Tag Archives: Vacation

Great Wolf Lodge…Pretty Great For Sure

We went way over the bridge this week and took a quick getaway to the brand new Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg.  Prior to the onslaught of some heavy duty advertising recently, you may not have heard of the Great Wolf Lodges, but I’d been hoping to get to one of their other locations for quite some time now for a short family vacation.  Last year I was psyched to hear that they were planning on building a lodge here in Massachusetts!

So, they opened in June and we booked during a promo offer back in March.  It did not disappoint.  The boys were psyched and even my husband made it through the 24 hours of Triple F (forced family fun….for those of you not in the know) unscathed….and happy.  We packed a cooler.

Because it is new…it is spotless.  They definitely pay attention to detail and they definitely cater to family fun.  From the wolf ears that they hand out upon check-in (that families oddly wear during their entire stay…ummm, but not us because we can’t pull off that type of crap off) to the “Have a Wolftastic Day” greeting that they offer even before you can drink a cup of morning coffee, to the door openers who never fail to beat you to the punch and are unbelievably eager to welcome you in and out of every single space with unwavering enthusiasm.  A vacation destination built for kids this is.  Cheesy sure.  But, a good cheesy, if this is the type of vacation that you went ahead and booked for your kids.  I, personally, wouldn’t have had it any other way.  Little Finn feel in love with Violet the Wolf and while Thatcher tried to be too cool for story and song time, I caught him singing along and doing the Wolf Lodge Howl with the best of them!

Our family suite overlooked the main lodge welcome area…which was odd and yet cool all at the same time.  The wrist bands that they give you upon check-in also serve as your room key….which, as a none-purse-carrying type of girl, I LOVED.  You could also just scan your wristband anywhere throughout the lodge and your purchases would simply get charged to your room. Bonus…albeit dangerous I suppose.  For the record…they don’t put those in the kids’ wristbands….that would be silly.

They have six pretty awesome water slides.  Four for kids 42″ and taller and two for anyone over 48″.  One is the the type where they put you in a little booth, count down from 5, and drop the floor out beneath you to propel you straight down into the unknown.  Crazy!  I, for the record, sat that one out. Fortunately, I can blame Finn as he was just a bit too short and someone “had” to stay with him.  My husband and Thatcher braved it eagerly….and loved it.

The lodge also has two water playgrounds, a pretty rad wave pool, a hot tub, a small lazy river, water basketball, an excellent ropes course high up in the air, some little mall-type rides, mini golf, a Magi Quest interactive game to be played throughout your stay, a 6D little movie theater ride, a super fun arcade (and I don’t normally love arcades so that’s saying something), a restaurant, a cafe, a Dunkin’ Donuts, an ice cream joint, a little day spa for the girls, and more!

Pretty cool too is that, while check-in is @ 4:00, they allow you to use the water park beginning at 1:00.  Even more cool is that, while check out is 11:00 a.m., they allow you to use the water park all the way up to closing (9:00 p.m.) that day.  They have lockers and showers so that once you put your luggage in the car you can still enjoy some fun, shower, change, and get ready for the ride home.  That being the case, if you live close enough, one night is a good enough stay.  More than two nights, in my humble opinion, would be too long.

Good, clean, family fun less than two hours from Cape Ann.  I’m guessing that come the long and abyssmal winter months this place will be jammin’!

See the Great Wolf Lodge

 

Enjoying Cape Cod

Continuing my vacation… Visiting a friend on Cape Cod!

Lovely beach!

The prettiest house on this beach, in my opinion, is this one:

There’s nothing like the feeling of the waves tickling your toes!

A perfect beach day!

Cape Cod is a lovely place to visit! But I’m still glad I live on “the other cape”…  When I get back to Gloucester I am going to have to do a beach walk and get some nice photos!

- Matthew Green

Enjoying vacation in New York State

I’m sorry to have missed the  Gloucester Street Bazaar, but I’m off having a grand old time with family in New York State.  This is part 1 of a 2-part vacation, so I won’t be back with new Gloucester photos for a few days.  In the meantime, here is a taste of a Hutchings’ (my mother’s side of the family) get-together!

Beautiful landscapes:

Family photos:

My father and I

My cool cousin Kevin and I

Going over vintage family photos:

My grandma with her cat

And of course I’m doing origami, but I already posted some of those photos… and more will be showing up soon!

- Matthew Green

 

 

GloucesterCast Podcast 4/25/13 With Guest Kim Smith

GloucesterCast Podcast Taped 4/25/13 With Host Joey Ciaramitaro and Guest Kim Smith

Click to listen- With Host Joey C and Guest Father Matthew Green

Topics Include:

Spring, Planting, Mayor’s Poll On Good Harbor Beach Footbridge, Kim’s Black Swallowtail Butterfly Movie, Community Milkweed Planting Project, Kim’s Prius, Paul Morrison and Coyotes, Duckworth’s Bistrot, Craig Kimberley’s Bikini Speedo Dodgeball Premiere at The farm Bar and Grille, Feeling Like Your Live On Vacation In Gloucester

Luminous French architecture

 

Several people have recently mentioned how much they enjoy my photos from Paris. Here are a few more!

Gothic architecture often gets a bad rap as being dark and gloomy. It can be dark and gloomy at night, but during the day it can be gloriously illuminated by the sunlight streaming through the high stained glass windows. Here are some photos I took in the church of St. Eustache in Paris last October which help illustrate that fact.  It was built after the Gothic period properly speaking (as the Corinthian columns attest), but still follows the overall style.

 

 

Although the nooks and crannies can still be dark by our standards, the progress made in building technology at that point in history allowed Gothic buildings to make better use of natural light in large buildings than had been done in centuries.

- Fr. Matthew Green

Can we get this at the McDonald’s on Maplewood?

Wouldn’t it be nice if the local McDonald’s sold locally made Italian pastries? Something like this:

Yes, that’s a pastry counter at a McDonalds! More specifically, in the “McCafé” part of a McDonald’s in the Les Halles shopping center in Paris:

Lots of neat stores, but nowhere near as beautiful as the older architecture.  Here’s a McDonald’s sign in a more traditional setting in Paris, the Rue de Rivoli:

As you can see, I’m still working my way through the photos of my vacation last October…

- Fr. Matthew Green

One of life’s great mysteries. ..

Inevitably every vacation no matter where the destination this scene plays out-

We set up on the beach, tip the guy to bring the umbrella and table set-up and settle in for a tough day.  We walk to the most remote location early on not wishing to be on top of other folks.

And inevitably, like every single vacation t here will be some couple or family that despite having the entire beach and s ton of empty chairs decides to set themselves up 3 or 4 feet away.

It’s mindblowing.  The Mrs just looks at me with that “Really”? look.  An entire beach empty, at 3:45PM.  Not like the whole beach was crowded all day long and everyone else left but us and them so that’s how it turned out that way. We were basically alone on an island and they decided to get all up in our space.

Must be Midwesterners that don’t get beach ettiquette, no?
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Fish Folding, and Candles in St. Sulpice in Paris

Hope to see you today for fish folding at The Hive! (Buoy painting is going on at Art Haven, so we’re keeping the paper and the paint separate.)  The origami tree is practically ready! David, Mary Ann, and I added more layers last night to get it to a good height. We’d go further but we ran out of the right kind of paper…

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So, now it’s fish time! Although we’re recommending the “twist fish” by Gay Merrill Gross because it’s quick and easy, any origami fish folded from one uncut piece of paper will be accepted.

I am working little by little through my photos from vacation in France… This one is appropriate for today, Dec. 8, on which Catholics celebrate a Marian feast day, the Immaculate Conception.

A beautiful church!

- Fr. Matthew Green

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