Monday, April 11, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up

Last weekend we made our way to Williamsburg for a short visit at Great Wolf Lodge. We thought this would be a nice distraction from a party for Q (seeing as that all his friends live in Raleigh).

My mom joined us on our journey. That was a great treat! We got lots of good time with just Q. And Q LOVES spending time with Grandma!

Here are my thoughts. Remember this is my opinion from my experience.
The ride is short and easy. Love that with two excited children!! We left early so we could enjoy the park. We had lunch on the road to avoid "amusement park" food prices.

I went inside to check in. Lots of front desk staff made for a very short line! After exchanging pleasantries and a few "my boys are so excited" along with my last name, no I didn't book it under another name, then my first name, saying hello to the new staff member who came over to help, no, there is no other last name, then handing her my credit card, yes this is the card I used to book the room online, we finally found the problem. It had reserved our room for the day I booked it online?! I noticed I had been charged, but thought that was a deposit type thing. When I told them I noticed I had been charged, she said that is what they do. Charge when reserved. That can make a huge difference for someone! At the point I am about to cry thinking about having to go tell Q we don't have a room she starts telling me about what they do have available. For more money of course. They do have a business center, where I could have printed out my confirmation (of course, I could have brought one as well!!) but I was more concerned with getting a room. I am not sure what she could have done anyway. Lucky for us, this new room was already clean, so we could go on up! They also transferred my payment to that night instead of saying "Oh well, you didn't show, that's the charge". We also needed a room (like we reserved) with a little space/privacy since my mom was with us!

We parked around by our side of the building and took the elevator to the 4th floor. Everything was clean and maintained. Stepping off the elevator, there were no signs to tell you which rooms were which way.

Room keys were "in" your wrist bracelet. We learned this after giving Q Chads bracelet. When she asked if everyone needed room keys, I told her no, the boys didn't need one. Leaving Q's bracelet without key privileges. We also didn't test moms (which didn't work, when she brought B up for his later than usual nap). Room was clean and roomy. Plenty of space. We got our suits on and headed down to the park.

Easy enough, lots to see and explore on the way down there.
Baby/toddler pool was nice. It was right by the door and was freezing if you were wet and then standing there playing. I spent a lot of time sitting. It didn't smell real great. There were three small water slides. Great for Q so he could test out his nerves. He loved them, but went under the first time down and was NOT excited about that! It also had a few interactive play things. B enjoyed those.

The wave pool was fun. The water was shallow enough that Q could go pretty deep. The waves were pretty strong if you were anywhere near the shallow end. Water in the mouth is pretty unavoidable with our splashing kids. It tasted like gym socks smell. Gross! Q liked chopping at and jumping over the waves. B liked being rocked by them.

There was a "Wolf Rider Wipeout" where there were "waves" and a boogie board and you could test out your body boarding skills. We avoided this. But Q would have been tall enough to try.

Crooked Creek (think Lazy River) was more our speed. Single and double tubes provided enough entertainment for a little while. B LOVED the buckets that dumped water on your head. Q not so much. B kept pointing and screeching "BUCKET"!

Then there was a huge fort with two water slides and LOTS of spilling water, nets, crawl throughs etc. Q was pumped about trying out the water slide. I was extremely nervous, that he and Chad would make it to the top and Q would be too scared to go down. He did it! I was so proud of him! All that water in his face!! He could not wait to go again. This time I went with him. It's been a LONG time since I have been down a water slide!

Food is available (you can use your wristband to pay!!)It was food/snacks that you would expect. Nachos, soft pretzels, icees, etc. $3 for a pretzel.

We ate dinner in the restaurant. It was buffet night (there was no choice). Something I don't enjoy, because I don't feel like I ever eat that much. $20 for adults. $10 for kids 3 and over. Buffet food always looks good, but is never what I am expecting. This was decent, but certainly not worth the money. We did get free wolf ears. The boys seem to like them! There was some entertainment that we didn't want to miss, which is why we didn't leave for dinner.

At seven there was a magician. He was goofy but the kids loved it. Then there was pajama story time with Violet (the girl wolf mascot) in the lobby as well. However, it required all the kids to move to another spot. It seemed like chaos. Everyone was already seated and tuned in to the magician, I don't understand the move. Then you could get your picture with Violet. Parents could take these pictures. After that B went upstairs with grandma for bed. We took Q to the arcade.

We got 20 tokens for $5 (thanks to a tap of the ole' wristband). Most games cost 2 tokens including the ride on toys. Q enjoyed a few games. Whack a mole has met it's match! He enjoyed getting tickets out and then picking out something with his 75 tickets! Chad and I enjoyed watching Q get so excited over the games and his tickets. We also enjoyed watching all the more serious players. You know the ones. The people with bags of tickets. Playing skeeball like it's their job! Then it was time to put our big 4 year old in bed.

Breakfast time came to the tune of $20 for 2 cups of coffee a cup of fruit and some doughnuts. We got ready for the pool and packed up. You are allowed to stay and enjoy the amenities. We played for a couple of hours and wanted to get on the road for lunch and naps! The dressing rooms were terrible!! Ladies "locker room" consisted of a few toilet stalls (there are other just restrooms available) and three shower stalls. THREE! Only 2 benches!! The floor was soaking wet and extremely slippery. Sticking to the locker room theme there was no private space for changing. There was some room in the shower stall but everything was so wet and there were so many people waiting. There was only one changing table! NO WHERE to put a baby while mom changes. Certainly no room for a stroller. Pretty disappointing.

There was a lot more, but these were the highlights of what our family enjoyed! It was a bit much for a four year olds birthday (we have always done parties for friends and family at home) but again we wanted to make it special (as a birthday should be!!). Would we go again? Maybe. Q had a great time. It will be a few years, when both boys can enjoy more. Maybe next time we will go when the outdoor area is open. It was nice to get some fun pool time in without having to go to Florida!
I will add some water pictures once they get developed. I forgot our water digital camera!!

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