Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Surprises, chocolate and wolves.

On Monday we packed up the truck and headed out to Niagara for a wine function...

 ... at least that's what D thought.

You see D's birthday was the other week and we had a couple of surprises up our sleeves.

Our first stop was actually for a private tour of Chocolate FX located in St. David's, in the heart of Niagara-On-The-Lake! It's pretty fabulous there. The production area is glassed in so visitors can see the whole process and take in the scrummy chocolately scent.

Don't even try to tell me that working in a chocolate factory isn't fun. Just look at this gal!

Afterwards we headed to the showroom for chocolate samples and candy!

Next stop? Look for a cheap motel so dad can get ready for his wine thing...

Or maybe mum and dad lied, there is no wine function, and we're really going to spend the night at Great Wolf Lodge! Woo hoo!

D has wanted to go here for ages but #1 it's pricey, #2 we have a dog and chickens that need tending so we never skip out of town #3 we live 4 hours from the place. Thankfully my mum drove up to take care of things while we were able to save a few pennies for this giant birthday surprise for D.

We checked in and headed to the water park which was fantastic and tons of fun. You don't have to worry about towels, and believe it or not, the lighting is such that not a soul looks pale and ghostly. The down side? The change rooms are pretty lame and we had to pay $20 for a locker for our clothes! $10 is refunded if you return the key before the area closes, but $10 for a locker seems pretty damned steep to me.

It was 5ish when our tummies began to grumble and we decided to get changed and see if our room was ready. We were supposed to be messaged, but we had to go to the front desk to find out our room number. And here's where I get a little ranty...

If I'm paying $250 for a room, for one night, I expect a certain level of quality. The room was clean but... well... look at this....

The kid themed area of the room was terrible. It was badly scratched and looked frightful. I'm sure that they would not allow this type of damage in the lobby... why would they allow it in a child's sleeping area? I'd rather see a plain clean wall than this mess....

... apparently, so would D who chose to sleep on the couch instead. (Note: The couch was a pull out.)

The bed was comfy (though I'm pretty sure it was a double, not the Queen size stated) and I was tempted to swipe some of the lovely pillows but the walls were pretty thin. I'm sure the family above us were tap dancing on roller skates, kids were running up and down the halls, and being located directly beside the stairwell we could hear the 'clunk clunk' of the door every time someone opened and closed the doors. No worries, being a family hotel all that slowed down around midnight. What did not stop was the heating/air conditioner going on and off and waking each one of us several times throughout the night. I'm not sure if it was faulty or what, but it didn't matter what setting we put it on, it was like having a hair dryer go off beside the bed every hour.

And just to rub a little salt in our sleepy wounds...

DECAF?!?! What the hell!

Thank heavens we brought our own food and small store of chocolate and candy to ease the disappointment :P


  1. What a glorious surprise for D! :0)
    Y'all are the BEST parents! :0)
    A shame that the lodge wasn't in better shape - it seems that there just isn't the pride in ownership like there used to be.... But I'm sure D will remember it all as being FAB! :0)
    Happy Belated Birthday wishes! ♥

  2. What a fabulous birthday surprise you managed to pull off!! I'm sure your son will have many fond and happy memories and the things that bugged mum & dad won't really matter to him when he's looking back.

    But I hear you -- for that amount of $$$ for one night you expect the Taj Mahal of hotels. It is child themed and that means making sure everything is up to child standards.

    A letter to the lodge probably wouldn't go amiss...they can't know about these things if they aren't told (and who knows what little perk might come from that!! hee!).

  3. There should be a LAW against decaf coffee in hotels! ;)

  4. Despite the disappointments, what a wonderful trip! It will be a forever fun memory!

  5. What an awesome surprise! I bet he was completely shocked when there was no wine event. :)

    You two are seriously sneakily fabulous parents and I'm sure D won't even remember the less than great parts of the lodge. Even so, maybe drop them a letter or an email and let them know about the room and that Decaf is totally mean!

  6. Super parents indeed. Great surprise....I should imagine that the memory will be one of the time spent together not the negatives. It's just such a shame that folks don't do what should be just done out of repect for a customer. But you guys rocked it for D.
    Oma Linda