Friday, August 28, 2015

NW Day One: Spilsh Splash!

General Facts about the first day of our road trip--

Time I thought we we supposed to leave the house: 8 a.m.
Time the Jedi actually wanted to leave the house: 7 a.m.
Time we actually pulled out of the driveway: 8:15 a.m.
Amount of frustration the Jedi showed about this: None.

Number of times I failed as a navigator: 3
Number of times the Jedi got upset about missing our turns in the middle of construction when we were already behind: 0

Money we had budgeted for souvenirs: $1 for a postcard
Money we spent on an unscheduled stop where we found The Best Chocolate Milk in the World (and lactose free!): $38 plus ice cream and no postcard

Hours of sleep I got before we left: 6
Hours of sleep I got last night: 6 1/2
Why I am up right now writing: too excited to sleep

Number of awesome water slides we went down: ALL THE SLIDES (except the stand up and have the floor drop out from under you while you get shot into a watery death drop. Screw that noise.)

Amount of fun we are having SO MUCH FREAKING FUN.

After we had rolled out of Cincy an hour and fifteen past when the Jedi wanted to leave, we discovered as we were driving into Indianapolis that the entire freeway was shut down some place north of Indianapolis (at the intersection of I-90 and Rt 52 if you are really curious.) We got detoured off the interstate into corn fields. It was scenic. Boybot asked, "What do these people do when they need to go to the grocery store?"

And we did drive through this massive wind farm. That *was* really cool.

But best of all, somewhere in the middle of I-don't-where-we-are-Indiana, we made a stop for gas, and just happened to find ourselves next to Fair Oaks Farm. Our first clue that the farm next door might be awesome was the cow in front of the BP...

And then the cow display on top of the refrigerators inside the BP...
And while they sold Fair Oaks cheese and ice cream in the BP, it was a bit pricey, so I thought we should just head next door and see if it was cheaper and fresher from the source. So we drove over for ice cream at the COWfee
But before we went in, I just wanted to snap a few photos...

And since we were already walking around, we might as well go in the bakery shop, since it was RIGHT THERE. Inside the bakery, we discovered cookies as big as my face, the Best Chocolate Milk in the World, raspberry cream fudge, and other delicious baked goods...including a blueberry loaf and a breakfast casserole. (Later we would discover that breakfast at our hotel was $15 a person, so my $8 casserole purchase to feed the whole family was a real win.)

Then we headed in for ice cream (and white chocolates and pork rub from yet another gift store area)

We didn't hit lunch in Chicago until what would have been 3:30 EDT, so the stop for ice cream and snacks was well worth it.

Lunch was Chicago deep dish pizza. The Jedi had emailed the restaurant several days before our trip to make sure they had a smooth sauce option for Boybot. The pizza was good, but I have to confess, it wasn’t as good as the wood fired pizza we make in the smoker at home.

 Because of the late start, the road construction detour, and the stop at Fair Oaks Farm, we didn’t get to Wisconsin Dells till late evening….just as they were closing the outdoor waterpark. Still, the indoor water park was enormous, and we had a great time there. (Of course, we knew it would be great as soon as we pulled up and were greeted by elephants. How can you go wrong with elephants? There were elephants everywhere, including on the wall of our room. Sweetling was beside herself with joy.)

We stayed inside the water park all evening, skipping dinner. We rode nearly all the slides, many of them more than once. It being a Thursday, there weren’t that many visitors and so there were hardly any lines at all. The park also had a small wave pool and the Jedi joined us in that.

We all liked all the slides….save one. They had one body slide that was a pretty straight shoot into a “toilet bowl”. For some reason, I decided that I might want to try this slide. The four of us stood at the bottom of the slide and discussed this notion. (Though in fairness, it was mostly Toa and I discussing this notion. Sweetling and the Jedi wanted nothing to do with this insanity. Boybot wanted to know just how bad the slide was, and was willing to let his mother go be the Guinea pig.)

So, I found myself eagerly heading up the stairs. Partway up the stairs, it occurred to me that essentially flushing oneself down a giant toile might not be the best of times. This could be like a full body swirly. This could be like a spider's last few terrifying seconds of life. But I intentionally failed my sill save and continued up the stairs.

The good thing about the slide was that the whole experience was over in a few horrifying moments. Yet those moments still gave plenty of time for reflection on one’s current circumstances. Here, approximately, is my train of thoughts. “Not so bad. Not so bumpy for a water slide. Completely dark though. Why do they do that. Ouch. Not a comfortable ejection into the toilet bowl. Hey, sliding around the bowl is pretty fun. I like this part. I wonder when I’ll hit the….” And then I was falling, head and shoulder first, out of the hole in the center of the toilet bowl. This was not the most comfortable angle to hit the water four feet below.

At that point, my thoughts switched to a panic stricken “Can’t-tell-which-was-is-up-nose-is-full-of-water-lungs-are-empty-drowning!” Sheer thoughtless panic took over. Somehow my flailing limbs thrashed me to the surface, though that was difficult to discern at first because of the gallons of water still falling on my head from the toilet bowl above. More instinct got me moving towards the edge of the pool. Out from under the deluge, I treaded water and wiped my eyes clear, gasped for breath, and tried to get my bearings. I become aware that my family was standing at the edge of the pool. I think they might have been laughing at me, but I’m pretty sure that was my imagination. They surely wouldn’t have been laughing at me.

As I worked my way over to the ladder and was climbing out of the pool, I realized there were words coming out of my mouth. They went something along the lines of “horrible, this was horrible idea, whose idea was this, this was horrible.” The Jedi came over and helped me out of the pool and put his hand comfortingly on my shoulder. Boybot looked at me and asked, “So, how was it, Mom?” I then launched into a play by play tirade about my experience. Boybot listened intently and then decided he needed to TRY THIS FOR HIMSELF. (Boybot loved this slide. He spent a good part of the rest of the night on this slide.)

We stayed until close to waterpark closing at ten. Then headed back up to our room, got changed, and headed back down to find dinner. Everyone was dangerously hungry at this point, but most of the little restaurants and food places had closed for the night. One walk-up grill was open, selling off the last of the chicken fingers and mini corndogs sitting in paper trays in their warming racks. Yum. But beggars can’t be choosers, so we cued up for what I was sure would be overpriced and disgusting food. Sweelting got a slice of cheese pizza and Boybot and I had a couple of burritos assembled from the options still sitting in their steam table. We took these with some bottles of juice from their fridge back up to our room and found them to be surprisingly good. We wound up getting to be around midnight local time…which was 1 in the morning for us.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

You're an awesome writer. I loved the photos and the happy details. I've also enjoyed what Susan has posted and her numerous cow photos. What a great vacation time. I know I've used "awesome" and "great", but this is not a Beverly Goldberg "the most amazing thing my eyeballs have ever seen" lapse, but just an appreciation for the kind of updates that I love to read and see. Puts me right there with you guys without the countless cashing in of "50 bonus points for Pops". Love you all immensely. Jupiter and I are doing great.