Can you tell me what just happened? I feel stunned.
On Feb 9, 2015 was Family Day in British Columbia – a long weekend. So we wanted to take a break from the stresses of home life and get away with the kids. We thought it would be a great time to finally plan a trip with some friends of ours, and go to Great Wolf Lodge in Washington which has this amazing water park that looks like fun for everyone.
Our trip started off with an early morning on Saturday, dragging everyone out of bed to get to catch the 8am ferry.
Then an hour-long wait at the border. Our border guard was super friendly, but only spent a minute talking to us. So why did it take an hour to get through the lineup?
There were these arseholes who used the Nexus lane, or pretend to go to Duty Free, only to merge into the front of the line. I’m all for finding solutions to problems like long wait times, but did you really have to throw the rest of us under the bus? You’re breaking social contract! It means you think your time is worth more than my time (or the time of everyone else that you’re skipping in front of).
Then there were traffic jams for no apparent reason along the I-5.
And some miserable weather that made the driving conditions quite hairy.
And then we finally arrived, only to be accosted with kid-stimulation hell. Katy Perry blasting on the speaker in the lobby, mascots walking around with a trail of children following them like an ice cream truck, kids waving wands in your face… All before even checking in.
To get to the amazing water park, you have to walk down a corridor of gift-shops, arcades, mini-golf, ice cream and pizza. All designed to make my kids start bawling that we’re not stopping to buy everything their little hearts desire.
The water park was super fun, and had lots of amazing attractions not just for the kids, but for frazzled parents. Including booze on the pool deck. But my kids fluctuated between over-stimulated and over-cautious. So there were more tantrums per square inch of this water park than any other attraction we’ve gone to before. Kids all over the place are laughing and having the time of their lives. But my kids were crying and whining, and I could charge my drinks to the room. So I did.
My margarita costs $10?! I could get a whole bottle of tequila for $8, how the hell was my drink $10? No wait, with the crappy exchange rate right now, that’s actually a $14 drink. Holy crap my kids are crying again, I need another. I’ll just charge it to the room. Just stop crying and I’ll get you all some shakes for the price of a down-payment on a house.
And each time we left the water park to go to our room, we had to dodge the obstacle course of shops, arcades, mini-golf, ice cream and pizza – and kids running around waving wands in your face, triggering every manner of loud animatronic “magic” devices.
It may be wondrous for kids (at least for those kids that weren’t crying all the time, like mine seemingly were) but it was utter hell for me as an adult. However, everyone we met was so damned nice. Every server, every life guard, every custodian – absolutely everyone was super friendly and helpful. Damn them for confusing me and making it hard to just hate everything about having gone there.
We made it back home on the holiday Monday, a lot more sleep deprived than we were before we left. It may have felt like an epic battle of wills trying to have fun DAMMIT, but my girls already want to go back again.
Perhaps next year I’ll try fighting an octopus instead.