Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Discovering the Dells

Friday, July 8, 2011
We drive 325 miles today to get to the Wisconsin Dells, and find the Meadowbrook Resort, where we will stay for the next two nights.  The indoor water park turns out to be an elaborate kiddie pool, and they have our pre-paid package all mixed up, but we end up having tickets for more attraction options than we expected when granddad finally gets everything all straightened out (while Andrew and I get out of his hair by touring the grounds and getting in a few rounds of tetherball, and Andrew uses his own money for a car race arcade game).

When we all sit down together to try to decide which of the many choices in our package to do this afternoon, Andrew doesn’t really want to do anything.  He finally admits he has an upset stomach.  We puzzle over the cause, and are a bit worried until we find the large size box of Hot Tamales candy we bought him yesterday night is sitting empty in the back of the car, meaning he consumed roughly 120 hot tamales today.  Lesson to us:  supervision of candy consumption is necessary with an almost ten year old who has clearly inherited Dick’s sweet tooth gene.
We decide his stomach can handle a ride in an army surplus duck built in 1942.  Since we end up being the last to board, Dick and I sit in the very back of the duck, while Andrew rides up front with David, our very entertaining guide, who introduces Andrew as his co-pilot.  We ride through the woods where we get a preview of the zip line course we will do when we stop here on our way back to Indiana after our camp experience in Minnesota, then we plunge into a man-made lake, followed by a natural stream with tall sandstone bluffs and islands sculpted smooth by eons of flowing water.  We all agree that this ride is a great start to our time in the Dells, and Andrew’s stomach is fully recovered by the end of the ride (maybe even by the beginning of the ride).
Granddad finds the perfect spot for dinner---Buffalo Phil’s, an over the top Disney version of a wild west saloon where a model train delivers dinner in one dining room, and our upstairs table has great views of a stuffed buffalo and a mountain goat, and lots of heads of other western animals.  We can look down on the antler chandeliers lighting the floor below.
Conveniently located next door to the restaurant is Knucklehead’s, an amusement emporium where Andrew could spend hours if it wasn’t already getting very late.  There is a black light bowling alley, an inflatable play area, a huge arcade area, and, best of all, go-karts.  Andrew drives a go-kart for the first time and declares it “Definitely worth $7!”  There was a loud crash when he was on a portion of the track that was out of sight—we declare his emergence unscathed “Definitely priceless!”
By the time we get back to our room, we are pretty tired from our long day, although Andrew still has enough energy to propose a swim in the pool before bed.  Granddad nixes the idea, and Andrew retires to his very cool in-room bunkhouse, where he is asleep in no time.

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