It was early release from school yesterday.  It's way too easy to have the kids come home at 12:30 and lounge around the house.  So I decided a one day mini vacation would keep us from plopping our butts down in front of the t.v.

I loaded my three kids, and one of Emma's friends into the Suburban, and headed to Chico Hot Springs.  I take full advantage of SW Montana and everything it has to offer.  There are times I want to go camping, but don't want to spend the time or money to go far away.  The KOA at Pine Creek is one of my favorite places to go.  I don't always have to be in the middle of nowhere.  There's a pool, and the Pine Creek Cafe nearby...that's at least one meal I don't have to cook!  We drove through Pine Creek yesterday, and it just brings me peace.  Why would I drive far away, when some of the most beautiful country in the world is in my backyard?

We got to Chico, after listening to the same Lady Gaga and Beyonce songs for an hour.  I had to threaten the kids to finally get them out of the pool.  That was about 4:30.  Strategic planning on my part, because I schedule my life around NOT having to cook!  That timing got us to the Paradise Valley Pop Stand right around 5.  I forgot how good and inexpensive that food is.  There were two adults and 7 kids.  They didn't even flinch!  I paid for me and 4 of the kids, and including ice cream and tip, I spent 30 dollars.

In this tough economy, and high gas prices, it's good to have a day like this.  It reminds me that I don't have to go far to have an amazing experience (minus the Gaga and Beyonce songs that I used to like).  The kids laughed and sang and bounced around the whole way home.  I was exhausted, but I hope it's one of those days that the kids remember.  I remember having days like that as a kid, but it was Thermopolis Hot Springs in Wyoming.  They are some of my best memories!

Which adventures do you remember most as a kid?