Thursday, December 29, 2016

Great Wolf Lodge is Not for Kids Over the Age of 12?

Great Wolf Lodge Day!!

At $500 a night, one would expect to be near a beach in Miami or a ski chalet in Aspen or perhaps a suite in Nantucket.  One would not expect  a random December day in Fitchburg.  But here we were in Fitchburg at Great Wolf Lodge.  A paradise for children of "all ages" featuring arcades, water parks, activities and restaurants.  Here is our review.

DLG and I arrive first and walk in to the front entrance.  We are met by a warm fire and frowning faces at check in.  The line must have been 40 people long and with kids running to and fro, no one seemed too thrilled.  Let me check to see where your Mom is, I told DLG, believing that she would take care of everything for us. 

Unfortunately, that would not be the case since C and G walked in and were startled by all of the little kids running around in painted faces.  G's memory of the place coming here with his buddies was probably much different since he did not come to this place during Christmas break.  But really, there are a lot of little kids running around.  We decide to get Mom involved with us.

At least it wasn't snowing.
And even she can't get anywhere as Mom finds out that our room is "almost ready" but there would be no guarantees.  Looking to avoid the lobby with the screaming kids (not ours at least) we decided to get something to eat and then head over to the arcade...

TWO hours later...the kids have spent all of the money that we gave them for the arcade games and Mom and I have two drinks in us - drowsiness starts to set in.  The kids have decided to pull their tickets together to get a mini basketball hoop, a bouncy ball and some cheap candy.  Sounds good to me.  Incidentally, C barely contributes to this endeavor since he spent most of his money on a claw game trying to win a watch that was probably made of plastic.  At least we were sitting near a pizza place that served beer on draft while they searched for the prizes.

The boys start roaming around after another 15 minutes and I decide to follow them.  We go to the other part of the lodge where there is bowling, mini golf and some other activities - none of which seemed geared toward kids older than toddler age.  The bowling alley was about half the size and the mini golf was similar to those derelict courses attached to Howard Johnsons. There was a mini rock climbing wall and a couple of rides.  Dave and Busters this was not.  Six Flags this was not.

"G, are you sure that this is the place you came with your buddies?" I wonder.  We get a laugh at the mini bowling especially, since it looked like it was geared for toddlers, just without the rails.  Maybe the water park will save us.  G seems incredulous that this is not kicking ass as much as it did before.  C seems somewhat disinterested by anything other than the Dunkin Donuts that was located on site (He must have gone there 4 times in 24 hours).

We get inside and C decides that he does not want to go on the water rides today.  It was tough to tear him away from his phone long enough to ask him if he wanted to go, although he was not causing any chaos either.  G, on the other hand, seemed content going with Mom's friends' kids who met up with us and led them around the water park. Once DLG put her bathing suit on, I could not find her as she zipped around the two room complex; she seemed fine with all of the rides and slides.  Mom tried some of the slides, I was just too cool.

We end up eating in the room after a couple of hours at the water park.  Although they seemed disinterested during the day, C and G at least looked tired (or maybe my eyes were blurry because I was tired, who knows.).  While I did not actually poll anyone, here are our ratings:

C:  5/10
G:  6/10
DLG: 7.5/10
Mom 5.5/10
JMR 4/10

Maybe I'm the kid that this park is not meant for?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Chris Sale Effect

The Chris Sale Effect. 

It starts as jubilation that the Red Sox obtained one of the best pitchers in the American League.  The pitcher who has finished in the top 6 in Cy Young voting every year since 2012.  The jubilation that the Red Sox now have three stoppers who can compete with the likes of the Cleveland Indians and the Texas Rangers.  That was my initial reaction when I found out about the trade.  "We're going to the World Series in 207!" I thought to myself.

The Chris Sale Effect.

Chris Sale is BONKERS!
That overjoy was then overtaken by a general "meh"  He was barely the best pitcher on an underachieving Chicago White Sox Team in 2016.  Jose Quintana had a lower ERA and their WHIPs and SOs we virtually the same last year.  While he pitched the most innings he had ever pitched in one season, he still only managed to lead the league in complete games and batters hit by pitch.  Further, he has never pitched in a big game in his life, much less Game 7 of a playoff series.  And I've never been high on lefthanders.  Putting Jon Lester aside, righthanders are the pitchers who have the most success at Fenway Park.  Pedro, Clemens, Schilling, Porcello, Beckett and Lowe all had one thing in common.  Except for Lester, I can't think of any southpaw who has had success with the Red Sox since the days of Bruce Hurst.  And don't bring up David Price...

The Chris Sale Effect

Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech could be huge losses for the Sox.  We would have liked a power hitting infielder and power righty.  And while they both had warts - Moncada can't hit a curveball and might be stupid - Kopech is really stupid - they could both become superstars.  While I have not heard of the other two guys who were traded, the first two guys could be huge losses...Yuge!

The Chris Sale Effect

Then there is the batsh*t crazy player himself.  All the apologists were telling us he was just shooting his way out of the Southside.  I didn't believe it.  I think he is an attention-seeking diva.  The cut up jerseys, the tirades about kids in locker rooms, the hatred for throwback uniforms, the outbursts against Gatorade cans.  This guy is as loony as the day is long.  And Boston media-types are going to have a field day with this guy.  The happiest guy might be David Price who while he makes $30 million a year can finally say "now they'll stop bothering me"

And then there are the boys.  C wanted to talk more about Mitch Moreland and G was just pissed that we were losing Moncada.

The Chris Sale Effect, indeed.