Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Skog Family Week in Review


Once upon a time I vomited while on a ride at Lagoon.  Some of the details are now hazy but I know I was between the ages of 14-17, it was Stake Lagoon Day, the poor sap with whom I was riding was my pal, Colin, and the stomach twisting - chuck inducing culprit was The Rock-O-Plane.  Not to be confused with The Roll-O-Plane, which is no longer in existence at Lagoon.  Rumor has it (I'm sure the Internet never lies) that sometime in 2002 the Roll-O-Plane had a large passenger enter one side and as it lifted into the air it came together like a circus strongman bending a steel bar.  Click here and scroll down to see a pic.  Luckily nobody was hurt.  However, somebody did get hurt in that Rock-O-Plane on that fateful day.  As Colin and I made our final loop and unloading descent, I laid over the bar with my light breakfast inching ever closer to the top of my throat and finally "unleashed the kraken" all over the bottom of the cage.  We locked the bar in place and were able to finish the road unscathed, minus a few splatters.  The decent thing to do would have been to get out and tell the Lagoon employee what had transpired in the plane.  The line was long, however, and who was I to make all of those nice paying customers wait several minutes while the cage was cleaned and sanitized?  So I did what any normal 14-17 male who just blew chunks in public would do - I ran as fast as my little legs would carry me.  To this day it haunts me.  To the lottery winner who got the pleasure of riding in that cage post-kg explosion - I offer a sincere apology.

I took Superstar to Lagoon for Frightmares when she was three years old.  Because of the Halloween theme Superstar had thought until this trip that the name of the park was - Howlagoon.  I was excited to show her the park during non-nightmare inducing days.  Wheels, on the other hand, was not as excited to return to the park for her first visit in over a decade.  Wheels is something of a, how would you say?  ah yes - An Amusement Park Snob.  I'm sure it has something to do with growing up in proximity to Cedar Point, arguably the best park in the United States.  Cedar Point has had the World's Tallest, Fastest, etc Roller Coaster at different points of the park's history.  She might have a point - go ahead and checkout some of the coasters on their website.  We'll be back here waiting with Wheels laughing at our lousy Colossus.  Throw in the fact that Toots' tummy has provided many tales like the one described in the first paragraph and you could understand our trepidation as we headed for our first family day at Lagoon.

We started off slow - the Baby Boats - which are a rite of passage for any young child.  We'd heard horror stories from people such as The Bells who talked about throwing their kids on a scary ride right out of the shoot and scarring their children for the rest of the day.  Nothing like waiting 45 min for this thrill ride.  Actually, I didn't wait for this ride.  Myself and two of the Bell Boys made a break for Tidal Wave and rode it (twice) while that poor sap Wheels watched toddlers and infants clang bells in a circle on repeat.  I made it back just in time and the kids loved it.

Next up we hit the Red Baron.  One of the girls' favorite books is Snoopy and the Red Baron so we asumed this was a great idea.  It started off fine and both Toots and Superstar seemed to enjoy the up and down but after a few laps around Toots began to cry.  "Great," I thought to myself, "It's gonna be a real fun day here with Toots."  As the ride ended and I went to help the girls disembark their planes I saw that Toots' seatbelt was undone which seemed odd since not once did I see the unfasten your seatbelt light during the flight.  Not sure how that occurred but she seemed fine after returning to the safety of the ground.

After the seatbelt debacle we decided to hit another ride that was beloved by all children, The Bumper Cars.  I feared the ride wouldn't be as fun for the girls since they basically play bumper cars with the neighbor kids and their power wheels in the cul-de-sac everyday but this time it was actually not only allowed but encouraged by their parents.  What kid wouldn't like that?  Toots.  Well at least not when she got stuck against the side while kids continually smashed into the back of her car.  "I've made a huge mistake," I thought once again.

Once Toots had again calmed down we headed back for a few more kiddie rides. Toots began to get her groove back and something clicked. From that point on the only crying was when she was not allowed on rides because of her height. We had planned ahead for this but it really depended on whether the teenage kid running the ride was being vigilant. Toots is 34.5" and Superstar is 44" tall. Both of them were just shy of two Lagoon magic numbers - 36" and 46", respectively. 36" means that you can ride some of the big rides while accompanied by an adult and some of the 'extreme' kiddie rides. 46" is the cutoff for most of the better adult rides, all of which Superstar was willing to ride. We'll see how brave she is next year when the 46" barrier has been crossed but for now Superstar claims she would ride anything and has so far lived up to her braggadocio. We had Toots wear some sandals with a heel to get her closer to 36" and we instructed her on proper tippy toe techniques. She was close enough that most of the ride operators just let her slide but there was one kid who spoke like Borat and operated the green swings that kept shutting her down. We tried at four different times throughout the day to no success, usually being greeted with, "Sheez eee leetle beet a tooo esmall..." She was devastated. Luckily she found many other rides that she enjoyed such as the Musik Express and Rattlesnake Rapids - "Get Kim wet! Get Kim wet" was apparently the war cry there. All in all a terrific day at Lagoon.

We enjoyed ourselves so much that a week later we decided to bounceback. That morning as I left work for home it was raining as hard as it had poured all summer. "I've made a huge mistake," I again thought to myself, nearly turning around to head back into the office. However, I pressed forward with faith. I consulted with The Bells and my old man upon arriving home and The Bells were going to not let a little rain stop them and they journeyed to the park. Big J and I thought we better sit out until the weather cooperated a little better and after a short wait mother nature welcomed us with a delightful day. Here are Toots and Rockstar out for a pleasant drive.

The only negative aspect of the day was the malfunctioning train. We had somehow escaped riding it on our first visit to the park but you don't slip something that awesome passed your kids twice.  Each time we tried to  have a train ride there was a sign informing us it was out of order and would be up shortly.  Finally towards the end of the day the ride was back up and running.  We waited for a few minutes and then loaded up and the kids sat eager to see a few random animals and a really nasty lagoon filled with 20 foot carp.  As the engineer blew the whistle a puff of black smoke shot out and not in a good way.  The ride was down again and we were asked to exit.  Luckily for us we did see some animals during our brief time on the train.  We saw some monkeys, exotic birds, a lion and some bashful bears.

An extremely pleasant day, indeed. By the end of our twice in one week Lagoon experience even Wheels was singing its praises. Also, Because of the rain there were extremely short rides and we were able to ride anything we wanted. Even Toots, who finally got her ride on the Green Swings.


Robyn said...

This is all so very close to my heart. That poor sap Colin and I have something in common then. I too have had the pleasure of riding with a vomiter. Jamie Smith and the Screamer had a similar experience as you and Rock-o-plane, and even during that same time frame!
Good times.
I’m not gonna lie, that Roll-o-Plane was the best ride there, back in the day. I know people will disagree, but I remember never laughing as hard when someone got that lock, hatch thing stuck in there hip over and over and over. I would go to Lagoon just for that ride, if they brought it back. It would be worth the fortune it takes to have a family of 6 go! My kids complain every time we pass there, because we’ve never let them have the experiences we had as kids.
You guys are good parents and we are very bad!
Thanks for the trip down memory lane and for the guilt trip KG.

Mindy said...

Like Robyn, my memories of Lagoon are fond. Flirting with boys on the Jet Star, riding the Colossus over and over..even the free sno-cone you got with your Stake Lagoon Day Ticket. Good times. But I must defend Wheels..If I had grown up next to Cedar Pointe, I would be a snob as well. That place is Lagoon on Steroids and Crack Cocain.
And I love that pic of you and your dad on the train. Greg has been captured with that face several times. Fun for the kids.

Skye said...

I'd never gotten sick on rides until in college I went to a little fair in St. George. I went on a couple of spinning rides and on the last one I threw up all over, and yes, just walked away from the ride and pretended it wasn't me. Since then I can only go on about 2 roller coasters before I'm sick.

kg said...

Robyn - No guilt needed. We aren't that good of parents. My work gave us some extremely discounted tix otherwise our kids would just have to wave at Lagoon as we passed by as well.

Mindy - Don't defend Wheels, we just barely got her on board with Lagoon and we definitely can't afford a trip to Sandusky, OH (Home of Tommy Boy!).

Skye - I seem to do fine as long as the ride is fast. It's the slow spinning that really does me in these days. The sickest I got at Lagoon this time? Those stupid green kid swings that Toots so desperately wanted to ride.

Corbie said...

Cutest. Girls. Ever.