Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Our Wild Adventure

Last week, we took a few days off to drive down to Wild Adventures in Valdosta, Georgia. We left early Wednesday morning (although not as early as Jason Slade would have liked) and arrived at the park around 3:00 p.m. We rode a few rides and quickly found out we have quite a little daredevil on our hands.


She started out riding this calm ride for toddlers.

Grace (3 years old)

She giggled and laughed out loud, gleefully telling me, “Look, Mommy! I flying! Look at me!” over and over again as she went around in a circle on her flying elephant.

She joined Josiah and me on the Dizzy Dragons ride, and that was where I first caught a glimpse of the daredevil in her.

She's in my lap only for the picture. Not only would she have NOT wanted to sit in my lap, she would have ridden it by herself if she could have! She frequently asked to ride by herself on other rides.

She loved it. She immediately asked to ride it again, but Josiah was already running ahead to join
Jason Slade where he was waiting at the carousel, so we rode that next. She was a little disappointed that the “pank” horses were all taken, but she consoled herself with the small bit of “pank” on the horse she chose. Then she told me I could let go of her.

Um…yeah, right.

She loved every ride, including the (kiddie) roller coasters. She even shamed her oldest brother into
convinced Robert that he, too, could ride one of the roller coasters once (He’s not a fan of roller coasters). After the ride was over, they simultaneously said

Grace: I wanna ride it ‘gin!

Robert: Can I get off now?

Grace’s favorite ride ended up being a Tilt-a-Whirl ride that she was barely tall enough to ride. You have to be 36 inches tall to ride; she’s 36 ½. The ride attendant chatted with her during her multiple trips through the line and made the mistake of referring to her as a “little girl.” She whirled around and told him, “I not little! I this big!” as she indignantly put her hand on the top of her head. We don't have any photographic proof of this ride, since I was riding with her each time and Jason Slade doesn't obsessively take pictures like I do. She rode it dozens of times, and by the last time she rode it, she was holding both hands up in the air…with a huge grin on her face, of course.

We are in so much trouble.

Another favorite ride that she was barely tall enough to ride was the huge “pank” slide that you slide down. She was absolutely unafraid to slide down by herself.

Josiah on the big pink slide. Isn't it huge?! That's another Josiah-sized child at the very top of the slide.

And she was absolutely devastated when she couldn’t ride on the big swings that Josiah rode on.

These big swings...

Josiah is the one nearly in the center of the picture.

The boys loved the bumper cars--this was Robert’s favorite thing to do at the park (Jason Slade’s, too).

Josiah surprised me with some of the rides he wanted to go on, like The Rattler that he insisted on riding by himself. (And, yes, Grace wanted to ride this one, too, but she didn't collapse onto her stroller in tears like she did at the swings.)

I have nothing but good things to say about Wild Adventures. This wasn’t our first time going, so we already knew that you can come back the next day for free. (Plus, there are hotels that offer deals with Wild Adventure tickets if you stay there.) From the time you enter until the time you leave, the park employees are very friendly and they smiled and chatted with the kids. The lines weren't terribly long. They even had water fountains where you could get free water.

Imagine that. 

After leaving Valdosta, we headed north again and stopped off at the dog show in Perry.

Josiah talked incessantly about what kind of dog he wanted. He started off with a detailed description of the size of the dog and the color and texture of the fur…as we were leaving the dog show he said, “I don’t care what kind of dog it is. I just want a dog.”

We also stopped at High Falls, where each of the kids fell at different times on the trails and Jason Slade risked falling into the water.

Then Josiah had to try it, too, of course.

Throwing pine cones into the water.

After we got back home, I asked the kids what their favorite parts of our vacation were.

Josiah said his favorite part was watching movies on the DVD player we bought for this trip. (How we survived this long without it, I’ll never know…)

Grace said her favorite part was “be-yun selly” in the closet at the hotel.

I reminded her about all of the fun rides at Wild Adventures, and told her my favorite part was riding all of those rides with her. She excitedly said, “Yes! Yes!” So I asked her again.

Her response didn’t change--being silly in the hotel closet was still her favorite part.

And Robert said he didn’t know.

Obviously, we could have just driven a ways, stopped in a hotel for a couple of nights, and the kids would have been perfectly happy.

And I would have been perfectly happy with all of the eating out, too.

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