Monday, April 27, 2009

So I was checking my email one day...

And out of the blue, I got an email from a marketing firm, wondering if I might like to check out the brand-spanking-new Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, NC. They offered me one free night, with the option to extend one more night for a huge discount.

After .02 seconds of careful consideration, I wrote back and said we would be happy to go!

The first thing you see when you pull up are these huge wolf statues. There was a Daddy wolf on one side, and a Mommy wolf with 3 cubs on the other side. I knew it was our kind of place! :) I was a little confused by the 2 wolves on the roof, but Aidan reminded me about Uncle Dane and Laura.

There was even a fun gift bag when we got to our room. The kids had the candy open in less than one second, and Aidan fell in love with this cute little wolf. His name changes hourly, but Aidan has not put him down once. Sleep, eat, whatever, they are together.

The room was nice- plenty of room, a fridge, a microwave, and this ledge. It separated the room so there was a sleeping area and a sitting area. But really it just meant that the kids had a place to climb.
I appreciated the non-breakable lamps. It is something I always notice now, ever since a memorable incidence in Florida had us finding a Walmart in the middle of our vacation to replace a lamp. There were several special grand opening events planned for Friday night- a family dinner, a concert, and time in the waterpark. The only problem was that once we got in the front doors, and Jack saw the waterpark, that was the only thing he wanted to do. He was very adamant. And persistant. And sad, angry and frustrated. He wanted to go so bad that finally I told him he could get in the bathtub and pretend it was a waterslide. That made him happy... until he had to get out.

The dinner was so fun- balloons, dancing, amazing food, and a lot of wolf howling. Seriously, the food was to die for. I am still wishing I could go back for one more plate.
It was a total party atmosphere- balloons, fancy glasses, small size sodas (the smaller it is the fancier it is, believe me). They had Radio Disney there, handing out prizes, leading games, and just hyping everyone up in general.
The tables were decorated so cute- bright, vibrant colors, balloons, and they had sand pails and shovels filled with fruit. Fun! And a huge stack of cotton candy as a centerpiece. The kids were going nuts!

Abigail really loved the dancing.

And the boys joined in too...

And then they resumed their sword fight.

Then we went up to the lobby for the Mitchel Musso concert. The music was good, and it was even better when they dropped balloons and beach balls from the ceiling. We found a quiet corner, and had a great time throwing and kicking the balls to the music!
And, finally, we had to give in to Jack's most insistent demands that we go to the waterpark! We arrived about 8:30 pm. You know it is good when we are heading to a waterpark almost 3 hours after our normal bedtime! We played in the water for a little over an hour, and then headed off to bed.
Ironic twist: Our kids wake up every day at 6:30. The only exception is when they wake up at 5:30. I think I can count on one hand the number of times they have slept past 6:30, and I don't think they have ever slept past 7. When we were playing so hard in the water until almost 10:00 at night, we were giving each other high 5's, thinking maybe the next morning they would actually sleep in. At 6:30, we were all in a deep and sound sleep- not any stirring... until the fire alarm went off. And it was over. The kids were awake, we went outside and talked to the firemen, stopped for doughnuts, and stumbled back to the room. Well, I stumbled. The kids hopped. (Doughnuts, remember?) And then they started begging to go back to the waterpark.

I shouldn't have been surprised. When we went to Puerto Rico, they all said their favorite part was the swimming pool. So an entire resort designed around a waterpark is right up their alley.

For breakfast, I was invited to be a part of the Mommy Blogger breakfast with the CEO of Great Wolf Lodge, and several of the corporate and local marketing people. It was really fun, and not just because Kydon was at a different table trying to manage 3 sleep deprived, over stimulated, full of sugar kids who wanted nothing to do with breakfast and only wanted to go to the waterpark. I got to sit at tht Mommy Blogger table with all the cool people and pretend I didn't know them. (Thanks, Kydon!) He finally gave up and took them to the pool, and I stayed and learned quite a bit about their business and marketing ideas. It was fun to feel like a person with a brain for once, and not just someone who wipes noses.

Although when they mentioned specific things that made it obvious they had read my blog, I did have the thought that maybe I should have fewer posts focused on various bodily fluids.

And I got to eat more yummy food. Salmon for breakfast, anyone? It was delish! And an omlette bar. I wish I could move in.

Then, after my few moments of peace, I went to rejoin the family at the waterpark. I didn't get many pictures, because I was way too busy getting wet! We stayed all day and had a great time.

The other nice thing is that the resort was only a few minutes from where Jack and Aidan's birth family lives, so Angela, Cody, Alec and Peyton were able to join us for a day of water park fun. And don't even get me started about how a woman who has had four children can look this amazing when I look like jelly and haven't even had one.
I think we wore Aidan out. That night at dinner, he fell asleep on his chair.
There were so many things beside the waterpark- they had a craft/play/book area for young kids, a huge arcade, and this interactive video game thing that tons of people were playing. We didn't get in on that one, but it looked like a blast. If our kids were just a little older and could go on their own, or if Kydon hadn't been feeling miserable from an allergy attack, we would have done it. It looked really fun. They also had a teenager room with MP3 stations, internet, and big screens. It really was a place that tried to appeal to all different ages of kids. In addition to the gigantic waterpark. I loved how it was just focused on kids- they had their own buffet that was at a level they could reach, with food they liked, there was cereal offered at every meal, and everywhere we went there was something fun for them to do.
Sunday, we just got up, took the kids to play in the water one last time, and then headed home. I really can't wait to go back. We didn't leave the resort the entire weekend, and I still feel like there were a lot of things we didn't have enough time to do!


The Petersons said...

How fun! That water slide looks awesome. I'm glad you guys got a chance to get away.

Jen said...

Man, you are one lucky mommy! How cool to have something so wonderful for your kids and family to enjoy! I would LOVE to have something like that near us. It should also tell you how cool your blog is that they wanted you there. ;)

Rebecca said...

That is amazing and how cool that they picked you to go check it out!!! So much fun!

Sue @ My Party of 6 said...

OMG! How MUCH FUN!!! I am dying to go to a Great Wolf Lodge! It looks great! So awesome that this blogging gig brings fun stuff like that every now and then. (I once got invited to go to a forum on grocery shopping. At a grocery store. Sigh.)

Jennifer said...

Pretty cool that they consider you such an influential blogger. I for one am not surprised.

Cecilee said...

Glad you had so much fun! Maybe we'll have to plan a trip to that place some time in the future. I think they have one in WA which is a little closer than NC for us.

Nightingale said...

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