Wisconsin Dells

This is the post mini-vacation blog. We left for Wisconsin Dells on Thursday despite weather warnings of tornados, storms and high winds. We managed to avoid them…. truly odd for a Baughn family vacation since usually while traveling if there is a tornado we will find it, drive through it and end up with wet undies (side note: never buy one of those cloth car turtles, they are “weather resistant”, but will not keep rain out of your underwear during a downpour with high winds). We made it to our resort which was really nice and really big – it had a main hotel building, a condo building, 2 “golf villa” buildings, an 80,000 sq ft indoor water park, 2 giant outdoor water parks and a river walk along the Wisconsin River. The first thing Dawson noticed was that you could order pizza to your room on the phone and he became obsessed with ordering pizza from that point on.

Friday after breakfast we decided to take on the water park. As we were getting ready I noticed Teagan digging through her silver sequined purse and counting change (every denomination of coin was counted as “one”). Then she pulled out 3 dollar bills, 2 Chuckie Cheese tokens, a coin from Greece and an oversized plastic “silver” dollar from Checkers (the official hamburger of NASCAR) good for 1 free hamburger with the purchase of 1 hamburger. All of a sudden she exclaimed “YES! – Dawson I have enough money to order a pizza from the phone!” Her brother was equally excited and couldn’t wait to call the pizza order in. We managed to get them out the door and headed to the waterpark before they called for pizza.

The indoor water park was really impressive. They had just about everything you could want in a water park: lazy river, basketball pool, waterslides in all shapes and sizes, a “water coaster”, and one of those huge buckets that dumps 500 gallons of water every 15 minutes on all the poor unsuspecting people underneath it. Much to the kids dismay we bought pizza from the snack bar attached to the water park.

We then decided to hit the Dells……. we found the Outlet Mall. That was expensive! Then we went to this total tourist attraction restaurant called “Buffalo Phil’s Grille.” Surprisingly for a tourist attraction they had AWESOME food! They had rotisserie chicken that was the best I’ve ever had and the White Cheddar Chipotle mashed potatoes could be their own food group.

On Saturday we “rode the ducks.” You know those 1942 Army trucks that drive like a car and then you can drive them into right into the water. That was actually really fun – although Teagan didn’t like it because when we went into the lake our driver went fast to make a big splash and she fell out of her seat. Our driver was quite the comedian and made the trip really enjoyable. After the ducks we went to downtown Dells – which was supposed to have great shopping. It was pretty blah……. so we left and went back to the resort and the water park.

Sunday’s drive home consisted mainly of Dawson complaining about wanting to play with his friends and not getting to use the phone to call for pizza and Dave scanning every radio channel in Wisconsin and Illinois to make sure he had the NASCAR race on MRN. I think we found the race on 5 different stations during our trip. The race actually took almost the entire lenght of the 5 1/2 hour trip. (Jimmy Johnson won by the way )

So we all enjoyed the Dells…….. but in all honesty I’m not sure what else is there but the river and the water parks. Everything else is just tourist attractions. The river is really pretty though with a lot of sandstone walls and trees. Oh yeah I almost forgot……..the cheesehead. At the outlet mall Teagan found a cheesehead hat and wanted to buy it because she thought it was hilarious to have a hat shaped like cheese.

I have come up with the top 10 ways to know you are in a tourist trap:

1. You can find at least 10 different places to play miniature golf.

2. You can find at least 10 different places to ride go-karts.

3. There is a “duck boat” attraction (any city that has land, water and tourists has a “duck boat” ride)

4. There is an outlet mall

5. There are multiple places to buy “one of kind (insert city here) fudge”

6. There is a least one “Christmas Year Round” store

7. There is a Dennys, IHOP, Cracker Barrel and Waffle House.

8. There are at least 5 Pancake Houses claiming to be famous for some thing – all cleverly named and decorated to the city’s particular tourist attraction

9. There are ton’s of shops “downtown” that sell nick knacks, t shirts, henna tatoos, dippin’ dots ice cream and salt water taffy.

and the final way to determine if you are

in fact in a tourist trap……..

10. There is a least one “Ripley’s” attraction.

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