Last Wednesday, we took a trip! We went to Great Wolf Lodge! It was absolutely amazing! I have not stopped talking about it and it has been 5 days! We arrived at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, checked in, got our water park passes and were off and running. Our room was not ready yet (they guarantee 4:00 p.m., but you an use the park beginning at 1:00 p.m.). We left our cell phone number with them and since your wrist band for the water park is also your room key, they call you with the room number when it becomes available and you do not need to return to the check in desk. So, we went to the water park and changed into our swim suits and hit the pools! The kids were off and running. We let our older two go off and check it out on their own, instructing them to check in periodically. We stayed with the younger two in the "kiddie" area. After about 15-30 minutes our five year old asked to go on the slides and I took him, while my husband stayed with the youngest. I had so much fun riding the slides with Mutt. He had a great time and no fear! After about 3 hours at the water park and a lot of fun times, we went back to our room which was ready by 3:30 and got dressed for dinner. We opted to eat of the hotel grounds. We had heard the food was not that great. We went to Outback, which was a treat since we hadn't been there in a while. After dinner, we returned to the hotel and Monkey and Mutt went back to the water park with me, while Indy and ESPN toured the hotel with their dad. Unfortunately, someone had an accident on one of the slides so they had to close all the slides and the lazy river, which is fed by the same water source for 30 minutes. So we went in the wave pool and then opted to run back to the room, put on PJs and race to the Clock Tower Animated show and story time by the fire. The kids thought this was pretty cool especially because they got to have Dippin' Dots! An absolute favorite. After story time, everyone was ready for bed and fell asleep rather quickly, including me! In the morning, we ate cereal in the room and got to the water park when it opened at 9:00 a.m. This is the best time of the day there, because it is the least crowded. People are still getting up and only those who have spent the night before are there. You can use the water park until it closes at 9:00 p.m. the day you check out. We spent 3 hours playing, ate lunch and spent another hour playing before retiring our suits for our street clothes. Then the kids played int he arcade and we were gone by 3:30 p.m. We made a brief detour on the way home to get some of my husbands new favorite microbrews and were home in time for dinner. The trip was a birthday gift for the kids. For the first time we said no to birthday parties so that we could celebrate all four on a magnificent family trip! I have to say it was well worth it. I had to expectations because I really had no heard too many great things about it. People said it was expensive, it smelled, it was crowded. I thought that it was perfect! It was expensive. The room rate was high, but it was a nice room and factoring in the park passes, it wasn't terrible. The food tasted fine for concessions and the cost was not outrageous. It was comparable to other amusements parks. The hotel was actually very nice and despite the number of wet visitors, it was surprisingly clean and dry and did not smell at all of mildew. As far as being overcrowded, it wasn't. It was full and there were a lot of people, but we did not wait more that 20 minutes for even the most popular attraction and there was plenty of room for the kids t move around and play and no one was ever bored or tired of waiting in line. To top it off I was very impressed with the lifeguards and their attention to the pools at all times. They even rescued a young boy in the wave pool who was too close to the edge and was unable to get to shallow water. They performed several drills while we were there and the lifeguards were eyes on the pool 100% of the time! I would go back in a heart beat and recommend Great Wolf Lodge to anyone who wants a great family getaway!