Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kent and his Tough Mudder.

The last official day of vacation- Kent took off down to Kentucky with a team of friends from church and the Air Force to compete in the Tough Mudder.

To say Kent loved the race is an understatement.  Swimming through huge troughs of icy mud, on a slip n slide nicknamed the electric eel (because it's rigged with live electric wires),  and through terribly scary and panic inducing underground water filled narrow tunnels is his kind of event.  The mud sounds awesome- the running would be fun (it's almost 13 miles)- even some of the water looked exciting.  But the live wires and Ice water in already frigid temps?!  count me out.   I would love the race but I really think I might have to pass on the electrocution thing.

Here's Kent getting ready for the underground tunnels.  I could totally handle these. I think.

I'm totally jealous of the mud part!   Kent said some people came out of it missing shoes.  He duct taped his to his ankles.  He's the one dead center with the muddy bum.
And here he goes under the barbed wire.  I would most certainly have ripped my shirt or flesh on those wires.  He's bottom far left.

Pre race.  He's in the very back row.
post race.  pretty stinking muddy.  and the past three days new bruises have been appearing ALL over his body.  

Monday, October 22, 2012

last stop!! enter-TRAIN-ment junction

 this place is CRAZY!!  it's called EnterTRAINment Junction. We got a family pass on groupon (have I mentioned I'm obsessed with groupon?!)- and it was located just a few miles from Great Wolf Lodge (which is only 45 minutes from dayton)- so we added it to our vacation.

I thought we'd spend a couple of hours- but we ended up staying FIVE.

It houses the world's biggest indoor train display.  Everything was really really cool.  Tunnels, bridges, water features, mountains, and everything else you could think of.
You could push buttons and make things go/talk/make sounds, etc.

the little cities were unreal.  SO DETAILED and pretty impressive.

check out the little farmer's market!!

they had a huge kids play area with climbing toys, trains, and all sorts of other fun stuff.
 Trains (especially thomas and friends) were Zeb's first true love. Long before Star Wars and Lightning McQueen.
Metta loved eating the 'coal' in the toy areas.

 she also loved napping.  I can't believe the boys still had energy after spending the first half of the day  swimming.

 The place also had an outdoor hand crank little kid train ride.  I'm impressed the kids kept riding/driving it.  It looked pretty tiring cranking that thing!

the 'thomas' ride was pretty darn fun, too.  Kent and Metta and I could even ride it.  It took us around the outside of the building and through a little pumpkin patch.
For whatever reasons I wasn't supposed to take pictures while it was moving-so I totally cheated to get the above picture.  And snapped this one fast while we were getting off.

for Halloween they actually renamed the place "Jack-o-lantern Junction".  There were fun halloween crafts- and kid friendly haunted house where we did trick or treating.

It was pretty fun- besides the room covered in crazy cockroaches!! totally reminded me of on eof my apartments in russia.  seriously :)

But my favorite part of the entire afternoon was the the "A-maze'in Funhouse".  This place was just that. Amazing.
A fun house with crazy mirros.
It had one of those rooms that is completely crooked . The floor was at a 45 degreeish angle to the real world.  It made my head spin. I can't believe Kent kept a hold of Metta.  I was falling down the room. The boys couldn't even stand up straight. We'd take them to the top of the room and they'd slide down the floor.
 I grabbed on to this bar and lifted my feet up and this is how I ended.  Just suspended there.
 They also had the coolest mirror maze. I've never been in a real one- and it was wild!!  Zeb kind of freaked.  He got way too stressed and just started sobbing. We'd literally kept running straight into mirrors and glass walls. It was nutso.  Zeb though we'd never get out.
then there was this crazy space maze.  We had a few tears in here, too.
Zeb must have just heard some crazy noise here.  I love the scared face.
 the laser room!  really just string that glows.  but the boys loved this room.
It's supposed to be pretty fun at Christmas time, too- so we'll be on the lookout for another groupon :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

the big surprise!!

Again- a gazillion pictures. It's my hobby.

With a kiddo in school full time- vacation planning has changed a little.  Zeb missed Monday while we were in Buffalo- but we came home late that night so he could make it to class on Tuesday.  Then we picked him up from school that day and drove straight to location #2.  It was a total surprise for the little rugrats and they were ECSTATIC when we pulled up.
Awhile back we had some friends who went to Disneyland and when they returned I asked: "how was the happiest place on Earth?".  When Zeb heard me say that- he asked them: "you went to the Great Wolf Lodge?!!?".    This is his happiest place on Earth.  Kent and Ike love it, too.  And while I'd much rather go on some exciting adventure with just Kent- surprising the kiddos with this place was pretty fun, too.

We checked in and changed into our suits immediately.  I love this picture after Ike checked out the map!!  "Look at all these waterslides!!"

we went to the Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky a year and a half ago- but this place was much bigger and better :)
The little kiddie rides made Ike pretty nervous- but when it came time for the crazy huge roller coaster tube rides (where he could double up with Kent)- he LOVED them.  He would squeal and giggle the whole time!

Metta tried to drink the entire waterpark.  I'm surprised she wasn't completely waterlogged.   Thankfully we had gotten most of the screams and terror out at the hotel in Buffalo- so she acclimatized pretty quickly to the water here!
It helped that there was a lot to do- and the place wasn't too full of screaming kids.  We totally lucked out with it not being very busy!

the boys really were in complete heaven.  I am not a water lover so I'm glad that Kent is- and that he'll make us do fun stuff like this!  I really did enjoy the two days.
We took turns with kiddos so that we could go do some of the really fun rides!!  One of us hung out in the lazy river or wave people with the rugrats so the other could try out the "water roller coasters".
Metta LOVED the lazy river.

and we even took her on one of the crazy tube rides. FOUR TIMES.  I couldn't get our own picture- but I found this one online.
People thought we were abusive, I'm sure.  Their faces and even a few comments as we climbed to the very top of the slide tower with Metta were priceless.  It's called the 'family raft ride'- so we took the whole family.

  Plus- it was the only place we could all have lots of crazy fun TOGETHER.  She enjoyed most of it.  The bigger drops and sharp turns made her a little nervous- and at the very end when tons of water splashed over us- she cried each and every time- but other than that she loved it :)

The kiddie pool was pretty dang cool, too.

There are big towers with crazy water features, and buckets to dump, and guns to spray.  Plus the lily pad game.

After our last trip down the family raft ride- Metta almost had a come apart.  Right before she lost it- she crashed. promptly fell asleep.  It was a lot to take in.  I sat with her while the kids played in the kid pool and Kent tried out "the triple twist" and the "hydro plunge".

After a few hours in the park- we headed up to our hotel room and changed into Halloween costumes for the parade, trick or treating,and bed time story!  this place is such a kid heaven.

Our real halloween costumes aren't completely ready yet- so we pulled a bunch out of  the costume bin.  I have a gazillion costumes if you ever need one.
our monster and monkey.
and the cutesy cupcake.
Ike found a giant rat in a cage in the front lobby.  He was disgusted.
There's so much to do (and so much money to spend!!!) at this place.  We just walked all around the arcade/bowling alley/candy shop/toy store and Zeb kept saying: "this stuff all costs a lot of money doesn't it?".  Such a good frugal boy :)  
We did get them donuts for breakfast, though.

Our room was especially cool.  For whatever reason- after a great weekday rate and military discount- we also got a free room upgrade to a 'kid cabin suite'.
The munchkins got their own little cabin with bunkbeds and a tv!!
Our outside view was of King's Island.  Ike could not figure out what the roller coasters were.

and Now Zeb desperately wants to go to King's Island.

Metta has just entered the phase where you can't leave her alone in a room for more than ten seconds.  She's EVERYWHERE!  all over EVERYTHING!!
But she still falls and crashes and gags on things A LOT.  Kent says we should get a cage.

We did two days at the water park- one night at the hotel and I was POOPED!!  the kids could have made it another day I'm sure.
Here's Ike right before we left.  Getting one last look.
I think this whole 'indoor water park' thing is such a midwest tradition! I'm glad we've been able to be a part of it. And I'm sure we'll try to squeeze in just one more visit before we leave.