Sunday, April 21, 2019

Spring Break - Great Wolf Lodge - Day 1 (House Update)

So a little update on the house...on February 20th we finally got frosted glass in our bathroom window. It was SO nice to not have a blanket hanging from my bathroom window anymore. Plus it was nice to have natural light in there again. 

When I last left off with my update we were trying to figure out what we were going to do in regards to having to vacate our house for 5-7 days while they worked on the sheer wall. I had this great idea to wait until Spring Break to have the work done. My reasons for this would so irritating to have to drive the kids to school every day and also have to deal with all our weekly obligations while staying at a hotel or Airbnb. Plus the closest hotel or Airbnb weren't all that close in regards to the kids' school. So Michael talked with the contractors and they weren't that thrilled with having to wait 3 more months to get to work (they are just as anxious to be finished with this job as we are), but they totally understood our dilemma with having 4 kids at hotel for so long. 

I contacted our insurance company and talked with our Claims Adjustor. He hasn't been the most helpful or timely in regards to getting back to us, but it's worked out in the end. When I talked to him I explained the situation and how we wanted to wait until Spring Break. I also decided to go out on a limb and ask for something that no one thought I would be able to pull off. I told him that if we waited until Spring Break to have the work done we would end up staying with my parents for a few days...thus saving the insurance company money for a hotel and the cost of our food if....he would be okay with us staying at Great Wolf Lodge for 3 of nights. Instead of paying for 5 - 7 night at a hotel and food for all that time this would actually end up saving the insurance company money. Before you think I'm trying to scam them I did say that we would pay the waterpark portion of the price. Surprisingly he was fine with it. After that I called GWL to find out how much of the cost was actually the waterpark fee. The customer service person I talked to actually put me on hold and asked her manager and came back saying they don't have a price because it's just included. I felt like the insurance company might say no at that point. 

A few days later I was at Kim's house telling her all about this and she said that I should probably book the room myself instead of waiting for the insurance company to do it especially since we were wanting to stay during spring break. GWL just happened to have a Groupon going on so I book a standard room for us for 3 nights and it came to $1,343.00. I was hoping that the insurance company would reimburse me. but if not I could cancel and get my money back. 

I called the claims adjuster and explained how they don't separate the cost of the waterpark, but if they wanted to they could come up with a price and we'd pay that portion. He asked me how much the hotel stay was and I told him and without hesitation he said that was no problem...they would cover the full all our food while we were there! What a totally blessing! 

I don't want to come off sounding conceited, but this whole house thing has been going on for over a year now and yes it's been a blessing beyond measure and we are so thankful that God has provided for us!!! It's just that it has also been a pain in the keister and we've been living in a construction zone for months and months so it really felt amazing that we were getting to go away and have a fun adventure as a family.

The funny thing is the work hadn't been done earlier in the year is because our insurance company hadn't paid the contractors for the work they'd done and they weren't going to do anymore work until they got paid. We figured that pushing it out to spring break would be a huge stretch since they were wanting to get the work done, but in the end they got paid right before spring break so it would have worked out this way all along. See our mortgage ended up getting sold to another company and then dealing with the insurance company making out the check to our old mortgage company and the contractors not getting the mortgage company copies of their license it just took weeks and weeks longer than it really should have to get the contractors their money!!! Seriously ridiculous!!! 

On Sunday, April 7th the kids and I headed down to Ga-Ga & Pa's. Michael had to work on Monday so he stayed at the house...he could shower at work if needed so it was okay for him to not have hot water. The kids had almost unlimited access to electronics and I got to sit on the couch with Mom watching show after show about Planet Earth all the while blogging...hence all the recent blog posts. It was absolutely amazing to be away from the house, away from all the responsibilities and just get to relax! 

Early Tuesday morning Michael came down and around lunch time we headed out for our family adventure. Our first stop was lunch at Chic-Fil-A. I absolutely LOVE their app. I order everything on the app and then when we get to the restaurant I type in our table number and they bring our food out. 

The first time we ate here as a family Zeke ate all 3 chicken strips. I was amazed...since he is not a very good eater at all. So chicken strips were his chose for lunch again and again he ate them all. 

The first time we went to Chic-Fil-A I asked Jack what he wanted and he said a cheeseburger...then I said's then he said okay a hamburger. Dude...CHICKEN! Needless to say he wasn't impressed with his chicken sandwich. This time I told him he would love the chicken strips so I got hime those. Well....he didn't! He does like the waffle chips though. 

Owen shared chicken nuggets with Daddy and Ella and he also got waffle chips and LOVED those. 

Sweet Ella girl ended up throwing up earlier that morning and I was so worried our whole trip was going to be a bust. Since Michael was at home for 2 nights while we were at Ga-Ga & Pa's, Ella and I shared a bed. On the second night she was coughing a bit and I could heard her sucking down snot. When she puked it looked like snot and I was hoping it was just a one time thing. I told her to take it easy in regards to eating lunch, but once she started eating she felt SO much better! 

Just eat more chicken Jack!!!! 

This guy loves him some chicken! :) 

We have arrived!!! 

Michael took the kids to the restroom while I checked us in. Unfortunately our room wasn't quite ready yet. The nice thing was we didn't have to go stand in line again when our room was ready they would just text me with our room number and we had our wrist bands that opened the door to our room so that was really nice! 

To pass the time we went to Magiquest and bought a game....Micah and Kim let us borrow their wand. The last 2 times we've been here we've done Magiquest, but this time we tried Shadow Quest. 

It was fun, but honestly I think they put more thought into Magiquest. What I really didn't like was the fact that they used certain items over and over. So it felt like you were going to the same items just in a different order. Next time we will for sure do Magiquest again. 

It did take us to a different area in the lodge that we hadn't gone to before...the big great room! 

It wasn't too long and they texted that our room was ready. About a month or so before our trip I did contact GWL and requested the our room be as close to the elevators & stairwell preferably on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th floors. The reason being is because that's where the Quest games are played and I wanted the kids to be close and not have to walk all the way from the other side of the hotel. When we were here last August we were in room 4004 which was really close to the elevator and stairwell and I was worried that the noise would be too much, but it really wasn't at all. 

This time we had room 5009 which was also really close thankfully! When I bought the Groupon I thought I was getting the same type of room as the one we had in August...2 queens and a pull-out couch. That's what we saw when we first walked in and right off the bat Owen was saying he was NOT going to sleep on the sofa! 

Then we saw the fireplace!!! Such nice added touch....also check out the view. We could see the outside climbing course which was pretty cool! Then Owen said....there's another room over here! I saw this open door and I thought it was an accident that the maid had left the connecting door open to the next room. 

But no! It was another room! A king size bedroom & bathroom just for Michael and I! 

Game changer people! It was so nice to have our own space. We could stay up later than the kids and watch shows other than Teen Titans Go or Liv & Maddie! 

Michael relaxing on our bed prior to going to the water park. 

Master bathroom! 

We went to the water park for a couple hours and then we were ready for dinner. Normally if we were paying for our food we would bring a bunch of food or go over to Burger Claim since it's cheaper. Since the insurance company was paying for our food it was nice to get to enjoy eating out as a family at the lodge. Our first night we ate at the buffet. Our kids have never been to a buffet...ever! It's just not worth it when it comes to the price...our kids don't eat enough and they are picky eaters! But it was fun for them to experience it. 

Owen stuck to what he knows...chicken nuggets, Mac 'n Cheese, crackers & cheese chunks. 

Jackson is usually my adventurous eater...he had pizza, spaghetti and I think chicken nuggets. 

Zeke Man had pizza, a couple chucks of cheese and some crackers...which he didn't like because they didn't have salt on them. 

Ella had pizza, mini tacos, ravioli and crackers. 

They did go back for seconds on some things and then they also got ice cream for dessert! 

I had prawns, mashed potatoes and yummy! I normally love asparagus, but these were chilled instead of hot and I'd rather have them hot.

Michael actually gets his money worth at a buffet. He tries everything! 

Our bill came to $115!!! It's just crazy to me how expensive it is for a family of 6 to do anything. We are always so conscience of how much money we spend we've never spent this kind of money for our family to eat out! I just charged everything to our room. In the end we spent $600 for 4 days which came to $25 per person per day...not bad really when you look at it that way. Once the trip was over I sent the receipts to the insurance company and we will be getting a reimbursement check soon hopefully! 

After dinner Ella wanted Daddy to snuggle with her and the boys and I played the Ultimate Monopoly! 

The fireplace was so nice and the kids wanted it on all the time. It had a timer so it would stay on for up to an hour and then shut off. 

For the most part the kids would just go over and start it again and again. I really enjoyed reading my book by the fire! 

Ella bean was exhausted and ended up falling asleep before the any of us!!! 
It was a good first day!