2006: Indoor Waterparks are for little kids, I thought to myself as I walked in the front door of Avalanche Bay at the finicky age of 12. It was my mom's business Christmas party so the kiddos, of which I was by far the eldest, were being sent to the waterpark at Boyne Mountain.
Walking in the door, I was welcomed by a humid warmth that was anything typical in an early January in Michigan. Relieved that if I had to be stuck in a waterpark, it would at least be warm, I took a seat in a chair to watch my little brothers gleefully charge into the kiddie pool with the excitement of little lottery winners.
"COME ON!" They shouted at me. I'm too big for this, I thought. But with enough whining, they eventually won me over.
Before I knew it, I was being rushed through a bright pink waterslide, swinging from a rope net over an obstacle course, and eagerly waiting for a giant bucket of water to dump on me. Suddenly, I wasn't a cranky preteen fed up with forced family fun - I was a kid again.
2017: I found myself at the doors of Avalanche Bay once again. Now a legal adult with responsibilities like taxes and a full time job, I felt like I'd be out of place in an indoor waterpark crawling with little kids. I thought to myself, just do it for the blog and pretend you're having fun.
Since I had last been to Avalanche Bay, they'd added the Big Coulier slide, so that was the first stop on my list. For those who aren't familiar, this slide is famous because it actually drops you - literally taking the floor out from under you and sending you falling through a waterslide tube using the full force of gravity as its propeller.
I stepped into the tube that felt a lot like I was a check deposit about to be sucked up by the bank teller. I closed my eyes and felt the floor drop... and suddenly I was falling! I felt my lips spread involuntarily into a smile. All too quickly, I landed in a splash of water. I snapped my smile closed just for a moment to avoid a mouthful of pool water, but it instantly snapped back as I ran (until I was whistled at by a lifeguard for doing so) back up to the top to do it again.
After I swished through the Big Coulier four more times, I spent some time in splashing around in the rest of the waterpark - I lounged around in the lazy river, surfed the rip zone, and raced a very competitive 7-year-old in the downhill mat racer. I was a carefree kid once again.
Stepping into Avalanche Bay is a little like stepping into another world - a world where hormonal preteen whining and federal tax due dates cease to exist. Whether you're young or young at heart, Avalanche Bay is the perfect place to let loose. But don't take my word for it, try it for yourself.◂ Return to News & Updates