Monday, July 27, 2009

Day Tripping

Brian and I took the kids to Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom yesterday. It's an amusement park and water park all in one. I may have heard of it before but it never registered on my radar until Friday, when a neighbor mentioned that his kids had gone. When I found out about it, I marched home and declared that we should go on Sunday. That's how we roll; we either do something immediately or it sits on the shelf in our brain and we repeat, mantra-like, "We really ought to go to (fill in the blank)."

The trip became more poignant when I found out that my mother had been admitted to the hospital on Friday evening because she had been throwing up. She was on a trip in California with my sister and nieces. Once at the hospital, they wanted to keep her for tests. Turns out she had a mild (if one can call it that) heart attack. She's elderly and has been through a lot in the past few years. She's in good spirits and is recovering nicely; so nicely in fact that she can return home to Vermont as planned. Anyway, with that knowledge, I kept thinking, as we walked around the park, these are the memories my children will cherish, I just want this to be a perfect day.

While I had never really been to an amusement park before, I remember waiting anxiously for each August when the Champlain Valley Fair rolled around. I went with family or friends, and we would buy the bracelets that allowed us unlimited rides. I went on the Tilt-a-Whirl, the Scrambler, the Musik Express. A few years ago, I began visiting my mom in late August with my kids and we went to the fair; they call it "Grammy's Fair." My pristine memories of childhood rides became richer and thicker watching my kids enjoy the same rides I did.

At Dorney Park, we compared the rides with those at Grammy's Fair, some were the same, some a bit different. Dorney Park, however, boasts at least 5 roller coasters. I don't remember the roller coasters at my fair because I never went on them; the Tilt-a-Whirl makes me a bit sick. Well, Brian sure remembers roller coasters from his youth because he wanted to go on all of them. And, my daughter went with him. I was shocked. When my daughter was young, she avoided all haunted houses by at least 10 feet, and she couldn't even watch MGM movies because she was afraid of the lion's roar at the beginning of the film. Yet, here she was, going on huge roller coasters that shot you up into the air and hung you upside down. And she loved it!

We had a great day. Even the couple of rain showers did not mar our day. Later, I called my mom and told her about the park and how we compared it to Grammy's Fair. She loved hearing about the kids and loved that they remembered "her fair." We'll be going up to see her in Vermont soon. Unfortunately, we won't be there for the fair as I'll have to start rehearsals in mid-August. But we made some great memories yesterday and they'll be added to the catalogue filed under fair, rides, roller coasters and of course Grammy.