Check this one off the list

On my list of things I want to do before I turn 35 next year (speaking of, I have less than a year to complete this list – uh oh), one was going to Great Wolf Lodge with the boys and this past weekend we made plans for just such a thing, opting instead to go to Avalanche Bay at Boyne Mountain. My lovely husband took care of planning and booking everything – which is just about a perfect vacation to me – not having to worry about the details (more perfect would be having it completely paid for by someone else + about ten more days + a nanny; but I’m very happy with how it went).

Saturday morning, bright and early, we left and headed north. Near Cadillac we noticed something more than frost on the trees and the grass surrounding the highway… that’s right, November 3, our first snow sighting of the year.

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Our official check in wasn’t supposed to be until 5 so we planned a detour to visit some friends who opened a B&B/gastro pub outside of Traverse City – if you find yourself on M22 in Maple City, check out Little Traverse Inn and tell them Michelle and Simon sent you – you will not be disappointed (also, anyone want to plan a weekend getaway with us – we know a great place to stay). After lunch, we got a tour of the rooms and the boys checked out the porch chairs…

After that we headed further north to our final destination, still not telling the boys what our plan for the weekend was. We didn’t tell them until Saturday morning that we were going anywhere and when we asked Liam to guess where we were going, he shouted, “Las Vegas!?” Um, no.

We pulled into Boyne Mountain, got checked in and were planning on saving the ultimate surprise (the water park) until after we got the boys changed into their swimsuits. Sadly, a well-meaning handyman, asked the kids in the elevator on our way to our room if they were going to the water park and therefore let the cat out of the bag. Stupid handyman.

Near-total-surprise or not, the boys were beyond thrilled with the weekend… they could have spent endless hours swimming around, going down slides and jumping into our arms from the side of the pool. The first day we spent a couple hours at the water park before dinner (McDonald’s – another treat) and then headed back to our room where the boys wiped out in their upstairs loft while we watched TV downstairs. The excitement got the best of them and they were up in the wee hours of the morning (Jack very angry that Simon and I were then sleeping in “his” bed after we moved him to a nest of cushions and blankets on the floor – he awoke at 3:00 with a loud, “Hey – why are you in my bed, I don’t like that!”). Simon kept them at bay with the television downstairs until 7 when he could go get us some Starbucks. The children were ready to go, in their suits and goggles with only 3 hours to wait until the water park opened…
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I discovered the first day that I really don’t enjoy water slides – it had been ages since I had been on one and I had forgotten how little I like the unknown element of sending yourself plummeting into a tube of water, blind to the twists and turns to come (plus I wear contacts so I can’t go with my eyes open). I could not sure out why I had a gnawing in my gut and a racing heart while we waited in line for Vertigo and then Liam and I got on our double tube and entered the dark tube and my brain screamed: YOU HATE THIS, YOU BIG DUMMY! Neither of my little boys share my dislike, which is good for them, but bad for me since they could have gone on slide after slide, without stopping (and pretty much did) so I had to suck it up and get over my aversion as they needed a parent with them and why let Simon enjoy all their glee? That is the hallmark of parenting right there – doing things you don’t want to do because it will be a good experience for your kids and trying to avoid them having your hang ups about things.  Speaking of avoiding your hang ups about things, Liam was desperate to ride the faux wave thing shown below and we finally relented and let him try it, knowing the worst thing that could happen would be that he was frustrated and got a mouth-full of water.  There he is on his boogie board after a successful first attempt which we don’t have documentation of because we couldn’t get the phone out in time (it was successful but brief)…

And there he is, completely wiping out on his second attempt. And if you think that it appears that he is knackers (a.k.a., nekkid) in the photo below, you would be right, because his swim trunks were around his ankles. He popped up quickly and the lifeguard held up the boogie board to block everyone’s view while he pulled up his trunks. He is thankfully just young enough to not be completely embarrassed that this happened – though I’m sure he’ll appreciate this photo in a couple years and even more that I shared this story here. I would like to thank the parents who stood at the bottom of the exit and gave him high fives for his attempt – he was by far the youngest kid in line to try the water feature.


All-in-all, despite our kids whininess when they didn’t get their way on every detail and their completely craziness when we weren’t in the water (“we were just excited, mom”), I’d call this weekend a great success! Yes, Liam is strong-arming Jack in the photo below, they are really never not wrestling.

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Plus we had the following views to enjoy on our car ride home:

Both boys were down for the night by 7:00 and Simon and I were in bed and asleep by 8:30/9:00. More pics to come in my next Instagram post.

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