I had heard about the Unschoolers Winter Waterpark Gathering for the past few years and since they were bringing in John Taylor Gatto as the featured speaker, I thought I would give it a try since my hubby can typically come with us these days on vacation time. Since I was going, I decided to offer to give my right-brained learner workshop that is so popular. Because of this commitment, it was difficult to decide to back out even though there were snow storms raging all around us. We were blessed in that when we drove up on Sunday, there were clear roads all the way. We also stayed an extra day, until Thursday, in order to get the same clear roads on the way home after it snowed all day on Tuesday and Wednesday.
I also decided to ask someone if they wanted to share the room I reserved (a Combo suite with two bedroom areas). Kalista and her son, Bryan, stayed in the king-sized separate bedroom, while Weston, myself, William and Joseph stayed in the two queen beds in another separate bedroom area. Alex slept on the sofa sleeper in the kitchen/living room area. Bryan, William and Joseph got along famously. Kalista and I had several late night discussions about right-brained learning, and bipolar. One was beneficial to me; the other to her. Win-win. It isn’t something I ever do, but as she and I agreed, it was a God thing that brought us together. It was also a God thing that made me stay another night as I was able to have a looonng conversation with a lady named Kathy (5:30 a.m.!) who has similar thinking as me and has a lot of contacts that could help encourage me to finish my right-brained book. Coincidentally, she is also a member of the church, and she had been in the mental health workshop with a son with bipolar as well! I look forward to seeing how these relationships bless my life.
Weston, Joseph, and William spent a lot of time at the indoor waterpark. I joined them one time to go down some of the group rides with them. It was a lot of fun. For booking the room early, we also received 100 tokens for the arcade which the boys enjoyed using up. Good thing it was “free”, because I wouldn’t waste money on that stuff! We also got free passes for the putt-putt, so they were able to play twice. Finally, we got a $20 gift card for booking early that the boys each picked a little present. This conference has only one speaker going at a time for the adults, which is nice not to have to “compete” with anyone else. I was able to use the overhead screen through my laptop, which worked really nicely for my presentation. Luckily, Weston was there to help it get plugged in correctly.
The two events that were pretty cool at this gathering was the carnival, which is the only thing they have to earn some money back for the cost of the gathering. Volunteers agree to man booths of a really cool variety of games. You buy tickets, and earn tickets at the booths. You trade in the tickets for prizes that were donated by event goers and other non-profits. The boys were pretty excited. William bought four small stuffed toys, and Joseph got a brand-new WWF monkey. The other cool event was the marketplace, where they invite any young people to peddle their wares of any type. William got lucky and found someone selling their old knight toys, so he was able to buy five for $10. It was just a neat energy to the activity.
I guess it should have been an early indicator, but Joseph threw up the last night we were there. In fact, he ended up throwing up each night of Tuesday night, Wednesday night, and Thursday nights. My guess was the affects of the chlorine he probably swallowed, because he was fine throughout the day. However, the flu epidemic began with me on Saturday, and hit William, Joseph, Eric, Alex, and Adam, all in line. Weston and Eli are still awaiting their fate. This after having a healthy winter thus far. It would make sense, however, when faced with 400 families at an indoor waterpark in the middle of winter (with lots of snow) that it would breed sickness.
Hopefully, we will all recover by the end of this week. It starts with a fever, achy joints, headache, and nausea. Then it warps into a cough/cold. The fever lasts about 24 hours, and the cold/cough lasts about a week. Ugh.