Monday, June 19, 2017

Adventureland 2017

Let's play a word association game.  I'll write a word and then you say the first thing that comes to mind.  Ready?  Let's begin.  

48 inches.
Dippin' Dots (sorry, that's two words)

And last but not least....


You know where this is headed, right?  Of course you do.

Last week, we filled water bottles, sprayed on sunscreen, threw snacks in a bag and headed to Adventureland for the day.  Unfortunately, the weather looked a little spotty-- with dark clouds looming and the forecast constantly changing from a 16% chance of rain to a 60% chance of rain in only a matter of minutes.  However, not going was not a possibility. After all, this is probably the single most exciting event of Charlie's life every year-- aside from Christmas morning-- and something that he talks about pretty much every day in between.  Last year, Adventureland revealed their newest thrill ride, The Monster, and Charlie was extremely disappointed that he wasn't tall enough to ride.  We smiled and said, "Maybe next year, Buddy." and went about our business but Charlie took those words and went home and measured his height almost every single day.
"Mom, how tall am I now?"  "How 'bout now?"  "Mom, can you measure me?"  "I'm gonna eat salads only this week because they will help me grow."  "Do you think I grew a little last night?"  Mason and I would roll our eyes, or groan, or sigh because this is not really the first thing a parent wants to hear in the morning. Every morning.  But, sometimes I tried to remember how sweet this stage is and how fun it is to actually see your physical self growing.  For a minute, it looked like he might not actually reach the coveted 48" by summer, but he managed to grow just enough-- and wore his tennis shoes for good measure, ensuring that he was, in fact, the desired height on that particular day.

We arrived on a 60 degree day dressed for 90+ degree weather (which means I now own a super cool "Adventureland" long-sleeved hoodie, which is surprisingly, really nice and something that I will likely wear again....).  Dark clouds loomed overhead and opened up on one or two occasions.  While meandering through an amusement park in the rain is not something that sounds positive, it turned out extremely well.  The cool temps and rainy day kept the crowds away, even after things had cleared up which meant we had the park to ourselves.

Our first stop was to hit the carousel-- of which I declined and Eloise realized she should have.  Then, Charlie and Mason took off to battle The Monster and other roller coasters, while Liz and the girls and I rode a little less thrilling rides.

I love that our Adventureland photo is always the one that Charlie takes to school at the beginning of the year when the teachers request a family photo. 

Liz and I used to dream about this day-- taking our kids to an amusement park and here we are!!
(Too bad our tummies can't handle the rides like they used to)

Kudos to Nora who conquered her fears and tried out the Frog Hopper.  She ended up loved it-- insisting that she go again and again.  Her sister, on the other hand, did not love it so much and cried during the whole ride.  The grown ups got a good chuckle out of the whole thing, but the ride operator felt her grandmotherly heart strings tug and went ahead and pushed the emergency STOP button.  Thus, leaving the ride un-rideable for a few minutes.  As a result, the little Spahn and the big Harris had to wait patiently until it was ready to operate again.  And when it was, they were ready!

Eloise and I had just as much fun watching.

At this point, I would like to draw attention to the little ride in the background of the above picture.  It's a little car ride-- a shady little spot with motorcycles, a fire truck, a Hummer-type-vehicle, (you get the picture).  What you can't see is the comfy benches strategically placed inside the fence.... and right across from a little beer garden with live music.   Did I mention that there were ZERO lines on this day??  Like absolutely none.  As in, the ride would stop and the operator would say, "If you'd like to stay on the ride, please stay in your seats."  So Liz and I took advantage of this-- "allowing" the little girls to ride this ride multiple times while we sat in the shade and sipped a Summer Shandy.  Not a bad way to spend a Wednesday afternoon.  I'd also like you to notice that Charlie is missing in nearly all the forthcoming photos.  That's because he was too busy riding "The Monster" to be bothered with kiddie rides. 'Tis the life of a seven year old.  

We couldn't get Anna out of these trucks and I'm pretty sure she would have ridden in them all day if we had let her.  Unfortunately, there wasn't a bench next to a beer garden at this ride.

Despite our chilly start, a few rain delays, and Annas monumental tantrum when it was time to go, we had an incredible time.  Our feet were aching by the time the day was over, but it was definitely worth it.  

Oh wait, I almost forgot the best picture...
The top picture is the first time they rode the ride.  I freaking l-o-v-e Charlie's expression.  Cannot get enough.  The bottom picture is from one of the last times they rode the ride.  I also l-o-v-e Charlie's expression in that one too.   Seriously, let me stare at this all day.....

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