A Brilliant View

Last weekend was our annual trip to the Wisconsin Dells for the Wisconsin Water Ski Federation’s Winter Expo.  I don’t water ski myself — I could never really get into it.  But my wife’s sister and husband are incredibly good at it and are invited to teach at the expo each year.  They’ve got five kids, so we go to watch the kids while their parents are teaching.  For the last few years, the expo has been at Chula Vista resort in the Dells, which boasts a laundry list of incredible facilities.  The biggest one is the indoor water park with its three slides you ride on tubes, triple mat slide, body flume, kiddie pool, hot tub and so on.  It’s quite a facility.

The whole thing is a little weird.  It’s one of the very few vacations we take where I do not function as a cyclist in any way.  We’re surrounded by these water skier “athletes” who insist on taking elevators everywhere when there are perfectly functional stairs nearby.  I know the kids have a blast at the pool, but feel somewhat guilty from the incredible indulgence the park represents.  The use of so much water for spurious pleasure, the ridiculous amount of energy that must be used to heat the park…

It’s nice now that the kids are older.  The trip always used to be comprised of standing in knee-deep water in the kiddie pool for two hours, watching the kids go down little slides.  Now they go on the “big” rides, and you get to go with them.  I still think that the hardest and least fun part of a triathlon would be the swim.  I just don’t like the water that  much.  I was pretty sick of pools after the weekend.

I did spend a little time trying to be good.  I ran on a treadmill one day for 30:00 and then did an exercise bike and elliptical trainer combo for 45:00 the next day.  Given the 2.5 pieces of Stuffed Crust Pepperoni Lovers and 3 breadsticks at Pizza Hut on the way home, it was the least I could do.

The trip always marks the end of the depths of winter and indeed, it’s March 1st.  The thermometer says 34°F, so maybe Spring is hinting at its arrival.  One can only hope.  When I realize that there is less than 2 weeks before I begin training in earnest for the Almanzo 100, it actually feels like spring is uncomfortably close.

I’m sure we’ll be back in the Dells next February, but as usual, my enjoyment will mostly come from watching the kids have fun and spending some time with family.

P.S. To the folks at Chula Vista: Maybe you should come up with a consistent spelling and spacing for the word (or words) “chop house” for your signage.  You never spell it the same way twice — even on the same sign.


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