Monday, November 16, 2009

What happens in the Dells........a trip report

Another quick trip down to Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness Resort in the Wisconsin Dells. If you haven't figured out by now, I like to play. Be it trips to Disney, riding my bike or heading to the waterpark, I find I'm a much saner, calmer and happier person with frequent doses of playful fun. Luckily my ten your old son is still at an age that he enjoys time spent goofing around with Mom, even if this trip did include him bringing a friend for part of the trip.

The Wilderness resort is a mega complex with three large indoor waterparks, three equally large or larger outdoor ones, not to mention the upscale adults only Sundara Spa complex, a couple of golf courses and another lodge area on the shores of Lake Delton. Obviously, a trip to the Wisconsin Dells in mid-November means sticking to the indoor parks. All three have giant water slides - body slides, tube slides and specialized slides with names like "Fantastic Voyage", "black Hole" or the "Hurricane', there's a large indoor wave pool, lazy river and interactive water fun play areas. Be prepared for lots of stair climbing. Of all the slides, "Black Hole" is my favorite with "Fantastic Voyage" a close second.

Usually I also enjoy their lazy river, but felt like this trip it just wasn't heated to an enjoyable temperature. In fact, I would say the same for the various hot tubs - really should have been hotter. Not sure what the issue was, but hope they solve. I've been to Wilderness on other winter weekends, and hope this isn't a new cost cutting measure - as it would make me question spending my playtime there in the future. While I'm criticizing this otherwise great resort, I'd also suggest making one of the hot tubs adult only or at the very least enforcing those large "No one under 6 allowed in hot tubs" signs. The hot tub picture below was taken on Friday afternoon before the weekend crowds, when the hot tubs were literally shoulder to shoulder (both around edges and in the middle) with people.

Sunday brought a sunny, unseasonably warm day, so while my Mom supervised my son and his friend in the waterpark, hubby and I went for a 7 mile walk around the Wilderness grounds and surrounding area. We hadn't brought the bikes, but still had a little chuckle around this set of signs.

Here's some outdoor shots from the walk. The outdoor parks had sad, lonely feel with their empty pools. The new, but closed Zipline tours were taunting me. I've been dying to try them. In the past when I had opportunities to zip in Hawaii or Mexico or wherever, I weighed more than the max allowed weight. Now that I comfortably make the weight limits, I still wasn't able to go. We'd been to Wilderness last July, the weekend before these zips opened, and now here we were back the weekend after they closed. Sigh. I'll have to get that bit of fun and excitement on another trip (and Hawaii and Mexico zip lines are still on the to-do list!)

Decided we must plan a grown up weekend at Sundara some day (maybe next anniversary?), I'm a spa addict and that looked awfully nice - not to mention based on all the steam rising from the surface of the water, their outdoor pool is very well heated - no cost cutting over there! As golfers (he's avid, I'm a duffer), we enjoyed walking the cart path of one of the courses shut down for the season. Lake Delton looked gorgeous - some of you may remember this as the lake that broke about a year ago, washing away a couple of huge houses. Lake has been fixed and re-filled. Loved this carved tree trunk at one of the lakeside houses

Last few pics are from our unit at Wyndham's Vacation Resort at Glacier Canyon. As I've mentioned before, I own a decent amount of points (all purchased via ebay) in Wyndham's timeshare system - as does my Mom. For this trip we had a three bedroom unit. Very, very nice. Master bedroom with the tub for two, king bed, walk in shower, second bedroom with another king, third with two queens. Nice shared bath for those two rooms. Sleeps 10 (via a hide a bed in living room). We had my son & his friend, my Mom, hubby and I. Kitchen very well equipped with service for 12, plus all the typical small and large appliances. Though honestly we ate out much of the time. Kept the fireplace going in the evening which was a cozy touch. And naturally, one section of the closed zip lines passed right by our balcony - taunting me further!

The Dells are a bit kitchy. Son finally got his trip to a Ripley's Believe it or Not on this trip and was unfortunately more fascinated and interested in reading all the signs and exhibits than I hoped would happen. We found the "resort" my parents had honeymooned at 54 years ago - a bit worse for wear. Have to say, kitchy, touristy or not, for a fun filled weekend, close to home they fit the bill. (Which is a good thing, because in late January we'll be back for one of my son's gymnastics meets - though after 4 trips to Wilderness we will be trying a new resort that trip. Not to mention hoping to get some skiing in at Cascade Mountain).

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