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First weekender of 2008- we got soaked. It was awesome!

January 7, 2008

On more or less the spur of the moment, we decided to take the boys on a weekend trip somewhere before Ian had to go back to school. Dawn actually was supposed to have all of last week off, but they neglected to mention that to her until Monday or Tuesday of that week, and then tried to throw her co-worker under the bus by saying “well, we told her to tell you”. Okay, whatever. Hopefully, Dawn will be able to pick up another week of vacation at some point during the year to make up for the little FUBAR.

Anyway, we considered either Chicago or Indianapolis, since it was just for the weekend, and since I always make Dawn go to St. Louis. Personally, I think she’s to the point where she basically despises St. Louis- she went to school there, and basically had her fill of it then. Myself, I adore St. Louis and can’t go often enough. But that’s me. So I we decided on Indianapolis. I consider Chicago more of a warm weather destination, simply because I know what their winters can be like. Not that it can’t get snowy and icy and all Arctic-y in Indianapolis… plus, this past weekend having some of the warmest temperatures ever for the first week of January really kinda pooped on that whole theory. But anyway, “we” chose Indianapolis- specifically, the Caribbean Cove Indoor Water Park.

We first went there during Ian’s spring break last year and it was a huge success. The water park (yes, it is indoors) is built on the back of a Holiday Inn Express on the far north side of the Circle City. I’d basically describe it as kind of an indoor, scaled-down Knight’s Action Park. It’s got a foot-deep kiddie pool area (“Kastaway Kidz Island”) that has a “shipwrecked pirate ship” that the kids can climb on and slide down off of, and there are valves they can turn to adjust jets of water that shoot out every whichaway. The silver tuna in the kiddie pool sits atop the ship: a big ol’ bucket that fills up with and then proceeds to dump about 700 gallons (according to the website) of water on the kids roughly every 7 minutes or so. It’s kinda cool. A bell starts ringing when it’s getting close to dumptime and kids come running from everywhere to get doused.

There is a “regular” pool called “Boom Bay” that, if I remember right, is 4 feet deep at the deepest point (which is the middle) and has three basketball goals in the pool that appear to be 10 feet high. But considering I’m only 5’4″, six feet high looks 10 feet high to me, so I’m not the best judge. There are also a floating turtle and crocodile that are tethered to the bottom of the pool, that kids can sit on… and subsequently knock each other off of.

Then there is a lazy river; lazy rivers are pretty self-explanatory. However, overlooking this particular lazy river is the stairway up to the top of three 40-foot-high water slides that actually take you outside and around the corner of the building before bringing you back inside and dumping you into the “Plunge Pool”. There are two body slides, completely enclosed (and more or less pitch black inside, especially at night or if the sun is not brightly streaming in the windows). One slide is 267 feet long and one is 292 feet long. There is also a 388-foot-long tube slide that also takes you outside and back in, but it is open until a couple yards before you go outside. All three slides are quicker than shit through a goose, as the phrase goes.

There’s also an arcade where you can earn tickets from almost all of the video games and Skee-Ball lanes- tickets you can redeem for stuffed animals, lava lamps, and other assorted crap. (Springfield residents- think Aladdin’s Castle.) We came home with a disco light, a “Magic 8-ball” type of toy, a stuffed squid for Adam, and two little motorcycles. That was thanks to roughly 2200 tickets.

Other features are two hot tubs, two different snack courts which serve Noble Roman’s pizza (not great, but edible- beats Chuck E. Cheese!), hot dogs, nachos, things like that, PLUS they serve beer and margaritas, presumably to allow Mom & Dad to make it through the stay without going insane. There are two regular restaurants: one, the Indy Sports Grille- obviously a sports bar- and the Cafe St. Paul, which serves buffet-style breakfasts and dinners. The breakfasts are awesome- Sunday, they had an omelet station. EX-quisite!! Incidentally, our waitress both mornings for breakfast was this gorgeous little Mexican hottie named Teresa- she had this flirting thing going on with both Ian and Adam, really. (Honestly, I’m not sure what was worse- the fact that she was flirting with my seven- and two-year-old sons or the fact that I was jealous of them.)

But I digress.

The hotel itself is basically your average HIE; it’s got a regular plain old boring pool in the Holidome, and yet another hot tub, plus pool tables, soccer-on-a-stick (foosball) tables, a ping-pong table, and a big-ass TV on which they show a different kid’s movie every night. This weekend’s selections were “Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch” and “Antz”, in case you’re wondering. The rooms are quite adequate and, again, like your prototype HIE.

Also, they have lots of activities for kids throughout the course of every day- coloring contests, karaoke contests, dance contests, games you can “rent” and take back to your room to play. Your kids shouldn’t be bored. And one of the better things is that you have to be a registered guest to partake in anything and everything- Joe Blow can’t just come in off the highway. Though you will still get riff-raff, it’s considerably less riff-raff than you get during the average trip to Knight’s Action Park, for example.

However, with all good comes bad.

The water park pools are grossly overloaded with chlorine- my eyes are still burning- but I’m actually appreciative of that, considering the standard unknown… substances… you will inevitably encounter in a public pool. In fact, the kiddie pool (with the big bucket) got shut down for an unscheduled necessity. Ever see the movie “Caddyshack”? Remember the pool scene, where all the caddies got to swim in Bushwood’s pool, and someone eventually threw a Baby Ruth bar in the pool and pandemonium ensued? Well, this wasn’t a Baby Ruth. And it was a sinker, not a floater. Please don’t make me spell it out. Plus, as with all public pools, you will see things you’d really rather not: 13-year-old boys in desperate need of foundation garments (there was one kid I saw that had bigger boobs than Dawn), white bathing suits (I think white bathing suits should be outlawed), and people wearing suits that don’t exactly… how do I say it… flatter their bodies? And more {inappropriate} tattoos and piercings than you can count. My personal favorite was the girl who looked like she was maybe 14 that had a rather large tramp stamp that contained the words “cum whore”. Granted, you had to really look for it to see it, but considering she was directly ahead of me on the stairs going up to the water slides, it couldn’t really help but grab (and keep) my attention. Actually, the artwork was rather inspiring, but jeez.

All in all, as with the first time we went, we all had a good time, and we’ll undoubtedly go back again. I heartily recommend it for anyone who has kids. (My biggest suggestion- take advantage of the fact that the place sells beer and margaritas.) But it’s nice to be back home again, where my kids can argue and fight in the comfort of their own home again. I hate to say this, but I’m pretty much ready for Ian to go back to school tomorrow. I love him dearly, of course, but he’s worn me out the last two and a half weeks. I only had a week before I had both kids home all day every day- that’s a shock to the system! Not to mention the fact that it out a big ol’ fly in the ointment of building a routine for my SAHD-ness.

Aw, hell- who am I kidding- 20 minutes after I put him on the bus in the morning, I’ll be missing him.


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