52 Weeks of Brotherhood: The One with the Melting

52 Weeks of Brotherhood: Melt!

52 Weeks of Brotherhood: Melt!

When you tell a six- and an eight-year-old boy that they can go play in the snow with just sweatshirts and hats — no snow pants and boots and gloves and giant coats — you will then witness pure joy.

The snow began to melt this week after weeks on end of snow, snow, and more snow. While the two of these brothers played and rode sleds and built snowmen and threw snowballs and otherwise did everything you’re supposed to do in the snow, they seemed equally excited at the prospect of warmer air. Of riding bikes in the driveway and down the road. Of getting out the Nerf axe and sword and attacking the forts made in part by the neighbor’s snow plow, their hands forming the rest. Of, ohmygoodness, being outside without the air burning their lungs, stinging their cheeks.


We spent over an hour watching them play, throwing snowballs with bare hands, and generally breathing fresh air.

Two days later, a wicked stomach virus started to make its way through our family. I’ll focus on this memory instead.

Hooray for Outside!



Shop Chloe + Isabel

Giveaway: Cold Winters Require Warm Fun — at Castaway Bay!


Long, cold winters require a bit of warmth, a bit of fun. They require long drives through Amish Country which devolve into giggles over “inappropriate” words spray painted on broken down one room schoolhouses. They require quick bathroom stops in the middle of nowhere, the bathroom not heated with seats cold on our bums. They require surprises for little boys who have had to deal with weeks and weeks of time off from school.

And so, two weeks ago, we did just that, eventually ending up at Castaway Bay in Sandusky, Ohio.

Our third trip to the indoor water park, they boys figured out where we were headed about five minutes away. This year, unlike last year, we were staying at the hotel attached to the water park as we were invited by the PR company for Cedar Point.* We got to stay for free, but even if we hadn’t been invited, we would have purchased tickets like we did last year. It has become a part of our winter routine, something to look forward to during the long, cold, endless season.


This year brought about a little change as the boys, familiar with the layout of the water park, felt okay without us, the parents, hovering over their every move. One reason we prefer Castaway Bay over some of the other indoor water park options is that the size is manageable for the younger set. Our sons are six- and eight-years-old and strong swimmers. While we didn’t let them in the wave pool without us, they were free to climb and play on the big water feature, ride the slides, and take the water roller coaster ride together. That meant? My husband and I got to sit in the hot tub for our first time ever. In three years! The boys ran over every few minutes or so and let us know where they were heading. Then we climbed out and took them to other places they wanted to go that required our presence — or places we wanted to be with them, to play and interact and so on.

The boys also got to have a blast in the arcade that evening. The joy of an arcade and an indoor water park makes for two little boys who sleep very well in hotel rooms. Hooray! (Double hooray because my husband had them to sleep by the time I got back from hanging with some of my favorite people and meeting some great new people, too!)

Oh, hi, friends! Oh, hi, wine!
Friends: Christina of A Mommy Story and Diane of Momo Fali.
Wine from Mon Ami Winery on Catawba Island.

Add in some fun activities, a Snoopy and other Peanuts characters, and yummy food, and really, we had a wonderful little excursion. The 82 degree temperature inside the water park was an added bonus, seeing as how it was nine degrees outside when we visited.



I can’t wait to head back next winter for our annual surprise trip. The questions will likely begin in mid-November. “Is it winter yet? Can we go to Castaway Bay now? It’s cold. I want to go to the water park.” And then one day, we will surprise them, and all will be well!

But you can surprise your family this winter!

I have a four pack of tickets to Castaway Bay (not the hotel, just the water park) to give to one lucky reader. The giveaway will be open from today through next Tuesday, March 4, 2014. A random winner will be chosen and I will contact the winner by email.

How to enter:

  • 1. Simply leave a comment on this post with your favorite winter activity.

  • 2. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment on this post with the URL to your tweet.

Make sure any/all comments have a working email address. Best of luck!


* = All opinions are my own. Duh.