Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Great Wolf the Third

For the past three winters the wife, the little ones, and I do an overnighter at Great Wolf Lodge waterpark in Pennsylvania. As a teen and a young twentysomething, I went to a lot of these waterparks, particularly down the Jersey Shore, with various packs of friends in varying states of consciousness. Had a blast every time, and it seems like centuries ago.

Haven’t done much of that for twenty years, until these recent Great Wolf experiences. Oh, how a body ages!

If you’ve never been there, Great Wolf Lodge is nestled in the Poconos, a massive, three-story log cabin affair that must hold, I’d guess, three hundred rooms that look like your pretty standard hotel room. Except for the oppressive wolf theme. Attached to it is a pretty large indoor waterpark, consisting of something like a half-dozen water slides for single, double and no tubes, two “white water rapids” type slides, a heated pool, a rope ladder, a wave pool, a hot tub for adults, a bar, a kiddie pool and kiddie slides, and a lazy three-foot deep river that you can float along on in peace.

This is not, unfortunately, a paid endorsement of Great Wolf Lodge

We usually spend four hours in the water park the first day and four hours the second. This year we got there a little late and only spent three and a half hours swimming and sliding on Day One. But I made up for it staying a little bit later on Day Two. The wife had to leave early to attend a business / charity dinner in NYC (Police Commissioner Bratton was supposed to attend but didn’t for some reason), so I shepherded the little ones myself for an extra two hours.

I am today paying the price for that.

Also, I never get a good night’s sleep there. I don’t know why. Well, actually I do. Being, hmm, a tad bit overweight, and generally being dehydrated – whether through all the exercise, the chlorine, the pizza and soda or beer afterwards – I tend to snore somewhat loudly. The wife has developed a tolerance for this but my daughters, not so much. Every time Little One awakens me and every time I fail to get back to sleep for fear of keeping them up. This time she woke me at midnight, and I tossed and turned and tossed and turned and surfed the web on my cell phone until five in the morning. I got out of bed and laid on the couch. I pulled out the couch into a folding bed. Nothing helped, nothing worked. When dawn’s fingers gingerly parted heavy drapery, I finally nodded off.

To be awakened nearly immediately by the dark form of Little One at my side. “Daddy, you’re snoring again!”

“Deal with it,” I mumble, turning over for two more hours of blessed sleep. (Though perhaps I dreamed that last exchange.)

So I’m like a zombie on Day Two. Double-team insomnia with Day One muscular fatigue upon my late-forties semi-sedentary body and, well, you can get some idea of the wreck I am in today.

Other than that, though, mainly for the sake of the girls’ memories, it’s entirely worth it. Plus I get some quality reading done when the ladies go out for ice cream during Story Time. This year I read about the Peloponnesian War, Quantum Geometry, and the King James Psalms. In years past I explored mathematical series, Middle Eastern archaeology, and the history of the New York Mets. That middle time of evening when the little ones and the wife have passed out from all the day’s excitement is my favorite time at Great Wolf.

Thanks to those who make it possible!

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