Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Unamusement Park

My daughter and I had been looking forward to the trip for a couple of months. We had two tickets to spend the day at a huge amusement park located about three hours from our home. It was Kohl's Friends & Family Day at the park. I purchased the tickets through my friend Tammy, who works for Kohl's. The tickets were significantly cheaper than the usual admission price and parking was free. Another bonus is that the park was closed to the general public and was open only to Kohl's peeps, so that meant shorter lines and whatnot. So, we were in. We couldn't wait! All I really had to do is to pretend to like Tammy so that I could qualify under the "friend" category. Ha! Just kidding, Tammy! You know I heart you!

To avoid driving three hours in one stretch this morning, the kid and I drove to my friend Kathy's house last night. She lives about halfway in between our house and the amusement park. I freeload at her house periodically and we always have a great time. We watch TV and drink wine and yell at her dogs to be quiet.

When I woke up this morning, I knew right away that the weather would be a problem. The forecast called for rain and lots of it. Since we had already purchased the tickets, I figured I may as well drive down there and see if the situation might start to seem more promising. If we got down there and the rain was fairly light, I felt like we could tough it out. We had umbrellas, rain jackets, etc. I mean, I'm prissy and all, but I'm willing to set that aside in order to deliver a good time to my kid.

We drove for 90 minutes in relentless, build-an-ark-ASAP type rain. As we neared the park, I basically knew it was a no-go. The thermometer in my car told me that it was just 55 degrees. The rain was not letting up. I checked the weather app on my phone. The chance of rain was currently 100%, forecasted to drop to 90% at around 3:00 p.m. I guessed that the park was probably still running, as I know most parks only shut down if there is thunder and lightning, but geez, it had to be miserable there. I was picturing wet seats and soggy pretzels and stuff.  I told the kid that we would drive to a nearby mall and work on a game plan.  The look on her face just about broke my heart. She is old enough to understand that I can't control the weather, but that didn't do much to curb her disappointment. We decided to poke around in the mall for a bit and then see if the weather changed.  We grabbed some breakfast and then went to Disney Store, where my guilt over the whole situation caused me to buy her stuff she doesn't need. Then I let her get ice cream.

When we left the mall, it was raining just as hard. I decided that we'd drive back towards home but that we'd spend the afternoon at a museum that features an IMAX theater and an indoor butterfly garden where butterflies land on you and whatnot. The kid knew it was better than nothing, so she signed on to the plan. We got to the museum and bought our tickets. Then we set off to find the butterfly garden. We found it and . . . it was closed. Son of a biscuit!  It might've been nice for the museum people to mention that when I bought the tickets. Had I known, I would have gone elsewhere. But, by then we were just used to bad luck.  Anyway, we wandered around the museum for a while and then went to a 3-D IMAX movie, which was pretty cool. It was about prehistoric sea creatures.

After the museum, we drove back home. We made a brief stop at Trader Joe's. I let the kid get more stuff she doesn't need. I guess I was just desperate for her to feel like it was a fun day after all. I even let her have fries for dinner. And kettle corn. Parental guilt is a strong force indeed.

Next summer, I'm getting my kid on a roller coaster come hell or high water.  Word.

Oh yes, allllllmost as much fun as a roller coaster.




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