VACATION!!!!!!! Day The Second

Second day of the vacation, we wake up realizing that the sunscreen wasn’t NEARLY as waterproof as it claimed to be.  We slowly, relaxedly wake up.  Wonder what to do.  The aquarium gets tossed around.  Then go karts.  Then Dorney Park. 

Stace loves amusement parks.  Roller coasters, thrill rides–remember from the day before?  Now, attached to Dorney is Wildwater Kingdom–MY territory.  So, we figure that’s where we’ll go.  It’s only about an hour from where we live.  We get dressed, talking about the day.  Burger King has coupons, apparently.  According to the website, anyway.  In actual practice, the one we went to didn’t in fact have the coupons.  Crap.  Well, no problem.  We drive up County Line Road to 309 to a road to another road to Allentown.  We get there, park in the lot, then wait to get in.  Brian’s doing his Dance Of Happy Boys in the middle of the crowd.  There are people moaning and complaining all over the place because it’s taking so LOOOOOONG and it’s HOT and they want to get inSIDE and just generally being annoying.

They didn’t annoy us.  The three of us were happy.  That seems to be the secret.

We get inside, and Stace, wonderful woman that she is, said we should do the water park first.  SPLASH!!  We wander over abd start checking things out.  Water rides abound!  First, though, we decided to get a locker.  Stace went over to rent it, while Brian and I tried to find the line for one of the smaller water slides.  Could we find it?  No.  Then we realize we can’t find Stacie.  CRAP.  Can;t seem to find ANYTHING.  CRAP.  Seriously, it shouldn’t be THIS hard to find someone.  We go all around, no sign of her.  Brian runs around in a So-Help-Me Yellow Submarine for a couple minutes, goes down the slides there, plays with the squirt guns.  Finally I convince him that we have to look for his mother.  We walk around, and see the one slide with a dual tube that we can both ride on that we REALLY wanted to go on.  Alas, we never did find the stupid line for that one. 

On the other hand, we did find a line to go into that had really high steps at the end.  I thought high would be good, as we could look down and MAYBE see the Missing Wife.  Good plan, eh?  Yeah, it didn’t work out.  However, as we went, I heard someone yelling my name.  It was clearly not Stacie, as this voice was, well, male.  Turns out it was Anthony(NOT Andrew as I first called him in the confusion of seeing people from work at an amusement park while my wife was missing.)  He’s one of the guys from work, and he was there with his girlfriend Gigi, and her brother or cousin or assorted hanger-on.  Sorry, dude, like I said, trying to find my wife.  So, we get out of the line, look all around, SHE’S GONE, I’LL NEVER SEE HER AGAIN, KIDNAPPED BY THE BAD PEOPLE WHAT THE HELL–

Oh, there she is, at the bottom of the line.  HUGE sigh of relief time.  So, Brian really wants to do the two-person tube thing that we STILL can’t find.  I can edit a music video, I can make starships battle in realistic space, I can hunt paranormal phenomena, I can (probably) do really well on Jeopardy!, can I find a stupid line to a stupid tube ride?

What do YOU think? 

We looked, we REALLY looked.  But still, nothing.  So, as a distraction(SURE, a distraction!  Uh huh.  Sure.  And I’m a bearded gnome.)  I suggest we check out the wave pool.  We go into the wave pool, it’s waving like the Pope or Miss America or some other waving thing.  We get in, it’s relaxing, Brian’s paddling around, I’m grooving…

….and the waves stop.  Turns out they stop the waves every so often.  And, with my famous either really good or really bad timing, I got us in there right when they stop the stupid waves.  Well, a pool’s a pool.  I mention to Stace we should’ve brought Brian’s dolphin board in.  She then tells me that they don’t let the boards in anymore because someone got hit in the head with one and drowned and they didn’t find them until the end of the night.  Gruesome.  And the wave pool without the waves turns out to not be as much fun when it’s really crowded.  We paddle back to the shallows and make out way out.  Right next to the wave pool, though, is a thing with big foam lily pads and a rope across the top that you can try to balance on to get across.  Looks like fun, so we get in line, get to the front, and THAT’s when we realize that Brian’s about two feet too short to do it, and Stace is about two eyes too blind to do it, and it wouldn’t really be any fun if it was just ME.  With one last longing, Swamp Rat-esque look at the lily pad not taken, we make our way out.  There was so much stuff to see, we didn’t know where to go next. 

THAT’s when we saw…the Wet Funhouse.  Or whatever the heck they call it there, but it’s basically a wet funhouse.  Water squirters, mirror walls, buckets of water falling on your head, more water squirters, pulleys and levers to make water fall on distant people–we spent a good hour there just soaking it all in.  (Insert pun groan HERE.)  Brian had a good time dumping several buckets of water on the two of us from above.    After a while, I suggest that we check out OTHER things.  The three of us, now thoroughly drenched, make our way up the ramp toward a patriotic tube slide.  A red one, a white one, a blue one.  Tubes.  High speed plumetting through tubes with water all over the place.

I’m in Heaven. 

We get in line, we get to the top in nothing flat.  Three entrances to the tubes.  The blue one has a warning label that it’s dark, it’s a thrill ride, you’ll plummet to your tubey death if you go in and your mother warned you about rides like this.  That’s where I went.  Stace went on the white one.  Boo got on the red. 

I’m a big Snoopy fan, in case you didn’t know.  A long time ago, in the early ’60’s, there was a strip where Snoopy, for once sleeping inside his doghouse wakes up, all is peaceful, all is right with the world, he’s ruminating on the fact that sometimes your life is just perfect and everything is going right and you know that you are (and right here he notices the Large Icicle Of Death +6 over his head) DOOMED!! 

For some reason, I get a kick out of running that through my mind on thrill rides.  So I did on the Dark Blue Tunnel Of DOOOOOOM, get into the splashdown pool, Brian and Stace waiting for me at the end.  All three of us were saying “WE’RE GOING AGAIN!!”  Second time, I wanted to go on the white one since Stace said it was really scary.  So, my goal is to get on the white one now.  We get new tubes, get back up to the top, and Brian decides to get in the white one, Stace gets in the red one, and I’m stuck with the stupid Dark Blue Tunnel Of DOOOOOOOM again.  Boo hoo for me.  DOWN WE GO!!  I came down so fast this time that my dizzy tube flipped over and dumped me out.   TRIP 3!!  Stace keeps talking about this scary dip on the white tube.  I HAVE to try this.  It’s a moral imperative.  We get up to the top again, Stace gets on the DBTOD, Brian’s on the red, I have the white.  Whole different experience being able to see the tube as you rush headlong to your inevitable soaked destruction.  Come out of the tube, and see the rather steep drop off.  Don’t even have time to do the Snoopy bit.  We do it one more time, I’m back in DBTOD. 

Even with all this, though, I really didn’t feel soaked.  Tried again to find the stupid tube slide.  No luck.  The three of us went on the river ride.  Big tubes, you just float along, but–BUT–there are a few parts where they have rapids and water coming down in sheets and all kinds of good things.  Stace, not having her glasses on, was a little worried about Brian staying near us.  I was just worried about him slipping through the stupid tube like he did when we first got him on one.  “No, Bud, put your legs over, no, now hold on, no, wait—”  It was a comedy routine, really.  Half expected him to say, “I don’t know,” and Stace’d come back with “Third base.”  We ride around the river, trying to stay with each other, listen to people complaining.  You’re in the water, in a tube, you’ve paid to be here, what’s to complain about?  I’ll never understand humans.

We get out of the river.  It’s a traffic jam of R.E.M. video proportions, tubes all over the place.  Just then, as though on cue, we all decide “hungry hungry hungry hungry thirsty hungry…”  There are all kinds of food stands, pizza, chicken, burgers, Nathan’s hot dogs, pretzels, and something else.  Don’t know what.  Now, for some reason, EVERYONE was in the pizza line.  No one wanted the poor hot dogs(except me!) or the chicken or the anything else.  I wanted the Nathan’s.  Nothing like a good Nathan’s with fries with malt vinegar.  (Remember the beach?)  But, we ended up waiting for the pizza.  Stace got in line while Brian and I tried to find a seat.  We ended up on a park bench since all the tables seemed to be full of day trips from every camp on the east coast.  Brian’s really hungry by this point, and the Olympic level whining has begun.  “I just want to EAT!” he says, sniffling.  I try to tell him that the food is coming, but to look, it seems that Stace is even further back in the line than she was before.   Meanwhile, every other food line is empty.  “Why don’t you want HOT DOGS?” I think at Brian.  Hope he’s not a telepath. 

A table opens up.  I drag the kid over, sit him under the big blue umbrella.  A REALLY big blue umbrella.  Mary Poppins would need to be  a frost giant to use this thing.  So, we wait.  And wait.  And wait some more.  I look longingly at the Nathan’s stand.  “Hot dogs,” it’s calling like a bunned siren with mustard.  “Hot dogs are heeeeeeeeeere.”  Before I need Brian to lash me to the umbrella pole to resist the call, Stace gets over with a whole pizza.  It was cheaper this way than just a few slices.  However, it was still more expensive and smaller than the two Kryptonian slices from yesterday, but we’re hungry, so we don’t mind.  We start talking about go over to the regular park.  Stace has that “Point me to the roller coaster!” look in her eyes.  For some reason, though, Dorney Park has the big flume ride not in the water park but in the regular park.  Brian’s not going to be tall enough to ride this thing, I’m afraid.  Stace gives me a hard time when I say she’ll have to ride alone or we’ll have to go seperately.  Says something about all the water rides she went on.  We’re discussing all this as we eat. 

All this time, clouds have been rolling in.  Not fluffy toilet paper package clouds.  Evil, dark, nasty clouds looking for a fight are coming.  We’re content, eating pizza, when a rumble not related to the void in our stomachs rolls across the park.

CRAP, I think.  Oh, CRAP.  Brian really doesn’t like thunder.  Or lightning.  Or rain.  Or any other weather but sunshine.  The look of panic that crossed his face behind the half bitten slice of pizza was really cute and a huge shame.  “Was that thunder?” he manages to ask around the cheese.  Somehow, at 7, he’s managed to nail the “Don’t feed me any bull, old man,” tone of voice. 

“Yeah, but I think it’ll go by pretty fast, Bud.”  Really hoping at this point I’m not lying.  “Just relax, pal.”  Still, the mass exodus away from, well, everything, does nothing to reassure him.   We get up, only one piece of pizza left.  The rain is starting.  Crap. 

“Well, let’s go down to the car, and wait for a while.”  This seems like a good idea.  We walk over to the lockers, another flash, another boom.  Brian’s pretty much a nervous wreck by now.  Stace leads us to our locker, number 1065, and I open it.  Brian, nervous though he is, wants to help, so he slams the door once I open it.  It gives me slice on the back of my thumb that stings like a big stingy thing.  I look at it, after the obligatory “OUCH!”, and see a flap of skin with purple blood beneath it.  Lift the flap, OH, THERE’s the red!!  Brian starts to cry, I’m not sure whether it’s because he scratched me or the weather.  Stace gives the key back and we go down to the entrance, which is completely bottlenecked.  After a wait that was probably twenty minutes longer in my head than it was in reality, we get out and walk down to the car.  Stace and Brian’s legs are tired.  We find the car.  Stace wants to get changed in the car in case we can go back in.  However, there’s a whole family in the van next to us, another in the car behind us, and there are changing rooms at the top of the hill.  I ended up losing that debate.  Van family left, almost everyone from the car family left except one guy who was asleep, so they got changed.  I was pretty much dry by now anyway.  Really wish at this point that I still had the stupid van I’d rented.   

By now, the clouds are moving pretty quickly.  Things are getting lighter.  We decide to try going back into the regular park so the roller coaster junkie can ride some and Brian and I can do some things.  We’re halfway up the hill to the entrance when the biggest, broadest bolt of lightning in recorded history strikes right behind the park.  About FACE, forward, MARCH!  Back down to the car.  Right as we reach it, the rain starts pouring down.  Stace looks longingly at the roller coasters which up ’til now had been running.  Now they stop.  We get out of the parking lot, and the big raindrops start coming in.  On the way, looking for route 309 to take home.  Saw one sign for it, the one I zoomed past at 60 mph.  Just like when we were coming back from the field trip to the Indian museum, but this time it’s MY fault.  Stupid not having signs for the stupid road to get us stupid home. 

We drive down, get on 611, and drive.  And drive.  And drive.  Go past Maureen and Marty’s old house.  No, wait, that wasn’t it, THIS was their old house.  Wait, no, yeah, that was it.  We drive, and drive, and drive.  We’re all thirsty and in need of a bathroom.  Up ahead, there’s a Wawa and a McDonald’s.  The concensus was for McDonald’s, so in we go.  Brian got a meal, with another spy toy.  We’re all tired by this point.  We get back into the car, which unfortunately is still a ’96 Corolla that doesn’t come with  chauffeur.  Well, whatever.  I drive us home, we get inside and crash.



~ by Sean on August 17, 2008.

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