The Tiki Hut {and Waterpark Adventure}


I just finished a marathon task.

I FINALLY booked all the details for a few days get away with our little boys. It will not be fancy, it will not be extravagant, but it will be fun. We have planned a trip to the zoo, children’s museum, meeting up with the kids and grandkids, and hoping to catch a NBA game, but the little boys don’t know about that yet, so shhhhh.

These little getaways take some money but not a ton, and you can save for these little trips a little easier than a 5-day Disney vacation (although we are saving for that epic experience, too).

Two decades ago, I found myself doing the single mom gig and working three jobs to make ends meet. 

tiki hut

It was hard and I watched every single penny that was spent. I really did not think that I could take my boys on a trip or have a fun adventure. We had done a few small “special” treats. I saved for months and we watched every episode of Deadliest Catch, and after the last episode, I surprised the boys with a dinner of lobster, where they devoured every single bit of that deadly catch. It was a sweet memory, and I knew that whatever it took I wanted to create more.

I had seen the advertisement for the Tiki Hut on a billboard as I was traveling in Cincinnati. I knew I wanted to create another memory for the boys and started saving. I saved Christmas money, tip money from one of my jobs and little by little, month after month, I saved until I had enough. I called the hotel and booked a one night stay in a Tiki Hut. This was also our spring break, so I spent the week with the boys cleaning the house and telling them there was a surprise at the end of the week.

We took off and drove through the big city and landed at a hotel with a cool waterpark. 

We checked in and immediately played at the waterpark part of the hotel until the boys were exhausted. I had one more surprise, our accommodations for the night. As we drove around the property, the boys had got their second wind. They could not believe that these little Tiki Huts were places that we could stay, and then when I pulled up to one and turned the van off, they squealed with excitement.

This Tiki Hut was amazing, complete with mosquito net to cover the beds, a huge screen TV and a whirlpool hot tub – all in a little round bubble. The calendar said March and there were these amazing basketball games on that we watched late into the night from the hot tub. We had the best time. We made all the memories.

I am so glad I scrimped and saved. My boys are grown men now and they STILL talk about the Tiki Hut adventure and the fun that we had.

Even though the trip I just booked took hours to search and plan and it felt like a marathon, I’m glad that I did it because I know the memories that are ahead will last a lifetime, even if they didn’t cost a fortune.

Previous articleDIY Game Night
Next articleWhat Mom DOESN’T Want for Easter
Cheryl Brackemyre
Hey local mommas! I grew up in Centerville, but I now live in Wilmington with my husband Tony. Together we have 6 kids, Joe, and his wife Allison, Austin, and his wife Hannah, Sydney and her husband Hayden, Andrew and his wife Lauren and our littles, Max and Eli. Did I mention we are a little nuts starting over with this parenting thing when we are 45+? We are officially adding new titles to our names in 2022- Tiki and Jeep (our version of Grandma and Grandpa). My husband and I are both ministers, and we get to work together in a local church. We were both married before and brought our families together in 2010. After a few years of marriage we felt God's leading for us to adopt. We added Max to our family in 2014 and Eli joined us in 2017, our quiver is officially full! Blending our family has been an adventure! Add some ex-spouses and two birth mommas and we have ourselves a crazy crew! Coffee is my love language. The beach is my happy place and I long to have my toes in the sand. I love being part of the team at Dayton Mom Collective.