Saturday, July 4, 2009

How to maximize your amusement park memories

It’s as traditional as potato salad at a cookout, the summer trip up to the mega amusement park. We had the excellent pleasure of venturing to Cedar Point for a mini-getaway for the extended family, braving the crowds, the prices, and the heat, all in the name of a little fun by the lake.
Who doesn’t have fond memories of going to amusement parks? Waiting in lines for hours just for that thirty second thrill that was so worth it. Getting sunburned and eating cotton candy. Spending three weeks allowance to play the water balloon game just to win a stuffed animal the size of a stick of gum. Coming home with legs and feet so sore that your mom poured you an Epsom salt bath out of the kindness of her heart even though she told you that fashionable shoes were going to hurt to walk in all day long.
Yet somehow, even after barely leaving the parking lot, the bad stuff disappears and you’re left with a gaggle of good memories. Sure, my feet were sore and my shoulders were peeling, but I had a good time and that good time is all that really sticks in my mind.
And that’s why, if you ask if I had a good time this trip, I’ll honestly say “yes! I did!” because I really did. Believe it or not.
Upon arriving at our accommodations at the park, we unloaded the sleeping bags for the children and I because we were assigned the sleeping loft, a carpeted loft with a ceiling height of, we found out, about 30 inches. The baby was happy to wander around up there and I was relieved to not be claustrophobic as I crawled around on hands and knees.
Carrying in the cooler and the sleeping bags, my husband realizes he never put the suitcase in the car.
Oh well. I can wear the same clothes for two days, and really, who needs to brush their teeth or wash with soap after a full day of sweating in the 80 degree June heat?
On to the park we went, only to find out that my son, a veritable daredevil at five-years-old, is approximately 0.0001 inches too short to ride anything with any thrill factor that he can’t achieve by riding his bike down the driveway. Mild pouting sprinkled with jealousy of his sister riding the big coasters marked the beginning of our trip o’ fun.
Next up, the little one, clocking in at 18 months, can’t do much of anything but get dragged around strapped in the stroller. So when she begged to stretch her legs and do some walking I let her waddle around until her prancing was interrupted by her knees kissing the pavement. Hobbling along, I scooped her up and threw her on my hip only to find out too late that her knee was bleeding. All over the front of my shirt, the only shirt I had to wear for two days.
A quick trip to the first aid booth and the bathroom where I promptly stripped down to scrub my shirt clean, and we were back in action, fully clothed and blood-free. From then on, life was great. The kids were smiling, the over-priced pop was flowing. We even brushed off the fact that it cost us the price of a shiny new convertible to feed our family dinner, and didn’t think twice that our kids hadn’t tasted anything green or containing any nutrients since we arrived.
We rode the rides we could, hauled the baby around and closed the place down before retiring to the tight quarters where we all gladly crammed ourselves in.
From the loft, crouching down in plain view of the rest of the family, I loudly excused myself before changing into my nightclothes.
“Hang on while I put on my PJ’s. OK, I’m done.”
And I laid my dirty head on the dirty floor and went to sleep a happy camper, smiling to have accumulated a few more painfully wonderful memories.

2 comments:

Samantha Gianulis said...

I love Karrie's blog. The End.

Caroline said...

Hello! I just found your blog and really enjoyed your post on Cedar Point! I live pretty close to their (a handful of hours) and my hubs and I honeymooned at Put In Bay! We LOVE it there :) Sounds like your family had a ton of fun...I am looking forward to taking our kids there too when they are just a bit older! I am not looking forward to the overwhelming exhaustion that comes with such a venture...I will be packing up my Topricin foot cream for sure. Ugh. Hopefully though my hubs doesn't forget the bags! LOL. Actually- we forgot ours too when we went across the lake on our honeymoon. Our bags were in our car in a parking lot on the mainland -oops. Anyway-sounds fun! Caroline *smilinggreenmom (tweet me!)

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