Sunday, December 2, 2012

Flip Flops and Upside Down Christmas Trees

A couple of days ago I posted about our mini-trip over the long holiday weekend to Frankenmuth.  Here is the rest of that post...our hotel visit.

We have been to Frankenmuth many times.  It's just really a place our whole family enjoys.  They have a premium outlet mall close by at Birch Run for shopping enthusiasts, many great shops right in town including two shopping centers (many with custom-made items), and an awesome Cheese Haus that my husband favors above all else.  They also have restaurants aplenty.  The two most popular restaurants by far, for us, are the The Bavarian Inn and Zehnders, both of which offer a unique Bavarian-style experience, right down to what the staff are wearing.  Frankenmuth also has a great coffee house with a play area for the kids built into the wall (under the staircase), and of course they have Bronner's, the worlds' largest Christmas store.  I'm missing a lot, but you get the idea.

We usually stay at the same hotel, and do the same things, but we decided to switch it up a bit this time, and after a little research, we opted for a stay at The Bavarian Inn, more precisely, we decided to stay in the Family Fun Center of the hotel (which is like a hotel within the hotel!).

If have children (any age!), and are headed to Frankenmuth, I highly recommend asking for a room in the Fun Center.  The rooms are literally in the middle of a fun zone, but are down a hallway with sound proof glass separating them from the fun (so you can look down and see the rooms, but you're not bothered by the noise).  When I was reading about it, I thought, 'fun center, okay,' but I had no idea what we were in store for once we arrived.  Just like the website described it, this place really was a mega-arcade and Bavarian-themed indoor water park.

The first thing we did was test the play rooms.  In the picture above you can see this was no ordinary game room.  There was a large play house area (complete with a play kitchen inside, of course), that my little one could not pass up.


Then we ventured into the two big game rooms to see what they had.  A test site for video games before they hit the market even, this place was huge!  In the picture above my son is about to test out the wall-sized (tried and true) Connect Four game.

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Decked out with four swimming pools, including one with a Lazy River; one with a double slide featuring either a bullet bowl or a Tower Twister body slide; one (next to the 18-hole mini golf course) that had a 15ft. tall waterfall; and one that was for adults only.  And one of those was a pool that had big water guns mounted on the side of it.  Of course we had to go check a couple of them out (they are located in all different areas, so we only went to two).


Once you check out a swimming pool, if you have a child along, the next thing you are doing is going into the swimming pool, lol.  By this time, we'd already lost 'grandpa' who went to take a nap, and 'grandma' and 'dad' who were getting their Vegas on, on the play floor (seriously they had as much fun as any child there). 


I put this picture up so you can see the two holes in the wall behind the kiddie area.  That's where the big kids or grown ups go to slide down the dual slides.  You can't really tell in the picture, but up high it is decorated for Christmas (everything in every part of the hotel was nicely done up for the holiday).



An early riser, I woke up before anyone else the next morning and whispered to little man to see if he wanted to come along with me to further explore the hotel.  He was up like a flash.  The Fun Center wasn't open yet, so we ventured about the massively-sized hotel to see what we could find.  We did a little shopping (a couple of postcards and a lot of browsing), and ate breakfast at one of the restaurants.  It was still pretty early, so we walked outside and watched the sun come up.  You can see from the picture above that despite it being a holiday (or maybe because it was a holiday), the hotel was super crowded, and the huge parking lot did not have a decent spot to be found if you happened in late.

The outside of the entryway.

In the hotel we found a display thick with Christmas trees that was really pretty, and then we went up a beautiful staircase to find some more.


Hanging your Christmas Trees UPSIDE DOWN is an old German tradition that the hotel practices freely (as do the merchants in the town).  There were upside down trees everywhere we went, large and small.  I have no idea how they stayed put without losing their decorations.  There must have been a lot of tie-down going on at some point.  It was nice though, and added to the authenticity of the hotel/town theme.


Finally, The Fun Center opened and we were in business.  Little man won a slew of tickets and changed them in for a light-up sword, a Chinese hat, winter gloves (a practical choice that made me laugh), and some littler things too.  Usually when you go to a game center you get the pick of the teensiest toys with your tickets. Not at the Bavarian Inn Fun Center.  We had the pick of the litter, so to speak, and could have gotten a big stuffed animal (you know, the ones that hang from the ceiling) if we'd have played any longer.


Then it was time to go back to the room.  The view from the back door of our hotel was overlooking The Cass River, which looks narrow in this picture, but it was just the angle.  In the summer Ferry Boat rides are given up and down the river, which I think is really nice.  Look at all the ducks that were out there that morning (and I love those trees!).

So, I got little man in a shirt more appropriate for dinner (it was a reservations-only Thanksgiving buffet, so I didn't put him in anything fancy, but thought I'd better take him out of his SpiderMan shirt).  My in-laws were just waking up, and my husband had gone out looking for us, but gave up and went to the Jacuzzi (I wonder how much looking he really did, lol).  So I thought it'd be fun to go explore outside a bit. 

Wrong!


At one point in the grass was a strip thick with mud, "Don't go in the..." I didn't even get the sentence finished before little man was saying, rather loudly, 'Oh no!' He started off with two shoes, and ended up with only one because the other was stuck in the mud (without him in it).

Of course that required clean up, and as soon as I stopped laughing and we started running back towards our room, I saw that grandpa had come outside with a cup of coffee and he was laughing too.  He'd seen the whole thing.

Those are mostly his socks you see because he has on summer shoes, lol

I thought cleaning the shoes would be no problem, but my son really did it up good...those shoes were a mess.  I cleaned the mud off, but I couldn't do it without getting the insides wet.  That meant a trip to one of the gift stores, where I picked up a pair of poolside shoes (almost like flip-flops)...and that's what my son wore to dinner.  While I could have lived without him wearing flip-flops to Thanksgiving dinner, he couldn't have been more thrilled.  He's never had that type of shoe, so he thought it was better than the gravy we were served at dinner.

After we ate, we went to the one shopping center that was open on Thanksgiving and then we headed home (us to our home to catch up on what needed done, and my in-laws back to their home so they could gear up for Black Friday shopping later that night).  It was a fun little side trip, and the hotel is one I would recommend to anyone who happens into the area.  For those with children, it's a five-star gig all the way around.

68 comments:

  1. I LOVE Frankenmuth! I grew up in Michigan and as an adult my best friend and I would go up every year. Now that I live in Pa I should totally plan a long-weekend trip up there.

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    1. I love it too. I want to go in January when they have the ice sculptures going on. I always say that and never end up doing it. Maybe this year...

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  2. LOL! I was wondering where flip flops came in with the title. This was a fun trip through your words and camera. Mimi would have taken a nap long before Grandpa. I love the shoe stuck in the mud photo. He's so cute!

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    1. I'll pack extra shoes on every trip we ever go on, lol, and we'll probably never need them (cuz we'll have them) and that'll be just fine by me. ;)

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  3. What a fun trip and I bet your little one never ever forgets the Thanksgiving he wore flip flops at!

    Thanks for linking up to Raising Imperfection, we love having you join us each week!
    Leslie
    www.violetimperfection.com

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    1. It's fun to be there. I like your hop. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Oh my goodness! I'm totally ready to go there, what fun! I've never heard of upside down Christmas trees before, what a unique tradition.

    Thank you for joining in on the Build a List and Watch it Grow hop...I'm all signed up =)

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    1. Thanks for visiting! I liked the upside trees, but I wouldn't want to do it at home. Looks like a LOT of work to make sure everything is secure.

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  5. I haven't been there in years but now you're making me want to go back so bad! Is that big Christmas store still there?

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  6. Wow, looks like an amazing trip!! :)

    Following you back from Super Sunday Sync, have a great evening!

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    1. These little trips are fun, and we don't get many when the cold/snow settles in. :)

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  8. Now that sounds like the ideal hotel! It looks like you all had so much fun.

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    1. I just came back over to listen to that song you have up where the guys look like the Blues Bros., but sound a little like Simon & Garfunkel. I like that sound!

      The hotel was fun. Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  9. You lost me at "soundproof glass" there for a minute!

    LOL!

    Those upside down trees are way cool and it looks like you guys had quite the nice little getaway! My boys would be totally jealous of that play area!!

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    1. You guys have The Polar Express! I want that here! We know a couple who lives over your way (they just moved there from AZ.) and I told them about it...they said they saw it in AZ and it was great. -_- Everyone's got the train but us, lol.

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  10. This looks like so much fun! The play room looks awesome, and I would have been in the game room playing that huge connect four all day long!

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    1. I couldn't tear the adults out of the game rooms, that's what was funny! :)

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  11. Awwww such a fun time!!!!

    Into the mud! Guess we have to be happy, that little boys are little boys. And simply can't keep away from puddles, and mud. -giggggles-

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    1. Don't even get me started on mud puddles. He's got radar for mud puddles!

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  12. Oh my gosh, what fun! I am jealous of all the fun you all are having. I have been a home body .. lol!

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    1. You guys have fun too! And your daughter's past time of just chilling out reading is one of MY faves, but I rarely get to do it these days. :)

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  13. Rosey, thank you for following my little blog tips blog as well as the main one, it's great to have you on board. Have a super week.

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    1. Thanks, Carole. You have a great week too. :)

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  14. You sure had fun! I wish I was there! Have a super blessed day!
    Love

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  15. Such fun! My husband and I visit Germany often, but never during Christmas time to see the upside down trees. How interesting!

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    1. The only time I was in Germany was going through Customs on a layover. They made me drink from my son's baby bottle, blech. I think we should go back just to have a better memory (I'll hint to hubby, but it prolly won't do me any good right now). ;)

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  16. That hotel is amazing! My kids would have a blast there! I will have to tell my husband about it and see if some day he would like to take a mini trip to that hotel.

    I am LOL at your son getting stuck in the mud. At least the gift shop had some extra shoes for purchase, even if they were technically pool shoes. That just makes for sweeter memories!

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    1. I know, I sure wasn't complaining at the time, I was just glad they had ANY shoes. :)

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  17. Sounds like an awesome trip! Germany sounds like a wonderful place to be at Christmas time! God bless you & your family!

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    1. I bet it is pretty, and the same to you and your family, Laurie.

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  18. I love your blog and followed you back!!! Merry Christmas!!!

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  19. What a hotel! Must be one of those things that words can't fully describe. Looks like you had an incredible time :)

    Paula
    lifeasweknowitbypaula.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Paula. Happy to see you as always. :)

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  20. What a great Hotel it seems like a great place to stay for kids! I've never hear if this place but it sounds like a wonderful place to visit.(:

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    1. It was fun for the kids. I'd like to see the new pool that opened, but it opened the day we left, so we missed it. It was hyped up pretty good though. :) I like places that are geared towards the kiddos. It's a nice treat for them once in awhile.

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  21. Wow, that sounds like a blast. My kids would love this place! Thanks for sharing.

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  22. It looks amazing! The smile on his face is the cutest thing, you can tell he had a blast!
    That pool is a child's dream!

    Lanaya
    www.raising-reagan.com

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    1. I think we'll probably go back this summer, it was just that fun. :)

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  23. Looks like you guys had a great time! I've never been there, but it looks awesome!

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  24. This was certainly a fabulous place to be! Beautiful pictures and interesting post. I am glad you all had such a wonderful time.

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  25. I have never been there looks like alot of fun! Thanks for sharing!

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  26. They look so pretty hanging upside down. Yes if there is a pool a kid has to swim! Looks like you had a great time

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    1. They really did, and it took me passing several before I realized, hey...those trees are all upside down! lol Then I inquired, suspecting it must be Bavarian tradition.

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  27. Beautiful memories, beautifully recorded! This is so special. I'd never heard of hanging trees upsidedown! The early morning time is so special to share with children, and I'm impressed you thought to photograph the shoe stuck in the mud, lol!

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    1. I LOVE that morning time too! And my son doesn't like that picture with the shoe, lol, but it's one of my favorites. ;)

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  28. WOW! Looks like a fun trip! Wish I were there!

    Happy Tuesday!

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  29. Looks amazing. I want to go!

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    1. They have grown-up things to do too (a great datevitation idea <-- from your blog, lol). :)

      Of course, adults who know about the kid section are highly likely to mosey on over anyway because it's just fun. ;)

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  30. Totally already commented on this post but I am so happy that you linked this one to Raising Imperfection :)

    Thanks for linking your favorite post to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured.

    Lanaya
    www.raising-reagan.com

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  31. Looks fantastic - I think I would have had just as much fun there as the kids!
    Leigh
    www.oneandoneequalstwinfun.com

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    1. If we'd have been there longer I would have tried those new slides. Those places do turn us into big kids. :)

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  32. Oh my, what a wonderful family trip! It looks like you got to do all sorts of fun things, love the ceiling trees! Mud is just such a tempting thing, glad your son didn't get sucked in too, lol!

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    1. Mud, mud puddles, dirt piles...kids are sure attracted to those things, aren't they? lol

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  33. Frankemuth is fun. We've been there a couple of times.

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    1. I like it because it's fun any time of year and it does feel like a little vacation to go.

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  34. What a fascinating post!

    You had me at soundproof fun center!!!
    Wow. That is an amazing place!
    Glad you had such fun!

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    1. We did, and now I'm coming over to your blog http://www.jamericanspice.com to see what you have up today because I love to visit!

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