make sure I would still be able to sleep when bedtime came 🙈
We dropped the girls off at their house and so ended our ‘Staycation’ 😅
10 out of 10 – not sure I’d recommend 😂😜♥️