So, as you know all too well by now, my daughter turned nine last weekend. My dad and his girlfriend drove in from Maryland to join us for the festivities. P and I left work early on Friday, picked up the birthday cake, dumped the dogs, and headed out of town. We invited A's second-cousin (is that what one calls your cousin's kid? She is A's cousin's daughter) to join us for the weekend. The girls generally get along pretty well and we thought it would be nice if our kid had someone with whom she could swim. I'm good for about one swim a day but my daughter demands more than that.
We arrived at the resort on Friday and the girls went swimming shortly thereafter. We had pizza for dinner and then of course there was more swimming. I joined them this time. On Saturday, the six of us went out to lunch and then stopped at a candy store. I thought my dad was going to buy A's candy but then he snuck outside for a cigarette when it was time to check out. (Dad, you owe me!) The afternoon was filled with more swimming and whatnot. For dinner, I made burritos and then we had cake and ice cream. The kid had already opened her gift from us, which was a sewing machine. Grandpa Ted gave her a crisp hundred-dollar bill. Have you seen these buggers? It looks for all the world like fake money. A thought it was a joke at first but we convinced her that the currency is legit. Grandpa Ted's girlfriend knitted a beautiful purple blanket for her as a birthday gift. After dinner, we went swimming yet again.
On Sunday, we took the long way home and stopped at a county park that the lady at the front desk (of the resort) had recommended. I must say it was worth the trip - very beautiful and scenic.
Now, here is the big news. We have a big wooden roller coaster in our hometown. The height requirement is 48 inches. Since we were driving right by the amusement park on the way home, I thought we should stop and see if Miss Thang is tall enough to ride. She has been waiting for two summers to ride it. When my mom visited us in March, she measured the kid (because she sews clothes for her all the time) and clocked her at 48 inches. However, sometimes the measuring thingies posted next to rides are a little "off." So, I couldn't be sure. My heart was in my throat as she ran towards the "you must be this tall to ride" sign. Well, hallelujah! She was tall enough. Whew! I am so relieved because this will open up a lot of stuff to her at other parks, too. 48 inches seems to be a standard height requirement for a lot of rides.
The first time, four of us rode: me, the kid (sitting together), P, and our great-niece (sitting together). My dad and his girlfriend sat at a picnic table and waited for us. As we strapped ourselves into the coaster's seats, I could tell that my daughter had some trepidation. The ride started and we climbed the first big hill. Then, seconds later, we plummeted downwards. I looked over at her face. I couldn't read her emotions. She wasn't smiling so I wasn't sure she was digging it. However, when our car lurched into the station, she yelled, "Let's do it again!" No one else was willing to ride a second time, so she and I got back in line and rode again. Then she wanted to ride it a third time. Although I do love that ride, it is very jarring to the body (as many old school wooden coasters are) and I'd developed a headache by that point. Fortunately, my dad's girlfriend took one for the team and rode the roller coaster with Miss 48 Inches. After that, we were out of tickets and it was lunchtime, so we left and drove home. The kid has announced that she wants to ride the coaster 500 times this summer (just 497 to go!) I told her I will take her quite a few times over the next few months, but I can't guarantee that we'll hit the 500 mark.
So, that was the birthday weekend. I took the kid to the mall on Tuesday so that she could spend her birthday money. In addition to the Benjamin that was burning a hole in her pocket, she also had ten bucks from her Great-Grandma and a $15 gift card from Justice (a gift from her aunt and uncle). She wanted to head straight to Justice when we got to the mall. She told me she was just going to spend a little bit of her money and save the rest. She had $125 to spend and she spent . . . drumroll, please . . . $127.00. So, if you're keeping track, she owes me $2.00 and my dad owes me around ten bucks. She also received an iTunes gift card. She has announced that she can't wait to buy her favorite song, which is "Talk Dirty to Me" by Jason Derulo. I haven't quite figured out how I'm going to put the kibosh on that, but rest assured that I will find a way.
Here are a few photos of the festivities from last weekend: