Sunday, July 5, 2009

The amazing $10 Tootsie Pop

I finally had a few days off of work and was eager to get the heck out of Peoria. I knew I wanted to go to Chicagoland, but had only a vague idea what I wanted to do. We started out driving to Schaumburg and going to a few stores and eating at Fuddruckers. The mega-extrovert who scared Logan last year was working, but he was busy enough he only came around a few times and didn't focus his crazy on my kid. Logan actually thought he was pretty funny this time.

We then drove on to Gurnee Mills mall. The kids were amazed by Six Flags Great America, but even more amazed by a hotel with a bunch of waterslides coming out of it. They wanted to stay there! Sorry kids, it's too late in the day to stay at a waterpark resort and make it worth our money. We stayed at a Comfort Inn and shopped at the mall instead. Kaylin bought some fairy wings with her birthday money, Logan raced slot cars and pretended to drive boats at Bass Pro Shop and I enjoyed being away from home and not at work (even though it was my usual day off...) We ate at Rainforest Cafe and had an insane volcano dessert with a lit sparkler on top to celebrate Kaylin's birthday. It was this huge brownie, ice cream, whipped cream, fudge and caramel concoction that made me not want to eat anything sweet for the entire next day.

The vague plan for the next day was to drive to Milwaukee Zoo. Logan was up early with me and we decided to have an adventure. We went and checked out the waterpark resort. The waterpark looked pretty amazing, the arcade was awesome, the whole atmosphere was fun- everything one would expect. I had done some research online and knew the outrageous nightly cost, but couldn't think of anything the kids would like to do more than stay at this place. I went to the check-in and asked about availability. The girl gave me a better deal than I found online and then went ahead and gave me wristbands for the water park. We technically weren't supposed to be able to get them until 1pm, but she gave them to me at 7:30am. She also took our cell number so they could call when our room was ready. It wasn't guaranteed until 4pm, but they called us around noon. We spent the morning at the mall, ate an early lunch and then checked in to KeyLime Cove. We immediately changed into swimsuits and played in the wave pool and on the slides for hours. The kids could have swam all day, but Gene and I wussed out and lured the kids out of the pools with promises of the arcade. We played games and more games and the kids won ~200 tickets. At the prize counter, Logan had eyes for only one thing. An orange Tootsie Pop. 75 tickets. He could have gotten several junky toys for his share of the tickets, but he wanted the sucker. He also got a tiny pair of handcuffs and a plastic beagle. Gene and I laughed about the Tootsie Pop and how it had probably cost us $10. Immediately after getting our ticket prizes, we ate dinner at one of the many resort restaurants. When the bill came, something else came with it. Displayed fortune cookie style on the bill tray were four Tootsie Pops! One was orange. We were a little shocked :)

The resort was a blast! We swam this morning from 9 until noon and then headed home. The kids were talking about "next time" before we even left. Oh, I forgot to mention that Six Flags had 4th of July fireworks and we had a perfect view from the resort parking lot. (Gene had been very worried about the kids getting to see fireworks. Me, not so much... But hey, what amazing convenience with just a short walk back to the room with drinks, a toilet and NO traffic or crowds.) I thought KeyLime Cove had all the fun of the far more gigantic Wisconsin Dells resorts, but with a 2 minute walk to the fun rather than a 15 minute trek. The resort was at or very nearly at capacity and our waits for waterpark attractions, food and even check-in were completely acceptable. It was worth the $$$$. And I still have two more days off!

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