Saturday, July 6, 2013

Show Me The Money...What A Vacation Really Costs.

Wow!  What a week!  The resort was amazing.  We don't have one negative thing to say about Great Wolf Lodge.

Brent and I had just as much fun in the water parks as the kids did!  Everything there was geared towards kids and families.  Nightly story time, balloon animals, face painting and character appearances made the evenings fly by.
The restaurant in the hotel had sub par kid's food, but Emma and Owen didn't seem to notice.  The only meal they had there was a little pizza and some fries.  Brent and I shared a Thai salad and some cheese curds, which were all really good.
As a parent, I was most impressed with the lifeguard staff.  There are multiple lifeguards at every pool and they do not take their eyes off the water.
One day was overcast and chilly, so we were the only ones in the outdoor pool for awhile.  Even without anyone in the pool, the lifeguards were constantly scanning their heads side to side across the pool.  And they were all so nice!!  I felt so comfortable by day three, that Emma and Owen were allowed to venture to whichever water park they wanted.  So long as they stuck together and they needed to come tell us which park they were moving to if they wanted to change it up.  Brent and I got to lounge at the outdoor pool while they were busy playing at the inside parks.
Did it feel weird not knowing where they were every second?  A little bit, but we knew with Emma in charge they were fine and it was important door them to do some exploring on their own without us hovering over them.
The best part of our stay, in my opinion, was the Starbucks in the lobby!  I can't sleep later than 6:30am, so each morning I would go down and get coffee for myself while everyone else was asleep.  Sipping a dark roast on our 4th floor deck with the sun coming up and a book in my hands was pure bliss.  Usually after an hour, Owen would come find me and snuggle for a bit until asking for a nutritious breakfast of pop tarts and yogurt.
By now, you are probably pulling your hair out wondering if we came in over or under budget!  

Here is our original budget with our actual $ spent next to it.

Hotel:  Budget $541.83
           Actual $541.83

Gas:  Budget $200.00
         Actual $148.61

Food:  Budget $400
           Actual $300

Emma Fun:  Budget $40
                    Actual $27

Owen Fun:  Budget.$40
                    Actual $0

Family Fun:  Budget $220
                     Actual $175


Not bad, considering we were gone from home for 8 days/7 nights.  Luckily, we got to stay with my very generous sister and brother-in-law for 4 nights, which only cost us a few hugs and lots of laughs.  
We also feel good about only eating out at restaurants 4 times the entire trip.  The rest of our meals were either prepared at sis's house or made up of snacks from our hotel room.
Will we be doing this again a year from now?  Absolutely!  We just have to decide if we are going back to Great Wolf or checking out a different resort!

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