After we spent a day in Milwaukee, mostly searching for last-minute gifts, we headed up to Wisconsin Dells on the 22nd (which just happened to be my birthday), to spend Christmas in a beautiful condo that just happened to be part of an indoor waterpark resort.

Now, for those of you who have never seen one, an indoor waterpark is a slightly smaller version of a real outdoor water park, complete with body slides, raft rides, a wave pool, the big, chaotic water-spraying kid’s area and even a lazy river.  It is located in massive, noisy rooms, and many of the slides actually take you outside as you hurtle downwards, leaving the outside of the building to look like it is being attacked by a giant, colorful squid.  You can feel the temperature drop inside these tubes as you slide through the outdoor part, only to rise once again when it curves back into the building.  The whole place is truly an engineering feat, and I would highly recommend it to anyone, winter or summer. (in the summer you can partake of the outdoor water park as well!)

The condo was big and roomy.  It has the look and feel of a cozy log cabin, with northern, outdoorsy decor to match.  It had 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, several pull-out sofas, a nice-sized kitchen, and a splendid gas fireplace, perfect for sitting front of after a long day of tube slides!  I was quite impressed with it, and wished that our home looked more like this.

We arrived in the early evening, but decided to let the water park wait until the next morning and just enjoy the warmth of the fire and the company of friends and family.  Oh, there might also have been a birthday cake and some singing, but holding true to our usual style of picture taking, there are no pictures of that event.  Thanks, guys! 🙁  (Just kidding, I really don’t need my birthday documented anyway, as I’m now officially closer to 40 than to 30).

Here are some pictures from the first 2 days there:

The first morning, we went to a brunch at the resort.  Our party consisted of us, my mom, Scott’s parents and our friend Heidi with her two children, Vincent and Anastasia.  We were told that Santa Claus was going to be there, but it all turned out to be a cruel lie.  Still, the children weren’t at all broken up about it…they were so happy to see a large layout of non-spicy food that nothing was going to get them down.

In fact, the children were so excited about the buffet that they grabbed the camera to take several pictures of it.  When I later looked at the pictures, I was delighted to find that our obsession with bacon continues…among the pictures of the restaurant, the decorations and wide-angle views of the buffet table, they also had this nice close-up of the tray of bacon.  My God, what have we created??

Following the delicious buffet, we headed straight to the event of the day, the water park.  Following a harrowing ride on a rather scary family tube slide (above), Scott, his mom, and the kids headed off to…

The indoor/outdoor hot tub!  While you can’t really see it there on the left, you should know that this hottub opens out to the single-digit temperatures of the great outdoors.  The kids were running in swimming suits into the snow and then jumping back into the tub.  I believe there was also some dumping of snow onto daddy’s head for entertainment purposes, and the necessary retaliation that followed it.  If you have never had the experience of hot tubbing in the dead of winter, I would highly recommend it as one of the things you need to do before you die.

When we became too water-logged to continue, we headed back to the warmth of the condo, where Addie, her friend Vincent, and the grandmas (and Grandpa too!) got busy preparing appetizers and treats for Christmas Eve.  Here you can see Addie arranging a beautiful tray of salami, while below you can see…

Addie and Grandpa creating delightful spritz cookies that were pretty much all eaten up before Christmas Eve even rolled around.

Meanwhile, Ender cuddled up on the couch with Daddy, and tried to sit for a nice photo shoot of 3 generations of Fluegges, though he’s not looking so well in his totally exhausted state.  (remember, we had only been in the US 3 days at this point, and we’d been going non-stop)

I believe that Ender passed out shortly after this picture was taken, storing up energy (otherwise know, in his case, as Endergy) for the excitement of the next two days.

We also got a nice photo of Scott, myself and our friends Heidi and Paul and their little one, Anastasia, who stayed with us through Christmas Day, making for a very fun time indeed!  (Oh, and just look at my skinny Scotty!)

Join us tomorrow for the continuing Fluegge Vacation Saga:  Day 4:  The Gang’s All Here/Its Snowing (Again!)

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