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  • Writer's pictureAudra Krieg

Taking a Vacation from Vacationland

We had the best time at Massanutten Resort last weekend celebrating my husband's birthday. On our way home we stopped for lunch and an elderly couple started talking to our girls about skiing and asked us where we lived. When we told them that we were heading home to the Outer Banks they were shocked. “Why would you ever leave paradise to come to the mountains and the cold?”

Truth is, when we moved to the Outer Banks we had less than $100 to our name. We knew that we wanted a life of less “stuff” and more experiences. The first few years here we hustled and saved our pennies everywhere we could. Our “vacations” were non existent and our schedules were filling up with the average daily chores and career stresses. We were burning out. It didn’t take long for us to realize just how important it is to leave our little slice of paradise and find a brand new place to explore. We are so grateful to live on the Outer Banks and we wouldn’t trade it for the world, but we’re still in pursuit of the way it felt to vacation here all those years ago. During the chaos of the work week or the height of a busy day of parenting, we seek the deep exhale that comes with visiting the open spaces and natural coastline of Corolla that we always experienced as vacationers. This weekend Massanutten Resort gave us the deep exhale that we needed and for that we are so grateful.

Obviously the age gap between our children makes traveling a little bit hectic. It’s tough to find an activity that makes a teenage boy and two little girls equally happy. We were thrilled that Massanutten offered such a variety of activities and that the kids were all so easily entertained.

One thing that I was super impressed with was the ski school at Massanutten Resort. Tucked at the base of the mountain and away from the hustle and bustle, Mini Riders was a great way for us to introduce skiing to Penny. My husband and Joey hit the slopes and had a great day together. We’re always trying to find new ways to incorporate some one on one time with each of our kids so I was so happy that the boys had this time together. They had so much fun and these memories will stick with Joey and Jason forever. Joey’s favorite part was the freestyle slope where he was perfecting jumps and tricks in healthy competition with his Dad.

While the boys skied, I took the girls to explore the resort a little bit more. Our youngest, Eloise, age 2 is obsessed with animals so the petting zoo was the perfect little treat for her. It was so much fun to watch how brave she was as she held out her hand to feed goats and llamas. Penny had a great time helping her little sister at the petting zoo, but she was was in constant conversation about how excited she was to try out the indoor waterpark!

As soon as the boys were finished skiing we met up with them to hit the Massanutten Waterpark. The high-pitched shrieks that came from our girls when they saw the waterpark for the first time was worth the 4 hour drive alone. The waterpark was a hit with all three of our kids. Joey was stoked to get on the FlowRider, an indoor surf simulator and spent much of the waterpark time there. I was dumbfounded that he still had energy after skiing all morning! Penny and Eloise were obsessed with the interactive water zone and the lazy river is always a family favorite too!

We also spent some time in the arcade and Penny was incredibly excited to beat her brother’s high score. I couldn’t understand that feeling because Joey beat me terribly at air-hockey and reveled in his win all weekend long.

One of the highlights of the weekend was snow tubing under the “northern lights” as the mountain is illuminated in bright colors and loud music. We all enjoyed snow tubing and creating our own races and challenges. Joey was proud of beating me, once again! Penny enjoyed having her own dance party with the music and lights while creating a little igloo out of the snow.

After tubing we headed across the street to the Campfire Grille and we're all still raving about how delicious the food was. Perfectly plated meals that filled out the plates and satisfied all of my picky-eaters was the perfect cap to our busy day! Our service was incredible, too! The girls were all smiles while they ate dinner in the make shift tent that our table was located in. Of course, Penny jumped at the chance to tell our sweet server that it was her Daddy's birthday so we all indulged in a delicious dessert.

We loved spending some quality time with our children and it’s always so much fun to watch them experience something brand new. As much as we love the beach, we really loved our mountain adventure. It’s a daunting task to pack up ski clothes, boots and gear for a family of 5 but with a little bit of prep work we managed to get the entire family out the door and to the mountains! We knew that we needed a little getaway together before the busy season here on the Outer Banks kicks back up and Massanutten might just be our new Winter go-to!

Traveling with kids is never easy but it is always worth it. Always! Book the trip!

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