We booked a room at the Best Western in Vancouver (that's Vancouver WA..cause we do live near Vancouver BC...but that would be the wrong direction)...bought three tickets to Monster Jam...loaded up the van...and went on a mini vacation. It. Was. Heaven.!!!!!!
We arrived Friday night after a four hour drive. (we had to wait for Travis to get off work before we could leave) The kids were so excited to be in a hotel, we had to administer melatonin to get them to go to sleep! We got up Saturday morning and took them in to get some breakfast. This was what Joseph reeeeaaaallly wanted. We offered to take them out someplace for breakfast, but Joseph wanted to partake in their "free" continental breakfast. They had a waffle iron so you could make your own waffles, fruit, yogurt, bagels...all those yummy things that beat the heck out of the cold cereal they get at home. After breakfast, Travis took Joseph and Connor to a car wash (cause if we didn't try out a new car wash...it wouldn't have been a fabulous trip for Connor), then they headed off to Portland for Monster Jam. They had an awesome time! They did the pit party before the show. Totally worth the extra money!
They got to meet Pablo Huffaker!
And freakin' sit on George Belhan's couch!!!
Look how close up they got to be to the trucks! So super awesome!
Joseph has idolized Monster Trucks, and especially Grave Digger/Dennis Anderson for most of his 12 years of life. We have tried to encourage this love. It makes me so happy that we are able to take him to see the people and trucks that he loves. This was his third Monster Jam show that he has been to. Seeing how much he loves it, it will definitely not be his last!
Now...here's a kinda funny story. Not funny at the time, but funny now. Joseph took a notebook so that he could get signatures at the pit party. As they got in the van, Joseph realized that he had lost his notebook. Travis said he just sat there, stunned, as Joseph looked for this notebook. So, because he's a good daddy, he went back into the stadium (which, side note, was way better than the Tacoma dome...when you have a pro basketball team play in the arena, you tend to have a nicer venue) to look for the notebook. He couldn't find it anywhere. A worker there suggested that they hurry in and line up at the table where all the drivers were signing autographs. So, Travis grabbed the boys, whipped out his little pocket moleskin notebook and off they ran to try and catch the drivers. They were literally, the last ones in the line, but Joseph was able to get an autograph from every single driver and even talk to a few of them. It made me cry when Travis told me this. Even though I knew Travis was not happy about him losing the notebook, I also knew that this would end up meaning so much to the boys. (again...such a good daddy!) Joseph was so excited that he got to talk to these people and even high five some. He complimented the drivers on awesome tricks that he saw them do on TV at a different show. I just have to say...Advanced Auto Parts Monster Jam is an awesome, awesome organization! No where else will you find the stars of the show be so fan friendly and awesome. Anyway...back to the notebook story...after all that, guess who found his original notebook in the end. (in the bottom of a bag...oops) I'm kinda glad he lost it though, cause he was blessed with an opportunity he wouldn't have had otherwise. (one last time...thank you, Travis, for being such an awesome daddy!)
What were you, Dawn, doing with the other two children while all that was going on? Well...first we bundled up and went on a walk. It's been a while since we walked in a city. We visited a Fred Meyer (which we don't have at home), and a Dollar Tree, and then we went to Dairy Queen for lunch. Spencer got little treats along the way and Elizabeth scored a couple of puzzles and a princess cup.
At Dairy Queen, Spencer kept saying how much fun he was having and thanking me over and over. He isn't a monster truck fan. He likes quiet. This was nice for him. I liked the more personal time we had.
After lunch, we walked back to the hotel. Spencer played on his iPad, Elizabeth and I did puzzles, then we watched a movie and mommy fell asleep on the bed. It was so quiet and relaxing. That night, we ordered pizza (a luxury for us) and watched TV and just relaxed.
We had to go back Sunday morning because Travis had to be to work that afternoon, but we totally decided that we HAVE to do that again! (minus the monster truck show) Just going away from home and responsibilities for a short time was rejuvenating for our minds, souls, and our family relationships.
I wanted to post the video of Joseph getting all of the autographs, but I need to get Travis to send it to me first. It was pretty cool.