Monday, January 28, 2013

the longest vacation series: Grapevine

disclaimer: thanks for sticking around even though I have been missing for some weeks. turns out I don't seem to have time on my hands and have been feeling quite defeated by life lately--but that's for another post another day--this series has been on the back of my mind every. day. and I know it's a good month after Christmas, but I will post anyway because 1. it's my blog. and 2. because this is how I record our life. so we can't have things out of order :) 
and now, 
welcome to:

Part II.
Second city: Grapevine, TX, Great Wolf Lodge
I really wish I could have snapped a picture of the outside of the lodge. It was so grand! Giant wolves guarding the entrance. At least I got the main lobby though!
Stuffed wolves, a gigantic chimney, and the tallest Christmas tree ever inside a lobby! 

The lobby was covered in snow and decorated Christmas trees. The wolf paw and wolves were everywhere.
Oh it was magical!

Foot long snowflakes and real gingerbread houses, could Christmas get any more real?
We met Wiley and there was quite an abundance of squirrels and forest creatures guarding the trashcans. 
A super plus was that they actually had recycling bins in the hotel room! That made me love it even more.
Of course part of the thrill of staying at the lodge, is MagiQuest.
A total experience in my opinion. Buuutttttt you have to buy your wand to get the game activated (priced accordingly to hotel rates :) ). You run up and down their 8 floors looking for their infrared objects to light them up (great leg workout). You are given quests, or journeys, to complete and you step up in magical powers to become the greatest Magi at Great Wolf!!! 
...but if you're too little, like some munchkins below, you can always just tell them to make your wand light up objects instead of playing the game.
...but if you're a geeky-fied adult, like the ones below, you TOTALLY want the game activated.
We do know it is supposed to be for kids, people. 
But seriously, the quests are just too tempting for a grown-up too!!! 
Sidenote: and we were not the ONLY parents going around with our children's wands!!
It was so fun just walking around, wand in hand, pointing at different treasure chests and accumulating useless gold. 
It was hard catching my monsters running amok in their pajamas and keeping them in focus. 
Hotel lighting is so crappy sometimes... 
After our quest excitement, and much to our tiredness, we walked to our rooms in hopes of rest.
But just as I was uber clumsy at 5 years of age, splitting my forehead numerous times, ruining certain vacations, so does the 4 year old kid. 
He managed to run into the edge of the door, splitting his forehead open and blood bathing me, my precious camera, and his daddy. I didn't know what the hell to do! All I know was that his head was split open. I was worried about the blood on my camera, but obviously the kid has to COME FIRST, right?! 
And then I ran for ice, because surely a bag of ice would stop the bleeding. I was freaking out, Andrew was freaking out because he saw all the blood--not because it hurt him. The only two calm people were the Witty's--daddy and his sister, Tia Joanna. We did what we could and then ran off to grab some bandages at a nearby store. And then we tried to patch him up. HOLY CRACKERS was that an episode! 
The kid was still freaking out about the blood so we gave him his Christmas present which was Lego's and that was a smart thing to do. He quickly forgot he had an open wound. And managed to get him bandaged up. For a time, he refused to take off his ninja headband and purposely hit his head on other people. 
He is my son. Definitely. And I am shaking my head in pride. 
And so the show must go on. We went down to the lobby to listen to Storytime, where a lodge employee reads a book to all the kids sitting in the lobby. And then it magically starts snowing foam snow. And then Rudolph comes out to takes pictures with the kids. How ridiculously magical is that?
The next day, we had plans to go swimming at their indoor water park. We hoped Andrew's bandage kept the water out and that the cut would be ok. 
Andrew didn't mind the water one bit. He loved it. Jonah was cranky and refused to get splashed. He did go down the slide a couple of times though. 
We all had a blast with the pools, rides, and the bucket that would hurt-splash your head ever so often. 
It was finally time to head back to the room to eat! Swimming makes you hungry!
The bandage finished headstrong! But of course we had to change it and apply more medication. You can see the faint red markings it left poor Andrew so we 'aired' it out. :) 
Little boys were playing with tablets, taco soup was cooking & presents were gathered on the small table; our Christmas was about to begin! 
I love my dad-in-law! Sweetest, non-emotional, and considerate person you ever met. Oh, and kids think he's Santa every now and then. I especially love the photo above because he usually does not laugh out loud. 
Not really sure what made him do it, but I'm just happy I captured it. 
We all had pool hair, and pajamas, and were photographically not ready---but ehh, who cares!?
we wanna open presents!
Presents were opened. Paper and boxes were thrown everywhere--I felt like this was one of the best Christmases we have had. And then the mustaches came out!!!
 Phew!!! By 10 o'clock I had gone to my room and finally crashed. We were all so exhausted. 
Next morning, it was time to pack up and take some family photos in the lobby.
Cheesy, fake grins all around!
The whole gang in front of the chimney!
See you later, Great Wolf and now we head to city #3! 
it will be the final post on the series Longest Vacation, don't worry...
Merry Christmas!
PS. Wow, that was a load of pictures! And a load of my chest! I am happy I got that done and out of the way! I can't wait to return to my regular routine on here again... ...echenme porras or somethin'