Flute practice, Great Wolf weekend
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.
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.
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.
evening story time for the kids
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.
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.