Today I tried to get the household back together after being on vacation for 5 days and 4 nights. The fridge was empty, the place was dirty, and there was laundry to be finished. So I was domestic today, with intermittent bouts of CrossFit Games watching.
Watching the 60+ Masters Women compete is compelling. It makes me feel alternately like I'm fat and lazy, and like there is hope for my future fitness. I actually enjoy watching the Masters more than the Individuals. You're in your 30s and getting paid sponsorship dollars to work out? Blah blah. You're 62 and took vacation from your regular job to compete? I'm interested.
Get ready for a photobomb. This is the equivalent of making you look at slides. Those of you under 30 are like "Wut? Like a PowerPoint?"
So. We went on a family vacation.
In mah brand new car.
Specifically, we went to Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness in the Wisconsin Dells. We had a 2 bedroom condo with 1.5 bathrooms, a full kitchen, and a living room. It was a really nice spot, and exactly the right amount of space.
Eating 2 meals a day "at home" = winning
We arrived Thursday night and took the smalls to Buffalo Phil's. I thought I had their picture with the train that delivers the food, but I guess not. #momfail After dinner we just kind of unpacked and relaxed before bed. The second bedroom had a queen lower and a bunked single, so we drew straws to see who got the bunk the first night, then took turns.
Friday the kids woke up way too early and I made oatmeal cake for breakfast (see above). The waterpark outside our window didn't open until 10am, so we let them watch cartoons on the TV that was mercifully located in their bedroom.
I have no pictures of the kids at the waterparks because my phone isn't waterproof and was also not free. I'm not an overly distrustful person, but leaving a valuable piece of electronic equipment in a canvas bag next to about a billion gallons of water and 1000 strangers seems foolhardy. Also because I love water parks and water slides and I was goddamned if I was going to stand around the pool taking pictures of other people having fun. That shit is for good parents.
We spent 6 hours or so in 4 of the 6 water areas at Wilderness. The boys were smiling so big I thought their faces would split, and L? Well...I think she was having fun? When she wasn't being sullen or bitching about getting wet. At a water park. Fuckin' A.
We took a break for lunch in the condo, then went back out to the water. The boys rode an innertube slide with me. If you want a workout, introduce a small boy to tube slides. I shudder to think of the number of stairs climbed. Hard to resist when the excited child is sopping wet, grinning like an idiot, and shouting "Again! Again!" Also I fucking love water slides. Again, you say? Well, if I have to...
We ended the day with mini-golf and go-karts. Word to the wise? Get shitfaced before you mini-golf with little kids. It'll be more fun, I promise.
That's a 15 for P and a 23 for C...on hole 2.
Then, inexplicably, a hole in one for C on 15.
Go-karts are a risk, but they had kiddie karts and there was zero line and 30 minutes to close. So we forked over the cash. What we determined was that L is going to let her boyfriend do all the driving (or at least better, because she spent more time bitching at traffic than driving), P will likely drive an Oldsmobile with his hands at 10 and 2, grousing about "these damn kids", and C is the second coming of Mario Andretti and is never, ever allowed to drive my car.
L, hating life.
C has lapped his brother at this point.
Game face and finger guns. Fuck.
We got back to the condo right around 8pm, and after a bit of TV watching the kids fell deeply and immediately asleep. It was glorious. Also glorious is sleeping children behind two locked doors and sheets I don't have to wash. Can't waste a good bikini wax. I'll wait here while you go poke out your mind's eye.
Saturday was supposed to be a 5k in Reedsburg for fantastic husband and I, but we woke to thunder and lightening and decided it wasn't worth it. The kids were supposed to play at a local park with a friend's daughter, but they couldn't do that in the rain. It cleared up by mid-morning, so we went to Paul Bunyan's for breakfast (which was the plan for after the 5k).
I swear C said "I can see Paul Bunyan's ass"
I kept getting asked "What's the cow's name again?"
After Paul Bunyan, we packed a picnic lunch and headed to the Great Northern Railroad, which is a volunteer-run 15 gauge railway randomly plopped in the woods off County A. There was a tiny train, 2 conductors, and engineer, and tickets to be punched before the ride. It was really cute, and the kids had a good time. I thought there was more of a museum there, but it's mostly just some pictures and a few pieces of old equipment. The locomotive was pretty cool, though, and the picnic tables were nice and shady. Also surrounded by flowers that attracted hummingbirds, which the kids thought was nifty.
Turntable at the halfway point. A 110 year old man turned this 7 ton train with one hand.
Take our picture, woman.
Everything was to tiny train scale.
We finished up ahead of schedule at the train, so we went back and had a couple of hours of flapping in the water before heading out to Devil's Lake to meet some friends who were camping there. Our kids played together, we had some hamburgers and drinks, and then we made S'mores. Per C "Mom, these are awesome. You should really try one." I haven't had a S'more in ages, and he was right. It was pretty awesome. The night was made complete with glow stick necklaces, and we were back at the condo for lights out.
Sunday we spent the morning at the oldest water park area at Wilderness. The indoor area there was fantastic for the kids. L actually went down the slides and admitted it was fun. My parenting mission is complete. P&C rode the tube slides with me, one of which was a dark slide (you know, the ones that are painted black so you can't see what's coming?). I was worried they would be scared, but it was pretty much Giddyap, motherfucker!!! So I got to climb the stairs some more. The outdoor area was sparsely populated (because Sunday or because older park I don't know), but that was wonderful as there was lots of room. More stairs and more tube slides commenced.
We hung out until about 1pm, then had lunch in the condo and headed out to The Original Wisconsin Ducks. No pictures, because again...water and expensive phone. I thought the tour was cool, and the boys liked the rollercoaster hills and splashing down into the water. Ls response to those things was "Ok, I hated that."
My 8 year old is really 13.
After the Ducks we went downtown to look around. I don't know why, really, it's all just fudge shops and Olde Time Photoe places. We did get some ice cream.
I said "L, could you try to pretend you're having fun?"
C said "Take my picture with this bear."
We let them pick out a treat at Goody Goody Gum Drop and walked back to the car. I got some maple fudge, because I love that shit, and you can only walk by so many fudge shops without getting some. Six, actually. I can walk past six shops. That's my limit.
Our final dinner in the Dells was at Moosejaw, because Moose cars.
C had the best time.
Sunday night we opted for a move and popcorn to wind down. We watched Megamind, then put the smalls to bed.
Monday morning we slept in a bit, made breakfast with the remainder of the food we had, then packed up and drove over to the Wilderness so the kids could play in the dry play area. It was actually pretty cool. Multi-level, foam ball cannons, mirror maze, slides, etc. They had a great time.
Then we drove home, and just like that, vacation was over.
I wasn't sad to be rid of the perpetual arm band.
We may go back in February when rates are low. The indoor areas are fairly impressive, and the kids all said they had a good time. I'm impressed I didn't drown anyone. Aside from L hiding twice and freaking us out ("I wasn't hiding I was just sitting inside that tree thing because I was cold.") we didn't have any mishaps. There are poolside cocktails, and several grownup indoor slides, etc. I'm calling this a win. I'm not ready to go to Disney yet, mostly because I really don't care at all about Disney myself. We used to go all the time when I was a kid (the perqs of living in CA and FL growing up) but that was before it was $100 a person, and truthfully I always preferred Knott's Berry Farm (Camp Snoopy, y'all!) and Six Flags.
I didn't go fully back into real life, though. Yesterday I did something very out of character. I had my picture taken. Voluntarily. If you know me, you know I hate being photographed. When I look in the mirror I think I'm maybe kind of cute. Pretty, even, on a good day when I wear makeup. In photos? OMG I'm a TROLL. I hate my non-existent eyebrows, my huge crooked nose, and my weird squinty eyes. I will dodge a camera like I'd avoid a javelin. Dive left! DIVE DIVE! TUCKANDROLL!! SAVEYOURSELVES!!!!
So I went somewhere and posed for pinup photos. For real. With the makeup and the hair and the outfit and everything. It started off really awkward, and ended up being kind of fun. I saw some of the rough shots, and I was shocked. I didn't look ugly at all. I even looked kind of...good. Sexy even. The photographer's assistant actually said to me "You're really photogenic...and you should always wear read lipstick." I've never worn red lipstick in my life before yesterday (and I likely never will again), and photogenic is not a word I'd apply to myself. In a couple of weeks I'll see the proofs and fantastic husband will get to pick out his favorites.
Why did I do it? I don't know. A friend was talking about maybe having some pictures done, and I was surfing around the web too late at night, and on a whim I booked a session...because every idea had at 3am is valid. Maybe I wanted to see what a professional photographer could do with my troll face. Maybe I was hoping I'd have a few turn out kinda hot so I could look back and think "Hey, I wasn't half bad back in the day."
I'll tell you one thing. Arching your back that hard for that long if painful.
Two things. Wearing 6 inch heels really makes your calves and hammies look fantastic.