Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A big thumbs-up to Elitch Gardens

Each of my bigger kids (Anna, Yosef, Biniam and Kaitlyn) participated in the library program through the Denver Public Library this summer.  Anna read her books independently, and we read to the not-yet-independently-reading kiddos.

There are different prizes along the way, and one of them is a general admission ticket to Elitch Gardens, an amusement park + a water park here in Denver.

Oh, the excitement.

The kids were SO THRILLED and looked forward to going alllllll summer long.  Finally, we skipped out on church one Sunday and hit up the park.  I have to admit that I was a little nervous about the day.  Spending all day ANYwhere can be a challenge with a baby, but at an amusement/water park?  Yikes. 

But I have to say that we had SO MUCH FUN!  Anna and Yosef were tall enough to ride some of the more adult, scary rides (I took them on that huge sea dragon thingy, where I Yosef clung on for dear life and Anna almost threw up, but I'd call it a success anyway.)

The water park was great too--such a refreshing way to break up the day and spend some of the warmer hours.  And cuddle with this sweet little bug.

We ended up staying until CLOSING TIME.  9 pm.  SO not what I expected we'd do, but Kevin and I were having so much fun and the kids were, too.

Honestly it occurred to me that we so rarely have a day of pure FUN.  We are usually either doing stuff around the house, working on our house, or attending events or things at other peoples' houses.  It felt good to get out and just PLAY for an entire day.  Just us.  Mary did great, and it worked well to sneak in bring our own food--less expensive and more relaxing and healthy that way.

I'm already excited for next summer, hoping the library offers this again.  It's the only way our family will ever visit that type of place, because the cost is outrageous and we have a lot of peeps to buy tickets for.  AND, I feel terribly unfulfilled because the bumper cars broke before I could see my four kids on them. 

I would have paid to see that.  Really.  It would have been hilarious.

And the following story surely loses a lot in translation, but I have to share it anyway.  You see, the highlight of the day involved this jerky roller coaster.  After each lap the ride operator stopped the ride and kids could either give a thumbs-up (wanting to stay on) or a thumbs-down (wanting to get off.) 

First lap of the day and Kaitlyn was crying and giving a thumbs-down, so she huffily climbed off the ride.

As did my sons, who weren't such fans either.  Yosef apparently smacked his head.  Note that instead of consoling him, I photographed him.  Hehe.

Thrill-seeker Anna (she gets this from her dad, NOT from me) was giving a huge thumbs-up and a huge grin.  As expected.  She LOVES roller coasters and crazy rides.  She's nuts.  (Note that by the third lap, only she and one other kid remained on the ride.)

Well, later that night we revisited the Cactus Coaster.  Told our other kids to give it another try, that they might like it.  Encouraged them to give a big ol' thumbs-up to the operator as they came around.  Kaitlyn took some convincing, to get her back on that ride...she did NOT want to go...but eventually, she cautiously climbed on.  Gave a real serious thumbs up as she waited for the ride to begin, when we asked what she was supposed to do.  You know, when the ride stopped and the operator asked.

Yet as the coaster took off, whipping around the track, our Kaitlyn, serious as could be with her usual furrowed brow and dark expression...KEPT HER THUMB UP.  THE.EN.TI.RE.TIME.  Bumping and jerking and getting whiplashed around the loop, there was Kaitlyn.  Concentrating ever-so-hard on keeping that thumb up.

Kevin and I were HYSTERICAL.  Doubled over laughing.  Tears streaming down our faces.  We literally couldn't breathe.

Each time the ride came to a rocky halt, and the operator asked and looked for thumbs that were up, Kaitlyn's was, of course, up.  Because she'd been doing everything in her power to keep it up the whole time.  Must not have realized that it was only necessary when the ride stopped.

Oh man.  How I wish we hadn't run out of video tape or that our digital camera battery hadn't died by that point.

But even so, I don't think we'll ever forget the look of sheer terror/determination/concentration on our little girl's face.

When Kaitlyn means business, she means business.  This we know.  We've always known.

So, yes, Elitch Gardens was a huge hit.  Looking forward to next year!


Angela said...

oh, that is too cute. i love that little spunk. she is so darn cute. and, she's my girly's best friend, to boot! :)
although addie may have some competition. when we left mcd's today tony said 'i had FUN with kaitlyn. when do i get to see her again?' so cute. it's like he's ready to ask for a 2nd date or something. :)

teaching toddlers said...

oh my goodness the kids are too cute to resist!

So envious :P

Teaching Toddlers


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