I've been busy having fun with the family and our friends in the Dells, so I haven't blogged the past couple days. Let's see if I can remember what's gone on so I can recap...
THURSDAY: We were going to leave bright and early so we could get up to the Dells by 10:00AM when the waterpark opened. I suppose I should explain what "the Dells" are for those of you who don't live in the midwest. My friend Dee from Long Island asked me, "So what are the Dells? Anything like the Hamptons?" Umm, not exactly. "So you won't be running into any Baldwins there?" I don't think so. Unless they suddenly take up hunting, camping, and snowmobiling...
The Wisconsin Dells is a resort area with a ton of indoor/outdoor waterparks and other attractions. This is the first time I've ever been here, but it looks like there's a ton of stuff to do in the summer (a lot of things are closed now because it's off-season). People up here wear cheese hats and say stuff like "soda" and "yah hey der". Seriously.
Anyway, we got up here at about 11:30. I stood in a mile-long line to check in. Our room wasn't ready, but I was given wrist bands for all of us so we could swim while we waited for our room. We parked 400 miles away and dug through the suitcases to find everyone's bathing suits. Did I mention it was freezing cold, snowy and icy? I couldn't find Savannah's bathing suit anywhere. Know why? SHE FORGOT TO PACK IT! Thankfully there was a gift shop in the hotel. Fortunately, there was a bathing suit for sale that fit Savannah. Unfortunately, it was cheapish suit that cost $60!
Frozen, we all trudged through the snow to the hotel. I slipped and fell because I'm just classy that way. I bruised my knee and my ego, but thankfully wasn't really hurt. We went to one of the three indoor waterparks at this hotel, The Wilderness Territory. We swam for a while and then the kids started getting hungry. I don't know why. I mean, I fed them Twizzlers for breakfast on the way here. Chris dressed, got his room keys, and moved all his family's luggage into their room. Joe disappeared in the water park and since the kids were starting to chew their arms off, I got dressed and drove up to the main building to get my room keys. I joined the 4000 mile long line and waited for my room keys.
Ok, got the keys. Went out to car. Tried to get around circle drive so I could park, but a dozen idiots had decided to PARK in the turn-around. A line of cars behind me began to honk until some of the idiots moved.
Twenty minutes later, I got out of the circle drive from hell (Look kids! Big Ben, Parliament!) and started looking for a parking space near my room. Nothing. I began driving up and down aisles looking for a space farther away. Nothing. I began looking for any spot anywhere in the state of Wisconsin. Nothing. Grrr.
Like 4 and a half hours have passed since I left the waterpark. I'm totally stressed out. I know the kids are still back at the pool probably eating their towels at this point. Chris called me to see if I needed help. YES! I can't find a parking spot! So, Chris came out and helped me look for a spot. I found a guy who was leaving but he needed a jump. Chris pushed his car out, I gave him a jump and took his spot. Yay!
So Chris grabbed a luggage cart and helped me load up everything and get it into the hotel. It's a good thing too because I don't think I could've pushed that cart through the snow by myself. As Chris and I carried my luggage up to my room, he asked, "What room do you have?"
"I have 680."
"No you don't. That's my room."
"WHAT? Seriously? No way!"
Sure enough, the front desk gave me the same room as my friends. They gave me keys that opened THEIR door. Great. Just fabulous. The thought of walking back to the main desk gave me heart palpitations. Seriously, if you've never been to this place, it spans miles (and that's not an exaggeration.) Chris called and complained until they agreed to send someone over with keys to the right room.
This is the point we started drinking. The rest of the night was much more pleasant after this. Finally, we loaded up some food and wine and headed to the waterpark. We had fun going on the waterslides, hanging out in the lazy river and playing with the little kids in the splash areas.
FRIDAY: We went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Although I LOVE Cracker Barrel, we seem to have bad luck there. We waited an hour for our food after ordering. Ugh. The kids were awesome for the first 45 minutes, but started to lose it before our food came. I don't blame them one bit.
Back from breakfast, we went to another waterpark in the hotel. This one has a glass ceiling and tropical plants inside. It has a huge wave pool with some pretty big waves. We hung out in here for most of the day. Sometime in the afternoon, Clay told me, "I'm hungry."
"OK, well have a snack." I pointed to the bags of food we'd brought with us.
"I want a banana," he said. I knew immediately what he was thinking. He'd seen the palm trees with actual green bananas growing from it. I knew that's what he wanted.
"No, Clay, you can't pick a banana!"
"Why not?" he asked innocently.
"Because they're not your bananas. And they're still really green anyway. You wouldn't even like them now."
A short time later, I saw Clay walking back to our table with (yep, you guessed it) a banana! He climbed the tree and picked a banana! Grrrr.
SATURDAY: We hung out at the park with the huge wavepool for most of the day. We saw Billy Ray Cyrus there. One time, while Jen and I were in a double tube in the wave pool, a huge wave crashed over us and a strange girl popped up in our tube. Umm hello? One minute it was just Jen and me and the next second, some stranger was sticking her head through Jen's side of the innertube! The next wave washed her right back out. Jen and I started laughing so hard, I swear we almost drown. Ahhh, good times, good times...
We hit another park in the afternoon and they talked me into going on this waterslide called the hurricane. It's called the hurricane because it's a horrible torturous horrible horribleness. (Yes, that's a word.) You sit in this 4 person tube and drop down 15 stories and then flip around inside this big cone until you nearly fall out of the innertube. You scream your head off while you're in there. It echos off the walls. People get mad at you when you scream too much. Or so I've heard...
Truth be told, I would've gone again if the line hadn't been so long. Shhh, don't tell anyone I said that.
We finally wrapped things up and decided to grab some dinner and head home at about 6:30. As we walked out to the car, Clay slipped, Charlie Brown style, and went flying. It was really icy out. We drove across the street to Culvers for dinner. A nice couple came in and sat down by us. They overheard us talking about driving home to Chicago and felt compelled to tell us how bad the roads were. I had skidded into the parking lot at the restaurant and I was driving really slowly, so it didn't surprise me. They told us it had taken them several hours to get there from Milwaukee and they finally pulled off the highway and got a hotel room. The gentleman said he was a truck driver and was scared to be out there. They claimed they'd never seen 90 so bad.
That's all I needed to hear. I didn't get the names of those folks, but am so thankful for their warning! By the time we left the restaurant, our cars were iced over and the parking lot was a solid sheet of ice.
We decided to go across the street and find a cheap hotel room for the night. That's where we're at now. The kids are trying to get to sleep, but everyone has really red, rashy skin. The kids are all complaining that their skin is on fire. I think too many days of too much chlorine and rubbing against plastic inner tubes has really hurt our skin. Even after a shower, my legs are still on fire now too.
I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch of stuff, but this is already super-long and whatever I've forgotten is probably not important anyway. I'll share some pictures tomorrow when I get them off my camera.