The ride to the Dells was much quicker and smoother than expected. Anticipating boredom, I packed everything I could think of to occupy J during the 2 1/2 hour ride (crayons, books, tractors, trains, my ipod stocked with new games and enough snacks to feed a small nation). Turns out, we really didn't need much of that stuff. J was a car-riding rock star! He was happy playing "I Spy" type games and commenting on things we passed. Or he amused himself with silly made up games like "Hiding under my greenies". He did ask "Are we there yet?" every time we slowed down or stopped along the way (Roughly 732 times, I would guess). And he commented that the ride was "long" and that "I am waiting forever and ever to get there!". But, that was the worst of it. Upon arriving, he once again asked if we were there. Ryan and I happily said"YES!" to which J replied, "Oh.... well, that didn't take very long."
Our hotel was the Wilderness Territroy, which I highly recommend. It has three attached water parks and a huge 4 story play area for kids. There is an arcade, indoor mini golf, laser tag, pottery making and all kinds of outdoors stuff we couldn't try on this trip, but will certainly try in the future (To the Wildernss Hotel group- you know where to send payment for this endorsement). Plenty to keep an active 3 year old and his parents very busy.
We checked in and I pack muled our stuff to the room (husbands and kids mysteriously disappear when there is heavy lifting to be done). We quickly donned swimsuits and were off to the water park. Our first stop was the Water Dome. A huge glass covered area where the main attraction was a huge wave pool. I didn't think J would be into the idea of a wave pool, but I was so wrong! He LOVED it! And not just gently riding the waves. He preferred to have waves breaking in his face, submerging him. He laughed his hilarious little laugh the whole time.
The next morning, we were up, suited and waiting for the water parks to open (my only complaint is that nothing opened before 9a.m. and that is a lot of time to kill when you are up at 6!). We started out at the wave pool again, but this time, the glass dome ceiling filtered in a ton of sunshine and it felt like a day at the beach. After we stopped for a snack, we mosied over to the Klondike Cavern Water Park.
Once there we set a new world record for longest time spent floating on a lazy river (okay, Guinness hasn't confirmed this, but I suspect it is true!). J loves to people watch (just like me!) and was satisfied floating around watching people on the slides and seeing the 1,000 gallon bucket dump water all over. We rode the river until lunch. We followed that up with a family nap (hooray!) before hitting the third water park, the Wild West Town. This was a lot more J's speed. More geared towards little people with smaller slides. After that we cleanedup, put on respectable clothes (no swim suits for dinner out!) and hit the town for supper. We all fell into bed exhausted, but happy.
On our final day, we opted to spend the morning in the 4 story play area. We figured more water park would mean a soggy, uncomfortable ride home. J was okay with this arrangement as he had a blast in the play area. It was equipped with every kind of slide, crawl space and climbing apparatus you can imagine. It also had air cannons that shot nerf balls. J was more into gathering up "ammo" in the totes provided that he was shooting them, which worked out well because his dad was waging war on some 8 year olds and needed a steady supply of nerf projectiles. There is something so wrong about seing a 39 year old trying to snipe a kid using a gun shaped like a rodent.
Once I tore Ryan away from the guns, we crawled around with J for a couple hours. (Coincidentally, it was that long before Ryan could walk totally upright again following all that crawling around.)
The play area wore us out and did J in too. We got in the car and he promptly fell asleep for part of our ride home.
It was a very nice break from reality for all of us. I got to be "off duty" for two whole days (no cooking, no cleaning, no work!!!), J got lots of fun time with mom and dad and a good time was had by all. I must also say that J was nothing short of angelic the whole time. He really made the trip enjoyable and I appreciated his good humor each time we encountered a child in a nuclear melt down. We will most definitely be returning to the Dells!