Monday morning we took the kids down to the water park pretty early and played for a couple of hours. Of course, Haven refused to get wet, but I did try to take her into the toddler area and engage her there. I went down several slides with Haddon, Hannah, and Addy. I think their favorite was the big yellow one because you could go down on a 3 seater tube. Mid-morning, the big girls and I left the others and went upstairs to get ready to hit the mall! Due to a miscommunication, we found out about half an hour later that our mall trip had been postponed for a few hours. SO, back to the water park we went! This time I finally remembered to bring my camera and spent the next two hours alternately riding slides and trying to keep my camera dry while taking pictures.
The whole time at the water park, Avery insisted on playing in the toddler area. She enjoyed the little slides and fountains and was too scared to try the bigger kid area. Jason tried to talk her into it and even got her up to the top of one of the slides, but she chickened out and they ended up climbing back down again instead of sliding down. Jason and I decided that she needed to be pushed a little bit. We just knew she'd love the bigger slides if she'd only give them a try! So we came up with a plan: I would take her up to the top of the slide and Jason would wait at the bottom to "catch" her. I never gave her a chance to back out, just kept hurrying her up the play structure to the slides. As soon as we reached the line (the very short line), she started shaking her head and her face was a mask of fear. Because I am super mom, I ignored her and jabbered on about how fun water slides are. After only a minute or two, she was up! She looked up at me with stark terror on her trusting little face and said, "I don't want to!" I looked down into those beautiful, weepy blue eyes and scooped her up and physically sat her on the slide. Then (mother of the year that I am), as soon as the lifeguard blew his whistle, I shoved her down the slide...but first I had to peal her little fingers off the top of the tube. I watched expectantly for her to come around the curve where I could see her and I fully expected her to be screaming like a banshee when she appeared. Nope! She came around the curve sitting up and smiling hugely. VICTORY! I slid down to meet her and she threw her arms around me and declared, "I did it, Mom!" After that, she didn't want to do anything but that slide...but only THAT one. I guess I should've taken her up and pushed her down the other one so she could enjoy it, too!
Megan, LaNora, Hannah, Addy, and I had an interesting time trying to even get out of the hotel...I ended up running three flights of stairs to the room three times looking for Addy, then making sure Haddon made it safely to the room, then finding Addy all over again. I was slightly out of breath, but not too tired for shopping! The five of us hit Legends shopping center and had a great time. There were tons of sales and though the stores were busy, they weren't packed as I'd thought they might be. Sometimes we shopped together and sometimes we all went our separate ways but stayed in touch via cell phone. I spent some of my Christmas money on two tops, a pair of rain boots that I'd fallen in love with, and a pair of magnetic earrings that Hannah and I attached to our noses to get a rise out of Jason. He didn't fall for our fake nose rings, though. As soon as he saw Hannah's he knew they were fake...notice he didn't put it past me, just our teenage daughter!
Monday night (our final night at the Wolf) was our family's night to entertain. A little bit of history before I share the events of our evening. I am a planner. I get an idea, create a plan, and stick to the plan even if it kills me. Jason, on the other hand, wants to explore all options and keep them open until deciding (usually at the last possible moment) what he wants to do. So.....even though it drove me crazy, he wouldn't decide what our entertainment was going to be. Instead, he chose a few possibilities and printed out mapquest maps to all of them. Monday afternoon, he handed down the decision that we would go to Rainforest Cafe and called for reservations. Then he (painstakingly) hand copied his mapquest directions so that each vehicle would have their own set of directions. We all descended on the lobby for a group photo that took just a little longer than anticipated to capture, before climbing into our perspective vehicles. I had the task of entering the address into Lola (our Garmin GPS). Even though we were leaving just a little behind schedule, we'd still make it for our reservations. However, when we had supposedly arrived at our destination, there was no mall OR Rainforest Cafe in sight. Jason realized that he must've copied the wrong address and directions for everyone because we were in the parking lot of his second choice. We had a brief meeting of the minds and decided to go ahead and stay there since Mylee was getting really worked up in her car seat. I was already annoyed when we walked inside and the interior did nothing to improve my mood. It was dark and filled with video games...not kid video games, the adult kind with lots of violence and half naked women. I was so embarrassed! Jeremy and Aaron had taken our whole family out to nice restaurants and here we were at an adult Chuck E. Cheese for our night! Still hopeful, J walked up to the counter and got the details. Unfortunately, all they had to eat were things like nachos and pizza by the slice. Only the two big girls and the adults were tall enough to race on the track (obviously the main attraction) and the track was about the same temp as outside...around freezing. We all piled back into cars, searched for Rainforest Cafe on our Garmins, and headed out. I was just so relieved that we weren't staying at that place!!! Poor Jason felt awful about the whole thing, but it could've happened to anyone and in only a few minutes we were at the Rainforest Cafe who had graciously held our reservation. The food was good, the kids and adults enjoyed the atmosphere, and we had a great time.
I really hope we do this again for Christmas. I highly recommend the Great Wolf Lodge, but the main thing was spending time together and building memories. It was a great trip!