Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The best weekend. {Part 1}

I really cannot remember a more perfect weekend than the weekend I just had.  And I am not talking extraordinary weekends, you know the ones where I was married or on a honeymoon or when my child was born... I mean just an ordinary weekend which turned out to be, in fact, and extraordinary weekend.

Kyle and I had plans for Saturday.  We were going to make homemade Chinese food.  I was going to clean.  We were going to go thrifting for some "white trash" outfits and attend a "white trash" birthday party.  Well, that didn't happen.  Around 11 PM on Friday night we decided that we were going to go to Lagoon with Katelin, Andrea, Brandon, Charity, and all the kids instead.  I got out of bed and frantically set out clothes, found sunscreen, packed lunches and snacks.  Ayla was awake well past midnight and I just knew that she was not going to have enough sleep to spend the day at Lagoon.

Morning came and we were up and out the door by 8:30.  I was so tired.  Ayla was so tired.  Kyle was so tired.  I was trying to not get stressed and not get grumpy.  It wasn't working.  My sweet husband stopped halfway to Lagoon and I got a giant Diet Coke.  That sure did the trick!  I perked right up!

Ayla as we pulled into the parking lot and she saw all of the rides.
We met up with the group and we wasted no time finding our first ride.  We decided to head to the back of the park and hit up the water rides before anyone else got to them.  The log ride was first.  Ayla was SO excited.  I thought she would be scared, but no.  She jumped right on and was giggling the entire time.  The giant splash that soaked us in the end wasn't her favorite, but once she realized her cousins had the same thing happened to them, she was giggling all over again!

Our family on the log ride!
Next we made our way to the Rattlesnake Rapids ride.  Oh, it was so fun!  I love swirling through the rapids, screaming, trying to avoid getting sprayed or going under the waterfall...  I was SOAKED.  However, Ayla mistook all of the screaming on this ride for fear.  She didn't understand that we were all screaming because it was thrilling and FUN.  So she cried and said that she didn't like that ride.

Here is where I made my big mistake of the day.  I had Ayla ride the Pirate Ship ride with us.  She didn't want to go on it.  The ride was big and she was barely tall enough for it.  She cried the entire time we were in line and then as we strapped in and Kyle and I put our arms around her.  It didn't help that the group of kids behind us were having a screaming contest with the group of kids in front of us.  Again, the screaming scared her.  She was shaking like a leaf and clinging to me the entire ride.  Poor Logan, her two-year-old cousin, was sitting across from us and he was terrified as well.  He was going, "No, no, no, no!"  Sydnie was straight across from me and she sneezed.  The ride swung and I went straight into her sneeze.  Then I heard the guy behind me go, "AHHHH! SICK!"  That's when I about died laughing.  I had a shaking, crying child attached to me, I was covered in Syd's sneeze, and so was the guy behind me who was freaking out.  Not the best ride of the day.

Once we got off of the Pirate Ship Ayla Ayla decided she was done with rides for the day.  Great.  Three rides in and she's done.  She wouldn't go on the kiddie rides.  She just wanted to watch.  I tricked her into going on the kids roller coaster with me.  I felt like a mean mommy, but I also wanted her to remember what a fun, not-scary ride was like.  She enjoyed it.  She even waved at her daddy!  unfortunately even after that she wanted to sit out.  We watched her cousins go on another ride or two and then we decided to eat lunch.

I was totally grumpy by this point.  I didn't want to bring Ayla.  I wanted to just go with Kyle and ride all of the big roller coasters and do all of the fun things that Ayla couldn't do.  And now here we were doing NOTHING.  We were watching everyone else have fun and I was miserable.  I was ready to just go home.  Thank goodness we didn't leave.

Kyle got Ayla to change her mind and get on the kiddie rides.  The entire day got better from here.

She rode a bunch of rides before we met back up with the fam.

When we caught back up with them we started going on the big rides.  All of Cherry's girls were big enough to go on {most} every ride.  Brandon was so awesome and he would sit with Ayla and Logan while the rest of us hit up the roller coasters and the Cliff Hanger and the Rocket Blaster, etc.  It was SO MUCH FUN.  When was the last time you rode a roller coaster?  The feeling that you have after you are strapped in and you are slowly climbing to the point from where you will be dropped is one of the best feelings ever.  I adopted Logan's terrified "No, no, no, no!" on my way up each drop.  And oh man, my throat was trashed because of my screaming.  On a roller coaster, or any other thrill ride, you have to scream.  It's a must.  Screaming is half of the fun.  On Wicked at one point we heard Charity screaming, "I!  CAN'T!  BREEEEATHE!"  That just made me laugh hysterically, which is hard to do when you are screaming and tears are streaming down your cheeks because of the wind.

And Sydnie.  I have to take a moment to talk about Sydnie.  My five-year-old fearless niece.  She is the coolest.  She jumped on each roller coaster with us and she had a blast.  Her face!  Her enormous eyes and her wide-open grin, were  just perfect.  I wish I could show you the mental pictures I have of Sydnie's faces on the roller coasters.  I adore that girl.

Really, all of the kids were so awesome that day.  Jaycee and Brynn were as fun as always.  Jaycee went on the Rocket Blast-Off with me, which I so loved.  It is my absolute favorite.  Sydnie must get her fearlessness from her big sister.  I even got to go on a ride with Brynn, which was so much better than I expected.  It was a dragon that spun in a circle.  It got faster and faster and faster.  We were screaming!  Then it stopped and it did the entire thing in reverse!  So.  Much.  Fun.

Brynn and I right as the ride was starting to go backwards.

The evening was starting to wind down.  It was close to 9 when we gathered near the entrance and we let the kids play in the water fountain and they played a game where they each got a little stuffed animal.  {Syd won the big one, lucky girl!}

Ayla took a little snooze.
Kate & Andrea.  Besties.  A staged photo of them pushing around their love child.
Ayla snuggling Kate.

The rest of the family headed home, but we decided to ride the ferris wheel.  I love ferris wheels.  At least I thought I did.  It turns out that I am terrified of them when I have my child with me.  I get light-headed, I grip anything I can, I get sweaty... I freak out.  It was beautiful though, and I'm so glad that we went on it as a family.

Can you see how excited she was? :)
Pretending I wasn't having a full-on panic attack.
They belong to me.  I am so lucky.
After the ferris wheel I figured we would head home.  But no.  Ayla turned to me and said, "Can I keep having fun, mommy?"  How do you say no to that?!  You don't.  You go find any rides that are still open and you let her keep having fun!  {Even if you do have blisters on your feet and a sunburned face/scalp, and have been there for 11 and 1/2 hours...}

 Experiencing things with Ayla is like experiencing them all over again.  I love her excitement and her energy.   I would love to see everything through a three-year-olds eyes.  Watching her I can almost remember how it feels to be small in such a big place full of so much noise, so many people, and such bright lights.

Finally, the park was closing down.  We were forced to go home.  We had been there since it opened and I can say with confidence, we made the most of our time at Lagoon.  I loved {almost} every bit of it and I can't wait to take my cute girl back!  Even better, I can't wait to go back during Frightmares with my husband.  I love when the park is decked out for Halloween and there are creepers everywhere.  I LOVE IT!

After 12 hours at an amusement park we ended our day with a Del Taco picnic in our living room.  Chicken soft tacos and bean burritos for everyone!

Can you imagine a better Saturday?  I can't.

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