Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Wisconsin Dells…

The long summer days were starting to drag on all of us. The kids had enjoyed their vacation for the first month or so and then the “I’m bored” syndrome caught up. I took them to the park, they played with the kids in the neighborhood and we went to the pool. But somehow, the long days still dragged on. We decided it was time for a short family vacation. We wondered what would be a fun place for the kids and a place that we could enjoy too. Almost together we said, “Dells, of course”.

Wisconsin Dells, is in the southern part of the state of Wisconsin and is about a 3-hour drive from where we live. It is the perfect place for a short vacation full of fun and is great anytime of the year. It is known for its innumerable water parks, indoor and outdoor. The indoor water parks are fabulous for the winter, when the cold gets unbearable and we just want a break from it. The outdoor ones are of course great fun in the summer. There are various hotels and resorts situated very close to the famous water parks. Most of the resorts have their own indoor and outdoor water parks too. *The price for a family suite, consisting of two rooms, a kitchenette and a bathroom runs roughly up to about $200 a night in the peak season. It is much less in the other months. The peak season is usually the months of June, July and August. Single rooms and rooms at hotels (not resorts) do not cost as much. From the huge number of resorts, we chose to stay at the Atlantis water park hotel, located in downtown dells, about a block away from Noah’s Ark (supposed to be the largest water park in America).

We started after lunch on a Sunday. The weekdays are better as the crowds at the water parks are less and the hotel prices too are less compared to that of the weekends. We drove the 160 miles (approximately) with one break in between. It was a beautiful drive by the cornfields.

We checked into the hotel and of course, the kids wanted to do something immediately. So, after a snack, we went down to the indoor water park at the hotel itself. It had a couple of water slides and some fun stuff for younger kids. We enjoyed the pool adjacent to it. After a relaxing hour and a half at the pool, we showered and went out for dinner at a Mexican restaurant, a few blocks away from the hotel. It was a nice place and the food was fantastic. We got back from there and went straight to bed, because the next day we were going to visit Noah’s Ark. The kids were very excited about it and could hardly stop whispering about all the rides they would go on well into the night.

The next morning, right after breakfast, we set off for the water park. It was a hot day and we walked the block to the water park. As soon as we went in, one of the first rides we went on was the ‘sting ray’. After that, of course it was one dizzy ride after another. I begged out of some rides, because frankly, they terrify me. I did most of the rides, though. ‘The point of no return’ was one ride I refused to go on. The ride consists of climbing up many steps (I don’t know the exact number) and then you just slide down. Sounds simple enough. But it is such a steep fall, that at one point you feel like you’re flying in the air….no thank you, not for me. Hubby and older son went on this one…twice!!Well, better them, than me. We had some yummy nachos and cheese and lots of junk food for lunch and relaxed in the wave pool. All in all, we had such a splash that the kids didn’t want to go back even after going on almost all the rides multiple times. We got back to the hotel about 8.00 pm. We’d been at the park since 9.00 am when the park opens! We had dinner at a pizza place opposite to our hotel and just crashed into bed. The kids declared it was the “funnest, bestest day in their whole life”…

Wisconsin Dells is known for its water parks, but there is so much more to it than just that. The first time we went there in the summer of 2004, we went on the famous “Wisconsin Ducks.”These vehicles go on road like a regular truck but can also go on water. It was quite a fun experience.

This time we decided to try something different and booked a jet boat ride over the upper Dells of the Wisconsin River. We arrived at the designated area after breakfast and after a short wait, got into the jet boat. These jet boats are famous for their speed and their 360 degree turns and sudden stops. The captain of our boat was a friendly guy, who knew his boat and handled her with an ease that comes with years of expertise. He gave us an awesome and informative tour of the Upper Dells.

The Dells of the Wisconsin River was formed approximately 15,000 years ago when a glacier burst and unleashed a powerful torrent of water that surged through and created unusual sandstone rock formations. It is believed that the Dells were formed within a matter of days or weeks. Such was the powerful flood that coursed through! It was awesome looking at the wonderful art that nature had carved out.

We went around Blackhawk Island named after the famous Indian chief, Blackhawk. The unusual rock formations have names like “Black hawks nose” and “chimney rock” etc.
Needless to say, more than the history of the place, it was the speed and turns of the jet boat that thrilled the kids. Of course, we were all soaking wet halfway into the ride.

Back on land, we got into our van and drove into downtown Dells for some lunch. I remembered an Indian restaurant that we had eaten at the last time we were there. Being the last day of our vacation, I was craving some good Indian food. So we tried to find this place. But ah the tragedy, it was closed. I was so disappointed. Well, we had pizza again(!) and some really yummy jalapeno poppers. I stopped sulking after the poppers arrived and I was quite satiated. After lunch we ducked into one of the many Fudge shops that Wisconsin is famous for and bought a whole load of chocolate fudge, caramel and chocolate dipped strawberries..mmmmm…

The kids wanted to see the “Ripley’s believe it or not museum” and so we made that the last stop before we headed home. The museum itself is quite small but held several unusual and interesting pieces. By the time we got out, we were tired and wanted to get back home. The ride back was peaceful and we once again drove by many cornfields with the tender ears of corn glinting in the late afternoon sun.

*Prices may vary from what I have mentioned. The prices I have stated are only a result of my research while looking for affordable, good quality accommodation.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I've been tagged!
by RK

When I first saw his comment on my blog saying I was tagged, I wondered what I was supposed to do, but then, I followed his direction and learnt that this "tagging" isn't so bad after all...its actually a lot of fun. So, here goes..

I’m thinking about:
What to make for dinner:))

I said:
Everything that happens is for the best

I want to:
taste the benne masale dose at CTR, that
RK raves about

I wish:
I could write better

I hear:
only what I want to

I wonder:
what life was like in the 50’s and 60’s

I regret:

I am:
a good mom(or so they say).Also I'm very modest:))

I dance:
When I’m happy

I sing:
All the time

I cry:
When I watch sad scenes in movies and also when I’m extremely happy..

I’m not always:
busy..I take time out for the good things in life-family and friends

I make with my hands:
The best matar-paneer in the world(my family says) and my own Ganesha for Ganesh pooja

I write:
what I feel

I confuse:
everyone, but mostly myself

I need:
Love and friendship

And finally:
I am thankful for all that God has given me…especially my family and good friends (including my blogger buddies)

I tag
Couch Potato,
Kartik and