This post is continued from here.

A couple of years ago (when I was single)… I visited my friends in Norwalk, shortly after the Great Wolf Lodge had been built.  I remember briefly visiting the lodge… and walking in to the Great Hall… and thinking:  “One day, when I have a family, I wouldn’t mind taking them to a place like this”.

Sure enough, I’ve come full circle.

Great Wolf Lodge is a huge wooden hotel (imagine a giant, 4-storey, snowy log cabin).  Inside the hotel (themed with wolves and moose) – there’s a huge indoor water park.  It’s quite something to experience:  outside it’s freezing and snowy… inside, everyone’s running around in their swimming cozzies, sliding down slides and splashing in pools.

As a treat for the kids, Nick and I (along with Danielle and Conrad) decided to surprise our combined offspring with a surprise visit to Great Wolf.    We decided not to tell the kids until the last minute – and when they found out, there was much screeching… and circle-running in glee.  Indoor water park… plus sleep-over with friends…  what more could 4 excited kidlets want?

Here’s a few photos of the water park…

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In the evening, all the kids met in the Great Hall for Story Time (talking characters, sing-a-longs, roaring fire and even some fake snow floating down from the ceiling).  Here’s some story-time pics:

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The 4 little wolves… howling in front of the fire...

The 4 little wolves… howling in front of the fire…

As a cherry on the cake… the kids got to have a sleep-over in a shared wolf-den.  There was pizza… there was chocolate… there was LOTS of noise (I’m not sure if Danielle and Conrad got any sleep at all).  Nick and I were in a room without cub-cave… so we had our hotel room to ourselves while Danielle and Conrad shared their space with 5 kids (including Baby Hudson)…

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The following day, there were some tears and long faces as we said goodbye.

Travelling can be a bittersweet experience.  While it’s wonderful to make friends and spend quality time with quality people… it’s not easy saying goodbye.  Morgan and Joah wanted to know when they’d see Isabelle and Grace again… and I couldn’t answer their question.  It could be years until we see them again… we just don’t know.

I guess it makes us all the more grateful for… and appreciative of… the people we spend time with while travelling.  We really don’t know when (or even if) we’ll see them again.

And that’s a tough pill to swallow.