Monday, August 27, 2007

I'm Baaaaack . . .

. . . and I survived. Actually it was incredibly fun. Great Wolf Lodge is certainly a great place for families - if you like water! Alas, I don't have my camera handy so can't upload lots of nifty pictures yet. I'll take care of that tomorrow. Still, a few observations are needed.

If one has body image issues, they can be set aside at Great Wolf. There is every body type imaginable, from super thin to very big, and there are all ages, from infants to retirees. To be honest, there were some guests who needed the fashion police to step in. For example, that 300 lb. dad from Erie should not have been wearing a speedo on a waterslide. And the rather large mom of four children under the age of 6 really should not have selected the skimpy bikini when packing her suitcase. With so many eyebrow-raising sights on display I had no problems parading about with my pasty, middle-aged body that's clearly carrying a few extra lbs. For adults, there's no surprise that there were plenty of out-of-shape and overweight bodies splashing in the pools. The news loves trumpeting the story of the obesity epidemic in America and it was certainly on display at Great Wolf. Most distressing, however, was the number of really overweight kids. My wife and I congratulated each other that despite our own girth we at least arrived with ridiculously fit kids.

Bottom line: Great Wolf is a great place to take a family. But it's expensive, and it can be physically demanding because of the steps and ramps one needs to climb to access most of the water rides. We were there for three nights, from Thursday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. With several restaurants on site, you don't even have to leave. When we emerged from the artificial atmosphere of the Lodge on Sunday, stepping into the sunlight for the first time in over three days, I felt like one of those compulsive gamblers who has just spent an extended period in a casino. (And seriously, my wife observed that it really was like a casino because one wasn't aware of the passage of time, a problem exacerbated by the lack of visible clocks in the waterparks. Next time I'm taking a cheap, waterproof watch along because I felt disjointed the entire weekend vis-a-vis time.)

We (the parents paying for all this) could have done only two nights and been happy. That would still give a family plenty of time to enjoy the waterpark. Of course, the kids weren't ready to leave and we had to nearly drag them from the water to change for the drive home. We're already planning a shorter stay for either January or February, depending on the kids' school schedule. Swimming and enjoying waterslides will be a fun diversion in the middle of the icy winter, with spring still far away.

1 comment:

One Wink at a Time said...

Welcome back, sounds like you had a good time.
Interesting that you wrote about the bodies. Although, I guess you really couldn't miss them. I have seen some sights on beaches that were borderline unbelievable. I'm all for comfort on vacation but not if it puts someone else's lunch in jeopardy.
I wore my last bikini at the beach last year. There comes a time... I'd rather make that decision for myself. I guess I'm a little guilty of vanity over comfort.