He Said: Today we drove to Arlington. A supposed 2hr drive took over 4 hours. There were 3-4 lanes at all times, the weather was clear, there were no visible accidents or construction, and we still averaged about 50-60km/hr in stop and go traffic. It was ridiculous. If that's normal afternoon traffic I don't know how people live here. Thankfully I handled it with the same calm, cool demeanor I'm known for. Today we're checking in for the factory outlets tomorrow and beginning our slow hotel decline. GWL with it's separate king bedroom and beds for everyone, to this one with it's still separate king bedroom but only one other bed, to Sunday's semi-separate bedroom with queen beds. And special guest - Phil! in town for the Tragically Hip that night. Uneventful day, but a good car game day. Another reason I love the vacation. Ryan's a good age to participate. Gillian's getting too old to join in. Mara's on the fence. Still - Shannon and I have enough fun at it for everyone. This beer is becoming more work than my children. I expected to shove the bottles in a suitcase wrapped in some clothes, but then it arrived in giant cardboard boxes, packed in Styrofoam, with frozen gel-paks and warnings about temperature. Now I feel obligated to try to maintain that until we get home. I'm timing my car breaks, booking rooms with fridges, transferring them every night. I'm about one day away from having Shannon ride in back so the beer can sit up front in premium AC territory. It'll be worth it come BBQ. August 20th! She Said:We spent the morning finishing Ryan's quest and going to the waterpark. It was fun, but I can't see why we would ever come back. I was starting to notice all the not-up-to-Disneyland-standards flaws in maintenance and cleanliness. The stairs going up to the waterslide platforms had many places where paint was pealing and rust, and a definite mould smell. Time to go! Lunch at Jack-in-the-Box. My Mara is so quiet, sometimes we forget she's with us. She hears everything though. Just chooses her moments to contribute carefully. Love her! Ryan got his appliance out right before we left on vacation. The one that stopped him from sucking his fingers. I was worried that the habit would come back. So far so good. When we were at the waterpark I did catch him with his hands in his mouth, but I think it was because it was salt-water and tasted good. We had some chats about it and hopefully he can control himself. Gillian is so independent and mature but also still a kid. A real tween. Ryan and Gillian have been getting along really nicely. Affection and rough-housing. Nice to see. Love them!
Day 09 - Great Wolf Lodge to Arlington
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