Last week was Spring Break and we decided to head to the Keys for a night...not the Florida Keys but the Gurnee, IL keys. We went to the Key Lime Cove water park for one night with our friends the Lazars. Between our two families we had NINE girls which was a bit of a spectacle at Outback steakhouse. We got a lot of double takes. You could see other diners counting how many we had with us in their heads while staring at the table.
This was all of our first water park experience and the best way to describe it is Vegas for kids. The girls had a blast. The next day Sophia said that she wished we lived at Key Lime Cove. Ceci gets up every morning and says that she needs her bathing suit to go in the water.
We had a babysitter, Michelle, come during the day to help with Katie and Ceci. I made the mistake of not fully briefing her on Katie's deceptive speed and agility. I was checking in while Michelle had Katie and Ceci. All of a sudden I saw the flash of Katie's red polka dotted coverup dashing behind the front desk personnel. I turned around and Michelle hadn't even seen her take off. Turns out she had run through the gift shop into a back door that went down a short hallway to the front desk before I yelped "Katie!" and Michelle noticed she wasn't right next to her. That's my little road runner. When she was corralled and we figured out how she'd gotten back there Ceci looked at her and said "KATIE...go to TIME OUT!" The desk personnel kept saying "this is supposed to be secure".
Ceci was the most popular girl at the kiddie pool. She had three 8 year old girls fighting to play with her and help her up and down the slides. She'd stand at the top of the slide with her arms in the air like the queen of Key Lime Cove and then slide down to the waiting arms of one of her new friends. Ceci was up and down that slide about 1,000 times. She had a smile on her face for 48 hours straight.
Ella and Sophia were brave venturing into the larger pools. Ella spent a lot of time on the lazy river which was such an adventure for her she called it "the crazy river". She corrected us whenever we said lazy river so we all just started calling it the craaaazy river.
Rick and Katie on the crazy river:
We did have a lazy river episode with Ceci. Rick put her in the front seat of the tube which had a seat in place of the hole. He came quickly paddling back and said frantically "the water is brown". I thought someone must have had a pretty explosive accident to have a big brown area of water with all the chemicals circulating in this pool. Then he said "no, look, brown water where Ceci was sitting." He started walking toward a guard to ask what to do with this tan water when I had visions of us closing down the 10 million gallon pool and all being shamed out of the park. So he did the next best thing and dumped the affected water into a plant. Michelle deserved battle pay for washing Ceci in the shower while I bought another $3 swim diaper from the flip flop shop.
Sophia and I went down the big tube slides together on an inner tube and once she got the courage to go down the single slide on her back she was off to the races. She went on everything she was tall enough to go on and loved being one of the big girls.
Here are Sophia and her friend Maggie. What would Spring Break be without braids and beads? Instead of a hut on the beach there was a lady outside the bathroom braiding for $5. The girls were thrilled with their fancy hair accessories.
They also had an arcade that was like the casino for the kids. There were games full of candy which blew the girls' minds. They just stood staring with their mouths wide open at the illuminated mountains of penny candy.
Katie and Ceci jamming out:
The great thing about bringing 2-6yr olds at an arcade is that they think they are really playing all the games when it's just the display so it doesn't cost anything for them to have a blast "playing". We only had to pony up for the candy game for Sophia which made her feel like she hit the ultimate kid jackpot.
Ella entered her coloring page of Gabrielle and Troy from HS Musical into the daily coloring contest and we were all so proud at the end of the day to see that she was a Grand Prize winner. Ella's face lit up when she saw her picture hanging in the hallway. Rick was hoping her big prize might be a flat screen tv or maybe all-expenses-paid trip to Mexico, but the big prize was a lollipop and tattoo that said "girls rule". The tattoo was appropriate since I think we were the only family there without one tattoo among us. At least Ella could now help us fit in a better with the water park crowd.
We all slept in the same room which was fun for Sophia and Ella. Not so much fun for mom and dad. They started in the same bed but that wasn't working so I slept with Sophia and Rick with Ella. I felt like I was sleeping with Bruce Lee. She kept kicking me and trying to somehow climb me and Ella fell out of bed three times. Ceci and Katie were in a living room area with a door and when I went into their room in the morning Ceci was walking around so had somehow climbed out of the crib.
This is the only photo of me. I'm coming down the slide with Ella and Ceci. Not the most flattering but at least it proves that I was there too.
The girls were so exhausted when we left that they were all sound asleep within ten seconds of pulling out of the hotel. Rick and I were actually wishing for a longer drive home to enjoy the peace and quiet.