The Date Jar: Week 3 (Family Getaway!)

Alas, the day has come where my husband comes home straight after work and the late weeknight basketball games are no more. His basketball coaching season came to a close a little over a week ago. Although I support him in all he does, a little part of me is excited that his season ended prematurely during a single-elimination tournament. As much as I love to watch him succeed in his basketball season I also love having him all to myself at home. I know I know…it’s selfish. I missed having him home in the evenings and I absolutely can’t stand the times (although they are very few) when we are unable to eat dinner together. It’s the way I was raised…dinner at the table every night.

It’s only fitting that this being our first non-basketball weekend since October that we should plan an extended family date. We didn’t want to spend gobs of money on a getaway weekend, so we decided to stay fairly local. We purchased a hotel on the north side of Columbus in a nice suburb filled with many attractions, and set out with no concrete plans and a bunch of free time.

We woke up Saturday morning and packed. Our home is in a predominantly rural community about twenty minutes south of Columbus. With the weather being as cold as it has been lately we decided to find an indoor activity near the Columbus metro area to visit and look for hotels in that area. We settled on a really nice suburb of Columbus, Worthington. This was a perfect location for this “staycation” as it ends up being about an hour drive from our home. It is far enough away to feel like a trip and it is an area we rarely visit so it held new adventures and the visitor appeal from our perspective.

Our first venture during our getaway was a Hobby Lobby. I could have spent the entire trip in this store. I love the decorating ideas, crafting supplies, and inspiration that fill every aisle. I left the shop with so many new ideas for home improvement projects to tackle. My husband may loathe that store more than any other on the planet simply for the fact that a trip to Hobby Lobby tends to result in a new home project.

Next, we embarked on a shopping mall. Polaris Fashion Place is a very upscale shopping center in that area. We spent a couple of hours looking around and spending minimal amounts. Our goal for the weekend was not to break out budget, but to also get some much-needed retail therapy at the same time. The theme I guess: Sensability. I feel so pathetic saying this, but I have not been truly on a shopping trip since the week before Thanksgiving. So there were things (especially for my daughter) that we needed to purchase.

Each of us purchased a few new items. We are building up a new Spring wardrobe for our daughter so she got to pick out an outfit and due to great deals we purchased an Easter dress for her as well. I purchased a new spring top, lipgloss, and a book about Blogging. My husband, the basketball freestyler, bought a new basketball to use during his travelling ministry shows and a Christian life book which is one of his favorite genres. Here is a look at our spoils:

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After a couple of hours at the mall it was off to dinner for the three of us. One of our favorite restaurants in the Columbus Metro area is Carabbas Italian Grill. We are a pasta-loving family. We don’t eat pasta too often, but on special occasions we splurge on a good Italian meal. My husband and I each ordered Wood Grilled Chicken (mine with a side of fettucine alfredo and his with a side of garlic mashed potatoes). The meal was topped off with a luscious Tiramisu shared amongst the three of us. Right before we paid our bill a woman seated behind us shared a 15% off coupon with us. She said that our daughter was so cute and so well-behaved. Score! We left stuffed and satisfied.

photo credit: http://www.savingaddiction.com/10-off-at-carrabbas/

After dinner we ventured to Magic Mountain. If you are not familiar with the concept it is an affordable and family friendly indoor playground for various age levels. This spot has a kids jungle gym area, arcade, go-karts, put-put, and laser tag. With our daughter only being two years old we decided to just try the jungle gym. The cost: $3…TOTAL! Due to the temperatures the place was extremely crowded. It made me a little nervous, but our daughter had a blast. She ran around with other kids her age and enjoyed the chance to climb, slide, and play with balls (from a ball pit). She played hard, and it was a late night. From my perspective it couldn’t have been better. All of us getting a chance to do something each of us would like individually and enjoying it together. Such a great weekend 🙂

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We stayed at a hotel chain not too far from the shopping center/Magic Mountain. We enjoyed an evening of browsing through tv channels and reading. This is the perfect way to end any day in the Sisley home.

Sunday morning we were up a little later than normal, partially due to Springing Forward. Also, since we were not too far from home we were able to make it to a church service at our home church in Grove City. We went to a later service, but it was also a great way to end the weekend. (Especially since we hadn’t been to church in a few weeks due to various snow storms that always seemed to occur Saturday night into Sunday mornings)

The concept of family getaways to a fairly local location is one that every family should try once or twice a year. It gave us a chance to spend some quality time as a family doing things we love and mixing in some new adventures all while spending much less than we would to take a proper vacation. It was nice to have the time away from home where I didn’t feel obligated to wash dishes or do laundry. Family quality time always lacks a little bit toward the end of basketball season so it is always great to get some time just us to get back in sync and enjoy each other’s company.

I hope you are enjoying our Date Jar series. I know I’m enjoying the family quality time and I hope I’m inspiring you with affordable ways to date your family.  IMG_0355

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