Last Friday, the Cranky Daddy and I picked up the Cranky children early from school, and told them that they had doctor’s appointments. Curious about the Cranky Daddy’s presence, he just said he was along for the ride. Shockingly, there were no further questions. We began our trek heading out the Massachusetts Turnpike, Cranky Son #2 moaning and groaning all the way about missing recess, and not wanting to go to the doctor. Going to the doctor usually takes about 40 minutes, but we drove and drove and drove, crossing state lines to Connecticut (where we stopped and had lunch an hour and a half later) and then into New York. They were completely oblivious. At one point, Cranky Son #1 asked if we were going to be late, and I told them I was trying my best to get where we’re going on time.
The kids finally surmised that we weren’t going to the doctor’s after all, and we told them we were on an adventure. Aren’t adventures fun? But we wouldn’t tell them our true destination. While in New York, we stopped at a rest area that smelled strongly of horse manure. After we used the facilities, we told the kids this was our destination all along, that a guide-book said this was the nicest rest area in New York State. “Well, whaddaya think, guys?” we asked. They were horrified, and thought we had gone mad. We pointed out that they had restroom facilities, a picnic area complete with benches, and places to bar-b-que. “Isn’t this great? I hear that when the weather is warm, it’s a popular venue for weddings!” Then we discussed turning around and heading home – there would be a lot of traffic. The Cranky children were not amused, especially since they missed recess four hours earlier, and endured a long car ride in order to smell horse poo. I then told them that we might be able to hit the historic rest area on the way home – the one with pay toilets that still cost five cents! Grousing, but all the while reading through the new Star Wars books we bought, we crossed into Pennsylvania (another gigantic sign that nobody saw). Cranky Daddy and I spent the whole time giggling at how thick they were being. We actually drove right by our destination: The Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos, and they didn’t see THAT enormous sign. We decided that “since we were about 1/3 of the way home, that we should eat before we made the final leg of our trip”. We ate at the Friendly’s that we’ve been to before on previous trips to the Poconos. When we turned into the Great Wolf Lodge, the high-pitched screaming began, and they were re-energized enough to spend 90 minutes or so in the water park. Surprise mission accomplished!