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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Amish Universe

The weather this summer hasn't been what I would call, ideal for the pool.   We have been spending too much time inside (myself included.)  Who ever thinks teachers get the summer off is wrong. Don has had to do a workshop here, a room cleaning there etc. So that leaves me alone at home with the boys and not what I expected when I elected to take the summer off. Regardless, I'm determined to make it fun. The boys had been wanting to go to this place called Splash Universe for months. It is an indoor water park and I decided (without telling them) that we were going on Monday. I was kind of excited too.  Because of my debilitating motion sickness curse, I have been known to spoil any plans of going to amusement parks, Fairs, or kiddy lands at Disney World, but water parks are my secret ace card of not being as lame as people think.  When I was a kid my dad would take 6 or 8 weeks off ( I'm not sure because I was a kid and had no concept of time) and we would do all of our family traveling in the summer. They had an RV and had been known to travel from Canada to California to Florida. No need for a hotel because we bring our own! And we may even park it in front of your house.  One particular excursion landed us in Las Vegas in 1987. Nothing says Vegas like a family of Hoosiers with tube socks and matching Coca-a-Cola t-shirts.  Besides hitting the casino's where 3 of us are underage and the 2 that are of age (my parents) don't drink or gamble, (not for religious reasons but for the feeling of light headedness it gives them) we were able to have fun.  The final day of our trip my dad told us we were going to Wet N' Wild!  The biggest waterslide park in the country.  My siblings and I were so excited we even recorded a rap song about it on our jambox, our only electronic entertainment in our traveling home.  We arrived bright and early. My dad snorting to himself at the price per person, making some comment about how he could have bought 3  tanks of gas for an RV at this rate.  My heart was set on the giant slide in the center of the park. I traveled up 6 flights of stairs and reached the top, only to be told I needed to go back down because lightning had been spotted. I assured the lifeguard that I hand't seen any but that didn't seem to convince him to let me go down. I fought back tears long enough to find my dad who was standing in our meeting location at the center of the park.  He calmed us
(ok me) down and promised to let us come back the next day. We walked back to the front gate only to discover that there were no rain checks or refunds. My dad is a pretty laid back calm guy with two exceptions: traffic and money.  I seriously thought he was going to squeeze through that hole in the glass and ring the blasé attendants neck.  We left Vegas with a sour taste in our mouths...all of us except my brother, who thought it was pretty to cool to be propositioned by a prostitute.
This water park is inside so no need to worry about rain checks.  The placement of this establishment  is quite interesting. They put it right in the middle of Amish country.   I wonder what the logic is behind that. I can't even get a Whole Foods or Trader Joes to come to my town, but a city of people whose women can't even expose their ankles can get a water park.    We passed several horses and buggies. Women churning butter, men with beards plowing fields with horses and plow things.  Homemade dresses hanging to dry next to the chicken coop.  Finally we arrived. I felt reminiscent as I paid $27 per person to gain access, but we had come so far (45 min.)   It wasn't too busy. What I discovered as I sat in the toddler pool with Jack, water brings out the weird in people.  I tried to not get frustrated as I thought that we could have put up a baby pool in our back yard and Jack would have been doing the same thing but we would have saved $27.  Women in bikinis who shouldn't be. I don't say this to be mean, but if you are over a certain size or girth, it may be smart to opt for the one piece or a nice big cover up.  Most of the people there were moms trying not to get wet.  Within 10 minutes Parker came to me looking green. He said the slide made him feel sick. Sick? I couldn't understand what he was talking about. I instructed him to stay with Jack and Finegan and I went up the 4 flights of stairs to get to the top of the " vortex".  A properly named water slide for the midwest.  Finally after 24 years I was going to finally be able to go down the water slide that was robbed from me in Las Vegas.  I got on my tube and traveled down to the bottom. It may have been the longest 4.5 seconds of my life. I was being tossed from side to side in a dark airless tunnel to be shot out with a wedgie at the bottom. I felt as sick as I did in a boat in the middle of the ocean in Australia. I knew exactly why Parker felt like ass.  I decided to spend the rest of my time in the toddler pool or the lazy "river".  As the queasiness dissipated something made me feel equally as nauseous.  It was a couple in their mid 20's floating around intertwined like they were dry humping, but in the water.  I had to wonder, 1. why they were there when it is clearly a kids establishment where alcohol is not served and 2. Why pools make it acceptable for people to float around doing who knows what under the water.   After eating  a $30 lunch where I must have opened 15 little packets of ketchup with my teeth for their hotdogs, I decided it was time for us to go.  As we were walking to the parking lot I explained to Parker that unfortunately he has inherited my inability to have fun on rides that have any motion..which boils down to of all of them.   He said he knew exactly why he was the only one to have motion sickness out of his 3 other brothers. I knew what was coming before he announced it. He claimed it was because he came out of my vagina and the others didn't.  This seems to be the only thing that he sees remarkably unique from his brothers and he uses it as an excuse for many things. Maybe he wears glasses because he came out of my vagina. Maybe he doesn't like soccer because he came out of my vagina. Maybe he doesn't like math or school because he came out of my vagina. Who knows, maybe he is right, but I often regret sharing that fact so early in his life.
After 4 hours I was just happy to get in the car. I even planned on stopping at one of the amish businesses that offered homemade ice cream.  By the time I arrived at this place (after a brief wrong turn) the entire car had fallen asleep.  It was probably a good thing. As a kid my grandfather made a big deal about making ice cream and after what seemed like forever waiting for it as he churned a crank on a wooden barrel, it tasted like icy/salty/sour milk.  It was a hard sell for a girl raised on DQ.  I'll never forget my mom's face when I spit it out the 1/2 cup of ice crap we each got. Rather than wake the boys I decided to carry on our long journey home.   A good day which (hopefully) will leave a great memory of water parks for them and a new one for me.

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