Friday, February 01, 2008

Flute practice, Great Wolf weekend

Band Rehearsal with L

L has been learning to play the flute this year as part of the 6th grade band at her school. She has struggled to motivate herself to stay interested, just as we have struggled to motivate her to practice.

She's no Jim Walker, but still, she's come a long way...

It was fairly rewarding then, last Monday, to be able to attend her band's rehearsal, the day before their Tuesday night concert. I had to work Tuesday, so the Monday rehearsal would be my only chance to come in to hear the performance (and shoot embarassing photos). They sounded pretty good, with the possible exception of some of the tuba players "cutting up" in the back row. Sixth graders never change... At any rate, it was interesting to hear how each portion of the band contributed to the overall piece. L said it was only about the second time the entire band had been together in the same room to perform.

The Great Wolf Experience

This is old news by now, but I'll share it anyway. During the MLK weekend, Mom treated us to a couple nights at the Great Wolf Lodge, that brand-spankin' new "hotel on steroids" in beautiful Grapevine, Texas. This is not your run-of-the-mill Super 8 or Days Inn with a pool out by the parking lot. Picture a 400-room monstrosity with its own 80,000 square foot INDOOR water park, interactive games on every floor, themed bedrooms with bunk beds for the kiddies, and a nightly "story time" around the fireplace in the main lobby. This isn't really the kind of hotel you come to stay at if you're planning to take the kids to Six Flags ... at Great Wolf, the hotel itself IS the attraction.

new in Grapevine - the Great Wolf Lodge

So by now, you're either tripping over yourself running to the phone to call for a reservation (hope you have deep pockets -- it ain't cheap), or you've sworn off ever going within 3 miles of the place. If you're still undecided, here are a few photos to show you what our experience was like.

M enjoys the "wolf den" themed bunk beds.

evening story time for the kids

The 80,000 square foot indoor water park. The lines were long, but the rides were fun.

L negotiates the floating lily pads

It's not as easy at it looks...

Even more popular than the waterpark was the hotel's "MagiQuest" game, a high-tech, interactive, multi-player, role-playing fantasy game in which kids embark on "quests" and adventures throughout the hotel. It costs about 20 bucks to buy the game's "magic wand" and another $15 to activate it for the game. Those who wish to empty their wallets even further may purchase optional accessories for their young warlocks, such as shields, "wand belts", and replicas of the various runes they collect as they complete their quests.
M activates a talking book with his wand...

We spent only the required minimum, but I'm pleased to report that it kept both kids (and myself) entertained for HOURS, running through the halls and up and down the stairs to locate the next item on their quests -- such as a statue they could bring to life with a wave of their wand, or a painting they would wave at to make it play music or make lights come on. I'll admit it was pretty cool... but we got tired running from place to place. It would probably take a couple of DAYS to complete all the quests.
L gets a clue from the talking tree stump...

In all, the Great Wolf was a fun experience. The place was totally full both days we were there, so make your reservations early. And if you have trouble getting one, don't sweat it... they've already broken ground for a 200-room expansion.
np: Merle Haggard - "the old man from the mountain"

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Blogger Bayou said...

There are a couple of these indoor park near Cedar Point. We are looking at going to one later this month or next. We found one in Columbus we might book. It is a Southwestern theme park called Ft. Rapids. It is a tad bit cheaper than Great Bear Lodge in Sandusky.

2:43 PM  
Blogger BEK said...

I'm holding out to stay at the big indoor ski resort being built just around the corner from your place! Now I know where the folks with all the money stay. . .

2:51 PM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

BEK, well we had a few bucks to spare since we skipped out on the State Fair this past year...

11:23 PM  

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