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HyattHouse starts off summertime with a splash

What time is it?


It’s our vacation.

What time is it?

Party time!

That’s right, say it loud.

–          High School Musical 2

What time is it?  Summertime!  And, what with two tween girls and the end of the school year, you know we’ve been prepping for elementary school graduation, Space Camp, and a fun summer at Nana’s house.

In the 48 hours between graduation and Space Camp, we needed to fit in some family bonding.   We could have hung out in our backyard – but even our wide swath of green doesn’t boast a swimming pool.  We could have clicked on a couple of Netflix movies – but our TV at home isn’t huge and high resolution.  We could have painted our nails and soaked our tired feet – but our plastic tubs don’t feature bubbly jets.

There was only one answer:  a staycation.  And for the best staycation under one roof?  We picked HYATT house, an all-suites hotel only twenty minutes – but a seeming universe – away from our Philadelphia suburban home.

And let me tell you something :  As far as the McElroy family is concerned, a local hotel staycation was the PERFECT way to start the summer. Some thoughts on why:

Soak.  Oh, yeah.  A summer celebration and staycation must include a hot tub – the bigger, the better.  The one at the King of Prussia HYATT house could easily fit ten or so guests, and we were lucky enough to have it all to ourselves when we hit the hotel and headed straight for the bubbles.

Swim. OK, I’ll admit it.  I was the soaker.  My two tween daughters?  They tore up the indoor pool, so much so that I wasn’t sure I’d ever get them out.  Prunes got nothin’ on them.

Snack.  Thanks to our in-suite kitchen and the HYATT house’s we-grocery-shop-for-you service, we whipped up fresh bruschetta RIGHT. IN. OUR. SUITE.  The sight of my frat boy husband chopping tomatoes and onions and serving all of his girls his own French bread creations?  Now, THAT’S what I call a staycation.  More, please!

Splurge.  Yeah, so about that app I have on my iPhone to track my daily calories?  Let’s just say that my phone . . . ran out of juice!  Yeah, that’ll work!  ‘Cause when my daughter stirred us up some homemade fudge (yep, same great kitchen, same great shopping service), I just couldn’t resist.  I’m pretty sure that staycation calories don’t count, anyway.

Sink.  When I started insisting that maybe we should clean up the kitchen and even get ready for bed, that was when the rest of my family disappeared on me.  I tracked the three of them down to the pool table in the lobby.  My husband was trying to teach the tweens to sink some balls.  He sunk the cue ball.  The tweens laughed at him.  I recorded it on film.  See?

Slumber.  So, yeah, it took three games of billiards, about twenty-‘leven laps of the indoor pool, and a lot of creativity.  But then the girls solved the “I won’t go to bed” issue for me.  They just didn’t go to bed.  Luckily, they had the living room to themselves, and my husband and I could retreat to our very own king bedroom and close the doors.  When we woke up in the morning to hit the made-to-order omelette station (included, don’t you know?), we found one girl sound asleep on a pallet of pillows and the other one spread across the queen sofa bed with all her stuffed pals.

Stuff.  Yourself, that is. When the girls finally got up, they hit the omelette bar, the bacon, the fruit, the yogurt – yeah, well, they hit it all.

Shop.  It wouldn’t be a visit to King of Prussia without a tour ‘round the mall.  Our contest?  Who could make $30.00 go the furthest.  I’m pretty sure my younger daughter won – she came home with, yes, two more Ugly dolls (and no, to hear her tell it, they’re not at all ugly).  I picked up some nail polish and board games.  I had girls’ night on the brain.

Sillify.  My husband was wrapped up in the U.S. Open (did you see that hole in one?), so we girls coopted the bedroom to paint our nails and play some Clue.  Jumping on the bed?  Yep, we did that, too.  Don’t tell.  On second thought, it’s OK.  I’m pretty sure the folks at HYATT house are all for having a great time – even when jumping’s involved.

So, our first annual start-of-summer staycation?  A huge hit.  Now off to pack for camp.

This post was brought to you by the letter “S.”

Thanks to HYATT house for providing us with this experience – the perfect start to summer!

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