A Great Vacation (with a few minor hiccups)

swim For 2 weeks we have been building up to a surprise vacation for the girls. All we told them is that we were going somewhere for a super secret surprise. What cracked me up is how underwhelming Lily’s guesses were in the 2 weeks leading up to the vacation.

She guessed the library, Chuck E Cheese, McDonalds, even threw out a craft or two. The hubby and I would giggle everytime. She pressed us hard for details and clues but we were a locked box. Cause that girl is too good at guessing. Seriously, at four and a half she figured out the Santa Claus thing. And I am pretty sure she is onto the Tooth Fairy too, but is playing along for the cash.

The surprise actually started a night early when my brother, the best uncle in the world, spontaneously decided to join us on our adventure. The girls were so excited when he showed up unexpected Thursday night. The squeals when he walked through the door were priceless. Unfortunately his preggo wife had to stay at home cause she had a few girl’s nights out to attend to, but having their uncle coming was the cherry on the top before they had even had their sundae.

Friday morning we headed up north to Great Wolf Lodge water park. We had been there before on a trip to Niagra and the girls had fun, but were a little too young to fully enjoy it. Which, frankly means, we didn’t get to fully enjoy it cause we couldn’t go on all the rides we wanted to. Well, it frankly means that the hubby didn’t get to fully enjoy it. Cause the hubby is a big kid when it comes to rides.

This time around, we had a blast. The girls loved swimming. Hannah braved the kiddie water slides and Lily braved the big kid ones. Like a champ. We tackled the arcade, the ice cream store, the bunk beds in the room and every facet of the water park. Everything was fantastic. Except for one little thing.

I get that when you run a water park you want to take advantage of the fact that parents are suckers. So beyond shelling out for the room, they suck you in with a spa, a “build a bear” type thing, and that is fine. That is good business. But at this particular Great Wolf Lodge they had this wand thing. You could buy these wands that did ALL sorts of things around the hotel. They made animals talk, lights go on, treasure chests open. And it seemed as though every kid and their dog had one.

Every kid, but our kid. Lily tried so hard to be gracious and not beg, but man it was tough. She tried every crafty thing in the book to get a wand without resorting to tears and begging which she knew would never fly. But we really felt like an important lesson needed to be learned so we held strong. And $27 for a freakin’ wand was just unacceptable. But oh man, that was a toughy.

It is tough raising kids in a world where they have everything at their fingertips. We are fighting a constant uphill battle. The constant tension between wanting to see your kids happy and knowing they shouldn’t get everything they want only will get worse I am sure. Oh an by the way, grandpa isn’t helping. First thing he told her when she got home…”I would have bought you the wand.” And that girl ain’t no dummy. If he would have been there, she wouldn’t have even bothered asking us.


  1. Sounds like fun! (but that wand thing ticks me off… the lodge’s part, not your part, sorry :D )

    Lanas last blog post..some thoughts about the first trimester.

  2. We have one of those here now. We saw it being built and could not figure out what it was for the longest time!
    Sounds like it will be fun for us in a couple more years, but I agree, lame on the wand thing! It just creates inequalities amongst the kids. If you’re shelling out that much (and I know how much!) for the water part it should be included.

    Kristas last blog post..23 Months

  3. there is nothing sweeter in the world than the look on my niece’s face when she sees me (we live about 2 hours away, she’s turning 5 in May) and comes running to me. :)

    Brookes last blog post..Discouragement

  4. Adam Shepherd says:

    Don’t sell the wife out…she had to work as well. I had a great time and am so glad I made the trek across the lake.

  5. What a fun trip! My cousin and her husband’s family take all their kids their once a year – and once my daughter’s old enough to enjoy it, I definitely want to start the tradition myself!

  6. Sounds like a great trip!
    Good for you, for staying strong! I know how hard it is to say ‘No’ to the kiddos….but they will definitely be all the better for it!

    Simply Saras last blog post..We are Family

  7. What a gimmick. I wouldn’t have bought it either.

    My son never forgets about those kinds of things though. It’s been 2 years since I refused to buy him a stuffed dino at a museum and he still brings it up.

    “Remember that time I wanted that dino really bad and you didn’t buy it for me? It was my favorite dino.” (Sad Face)

    Ugh. Good job on staying strong.

    Kaycees last blog post..March Goals

  8. Melissa says:

    Congratulations for staying strong and being the responsible parent. I went to a Bob the Builder stage show recently, and they were selling plastic construction hats for TWENTY DOLLARS EACH!! I almost fainted! I was almost more stunned at the number of kids who were wearing them, along with six or seven other things from the merchandise table. Absolutely ridiculous. I was so very thankful that we were attending the preformance with a friend and her son who felt the same way I did. Needless to say, the boys didn’t get anything from that table!!!

  9. Lol the last two sentences made me laugh out loud. I used to bypass my parents whenever I could as a kid. It’s nice to see that the tradition is alive and well – when the opportunity presents itself.

    I’ve never heard of that wand thing, but it sounds like crack for kids. I’m sure Lily had a lovely vacation without it =)

  10. Would you please invite me next time?? that sounds FUH-UNNN!

  11. We have a Great Wolf Lodge near us, but have never been. $27 for a wand??? Are you kidding me?? My kids would have been the ones whining along with yours.

    Amys last blog post..Soap Swirl Winner Announced

  12. I’ve always wondered about those lodges. they look so fun, but I was worried it was a little overrated. Glad you had fun.

    How old should a kid be before taking him there? Would a 2-year old get the full enjoyment?

    erin gs last blog post..Ready or Not… Coming This Fall

  13. so glad that yall went and had fun! but oh my…that is a really expensive wand! good for you for being strong.

    we were in the store the other day and my 5 year old daughter asked for something and i explained that it wasn’t in our shopping budget and she very kindly patted me on the arm and said, “it’s okay mommy, my MiMi has the money to get it for me.” ugh. not really what i was going for!

    Normal to Natalies last blog post..They ARE Real

  14. I can’t wait until all our kids are old enough to go there! We’ve been waiting and waiting….

    In our house, our kids truly believe that mommy and daddy are poor and all their grandparents have endless amounts of money. We’re not actually poor, but it’s just crazy how materialistic our culture is. We say no a lot! (and we’re trying to teach the grandparents to say it a little more often)

    Las last blog post..Oh How I Missed Her

  15. I hear you about saying no. It is so hard sometimes! My kids think we can just go out to eat whenever they want and we really don’t go out that much. It drives me nuts! Good for you for staying strong!

  16. $27!!!!! Good grief! That’s good that you stuck to your guns. It’s so hard for me to do that when we’re on vacation- I can justify buying anything when we’re on vacation.

    Candaces last blog post..Insert Witty Title Here

  17. Jen@BigBinder says:

    Very cool! Except the wand. That should completely come with the room but I guess they have to ‘getcha’ every way they can. Think of it is a training course for Disney someday, except that would be a really hard secret to keep.

    Jen@BigBinders last blog post..Menu Plan Monday

  18. The wand does sound neat! It’s awesome that you have trained your child not to beg for something like that.

    They just opened one of those lodges near us and I was wondering if it was worth it. Glad you guys had fun!

    Nancy M.s last blog post..David and Goliath

  19. Thank you for the review. My boyfriend’s planning on taking his niece and nephew there this year, so it’s good to know what temptations will be there!

    Jessicas last blog post..Big, Fat, Ugly Tease!

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