For 3 days this past weekend my sisters, their families, Madison and I enjoyed a weekend trip to DesMoines Iowa to spend a few days at Adventureland. We discovered this theme park when Kelly was a pharmacy student at Drake University and have declared it one of the nicest parks around, and very much worth the drive. My oldest daughter Stephanie also graduated from Drake and is returning in a few weeks to get her masters in business. (sorry, mommas have to brag) Needless to say, I-80 from LaSalle to DesMoines has been, and will be well-traveled for the next 2 years. We didn’t go on our annual trek to Wisconsin, so we had to find someplace nearby where we could all catch up before the school years begins and life gets really busy. Since Adventureland has now added a water park that we could also enjoy, it was the unanimous choice. The first thing we noticed was for the first time EVER our kids were old enough to pair off and head off on their own, leaving the adults to meander around like old people do…..you got it….we “old timers” started at the front of the park and rode and rode and rode the rides. I was successful in getting my first searing sunburn of the summer (ouch) and did spend part of the day babysitting the numerous “South Park’ stuffed characters that my nephews won.
On day two we all pitched in and rented a cabana next to the wave pool. That cabana was SWEET….it had a table and chairs, L-shaped couch, ceiling fan, tv and a cabana boy at our disposal. Ok maybe he wasn’t at our disposal, but he was nice on the eyes when he popped in and asked if we needed anything. Once we got settled in the kids scattered like cockroaches and we adults decided how to spend our day. I, not being a friend of water slides…decided that the lazy river would be fine for this old girl. Off I head with my tube to glide along peacefully. Kelly, Tammy, Mark and Austin (my teenage nephew) decide to experience the “Typhoon”. To enjoy this water adventure 4 people sit on this large blown up tube with a hole for each persons back sides and 2 handles for each rider. Apparently you are all facing the center and therefore have a front row seat for watching the terror on each others faces. Later I returned to the cabana to see Kelly holding a dressing on a bloody elbow and got a replay of the ride. After they all got seated and with some pushing a shoving, the attendant was able to send them on their way to begin their ride. They traveled up and down through this winding tube until the whole raft was emptied into this cavern that resembles a toilet bowl. The problem is that with the added weight of 4 adults, they shot out into the toilet bowl, and headed way up the far side of the bowl. What happened next depends on who you talk to….Tammy says Kelly lost her grip and fell off of the tube, and Kelly says Mark pushed her off….but either way…she was on her own in the toilet bowl while the other 3 were swirling on the other side of the bowl. As she tells it, “My life flashed before my eyes and all I could think about were my babies”…(who are 11 and 13 for petes sake). In case you don’t know my sister Kelly, I should preface this by telling you that she is about 6 foot tall, with 5 feet of her being legs. So Kelly continues to swirl in the bowl on her back, legs in the air, keeping an eye on the others in the bowl and she breathes a sigh of relief when she is flushed out first. She said she was deposited out of the ride into a holding pool and thought “OMG I made it out in one piece” …..until the tube and riders came out and landed on top of her. Down she went again and after some more life flashing, managed to get out from under it. Mark then jumped off of the tube, only to be pulled into some type of current and had to be rescued out by the female lifeguard.
So here we sit in our cabana, watching Kelly try to stop the bleeding, and laughing hysterically at the retelling of the story. We look around and realize the youngest of us is now 46 and the oldest is 53 and to quote Kelly “When are we going to realize how old we are? ” and to that we all agreed…NEVER!!!! I had a giggle because Kelly forgot to take off her glasses and spent most of the ride with them stuffed down the front of her swimsuit, hanging on to them for all she was worth.
Now I ask you, why would someone go down a water slide with their glasses on??? Honestly….kids nowdays.