As I type this post, Mason and I are sitting outside on our patio, drinks in hand, watching the fire dance around our new Target-special fire pit. (99 bucks right now! Go order it!) We're a little sunburned and our feet are a little achy and we're crazy tired, but these small things were the price we paid for a sweet day at Adventureland.
Today marked our third family excursion at Adventureland, and each year it seems to be better than the year before. Of course, Charlie's always a little taller-- which seems to help when you're visiting amusement parks. At this moment in time, the thing he wants most in the world is to be 48 inches tall. 48 inches seems to be the magical height to ride the "big rides" and brave the "big waterslides". (Unless it's a dreaded 52 or 54 incher-- which seems like an eternity away for Charlie.) And while he's creeping closer, there's no way he'll get there this summer--- much to his dismay. Fortunately, three of the four roller coasters at Adventureland are 42" requirements-- meaning, he's been riding them since he was four years old and loves every second of them.
This morning, we surprised Charlie with a little road trip. We didn't give him any hints and until we were literally entering the Adventureland gates, he thought we might be going to Chuck E. Cheese's. ("We're going to drive right by Adventureland, Charlie! Look! There it is on the right!" Finally, Mason clued him in by asking, "Charlie, what does that big sign say?"
Charlie peered around the seat, straining to see the sign and read, "Welcome....to....Adventureland......WHAT!?!? We're HERE!?! Wa-hoooo! Yes!"
We proceeded to parking lot 4, applied heavy coats of sunscreen, grabbed waterbottles and extra diapers and some snacks, shoved everything into a bag and jammed it all onto Anna's stroller. We clicked her in and took off for the gates. And before you knew it we were standing in line for the Carousel and then The Galleon and then The Sky Wheel....
|Anna's favorite ride-- though she wasn't too excited to realize that she was strapped in....|
|She kept yelling, "Mama! Up!" but couldn't figure out that the lever would make her go up. Poor thing. Her plane never got off the ground. :)|
We didn't know how Anna would handle the whole day, especially one that was predicted to be 90+ degrees with humidity that might possibly melt even me-- the biggest lover of Midwest heat and humidity out there. So we hatched a plan B that involved Sara's house or a long car ride or maybe a trip to Bass Pro Shop. But surprisingly (why were we surprised?!), Little Sister took everything in stride--loving every minute, and then stretching out in her stroller for two hours to refresh and take on the afternoon.
This year, we braved AdventureBay-- the waterpark attached to Adventureland-- for the first time. We were pleasantly surprised with the amount of things to do--and how age-appropriate everything was. And after having a little reminder chat of what do if you're lost from us (that probably sounded more like, "Thank the good lord in Heaven you're alive! Now where the hell were you!? We were scared to death! We thought you drowned! You could have DIED! Jesus! What were you thinking?!? We are so mad!..... Because we love you so much!!!...."--this is all hypothetical of course.) we had a fantastic time.
After water-parking it, we saved a little time to do a few more rides, grab a bite to eat, and then hit the road. By the time we reached Bondurant, both kiddies were asleep and their mama was not far behind. If you're from central Iowa, that catchy little Adventureland jingle (that seems to play constantly on the radio and tv), is one that sticks with you. And for us, the memories made while there, will be ones that stick with us--like that little jingle-- played on repeat for years to come.