Archives For Great Wolf Lodge

This was the view I had last Friday.

melted snow

and my mind tricked me into believing that spring was almost here

This was the view taken from the same camera angle just two days later on Sunday.

snow returns

you are an evil deceiver, Jack Frost

My mindset went from incredibly upbeat to completely ticked off in 48 hours. My mood fell as quickly as the thick snow came down.

I am left to wonder, will THIS be the final snow fall of the season here in Nebraska?

I. Am. Over. Winter.

My kids have a slightly different perspective.

snow day

yet another day off from school

Why can’t I have the same level of appreciation as they do for snow days?

It’s painfully obvious I’m not a kid anymore. Sure, on the surface, it would seem like a nice thing to experience a three-day weekend. And perhaps I would enjoy it more if it didn’t take me 30 minutes to warm up from the time I get out of my bed in the morning. If I wasn’t thinking about letting yet another running workout slip by because I hate the treadmill more than I hate math. If I wasn’t stressed about staying on top of everything in the office without physically being in the office.

This upcoming weekend will mark the end of my boys’ basketball seasons. They played 75 games between the two of them…and neither are ready for their seasons to end.

Guess what? I AM READY.

I am ready to switch to the equally (if not more) insane season of baseball, because those games are played outside and not within the confines of a gymnasium.

I am ready to run outside with a familiar group of colleagues over my lunch hour instead of dragging myself onto a hamster wheel.

I am ready to walk my dog on familiar trails and hear the neighborhood buzz as kids play in inflatable pools and run through sprinklers.

I am ready to blind people with my pasty white legs and wear flip flops as often as possible.

I am ready to take our vacation to Great Wolf Lodge, where my four-year old can experience (for the first time) what all the fuss is about.

I am ready to bid farewell to frigid temps and my perspective. Both are getting a little bitter this time of year.

Created by Heidi Woodard

I struggle at times to remember what it feels like to step away from the everyday grind and have no set agenda other than to relax and have fun as a family.

It’s been too long since we’ve experienced that feeling. We’re getting ready to re-embrace it at one of our boys’ favorite places,¬†Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City.

We’re rarely at home. Always on the go. Stressing about getting kids to school and ourselves to work on time. Stressing about leaving work on time to rush home. Stressing about meal planning and getting out of the house on time to make it to basketball. Stressing about getting the kids to bed at a decent hour.

Shoot, I’m stressing with guilt right now over the fact our daughter has never experienced a Great Wolf Lodge getaway. And she’s 4.

Pregnant mom with baby girl

The boys loved to pretend their bellies were as big as mine when I was pregnant with their baby sister.

We’re lucky that all three of our kids LOVE getting wet. Water slides, lazy rivers, spray stations…you name it…I remember the boys having a blast standing under the 1,000-gallon bucket dump.

You know what’s even better than getting soaked by such an extreme force of water? Watching your 4-year old sister experience that combination of fear and adrenaline rush for the first time.

Dad and sons in the lazy river

Lazy boys in the lazy river.

Some of my favorite memories from Great Wolf Lodge have nothing to do with water at all. Each evening, lodge guests are invited to attend a story time in their pajamas in front of the Great Clock Tower within the grand lobby.

The Great Clock Tower has timed lighting and mechanical animals that sing and talk to the audience. Anyone who is my age may recall Showbiz Pizza back in the 80s. This Clock Tower is like Showbiz on steroids, highly entertaining for kids and adults alike.

I’m going to make it my goal to use my iPhone for picture taking and maybe a periodic Facebook status update. One of the best things about vacationing at an indoor water park is that water and electronics don’t mix.

We deserve the uninterrupted time together and each other’s undivided attention.

The rest of the world can wait.

Created by Heidi Woodard

I talked my husband into bringing back a fun family tradition that we haven’t done for over four years.

We’re taking our kids to Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City. This will be the first trip for our youngest and a much-needed return adventure for the rest of us.

Prior to Christmas, I asked my oldest, who will be turning 11 in January, what he thought his favorite vacation was of all time. He and his brother have seen moose and mountains in Estes Park and visited Water World outside of Denver. Their one and only plane trip thus far was to Chicago, where they got to ride the historic Navy Pier Ferris wheel and explore Millennium Park.

I’ve shared before on this blog how I can feel him moving away from his childhood and reliance on me and his dad.

You can imagine my surprise when he responded that Great Wold Lodge was his all-time favorite place to vacation.

The more I thought about it, the more it made perfect sense. The drive there is relatively short for us, and once there, we don’t have to leave the lodge for anything. We swim, eat, sleep, and repeat. It’s uninterrupted family time, something we don’t make nearly enough time for these days.

I captured the moment my kids learned that we are heading to Great Wolf again. You can’t quite see the expression on my oldest’s face, but our middle son’s reaction basically says enough for both of them.

The Great Wolf Lodge website shows a 17-second video of a family riding down a giant water slide together in a tube. The caption beneath the video reads, “Your kids’ childhood goes by just as fast.”

I couldn’t agree more.

First year at GWL

First year at GWL

Second year at GWL

Second year at GWL

Third year at GWL

Third year at GWL

My how fast time flies!

My how fast time flies!

Created by Heidi Woodard