Water parks, wine tasting & birthdays!
We wanted to start the summer out with a BANG for the kids this year – so we planned a little trip down to the Poconos with one night @ Great Wolf Lodge and another night over @ Kalahari. It had been about a year and a half since we had been to either one of the indoor water parks – so it felt like it was about time to get back there! We will be writing a review & comparison of the two places in the near future – so please check back to see our impressions and which one came out on top.
Everyone was pretty much a good sport about the t-shirts. I was surprised to get a little resistance from Dominick & Annie. It wasn’t an issue with the t-shirt per se – but rather that it only had an old picture of their sister Gracie. They both felt like we should have a picture with all of us in it – rather than just Gracie. I didn’t really think about that when I ordered them – and could definitely see their point. So I promised that when I order new t-shirts I will handle the situation differently!
We’ve been to the Great wolf Lodge – as well as Kalahari in the past – so the kids knew what to expect. We figured that Sophie would be a lot of fun this time – because last time we were there she was just too young to remember it (being only a little over 1 year old).
Coming into Great Wolf Lodge the kids did the old wolf howl! Boy – they do make me proud sometimes! Sophie didn’t know what to make of that at all!
Sophie was a good sport and was excited right along with the rest of the kids.
The kids really enjoyed the themed room. Ours had a log cabin in the middle of the room with a couple of bunk beds on the one side and a third bed on the other side. There was a little fighting over the bed assignments – but Annie ended getting the highly coveted top bunk – since she has never slept in a top bunk before. Dominick didn’t really seem to care too much either way – or maybe he is just getting smarter and learning to stay out of the way when females are fighting over something….
Sophie really enjoyed the wave pool! She liked the crashing waves – as long as mom and/or dad was close. When I pushed just a little too hard for one more picture – I got the finger pointed at me and was directed to “stop that”. Yup – put in place by a bossy little two year old!
Kalahari is just six miles from Great Wolf Lodge – so it was just a hop, skip and jump across town to get there. It took a little longer than it should have to get there – due to some construction and a detour – but still a VERY short drive!
Kalahari is absolutely immense! We were on the 8th floor and this (below) is the view from our room. We had a suite rather than a room. There were 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a large common area for a kitchenette and a family room. There were 3 TVs in the place and more closet space than we have in our entire house! In-fact the place was so large that Sophie went missing for about half an hour in our suite!!! (just kidding – more like just 25 minutes or so….)
Kalahari was not as much fun for Sophie – because of the fact that they, unlike Great Wolf Lodge, required her to wear a life jacket. Strong-willed Sophie – would have none of some silly life jacket – so she really didn’t get to go in the wave pool and do any of the kiddie slides or activities.
After three days in the water parks – we finally headed home and got back at about 8:30 pm. The following day we had a bus / limousine tour of some finger lakes wineries with Melani’s much OLDER sister Lisa and some other friends and family to celebrate Lisa’s 50th birthday. This was a milestone for Melani and I – as it was the first time we (together) have ever been separated from the kids for any substantial period of time. We were grateful to both my mother and my cousin Mike and his lovely wife Donna for watching and entertaining the kids for the day! It was a beautiful day to be touring some of the wineries and great to spend some time with Melani’s side of the family! In total I think we hit about 5 or 6 wineries / breweries.
While we were out on our little tour the kids were talking with Mimi (my mother) and building Rube Goldberg machines. They apparently also had a LOT of treats while they were with Mike & Donna – going out to KFC for lunch, getting ice cream and even setting off some fireworks! There was also some craft building and visiting other relatives! I think they might have been busier then us!
When we returned that evening we picked up the kids and went back over to Melani’s mother’s house for a late dinner and the kids got some cousin time! Melani’s younger sister Jeni’s kids are about the same ages as ours – so the kids love getting together and playing around!
Soccer was a bust this weekend – because of the weather and some seriously wimpy parents. The fields we actually in a lot better shape (read that as drier) than they have been for most of the season. But even with just the THREAT of rain – some people will not show up. So Gracie and Dominick’s team had a total of 5 people show up and the other team only had 1 stinking kid show up! So all they did was some drills and scrimmaging.
It was even worse for Annie’s team – of which she was the only one that showed up!
On Sunday we went to church downtown close to my offices. We like to mix it up a little when the kids don’t have religious ed. I also figured since we were gone most of the week – it would probably be a good idea to check up on the roofer’s progress on the building.
Also worthy of note this week – When Gracie got her final report card for the year- we were very pleased to learn that she had gotten her first 4.0! Not really surprising – given how much she enjoys school – but, never-the-less, we are really proud of our little girl!
Finally, on one of our trips over to Melani’s mother’s house I was talking about electric cars with the kids. Soon we were talking about electric motorcycles. I was saying how fast & silent they would be – and Sophie latched on to the conversation and told everyone that “My tricycle is very very fast!” That kid really gets me!