Just what happened?

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.

Photo: https://i0.wp.com/media.oregonlive.com/travel_impact/photo/great-wolfjpg-f63809ead14a035e.jpg


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?

Photo: https://postmediaprovince.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/8787.border_lineups.jpg


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).

Photo: https://i0.wp.com/www.mhequipmentblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/road-rage.jpg


Then there were traffic jams for no apparent reason along the I-5.

Photo: http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--80ekA58q--/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/18z4vhgdx5xwfjpg.jpg
Might as well have been this

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.

Photo: https://i0.wp.com/cdn.greatwolf.com/dells/activities/storytime/1000-storytime-1.jpg


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.

Photo: https://i0.wp.com/media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/05/ef/3d/85/arcade.jpg


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.

Phto: https://i0.wp.com/cdn.greatwolf.com/niagara/amenities/dining/1000-grizzlyrobs-1.jpg
Because no one takes a photo while crying into their drink

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.

Photo: https://i0.wp.com/11thscreen.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/MagiQuest-screens.jpg

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.

Photo: https://i0.wp.com/cdn.greatwolf.com/dells/customerservice/1240-customerservice-2.jpg

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.

FullSizeRender 2

Perhaps next year I’ll try fighting an octopus instead.

Photo: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/seal-and-octopus-battle-off-victoria-s-ogden-point-1.1757371



4 thoughts on “Just what happened?

Add yours

  1. I was thinking it sounded like a great way to spend Family Day…until I saw the crowd at check-in. OMG. No. I’ll take a long weekend sometime instead! I’m glad the kids had fun…wish it was better for you!
    Next time, take a flask and give a lemonade a jump on the pool deck. Works like a hot damn.
    Great photos!


  2. We went there over three years ago and kids are still asking to go back! Grandpa bought them each a wand (the “cheap” $30 ones that were more than enough fun) to appease their “I need to get some of this cool stuff” whines…


  3. We went last year in July and as soon as we made it home my 1 year old started throwing up and running fever.Spent the weekend at childrens hospital.First he had croup(horrible)right after we got through that he had to have antibiotics for a bad sinus infection.He stopped eating for almost 2 weeks.Almost 4 weeks and then he finally got better.WHEW!!!!No more water parks for us!!!!Sorry but I am not trying to spoil anyone fun but the water is nasty.I saw a kid throw up in the kiddie pool on the inside and I politely escorted my family out of that water.


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