On Friday I took a much needed personal day so I could hang out with my kiddos. I get three each year and this was the first one I'd taken. Mostly because I was so sick with flu and strep in the fall that I didn't want to miss a school day-- even for something fun.
Because I work near a Great Wolf Lodge, I get a corporate discount. We decided a Thursday night would be the best time to put the discount to work and check out this place that so many friends had already visited and loved. It was hard to explain to Cate. Sure, there are commercials for it all the time on TV, but she only ever watches PBS, DVD's we own, or shows/movies we've downloaded on iTunes. Calling it "an indoor pool" was an understatement. We picked a Thursday night because it was cheaper and because we figured it would be less crowded. And by less crowded, I mean fewer older kids running around to knock down my little ones. I was right about that one. We arrived around dinner time and decided to eat first. Cate got wolf ears with her dinner. Then it was off to the waterpark. We ended up running into some friends from church there. Neither of us had any idea the other would be there. We played in the water for a little over an hour before heading back up to our fireplace suite to bathe the kids and get them ready for a bedtime story. The highlight of story time for Cate was getting to meet one of the Lodge's mascots, Violet the Wolf. In the morning we enjoyed the breakfast buffet and then a little time in the sunshine on our balcony while we waited for the waterpark to open again. We staked out our spot at the waterpark (so we'd have a table for lunch) and checked out of our room. The great thing about Great Wolf is that your waterpark pass is actually good for the whole day you arrive and the whole day you depart. So even though we had to check out at 11am, we were free to enjoy the waterpark until it closed that night. Brennan was doing this by lunch time though:The kids lasted until about 2:30 that afternoon. We got dressed, packed up our stuff, and headed home (which is only a short 25 minute drive away). Cate did this in the car: Cate's stuffed Violet was a bribe to get her to go down one of the kid slides. We knew she would love it once she went down. And we were right. I think that kid went down the slide about 50 times after she got over her initial fear.
Brennan went down the slide too, but since one of us had to get him started and the other had to catch him, we have no video of it.
All in all, it was a perfect night away-- no cooking, no toys to clean up, just lots of fun. It also gave me a little more confidence about all of us sleeping in the same room at Disney this summer. The kids were worn out Thursday night and went right to bed. Eric and I were able to watch TV without waking them, but pretty much fell asleep not too long after they did. And no one woke up during the night. I also have to give the lodge major props for cleanliness (like Purell sanitizing stations EVERYWHERE) and having a lot to do, even for the little guy. We stayed in just the waterpark, but apparently there's an arcade, bowling alley, and more that we didn't even have the time or energy for on this trip.
I have a feeling Great Wolf will become at least a once-a-year family tradition, if not twice a year. While a little pricey, it was worth every penny to spend so much fun time with my husband and kids.
I'm sure our little boy would cry wolf too if he had that word in his vocabulary!