Our suite, like all at the Great Wolf Lodge, featured a microwave as well as the usual refrigerator and coffee maker. Being the thrifty sort, I had packed a picnic bag with food for breakfast and lunch and the required dishes to eat them. And, of course, I hit Grandma Joyce up for the spaghetti rice for supper the night before. Reid decided the most tempting breakfast food we’d brought was the bag of Nutrios that had been in our picnic bag since last September’s visit to the Great Wolf Lodge. Aunt Karin and I ate Apples and Cinnamon instant oatmeal and I had flashbacks to eating it as a child. It’s funny, isn’t it, how evocative food is?
We decided to explore the lobby first thing, though we couldn’t leave the room without our bathing suits on and Reid insisted on putting on her lifejacket, too. One of the mascots, either Wiley the Wolf or Biko the Bear, is scheduled to appear at the Antler Shanty at 8:00 am each day. We’d discussed having coffee and toast but the hostess told us that we could only order the $14.99 breakfast buffet. We camped out in the lobby between the hallway where the mascots “live” and the entrance to the restaurant. Reid was willing to give Biko a high-five when he appeared but I still made a point of asking the Cub Club guy if Wiley the Wolf would be back for the evening’s story time. We stuck around for the Wolf Walk, a tour of the lobby led by one of the Cub Club personnel to learn about the various animals in the lobby. They talked about the animals, walked like them and made the sounds that they make. Reid was more inclined to stick close to Aunt Karin (I had snuck to the other side of the lobby to post a blog entry, thanks to the wireless hotspot) and they joined me before the kids made origami wolves. We decided to skip the 10:00 am Forest Friends Breakfast show and went to the waterpark.
Aunt Karin and I pitched the smallest slides and the single level twisty slides a few times but Reid wasn’t willing to try them. Reid and I tackled the 2+ storey slides on Fort Mackenzie, instead. She was so brave sliding away although she would have preferred for me to be able to slide with her like we did when we went to the Bluewater Fun Park in August. Mostly, though, we played on the “beach” at Rainbow Lake, on the floating animals in Otter Lake and in Chipmunk Cove. And we wrapped up in the hot tub – well, the somewhat warm tub – to turn Reid’s lips back from blue to pink. On our way to the locker room, we discovered a bathing suit dryer – really a mini spinner – that was surprisingly effective in getting the moisture out. I’d been switching bathing suits to keep from having to put on a wet one.
We went into the Cub Club and Reid painted a china pumpkin piggy bank with her head nodding and the slowest blinks possible without closing entirely. We had a quick lunch in our room and then Reid and I went into the Wolf Den for a nap. The bunk is pretty narrow for two but we were really tired. Reid watched a couple of episodes of Toopy and Binoo when she woke up. What did parents do before laptops and DVDs, I ask you?
We went back to the waterpark for another hour and then we went to the Antler Shanty for supper. What a mistake that was! The food was mediocre and the service was awful. I ordered Spider Dogs and Ants on a Log for Reid. The hotdog, with its end split in 4 to make it into a spider, arrived promptly but the celery with cream cheese and raisins required to requests and an extended wait. Aunt Karin and I ordered prime rib, which came with a salad bar. We had had no more than three bites of our salad before the rest of our meal arrived. The Yorkshire puddings were more difficult to cut than the prime rib. The dessert bar section of the meal involved 3 types of squares of the sort one can buy at M&M Meats , soft serve ice cream and yellow Jello. The waitress brought our bill without offering coffee or tea. I ordered some anyway. Aunt Karin’s coffee cost $2.99, wasn’t hot when it arrived and she wasn’t offered a refill. Our waitress’ name tag said that she was a trainer and I can only imagine that the others were even worse. I offer these details as a warning. There is little to complain about at the Great Wolf Lodge but the Antler Shanty is certainly to be avoided. I had to confess to Ken that we’d gone – the restaurant was bad last year and so I got little sympathy from him for being silly enough to go back, not did I deserve any. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Aunt Karin took Reid to the lobby for the Forest Friends Evening Show and Bedtime stories while I stayed in the room, feeling somewhat ill. The break did me good and I was grateful that I wasn’t solo with Reid on the trip. Reid was delighted to see Wiley the Wolf. Life works out some days.