A Staycation Holiday Break

I don’t think there is a harder day to return to work than after the holiday break. After so much fun, joy, and celebrating, it isn’t easy to return to the (virtual) office, even for people who really enjoy their jobs, like me. But today I ripped off the band-aid and worked my first day of 2023. It wasn’t that bad and after a couple more days the holiday vacation hangover will be a distant memory.

With that said, while the hangover is still lingering a bit, I can’t express what an awesome break it was. This year was different because we didn’t travel anywhere. When you fly cross country, like we have for many of the past several years, you lose a couple days to travel and then you have to deal with jet lag. Thanks to staying in Spokane for the nearly two weeks I had off, I was able to maximize the time I had.

Much of the joy I experienced from my break centered on hanging with my children. We did a lot. Yep, this wasn’t a hiatus from work where we slept in and watched Disney+ the whole time. Tonight I thought I would share 10 of the fun things we did over the past couple weeks (in no particular order). I would have included 20 things but no one has time for that…

Rise of the Guardians – The Garland Theater is a large, historic theater in Spokane. During the holiday break, it offered free morning showings of older movies. At the start of break, I took Sloan to “Rise of the Guardians” where she watched the film while enjoying popcorn and soda.

Sloan stands at the marquee of the Garland Theater after we watched “Rise of the Guardians.”

Craft Day – The Spokane Valley Library held an ornament craft day the first week of break. Sloan and I attended and had a great time. We decided to make an elf ornament that turned out pretty great and earned a place of honor on our Christmas tree.

Sloan made an elf ornament at the Spokane Valley Library ornament craft event.

Outback Dinner – One of my favorite things we did all break was a family dinner at Outback Steakhouse. After Sid finished her last work day before Christmas, the four of us went out for a Blooming Onion and steaks. It was relaxing and special to enjoy a nice dinner with the impending Christmas holiday just a couple days away.

It was cold outside but inside it was toasty and the steaks were warm. In all honesty, it was a wonderful dinner with the family.

Trampoline Park – A couple times during break I took Sloan and Beau to the Flying Squirrel, one of the many trampoline parks in Spokane. On one of the visits Sloan had a play date with her school friend, Aminah. During the other, we met up with my sister and her two children.

Sloan and Beau jumped at the Flying Squirrel twice during break. This is her with her friend, Aminah.

McDonald’s Lunch – The same day that Sloan and Beau jumped with their cousins at the trampoline park, we continued the fun at McDonald’s. The kids ate Happy Meals and played with their Mario Bros.-themed toys.

It is always a great day when you get to eat a Happy Meal.

Build-A-Bear – Sloan and Beau decided to use some of their Christmas money for a Build-A-Bear experience. After much debate, Sloan opted for a rainbow unicorn and Beau chose a Chase doll. It was a long process but what kid doesn’t need another stuffed animal to add to their overflowing collection?

Sloan and Beau holding their creations after an afternoon at Build-A-Bear.

Lunch With Sid – After the Christmas holiday, Sid returned to work. On Tues., Dec. 27, the kids and I joined her for lunch! We drove out to River Park Square which is right next to where my wife works. The four of us ate in the food court and then walked around the mall for a bit after.

We went to River Park Square to have lunch with Sid. As we waited, we crossed the sky walk and enjoyed a beautiful view.

Jump For Joy – Close to our house is a fun center called Jump For Joy. It specializes in inflatables such as jump castles. In-between our trampoline park visits, I took Sloan and Beau here for a fun afternoon.

Beau loved running around Jump For Joy.

Noon Year Party – On Dec. 31, Sloan, Beau, and I headed to the Shadle Public Library for its noon year celebration. We arrived at 11 a.m. and listened to a New Year’s Eve-related book. We then went to different stations and made noise makers, party hats, and a fireworks craft. As noon approached, the kids all surrounded a play parachute and ruffled its sides before launching balloons out of it at 12 p.m.

Sloan and Beau had a lot of fun making crafts at the Shadle Park Library Noon’s Year Eve party.

New Year’s Eve Date Night – Call me a bad father, but I allowed Sloan to stay up with me until midnight on New Year’s Eve. She just about made it on her own devices, falling asleep at 11:30 p.m. I couldn’t let that solid effort go unrewarded, so I woke her up at 11:55 p.m. to watch the ball drop. We spent the evening watching “Edward Scissorhands,” baking cookies, and watching the fireworks go off around our house.

Sloan and I all snuggled up for New Year’s Eve.


After so much “out and about” activity, it is tough to confine yourself back to a desk. However, I am managing, as are Sloan and Beau at school and daycare, respectively. We will hold memories tight from this past break and will look to have just as much fun in 11.5 months. Don’t Blink.

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