Let's see...what's going on. It's the last few weeks before school and my brain is doing that exit from the norm of the space-time continuum in which I know that something is drawing ever nearer by the moment and thus feels farther and farther away. Am I the only one who feels that way? The last two weeks before school seem to be looming ahead of me more largely than the whole rest of the summer did. And yet, I'll be stuffing each day with as much SUMMER as I can, and be exhausted every night, and then school will start and I'll wonder what happened.
Okay, so one thing that definitely happened was another Lagoon Day for me. Stomper did a reading program at the city library that was awesome and awarded him with a free Lagoon ticket. And since I had just been with Bitty and they do this "bounce back" pass thing where you can come back within 10 days for just 12 bucks....I decided I could handle another day out there.
My day with Stomper was quite different from the one with Bitty. For one thing... he actually likes amusement park rides. He will ride on almost anything. Almost. (There were a couple that I couldn't get him on.) (But that didn't stop me from going on one of the biggest ones all by myself while he waited outside with my phone....sheepish.....) So yes, there was a lot more actual riding than the last time I had been. Also, we went the day after our valley had been drenched by a series of rainstorms, and rain was predicted for this day as well. Boy, that will clear out the place. I mean, there were still people there, but on this rainy Tuesday Lagoon was practically empty compared to the blazing hot Saturday on which I had previously visited. We did get a little rain, but not until the late afternoon, and it was only for a half hour or so, and then the cool evening cleared up. It was so lovely.
I do have to say that there is a definite down side to hitting a roller coaster park on a low-crowd day. Due to the fact that there are hardly any lines at all, you can go on an enormous number of crazy roller coasters in under an hour. Spider! Colossus! Wild Mouse! Rickety old one! It's been 15 minutes, let's go do all of those again! Our brains hurt. We had to take some breaks. There were plenty of trips on the Sky Ride for Stomper and me too, but this time, without the British Accent. I missed it a little, but my head was spinning too much from all the rides to be able to produce any fancy talking.
Okay, I do have to relate one story. There's this ride called the paratroopers and it was one of our favorites. It is a little tricky to load and unload - a slow, ferris-wheel-like loading system, and when it's your turn to hop in your little basket, it can be quite a jump up to get in if the operator rotates them a little too far. It can be rather embarrassing to get in and out, and this fact will come up later in my story.
So, we're in line, just as the rain starts in the afternoon. People are leaving in droves. There is a cute young mom in line ahead of me with a darling blond choppy hair cut and several small children at her side. We do that thing in line where you chat a little bit, maybe help each other out - hold her spot in line while she goes to deliver one of her children to her mother, stuff like that. It happens a lot at Lagoon, this connection between mothers. You look up for only a moment and suddenly meet the eyes of another mom, both of you with kids pulling on your arms. You don't even have to say anything. You just smile and think to yourself, "Solidarity, Sister. Hang in there, I feel your pain." And then you part ways. So yes, I made a mommy connection. And the best part was after the ride we were each walking away, chatting with our kids, and I heard her ask her son how he liked the ride. His reply? "Oh MOM, that was SEXY!" This kid was maybe 6. I burst out laughing, and she, in a very startled voice, began questioning the origin of that word into his vocabulary. It was so funny.
Well....about 2 hours later, Stomper wanted to ride the swooping Paratroopers ride again, so we headed back. We waited in line a bit and when it was our turn to clamber into our basket, I hoisted Stomper up first then made to jump into it myself. I could already tell that the operator had forwarded the basket off the landing pad just far enough that I was going to struggle. I did that thing where you stand in front of the object you want to sit on, put your palms on the thing, and try to jump and hoist yourself up and back at the same time. It's challenging at the best of times, and impossible at others. I could not do it. I looked up for a sec and.....met the laughing eyes of the very same mom. We waved, and I called to her that I was excited to ride this sexy ride again. She laughed. So did her husband, who was standing right next to her, directly in front of us, leaning on the gate and watching the action. I took a breath and tried again....and failed. I simply could not get in that seat. Finally, I had to turn and face the seat, perch one knee up and haul myself up like a toddler going up stairs, except no toddler has ever had a behind of this magnitude to stick out while they attempt the ascent. Oh my gosh I was embarrassed. I got settled, felt my face flushing, looked up to see the couple laughing amiably even harder and all I could say was, "This ride isn't sexy any more."