Friday, January 05, 2018

Great Wolf Lodge

We went down to Great Wolf Lodge Wednesday night to Thursday, and I am happy to say we had a great time, and no one in our family got sick!  Two years ago was the last time we went, and that was a nightmare vomit-fest from the pit of hell, such that I had no desire to go back last year, so we didn't.  But by this year, the memories had worn off enough that it seemed like it might be a fun idea again!

When Bob was checking in, they gave us a really nice magnet commemorating 10 of something, which really puzzled me.  I knew we hadn't been going there for 10 years, since that would have been the winter of 2007-2008.  We had 6 kids, with Nathan being 10. Anna was not 2, and Grace was a baby--I knew waterparks were the last thing on my mind!  I remembered that the first time we went was the first year Rivendell started (December 2010), when I was pregnant with Micah.  Christine said it was probably for the 10th room reserved (10th "visit"), which makes more sense.  The last 3 times we've had to use 2 rooms, so that adds up quickly!

This was the first year we have not had to bring a pack-n-play, or swim diapers, which was so nice!  No diaper bag!  All we have to do is get Drew and Verity swimming confidently, and then we will be on easy street!  Woo-hoo!
 Christine and I met up and sat at the foot of the Howling Tornado so we could take pictures of our groups when they emerged!  I found out my camera hates the lighting at GWL and basically refused to focus, lol.

 It was so nice to have Nathan, Luke, and Isaac all back from college and with us.  What a special treat!
 The little kids spent a lot of time in the hot tub.  Since it was so cold outside, it just felt cooler everywhere, and the littles kept getting blue lips.  Our room never felt all that warm to me either, even though I ran the fireplace whenever I was in there.
 We made our usual late trip to Golden Corral for dinner after a full day of swimming.  There were 29 of us, including a bunch of teen boys.  I don't know that we're going to be able to keep doing that though--it cost over $120 for all 12 of us!
 We did get to enjoy Caleb McC's rendition of Beowulf using gummi bears, which is also a tradition!

As we left the restaurant, there were flakes of snow blowing around.  We had all seen the weather reports of the "bomb cyclone" that was coming in, and we wondered how we would be affected.  It seemed like really it was the coast that needed to worry, and we were still inland enough that it seemed like we would be able to get back to 95 the next day to get home.  I tried not to worry about it Wednesday evening, and it was really relaxing sitting on the couch with the fireplace going, looking out the patio door at the snow falling on the parking lot!  The older kids played games until really late, but the little ones were sleeping.  Unfortunately, Micah and Verity were both up from around 1:30-3:00 with various complaints--thirsty, needed to pee, couldn't find doggie and blanket, wanted a nightlight.  I tried to just be grateful they weren't vomiting, lol.  At least everyone slept in!
 Thursday morning was interesting.  Bob got the younger kids down to the park around 10:00, and I stayed behind to help with breakfast for the older boys, who also had to clear out their room, since we got a late checkout only in the one bigger room.  I decided I would take a shower because who knows when there would be a better chance, and as I stepped out and started to get dressed, the fire alarms started going off.  Of course, you always think it is your own fault, right, so I was grumbling that I really didn't take that long of a shower, etc.  When Nathan and Luke started yelling at me to leave, my first question was, "Is it just our room, or is it everywhere??"

I wasn't going to go outside in the freezing cold and snow sopping wet, so I went ahead and put on my jeans and blow-dried my hair.  Then bearing in mind our emergency landing experience, I also gathered up my and Bob's wallets, cell phones, etc, since I didn't want to be caught unprepared again!  Nathan and Luke kept texting me to hurry up, but I really was not that concerned--I was sure someone had cooked their microwave popcorn for more than 2 minutes or something like that.  As I finally was leaving the room to join Nathan and Luke in the stairwell (since they wisely decided not to wait outside),a cleaning lady came by and said to head to the water park.  We did that, but I was NOT prepared for that, lol.  It is quite warm in there when you are dressed for the freezing outdoors! We all stood around for awhile, sweating, until finally we were allowed back in the main hotel.  Something smelled like it had burned in the Dunkin Donuts in the lobby--but then again, they sent everyone right through the lobby to get to the water park, so who knows.  At least there was no big problem, and it wasn't more than a small inconvenience!
 The park was pretty crowded with families with toddler-age kids, as well as college students, since most other places had started back to school.  We used to go in earlier December, before schools let out, and then the place was empty!  But now that doesn't work with high school classes, or with college breaks.  Alas!

Micah and Drew didn't ride any water slides Wednesday, but as we left the park that night, we finally got the colored bands on their wrists that showed what rides they could ride (Micah could ride everything with an older boy, and Drew could ride most).  So Thursday morning the older boys took them on the rides.  Micah was a little hesitant (it turns out he is scared of heights and didn't like the big towers or stairs), but Drew was THRILLED to ride on the slides he could ride!  I saw him come out of one, holding Nathan's hand, and skipping with glee!  Drew rode all the ones he could go on.  Micah didn't, although he has said since that he *might* try the Howling Tornado next time.  MIGHT.

Even though we hadn't started back, other co-ops and classes did.  Before we left, I realized I should see if Jonathan's geometry class was starting up on Thursday, and let the teacher know he wasn't going to be there if it was.  I emailed her--but I COMPLETELY forgot that we always carpool with another family to and from that class, and I never let them know we weren't going to be there!  It didn't even cross my mind!  Instead, the mom found out by seeing my facebook posts from Wednesday, so she texted me to find out if we would be back Thursday morning for carpool!  Whoops!  Clearly I am not ready to start back, because my brain is still most definitely on break.
 Here's a group shot of the kids right before we left.  I wanted to get a family picture, but that did not happen because it took forever to gather everyone back together--like herding cats!  In this picture, you can see the start of a massive meltdown by Drew, whom Nathan is holding.  He became convinced that Micah had stolen his crocs (they are the same camo design, but Micah's are clearly bigger, so he was totally and undeniably wrong, but he was beyond reason . . .), and so he proceeded to throw a massive tantrum for the next hour or so.  We packed up the room to his howling, where he was joined by Faith's wailing, because she couldn't find a pair of underwear to put on.  Somehow they had disappeared from her bag, and none of us could even find her pair from yesterday.  Fortunately Grace had an extra pair, so she could wear those, but she was not to be consoled.  So our room was no longer the place of peace and solace it had been the night before, lol.  We made a very ungraceful and noisy exit, and Nathan had to wrestle Drew into his car seat to be buckled (after we wrestled him into his clothes, as well as socks and tennis shoes).  Not our finest moment, ha!

I made tortilla roll-ups with lunch meat, cheese, and spinach in the car for everyone to eat once we got going.  I was so glad we had packed stuff for lunch, because clearly we were not able to be going into any kind of restaurant to eat!  Once everyone had full tummies, everyone fell sound asleep except Bob, me, and Caleb.  Then the sound of peace and quiet reigned once again . . . ahhhh.  So we had many hours of fun, and just that last hour of not-fun, lol.  I was glad we went back!  And the roads were indeed just fine, so we made it back with no issues at all.  

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