Vacation Survival Guide

Oh, the pains of crawling out from under a sugar hangover this morning. Why must the Reeses Peanut Butter eggs tempt me so?

And why must I see the need to eat my weight in them, year after year?

But the headache and sugar withdrawals were miraculously cured the minute that I saw this beautiful sight lumbering down the street, carrying my children:

So our little mini-spring break vacation.

What to say?

Well, we took the kids up to Chicago Wednesday night. Left behind the five-day rainstorms that had plagued our town, hoping for sunshine and blue skies.

Which we got.

Until the six inches of snow blew in. And suddenly we found ourselves pining for the wet rains of St. Louis. My life is absolute living proof that the grass IS NOT GREENER. Punch anyone in the kidneys who tries to tell you that it is. It's not.

We did have a great time, but I learned a few things on this trip. Thought I'd share my them with you, my interpeeps, in case you ever find yourself trapped in a tiny hotel room with three children over spring break.

Stie's Spring Break Survival Guide: What Not to Do Edition

When passing through a town with this sign, know immediately that you do not now, nor will you ever, belong here. Accept the fact that everyone you know would immediately laugh at your return address because they know you.

And you are anything but normal.

When staying at a hotel with your children, never assume there is going to be a pool. Sometimes at big, fancy, downtown hotels, they don't have pools.

But they do have gyms, and you will gladly remember your sudden, extreme need to exercise for the chance of a few minutes to yourself. Even if that means you actually will have to, you know, exercise.

Hotel beds are perfect for doing things that are not allowed at home. Like jumping or simultaneously falling flat on your face to see who gets there first.

The Children's Museum at Navy Pier is the absolute coolest museum ever. Plan on opening and closing the place down, with only a brief intermission for lunch. Your kids will not want to leave thanks to the endless hours of learning, entertainment, and play.

And the best part? There are benches and chairs everywhere so you can sit and watch the learning, entertainment, and play. Without having to learn, entertain, or play.

Standing in front of a fun house mirror will give you insecurities all day that you really might look like this:

Or worse, this:

Sharpay is fully to blame for the slightly awkward, very diva-like pose that your daughter will strike every time a camera is near. When asked about it, she will proudly say that she looks like Sharpay, but sings like Gabriella.


And when returning eagerly to your non-snowy state, try not to drown yourself in a bowl of cereal when you look outside to see snow falling in droves on Easter morning.

Monday WILL come, and they WILL return to school.

And you might just find that you miss them a little.