Ollie and the Water Slide

We recently bought a Groupon for a night at one of the indoor waterparks in Wisconsin (Timber Ridge). We’ve been meaning to check one of these places out as a sort of reward to Evie for doing so well at swim class, and Timber Ridge was sort of the perfect place for us.

I would say it is definitely geared towards a younger audience, which was just perfect. It was small enough that it wasn’t overwhelming, but big enough that we didn’t get bored. Sara and I would split up with the kids quite a bit, and it was never difficult to find each other. You can go to the water park before you check in and after you check out, so one night was really the most we needed to do. Any more than that and maybe we would have gotten bored with it. The room was perfect too, because it had a separate bedroom (so we didn’t have to go to bed when the kids went to bed) and a kitchen (so we could bring all of our food and not eat out the whole time).

Our kids are just not the kind of kids who like to jump in the water and splash. They are both pretty adverse to getting their faces wet. Thanks to swim class Evie has come a long way, but it’s just time to admit that she’s never going to be a water rat like me. So I kind of figured they’d stay in the kiddie area, maybe just sort of sit around. Like I said, they’re pretty calm in the water, and they especially don’t like to be around people who are splashing. Evie mostly just likes the lazy river. (“It’s so much calmer over here,” she confided with a sigh.)

Almost as soon as we stepped in the door Ollie pointed to the big green slide up near the ceiling and said, “I want to go on that.”

(Hard to see, but it’s the one on the right)

On one hand, I was thrilled. There is nothing I love more than a good waterslide, and it didn’t much seem like the kids were ever going to want to go to Noah’s Ark with me. On the other hand, I was a little nervous for him. This is a pretty big slide. Ollie’s such an easy going, shy little guy; neither of the kids are really risk takers. But he insisted, so up we went.

When we got to the top and I could see the first steep hill, I was saying things like, “Now buddy, remember that this might be a little scary, but everything’s okay and daddy will be with you…” I needn’t have worried. “Let’s do that again!” he said as soon as we got to the bottom.

This boy was relentless. Up and down, as fast as he could climb the stairs. Sara and I alternated with him, and we counted that he went 15 times the first day. That’s over 1,000 stairs! And he would have kept going too, even though he was so tired he could hardly walk.

Evie, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with the slide. Even Ollie having such a great time couldn’t convince her. Finally, Sara offered enough of a bribe to convince her (“You can stay up until 7:15 tonight!”) and she gave it a go.

She was shaking pretty bad when she got to the top of the slide but, to her credit, she didn’t say anything about it or try to back out at the last minute. And of course, after the first time she had the time of her life and insisted on going down as many times as Ollie after that. By the end she was even putting her hands up the whole time and asking the guy at the top to give us a push so we could go faster.

I only really have one complaint to level at Timber Ridge and that is there weren’t enough kiddie rafts. Some of the rafts had a seat in the front instead of a second hole, and with so many kids under 6 there, these rafts were worth more than gold. Ollie really couldn’t go down the slide without one, and sometimes we had to wait for a long, long time trying to get one of the few rafts with a seat. And once you did manage to land one you felt pretty bad since everybody kept asking you, “Are you still using that?” It all worked out in the end, but a significant portion of our day was spent in search of one of these rafts (we kept giving them up since so many people were trying to get one).

Anyway, we all had a great time. When we finally got ready to go home the next day, Ollie asked me, “Can we live here?”

I’ll call that a successful trip.