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I'm a 30-something wife and mom. My boys are my pride and joy. Together, we are navigating being a forever family post international adoption.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Week at Wisconsin Dells

A few weeks ago, we packed up the car and drove two days to Wisconsin Dells.


We were all very happy with our hotel, The Kalahari. We stayed in a lodge suite, which had two separate sleeping areas, a full kitchen and an outdoor seating area. The only thing we weren't a fan of was the very uncomfortable pull-out couch. We got to the hotel around 5 PM, ordered pizza and watched the July 4th fireworks from our patio area. By the time the display was done (Americans really know how to put on a show of patriotism!) we were all tired from our travels and ready to turn in.

The living room area - Buddy already enjoying cable TV

We were up bright and early the next morning to take advantage of the Kalahari water park passes included in our reservation. We spent 3 hours in the morning at the outdoor water park. When we starting to get hungry, we took our first ever family trip to Wal-Mart. After a quick (and cheap) shop, we had lunch at the hotel and Hubby and Buddy headed off for the indoor park. I was in need of some alone time! They spent a few hours sliding, then we had a home cooked meal. After dinner, Buddy and I returned to the water park for a couple of hours and we finished off the day by watching Cast Away on cable.

One of the many attractions at the outdoor waterpark

Day three started at the indoor water park. Hubby and Buddy convinced me to ride the slide they had dubbed "the toilet." You shoot down into a giant bowl that swills you round and round and finally dumps you (sometimes head first) into the pool below. Buddy and I also braved the 60 foot tall, trap-door release slide with an almost vertical 25 mile an hour plunge. Good thing I wore a firmly secured bathing suit! When we started to look like raisins, we headed over to an adjoining movie theater for Terminator Genisys in 3D. Not my pick, but not terrible. Afterwards, Buddy spent some time at the small pool near our hotel block while supper was cooking. We ended the day with ice cream from the hotel sweet hut and Jaws on cable.

"The Toilet" - see how it just dumps the rider out at the end!?!

By day four, we were ready for some time on dry land. We spent the day at Mt Olympus Theme Park. Hubby loves go-carts, I love roller-coasters and Buddy loves both. Add a Starbucks on-site and you have the recipe for one happy Mama. The only ride we didn't do was the Catapult, because it cost an extra $5. A few days later, there was an accident and subsequent removal of the ride. Thank goodness for our frugality! After a long day in the sun, we headed back to the hotel for another home cooked meal. Buddy still had energy and money to burn so he headed off to the indoor arcade while Hubby and I got some much appreciated alone time. By the time bed-time rolled around, we were all ready to turn in so we would be energized for the next day.

I got Buddy set up at the arcade - he's a pro at these games!

The fifth day was my favorite. We started off with Big Foot Zipline where our guides, Rasheed and Aidan, took us zipping down 7 different lines. We got to hanging backwards, upside-down and at times even racing each-other over land and water. The longest line was almost 1400 feet, and we got as high up as 100 feet. Buddy was in heaven, and even Hubby (who is afraid of heights) had a lot of fun. After 2 hours plus of zipping, we had a quick lunch at the hotel and headed off for a duck boat tour. As an added bonus, pick up was right outside our hotels's reception area and Buddy got a free ride since we were hotel guests. The hour long half-water, half-land tour was a really fun way to see the beautiful scenery of Wisconsin Dells.  After freshening up, we had a really nice "modern American" meal at the High Rock Cafe. The service wasn't great, but the food was delicious. We finished up just in time to use the free passes our hotel gave us to the Tommy Bartlett Water Show. Hubby loves to water-ski, Buddy thought Aqua the clown was hilarious and I appreciated the dry, self deprecating humor of Dieter Tasso. We all marveled at the water-jet propelled FlyBoard and the steel cage motorcycle riders. It was long past bedtime by the time we got home. We just had enough energy to brush our teeth and crawl into bed.

We broke down and bought this amazing shot - priceless!

Our last full day started at the Timbavati Wildlife Park. We are normally not into zoos, but since we had free passes from the hotel we decided not to let them go to waste. We wandered around for a few hours checking out the lions and tigers and bears (oh my!), feeding the giraffes and goats and answering the burning question "what the heck is a coatimundi?" (it's basically a long-nosed raccoon). We had been planning to go back to the water park in the afternoon, but by the time we got back to the hotel and scavenged up lunch from our left over groceries, we were all exhausted. We decided to spend the last half of our last day vegging out watching Shark Week on Discovery. We had room service and then hit the hay.

Did you know giraffes have black tongues? We sure didn't!

We made the lofty decision to travel home all in one day. We were up bright and early the next morning, loaded the car and hit the road. After 13 hours or so, we were happy to be home.

Hubby, Buddy and I all had an amazing time in Wisconsin Dells. It was well worth the long journey and the uncomfortable hideabed (we ended up all taking turns - misery loves company!). While we all loved the water park, it is unanimous that the hands-down favorite of the trip was zip-lining. I think our next vacation will have to involve more death-defying feats!

Of course, the real best part of the trip was really spending time together as a family having fun and making memories.

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