After booking our hotel reservations nearly four months ago, we finally made it last night to the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, Michigan, for two-nights, three days of howling fun. (Yes, I used the word howling. Less than 24 hours in, and the wilderness theme of this place has already gotten to me.)
To be honest, this isn’t the type of place I would have seen as a place to “vacation.” There’s something about indoor waterparks that makes me a little anxious, with its all-year-round-84-degree humidity and all the children running, screaming in an enclosed space. But here we are, on Day 3 of our Michigan vacation (we are visiting my husband’s family), celebrating my 5-year-old’s birthday, and I’m already sad to leave.
The boys love-love-LOVE this place. They’d been looking at the website for weeks, planning out which water slides they wanted to go down. As we drove up to the hotel, birthday boy Colin began screaming with excitement, “We’re here! We’re here!” After carrying our luggage to the front doors, we were promptly greeted by a Great Wolf employee who quickly wheeled a luggage cart toward us. Also there to welcome us was Oliver, a 7-foot-tall racoon-man-in-costume, who waved the boys over for a picture. They gladly obliged. Within 10 seconds of walking through the door, the photograph at the right was captured for all of posterity.
As my husband checked us in, the boys plotted their adventures, which all came down to asking me every five seconds when they could go to the waterpark. It was already 5 o’clock, but after some feeble attempts to talk about needing to unpack and eat dinner, we were at the waterpark within the hour.
I don’t remember the last time I rode down a waterslide. It’s probably been twenty years, at least. Since that time, I’ve become a full-fledged grown-up. And not just as a parent, but in the classroom, too. I spend all of my waking hours as the designated adult-in-charge. But as the boys and I rode down River Canyon, slipping and sliding, twisting and turning, all those responsibilities disappeared.
And I was left with only this: