We went to Great Wolf Lodge this weekend - the one up in Traverse City.
I would describe it as a place that is a lot of fun... For about 2 days and especially if those days are not a Saturday.
I also think it is one of those places that gets easier with age. The older your kids are, the more relaxing it is for the parents.
For those of you who don't know it's a wolf themed hotel with a huge water park at the centre of it. They do a really good job of keeping the kids amused, with slides for all ages in the water park, a lazy river, a family hot tub (Charlotte's favourite) and basketball pool. They also do story time in the lobby with one of the mascot characters and the kids can turn the water on in the park if they get there at opening time. We did this every morning and the kids loved it!
We have two non-swimmers who didn't always want to wear their life vests so most of the time we were in the water with them, holding onto them. Of course Toby managed to wander off (he is scarily fearless) and Charlotte found him happily shooting people with the water cannons.
We did manage to enjoy some time out a couple of times. Charlotte and I had our first 'Mommy and Me' pedicure together which was very sweet. And yes, I am now sporting bright pink sparkly toe nails.
Jeremy and I also took it in turns to get a massage which I would highly recommend, even if just to escape the kids and the noise for an hour!
We got cabin fever after 48 hours and had to get some fresh air so we headed 10 minutes north into downtown Traverse City and had a delicious dinner at the Mackinaw Brewing Company. I ordered a BBQ platter with ribs, chicken wings and brisket. I think Charlotte ate more than I did and Toby helped too! I don't blame them - it was really good and I would highly recommend it as a place to eat if you are up north. It was full of people celebrating St Patricks Day so it had a great atmosphere and the kids were highly amused by pointing out people's bright green hats and beards!
I wanted to say 'Hi' to Lake Michigan first so we braved the cold and wind to walk up to the harbour through the snow and ice, took a couple of photos and then swiftly escaped into the town! It was only about -5oC but the wind made it feel much colder!
We spent some time up there in the summer with friends so it was fun to see it all covered in snow... Hopefully we will be back in a few months and be able to swim in the lake again!
Above: Turning on the water and meeting Oliver Racoon.
Toby really is like a little puppy... Look at his face going down that slide!
Below: Our trip to downtown Traverse City.
So all in all we had a fun, busy, crazy, noisy, exciting, exhausting weekend! With hindsight we should have only stayed 2 nights and had a day at home to relax before going back to school. Charlotte was so exhausted this morning that I managed to get her undressed, on the loo and dressed for school without her opening her eyes! I left her for 2 minutes and she was back in bed again! They miss their Kiddie Kamp bunk beds and were really good given we all shared a room but I think we all needed to get back to our own beds last night!
It was great to get away from the snow and pretend it was summer for a while. The water park is heated to 80+oF which felt lovely! Though the drive up past all of the green fir trees standing in pure white snow was beautiful...
I'm still ready for Spring though (and looking at Facebook this morning, I am not the only one!)