Sunday, August 10, 2008

Land of Make Believe

My sister came up from Georgia to visit this past week, and the one thing she really wanted to do was to take the maniacs to The Land of Make Believe.

Some people take their kids to Disney, some go to Great Adventure (Six Flags for you weird non-Jersey people) and some even do Dorney Park. Now, I don't object to any of those places, but I do have issues with crowds, lines, and biting my tongue around rude people, so a trip to any of those places is an exercise in selflessness and generosity (and martyring), rather than a happy day with my offspring.

LOMB is different.

My sisters and I knew the layout of the park by heart by the time we were 6. We knew the "proper" order for riding the rides, when to break out the picnic coolers, and what we would discuss with Colonel Corn (you'll see.)

Some things have changed since we were little. Specifically the admission price, which has gone way up to accommodate the new-ish "free" water park. Still, $106 for 2 adults and 3 children (kids under 2 are free) is more than reasonable for this place, in my opinion.

We got a late start on Friday (when don't I get a late start?), but that meant we were in the second line of close-to-the-exit parking. This would come in handy later!

First stop was a train ride around the park. (Okay, after the bathroom.)

With me already red and sweaty.

Followed immediately by the Tilt-A-Whirl.

Later, we discovered that a used Tilt-A-Whirl can be purchased for around $30,000. I want my own Tilt-A-Whirl. What do you think that might do to my homeowner's insurance?

M spent the day trying to be brave. She made it through some rides.

But had second thoughts on others. We became very adept at catching the ride operators' attention before they pushed the button.

This roller coaster has been here forever.

When I was little, it scared me because it was a "big" roller coaster. Now it scares me because it's an OLD roller coaster!

After riding the rides with the biggest upchuck risk, we grabbed some food, and my sister grabbed some cute shots of the maniacs.

So, we're sitting around, stuffing our faces, trying to decide whether or not we'll do the water park (I have major phobias when it comes to babies and water parks, not to mention 4 maniacs in a water park with 2 adults.) when, out of nowhere, there's a MAJOR crack of thunder. We could see everyone scrambling down the water slide lines, but most people in the dry park just kept going about their business.

I thought I was being slightly paranoid when I began discussing an exit strategy, but another scary boom and we were gathering up our food and herding the maniacs out of the park. Just as we got to the car (there's that bonus for being late!), the rain started. The kids made it in mostly dry, and my sister and I were slightly damp after loading everything in. We found out real fast that standing under the lift gate couldn't protect us from the major downpour that rushed in. And, when we finally made a break for the front seats, I got stuck slamming the lift gate, which was the equivalent of having the bucket dump in the Pirate's Cover water park.

So, we had a nice lunch in the car!
Until I dropped a french fry down my shirt. And I did think about sharing that picture, but I decided not to. You can see enough boobage in our picture with Santa.

The rain was immediately followed by a bright blue sky. You never would have known that it had rained if it wasn't for a few giant mud puddles on the ground, but even those disappeared fairly quickly.

So, we went on to see Santa.
The thing that kills me about Santa is that it's always HOT in his winter wonderland. To get to him, you walk into a giant fireplace and take the stairs "up the chimney," so there could be some sort of logic there. But, after climbing the dark, scary stairs (it's not uncommon for kids to freak out), you enter a dark (scary) room filled with lit up trees and fake snow. And there sits Santa, with a big fan blowing on him. One of these days, they're going to have to hook up the A/C. I'll give them another 30 years.

The kids chatted up Colonel Corn (some poor guy sits in a nearby building, carrying on conversations with little kids and rude preteens all day. Can you imagine? Not enough money in the world!), and then pumped water from the well at Jenny's house.

Jenny went out to pick berries one day, and found herself running from Indians. Er, Native Americans. When she reached the edge of the mountain, her father called from below, "Jump, Jenny, Jump!" So, she did. "There are several stories about what happened next, but we like to believe that Jenny broke her arm." Yes, we like to believe that Jenny broke her arm, her father carried her away, and the savages hell bent on nabbing the little girl went off to leave the family in peace. Yes we do.

The state officially named this Jenny Jump Mountain.
Yes, this story seriously disturbed me as a child, and I'm disappointed that my children don't seem disturbed by it at all, but I keep trying!

This ride had very inadequate seatbelts. That upset me at first. Then I realized that, if M were to freak and wind up falling out, there really wasn't far to go. We have good ER coverage. LOMB could give me their Tilt-A-Whirl, and we could forget the whole thing ever happened.
She didn't freak. I don't have a Tilt-A-Whirl.

Baby's First Cotton Candy

I tried really hard to find the old pictures of my sisters and I in the candy cane forest, but I think they must be in the back of my sister's closet, where my Little House books were hidden for 8 years. So, here are the kids (all of them) hanging around the well worn, well loved canes.

I can't tell you how many times my mom used shots of us around these candy canes for Christmas cards. So, guess what she'll get in the mail this year.

Man, I love this place. Go visit!


kwr221 said...

Love the pics - sounds like a fun day.

What kind of camera were you using - fancy or basic?

Those old fashioned amusement parks are a hoot - the candy canes looked a little sad, though.

PearlsOfSomething said...

I was using my ancient Kodak Easy Share (from the days when 4mp was a big deal) and my sister's new camera. Don't remember what model, but it's a $150 8mp point-and-shoot.

NJ had so many great, little amusement parks. It's a shame that this is one of the only ones still going. Don't know *how* it's still going, lol, but I'm so glad it is!

kwr221 said...

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kwr221 said...

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