Just when I thought it was safe to go back into the water ... or rather, back into the family fun park.
The company Hubs now works for had a big outing for all their employees at one of the big amusement parks.
Sort of an “appreciation day,” if you will.
I’m not just talking about all the employees in the office he works in, I’m talking about the company-wide employees.
I thought it would be fun to take The Kid down there to see the sights — for the fourth time in as many years — and he was very excited to be able to go down on a weekend when there would be other kids riding the same rides.
But I didn’t know.
How could I have known?
The Kid and 30,000 other kids were down there trying to ride the same 20 rides. There wasn’t one line that didn’t have at least a hundred people waiting their turn (and yes, those same lines included grownups).
After walking around for an hour and a half in the 97-degree heat and hoping to catch a break at one of the rides, we decided to call it quits. We would try again later in the evening when half the people had gone home.
The crowd seemed to have swelled yet again under the glaring heat of the sun, and the evening did nothing to shrink the numbers.
Tears welled at the corner of The Kid’s eyes.
Someone walked by and handed us a piece of paper.
The company was extending the private party for one more day, so that was fairly good news. We didn’t have to head back home till after noon the next day, so we’d be one of the first at the park gates the following morning.
That seemed to satisfy The Kid for the time being, but I was just stunned that so many people had toddlers and babies there. Granted, there were rides for kids aged 3 and up, but those were crowded with older kids trying to shrink themselves down just to get a ride on something.
We slogged back to the hotel and turned the a.c. on high, each of us removing some article of clothing that would help to alleviate the heat.
Hubs got down to his Underalls and The Kid did the same. I took off my socks, and Auntie unhooked her Just My Size.
I made a command decision as we were all sitting there comparing pools of sweat.
I picked up the phone and ordered room service.
“One hot fudge sundae and one brownie delight.”
Each treat was big enough to feed four people.
The Kid thought it was way better than any of the rides.
I was glad we weren’t heading to the park right after the treats, or he’d have been sharing them with the people walking down below the rides.
A hot fudge sundae is only attractive while it’s sitting in the dish, not being splattered on someone’s baseball cap.
So ... day number two rolls around and we are among about 500 or so folks gathered at the front of the park waiting for the gates to open.
We stroll through the ticket check and are halted mid-stream.
The tickets we had in hand were not good for this particular morning. We could get discount tickets, though, at guest services.
The Kid’s lower lip trembled.
Auntie and I pointed Hubs and The Kid to the window, where one of the local nutjobs was trying to bluff his way into a free ticket.
He was escorted away by security, which put my two right up to the front of the line.
Two tickets in hand, Hubs and The Kid got into the park.
Auntie and I waited in the much cooler morning air, regaling in our favorite past time: People Watching.
You couldn’t buy a ticket for anything that good!
Ninety minutes later, an exhausted Hubs and beaming Kid are back. Shorter lines and many rides make for a happy Kid.
After a much needed break for lunch, we hit the road.
We then understood why there wasn’t as big a crowd at the park that morning.
All those folks were headed home at the same time.
And in the same direction.
I felt that brownie delight start turning around in my stomach like one of those carnival rides.
Next company outing?
I think we’ll stay home and do hot dogs.