Saturday, 19 July 2014

Summer 2014 - our Great Wolf Lodge Adventure

Our calendar in the kitchen said "Mom's birthday - Surprise!" On July 18.  For the next days, it said "Niagara" so it kinda gave them an idea where we are going over the weekend. Before the big day, I prepared our baon and Sharyn and I tried on making a sushi which turned out to be fine except for the rice being too soft and sticky and our roll looked like a bun, hahaha. On the actual day of my birthday, I cooked spaghettini and while preparing my youngest asked, "What's the surprise Mom? I replied, it will not be a surprise anymore if I told you. But he was persistent so I just told him we will eat the chocolate cake for dessert to make him stop inquiring. After lunch, I asked them to prepare to leave and my two younger boys didn't want to go. I blew the candles on my cake and my youngest son asked again, "mom is it true that we are going to Niagara? To the Waterpark?" and his dad said No. Lex was referring to the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark that we usually visit and I added that the waterpark is fully booked and we can't go there. Well, what I didn't tell is the part that there's another Waterpark - the Great Wolf where I have a reservation. Lex started to whine and said he didn't want to go because it was going to be boring just going to the falls without going to the Waterpark. Lito told them we will all go and he was assuring them that they are going to enjoy the celebration of mom's birthday.

On the road, Lex was cranky and he keep on saying this trip is going to be boring. I didn't say anything to keep them wondering where we are headed. You could just imagine how hard it was for the boys, hahaha. Lito and I kept the secret until they were slowly figuring out because we were following the signs to Great Wolf Lodge. The Older boys got it right away and got excited but Lex was clueless. His face was still in wonder and he said, I heard it from Lucas and he asked if it was a Waterpark, his face lit up after finding out but got worried again because he asked if he could do slides for the bigger kids, I said Yes. He then replied excitedly, "then I think this is not going to be boring!"

We were able to check in right away when we arrived at  1:35pm.  We were supposed to get our room at 4:00pm but we were lucky to have it ready by the time we arrived. We were at the Waterpark by 2:00 pm and my boys were very happy especially the youngest because he was given a band that allowed him to ride all the slides except for 2 - Niagara Rapids run - a rollercoaster sort of ride and the Grizzly Bear slide - single long slide.  When we tried the Wholly Mammoth, he was ecstatic! He was screaming but also was laughing.  You could see it in the videos.  They spent more time at the Rainbow lake - a wave pool where they practiced their swimming skills from their lessons this summer. From what we've seen, we can say, we got our ROI na, time to enroll them to the next level.

In between the slides from Beaver and Squirrel Falls (slides for kids 4 and up) the kids stayed at either of these places - Fort Mackenzie and Otter Pool. Fort Mackenzie tree house was where they enjoyed  firing water to bystanders and people passing by under the tree. We always scream when the big bucket full of  water - 1,000 gallons of it tip from the tree top because everyone does, makes us all drench and happy.  Otter pool is where we played basketball while in the water.

There is an area for the babies and even the kiddie slides there were tested by my kids and later on commented as simple and boring. Their other favorite was the Crystal River  - a lazy river because we just go on a clear tube and be carried by the waves. The kids later just swam thru the current and pass by the lazy people on the tubes. Meanwhile, the oldies found a good spot at the adult hot tub where Lito and I had quality time while enjoying the hot spa under the rain outside the park. A must-try for those who want to relax. Only 16 and above are allowed in this area.

The slides and rides are the highlights of this trip. There were the Eagle Falls and Bobcat Falls where kids like Lex can do with an adult in a double or 8 tube. In the same level is the Grizzly bear ride, a longer version of the Eagle and Bobcat falls but here you are on a single tube. Lex would have loved this ride but at his height and age, he was not allowed to go solo. The next exciting ride in this level was the Canada Vortex - a dark and steep tube that goes on a whirlpool before the final drop on a rushing water. When Sharyn and I tried this, we were screaming at the top of our lungs. But did you know that my 5-year old Lex took this ride 3 times and always said, that was fun or that was exciting! He said he will tell his grandma - Mama that he was not afraid and considered this as his favorite. By the way, Aloysius tried it only once with me and Kyle didn't, saying just by looking at it, I think it is scary.

The next 2 are the favorites among the park guests because the lines are always long and they were really more thrilling than the rest. Wholly Mammoth is the largest ride at the park where the whole family can go on a raft and scream all together while they go on a long and fast slide down. This is our family's favorite although we didn't go at the same time because the raft can only accommodate 4 people.

Niagara Rapids Run is the most exciting ride of all with all the ups and downs. This is the rollercoaster ride at the park and sends you screaming on a 52 feet drop with long and fast turns and loops. Lito and I tried it twice one after the other and he said on the second time, mimicking Lex - this is boring! Hahaha.

Aside from the slides, we also enjoyed the Frog Pond (where Lito and Aloysius leaped from one leaf to the other) and the Loon lagoon - a pool outside. When we went there on our second day, it was raining so there were only 2 families on the pool. We almost have the pool to ourselves. The kids had the chance to show off their swimming skills again and we were able to capture underwater shots.

The resort's amenities and the room lived up to my expectations - clean, nice cabin designs and big enough for my 3 kids. The bunk bed was designed with wild animal paintings and they have their own TV. We spent some time on the balcony where we fed the birds.  The room had a ref, coffee maker and microwave so it was easy to heat food and I was able to cook eggs using my eggie.

If it was not for my birthday, we could have stayed again in the other Waterpark but I thought its time to try something else, something special for my kids to remember my birthday so even if the trip cost a little more, we chose Great Wolf Lodge Niagara.  Seeing my kids faces and listening to their endless after-the -trip stories, it was worth it. Borrowing MasterCard's motto, Priceless!

Dollar Power: I got a good deal from this trip because I availed the Summer fun promo - 30% OFF the regular package and I also received a FREE Photobook coupon.  Below is the link to the 8x8 hard cover 20-page photobook I ordered from Shutterfly. Enjoy watching!

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