Thursday, June 3, 2010

Surfari Joe's

We had a very fun Memorial Weekend. On Saturday we drove to DeMotte, Indiana for the wedding of my friend Rachel's little brother. It was fun to be with good friends and share a part in this special day. Rachel's in-laws were kind enough to let us stay at their home for the night. Tyson and Jori LOVED it there. They had goats, chickens, geese and of course, Sparky the dog. Tyson milked a goat and both kids drank goats milk-Jori did it more as a way to keep up with her brother, but Tyson seemed to genuinely like it. We also picked fresh strawberries and enjoyed a big Sunday breakfast before heading out for the beginning of our adventure.

On our way back to Michigan, we stopped at the outlet mall in Michigan City. It was SO hot. Unbearably so. I couldn't believe how many people were out shopping. We didn't really need to be out, so after Darin found a couple shirts, we left. We went to IHOP for lunch and it was nice to not be in a rush. Just after 3, we pulled into Surfari Joe's in Watervliet, Michigan. Our original weekend plans had been to stay in Chicago and go to Lincoln Park Zoo and maybe one of the museums. Then we had decided to go to the Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, but after a lot of thought, we realized that our kids would be most excited to go to a water park and boy were we right!

We hadn't told them where we were going and when we pulled up to this hotel with water slides sticking out the side of it they were just giddy with delight. It was so fun to hear them clap and laugh. Then we went into the hotel and found out why it was called Surfari Joe's. The "Surf" part was obviously the water slides, but the "ari" part was because the owner had been on many hunting safari's in Africa and around the globe and had the mounted heads and even full bodies of so many crazy critters in the lobby. We loved it because we recognized so many of the animals from our time in South Africa, but if you are a big animal lover and anti-hunting, you would probably throw up a little because there were animal heads EVERYWHERE (not in the rooms, thankfully, because I would not have been a fan). I regret that I did not take pictures of the animals, but then again, that is not really my thing.

Here is the kiddie area
Tyson and Jori hugging it out in the lazy riverJori floating away down the river

This place was the perfect size for our kids. We could see them from pretty much wherever we were sitting. There were at least 5 lifeguards around at all times, which was great. Our kids were too short to go on the big water slides by themselves and I felt confident that A: the lifeguard up top wouldn't let them go down the slide and B: if the lifeguard did let them down, it would only be with a life jacket on and another lifeguard would be at the bottom of the slide. There was one slide that you went down with an inner tube and they could both go on that slide if were were in the tube with them.

As you can see from these videos, they both loved being in the lazy river with their floaties on. They looked so funny bobbing around in the water and Darin and I didn't have to be right there holding on to them. It was great.


video video

We had such a fun and relaxing weekend!

4 comments:

retha said...

Good to hear Tyson MRI went so well also the news about the knee.

Such a good idea for a hotel!

Whitney said...

That place looks great! And not too busy. Glad you guys had fun!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a fun place! How funny that they kids got stuck in that little inlet in the lazy river and had to get rescued by the lifeguard- LOL! So glad you had a great weekend! Love you, Tami

Anonymous said...

We LOVED Surfari Joe's as well! My camera wouldn't work inside there so I don't have any great pics. JRJJR