Sunday, April 10, 2016

Spring Break with the Wolves

Apparently, we are extending our Spring Break a little bit and taking it easy. Fever has invaded our house and I had to stay home from church today with two boys. Thankfully, its just a mild fever and is seemingly remedied just fine with an occasional dosage of tylenol and lots of movie watching.

It is easier to prepare a nice Sunday lunch when you are home all morning though. 

And maybe allows a little time to write a blog update.....

Some pics from our trip to Great Wolf Lodge:

This cute fish had a good time.
Enjoying the Lazy River.
He's sitting on a little fountain. And he's super cute.

It was hard to get a picture of Landon. He was repeatedly doing one of the slides at the top of this jungle gym. He'd get done and immediately climb to the top to go again.
Adam enjoying a little time in the "adults-only" hot tub.
This giant bucket would tip over every 5 minutes or so, pouring lots of water out onto people. 

Our boys have only stayed in a hotel twice in their lives. They like laying on cozy beds and watching TV.

In front of the little Clock Tower.
We had bought our stay through a Groupon deal. And it included vouchers for breakfast.
All of the kids get free wolf ears when you check in. This kid has the cutest little howl.

A few thoughts on staying at Great Wolf Lodge:
- We purchased our 2-night stay in a Fireplace Loft Suite through Groupon. (This room could hold 8 people). It was nice we could let the older two boys have their own space and 1/2 bath upstairs. Staying in hotel rooms is rather annoying when you want your kids to go to bed at a decent hour....yet, you yourself are used to staying up until 11 or 12. I ended up reading a book in the hallway for awhile so that we could shut the lights all off and they would fall asleep. And we had to watch the NCAA basketball game with the sound off. Imagine my silent cheering as my Villanova pick won at the last second. 
- The room had a mini-fridge and a microwave. We knew we would get a big breakfast both days (included in the Groupon). I packed stuff for sandwiches for lunches. And then I brought fixings for dinner as well so that we didn't have to go off-site or spend a bunch of money to eat on-site. I had pre-made the meat and froze it (Tacos for the first night, Shredded BBQ Chicken sandwiches for the 2nd). 
- We went to the Sandusky, OH location. I read that this one was a little smaller than the one up in Traverse City, MI. But when I went to book, Traverse City did not have any of the large suites still available for our Spring Break week. 
- Staying at GWL is still pretty pricey. I had been eyeing the Groupon deal for awhile before I bought it. I compared it to what I saw directly on the GWL website. I even called their Customer Service to inquire if they could compete with the Groupon. The woman quickly said that they couldn't come close since the Groupon deal included breakfast and $10 credit in the gift shop for each night booked. And the breakfast was good, but very pricey if we would have paid for it out-of-pocket. We could have easily brought breakfast food to eat in our hotel room, but I liked the idea of starting off the day on a full stomach. 
- Everything was clean and well-kept at the facility. I didn't notice anything that needed attention. 
- We took our two high school international boys. The ideal age for Great Wolf is definitely younger than them. They were still pretty good sports about it though. Adam took them to a movie during one afternoon to help compensate their time. 
- I was not super impressed with their extra activities. The boys were very intrigued with this MagiQuest wand thing that you saw everywhere. It was quite expensive though. To get the boys to stop asking about it, I eventually told them how much our room cost.....and then they stopped asking if they could do it. We walked through the arcade a few times, but it was pretty pricey to play as well. They had a Clock Show and Storytime in the evenings. For the clock show, a bunch of animals and people came to "life" and did some songs and such. They were a bit creepy and the sound system was not very good and it was hard to understand what was even going on. The storytime wasn't all that great either. We attended them both the first night and then not again. We went to a free craft time as well and the boys were able to make a button at no charge, although they had much cooler things that involved a charge. 
- It was Spring Break, so it was busy, but I never felt like it was horribly crazy. None of the lines for water slides were that long. Frequently, there was hardly more than a minute or two wait. And sometimes, no wait at all.
- It almost felt like we travelled someplace warm as they say they keep it to 84 degrees in the water park area. You do end up walking around in a swimsuit most of the time, so you kinda have to be comfortable with that. 
- There are a generous amount of lifeguards and they were very engaged, attentive, and friendly. We let our L & T go around as they pleased, without us being with them. They often even separated and we were comfortable with that. One, and usually both, of us was always in the water park with them though and generally knew where they were at. 

Overall, we had a very good time.  The boys really had a blast. One night would have been too short, but two nights was a good fit. I am very glad that we went, although we aren't planning another trip there anytime soon. Too many other places to explore as well!