Is it March? We just crammed three weeks worth of fun into one single weekend and I am exhausted! Here's the run-down from the weekend (pictures at the end). It's a long one:
Friday night- Hubs brought the girls home around 6.00 and we attempted to play Monopoly for a little while. It didn't work so well. T wanted to be "the car" and drive all around the board and wasn't that interested in buying property. M was obsessed with keeping all of her money straight and every time she landed on Community Chest she owed money instead of getting anything.
Both girls got "Get Out of Jail Free" card but thankfully never had to use them, while Hubs and I spent much of the time reminiscing about which properties were our favorites when we were a kid and realizing that the game literally would take 8 hours to finish. We gave up after an hour and decided to watch TV. The girls finally went to bed around 9.45 and only 10 minutes later the rest of the troops from Iowa arrived. A (the girls' cousin) had slept much of the time in the car and Baby B was wide awake and ready to party. We got everyone settled and eventually drifted off to sleep around 11.15.
Saturday- 6:15 am, the alarm went off and the house looked like a scene from Home Alone with everyone running around preparing for M's basketball game. An air of anticipation for the Great Wolf Lodge was unmistakable.
At M's game (with bandaids firmly on her newly pierced ears) her team endured one of the most B-E A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E teams I have ever seen. The Blue Jays couldn't even get the ball down the court without one of the girls from the Tigers islapping or ripping the ball away.
It didn't help that the Tigers out-heighted our girls by a head each. M is getting much better at defense and stuck to her girl like flies on a rib roast. On offense she's getting there as well, looking for the ball and trying to shoot. No baskets this week, but she did have 10 family members in the stands. Mildly intimidating. After the game it was straight home to pick up the luggage for the weekend and off to lunch. Aiden had never been to T-Rex so we arrived at 11.00 to try and get in. No dice. There was a two hour wait! At 11.00 in the morning!!! We ended up waiting it out and got in after only about an hour. A loved the dinosaurs and we loved the food.
So, dinos finished and tummies full, it was time for the Great Wolfe Lodge. Holy Lord.
The lobby was completely packed with weekend visitors trying to check in early and telling their kids "Mommy's trying to get us in dear, but we have to wait in line!" The hotel features huge looking glass windows into the water park and the kids immediately looked out and saw what awaited them. A huge cornucopia of water slides, swimming pools and water toys lay stretched out in front of them. They were pumped.
We got checked in and headed to our rooms, with our Brad, myself and the girls on the 4th floor and the rest of the fam directly below us on the 3rd. The rooms were very nice and accomodating and the kids couldn't care less. They wanted to swim. We loaded up and headed down to the park. This park features more things to do than you can shake a stick at. A gigantic water bucket dumps 1,000 gallons of water on top of the park every five minutes. Slides 3 stories tall dominate the landscape. Children are running amock everywhere. My first thought was, "we are going to lose our children in this place". I was, naturally, being paranoid. Everything went great.
The kids loved every second of the day there. T immediately wanted to ride a big slide so Hubs and I accompanied her. I screamed the entire way down. Afterwards it was M's turn but she was terrified. We managed to convince her to wait in the 20 minute line, sure that we could convince her of how much fun it would be. She made it all the way to sitting in the raft, ready to go down. And then she freaked. As she tried to jump out of the raft Hubs had to grab her by the arm before she went flopping out head-first onto the concrete like a fish. They made the slow return down the stairs as T and I rode the slide another time.
We spent a great deal of time in the pool but by early evening our tummies were growling and we decided to get dressed and have some grub in the hotel. As we made our way back to the rooms I surveyed the number of ways in which parents can easily drain their bank accounts in a mere 48 hours.
There was an arcade, a craft house, gift shops, restaurants, special games to play, and of course, paraphanalia for the water. No wonder this place has visitors year round. Dinner was delicious and featured an appetizer for the kids that was actually healthy! It included ants on a log, carrot sticks and peanut butter banana sandwiches.
Interestingly enough, the adults were the ones who got excited about it. The kids looked at us like "where are the chicken fingers?" After dinner we gathered in the lobby to watch a little "story time" show put on by the hotels and hit the arcade for a few minutes. Then it was back to the rooms with ice cream and the girls lay on our beds with Grandma to watch TV. After this point, I have nothing else to report because I literally passed out from exhaustion. Oops.
Sunday- Last day at Great Wolfe. We were up by 8:30 and in the water park by 9.15. This time we played basketball in the pool, relaxed in the lazy river pool, and hit the slides a dozen times. T braved the biggest slide there was....several times. M almost made it down one of the kid slides and again, at the last second changed her mind. She just couldn't make herself try it. It didn't matter though, there were plenty of other things to do! Hubs Grandma and Missie all went upstairs at 10.30 to check us out of the hotel and myself and Brent stayed behind with the kids so they could continue playing. By 12.30 I could hardly stand up. We relaxed in the hot tub but visions of pillows and soft beds danced in my head. It was time to get going. We packed everything up and enjoyed a light lunch at Dave and Busters before the Iowa folk headed home.
This weekend taught me a lot of things, namely patience. I learned you can't talk a 7 year-old into going down a slide by promising her a mocha frappucino, and you also can't talk a 4 year-old out of going down a slide simply by explaning that you're tired. They look at you like you're insane.
Though the Great Wolf Lodge was packed with tiny arms and legs under the age of 12, I have to say I barely even noticed. I don't recall really seeing any bad behavior by children anywhere. Overall this was a great treat for a weekend and I know the kids appreciated it more than anyone. We enjoyed spending time with the family and feeling like kids again ourselves. Janette always promises an exciting vacation, and this weekend she certainly delivered!!!! Now the kids want to go back....next weekend. Um, no.