Day 11 - Seaside to Cannon Beach to Grand Mound

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Submitted by brad on Wed, 07/20/2011 - 01:38
He said: We decided neither one of us wanted a long drive today, so we settled on Great Wolf lodge for the next couple nights. In the morning we had breakfast at the hotel courtesy of Shannon, then drove to Cannon Beach to see Haystack rock, another iconic Goonies image. It was a very nice town. No easy access to the beach, and very windy, but definitely worth it. It had little tidepools, basically a rock or two just covered in starfish and oysters with barnacles on them. They made this constant clicking sound, too. And the rock is covered in birds. Some seagulls, but some huge pelicans. They were like terydactyls. It was definitely a different environment. Gillian and Calvin had fun for sure. Mara was having fun with me, jumping in the ocean, but then she got cold and cranky. We managed to walk back to the car, and it was on to Grand Mound, arriving about 4.

Great Wolf reminds me alot of Disneyland's Grand Californian. I think Disney paid some serious "homage" to this place.They give you hospital-style wristbands that have a chip built in which acts as your room key, payment key,facebook key, etc. Once attached they stay on for the trip apparently, and there's a $40 fee for lost ones. Great Wolf Lodge, for the uninitiated, is a family hotel. A giant waterpark with story time,crafts,lodge walks, and MagicQuest. Magic quest works a little something like this: You buy a wand for $10 (or if you love your kids, $20. If you really love your kids, you send another $20-$40 for the custom wand topper). Then you buy an adventure (or, if you really lover your kids, the adventure plus expansion pack plus costume). Then you get a riddle book and spend the rest of your days riding elevators from the first through the fifth floors, pointing the wand at pictures and chests to make them blink beep blorp and glow. It's a neat concept, actually. Structured, the kids have to get runes in order, there's screens and chests that magically open, it's cool. A bit painful for the parents, I think.

We had supper at restaurant number 1, then hit the water park. I think it was Calvin, myself, Mara, while Gillian and Ryan went questing. Mara had a lot of fun. There was a storytime in the lobby. There's a teen dance/cheerleader convention here. We had joked about it a bit at dinner. Then, when we went to the elevator to our room, a group of girls came out and Gillian said, loud enough for them to hear, "Hey Calvin there are the girls you'll be getting to know later".  They heard, they laughed, Calvin turned red. It was pretty awful/hilarious, depending on your stance.

There a little audio animatronic show in the lobby followed by a bed time story, which we did tonight. Don't think we will tomorrow. Oh, and Shannon got to do laundry all day! Hopefully the next place has a stove so she can feel even more at home.

She said: Cannon Beach was so cool.  Would have been neat to be there at high tide and see the waves crashing on the rocks.  I missed that at Newport and now I've missed it at Seaside too.  I read this thing the other day about how moms are invisible - I believe it. Anyway - I'm glad that we got to see the barnacles and muscles and starfish on the rocks.  The volunteer lady there said that the clicking noise was the barnacles circulating water around to stay hydrated until the tide comes back in.  Some 6 yr old got in trouble for peeling off a starfish - I was happy it wasn't my 6 yr old.  And then I saw my 6 yr old ab out to try the same thing.  I wonder what the place would look like if there was no "authority" there to keep people in check.  I got some cool pics of Calvin frolicking in the waves.  Mara and Ryan made the trip a little noisier than I would have liked but Ryan and I had fun singing Wheels on the Bus all the way back to the car.  Funny how quickly he returned to moaning and complaining the second there was a pause in the song.  

The Quest at Great Wolf was cool.  Even Ryan got into it.  You can point at all the animatronic creatures and make them move and howl and the kids get tons of excercise questing.  It's just so obviously a money sucking place.  I wish they were more subtle.  Maybe charge $100 more per night and make everything else included.  To charge and upsell etc. is so ..... I don't know  - gross.  It made me want to barf.  There was a store at the outlet mall in Tulalip that sold American Girl Dolls of all different types and you could buy different outfits and accessories and even mini versions of the dolls and ew - even kid size outfits so that your girly girl daughter can dress just like her doll.  barf barf barf.  And yes, I did 3 loads of laundry and got mad at the desk clerk when she told me that the soap machine was out of stock and that nobody was planning on doing anythign about it except wait for the supplier to send more.  The staff were mostly overweight teenagers who had to wear uniforms that didn't hide anything.  I guess I shouldn't complain so much.  I'm honestly happy that everyone is having fun.  I'll try and stick to that.