in which i ramble about amusement parks

Thanks for all the great responses I got to THIS POST-- I'm glad to know I'm in good company when it comes to my thoughts about running. :) 

Last week was a tad bit long. It was softball camp week: high school, junior high, young girls. Every day. 8-2:30. Two games Monday night. Two games Thursday night.

But it felt like the first real week of summer. It was hot and sticky in that delicious sort of way. My skin felt the heat acutely and I knew it was doing its work of browning my skin.

But before I wax too poetic…

I knew at the end of the week something awesome was waiting for me: a five year anniversary day with my husband. Whoop whoop! [And I don't use "whoop whoop" lightly. Actually, I don't ever use "whoop whoop", so take that into consideration when you think about how exciting this was.]

We haven't really ever done anything to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I mean, we've gone out to eat or something, but this one felt like it deserved more: FIVE!

We started brainstorming. Our original planned looked a little like this: head up to Omaha and go to the zoo [if you don't know the zoo in Omaha is kind of amazing, and neither of us have been to a zoo in about 10 years or so]. Perfect. But as the day came closer, we were less enthusiastic about the zoo. And that's when it happened-- Brent said, "Worlds of Fun?"


If you've read our story, you know that I asked him to go with me to Worlds of Fun about thirteen years ago and you also know he turned me down. [He says he wanted to go. Mmmhmmm, likely story.] So this was our chance to see what it would have been like…to act like 14 year olds again.

[Side note: I should have looked at prices before we finalized our choice. Ouch. Let's just say inflation has been doing its work well over the last thirteen years].

Blythe was all, "Hey guys, I put on my sunscreen, I'm ready to roll! Take me!" And though it was hard to turn down the offer [I mean, look at that face, would ya?], we dropped her off at Brent's parents for our first big night and day away from her.

We had a good family friend hook us up with a perfect "guest house" Friday night to save us some dolla dolla bills. We went out to eat at Olive Garden [because…duh… although I would update this post and rave about the Chicken Scampi], then got lost in Nebraska Furniture Mart just for fun [and because that place is a small island], and then called it a night with some episodes of Friday Night Lights [have you watched this?!], and hit the hay ready for our big day at the park.
Bright and early  9 o'clock
We woke up, my heart aflutter with the thought of roller coaster [more on that in a moment], and donned our swimming gear and sunscreen. We threw our lunch in a cooler, because I'm cheap, and headed out the door. 

After a quick breakfast at McDonalds [two Saturdays in a row?! I'm lovin' it. See what I did there? ], we were on our way to the park, determined to beat the noon rush. 

We parked, made some lame joke about C3PO so we'd remember our parking spot, ditched everything but a single key to our car [this is the only way to do amusement parks, folks: no bags, no fuss], and made the trek to the front gates. 

It smelled just like I remembered: damp, the faint odor of mold and sweat, mixed with a tinge of sunscreen and pavement, and maybe a bit of pee. 

It was gonna be a great day, indeed. 
This is where I must tell you I hate roller coasters. Terrified to my core by them. But I was finally at Worlds of Fun with BRENT freakin' IRWIN and I wasn't about to let him down! So we made a beeline for The Patriot [not be confused with the movie my father is an extra in…what? You didn't know that?! Yep, he's famous infamous]. This is a newer coaster that neither of us have ridden, and it's one of those where your feet hang off into the nothingness of space. We literally waited about one minute, and then it was our turn. I willed myself not to wet my pants as the harness fastened over me. 

I'll just say this, the next 2 minutes of my life were completely terrifying. I screamed like a little baby, kept my legs crossed at the ankles so they wouldn't flap about [or become dismembered from my body], and put my germ fears aside and clung my hands so tightly to the bars no amount of time will erase my prints. My shrill death screams could be heard for miles. 

Brent laughed at me the entire time. 

On to coaster two, and three and so on until my head was pounding and my feet felt funny on the pavement. Age 27 does not feel the same as age 16 when you're upside down. 

This is where I would love to write about all the types of people we saw at the park, but I'm afraid we would be here all day, so I'll just say this: I know a lot of people get tattoos of their childrens' names. I've seen some that are pretty cool and classy. And then there are the ones I saw at Worlds of Fun. 

We broke for lunch. We were both a little afraid to touch our food, since I'd forgotten hand sanitizer, so we ate our chips, throwing away the pieces that touched our fingers. [And two days out I think it's safe to say we are in the clear of any diseases we may have contracted]. 

Sunscreen reapply. Exchange tennis shoes for flip flops because, oh did I mention, Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun are now ONE PARK! Heck yeah! I may not be keen on roller coasters, but I do love me a good lazy river. 

I could spend all day here. By "here" I mean literally right there in this picture above. It's the wave pool, and it is zero entry and perfect for laying out right there as the water gently laps around you [and a million people walk by, a people-watchers dream…that sometimes verges into nightmare territory, because, I'm telling you, these places attract some crazies]. I could have done an hour here, then hopped on a tube in the lazy river for an hour, then returned here, then river…you get the idea. But Brent was all, "SLIDES!", and since I didn't want our anniversary trip to wreck our marriage, I appeased him. 

About two hours into the water side of our day, the storm clouds rolled in. We knew they probably would, we'd checked the radar. So we dried off and made our way back to Worlds of Fun, thinking we'd ride one or two things before the storm hit. But it got dark quickly so we ducked into a little show. It began to pour right about the time Brent was drug up on stage by three ladies in sequins and then pulled behind stage only to return wearing a huge Indian headdress and the fourth member of the village people. You can't make this stuff up. 

After the show we decided to sprint back to our car. Ugh. Running. I thought this part of my life was over. We splashed through puddles and spilled drinks and snacks back to our car. We discussed waiting it out, but it didn't look too promising. It was about 6 o'clock, and we realized two things:

1. We aren't as young as we used to be [cue me saying something like, "Maybe you should have come with me when we were freshman?!"]
2. We missed our baby girl. 

A quick Frosty stop at Wendy's and we were headed home. 
Brent's permanent face from the Mamba roller coaster

We made it back and picked up this little gem:

 And then we crashed. I think it's safe to say we had a great time… and that it may be another 15 years before we are ready to go back.

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Pink Pamalamma said...

Sounds like a blast! My hubby and I honeymooned at Epcot and he got me to ride all the roller coasters (I'm deathly afraid of them, too!). I just shut my eyes, held on for dear life, and screamed my head off, haha! Happy anniversary! :)

*carrie* said...

So funny. I used to (key phrase) love roller coasters, but now it's been a looong time and I'm OK with that. Glad you had fun!

momiss said...

Not a bad anniversary! Especially the part about the Indian head dress. The Indian was by far the best Village Person, I was there and I know this for sure. lol

MW Photo said...

"I know a lot of people get tattoos of their childrens' names. I've seen some that are pretty cool and classy. And then there are the ones I saw at Worlds of Fun."

This statement made me literall LOL.

And the rest of this was just toooo good. Happy Anniversary to two of the GREATEST. So happy you got married 5 years ago. :)