A few weeks ago, I went on a family vacation to Great Wolf Lodge, which is a giant indoor water park. All in all, it was really nice to get away and spend time with my wife and 14 month old daughter. However, it became extremely clear to me that I will never, ever, be cool.
Great Wolf Lodge’s water park is filled with stairs and bridges. Throughout the park, there are giant water guns and water traps (these are basically pails that fill up with water, which kids can dump on unsuspecting travelers under each bridge). On the way to the slides, you have to walk up stairs and across those bridges.
Since my daughter is too young to go on the big slides, my wife and I decided to take turns – she’d stay back with the baby, and I’d go up the slide, and visa-versa. Well, the first slide I went on was a horrible experience. Standing in line, alone, surrounded by kids and getting pelted by water guns is not my idea of a good time. I was so focused on not getting hit by the water guns, that I forgot about the water pails above me, and some kid soaked me from above. I pressed on, and eventually enjoyed the 8 second ride down the slide.
So that was pretty lousy.
Later in the day, I decided to try the biggest slide in the park. It also has the biggest line, roughly 20 minutes. So I waited in line, again, by myself. When I finally got to the top, the life guard, a 16 year old girl, said, “Oh you can’t go down this ride alone, you have to go with someone else in the tube. “. I was by myself – who would go with me? I stood there awkwardly for a moment, then she said, “I can go with you.”
I hesitated, then she called out to the other life guard, another 16 year old girl, and asked if she could go down with me. She said, “No it’s ok, you go.” which I translated as, “Um no, I won’t be seen going down the slide with a 30 some year old balding guy whose standing in line by himself.”
Eventually, the first lifeguard conceded and said she’ll go with me. What a treat! So, we hopped in the tube and went down the slide, without saying a word, without looking at each other, without so much as even reacting to the slide. When the slide was over, I jumped out quickly, because I didn’t want the dozen or so people waiting at the end of the slide seeing me in a tube with a teenage lifeguard who took pity on me.
So that was also pretty lousy.
Later that afternoon, we all went to the wave pool, and eventually made our way over to the hot tub (more like a “warm” tub). Midway through our soak, we noticed a mass exodus of people from the water slides who were now entering the hot tub, and it got uncomfortably packed. Turns out, someone shit on one of the slides – and that water circulates throughout the park… meaning that half the park had to be shut down.
Fortunately for me, and based on my previous experiences, I didn’t have plans to go on any more rides.
Then, another exodus – this time from the wave pool. Turns out another kid shit in the water forcing the closure of the wave pool. At this point, only a quarter of the park is open while they cleaned up the mess… I can only imagine how difficult it would be to clean up human feces in a wave pool. I felt sorry for the guy who was later wading in the pool (waist deep) with a net, trying to capture the pieces, but also thought to myself “I need to write about this – the world needs to know.”
So now, everyone is cramming into the “warm” tub and into the tiny kid’s pool, since these were the only parts of the park that were not polluted with feces. We decided that was enough, and the vacation was pretty much over.
We went back to our room, and watched The Bachelor, because, why not.
Enjoy your stay at Great Wolf Lodge.