Friday, June 12, 2009

Wolf Themed Mini Vacation

Warning. Very Youtube heavy post ahead! :)

We decided to treat our family to a few days of something fun after a pretty terrible year. We probably shouldn't have spent the money, but oh well! Maybe time for some abundance thinking. :) I kept hearing about Great Wolf Lodge, and then found out a place called Wolf Haven was close by. So I couldn't resist going to both.

Yet another time I didn't notice a sign.
Ahem, Orion was all over these rocks, and thoroughly enjoyed himself.

A good way to abide by the strict no running rule.
Sometimes this rule is silly, if they are just worried about your kid falling down, but when we are talking about not upsetting wolves, who probably already think it sucks to live like this, well, sometimes it is for a good reason.

A couple relaxing. This pair was a father and daughter iirc.
All the wolves here are rescues from some situation where they were in captivity. Some take to it better than others.... This guy below is not so happy. :(
This is actually a crop since we didn't get near this fellow. If you look closely, you can see the snarl. Quite impressive in real life I tell you. He also has some fur missing above his tail - evidence of recent fighting. The folks here are very respectful of the wolves. If they ain't in a good mood, the tour steers clear of them.

This fellow was a bit more relaxed. :)
What a beauty.
Orion kept asking so many questions, and all of them were relevant. From what I remember, he asked what the wolves ate, why we weren't seeing certain wolves, why there were two sets of fences, and lots about what was going on with anything that remotely resembled construction LOL. He also wanted to know what the name of this flower was.
The guide didn't know. I told him we would take a picture and try to look it up. Guess I should get on that.

Lucky close ups.

Strange faced boy.
And then it was on to Great Wolf Lodge! By way of review, this place exceeded our expectations beyond anything we could have imagined. The place itself was fun, the rooms were spacious, and the food was surprisingly wonderful for the price, but most of all it was the fact that *every single* staff person we interacted with was just above and beyond nice and helpful. And they all seemed sincere. Not that icky, over the top resort type personality that is dripping with fakeness.

We got in a little water time the first evening. Here is our first view of the park:

Orion absolutely had a blast in that wave pool. I wish I would have gotten more pictures and video of it! When we first walked in, Orion kept batting his ears for quite awhile. All that rushing water was LOUD. I was pretty worried to be honest, but the FUN of the place weighed out, and he actually never did it again the rest of the time!

Orion also enjoyed the basketball area quite a bit.
The GIANT water dumping bucket... not so much... at least at first. We didn't know about it, and Orion and Ron got nailed. Orion was quite upset. But he quickly grew to love watching it from afar, and insisting Daddy stand under it.

Just after the dump.
This is one of my favorite memories of the trip, and an example of how great the people are:
It was getting toward sunset and the sun was coming right in the window where we were sitting. Ron asked the hostess if she could check for blinds. She did, and there were none, so she taped up a menu! Just wow.

Later in the room, Ron and Akasha got into this game of her "running away" and him grabbing her back.
And of course, some video to go with it:

Akasha also had a grand time gnawing on raw carrots while practicing her standing.

Somehow the next day I didn't take a single picture or video! But we had plenty of fun with more waterpark, the arcade and finally deciding to succumb to the lure of Magic Quest! OK, granted, the website makes it look way more intense than it is in real life, but it was still pretty cool. There were scores of kids everywhere with the wands, and we just couldn't resist.

Also, I have to mention, Ron and I managed to take some turns going on the bigger waterslides, and whoa! The Howlin Tornado is just that! The others were great fun too! This is a place with delights for younger and older alike! I loved the way one of our waiters put it (who was male).... To Ron: "Have you been on the big slides yet?" "No, but I hope to soon!" "You're gonna scream like a little girl." hahahaha

The big excitement of the last day was that they opened the area designed for very young kids, which had been closed up until then. Orion was disappointed, but I can't complain because they gave us complimentary day passed to come back! We are thinking it would be nice to come in the middle of January or so! I tried to make up for my lack of picture taking today. :)

Akasha LOVED crawling around the edge and in the shallow water!
Fascinating texture!
Orion was so looking forward to these!
They don't actually go anywhere, but you get to have squirt wars with the other kids.

Akasha met another little girl almost exactly her age! This scene was cracking me up as they looked like little sentinals on either side of the steps!
Cuteness overload...

Oh, the floor is so engrossing!
Heading in for more water crawling!
You knew there had to be a Youtube coming!

Fun shot of Orion standing under one of the sprays.
I only had my little cheapo autofocus. Wasn't about to bring my good camera into the water, so I was thankful for whatever I got that was good!

And last, but not least, the crowning moment of the whole trip! Orion decides to go for the grand dump. Here are the boys, waiting....
He did it!

Needless to say, we can't wait to go back! Orion has said he wants to come for his birthday even! Better start saving our pennies now!

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