Sunday, January 31, 2010

Our Family Vacation

Our first trip to Great Wolf Lodge. We scored half price rooms a few months back and planned a late January get-away. We stayed for 3 nights. Homeschooling friends also went to the lodge that week, for the first 2 nights we were there.

The weather was not great on the drive to Niagara Falls so traffic was a mess. We left early so we could go to the butterfly conservatory before heading to the hotel. It was a very nice place but Izzy was terrified, especially when I stopped near a feeding dish and some of them started to land on me.

We could see the Lodge across the gorge from the park area when leaving the conservatory. The kids were chomping at the bit to get there.

We arrived before 1pm and though our rooms were not ready (not guaranteed until 4pm) we were issued out wristbands and decided to hit the waterpark. The wristbands are very cool in that they work as your room key, lock for the lockers and a way to charge stuff to your room. Though by the last day Rob and I were dying to get them off. Alex still has his on. It will be a week tomorrow.

The place was fabulously clean and the lifeguards seem pretty diligent. Everyone is quite friendly. There is a lot for the whole family to do. Alex was tall enough to ride all the slides. Izzy was a big fan of the lazy river and the wave pool. I preferred the hot-tub myself. Especially the outdoor one!

Just after 3pm I was able to check in to our room. The lady at the front desk asked it it was okay that we were at the end of the hall on the water park level. I figured, why not?! Well, the place is deceptively large and it was a running joke our entire stay about the amount of time it took to get back and forth from the room. The place is massive!

The kids were thrilled with the bunk beds. The fact that their room had cable was the icing on the cake. We don't have cable at home anymore and this was just an added treat.

I was happy that they thought to add laundry lines in the room to help dry our bathing suits. I noticed a lot of small things they added for our comfort and made us very happy with our mini-break choice.

At 8pm each night they have story time. We had friends over to our suite for a pizza supper than after relaxing a little met upstairs to the kids could watch the live show.

It was a busy day and it wasn't long before the kids were out cold.

The next morning was a breakfast buffet at the Antler Shanty. The food wasn't amazing but the selection was pretty decent. We purchased an add-on meal plan. Something like $45 an adult buys you a breakfast buffet, lunch and drink at one of the smaller cafes or pizza hut and one dinner buffet. I found it to be a pretty good deal since it included the taxes and gratuity. We only purchased one meal plan for each family member because we left the park or brought food for the meals.

Followed by some activities and crafts in the lobby.

Then another romp in the waterpark.

Over the stay there was:

A religious experience for Izzy when she had her first manicure at a spa. The place is called Scoops and designed for little girls. The said it was, "...the best day of her life." My little girly, girl!

Play time at the arcade.

A severe case of the (over-tired girl) grumps.

A ride on the SkyWheel - a small version of the London Eye. It was horrible, at least for me. I am terrified of heights and yet, in a moment of insanity I suggested this would be a great way to see the Falls lit up at night. I paid $10 to have a panic attack! The worst part was that there was no one else there and he let us go around an extra turn!! I wanted to faint. It was pretty windy too and the car rocked quite a bit on that last run. The kids thought I was hysterical. Happy to have entertained them.

Of course, there was a trip to the Falls with a quick stop for hot chocolate at Starbucks.

It was pretty chilly and we made the kids walk from the Skylon Tower down to the edge of the Falls. It was cold, wet (obviously) and they weren't very impressed. The Falls isn't exactly pretty in the winter.

We got to go behind the Falls. One of the decks is closed in the winter but we got up pretty close.

There are two open passages behind the Falls. This one was frozen right over but the second one was pretty cool. I didn't get any good pictures of the second one because a giant amount of fast rushing water isn't easy to capture on film. Alex got pretty soaked though getting up as close as he could.

The last morning was a quick breakfast and me packing up the car while Rob took the kids to the waterpark one last time.

Before we left Niagara Falls, we still had to use up our tickets to the show 'The Fury'. The website says, Experience the Creation of Niagara Falls in 4-D! The temperature will drop 20 degrees. Water will bubble and spray while snow falls all around. Standing in the mist on a massive platform you will feel the full wrath of Mother Nature as the floor tilts and trembles beneath you. You'll never look at the Falls the same way again!

On the way home, we passed through Niagara on the Lake, grabbing some wine from our favourite vineyards.

We really did have a good time. It was nice to just be away with Rob since he has been so busy lately. We will definitley go back. Poor kids were so upset to leave. They do a great job of taking care of families there and was pretty impressed.

1 comment:

Butterfly said...

Wow, that's an incredible holiday story!!!

I'm sold! If only we didn't live on the other side of the world. Maybe one day we'll get there.