Playground Uprising

The Great Wolf Lodge: Toenails, and Bikini’s, and Wolves Oh My


I have not written on my blog for a while and though I have made lofty, yet sporadic attempts to rectify the situation – life just seems to get in the way. But – as all writers know there are experiences that run you over and just yell WRITE ME! I had one of those this weekend.

It began something like this:

“Mom I want to go to the Great Wolf Lodge for my birthday.” To which I responded, “Their closed.” “For how long?” “Until 2021 -which is around the year you turn 18 and can take yourself.” “Mom, – that is impossible- I just saw an advertisement on TV.” Curse all forms of technology. Think, Think, Think. “Well if we go to Hell and Swaller, I mean the Great Wolf Lodge, than that will have to count as your birthday party and you won’t get the opportunity to have lots of friends over to give you expensive plastic things that break.”  “I’m in.” “Call your grandparents.”  “No!” “How about the new neighbors that just moved in – perhaps they will take you.”  “No – mom you and dad have to take me.” “Damn!”

And so we did – and as we headed down 64 East I tried to convince myself that Hell and Swaller could not possibly be as awful as I remember – but this fleeting crash with optimism was quickly averted as we got off the “well marked” exit in attempt to follow “the signs” – that led us 5 miles down the road to an old gas station and an exasperated husband yelling “where the hell is this place” to an unassuming gas attendant that appeared to be counting his blessings that he did not have to accompany us into the darkness.

And as we arrived – we found that check-in time was at 4pm, but you can kindly come at 1pm and rent a locker in which to store your stuff. The locker only costs a week’s salary or an unborn child. We tried to offer Charlie, our second child, – but the temper tantrums dampened the sale. Fortunately for us – we were able to sweet talk the nice lady into letting us move into our “nonsmoking” – smoked fill room a bit early so that the boys could throw their clothes around the room, wrestle, and get their bathing suits on in anticipation of the water park.

Yes water park – because if you are going to spend 24 hours in hell what better way to capstone the experience than being wet and in a bathing suit with 300 other people that missed the memo that there is a certain age and a certain size in which bikini’s are no longer an inalienable right.

And after the germ infested water drained parents’ energy and good humor (ok we never had any of that) – we were off to dinner. A steal to be had at $18 a person – allowing you to feed the fam a nutritionally void meal for around $100. And don’t forget the plastic –no not utensils  – I mean the plastic wand, and plastic toy, and plastic tasting pastry that are all yours for the remaining part of your retirement.

And as the evening waned and we hopped on beds and big brothers practiced karate moves on little brothers – Mac comes out of a small body slam holding an unidentified, sasquatch like white thing and exclaiming – “look dad  I found  your toenail.”

Only that one wasn’t ours.

Next year I am sure the Great Wolf Lodge will be closed in October and we will no longer have access to any form of technology that connects us to the outside world.


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