This past weekend, my three youngest sons and I stayed in a hotel only 25 miles from home while they participated in a hockey tournament. It's amazing how only 25 miles can seem like an entirely different place all together. You feel as though you're as far away from home as you could get.
They have busier roads. Lots of restaurants. And even though many of the stores are the same, it's kind of fun to shop at a Target you've never been to.
We loaded up on snacks for our hotel room, a case of water, and off we went to sleep in beds that weren't ours.
I have to admit, some of the charm in hotel rooms is the exploration. Where is the room? Does the key work on the first time? What do they sell in the lobby? Where else can you go into a strange room and open every single drawer and check it out? Oh, and you get your own little bottles of shampoo--Bonus!
Our room was situated right next to the indoor pool. There were hours of fun to be had among brothers, hockey brothers, and new friends that were made just by wanting to swim at that same time.
We had hockey games as late as 9:45PM and had to be to the rink as early at 5:30AM on other mornings. So it was also a practical vacation.
Even when you're running amuck to hockey functions, the vacation still exists. There was giggling when brothers shared beds, down time we usually wouldn't take if we were home, and above all else a closeness you don't get in a big house.
Sure, small hotel rooms are nothing like home. But sometimes they force you to be together when the world tries to pull you all in different directions. Though, when it's over, you might have a ton of laundry and a dirty car, you have a memory that is all yours and you share it with your kids. Seriously, it's worth every dime. I think I'll be making plans for more of these kinds of vacations.