Thursday, 19 May 2011

Mini Vacay

I'm baaaack! For the past 2 days my family and I were on a mini vacation at Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls. My parents were very generous this past Christmas and gave each of their 10 grandchildren a one night stay at Great Wolf Lodge! They think (and they're right) that the kids have so many toys and well, crap, that they don't need more so they'd rather give them an experience instead. After waiting until we had time and until everyone was healthy (that was a feat!) we finally made it! Visiting GWL for the first time was definitely an experience. A great one!

It was our first foray into the wonderfully wet world of the Wolf (say that 10 times fast!). We've been to Disney twice in the past and experienced truly stellar customer service and GWL was right up there. Not only are they extremely aware and competent to deal with serious food allergies but everyone from the maintenance staff to the waitresses to the water slide operators were extremely helpful and went out of their way to make our stay better and easier. They were always asking if we were having a good time and just generally uber friendly and happy. I don't know what they put in the water there but gimme some of it!!

Let me start by saying that I'm not an overly adventurous person. I don't like heights (OK, I HATE them) and although in my youth I did a few roller coasters at Canada's Wonderland I'm not overly excited to put my body in a situation where either I scream out in utter fear or just plain embarrass my kids. That being said I did go on ALL of the water slides at GWL (including the Vortex which really reminds me of swishing around a toilet bowl since you spin around then are dumped out the bottom).

If you have the chance to go I highly recommend the Niagara Falls slide which is part roller-coaster, part water slide. It was awesome and I must have went on it 15 times! I think that I did accrue some of the highly coveted 'Mom is pretty cool' points by hitting the slides with my kids time and time again. Truth be told, those points didn't start accruing until after the first time I went down the Niagara Falls ride with both of my sons because I kind of screamed a bit (a lot) going down the first time and threatened them with a meal full of brussel sprouts when I saw the first hill. It wasn't a proud Mom moment but I made up for it quickly. :)

What was even better was that, since we went mid-week, there were no lines! I HATE spending good, hard earned money waiting in lines! I'd rather pull my kids out of school for 2 days and spend the time on the rides than waiting in a line with a bunch of strangers. I think there were only a handful of times when we had about 5 people ahead of us in line. Because there were no lines there was also no pausing and resting while waiting for a ride. This means that climbing up the 67 steps to the first level of slides and the 89 steps to the taller slides (YES, I had time to count them!) was exhausting but at least I got some cardio work out too, right? I was hoping that I'd come home with the thighs of a 15 year old after that workout ... sadly, no. :(

We didn't just stay in the water park either. The kids were given a free craft (see Karate Guy with his pillow case) and a free stuffed animal to take home. The room was great (the kids had their own 'cabin' within our room) so that upped the 'cool' factor compared to a regular hotel room.

So, what did I take away from this mini vacay?

1. Two days in a water park kicked my family's butt! We ... were ... exhausted!!
2. I do indeed get giddy when I see a baked potato bar at the buffet
3. There are people on this earth who can be uber happy and know what true customer service is
4. my kids don't take advantage of all-you-can-eat buffets (they only went up TWICE?!?!)
5. I have the upper arm strength of a gnat (Note to Self: don't get in a race with your 11 year old where the goal is to move as fast as you can across various floating/moving things while hanging onto a rope above your head if you don't want to have very painful arms 2 days later. Duly noted.)
6. You can have good tasting food in a buffet (bbq'd salmon and tilapia with a sun-dried tomato and spinach sauce?!?! Delish!)
6. Time with my family is totally priceless

Like I mentioned above we had a great time but came home utterly exhausted last night! The kids wanted a day off school today to recuperate from their holiday. Um, no. Back to school my lovelies so I can get back to my schedule and prepare for the upcoming Victoria Day (ie. "May 2-4") holiday this weekend! Time with you was priceless and amazing ... but so is peace and quiet after a truly amazing, yet exhausting couple of days.


kym said...

We went to GWL pre baby with Jay's older daughter and neice. We had a blast. We made the mistake of eating out in the city one night. We should have stayed and had the buffet, when we went the second night we realized how good it was.

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Kym - I was happily surprised at how good the buffet was! Loved the saute station which made amazing omelettes in the morning (complete with sun-dried tomatoes, feta, spinach, bacon ....) and turned into a fish station in the evening. It was my first foray into the wonderful world of all inclusive. I loved not worrying about leaving the site to eat! Saved us a lot of time to use in the water park!

My Cottage Charm said...

Your trip sounds like a LOT of fun! I need to go somewhere to get away for a day or two..sounds like a great place to be!
I'm so glad you like my laundry room thus far...I'm actually getting excited to do laundry in there! :-o lol The Board and Batten really wasn't hard either...math was the hardest part of the whole thing! :) Glad it has inspired'll have to let me know if you do yours so I can see too!
Have a great weekend!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Missy, thanks for stopping by my blog! I would love to do board and batten in my laundry room but the rounded corners on my walls concern me. :s And the fact that my hubby isn't on board with well, the board & batten ... yet.

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