Weekend Get Away

 
We had a long drive to my little one’s championship meet so we decided to make a weekend out of it. The hotel that was closest to the meet and was giving discounted rated was the Renaissance ClubSport Hotel in Aliso Viejo California. We left Friday afternoon and had an adventure. I had printed directions to the hotel off of mapquest. I use that site a lot and normally it is fine. This time however the directions included toll roads which we had never used before. To top that off we forgot the GPS at home! We didn’t mind paying to use the toll road, but we didn’t know what we were doing or where we needed to be. It was a tad bit stressful but after two toll roads we made it to the hotel.

When we arrived we were greeted by a very nice lady in the lobby. We had a little issue because we don’t have credit cards just a debit card. I guess that they can’t put a hold on the debit card and charge it at the end of the stay like every other hotel we have been to. We got that little situation figured out and then headed to our room.

 
Now to be fair I am a member of the Disney Vacation Club and have not had to pay for a hotel in about five years. We always stay in a Disney hotel so this hotel was a bit different. It would not be our choice of a hotel as it was more of a fitness hotel. Two handicap adults and a child don’t exactly fit in at that type of hotel. That being said we did enjoy our stay.


The room looked very nice when we arrived. We stayed in room 418 it was a handicap accessible room.

 
 It had two full size beds, a desk area with a very comfortable computer chair, and a rolling table. The bathroom was beautiful.

 
 
The only complaint with the bathroom area would be that they didn’t give us enough towels. There were three of us but only two towels. That was an easy fix though. The shower was our favorite part. It had a seat that could fold down or be pushed up out of the way. The water stayed nice and hot and because of the seat I didn’t have to stand on one foot the entire time. (I still have a cast on my leg) There was also a TV, a closet area and a coffee maker. The view, although it was of the parking lot, was rather nice. The main thing missing from the room was a small refrigerator. That was disappointing as we have medication that needs to be kept cold, but the ice chest worked pretty well. Another thing that we were not too happy about was the coasters; they were used already and looked discussing. We threw them away.

 
The first night we didn’t do much. We took a shower, watched some television, ate dinner and relaxed.

 The next morning we slept in and then began our day. We brought along some food with us and ate breakfast in the room.

It was fairly cool that day. We went to find the gym that was hosting the meet, and it was good that we did because we got a little lost on the way. After figuring out where we needed to be the next day we were hungry. Since we didn’t have the GPS and didn’t know the area we didn’t go too far. We found the town center that had everything and looked for a place to eat lunch. We ate at The Habit Burger Grill. I had never been to one before but it was very nice.

Then we stopped at a few stores and decided to head back to the hotel.

 

When we returned to the hotel we were very disappointed at the state of the room.


 Again there were only two towels, the coasters that we had thrown away were back on the counter, the beds looked like they were made by someone who didn’t know what they were doing, and they didn’t leave any ice bags.


We called and got more towels and new bags for the ice bucket and decided to do a little school work.


After a while we headed down stairs to explore the hotel area. We found the gift shop closed it was only 7pm but it was already closed. We explored a little and found a sauna, work out room, and basket ball court. We didn’t use any of them. Then we looked at the restaurant. Unfortunately it was not our type of food. Everything was very high class and had a lot of sauces. With my food allergy I need to know everything that is in the food, so we couldn’t eat there. We went back to our room and ordered pizza from Porky’s Pizza. It was very good.


While we waited on the pizza we worked on some science lessons. She learned about worms, sponges, leaches and other creatures. After a few science lessons we played a few hands of UNO.


She won every hand and had a fun time.


The best part of being at a hotel to her though, is getting ice.


She loves to use the ice machine.


Our pizza arrived, we ate, and then got ready for bed. We packed up our stuff and got a good night sleep.


The next morning we checked out very easily and headed to the gymnastic meet.


Overall I would say the hotel was nice. It didn’t seem to be too kid friendly. House keeping left a lot to be desired but customer service and friendliness was excellent. We enjoyed our stay however it is not likely we would ever return. For those that enjoy working out and who want to spend time getting massages it would be a great fit. I think we will stick to Disney Hotels though.

 

Life Lessons

Tuesday’s and Thursday’s are very busy days for us. On those days my mom, my little one and I take care of my grandma. We do all of her shopping and running around, go through her mail, and basically take care of anything that is needed. My little one also has gymnastics for two hours each of those days. On those days we don’t get a lot of book work done, but learn a lot about life.
My grandma has the onset of alzheimers and is very forgetful. Being exposed to that I feel is a learning experience in its self. Learning to answer the same questions over and over, to help her find things that we found just a few minutes a go, and learning how to be helpful but not too helpful. That is one are we are working on. She likes to be too helpful and sometimes grandma gets upset with that. I feel she is also learning that family should take care of each other and that you can’t always put yourself first.
On another level she is learning a lot of school type things in our weekly adventures. When we go shopping she helps to compare prices between name brand and generic items. She helps to see if it is a better deal to buy the bigger or smaller quantities of merchandise. We work on rounding skills, and estimating. With the produce she has learned all about how to read the scales and how to pick good fruit. One day the manager of the produce department saw her weighing the apples and she read the scale wrong, so the lady helped her read it and explained what everything meant. Ever since that day she loves to weigh the produce.
As far as socialization, she talks to everyone. She has conversations at the store with the cashier and other employees. She talks to the waitresses at the restaurant we go to for lunch with my grandma. She talks to people so much that when we walk into the restaurant they all tell her hi. It kind of reminds me of Norm from Cheers. She pays the bill at lunch and figures out how much change we should get and has learned how to figure out what we should leave for a tip.

After we take care of grandma we head to gymnastics. On top of the physical benefits she learns many things here as well. She learns team work, respect, and dedication. She has learned to take turns, and how to get along with kids that are not exactly the friendliest. She has learned to get up when she falls and to cheer for her teammates even when they fail. There are countless lessons that she has learned at the gym.

We are in the car a lot going from place to place and when we are, my little one loves to play her Leapster. She has logic, math, and science games and loves them all. We also practice spelling words or multiplication facts as well. We have to do extra lessons throughout the week to ensure we stay on task, but I feel she learns a ton on our busy, on the go days.