Thursday, July 12, 2012

Great Wolf Lodge

We recently got back from a trip to North Carolina by way of Atlanta. Along the way I hit a hole in one in putt putt, jumped into Atlanta's drinking water reservoir in just my underwear, met a real-life Spider-man, and Betty and I celebrated our anniversary in style at a chicken finger chain restaurant. But I'm getting ahead of myself!

Why go to North Carolina? For starters, they have a good basketball program. But more importantly, they have an indoor water park called the Great Wolf Lodge.

Technically Great Wolf Lodge is not only in North Carolina. They have lodges in Texas, Kansas, Wisconsin... pretty much every state but Louisiana. And also, it's not just an indoor water park. They have pools outdoors, too.

But we had already planned to go up to Atlanta for a family reunion on Betty's side, and have family that lives in Virginia, and the Great Wolf Lodge was only 4 hours away, so... why not? It was like a central meeting place for all our family in the area.

An indoor water park is such a great idea. You can go when it's blistering hot outside, you can go when there's a blizzard outside, or you can go just because you don't like putting sunscreen on. Most of their pools are zero entry, meaning it's like walking in at the beach. They have a wave pool, a kid pool with water guns, slides, tubes, basketball goals inside the pools, and all other kinds of fun things. The lifeguards walk around inside the pool so they're right there in case you need them, not flirting while perched atop a tall chair. And the lodge was stocked with food - ours had a Dunkin' Donuts, a Pizza Hut and a buffet.

[Great Wolf Lodge!]

When the kids weren't in the pools they were playing something called Magic Quest. The kids ran around with "magic wands" which were actually pretty cool. They were wireless devices essentially, and when you pointed the wands at an object that was set up to receive a signal from the device, that object would then interact with the kids. So there were treasure chests that opened when you zapped them with your wand, pictures that lit up, lamps that glowed for a few seconds, fairy statues that would talk, etc. Several hallways throughout the park were painted green to look like a forest, and were filled with these magic objects. The kids could check it at different kiosks (hidden in trees or treasure chests) to check their points and get new quests.

Basically, I wanted to play and would have rocked at this game. But I was busy doing adult stuff, like "not playing Magic Quest like a kid even though I would have dominated."

One other fun thing that the Great Wolf Lodge did for the kids that I really liked was story time. Every night the kids would gather in the lobby in their PJs, and some animatronic trees and animals would tell them a story. They also had big Wolf characters walking around saying hi to the kids.

[Great Wolf Lodge!]

But Great Wolf Lodge (or GWL as I'll call it, because I'm lazy) had some great stuff for the adults, too. Like, wristbands that the adults wore that acted as keys for your room so you didn't have to haul a room key around. Just swipe your wristband against your door, and voila! You're in! That was so convenient when you've got two kids holding your hands and are also carrying a bag filled with wet clothes, and couldn't release a hand to reach into your pocket for your keys. The wristbands could also be swiped if you wanted to pay for anything and have it charged to your room. I thought that was pretty innovative.

Well, OK, maybe not as innovative as these amazing water cannons!

[Great Wolf Lodge!]
[Great Wolf Lodge!]

I have so much more to write about our trip, but I think this is enough for one post. Be on the lookout for Spider-man in one of my next blog posts!

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