Adventures at Grisly Bear Den

by Jennifer Dyer

 

A few weeks ago, hubby saw a Groupon for Grisly Bear Den. He called me into his office. “We’ve been saving for months to go there. This is a good deal. Should we take it? We can even go on Rachel’s birthday. It’s the perfect gift for her, with the indoor water park.”

Me, being the cheapie in the family, frowned. “But the weekends are so expensive. Maybe we should try for a Sunday-to-Monday trip?”

“The kids will miss school.”

I laughed. “But eldest hasn’t missed a day yet. It’s foolproof. What can go wrong?”

Wednesday before our trip, eldest came down with the flu.

But she rallied. Saturday her fever ended, so we were golden.

We forged ahead to Grisly Bear on Sunday, ready for two days of water park fun.

Two hours into it, I looked at hubby. “Are we there yet?”

“We’re here. In case the water up your nose didn’t clue you in.”

“Are we done yet?”

He shook his head just before a wave drenched him. “We just got here.”

“Oh. Goody.”

I saluted and headed up another six flights of stairs with eldest, carting an inner tube taller than me, so we could be flushed down a giant toilet. “Call a plumber if you don’t see us in 30 minutes,” I yelled to hubby. He didn’t hear me, as he’d just been pulled under the waves in the tsunami pit.

Chasing eldest up endless stairs, my legs turned to concrete. They should have included a 6-week training course to prepare me for the stairs… “Aren’t you still sick?” I asked.

“No, this is fun! Let’s go down suicide pipeline next! And you get to go backward. You’ll get drenched! It’ll be tons of fun.”

“For you.”

She nodded. The child knows a good time when she sees it drenching her mother.

Two hours later, I was on my 50th loop around the indoor river with Rachel. Boys above us had camped out on the bridge, shooting water bombs in our direction every time we passed. The little water guerrillas were impervious to my battle tactics, including a stern mother glare, shaking fists, and pitiful looks.

Waterlogged, I asked Rachel if she wanted to do something tamer, like sleep. No dice.

I was ready to fake a broken leg.

That night, Rachel and I returned to the water park alone while hubby and eldest went on the hotel’s Amazing Quest. Three hours later, hubby and eldest returned. The door opened and the two soldiers crawled in, stretching their arms up for assistance.

I jumped to my feet. “Speak to me! What happened? Was it those little water criminals from earlier? Should I call in the big guns and talk to their mothers?”

Hubby shook his head, falling onto a bed. “No… I can’t feel my legs. Are they still there?”

I settled down. “Yes, they appear to be attached.”

He moaned. “The horror! Up and down flights of stairs, all over the place. Never in the same place longer than a minute. I might not make it to morning.”

“Oh, but we’re spending all day tomorrow in the water again. I had to drag Rachel out of there tonight with the promise we’d return first thing.”

That night, Rachel had a GREAT time. She woke up bright and early…at 4 a.m. and cooed in her nonverbal manner until 6 a.m. Hubby spent the night trying to fix the leaking toilet, and eldest kept telling Rachel to be quiet.

Bleary-eyed, we hit the water park as soon as it opened. Rachel squealed and dove in, face first. The rest of us chugged after her. I mustered a grin for eldest. “You want to be flushed down the toilet again?”

Hubby had a spasm. “I’ve had enough of toilets, thanks.”

Eldest’s face paled. She looked at the endless stairs. “I can’t make it.”

But she was a trooper. We stayed in the tsunami wave pit with Rachel until the chlorine had turned us into bleached prunes. Finally exhausted, we called it a day. At 11 a.m.

We oozed to the car. Dry for the first time, I whipped out my camera, but eldest and hubby ducked. Eldest mumbled from her crouched position. “I can’t smile. My mouth is too tired.”

I gave up and snapped a pic of the car outside the hotel.

We headed Rachel’s fav drive-through to get some lunch on the way home. “Anyone want to go inside to eat?” I asked.

“Are you kidding? Look at me.” And that was hubby…

I gave up. We sang Rachel happy birthday over chicken nuggets in the car.

As we pulled into the driveway, eldest woke up and stretched. “That was so much fun! Can we go back next month?”

I grinned. “Maybe not next month, but sooner than later!”

What is your favorite vacation spot?

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4 thoughts on “Adventures at Grisly Bear Den

  1. What an exciting time for Rachel. Sounds like she is the only survivor. Glad you had a terrific time. Great memories forever.

  2. That cracked me up! Your experience there was a lot like mine. I told my daughter that place is a weight loss camp in disguise! I’m glad you have fun and hope you don’t have to go back TOO soon!

  3. I can’t decide if I’m glad we were a decade too soon or not… but those are memories that are there for the long haul and kudos to y’all for making them. What’s really fun is hearing the kids version of what happened in a decade or so!

  4. Thanks for the great insights and the encouragement! Yes, Fran, I think if I stayed there longer I’d be in great shape. Lol!
    I hope we get to continue making memories!

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