I was sitting here, trying to figure out how to ease back into my journal, because I've been away for a while. Vacation :)
Since I just spent the last four days with six kids at Disneyland and California Adventure, I thought the weekend assignment would be perfect.
Weekend Assignment #63: Amusing Amusement Park Moments Recount a noteable amusement park experience. No, it doesn't have to be about getting sick on that rollercoaster... although (heh) those usually are pretty good. It can be any sort of memorable moment: cute, scary, funny, nice, whatever. Hmm. I have a couple, so bear with me. And let me just apologize to my nephew, right now, before I get to his story (sorry, Gabriel). The last time we went to Disneyland and California Adventure, we took my nephew along. He's Ben's age, and we thought he might enjoy hanging out with him at the park(7 at this time). But there we were, one day into the park hopping, and he was not having much fun. He was a bit surly, and didn't want to get on any rides. That's ok. Kids will be kids. We just kept offering, and figured he'd come around. In the meantime, however, he just sat with me and Audrey (who was not quite 1 at the time) while we waited for the others to get off whatever ride we were on. At one point, we were waiting at the Grizzly River Ride (in Ca Adventure) for everyone to get off. My nephew didn't want to get on because he didn't want to get wet. (remember this) There's an observation deck where you can get close to the water and see your rafters come down a drop. Yeah, there's the potential to get wet, and it varies depending on the raft and how it comes down, etc. I'm on one side of the platform, with Audrey, cuz she was sleeping in the stroller and I'd gone over to make sure she wouldn't get wet. My nephew is standing at right at the little fence of the platform, eagerly looking over to see his cousins come down the drop. I look up, looking for them, and see Mr W and the kids coming down, look down at Audrey, look up again, just in time to see my nephew overtaken by what can only be described as a tsunami-type wave that came up over the platform as the raft came down and engulfed him. He was as wet as a drowned rat, and I had to stifle the impulse to laugh when I realized he was crying. I mean, he was more drenched than the people that had gone on the ride to begin with, and it took all my auntly wiles to calm him down...as I grabbed parts of his clothes to wring them out. Lordy, I thought how can I save this? Luckily, I remembered another wet play area, and we took all the boys there and let 'em have at it, since they were wet and the park was closing soon already. We made a beeline for the hotel and hot showers after that! (I only regret that I didn't get a photo of it. I've never seen anything like that wave ever since. LOL...poor little guy. It's like the amusement park gods decided to take their wrath out on him, for refusing to get on rides and not having fun. He was better after that.)
This last trip, I was standing in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle waiting for the fireworks. Mr W was off procuring drinks or something, and I was trying to hold my ground against the oncoming crowd jockeying for the primo space there. I'm counting heads every couple of minutes, to make sure no one gets swept away or wanders off. I have Audrey in my arms, and turn to see Ryan standing in front of a couple, with both his hands down the front of his shorts. OY! I notice as the <older>couple notices, and before I can think 'quiet voice, Anna', I blurt out "Ryan!! What ARE you doing? Stop that!!" as a circle of people turn around at the sound of my voice...think, think--how do I save this?---oh, I know-"Sweetie, do you need to use the bathroom?" "Yes, I have to pee." Thank goodness he said that and not um, something else. I feel myself blush as I mentally berate myself for not using the quiet voice...and then realize that now I have to figure out how to get him to a bathroom while saving our spot. Sigh. Luckily, his Dad showed up soon after, and we saved our spot, and saw some truly amazing fireworks that I can only hope erased the memory of Ryan's wandering hands from the people around us, lol. The looks on the kids faces as we watched this display made my night.
The first trip we took to these two parks, Nolan was about oh, seven or so. Tall enough to get on some big scary rides, with his scary-ride-loving father alongside him. At the time, I didn't do rollercoasters. My Mom would never allow us to do it when we were small, so as a teenager and adult, I was a big scaredy-cat. Faced with a little guy begging me and then goading me to come on the ride with him, I caved, and got on the California Screamin' roller coaster, the one that goes upside-down, with him. Hey, I like to go big when I finally take the plunge, lol. I screamed like a little girl, keeping my eyes shut the entire time. I hear a little voice, "Be quiet, Mommy!" and realize that it's Nolan telling me to be quiet, like he was embarrassed. Ooops! I LOVED it. I got on every roller coaster at both parks after that, and even rode the Screamin' one again. Every time we've gone back, Nolan and I always ride that one together alone at some point. It's one of those special moments I share with each of them when we go there. (Ben's is Big Thunder Mountain, Ryan is Screamin' now too, he rode for the first time this trip with me, and Audrey is now a graduate of the Matterhorn, but of course, being my girl, the ride I like to share with her is "It's a Small World.") And I've come a long way--now when I scream on that coaster, it's more of the 'woo-hoo' variety than one of terror, and this time, for the first time during our ride, I kept my eyes open! I gave him a very uninhibited giant bear hug when we got off this time--I thanked him for making me feel brave enough to do it, for introducing me to the joys of the roller coaster when no one else could. I guess I could say I've been on the roller coaster with him (and his siblings) since the day they were born. ;)
Extra Credit: What's the scariest amusement park ride you've ever been on? We used to have traveling carnivals pass thru my hometown growing up. Until you've ridden a ride that rattles like it's got some screws loose before it even starts, you don't know fear; and this includes the merry-go-round....don't even think about the bladder challenge rides like "The Hammer" could induce--which brings me to the even scarier thing, the outdoor portable restrooms....ugh! :p (ahm, for the record, my Mom doesn't know about the one time I rode said "Hammer" so let's keep that between us, okay?)