Great Wolf Lodge

A few weeks ago, after looking into room rates last week for the various indoor waterpark resorts in Sandusky, we decided on Great Wolf Lodge.  From what I hear, it is apparently a bit smaller than Kalahari, but then again, the rates were too, and the toddler seemed very happy there.  If you have the flexibility of going on a weekday during a time when the rest of the world is in school, then it seems like you can get a pretty good rate and avoid dealing with a crowd.

We headed out there last Wednesday night and stayed in a room with two queen beds for $149.  That included our admission to the waterpark on both Wednesday and Thursday.  Since the toddler can only handle being in the water for an hour or so at a time before he begins to get cold/tired/hungry, we got there around 4pm, just in time for check-in, played for an hour and a half, cleaned up and grabbed dinner down the road at Chili’s.   We were happy that there were so many family-friendly restaurants within a mile’s drive of the hotel.  We were able to go otu for dinner, then come back and swim for another hour before heading to the lobby for the nightly storytime and an ice cream cone.  Then it was time for bath and bed. 

The next morning, we had time to get in another hour at the waterpark before the 11am check-out.   For us, this worked out well.  For others, who might want to spend more than an hour at a time at the indoor waterpark, you can actually arrive when it opens on your check-in day and stay until it closes on your check-out day.   There are lockers you can rent and changing rooms.   The admission to the waterpark area is included in the room rate, in our case, it would have included 4 admissions had we had 4 people with us.

There were plenty of kids of varying ages up to tweens running around having fun.   I’d definitely recommend it, and we’re planning to return next year when the toddler is tall enough to ride more of the “big kid” slides that he missed out on this year.

Until next time,



Out of Town

I’ve been out of town so haven’t been writing, but we’re having a great time.   I’m very relieved that the toddler finally likes the beach…so much that we’re having a hard time doing anything BUT go to the beach and play in the ocean now!   The best things about being away right now:

  • spending time with the toddler and hubby
  • not worrying about work
  • not worrying about the economy
  • not worrying about the election
  • feeling as though my blood pressure is lower
  • working on my tan

In the meantime, it’s fall in Cleveland.    Help me out with some ideas while I’m away.  What are your favorite fall activities for families in the Cleveland area?

Until next time,


Great condo for kids on Maui

I am actually in the process of looking for a condo to stay at on Hawaii’s Big Island and have truly discovered how useful User Generated reviews are when it comes to travel.  Honestly, user generated reviews are a huge influencer for me when it comes to purchasing just about anything online.

For that reason, I decided I should share the following info on the condo we had when we stayed in Maui back in January.


Hale Ono Loa Unit 109

Hale Ono Loa Unit 109

We stayed at the Hale Ono Loa in Honokowai. It is two buildings down from where a friend of ours lived, in the Kaleialoha. The particular condo we had, Unit 109, was fantastic. It is one of only 5 units in the entire complex that is ground floor and oceanfront. The yard for the other 4 units is all connected, but this particular one
benefits from having a “front yard” that is practically to itself, so we didn’t need to worry about the toddler bothering anyone when he ran around outside. It was perfect. We were able to sit outside and eat our meals or have drinks and watch for humpback whales, sea turtles, sunsets and rainbows. We had the same view from a huge picture window inside the living room area of our condo, and the inside of the condo was even nicer than it looks in the pictures! Plus, the location was great, a quick walk to the playground, Bad Ass Coffee and the Farmer’s Market.

So, if you’re looking for a cute little place in Maui that’s oceanfront, this is it!  Now, does anyone have recommendations for me for condos on the Big Island?

Until next time,


Choosing Increased Vacation Time Over Increased Pay

Do you suffer from vacation deprivation?    I’d come across some interesting articles back in June, did you know that the United States is the only industrialized country not to mandate paid vacation?

According to this study by the Travel Industry Association:

  • An annual vacation can cut a person’s risk of heart attack by 50%
  • Blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of epinephrine – a stress hormone – decline on holidays of only one or two days.
  • Women who take more vacations are more satisfied with their marriages.
  • Homemakers who vacation only once every six years or less have almost twice the risk of developing myocardial infarction or coronary death than do homemakers who take two or more vacations a year.
  • Burnout decreases significantly during two-week vacations
  • Overwork costs employers about $150 billion a year in stress-related absences.

And the list goes on.

Expedia’s study showed that one third of Americans do not take all of their vacation time owed to them.    Considering I carried over 3 weeks of vacation last year, this doesn’t surprise me.   We get caught up in big projects or the hustle and bustle of our everyday work.    And vacation planning takes time, often time we don’t have.  Prior to this year, the last vacation my husband and I took that did not involve visiting a family member was three years ago.   We are more than making up for it this year, having spent nearly 3 weeks in Hawaii and a week in Hilton Head with other vacation plans in the works.    Now that we’ve been going on vacation more, and now that we have an almost-two-year-old, I’m appreciating my days off.    Before, we used to take a day or two here and there to work on home improvement projects or to catch up on sleep, so vacation time didn’t matter as much.   Now, I’d willingly take a pay cut for additional weeks of vacation.

How about you?   What’s the right amount of vacation time to have in a year?

Until next time,

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