Happy Friday ya’ll! Hope you all have been able to slowly ease into January and are slowly starting to get your bearings after all the holiday hoopla. I know I am!
I wanted to share a photo recap of our Christmas that we spent with my brother, my sister-in-law, and my two nephews. A lot of fun was had!
Marshall, Katie, Gabe, and Liam arrived early the Saturday before Christmas. (They drove through the night from Atlanta).
Followed by some backyard fun.
We then decided it was best to get all of the kiddos out of the house for a bit for some real physical activity, so we let Katie take a nap while the rest of us went to Flight Fit N Fun, an indoor trampoline park.
Later that evening after dinner, the kids decorated gingerbread houses!
Suffice to say, everyone went to bed good and tired!
The next morning, Sunday was spent lounging a bit before…
Brunch with Santa at Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap!
So Little Miss was a little hesitant (okay, outright terrified) of Santa and Mrs. Claus at first. Luckily, Luke having no clue what was even happening, was fine for a photo with them!
Fortunately Ava warmed up to both of them before brunch ended. Mommy had to be right beside her of course!
I really enjoyed the brunch and thought Lena’s did a good job of creating a fun and enjoyable experience for both kids and adults. (This was the first year they did a Christmas kid-friendly event). The brunch food was good (complete with a Mimosa and Bloody Mary bar for the adults) and kids got to meet and take photos with Santa and then hear stories and a puppet show from Santa and Mrs. Claus.
After the excitement of Brunch with Santa, the gang laid low around the house for a few hours, before we headed out to dinner at Burtons Grill & Bar and then went to look at some fun Christmas lights.
On Monday (Christmas Eve), Luke and I hung back at home while everyone else went ice-skating!
Later that night, we did more prep for the big day….
Then it was Christmas Day!
The next day we were on the road to Williamsburg, Virginia! I had thought it would be fun to take a small road trip during the cousins visit. A friend had suggested Busch Gardens as a place to go, particularly because they go all out for Christmas Town. It did not disappoint. I definitely want to take Ava and Luke back to Christmas Town next year. It is extremely kid-friendly and the decorations are actually quite amazing and elaborate.
A lot of kid rides were open for business, which was great.
We only stayed one night, but it was a lot of fun. One thing to know – the park can get CROWDED. Wednesday evening/night was manageable, but we didn’t even bother going back to the park on Thursday as the line to even park was insane. Tip: when I booked this trip for everyone, I found a great package deal that included parking at Busch Gardens, a hotel, and meals at the park. However on Wednesday, I had forgotten my package included parking so I went ahead and scheduled the hotel shuttle to take my family and I to/from Busch Gardens. We were at the park in no time. I have a feeling had we done this on Thursday instead of taking advantage of parking ourselves, we would have also been at the park quicker. Bottom line: if your hotel offers shuttle service to/from the park – DO IT.
On Friday, we had to say our goodbyes to everyone. Ava was very sad to see her cousins go. I loved having my brother and his family come visit us. I knew our mom was looking down on all of us loving every minute of our together time, because this is exactly what she had always hoped her kids and grandkids would do often. She was definitely in our hearts and minds. Both Gabe and Ava mentioned her several times during the visit saying they missed their nana.
Here is to many more cousin trips in 2019!