Friday, August 10, 2018

Summer in North America 2018 Part 3 - Great Wolf Lodge and Crawford Lake

On one of the weekdays we were in Ontario, we took a small trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara. My SIL and family go there sometime and the kids really loved it. The Niagara location is the only Great Wolf Lodge in Canada. Other locations can be found south of the border in the USA. Located about an hour and a half drive away from downtown Toronto, Great Wolf Lodge's main attractions were a large indoor waterpark and a magic quest area. Apparently it was very popular with the kids there.

That morning, four adults and three kids piled into an SUV and off we went. We arrived at the lodge at around lunch time. The sky was blue, the air was fresh, and the sun was scorching hot. While my SIL were getting our keys from the lobby, we took some pictures at the front. The lodge was bigger than I expected. Our rooms were also larger than I expected, and they had an extra sink in the room which was nice.

As soon as we got to our rooms, we had lunch and headed straight to the waterpark area. There were 16 different activities you can do in the waterpark alone, starting from various waterslides, hot tubs, water jungle gym, to a normal outdoor pool. At the beginning I didn't get in the water because even the heated water was still too cool for me. After a while, I went to the hot tub and the rest of the gang convinced me to go on some of the slides. It was a lot of fun, but well, I still prefer soupy salty water off an island somewhere in the tropics :D

I was impressed with the number of lifeguards on duty on site. I'm not sure if it was required by law to have that many but it sure makes you feel safer. The lifeguards don't only stand and watch but they also constantly walk back and forth.

Miss Kiki brought her batik kimono
For this trip, I had brought my GoPro Hero 5 purchased back in March. We took some by the water pictures and some underwater pictures. Well guess what. After a while, the camera died and wouldn't turn on. When I checked, some water actually went inside the battery compartment! After a little search on Google, it seemed like a lot of people had the same problem. What was worse was that water damage was not covered under the warranty! I was not happy about that especially because I chose Gopro Hero 5 because they advertised that they were waterproof without a case! Fortunately, I was able to dry it well and it worked normally the day after. This reminded me, I should write them a complaint letter anyway...

After we had had enough of the water we went back to our room and relaxed a bit. We actually had a jacuzzi in our room but we never got to use it. Oh well....

In the evening, the kids had early dinner and the three of them went by themselves to do the Magic Quest. I think it's some sort of adventure game with magic wands and the kids go around collecting points. The magic wands are available for purchase or for rent at their store. DH just rented a wand for Miss Kiki because we probably won't be using it again.

The next morning, we had breakfast together and the kids went to do some more quests. Miss Kiki continued to play quests with DH until lunch time while the others went back to the waterpark. I on the other hand opted for a cup of latte at their cafe. It was not a good latte but I'll take what I could.

Breakfast time!

After lunch, we piled back into the SUV and drove back home. All things considered, it was a great trip and I am glad we went.

The following day, grandpa took us to Crawford Lake Conservation Area. This lake is a meromictic lake, which means the deep, middle and top layers of the water don't get mixed. This condition allows for archaeological and geochemical research to be done. The ratio of meromictic lakes is around 1:1000!

A pollen study of the lake lead to the discovery of remains of a village with longhouses thought to have been inhabited by indigenous people from the fifteenth century. These remains were recently reconstructed as a showcase and is open seasonally for public.

By the lake, there was a deck that served as a walking path to go around. We could see many different types of floras. Grandpa said that sometimes a snapping turtle would show itself but we were unlucky that time.

Wild Apple Blossom

Wild Apple Blossom

Maple leaf

Maple leaf

On Grandpa's shoulders you can see the world....


After we've gone around the lake, we walked over to the Longhouses area. There they had replica tools and artifacts on display to show how the Iroquoians used to live centuries ago.

When we got home, Miss Kiki asked me to take her to the playground so the two of us went. She had a lot of fun playing and showing me what she was able to do. I was thinking how it had been a very long time since the last time I was at a playground with her. She had become a lot more agile and a lot stronger than she used to be. :) I think the playground trip puts her in a good mood because she happily modelled while I snapped pictures with my phone.

That evening after sunset (at that time of the year sunset was around 9 pm) we woke Miss Kiki up to go for a walk to see fireflies. We have been lucky to be able to do this because we were sure Miss Kiki could go back to sleep without a fuss afterwards. There weren't that many fireflies around, but it was still pretty exciting for her because it was her first time seeing them. Too bad taking pictures of them was not that easy, and videos taken with a phone didn't show anything.

Anyhow that was the end of our day and we retired for the evening.... Stay tuned for the next post!