Quote of the Moment

"Beep Industries currently has no openings. This is a good thing. Any number of career paths are better than game development. Lots of jobs are more lucrative and far less work. We hear marketing and animal husbandry are filled with potential."

Friday, March 26, 2010

On Vacation: An FTYD Interlude at The Great Wolf Lodge

Every once in a while, I like to take the FTYD family on a vacation. This year after getting most of our money back from the feds, and getting a decent (if overtaxed) bonus from AUGD we had a choice between two weeks of road tripping, sleeping in a tent and visiting the in-laws in the mid-west, or a long weekend at an air conditioned, in-door waterpark. After a brief debate we chose the waterpark.

I should note at this point that in spite of growing up in Southern California, I had never previously been to a waterpark. Plenty of theme parks, sure, but somehow the waterpark experience has always eluded me. Whether this is because my parents preferred to make our theme park visits in the less crowded (and cheaper) off season, or simply that we avoided them because the only time anyone really wants to go to a waterpark in California is when it's hot, so you spend more time in line working on your sunburn than actually being wet, I couldn't say. But suffice to say this promised to be as new and novel an event for me as it did for my wife and kids.

The waterpark in question is called The Great Wolf Lodge, and is part of a national chain. The Washington location is located roughly two hours drive (or three in traffic) south of Seattle. Conveniently next to nowhere it looms up beside the interstate and shares signage with another fine WannaFleeceASucker tribe's casino. (Shuttles every 15 minutes). Inside the lodge are a variety of shops, restaurants and amusements designed to carefully separate you from your money, usually through the middleman of your begging children and teens.

Fortunately, the FTYD children aren't old enough to see the appeal in interactive games requiring a wand (rented for $14.95 a game) with a personalized topper (bought for $29.95) or burn money in the arcade, decorate cookies ($3 per cookie) or any of the other diversions. They just wanted to get on the waterslides.

Off we went. Once I adapted to the overpowering scent of chlorine and the noise of rushing water, shouting people and bad pop music, and accepted that my glasses were going to be periodically difficult to see through, I rather enjoyed myself. A question though: at what point inthe last 13 years did the string bikini become normal swimmwear for the barely got their learner's permit crew? I think I would have remembered this from the beaches of my teens, and I don't. It's not like I was checking anyone out with FTYD JR in tow, but I was starting to wonder if John Stossil was going to be standing at the top of the ramp asking me to "have a seat right over there."

Oh well, it was a good day. FTYD JR. proved unexpectedly bold on the slides, and hopefully tomorrow we'll get The Girl on more than the tiny kiddy slide.