Rip "Roaring" Good Times.....
As summer begins to come to a close and we start counting down the days until the kiddies go back to school (16 in case you were wondering), its time to start making good on all the promises we can no longer put off. One such promise was to take the kids to our local water park, Roaring Springs, before school started. So that's what we did yesterday afternoon.
Jaden's kindergarten class all received a free day pass last year and ever since he brought that golden ticket home, he's been bugging us regularly to take them. We kept saying "we'll take you guys sometime before school starts again", and for a while that coasted us by. Well the other day we were looking over our calendar for August and we realized that our time was almost up. August was filling up fast and we were running out of days to fulfill our promise. It actually came down to only two or three days that would work before school started. As it turned out, Sarah got off work early yesterday after she went in early, and my afternoon schedule was pretty clear so we decided we'd head out and enjoy some watery goodness.
I didn't tell the kids our surprise....I just made them lay down and take a nap after lunch then we woke them up when Sarah got home and told them to put on their swimsuits. They immediately got excited and hurried around to get ready. The day was pretty warm but it was overcast so the sun wasn't punishing. We headed out around 2:45 and arrived a little after 3 to take advantage of the 3-8pm specials. Ticket prices are comparable to Disneyland (ok, not THAT bad but close) so its always best to go when they have one of their promo's running.
As we drew close, we saw that the parking lot was packed, as was expected. That place is always busy. After finding a spot in one of the satellite dirt lots we trekked over, got our tickets and entered the aqua paradise. Both Sarah and I had forgotten sunscreen, but the kids were coated so we were set. Fortunately, as I stated before, it was overcast so we didn't burn to a crisp.
The kids were bursting to go play but first things first, we had to secure a life vest for Jaden. After that was secure our first stop was the wave pool. We hung around in there for 10 minutes or so and then the kids wanted to hit the rides.
First up was Pipeline Mines. We gathered up our 2-man rafts with J and me in one, and Sarah and Ash in the other. Pitch dark, enclosed tunnel with waterfalls, twists, turns and drops before blasting out into the pool. Jaden hated it and screamed all the way down.
Then it was on to the Viper's Vortex. Another 2-seater with me and J together, and Sarah and A in the other. This one was "meh". You drop down a 4 story tube (which was fun) then shoot out into a sprialing vortex bowl (we call it "the toilet") where you casually drift in a circle or two before going out the drain into the pool. The first part was fun but the slowness of the spiraling kind of detracted from it.
Next we hit the Racing Ridge. A 350 foot slide down on a foam mat, racing all the way to the bottom. I won due to my awesome aero-dynamicity. Kids loved this one!
After that it was onto the standard drop slides. Ash and J went up together but then Sarah sent me up to accompany J since the drop at the end was into a 10' deep pool and J's swimming skills are still developing. We waited through the line but I couldn't go down with J, so we walked back down and A took the plunge.
Then the kids were off to the kiddie play area while Sarah and I lounged in some chairs for a bit. J wanted to hang around a bit so I stayed with him while Sarah and Ash went and got into the Endless River. J took a kiddie slide then decided he too wanted to get in the river.
The Endless River is the perfect way for parents to enjoy the water park. Its just a huge circling river of water that moves around the park. You can swim or float and just lounge and relax. If you are lucky enough to grab a tube then its close to perfect....all I needed was a tropical drink to seal the deal. Its got a couple swift parts and some waterfalls to keep the kids interested. We hung out in there for a while and then Ash decided it was time to move on.
Our next stop was The Avalanche. Sarah and J refused to go on this so I took Ash. Its basically a giant water half-pipe that you ride on in a 2-man raft. However its like 5 stories tall and is pretty much a 180 degree drop straight down. Ash had been on it before with her aunt and she was still totally scared to go on it again. It was pretty thrilling for sure, not for the faint of heart. The best part is the drop down when you and your raft actually lift off the ground a bit and free-fall.
By now our trip was winding down so we had only two rides left. Sarah was done so I took the kids to the Mammoth Canyon which is still one of my favorites. This is the ride that scared the crap out of J the last time we went, but he was ready to go this time. This one always has the longest line but you go down in a multi-person raft so it moves pretty quick. By the time we got to the top however, J was rethinking his decision. He toughed it out though and ended up loving it. You start with a little waterfall then go about half way down in a dark tube, spinning the whole way, around some twists and turns before coming out into the open tube. A few more crazy turns and then out into the pool. Fun times!
After that was one last trip on the Racing Ridge with the kids and then it was time to pack it in. We had to swing by the gas station so Sarah could get herself a fountain drink and she grabbed a surprise Icee for the kiddos. Then we headed home and showered. The kids didn't understand why they needed a shower since they were just in the water...but Sarah explained (quite graphically) how the water is so dirty at those places and why showers are needed. By the time we got home they were arguing over who got to shower first.
Sarah and I whipped up a tasty dinner of guacamole-bacon-cheese turkey burgers, tater tots and special sauce. YUMMO! Then we all sat down and relaxed to watch one of our favorite shows, Wipeout. Well, THEY got to watch it...I am still on call and of course I got phoned and had to work. Anyway, all in all it was a pretty great day. Everyone had fun and enjoyed hanging out with each other which is all we can ask for. Its nice to get out and do things like that as a family...gotta enjoy it while we can since the kids are growing up so fast. We tell them to stop but they just don't listen. It was also a nice way to start closing the summer down. It'll be our last big family outing before school other than our camping trip at the end of the month, so I'm glad we were able to finally do it.
Well that's it for us, now its back to the grind. Hope everyone is having a good week so far! Talk to all you dudes later.