Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Water, swimsuits and tatoos - oh my!

Well, we finally bit the bullet (no, not Caden's stuffed dog Bullet - read the previous post) and took the kids to Great Wolf Lodge. For those who are unaware of what this means let me explain. GWL is a kids paradise. Something like 100,000 gallons of water (most of it moving), awesome bunk beds, magic wands that make the wall art and more come to life and again, water. It's an indoor water park and resort seemingly made entirely for kids. As we walked through the door Trace came to a complete stop as he looked around in amazement at just the lobby. We were immediately transported out of reality and into a wonderland. Getting into our room and choosing up bunks was the next thrilling adventure. The kids had their own little cabin built into our room and complete with a t.v. of their own (boy was that nice when they were all awake before 7am!).
Everyone got swimsuits and wrist bands on so we could head to the water.
So down we went to the second floor - where much of the excitement is. The elevator opens to the arcade (what better way to milk a few extra dollars from parents?) and just around the corner is the Cub Club which is essentially a preschool room. The sweet shop and Pizza Hut Express also line the path to the water park. In the entire 5 minute walk from our room to the pool we were dodging kids running around with magic wands. Pointing them at trees makes them talk to you, treasure chests open and gems light up. At $14 a whack the hotel is making a small fortune on those wands alone! Walking into the water area is pretty amazing. You enter from the second floor which gives you a magnificent view of the entire area right from the start. Giddiness was definitely in the air!

And we were off to become waterlogged and pruned! Paige happily floated in the kiddy play area with Rick or I close by and the boys ran amok with the other of parent trailing along behind. Rick hiked the stairs to the water slides several times before it was my turn. I had no idea I'd be hiking up 5 long flights of stairs! After my second trip my heart was pounding so hard in my chest I could feel it in my head and I could hardly catch my breath! Oh-yeah, I'm in pretty bad shape. The slide back down was worth it though and as far as the boys were concerned it was worth it enough to occupy nearly all of their time. I'm curious to see if they'll still think it was worth it when they can't walk tomorrow!

Sitting in the kiddy pool does give one time to do plenty of people watching. And were there ever people to watch in this place! Let's start with the kids... Babies(!) they were everywhere! Why would you pay good money to sit in a chair holding a tiny baby while your family plays and has fun? Not me thank you. Then there were the toddlers in their swim diapers and life jackets. One little guy was such a fish that he literally rolled down the extra wide slide and came up sputtering over and over again! The bigger kids were far less obnoxious than I expected. Maybe it is because we were there mid week, I don't know, but I really didn't run into any kids behaving badly.

Then there were the adults. Oh man were there the adults! I have to say my whole trip was made as I sat there making my mental observations and came to the realization that going to a family resort meant that almost every woman there had at least one child. How did that make my trip? Let's just say WOW, I look good! To be fair, there were a couple of women skinnier than myself, but the vast majority were more than just a little bit bigger. And either poured into or falling out of their swimsuits too. One women literally looked like she was going to pop out the top of her suit any second and another had on a semi string bikini/one piece thing and she clearly couldn't pull it off. I'm sorry but if your you-know-whats are half way to your bellybutton you do not belong in a bikini or any other low cut suit. Is there anything that looks worse than a woman trying to look younger than she is by wearing teenager's clothes (or in this case swimsuit)? Well, um, apparently there is. That would be a teenager who thinks she is hot when clearly she is not. Just because you are young does not qualify you as someone who looks good in a skimpy suit. And if you do have a few extra pounds please do yourself a favor and spend a little extra money on a decent suit that actually holds everything where it is supposed to be! Oh-my-goodness - how can anyone say we have problems with self esteem in this country? They most certainly have not visited a water park recently! I guess the rule of thumb is that if it comes in your size then it will look good on you. Uh-hmmmm. Seriously folks, it's kinda scary.
The only thing worse than the swimsuits were the tattoos. I guess we are terribly out-of-it since we don't have any. According to the news Portland is now the tattoo capital of the country. Apparently nearly everyone at the Great Wolf Lodge this week traveled North to get there.

We made it home in time for bed tonight. Trace is bruised and battered and Caden's back looks like he was whipped but they are all sound asleep in their own warm beds dreaming of water...

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