We took a little trip with my parents this weekend. My mom decided it would be fun for Riley to have an adventure every month, so we started out the year with a quick trip to Splash Village. It’s only about an hour away, so we can all pile into the car and get there quickly. My family is all about adventure, but the less time we have to spend getting there is always good. My daughter asks “how much longer until we are there?” within 5 minutes of us being in the car and when we haven’t even made it to the airport yet that question can make for a long trip. I have told her often how much I loved family trips as a kid and how being in the car with my parents was half of the fun, but she isn’t buying it. She was born into a world of instant gratification, where everything she wants to do or see is at her fingertips, so she wants everything right now. I’m trying not to take it personally, because honestly, I think my husband and I are just lovely to travel with.
I love that my parents are always ready to do anything with her. They are the kind of grandparents that loved being parents, even when it wasn’t easy, so I think part of their joy comes from watching me try to share the same kind of childhood with my daughter that I had. It let’s them know that they did a pretty good job raising me. Even better is that I married a man who likes to have them around as much as I do. The five of us have a lot of fun together.
We had never been to this hotel/water park before and really didn’t know what to expect. I loved the fairy decor from the stained glass windows in the front to the fairy paintings above the beds in the room. Even the water park had flowers and toad stools around the lazy river. My mom got to take her place in a good lounge chair and read a book while we all ran around like little kids going down water slides and getting buckets of water dumped on our heads. She often comments that she watches two kids in the afternoon, my daughter and my dad, but on vacation it’s more like four kids. She always says she wanted to have a big family and it didn’t work out that way, but it kind of did.
As a family, we have been to a lot of water parks because that’s what the littlest one wants to do. We have gone down slides into a shark tank, tubes in the dark and ones that gave us wedgies. We love them all. This park had a slide none of us would touch. It required you to stand at the top in a box and the floor dropped out from under you and dropped you down a shoot. This slide did not mess around. We watched a handful of people get on as we stood in line for the giant family tube we were waiting for and my daughter looked fascinated by it for a little bit but ran back to us after seeing the faces of the people dropping down. I give her three years before she’ll be begging me to do it with her. I think just watching the other people was giving her anxiety though. She is usually pretty excited as we stand in line and all of a sudden she was getting really scared and clinging to me like a scared cat. I’m pretty sure I still have some claw marks in my neck. By the time we were ready to climb on the raft I had to shake her off me into her seat.
The guy putting us on the raft must have been able to read our personality types by looking at us because my dad and I were facing backward and my husband and daughter were facing forward mostly on the way down. My dad and I are more the type to leap without looking and be surprised by what we get whereas my daughter and husband want to see every little bit. It was about the perfect ride for all of us. The next few times we went on were not so great for my husband who ended up backwards and motion sick by the bottom of the ride. He ended up having to sit down for 15 minutes while my dad and I went back up again with the little and down a few other slides in between. The kid can really wear you out if you aren’t careful. We ended up getting dinner, taking a second trip to the water park and blowing a weeks pay at the arcade before the night was over.
Of course when bedtime rolled around we all had a sugar buzz from the ice cream we just had to have before bed so nobody could sleep and we all played musical beds since Riley wants to make sure everyone gets their fair share of getting kicked in the head and kneed in the back while sleeping. We of course woke up to a foot of snow on the ground and all prayed for our life on the extended tip home. That’s pretty much par for the course when we travel. It takes about twice as long to get home just so we can hear the question “are we there yet?” twice as many times. Now we just need to wait for whatever adventure my mom plans for us in February. I’m sure whatever it is will have me ready to spend a few hours in the gym upon returning home and ready for a nap.
*I wrote this blog while listening to Rat Boy