Saturday, June 20, 2009

Holiday World 2009

- Free Parking
- Free Soft Drinks, Water, Lemonade, and Gatorade
- Free Sunscreen
- Free Life Jacket Use

- Really GREAT, Scary Wooden Roller Coasters
- Great, Friendly Service
- Sparkling Clean Park
- The #2 Water Park in the Nation

- Wonderful Family and Friends
- Lots and Lots of FUN!

These are just a few of the GREAT things about Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN.

My sister and her family go religiously, every year. They started going when Natalie, now 8, was only 2. So six years straight they have been going and telling us how great it is.

This is really the first year we had a child old enough to enjoy it and since it is only a three hour drive we started considering it. I called my SIL, Jen who is one of my very best friends in the world, and asked her if she and her family would want to meet there this summer. They live in Indianapolis and it was only a 3 hour drive for them too. She thought it was a great idea, and soon, we were putting our calenders together and coordinated a date, June 18&19.

Our plan was to leave Zac at home with Grandma and Grandpa (he's still just too little) and to drive up first thing Thursday morning. We decided we would rent a room at Santa's Lodge, just a few feet away from the park. Jen and Gavin (Seth's brother) are going on a trip to the beach next month so they decided that they wouldn't spend the night. But we planned on going back to the park on Friday and driving home that evening. We were all very excited!

I talked to my sister the next day. We were chit chatting and I mentioned our dates. I knew she had already set her plans and reservations with her friends months ago.Then she said, "OMG, that's exactly the dates we will be there too!" Huh? I couldn't believe that... of all the days in the summer months, we had selected the very same days to travel to Santa Claus, IN! This was going to be FUN!

So, on Thursday morning, off we went. As usual, Lydia was perfect in the car. We didn't hear a peep from her except that she was cold. That was easily fixed. She sat happily and excited to see all of her cousins and friends. Words cannot describe the FUN we had! We all arrived within minutes of each other. It rained on the way there. In fact it POURED for both Jen and Jennifer driving in from Indy and St. Louis. But, the minute we stepped into the park, the skies turned blue and the sun came out. It was hot but not unbearable. It was perfect.

Their roller coasters completely took me by surprise. I really don't scare that easily, I have jumped out of a plane after all, but these wooden roller coasters flying at almost 65 miles per hour were just plain SCARY! My 12 year old nephew Sam was my roller coaster buddy. When we were on the way up the tallest hill this girl has climbed on a roller coaster called, The Voyage...

All I could say was "Sam, Sam, Sam..." over and over again. When we were standing in line he was so sweet. He was saying "Katie, the first hill is the worst, and it's not as rough and jerky as the Legend. You are going to be fine. You will love it! You went skydiving. This is just a roller coaster." It's no wonder that kid has gotten gobs of leadership awards and scholarships. I so love Sam!

Lydia and Abby had fun riding rides together. Haley and Mackenzie (both my nieces from both sides) became BFF's and wanted to know if they can call each other cousins. Seth got to spend some hard to come by time with his brother Gavin, and of course Jen and I just talked and laughed all day!

They had such GREAT rides and attractions for kids Lydia's age. She could almost ride everything she wanted to. The cut off was "36, and she is "37! Whew! I think she had the most fun at the water park. Her swim lessons have REALLY proven to build her skill and confidence in the water. It was just so much FUN watching her splash and swim and slide down BIG and small slides.

When the park closed at 7:30 (way to early) it was time to say good bye to The Taylor's. We were all so sad end the day together. I think both Haley and Mack cried and Jen and I cried too. We don't have the best of in law situations, so we are really all each other has. As she was leaving she hugged me one more time and tearfully said, "This is what family is supposed to be about." I couldn't agree more, and now THIS will be our new summer family tradition with them. What wonderful memories our children will have!

We left the park and headed to our accommodations, Santa's Lodge only about a mile from the park. They had a picnic pavilion and a playground. The kids played and ran around while the adults shared stories and enjoyed a few cold beers. Chad and a few of the kids went out and got a bunch of pizzas. It was the perfect end to the perfect day. By 11 O'clock, Lydia was finally asleep.

The next morning we packed up and got ready to head out for another full day in the park. Lydia did great, even after a pack filled couple of days. She always amazes us with her happy go lucky ways. I wish I had her personality sometimes. By late afternoon though, we could tell she was dragging.

We thought for sure she would be OUT within minutes of the car ride home. NOPE, she watched movies, sang songs, and ate skittles (a very rare and special road trip treat).
All in all, it was exactly what our souls needed. There is nothing better than friends, family, fun and lots of LOVE to re-energize you!! It was just what the doctor ordered.

ON THE WAY!!! Lydia was soooo EXCITED!!!

The very first people we saw were The Handshy's

Then, right away we found The Taylor's!!

And it was time to RIDE! "Are you ready Abby? Here we Go!"
Sweet Cousins, Abby and The Bug

Mack and Abby. Abby was sooo BRAVE! The Seahorse Ride

Bumper Boats

Nats and Lydi being silly!


Lydi and "Her Girls"

All Set and Ready for Day #2!

Hi Everybody!!!

Oh Shit... Lydia is behind the wheel!!

Wooo Hooo, Sprinklers too cool off!!


Thanks Holidog! See you NEXT year!


  1. That sounds like so much FUN! I have never heard of that place or Santa Claus, IN. How fun to be in a town named that!! Holy cow! you are one brave gal riding that coaster (and jumping out of a plane?!). I think my wimpy self would pass :) Glad you were able to spend some needed time with the extended family! Look at all those kids - what memories you guys will have for years to come. Love the pics!!

  2. HOW FUN - I definately need to put Santa Claus, IN down as a trip possibility for us! I love Roller Coasters and all the craziness that goes with it! HOW MUCH FUN! Looks like you had a well deserved break (if you could call it that) and some fabulous family time! Can't wait for ours, we're flying out to Florida next month to see my BIL and heading to some parks and South Beach. LOVE SUMMER!

  3. What a great trip! Awesome photos and memories...Good for you!

    I wanna go to Wonderland now (thats the closest park to us).
    Looks like a great trip!

  5. It looks like you guys had a blast! But all I can think is "Hell no!" after seeing that roller coaster picture. I used to ride them like crazy but not so much now.

  6. WOW!! So much fun.....makes our little trip to the waterpark seem like a dud! So nice to have traditions, the kiddos will always remember those moments!

  7. Okay, the roller coaster scared me. The pictures are awesome. I wish Indiana wasn't so far that looks like great fun!