Monday, April 28, 2014

Kalahari!

For Spring Break last month we went to Kalahari, a huge indoor water park and theme park that's about four hours away in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. This was our second time going there--we went two years ago for Spring Break also, but for a shorter amount of time. It's such a fun place! We are definitely fans of water parks and theme parks!

John was so excited when we got there. He was even super nice to Sam. 
(If only that had lasted beyond the first day of the trip!)

Kalahari is actually a very large desert in southern Africa, so everything in the resort has an African-styled safari kind of theme. Some day I want to go on a real safari to Africa, but for now, I'll settle for Kalahari and for other awesome Africa-like places like Animal Kingdom in Orlando (where we're going later this year!).

The main lobby:



Sam and a bronze warthog (Pumba!).

The kids with Kenya the elephant. 
 
I love hanging stringed lights like these at one of the restaurants that we ate at a few times.

At another restaurant for dinner. Note Peter's huge book on the left side of the table. He carted that thing around everywhere! (Thanks Brandon Sanderson.)


 We had a lot of fun at the waterpark. I really admire John, who is fearless and will go down any slide that he can. It's nice that he's old enough now and a strong enough swimmer that he can go off on his own for awhile and we don't have to worry about it. And Sam was a whole different kid this time around. I was so, so impressed (and surprised!) that he went down the "big kid" slides because he is much more cautious than John is. I thought for sure that he'd just stick to the little kid area of the waterpark, but he ended up loving the big kid slides and the huge water fort. He even went down a raft ride with us (one of the big tube slides) and he loved it and wanted to go again and again. That's our boy! I was really so proud of both the kids. They are so much fun! 

This is the baby/toddler/little kid section of the waterpark. It's really nice and calm and fun for the little ones. When we came here when Sam was two, he spent pretty much all of his time here. He played here again this time, but we spent much less time here than I thought we would because as I mentioned already, he was ready to move on to the area of the park for the bigger kids (sniff, sniff). 



I would do a cute "Then and Now" photo comparison of Sam at the top of this very slide and of him playing with these musical turtles and floating down the little kids' lazy river when he was two and now four, but I don't have the time, so you can look at the post I did two years ago to compare if you'd like.

And here's the "big kid fort," as we called it. Sam was very cautious here at first, but he soon warmed up and then he couldn't get enough of it. He went down these slides again and again (and again!). It was great that he and John could do it together. It's really fun as they grow older and can do more of the same things.


This spewing totem pole was cool.



Sam started with the smaller covered slides. Success!

Next he moved on to the much longer green and yellow ones that you can see in the pictures above. I was nervous about him doing those, but he was just fine. I guess he's older than I sometimes think he is (sniff, sniff again).

This was his first time going down the green slide. He did a little slide/flip as he came down as you can see in the picture on the right, which I thought for sure would freak him out, but he was fine and ran right up through the fort to get in line again.

And then he conquered the yellow snake slide.

This is the only picture I was able to get of John and Sam going down the slides together. 
It's blurry and Sam is turned around but it's good enough for documentation purposes. :-)

These slides were a piece of cake for John and he went down much bigger ones that he's now tall enough to go down (which I don't have any pictures of because most of them are enclosed). 

Examining pruny fingers.

John enjoyed shooting hoops in the pool while Peter and Sam did some swimming.
I usually avoid pools because I wear contacts and don't want to get my head wet. My favorite kind of pool is a hot tub--and Kalahari has some great ones! We also had fun in the wave pool (I have no problem going in that one!) and floating down Kalahari's long lazy river.

After such busy, fun days, Sam would unwind at bedtime with a video and snack in bed and a roaring fire.


What a life!

In my next post I'll write about the theme park and some of the other fun things we did!

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