Sunday, June 28, 2009


Mom was able to get some free tickets to Valleyfair for all of us so Saturday was the big day. Our kids have been BEGGING to go to this amusement park each summer, but Jake has never been tall enough to go and we didn't want to deal with the "unfairness of it all" when he sat on the sidelines as we all went on rides. When Jake told friends he was going to Valleyfair they measured him at exactly 48 inches - the requirement for many rides so he was extremely excited.

This doesn't mean he could go on everything - and that first ride he couldn't go on did result in a couple tears and pouts, but he got over it and the day was fairly smooth.

Fairly. The

We got there around 10:30am. We eased into things by hitting the Merry-Go-Round first. Next on the list was "The Enterprise". I loved this in high school. My dad (who can't do many spinning rides) loved this. I talked Maddie and Mike into going on it also. Afterwards I looked at my dad...who looked as bad as I felt. I was ready to take a hiatus from rides as of about 10:45.

Next was bumper cars...just the thought of hitting or getting hit made me want to throw up. Luckily the next few rides Mike could handle with the kids while I did my best to recuperate. Really though, by about 11:30 I was ready to not ride on anything again and even told my mom that if I sat there all day without going on a ride, I would not feel bad in the least.

In the meantime our fearless children wanted to try just about everything. On the list was the "Power Tower" Mike, dad and Maddie went on this one. The other three of us thought they were crazy. We were right. This slowly took them up into the air and then suddenly dropped them. They handled if fairly well, but it wasn't something anyone was begging to do again.

After that we wanted to find a ride Jake could/would go on. Jake and mom had been eyeing the "Extreme Swing" ride the entire time we were sitting on the sidelines of the Power Tower.

I said there was no way I was going on that ride. But they were getting more and more excited with my mom saying to Jake, "I will go on that ride with you! I think it looks AWESOME!"

Here's what you should know about my mom. She is able to go on all the rides that my dad can't go on. Whenever we went to Valleyfair as kids, she could/would go on anything. If I remember correctly she LOVED the Corkscrew when it first went up. The weird thing is - she's totally afraid of heights. She has trouble on a step-ladder.

So back to the swing...Mom's gung-ho to take Jake on this and telling him there's absolutely no problem. So, they all went to get in line - all of them. I said I'd try to grab some pictures while I sat safely and without much motion on the sidelines. About 5 minutes after getting in line I see an employee walking a lady out of the line...wait...that lady was my mom. She came over shaking her head and said there was NO WAY she was getting on that ride after seeing it up close. I don't blame her. I don't think anyone else did after they got off either. Both kids said that was their LEAST favorite ride of the day.
Finally we got lunch and things started to look up (at least for me) after that.

We headed to "Thunder Canyon" where we were sure to get drenched. The kids had been begging all morning long to go on a water ride so they could get wet.

Be careful what you wish for!

Five of us were soaked. My dad was a little wet, but somehow managed to be in that one chair that just missed getting all the splashes. It was ridiculous, really how dry he looked compared to the rest of us. I think that Jake and my mom were hit the hardest. Both kids were shivering by the end.
We did walk through the Kiddie Park and came across a ride that looked like a small version of the Power Tower. Then I leaned over and whispered to Jake, "You are the only one out of all of us that could ride on this...". His face lit up and he said he definitely wanted to go on it. He at least got off it with a gigantic grin - can't say that for the rest of the Power Tower crew.

We did have to walk over to the other side to get the "Antique Cars". Both kids wanted to drive so the boys were in one auto and the girls in another. Men drivers....somehow the boys managed to stall out their car. This, in turn, caused a 4-car pile up behind the girls' car. Dad ended up getting out, walking across the grounds and getting an employee who was probably wondering what happened to all the cars they had sent out.

We thought we'd end up with the "Wild Thing" roller coaster. Jake did not want to go on this (he informed us he would probably go on it when he was 8 or 9). Dad said his stomach was settled by that point, so he may as well shake things up again, and joined Mike, Maddie and me. Honestly, I wasn't totally excited about this ride....that is one steep drop...but I wanted to say I'd tried it. It really wasn't that bad. Actually, it started to slow down and make that clicking noise these rides make when they are nearing the end. I was surprised by how short the ride had been and was sitting by dad and said, "Reall..." and then the earth dropped out from under me. And we started all these little hills and a dark cave and I was laughing so hard from the shock of not being done that I could barely figure out what we were doing. This turned out to be Maddie's favorite ride by far.

After 8 hours we ended up giving each kid one choice of a ride before leaving. Maddie went with my dad on the "Wild Thing" again. Jake chose the "Corkscrew"...his favorite ride of the day. Mike had gone on this the first time with him. I never liked it in high school and wasn't too fond of twisting and turning after the morning. However, Mike had just downed a greasy Pronto Pup and said there was no way he could go on it. So Jake and I got in line and buckled in. I turned to Jake and said, "I just want you to know that I'm ONLY going on this because I love you." He laughed and said I was so funny.

As we were leaving we passed by "The Wave". Mom said this would be a really fun ride to end on. Of course, we had all just about dried up from Thunder Canyon, but we all got in line. There isn't much to this ride except the GIANT wave the boat creates at the end. Even dad couldn't escape getting wet on this ride. And mom's reaction? She said, "Oh! Wasn't that just beautiful!?!" Really, she thought seeing the water go up and come down was lovely. So, she convinced all but Mike to go on it again to which Maddie replied, "Grandma! I just LOVE YOU!! You are SO persuasive!!"

And that finally did end our day. I hadn't been to Valleyfair for close to 20 years and at 10:45a.m. I would have told you that if it had been another 20 years before going again, I wouldn't have been disappointed. But, the day ended up working out well and while I don't really care if I go again this summer, I won't pass up another opportunity to go again another summer.

But Mike and I may have to "Rock, Paper Scissors" which rides we are going to chaperone the kids on.

Thanks, Mom (and Cargill!).

1 comment:

Missy said...

Nice pics of you all wet. Looked like you were all havin fun.