Howlin' Good Time

Our Summer 2015 Family Road Trip didn't end with our beach visit. We had one more stop - Williamsburg, Virginia. We had timed our trip right to coincide with our niece Brooke's bat mitzvah. And lucky for us, the celebration was planned at the Great Wolf Lodge. Ever been to a Great Wolf Lodge? Heard of it at least? It's a huge themed hotel and indoor waterpark. And I'm not kidding about the theme. This place was like a mini Disneyworld - giant fireplace in the lobby, lots of tree trunks and wood beams and fake acorns the size of a Mini Cooper. The price per night is up there with Disneyworld too, so we had only booked Saturday night, the night of the bat mitzvah. But there was a scheduling conflict. The website said we couldn't check in until 4 p.m. and our event started at 4 p.m. In fact, we were supposed to be showered and dressed for pictures by 2 p.m. A) how were we going to enjoy the waterpark, and B) if we couldn't do the waterpark, how could we get into the hotel without our children knowing of said waterpark's existence?

We made a recon mission to the resort on Friday night. I talked with the manager and came up with a plan. If we showed up at 11 a.m. Saturday morning, they would put us on the "first available room" list and send us a text when our place was ready, leaving us free to enjoy the waterpark while we waited. And as it turned out, the timing was perfect. Saturday morning our room was good to go when we showed up. Which is a good thing, because Violet spotted the waterpark!

The bathroom wallpaper. Commit to the theme!

Giant jacuzzi tub next to king-sized bed? Weird, but okay!

Sporting wolf ears in front of our room's working fireplace!

Our wristbands were also the room keys - convenient!
 So there are no pictures of the waterpark. Sorry, but I didn't think walking around with my phone surrounded by water was a good idea. But rest assured (or check out their website) the place was pretty cool. There was a giant play structure in the middle with a couple slides and a huge bucket that periodically dumped water. There was a wave pool, a surf pool, water basketball courts, a lazy river, a five-story water slide or two, and a great toddler area with three slides of its own that Annie ruled. We didn't even make it to the outdoor pool area. I admit, my expectations for this place were low. It would reek of chlorine, Violet would want someone with her 24/7, there would be nothing for Annie to safely do... Instead Violet ditched us at first glance and took over the slides herself, Annie was totally entertained by her own mini slides, insisting on climbing the little stairs all by herself, Matt even got to ride the "big kid" stuff. Sure, the place was packed with families and shrieking kids. Yeah, the lobby was super cheesy. Okay, so Annie broke out in an allergic reaction from all the chlorine (nothing a little benadryl couldn't solve). But overall, it was pretty cool. Granted, we were only there for 24 hours, and most of that time was spent in the resort's ballroom for the bat mitzvah, but both Matt and I agreed that we could envision going back one day. When we win the lottery. And bring a nanny. And attend a bar mitzvah with an open bar at the end of the day.
She thought the room was so cool!

 Bathtime made easy.

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