Mid-January was "CodeMash" (a conference for programmers, although that's probably a pretty lame description, if you ask Jonathan). It's held at the Kalahari Indoor Waterpark Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, which boasts being America's largest indoor waterpark. With an early morning session on the first day, Jonathan left home around 4 a.m. to make the drive which is just short of 3 hours. It had snowed pretty good the day before so we were a little worried but he made it there just fine and had a grand day! That Thursday, after school, the kids and I headed up to join him. Other than taking the turn into the snowy parking lot at nearly 20 miles an hour (the turn surprised me, to say the least!), we also had a good drive up. We were a little disappointed to get down to the waterpark that evening to learn that they had closed at 9 to clean the park before opening it back up to CodeMash folks only from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Not thinking the kids would have done very well being up that late, we decided to skip the waterpark that night and went back to our gigantic suite instead. We had a full-size kitchen (mental note -- take food to cook next year, if you go, so you don't drop a small fortune on eating there!), a living room with a queen size sleeper sofa, 1 room with a king size bed, 1 room with 2 queen size beds, and 2 full baths (1 with a jacuzzi tub). That Friday morning, while Jonathan was back at the conference, was a little interesting. Thinking the few places to eat on site would be expensive (and they were), I decided to take all 6 kids and venture into Sandusky for some breakfast. The kids were already starving when we got to McDonald's, got out, ordered food, and then realized Mommy had left her checkcard back in the hotel room. :( We went back and retrieved the card but then were too hungry and too stressed out to venture out again so we ate there. 2 donuts, 3 orders of pancakes & bacon, 1 pop, 2 chocolate milks, and 2 orange juices cost me $30. Sheesh! After finally eating, we did venture back out to Wal-Mart to pick up the stuff to eat sandwiches in the room for lunch. After some rest, I took the youngest 5 down to "Tree Top Play", a giant 3-story play area where the kids had a blast! Nathan, too tall for the play area, blew through the only $6 I had in cash at the GINORMOUS arcade, only walking away with a tiny plastic robot to show for his efforts. We met Jonathan after his last conference and ventured back out to Cracker Barrel for dinner. Finally, after much patience on the kids' part, we made it down to the waterpark about 8:30 that night. It was sooooo great! None of the things I had feared came true. We didn't loose anyone, it wasn't so crowded that it was uncomfortable, and I didn't feel like I stuck out in a bathing suit. Tons of people there and there weren't many who would have qualified for a beauty pageant, if you get what I'm saying and I'm not trying to be mean. Anyway, we don't have many pictures 'cause I was busy counting heads, following toddlers through the 10-inch deep water playground, and didn't want to chance our big camera getting stolen or wet. Another late night but it was worth it! The kids had so much fun! My favorite memory of the night is Nathan walking up to me yelling "I'm not afraid of heights any more!" after he had ventured down one of the many huge water slides. Saturday morning (after staying the extra night), we packed up the hotel room, had cereal for breakfast, changed into our swimsuits and visited the waterpark for another few hours before heading home. We think Jonathan had a mild case of food poisoning from his fish at Cracker Barrel the night before which was a bummer but he still played with the kiddos in the water. Grabbed some lunch at Fazoli's, stopped at Meijer to replace a windshield wiper blade on the van & grab Jonathan some medicine to help his stomach feel better, and then made the trek home. (I won't say which one of us it was -- we were in both vehicles -- but one of us came home with a speeding ticket -- the first for either of us! And it wasn't for speeding while driving. It was for gunning it to get out of an exit only lane and back onto the highway. Lesson learned!) A good time was had by all and, if possible, we can't wait to go back next year! If you have the money (our suite runs about $250/night but does include passes to the waterpark), the Kalahari is a great place to visit! During the summer, there's a huge outdoor waterpark, an animal encounters village like a mini-zoo, zip lines, and pool. Inside, near the arcade, there's also a paint-your-own pottery place, a mini-golf course, and a few miniature bowling lanes. Totally cool! If you choose a suite, pack some food to save some money! But, if you can afford it, it was a great place to go!
The view into the suite from the kitchen
The bedroom with the king size bed
The other bedroom with 2 queen beds
The gang headed to the waterpark (only to be turned away)
The kids substituted waterpark play time for jucuzzi tub play time