Do you ever feel like you need a vacation from your vacation?! We took a week and headed down to Southern Utah and ended up doing just that.
The first half of the week we stayed with family in Cedar City and enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving feast. We were able to visit with relatives, play games, laugh together, watch movies, go bowling, cook together, eat together and just had the best time catching up with cousins, aunts and uncles. It was so great, yet added to the stress of a recent death in the family and extreme morning sickness, by the end of the week we were dealing with children that had stayed up far too late night after night, ate far too many sweets and junk food, done far too little work, and had far too little structure to exhibit anything but horrendous behavior by the end of our trip.
So rather than heading home to deal with rehabilitating our kids while facing the task of unpacking, work and general daily life pressures, we decided to end our trip with a quick family getaway down in Hurricane. As the rest of the family headed home Sunday night, we headed farther south, hoping to find some warmer weather and immediate family connectedness. Our short 2-day stay was just what we needed to recharge and reset our family priorities.
The Coral Spring Resort just outside of St. George hosted us for what turned out to be the perfect family retreat. Rather than a hotel room that crams everyone together in one spot making sleep and downtime hard to come by they offer condominiums that serve as a home away from home. Our family of 6 enjoyed 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms (they do offer smaller units as well), a full service kitchen, dining room and family area in addition to an amazing outdoor living space. It was perfect, we as parents were located on the opposite end of the space as our children’s bunk room, which they (and we!) loved.
Plenty of personal space when you want it or the option of family space to be together.
We got in late and were thrilled with their modern, no check-in policy. They simply emailed us the room code in our confirmation email and we were able to pull into our reserved garage space and head straight inside without any hassle. Everyone should offer that service!
Upon walking in the door our kids ran around like caged animals being released for the first time in their lives, eager to claim the best beds and check out every light switch and doorway. Once we got settled the kids got on jammies and laid in bed watching TV until they fell asleep, a privilege they had yet to experience in their young lives. (Maybe we do keep them a little too caged! :)
Thanks to seer exhaustion and heavy blinds everyone miraculously slept in until about 9:30 in the morning when we finally managed to get up and going after our first night of solid sleep in days! Everyone was instantly in better moods and had happier dispositions once they’d made up some sleep debt and we were ready to head out and reconnect as a family.
However, on our way to find some breakfast we drove past the clubhouse that the kids had missed on our way in in the dark the previous night and no longer had any interest in leaving the facilities. So after breakfast and some quick grocery shopping we came back and spent the entire remainder of the day playing at the resort.
While the toddler slept (he was probably suffering the most from extreme sleep deprivation!) Dad took the older kids down to play tennis and basketball in the gorgeous Southern Utah weather. They burned off tons of pent up energy, enjoyed some fresh air and exercise and got to laugh and play with their Dad in the middle of the day, it was so perfect!
Once the little guy woke up we headed down to join them for some pool time. Southern Utah is obviously warmer than Salt Lake but not enough that you’d want to go swimming outdoors in November, so we’d told them to just plan on sitting in the hot tub for a while, only to discover that they actually maintain an indoor and outdoor pool. The kids were in heaven and spent hours swimming and playing around together.
I am sure the place gets packed during their peak seasons, but in the off season on a Monday afternoon, we had the place entirely to ourselves and loved every minute of it. By the time anyone finally realized they were hungry it was dinner time and we’d apparently missed lunch altogether… too busy having fun as a family to notice anything else.
We dried off as best we could (we neglected to read the policy about not using room towels at the pool until it was too late to have packed our own). Luckily they had nice showers in the changing rooms and we were able to clean off the kids and change them into dry clothes before heading out into the slightly chilly evening air.
Once we got back Mom and Dad were able to get cleaned up in the large, gorgeous master bathroom (it was the size of our entire bedroom back home!) and then we sat out on the balcony and watched the sunset over the beautiful red rock mountains and played cards while Dad grilled some amazing hamburgers and hotdogs.
Eating out on vacation is always fun, but with kids with severe food allergies sometimes it is more hassle than its worth, so we were so glad to have the option of cooking our own food. (Plus give the man a grill, and Dad makes some awesome burgers!) Luckily the kitchen was stocked with all the necessary tools as well as basic seasonings.
After dinner we cleaned up and then all cuddled up and enjoyed a family movie night. We popped some microwave popcorn and stuck in a movie from Redbox and the kids couldn’t have been happier with their relaxed, low-key day hanging out together as a family.
They literally had everything you could ever need. I think this would be the perfect spot for a family reunion. It was just off the freeway, but just outside of town enough to feel like you are secluded and private. You could rent a few suites for each family or honestly we could have fit a whole other family in ours with us, the kids ended up doubling up on the bunk beds since they were full size and there was a whole other queen bedroom that never got touched!
Everything was close enough that we were easily able to head out the next morning and explore some amazing hikes in the local parks as well as sneak in a game of laser tag and mini golf in town before heading home and back to "real life". It was so nice to just take a couple of days and be together, whenever we plan these kinds of days at home everyone ends up distracted and doing their own thing or finishing to-do list items around the house during any kind of family movie night. Being away from home and all the distractions of life gave us the opportunity to just be together and connect and enjoy some calming peace after a crazy month! Staycations are so great, and I need to remember to plan them more often!