Sorry for my absence lately. I have had Olympic Fever! A terrible thing, that Olympic Fever. I hear it has been going around. Things to watch for…trouble sleeping (staying up much too late to see the gold medal round), screaming fits (Come on! Come on!), hallucinations (Wow! I think I could do that!).

Back to the blog.

Our next adventure was to Williamsburg, VA. No, we didn’t see historical things there. (We did that a couple of years ago.) In fact, we did something very different. Nana and Bud took us to The Great Wolf Lodge!

Nana and Bud got us all checked in and ready for fun!

We each got little ID bracelets, sorry no picture. The bracelets were our passes into the water park AND our hotel keys! Very cool!

The girls played checkers in the lobby while we waited.

Let me say something about the rest of the pictures. First of all, we were just using a small pocket camera, something that could be shoved under a towel really fast if needed. Second, the rides were a blur of splashy fun! Not the best for photography. Third, we were having too much fun to bother with picture-taking. Sometimes you have to do that on vacation! Last…WE WERE IN SWIMSUITS!

Ok, we weren’t in swimsuits here. This was after our fabulous breakfast buffet! The waitress even gave the girls wolf ears to wear!

After letting our food settle for a little while, it was off to the main attraction!

See that big bucket on the top that says “Great Wolf Lodge”? Every so often, once it was full, that thing would dump GALLONS  of water down on whatever crazy kids (or poor mother) was standing under it! Squeals of delight/terror were unmistakable.

The wave pool was great. It wasn’t too terribly deep. This picture was taken while waiting for the waves to get going.

Megan tested out the surfing. It was harder than it looked. You had to wait a really long time for your turn, so she only tried this a couple of times.

Here is Katie enjoying some fountain stomping!

The pictures from the lazy river, the lily pads, and the slides were not really pictures for the world to see–especially the lily pad pictures!

I’m begging you to go to the website to see this place! It was great!

Katie loved the slides that you just sit down and swoosh into the water. Megan loved the bigger ones. You had to use a raft for those.

Chip and Bud rode the Howlin’ Tornado. I had no plans to ride that thing! Then my big mouth went and got in the way!

Bud showed up on day 2 in street clothes. I was giving him a hard time for not playing with us again. I told him I was planning to ride the tornado with him.


I couldn’t back out! He went and suited up. Chip, Bud, MEGAN and I rode the tornado!

Now, I am not really a thrill-seeker. I do good on the lazy river-type things. You know, float around observing.

This was the BIG ride! My heart was pounding! (That might have been from climbing the 88+ stairs to get to the ride!)

Chip said my face looked something like this…

Megan screamed the whole way! That girl has got some lungs! Nana and Katie, who were waiting at the end of the ride, heard the screams and just laughed and laughed!

Once we got past the major drop I did okay! The swooshing back and forth was fun. I’m telling you, check out the website.

Here is our victorious exit from the tornado. My arms are in the air. I am trying to remember if that was a double fist pump or a hallelujah!

There are 11 different Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark Resorts. I saw that Woman’s Day magazine is giving away a trip to the resort. Their offer ends 8/15/12. Hurry, maybe you’ll win a trip!

Chickpeas? Really? We have a recipe that uses chickpeas that everyone likes.(I guess I’ll have to share that one later.) So, when I saw this recipe in Woman’s Day back in December I thought I’d try it.

Here is what you need:

2 cans (15 oz each) chickpeas

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper –ok, so mine wasn’t freshly ground, sorry

pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

Click the picture of the recipe to enlarge.

1. Rinse the chickpeas under water,

spread them out on paper towels and let dry  for 15 minutes.

A cooling rack with a couple of layers of paper towels did great. The cooling rack kept the chickpeas from rolling around all over the place.

Pat the chickpeas dry with additional towels; discard any loose skins.

Click on this picture and you will be able to see the skins that have loosened.

I have to admit I got a little obsessive about this step. Every time I would rub the chickpeas with a paper towel, more skins would loosen. Peeling off the skins was fun, kinda like when you have a sunburn.

2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together Parmesan, garlic powder, salt, pepper and cayenne, if using.

Add the chickpeas and toss to coat.

I thought they would get coated better if I tossed them in a big Ziploc bag.

Yep, that’s me-doing the zip bag dance!

3. Spread the chickpeas on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, tossing twice, until dried and very crisp, 50-60 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheet.

I wish I had taken a picture when I went to stir them. They looked really different each time.

I cooked the chickpeas for 20 minutes, stirred, 20 minutes more, stirred, then I started thinking maybe they had gone long enough. I got nervous and pulled them after they had cooked about 50 minutes.

They turned out ok. They remind me a little of Corn Nuts, of which I am not a huge fan. They weren’t quite what I expected. Here is what the Critics had to say.

Critics’ Corner

Chip: They turned out a little crunchier than I thought they would — sort of like Corn Nuts. And, since I consider Corn Nuts to be a tasty treat, I consider Crispy Parmesan Chickpeas to be a tasty treat, too.

Megan: They were OK, but I don’t think it should be a regular on the menu.

Katie: They were okay, but they tasted sort of weird to me.