Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Big Christmas Adventure Surprise

A few weeks before Christmas, the kids and I were driving through downtown after a doctor appointment and we passed the bed and breakfast that Cody and I have stayed in a few times on special occasions. It is an absolutely breathtaking place, full of history and intrigue. I had the idea that it would be so fun to stay there with the kids around Christmas time and walk downtown to see the lights, then come back to the B&B and snuggle into our Christmas jammies and make a night of it. Sounds picturesque, right? Seemed like a pipe dream and I figured the kids were too little and that maybe one day we'd do it.

When we were driving to Texas for Thanksgiving and we had hundreds of miles of road ahead of us, there was a lull in the conversation and I happened to mention it to Cody that I'd had the idea about the B&B. To my astonishment, he said "Let's do it. This year. Let's not wait. The kids are little, but there will always be a reason as to why now isn't the year. Who cares. Let's do it!"

I immediately called The Inn On The Hill to see availability. I was very happy to hear that the Carriage House was vacant the night of the 23rd...just two day before Christmas. Wow- could it be any more magical? Cody and I stayed in the Carriage House when we got married. In our opinion it is the best part of the B&B. They took the place where they used to keep carriages and other equipment, renovated it, and turned it into a luxury guest house. The place is amazing and it was the perfect size for our brood. Complete with a kitchen and everything!

We decided to keep it a secret from the kids and then a week before the big day, we told them we had a big family surprise planned and they would have to guess what we were doing. They guessed EVERYTHING under the sun. The anticipation was so much fun! Finally the 23rd came and Cody had that Friday off from work. We packed up, still not telling the kids what we were doing, and headed downtown. I have it all on camera as we asked them one last time what their final guesses were. Well, Cody had the cruel idea to tell them we were taking them all to the hospital for a night of surgeries. You see, this was horribly mean because after all, we had spent a large part of the year in and our of the hospital for different things so the kids knew this was the way to the hospital. Yes, it was, but that's not where we were going. We actually had them in tears!! They were so upset!

We pulled into the parking lot of this GORGEOUS mansion and Cody went inside to check in. The kids, still not knowing what was really going on and thinking we were headed to Primary Childrens, were sobbing in the back seat. I couldn't let the misery go on so I told them what we were really doing. They were still so upset and it took a while for them to finally believe that the B&B was what we were ACTUALLY doing!

So this is where we were and this is where we'd stay for the night. (the below picture is taken from the Internet)
Every time we stay here, it's like we are transported to a different and more peaceful time. No stress, so worries. It's like being taken into a turn-of-the-century romance novel. I walked through the place with the kids taking pictures of my favorite places. Below is possibly my favorite place within the main house. I love this window seat below the stained glass. If we lived there, I'd spend hours parked on this seat with a good book in hand.
This is the view from on of the parlors on the main floor. Not too shabby!


We spent a while just exploring the main house. The kids were in heaven! It was fun seeing them run around and enjoying themselves. When Cody and I were married 9 1/2 years prior, we never could have imagined that we'd have five munchkins running around the place!

Front of the house that night.
West side of the house.
East side of the house, facing south into downtown.
Back of the house. Just inside that door is the main desk. LOVE THIS PLACE!! The kids were super happy to explore our own little corner of the universe that night!
And that smaller building is the Carriage House. Home sweet home for us that night!
After we got settled into the Carriage House, we packed up and went to find a place to eat. The entire downtown area was incredibly packed, and there was a point when we thought we may go hungry because every restaurant had at least an hour wait. We passed by JBs (kind of like a Denny's) and it looked like there wasn't much of a wait, so we went in and within ten minutes had a seat!


Then it was off to Temple Square. One of the things we'd wanted to do was take a horse drawn carriage around Temple Square. Hailey was super excited about that, but when we got to the pick up place the line was wrapped all around the block...about 1/8 of a mile! Unfortunately we weren't able to do it that night and the kids were very disappointed, but we said we'd try again another night before the lights came down.
Sadly, Garrett and Devin had not taken good naps that day and they weren't going to last too long in the cold and with it getting late. By the time we got to the pedestal for our traditional Temple picture, they had had enough and started crying a LOT!!


Okay, UNCLE! We headed back to the B&B. When we walked back into the Carriage House, we found a huge surprise waiting for us on the coffee table! How did the Elf know our favorite movie treats??



But before digging into the treats and Christmas movies, we went back over to the main house to read the Christmas story and to enjoy some time by the fire. We pretty much had the entire mansion to ourselves and it was magical!




Then we went back to the Carriage House, changed into our jammies, and snuggled up to watch some Christmas shows.



Breakfast the next morning was amazing. It was awesome having the entire place to ourselves! The kids thought it was great eating breakfast in such a cool place! After breakfast we lazied around in the house, played some pool, and explored some more.




One of the best things about the Carriage House was the amazing bathtub. Ever since check in the day before they had been wanting to take a bath, so after breakfast we figured they could play while we packed up. Garrett kept creeping in to see what all the comotion was about!



We can honestly say that even though there were some cranky babies the night before, it was a huge success and we want to make it a tradition for every Christmas. I guess we know how much we need so save during the year to make it possible come December! Going back to our house on Christmas Eve was a bit of a letdown at first because we'd had such an amazing time at the B&B, but we had some fun stuff to look forward to during the rest of the day as well!

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