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Hotel Cascada Waterpark and Living Social Review Part 2

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We had an interesting experience with Hotel Cascada in Albuquerque, New Mexico and with the deal site Living Social. I will be doing this review in 2 parts so it’s not as long. This portion covers our experience with Living Social and Part 2 covers our experience with Hotel Cascada. You can find Part 2 about our problematic Living Social experience here: Hotel Cascada Waterpark and Living Social Review Part 1.

That Thursday we had set up to go to the Waterpark. Their hours for that day were from 4pm-9pm. We arrived before 4pm and could not figure out where to park. Their signs for the Waterpark were pointing to an area where people staying in the hotel park, and their was no entrance for the Waterpark on that side. We ended up driving around until I finally went back out front and parked in their front lot. We didn’t know how to get to the Waterpark so when I called I was told just to go in the front of the hotel and ask for help. The woman at the front desk, blonde with a slightly foreign accent, told us to go straight, turn, go to the second floor, and go across the walkway. She was not very friendly or helpful. We missed where we were supposed to turn, went back, and did end up finding it. There are no signs posted as to where you go to pay for passes or pick things up. We ended up going downstairs and asking at the lifeguard station, only to be told to go back upstairs to the snack bar to pay. I think that should have been clearly displayed on a sign.

We had to wait in a long line, and when we finally got our turn, the girl said there were no passes for us! They said they would try to track down Patrick and in the mean time we got to stand around even more. I finally got tired of waiting and called the front desk. Luck would have it that I got the SAME unpleasant front desk woman who talked to me like I was an idiot. While trying to explain to her who I was trying to locate and why, a man walking by turned around and said he was the one who was going to help us. I hung up on our front desk friend, and he told me that Patrick had told him to arrange the passes and he forgot. He got our passes for us without us having to stand in line again thankfully! He also gave us a few locker tokens as well, which was very nice since we didn’t ask for him to do so. He gave us a small tour since I told him we had never been before, and showed us where things were. He wasn’t my idea of super outgoing but he was nice enough and accommodating.

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The Waterpark is all indoors except for half of the hot tub which is indoors and outdoors. The activities are limited to a few things: a kiddie area with playground type of equipment and two slides,  a pool type area with two basketball hoops and a climbing area, a large lazy river, a hot tub, and two tall water slides. This may seem like a lot until you’re there for more than an hour and have already done everything. For me, it didn’t offer a lot but my daughter really loved it and had a great time! Kids seem to be entertained with a lot less than us adults which is really nice sometimes.

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They provide life jackets for kids who can’t swim which was a great thing to offer. When I had called I was told not to bring anything, that they provide everything. However, we saw many people who had brought their own floaties and inner tubes. The life jackets were too big for my daughter and floated up under her chin rubbing it raw even when we changed to a smaller size. Their inner tubes are HUGE and fit an adult well, but small kids not so much. If we ever go back, we will be taking her floaties and small inner tube.

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They have two types of water slides: one you go down on your own and one you go down in an inner tube. Since my daughter is so small I wanted us to go down together in the double inner tube with two tubes attached. We got to do that only once because they only had two of the double tubes available. I think they need to have a lot more of them for guests because the place was full of people and I’m sure many wanted to ride together. We had to go down the rest of the times in separate tubes, but my kiddo still enjoyed it. The water slides go through the outside of the building and then shoot you back into a pool inside of the building that is connected to the lazy river. When you go through the parts outside the tubes are super hot and humid! We skipped the slide you go down without a tube because my daughter couldn’t take a life jacket and she can’t swim well enough to be without one.

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The lazy river was my daughter’s favorite part. We went through many, many times, so many that I lost count! She even made a couple friends there and had fun going through with them over and over. We went through so many times that we knew exactly how to go through without getting as soaked! They have areas with water spraying at you from different directions, areas where water drops on you like rain and feels a bit like hail when it hits you, areas where water dumps on you from the top, and areas where you get pushed through the water by what feels like small waves. I recommend going through with an inner tube to make it easier to navigate and easier to hide from falling and spraying water.

The hot tub was nice for me during the times I got cold. I’d sit in the 2 foot deep kiddie pool/play area while my daughter played for a while, and then we’d make a stop at the hot tub to warm me up. It’s nice that it has an opening to go outside so you can sit in the hot water and feel the sun on your skin. My daughter got a mouthful of their water several times in several areas, which is not surprising. but she said it tasted a lot better than the pool water at our complex, so that’s a plus! The climbing area connected to the basketball hoops consisted of large foam shapes that my daughter said looked like jewels, and a net above. The foam jewels are connected to the bottom of the pool by a rope so it’s hard to keep your balance on them even holding onto the net. It was fun for her to try to go across without falling off and she did it quite a few times!

They closed the water slides down about 8:30-8:40. They closed the whole Waterpark down at 8:50. If the hours say till 9pm, they shouldn’t close anything until then. They do provide towels there as well which is handy so you don’t have to lug around your own. They don’t allow outside food or drinks though, which is a hassle, but we took a water bottle with us anyway. Mostly we had a good time and enjoyed it. There were a few problems and things I felt they could have done better, and I did get tired with the limited activities there, but for my little girl it was an awesome time – and in the end that’s what really matters! She told me she had a fantastic time and she didn’t want to leave. She loved being there and only left the play area once in the 4/12 hours of playing… but only to go to the bathroom!. I am disappointed they wouldn’t work with our vouchers and that we had to endure weeks of hassle just to get to go, but it was a fun night for her and that was my goal!

If you are staying in Albuquerque, New Mexico (and I’m not sure why you would want to…) this would be a fun place to stay so the kids can get a Waterpark trip in as well. I don’t know their hotel prices as we were just there for the Waterpark, but you can check them out and see if it’s worth it. Do beware of possible lacking customer service though! If you do have problems with them make sure you contact someone in charge and skip the non-in charge staff.

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Hotel Cascada Waterpark and Living Social Review Part 1

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We had an interesting experience with Hotel Cascada in Albuquerque, New Mexico and with the deal site Living Social. I will be doing this review in 2 parts so it’s not as long. This portion covers our experience with Living Social and Part 2 covers our experience with Hotel Cascada. You can find Part 2 here: Hotel Cascada and Living Social Review Part 2.

We love using Groupon to find great deals on local events, activities, restaurants, and on goods! I have had mostly good experiences with them so I figured I’d give the site Living Social a try since they seemed to have different deals. I happened to see a deal for the Hotel Cascada Waterpark listed a while back. I purchased 2 tickets – one for myself and one for my little girl. With Groupon we always get reminders when our deals are getting close to expiring so I expected the same with Living Social. I came to find out that they do not send reminders, or if they do I didn’t get mine for the Waterpark deal.

By chance I went on to Living Social to look for something and realized our Waterpark vouchers were expiring that same week. I had been working A LOT and rarely had a day off, but I did have a Wednesday off that week. I checked the Hotel Cascada Waterpark website only to find that they are open really random times and days. And of course, they were not open on Wednesdays. That was the last day we could use our vouchers. I called and spoke to a customer service woman and explained the situation. I asked if we could come in on Thursday, just one day after they expired, and use them. I was told no, and that we would have to pay full price. Now with other companies, they will often accept your voucher if it has just expired recently. The reason is because they are awesome companies who really care about the customers and want them to enjoy their experience. Hotel Cascada seemed to only care about the money.

I called back and ask to speak to someone in charge. I was transferred to his line and got his voicemail. I left a message that was never returned… His name is Josh. I then went on their Facebook page and left a review in a post. I received a reply comment from them asking me to message them. I did that the Friday of that week. I didn’t hear back from them for days until I left another comment stating that I hadn’t gotten a reply. I was told they were “trying to figure it out with their staff” and that they would get back to me. They never did… I called back again and finally got someone who seemed to care named Patrick. He told me my vouchers could not be used but he would let us come in free. We set up a day, he apologized repeatedly, and he told me our passes would be available when we went in. I thought things would go more smoothly now! Wrong.

I called Living Social to ask for a refund. I paid my hard earned money for the vouchers and if I couldn’t use them I wanted a refund. The first woman I talked to was awful. She kept telling me there was nothing she could do. She called and talked to Patrick who repeated what he and I discussed, and she told me that because he and I worked something out that I didn’t need a refund. Really?! After all I went through with them and the fact that Living Social failed to notify me of the vouchers coming close to expiring were good enough reasons for me. These sites give “Satisfaction Guarantees” and yet she didn’t want to honor that. At one point she put me on hold and then hung up on me! I called back again and got a much nicer woman, who told me money back to my card was impossible, but getting Deal Bucks (like credit to use on future deals) was possible. I was put on hold while she got approval, and then she took care of it. I was refunded the full amount in Deal Bucks which wasn’t my first choice, but it was still a better resolution than getting nothing!

I now have $25 in Living Social Deal Bucks to use in the next year. The experience definitely left a bitter taste in my mouth about this company. I plan to use their site only if I can’t find the deal somewhere else and it’s an EXTREMELY good bargain. Once my $25 is spent, I am unsure if we will continue using them. They do have benefits, such as knocking a couple bucks off of deals randomly. But the customer service I experienced and the hassle they put me through was a big turn off. If they start to get their act together and treat customers better, maybe I’ll see them in a better light.

Don’t forget to read the second part of this review on the Hotel Cascada Waterpark!

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Rio Kids Movie $2.99 + Free Shipping On Amazon Today!

Today on Amazon you can get Rio the kids movie for only $2.99 plus free shipping! The prices on Amazon can change so get it fast! 🙂

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Saving Space When Drying Dishes

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I live in an apartment so space is not something that we have a ton of. Normally that doesn’t bother me much, but in my kitchen it has created a bit of an annoyance in the past because I just don’t have much space for preparing meals and baking. I’ve been one to hand wash my dishes for at least the last 8 years. I have never understood why I would want to pre-wash dishes just to put them in the dishwasher to be washed again. I might as well just wash them myself since that’s basically what I’m doing anyway!

The only down side to washing dishes by hand is the space a drying rack takes up on the counter. I had one that was medium sized and yet I still felt like much of my counter space was full. On top of that, I couldn’t wash big loads of dishes at a time because I had a limited amount of space in my dish drying rack. When I made big batches of food or baked a large amount of something, it left me with a lot of dishes and not enough room to dry them all in after being washed.

A few nights ago, the idea came to me to use my dishwasher as a really large drying rack. This may not be a new idea to everyone, but to me it was like a wonderful light bulb turned on. I often get really good ideas before bed so I usually make notes on my phone with my Note Pad app. I knew this one was one that could really be beneficial! When I got up I immediately got started. My daughter, who is almost 8  now, usually doesn’t help with dishes because there hasn’t been a need for any assistance. That morning she actually got to help me with them for the first time, which she loved, and it was fun to do together. I washed and she loaded the dishwasher with the dishes. She loves helping out so this is another way she can now participate in a home care activity.

I freed up a lot of counter space by doing this! I made more room to prepare meals and it gave my counters a more spacious look. I am not a big fan of clutter so anything I can do to avoid clutter makes me happy! So far this is working out very well for us and maybe it will help out one of you too! 🙂

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Weekly Links

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Are Reusable Shopping Bags Really a Hazard to Your Health?

The One in Which We Admit It’s Possible to Be a Worse-r Mom

SNAP Cuts Hit Today—And Food Banks Can’t Make Up the Difference – There are a lot of families who will need food so please donate a few items to your local food bank or food pantry. No one should go hungry!

For the Love of Mac & Cheese

Top five regrets of the dying

10 Ways To Make Money As A Kid In The Fall

Love Your Life: Tangible rewards are good for everyone.

5 Cool Ideas for Halloween Candy

Free November Desktop Wallpaper 2013

Don’t Boast When You Post (Choosing Humility Over Self-Promotion)

the happiest day of your life

How to Live on $1.50 a Day

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Weekly Links

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Fall Guess Bags: Focus on Touch
Pumpkin Pie Play Dough
A Birthday “Block” Party part 1
Outdoor play idea and a new post-Halloween tradition: smashing pumpkins
make your own positivity jar
Playful Learning Activity Sets
Exploring the seeds of fall in preschool
How to Draw a Jack O’Lantern
Pirate Treasure Nature Scavenger Hunt
My Weather Station – Printable Weather Activity
Kid Friendly Meal Using Pumpkin 3-Ways

Crock Pot Caramel Dip

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Weekly Links

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5 tips for a happier homeschool
10 Sane Steps for When He Makes You Crazy
Introverts in the Church
Make a savory galette for simple fall entertaining
Capturing your kids: white balance
When Your Husband Struggles with Depression
What To Feed Kids With Asthma: An Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan for Kids
A New Way to Teach Math in Homeschool: The Weekly Mentor
Falling for Fun: Mini Apple Pies in Jelly Jars
When Victimhood Gets a Spotlight
A New Season of Parenting: What Remains, What is Gone
Just Try to Push Me Away

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Weekly Links

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A Hammer in My Hands

Organizing Tips

An Unlikely Defender of Trafficked Women

Apprenticeship In Your Home School

The Real Housewives of Duck Dynasty

Kids and Chores Can Mix

Minimalist Skincare: Busted Myths and What Really Goes On Behind the Scenes

It Matters Who Your Friends Are

Seven Ways for Busy Moms to Get in the Word

How to Get a Band-aid (or Other Sticker) Out of the Carpet

Savoring September – Week Two!

Quality Time is Found in Unexpected Moments

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More Handmade Legwarmers for Kids!

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My kiddo and I enjoyed our handmade leg warmers so much that I have been keeping an eye out for more long fuzzy socks every time we are at the store. Today while in the kids section I found two more cute pairs that were on sale for $2 each. The colors were fun so we got them!

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You start off the same way – take the pairs of long socks like this and cut the feet parts off either before the heel or in the middle of the heel. I cut in the middle of the heel to make it longer on one side to go over the top of the foot a bit more.

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You could probably make them out of any type of long socks but we really like the fuzzy ones. 🙂

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If you know what Lalaloopsy dolls, the rainbow color socks reminded me of them. My kiddo likes some of the Lalaloopsy stuff so these were a fun find. She calls them her Loopsy legwarmers.

These are so simple and quick to make. When you cut them you may shed some fuzzies but it didn’t bother us. The fuzzy legwarmers are very warm and great over leggings. They definitely make more fun colors for kids though! After winter is a great time to get them on sale so keep an eye out and stock up. 🙂

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Handmade Leg Warmers For Women and Girls

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I have been looking for fuzzy leg warmers for my little girl for a while. She’s 6 so usually we find baby and toddler ones but not any to fit her. We were at Target over the weekend and I found long fuzzy socks in their clearance area for $2.50 each. I thought they would be perfect to make into leg warmers! I got a gray pair for me and a red pair my kiddo picked out. The process was VERY simple – I just cut the feet part off of the socks, that’s it! All you need is the long socks and scissors.

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This what both pairs looked like after being cut. I left a little bit of the heel part on them to give them a cute angle over the feet when put on. When I cut them some extra fuzzy fluff came off but I just pulled off the loose pieces and then they were fine. If you wanted to get more creative you could sew the ends or put elastic.

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This is what mine look like on. They fit nicely and were super cozy. I really liked how they came out! These look great over skinny jeans. I have a pair of silver ballet flats that they will look great with. 🙂

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This is my kiddo wearing hers. Since these were adult sized we were able to scrunch them up some. She said they are very soft and very cozy. 🙂 She enjoys wearing them and they look cute over her leggings. These are great for cooler days!

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