No account of our summer break would be complete without mention of our trip. In the planning stages, I felt somewhat apologetic for taking a less ambitious trip than last year’s trek to Chicago. I quickly realized, however, that the trip may have been less impressive in terms of distance travelled, but in my mind it was a more challenging destination.
In our family, it is difficult to find activities with wide ranging appeal because not everyone shares David’s fascination with leaving the native Nebraska elevators to cross state lines and visit a new crop of fascinating foreign elevators. But, since David and Andrew both share a love of the water, we had decided to visit a water park, and not just a glorified pool with slide, but a full-fledged aquatic adventureland.
After having already informed Andrew of our destination and consequently well past the point of changing plans, I began to panic. What was I thinking taking David to such a massive place? What if we couldn’t even get him in the front doors? What if we lost him in the park? And would he tolerate a semi-permanent tattoo with ID information across his chest?
So, I bribed reinforcements--two extra sets of eyes to come with us, namely my niece and nephew, Katie (age 18) and Thomas (age 14). Andrew went off with his older cousins to tackle the water slides and David stayed with Michael and me (having almost attained the perfect ratio of 2.82 adults per every David). After some initial hesitation, David loved the park. Or should I say, David loved the only attraction that he would try, the Lazy River.
Lazy River. Doesn’t that bring an image of lounging on an inner tube, one hand skimming the surface of the water as you are transported effortlessly around the ride? But with David--not so much. First, let me say that the river had a little too much current to be “lazy” by my definition and came complete with rapids that could flip your tube. That is, IF you were fortunate enough to be on a tube. Because David had quickly decided that the tubes were for sissies and to be used solely as a springboard on which to crouch in hand flapping anticipation of the next wave, at which time he would spring off the tube into the peak of the wave, I did not have the luxury of floating, either. Rather, I got to dodge other people’s inner tubes, fighting the current in a sometimes vain attempt to keep sight of David as he drifted away from me.
Well, the water park was a success and we survived without incident, which meant that we left the park with the same number of people we came with and no one collapsed from heat exhaustion on the 100+ degree day. Actually, the whole trip was a success. And since I started here by discussing the lessons I learned over break, I will continue that theme and outline some of the lessons we all learned on this trip.
Michael most definitely learned that when travelling with six people, it is worth the splurge for the two bedroom suite at the Residence Inn if, for no other reason than you have two bathrooms. I learned that my rule that no one could bring more than two electronic devices was, in fact, unenforceable and would be broken by multiple people including my own husband. Katie learned that a Kindle and an iPod are the two essential electronic items for passing the time and simultaneously trying to look anonymous while on elevator duty (aka sitting in the hallway with David while he watches the doors open and close). Thomas, having never before eaten at a Waffle House, learned that “steak” is not a universally defined term. Andrew learned that it is possible to outgrow the sewer slide at the Science City Children’s Museum and, having become wedged, was able to use the light from his iTouch to get his bearings, which when combined with the boost from the feet of the girl behind him, enabled him to become dislodged.
And finally, David once again learned the importance of being adaptable and, when ripped away from his beloved hotel elevators for some forced fun at the Science City, was able to improvise a new activity in his new surroundings. Up the blue elevator and down the silver elevator. Up the silver elevator and down the blue elevator. Up and down the blue elevator. Up and down the silver elevator. Well worth the $40 cost of a family admission.
P.S. This trip was taken prior to the aforementioned broken arm and cast. With deepest apologies to Thomas for chronicling our summer break out of chronological order.