Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky has a Great Clock Tower in their lobby that “comes to life” a couple times in the morning and again in the evening. It’s a whole lot of fun for kids. Unless animatronic animals and talking trees creep them out in which case it’s a nightmare. We skipped the evening edition and corresponding story time and caught the show in the daylight hours when it seemed a little less frightening for the six year old among us. We were eating at the Gitchigoomie Grill in the lodge during all the hullabaloo anyway. We didn’t so much want to eat there as had to. It was as far as our tired bodies would go after a day of swimming.

Our expectations were low as the internet told us the food at the waterpark wasn’t so hot. But the internet was wrong. The food was delicious! I wish I’d taken a picture of my meal because it was as beautiful as it tasted. This was why I didn’t think of photographing it until it was mostly in my belly. It was really just mac and cheese, but done up real fancy. There were three kinds of cheese! I’d never even heard of two of them. There was also broccoli and red peppers and a Parmesan crust. Also white truffle sauce. I don’t even know what that is. But it tasted good. And the service was fast and friendly and kind to our kids, which is the way to my heart, if you hadn’t noticed.

After dessert at Bear Paws Sweets and Eats, we hit the arcade. Lucy, the self-declared “best jumper ever,” followed her bliss to a virtual jump rope game and I learned that my legs can’t hold me up as long as that kid can jump.

Lucy and the jumping game

She may be part kangaroo.

Julia invested herself in a giant claw game which seemed like a big waste until she picked up THREE stuffed animals in one try.

Julia and her prizes

I’m proud to report that she assigned one to each of her sisters immediately and without coercion.

The next day, we ate a chaotic, but yummy breakfast at Lumber Jack’s Cook Shanty and did more of the splish splash thing in the water area. But somewhere between all of that, I met this man.


His name is Scott. He and his family were visiting the lodge, too. We saw them quite a few times during our stay, but it was on Sunday that he played his Native American flute for us. The kids were enthralled for about three minutes, which is really saying something when you consider all that was around to distract them. And once they did get distracted, I trailed after them. While I was gone, Scott pulled something from a bag hanging around his neck and handed it to my mom who was still sitting with Phoebe.

“This is to keep her strong,” he’d told her.

It was an arrowhead.

I was certain to find my way back to him before we left to thank him for the gift he gave the girls. But it wasn’t for the girls. It was for one girl. For Phoebe. He said, “In my culture, we believe it’s important to give of ourselves. It’s important to give to children. They hold the future in their hands. Your daughter’s spirit is strong. She is a warrior and she will do great things.”

Smiley girl

I started to cry, so I looked down and started rummaging through my bag to find the hiding place behind my camera. “I have this blog,” I said as I adjusted the settings. “It’s no big deal, I mean, no one really takes it seriously I don’t think, but it means a lot to me. I’d really love to post your picture and maybe a video?” So he played for us one more time.

And we went home a bit stronger – all of us.