Making the Most of It

I set out for a vacation this weekend all excited to be able to report back a great, “can’t miss” spot to share with you. Unfortunately, there were too many things that made us decide we probably wouldn’t go back. We headed to a camping “resort” in Amador County to meet up with friends where they have cabins, lodge rooms, tent sites, and sites for RVs. The place boasts of their miniature golf course, swimming pool, water park, play structure, and organized camp activities throughout the weekend. This was actually our second visit to this place, but this year it seemed that the mom and pop operation was having a rough time keeping their act together.

What went wrong:

  • I specifically asked for their cheaper RV sites during my reservation and when I arrived to a fully booked campground, found we were in one that was $10 more a night. Total that was $30 extra. Not a ton, but it was the principal. The only consolation they gave me, was Oh, Denise made your reservations, that explains a lot…..not very professional or helpful.
  • Our friends showed up with two kids thinking they would get two beds in their lodge room to find they had one. Another couple bought an air mattress for their son specifically because they thought they would only have one bed and had two. Go figure.
  • The wi-fi was spotty, at best. Apologies for a late blog Friday but it was like dealing with 1999 dial-up internet.
  • Half of the games in the arcade from last year were broken or had been removed.
  • The kids loved the mini golf but make no mistake that this is a homemade, 20 year old course.
  • The kids were all looking forward to movie night, the one night of the week they play a movie under the stars. But for some reason they chose the obscure, Cheaper by the Dozen II for the kids to watch?
  •  The campsite our friend reserved near her lodge room for campfire time, etc. was under construction and no longer existed. In fact, a lot of areas “looked” under construction and I’m not sure if they were or are just a mess.

Overall, I think the place isn’t managed well. Perhaps they have too many (or not enough) people doing the same job and are lacking good communication. It was a lot of money to spend on a place that is a little hokey and mismanaged.

But why that’s all ok:

However, I promise you I did not go away for three nights and four days to only tell you bad stuff. We actually had a great time! Because we had the more expensive site, we had a fire pit. We spent two of our nights around the fire as a family. We’ve started a new game where someone starts a story and then a minute or so into it, passes it to the next person to make up and tell. We did this and it was hilarious. We let the kids stay up late one night and then the second night put them to bed early for some quality alone time. We had the greatest talk as the embers burned out of our last logs of wood. It was one of those great heart-to-heart talks needed to recharge a relationship once in a while.

Our kids had fun exploring the wooded area and made friends with the neighbor kids. One afternoon I pulled out some paints and my son went to town painting rocks and sticks. It was awesome. Our friend’s kids joined in on many of the “putt-putt” excursions or joined in on a parking lot soccer match. They were a lot less picky of their surroundings than I was, obviously!

We still had a great time catching up with friends and even circled up around the non-existent fire pit near the lodge rooms the last night to stay up and chat. My kids thought the movie was great (go figure- what do I know?). I was actually a little bummed that the fun was coming to an end. It just goes to show that it really is about what you make of a situation. We could have focused on the frustrating parts, which at first, I did. But then I had to give myself a pep talk (and I won’t lie, I had to call a sister for a pep talk too) and decide if I wanted to wallow in the bad or focus on the good. Luckily that wasn’t a hard or long decision to make and I still got to have some amazing quality time with my little people, my husband, and my friends.

Most of us don’t get to vacation as much as we would like and it’s really, really hard sometimes to handle things going wrong when we had such a clear picture of how they should go. But in hind sight, it would have been silly to let those things ruin our vacation when it was so easy to still have a fun trip!



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