I wanted to say a quick Happy Father’s Day and share a special story from our vacation last weekend (which seems so very long ago already) :(
As you may have read, we took Alex to the Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells. It was a wonderful weekend! Five days before we were scheduled to go, I got a confirmation email and a “looking forward to seeing you, check out these things while you’re here” newsletter. In the middle of the busy newsletter, it detailed their plans to open a new interactive game/exploration center in July and then mentioned at the end “Wiley’s Woods will be closed during your stay in preparation for this.” I was immediately NOT happy because Wiley’s is Great Wolf’s dry play center that is one of the things we were looking forward to Alex being able to do. It was also one of the reason’s we chose the cheapest room to stay in. We figured we’d either be in the water parks or Wiley’s and only in the room to sleep, so the extra $100+ for a Kids themed suite wasn’t going to be worth it.
I emailed the hotel and expressed my displeasure at having to tell a 6-year old that he couldn’t do the thing he had seen pictures on the website of and asked if there was any chance we could be upgraded to a kids suite (since I’d read in reviews that they frequently upgraded people anyway when capacity was low), so I’d have something to “sell” to him about how vacation was still really fun. I got a call back the next day from one of the lead front desk people who explained that they didn’t have any of those suites available, but instead he was upgrading us to one of their condo units at no charge. So instead of a hotel room with a king bed and sofa bed for Alex, we ended up in condo with full kitchen including granite counter tops and full appliances, kids themed bedroom that slept 3 (so Alex got to pick 2 different beds for the weekend), a master bedroom, huge bathroom, nice living room with 42″ plasma tv and gas fireplace, and a loft bedroom upstairs that came with a 1/2 bathroom (which was wonderful when you had 3 wet people wanting to change). Yeah, mighty nice place to stay and has probably ruined all future hotel getaways since Alex now thinks this is the standard of vacation we should have :)
We had a wonderful time in the water parks. Alex loved the kid slides and his absolute favorite was the wave pool. He started out nervous about it by then was lying back in a tube while we helped steer him over the waves and by the end of the weekend was standing in the waves to body check them and punch them with his fists while yelling “got you wave!.” :-)
But finally it was time to check out on Sunday morning. We decided we’d hit the cub club and arcade after check out since we hadn’t got there during our stay. So off to the arcade first.
(This is where my actual story comes in now)
Once we hit the arcade both BBB and Alex were in heaven. BBB spotted Guitar Hero and found songs he doesn’t have on our games at home. So you can imagine the 40-year old “rocker” playing in the middle of the kids arcade (I have a photo but in honor of Father’s Day, I will resist sharing it) :-)
We all played some games for a bit, starting out with $5 in tokens that I grabbed from the machine. We quickly finished that and BBB being a good daddy forked over $5 from his wallet this time to continue his…I mean, Alex’s fun. He and Alex even played a game of air hockey together with Alex narrowly pulling off the game winning point and then jumping up and down and modestly yelling “I won. I beat you” :-)
Finally, the tokens were gone and it was time to figure out what to get from the prize counter with Alex’s 153 tickets (while trying to explain the concept of “no, that costs too many. No, you can’t have the 3000 ticket remote control car that’s worth $5 at Walmart). I’m trying to steer Alex to the appropriate number of ticket items and pointing out good stuff (to speed the process along since we have a 3-hour drive yet and a t-ball game to attend in just 4 hours time at home).
BBB disappears and comes back with 4 more tokens. He walks over to the big wheel game nearby (think Price is Right wheel) and says, “Alex come try this one.” I’m immediately displeased because this is interrupting the time table of ever getting out of the arcade when we start the “just one more game” practice. But fine, he’s already got the tokens, let’s get it over with.
Alex and I go over and he pulls the handle, the wheel spins and this is what we see at the end when it spots spinning:
Yes, our little guy has it stop in the 1 inch spot on the entire wheel that awards you 1000 tickets (which spit out of the machine in two stacks of 500 and take about 5 minutes to come out) while lights flash and sirens play (think casino slot machines). We explain to Alex what he has just done and he is now jumping up and down yelling “I did it. I won” while all the kids (and parents) in the arcade come to watch in awe and are congratulating him.
So instead of a mere 153 ticket prize to take home, he ends the day with 1153. He chooses a full size kickball with little spikes on it and a set with 2 monster trucks with various signs and obstacles to get in their way.
So, it seems that sometimes, dads do know best and know when to push their luck with “just one more game.”
Happy Father’s Day dear!
PS – Happy Father’s Day to everyone out there!
If your dad is still in your life, make sure you treat him nice today and tell him how much you love him because someday he’ll be gone like mine is (2 years to the day today) and you’ll wish you had “just one more time” with him.