After a successful two weekends away earlier this summer we thought we'd try again - this time for a little further and longer trip, by ourselves (another family we knew happened to be at the same place the same weekend, which was really nice, but mostly we were on our own). Layla's really into swimming right now, we haven't had much summer in Seattle yet and the Studly Hubby and I really needed something easy and relaxing - so we rented a fancy place in a resort by a beach (Lake Chelan, we stayed at Wapato Point), a good 4 hr drive East where it's actually sunny and warm (it got up to 100F today!). This place had it all: two bathrooms (!), a pool right outside our door, a beach a little walk away, a deck overlooking the lake, and lots and lots and lots of things for kids to do - playground equipment, boats, mini-golf, wading pools, fresh clean grassy lawns to run around barefoot, and a fairly unrestricted attitude about screaming and nakedness (especially good for us, erm I mean Layla).
I have to admit, the whole hotel-by-the-beach thing is not a regular thing for us. I was a little worried after spending all that money that the drive, the toddler, and the heat might get to us - but we really really enjoyed it and would do it again in a heartbeat (the drive and the toddler did get to us but it was still worth it). Our biggest challenge was that our fiesty girl decided she didn't need to nap at all while we were there, which doesn't suit her well, so the afternoons got very long and wearing (especially Saturday). Fortunately the place offered many good distractions to help us get through it.
My favorite activity: the waterpark, which had FIVE slides we could take Layla on and a Lazy River (which she also liked, surprisingly). Derek's favorite: the hotel pool and throwing Layla up into the air so she could splash in the water on her way down (the first time, she sucked down a bunch of water and spluttered around a bunch and then screamed with glee, "DO IT AGAIN!!!"). Layla's favorite: the paddle boat, which gave her much fodder for imaginary play once we got home (now when we pretend to go somewhere we can do it in a boat, which is much less complicated than a car because there are no parking or traffic problems).