12 January 2009

Geek's Paradise

This past weekend we went to Husband's End-of-the-Year party given by his employer. In years past they rented the employees a room at a hotel/indoor waterpark in Wisconsin. Over the course of the last few years they decided to move the venue, primarily because the bar in the old hotel was only open till 10:00. They also decided that they were only paying for the brunch, and the employees had to spring for their own rooms.

This year they chose a place much closer to the Chicagoland area which was good because this is what it looked like shortly before we left:

After shoveling off the driveway and making sure the 4-wheel drive was working fine on my car, we headed off to beautiful Gurnee, Illinois to visit the Key Lime Cove Resort. Once we got there it became very clear that the people in charge of this place know what they are doing.

You walk in to the front door and instead of seeing a traditional reception area you see this:

A festive, tropical street to stroll down. The front desk is the area to the left, but everything else is a money making opportunity of some sort for the resort. You can have your picture taken by the nice man with the parrots, only $12 for a 5x7. You could have the airbrush artist create a lovely sign with your family name, all of the letters looking like palm trees, parrots, or other tropically themed items. I didn't bother to check the price on that one. There are 2 gift shops, a candy counter, and I'm not sure what all else. Don't have any cash on you? Not a problem because the wristband you got at the desk has an electronic sensor in it. It's connected to your billing information, so you can just walk over, swipe your hand in front of the machine and you're good to go. Even the vending machines use the wristband system. I'm sure that they're hoping that if you're not using real money you won't realize that you're charging a regular sized Snickers bar to your room for $1.40. They did at least have the common decency to only give the electronic wristbands to Husband and I, and gave Daughter a plain plastic one.

Daughter let us spend about 2.5 minutes in our room before stripping off all non-swimsuit clothing and demanding that we take her to the waterpark.

As far as indoor waterparks go it was fine. There was a lazy river, several tube slides, body slides, and a small wave pool. They also had one of the obligatory play structures that spray cold water from innumerable spouts, hoses, showers and buckets. My favorite spot was the hot tub. No one under 16 allowed without a parent and a maximum capacity of about 35, which they enforced. There were only a few times while I was soaking that I was wishing evil upon a poorly behaved splasher.

Sunday was set aside for the company brunch. I'm pretty sure that whoever planned the event didn't have children, or has children with very odd taste in food. There was sushi, salad, ratatouille, salmon, and chicken covered with mushrooms and unidentifiable vegetables. Daughter filled up on chocolate cake and dinner rolls.

And just what does a room full of computer consultants having a company outing look like?

That would be a bunch of geeks standing around waiting their turn to play Rock Band II on one of the 3 game systems that were the main focus of the luncheon. Let me tell you, there is nothing quite so soothing while you're eating your hotel food as listening to some off-key techie sing about the "Spirit in the Sky." Husband tells me it's even more entertaining when you've had a bottle of beer and 3 kamikazes at the bar the night before.

The event did end on a somewhat sour note for me. It seems that at some point on Sunday my sunglasses were twisted in some horrible way and would now fit on someone with a head the same size and shape as a basketball, but not me. I guess when you take into account the potential for disaster with the snow and traffic, losing one's favorite sunglasses is a small price to pay for an enjoyable weekend.

1 comment:

Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

I was thinking that if a place like that gave each of my kids a magic money wristband my hotel bill would resemble the national debt of a smallish country.