We are wrapping up Leg 5 of our Year Long Adventure, and we have spent around 120 nights in hotels over the past 12 months. On Leg 1 of our trip we made reservations for each night of the trip before we left home. Now on Leg 5, we are true Road Warriors and usually we do not have reservations until the night before. Sometimes we find ourselves not knowing which hotel or even which city we are spending the night. This is the situation we found ourselves as we sat in the parking lot of the Miller Brewery at 4:30 on a Tuesday afternoon.
We had just completed the Miller Brewery Tour and we were scheduled to be in Chicago the next day. It was 97 degrees outside, so we cranked the a/c in the van and started researching hotels with our iPhones. One thing we have learned in our travels is that there are a lot of hotels in the Midwest that have indoor water parks. A quick Google Search of “hotels in Wisconsin or Illinois with water parks” brought us a number of choices. There is a Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells which was a little over two hours away. A two hour drive is nothing to us these days, but we had been to the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas, a few years ago and we were not overly impressed. Another option that came up was Key Lime Cove in Gurnee, Illinois, only 60 minutes away. After reading some Trip Advisor reviews and making the call, we were set to go to Key Lime Cove.
BEST DECISION EVER!!!
As we approached the hotel from the freeway, we could see 4 giant colorful water slides on the outside of the building. (Cue kids’ excitement) We checked in quickly, dumped our bags in the room, suited up, and then headed down to the water park.
Key Lime Cove has 3 tube slides, 2 body slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and a huge kid’s play area that features more slides and splash zones. Since it is completely indoors, no sunscreen was needed. (Cue kids’ excitement again)
The one thing that we could not find at Key Lime Cove was LINES. On our aforementioned trip to the Great Wolf Lodge, we once stood in line for over an hour to do one tube ride. At Key Lime Cove our longest wait for a ride was probably around 7 minutes, with the average wait around 2 minutes.
The staff at Key Lime Cove were great, especially the life guards. Everyone seemed truly happy to be working there. The room was very comfortable and had a laid-back Caribbean theme. The resort also offered many other amenities (on site restaurants, spa, arcade, kid’s club activities), but we did not have time to take advantage of them. One of the coolest features was that the hotel wristbands have an RFID chip, allowing it to be used as your room key and charge drinks, etc. to your room while in the waterpark. No worrying about keeping up with cash or the room key!
We had so much fun at the waterpark that we chose to stay a second night and make the hour long drive to and from Chicago for our prescheduled boat tour. Even Mom rode all of the rides, and then proclaimed that Walt Disney was a liar. She thinks Key Lime Cove in Gurnee, Illinois, is the “happiest place on earth”. If only they had one in Texas!
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