I love my family.
I would like to think I could lose everything in life and I would still be fine if I had them, but the truth is they would never let that happen.
Unless I become a drugged up thief who makes every attempt to ruin their lives, they would always help me. Even then they would just throw me on Intervention.
We are the middle to lower half of middle class. We all have jobs, even if they don’t pay much – we all have roofs over our heads, some we own and some we don’t – and we all have food on our plates and clothes on our back, even if we could barely afford it.
My parents, though, always manage to save enough to spoil us. Not rotten, but more than deserved. Even if it makes their wallets a little tight for a couple of paychecks to pay it back, the memories made and the looks on our kids faces keep telling them it is worth it.
These spoils can be a trip to “the big city”, the zoo, out to lunch, or bigger things like this last weekend:
The Great Wolf Lodge
We really are spoiled.
For those of you who have never been to or heard of GWL, it is a hotel/indoor waterpark that provides a variety of activities from magic quests to arcades, dance parties, and much, MUCH more.
It’s a child’s paradise.
We had taken my daughter before (see, again with my parents!), but at the time she was only about 8 months old and the trip was more for my niece. This was Ev’s first cognizant trip to GWL.
And what a trip it was!
There’s plenty I can tell you, but I’ll do a brief over.
After a traffic filled drive, a wonderful Mexican dinner, and fighting for parking, I got to see my tiny daughters reaction to this giant, enchanted wonderland as seen through a 2 year olds eyes.
Firstly, as you walk in, there are large fake trees everywhere. Right in the middle of the lobby is a rather large landscape of anamotronic trees and animals and a staircase with a bridge walkway on the second floor. These block the large wall of windows that shows the waterpark complete with a baby/toddler area, 2 medium slides built into a fort with numerous water gadgets, a wave pool, a swimming pool, 2 larger slides and 2 slides that really should be for adults only, regardless of the 5 year olds that went down right before me.
Seeing all of the whimsy made Ev pick up to a run. Then as we got closer she saw the pool. Her face froze in an overwhelming glaze and she started calling “How ’bout this one?!”
She was so excited.
Within the first night she had the baby pool mastered. She would easily circle from stairs to slide over and over.
The only way to get her out was by promising her more tomorrow and to take her on the magic quest.
Two pink wands and a quest subscription bill later, we hit the halls to “zap” stuff.
Did I mention over half of the kids are in their pajamas at this point?
Roaming the halls, usually absurdly unattended and ill mannered, in various pj’s. My tiny tot had to do the same!
So here we are roaming the halls waving at different animals, treasure boxes, pictures, and stars – making things open, twinkle, wiggle or shout. She really thought she was Harry Potter.
Such an amazing thing to imagine. You get older, even by a few years, you start to notice that there are other kids around doing the same thing, and it loses magic. Then a little older and you notice other kids making the same objects do the same thing and it loses a little more. Eventually it just becomes a game, but I got the privilege of witnessing my daughter have the FULL magic. The pure wonder of it!
The next morning we hopped right in the pool, and by the end of the day she had graduated to the slides meant for kids significantly older than she is. We had also done more “zapping”:
Some minigolf, some dinner, some slides and some exploring. It was a long fantastic day!
Also, since we had been there a few times before, we hit some kind of frequent flyer program. Not only did we have gold bracelets that made everyone treat us seemingly nicer than average, but they left us a bottle of sparkling cider and a paw shaped cookie with a “welcome back” message. It was pretty special!
Here are a few others from our trip:
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.