BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Back from Wisconsin ...

Well, it wasn't the most relaxing weekend I've ever had, but it did have that "getting away" effect with the "very happy to be home" return. The trip up was a nightmare because The Wife was in full-on psycho bitch mode ... she had given me NO instructions about what "she wanted" for Friday night, and I assumed the whole discussion of a different hotel on Friday was to avoid paying $180 or more at Treasure Island. It appears that she meant for us to stay "some place" on the way up there (making it an earlier evening than our eventual 8:30pm arrival), without, of course, making the slightest effort to figure out what the options would be (pretty much the options on I-90 were staying in either Rockford or Madison, neither of which being ideal). I had figured we were just looking for a place to sleep, so had booked us into a "internet special" room at the Days Inn up in The Dells, thinking "what's one night?". Well, she threw a screaming fit when she saw the room (after I'd carried all the damn luggage from the car ... she was off looking for booze while I was getting The Girls and our stuff settled) and insisted that I get all our crap back in the car and check out. Fortunately the Days Inn was over-booked and they were happy to re-sell the room to somebody else (at twice the rate I'd gotten), so didn't stick me with the charge. We drove around and eventually found a Super 8 with a room to The Wife's liking for a bit less than twice the price I'd gotten at the Days Inn.

So, we get up on Saturday morning, and The Girls want to go swimming at the Super 8, but they are having a screaming match about their swimsuits. The Wife had opted to let the 8-year-old pack her own bag, and then spent all weekend ripping her a new asshole for her packing choices. So, after I convince The Girls that going swimming in what they have with them is better than not going swimming at all, we hit the pool for an hour or so. Then we go shopping. Sometimes I think The Wife does stuff like let the kids pack themselves as an excuse to shop. So, we check out of the Super 8 and drive out to WalMart. WalMart is always an adventure since we don't have them in Chicago (the Unions have blocked every effort they've made to open up in the city). Frankly, I was shocked by some of the prices (pants that were less than half what I'd get them for at K-Mart or Target, for instance), so at least we weren't extravagantly spending. I got "good Daddy" points by scoring them some bunnies from the "claw" machines too! We finally get done with shopping (new swimsuits, new beachtowls, etc. etc. etc.) and grab some breakfast and get up to the Treasure Island.

040409-12-004bWhile Treasure Island is horrifically expensive for the style of hotel it is (when I called on Friday night to see what rate we could get I was quoted $230.00 for the night! ... although we did have a seasonal discount rate for Saturday and a half-off that rate for Sunday) you do get access to the waterpark and other activities included from opening on the day you check in till closing on the day you check out, so with four of us at $23/head, it ended up being pretty much a wash, but it meant that I was gung-ho to get The Girls in there! We got pre-registered and got our wrist bands and decided that since we were still dry (it was pretty cold ... heck, it was snowing on Sunday!) we'd go do the miniature golf first. We eventually went to change in the Bay of Dreams locker rooms, which was a bit of a pain in the ass, but The Girls got several hours of swimming in before we actually got into our room.

Here I am in a shot from yesterday. Yes, that's an official t-shirt I'm wearing! Sorry that the pic is so small and crappy, but it was pretty blurry (it was The Wife's first attempt with the digital camera), so I had to tweak it a bit (a bit of "sharpen" and size reduction will do wonders with a blurry pic, if you don't mind it being small-ish). The Bay of Dreams has a kiddy area (with a pirate ship), two hot spa pools, a "sports" pool with basketball hoops, a "challenge" pool with netting and floating platforms, the "River of Dreams" which you float through on an inflatable raft, two 4-story body slides and a 3- and a 4-story raft slide. I'm not much for the "falling" sorts of things (I tried them once, didn't care to repeat), so I spent a lot of the time floating around on the "river" with the 4-year-old on my lap.

040409-12-003bI had to get a picture of this sign ... it has GOT to be one of the most "duh!" postings ever ... it's from the far front end of the kiddy pool (right about where I'm staning in the other pic), where the water depth is TWO INCHES. Now, admittedly, they have depth markers all over the place there and I think they all have the "NO DIVING" warning, but ... really ... somebody who is stupid enough to try to dive into two inches of water pretty much deserves the results!

The Girls and I'd planned each evening on getting back to the pools after dinner, but The Wife acted like we were insane for even suggesting it. Between her harping on the kids, and ripping me a new asshole every damn time she thinks I've made a wrong turn in the car, she's real fun to have along on vacation! As it was, they got in two good solid swims each day. Aside from the Bay of Dreams, the hotel has a nice "kid's pool" which has a wave machine, sprayers, and slides ... it opens earlier than the waterpark, so the girls got in there quite a bit. There's also another pool/spa combo which we'd used the last time we were up there, but we were in a different part of the hotel and never got over to that one this time.

This morning we got up, I got most of our stuff packed and out to the car, and The Wife and The Girls headed down to the hotel pool (which opened at 9) while I was still schlepping stuff. We were on a pretty tight schedule, as we had to be out of the room by 11am (and The Wife was hellbent on them changing in the room instead of over in the Bay of Dreams lockerooms) plus I needed to have the rental car back by 3:45pm. So, The Girls got an hour in the wave pool, and about 40 minutes over in Bay of Dreams. I didn't change into a suit, so was pretty much just hanging out keeping an eye on the clock. What was fun this morning was that the 4-year-old opted to brave the body slides with her Mom ... she thought that was pretty neat, and I'm sure will be pushing the envelope (she's still about 12 inches too short to do those on her own) for those the next time we go up there. Anyway, I'd gotten everything in the car but their changes of clothes and coats, and took the wet towls and suits down with me to check us out while they finished getting dressed.

I'd been fighting at nasty sinus/migraine headache this morning (breathing the ultra-humid hot air in the pool areas was no doubt a factor), and was having a very hard time driving safely ... about a hour out of The Dells, we pulled over to swtich drivers, and I crashed out for a couple of hours. When I woke up we were already past Rockford, and opted to pull off at Marengo (where a "lost love" of mine from college grew up) for some McDonalds ... The Wife wanted to get a Wendy's salad instead, so I took over the driving again at that point (despite still having a bad headache). About a quarter hour after lunch, Daughter #2 decided to puke up her lunch all over her, right in the middle of the outer suburbs along I-90 where there is NO PLACE to pull off the road. She pretty much ended up having to sit in her puke for another 20 minutes untill we were able to get off over by IKEA ... we pulled into the mall parking lot and cleaned her up as best we could. We made it back downtown with only about 15 minutes to spare (before the car was due back), and I got the luggage back upstairs and scrubbed out the back seat (to her credit, she got it mainly on herself and her blankie, only a bit on the seat) and got the car back within the "grace" period (I was about 5-10 minutes past the due time).

Anyway ... I'm just now trying to get caught up ... I sat down and finished a book that I was reading (see next post) and then looked at my e-mail (391 messages, only 19 that weren't spam!), and will next be plowing through all your lovely posts from over the weekend (which looks to be in the 250 range) ... I'm having a Herbal Voltage™ so I'll be likely to stay awake through them.

Oh, yeah, and both of The Girls are off all week ... so I'm into "Mr. Mom" mode.

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