Thursday, December 8, 2011

I'm going through Great Wolf Lodge withdrawal.

Sorry for being MIA the last couple of weeks, but I've been crushed by the weight of my social calendar.  Not something to complain about, really.  I've been having a blast.

This past Sunday through Tuesday, for instance, I spent with my family on our first ever vacation to Great Wolf Lodge.  This place is amazing.  We walked into the lobby (which is about 80 feet high) and it was beautifully decorated with Christmas trees, a huge hearth, and a life-sized gingerbread house.  It even smelled incredible, with some sort of piney fragrance they were pumping in through the ducts.

The whole place is huge, but manages to have everything you could want while still keeping with the "lodge" theme.  (They even had a Dunkin' Donuts on-site, but with regular DD prices.  Sweet.)  In addition to the water park, there's a cafeteria, gift shop, huge arcade, etc.

And the water park itself is awesome.  They have some of the best waterslides I've ever been on (that scary pic up top is from the Howlin' Tornado), but without the huge lines and endless walking that comes with a typical water park.  Also, there was a bunch of stuff for the little kids, so even my son could play relatively-independently.  (Extra nice touch:  They provide life vests for the kids, gratis.)

You can't beat the place for convenience, either.  You get a wristband your first day there, which serves not only as your entrance to the water park, but also is your room key.  Yeah.  High-tech.  If you want, you can even attach a credit card to it, and spend the rest of your stay just waving your wrist at a scanner when you want to buy something.  (Even works on vending machines!)

Everything was wonderful.  Our room was lovely, the food was great, and there was so much to do, but without feeling like you had to rush.  Even the nearby malls and restaurants were nice.

I only had one real complaint, and it was with the door latch.  You see, my two-year-old son quickly figured out three things:  he could open the door to our room, the band on his wrist was money, and the vending machine was right down the hall.


At first we used that little door latch thing (you know, the thing you use if you only want to open the door a crack?), but it was too low, and he could reach it.  Therefore, we had no way of locking my toddler in the room with us.

Around 5:00 a.m. one morning I was awoken by the sound of the door and a little wedge of light shining in.  I could just make out my son's silhouette.  "Baby, where are you going?"

"It's okay Mommy.  I be right back."  (Reminder:  This kid is two.  Not even two-and-a-half.  Two.)

"Um...no.  Go back to bed."

So...yeah.  Great Wolf Lodge, move your door latches a little higher, because some of us have kids who are way too adventurous (and tall) to stay in the rooms all night.

The only other problem was when it came time to leave.  My son was not down with this idea.  In fact, he was quite resistant to it.  There was some screaming and crying and, finally, some bribing with icecream.

Even now, my son keeps asking when we're going to go swimming and do more water slides with Papa & Mimi.  He's having trouble with the fact that, even though we were at a water park a couple of days ago, it's still winter, so our pool at home isn't open.  (First world problems though, amirite?)  Fortunately, we've got him all excited and distracted with his school Christmas play this afternoon, and his pageant coming up this Saturday in Asheville.

As for me, I actually am quite happy to be back home and settling into a normal routine again.  I got caught up on my work pretty quickly, and, though, like everything else, the beds at GWL were perfect, I'm happy to be back in my own.

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