Friday, July 29, 2011

Livin' in the Country

Water Country USA, that is....

Back in June, CJ celebrated her birthday and received a very special gift--passes to Water Country USA, a dedicated water park (owned by SeaWorld) in Williamsburg. CJ and R went last year and discovered a sweet deal for residents of Virginia who return to the park after a visit: Free entry! (minus parking and any extras). So, they had a second visit, and CJ has talked semi-nonstop about the place ever since.

Especially, just before her birthday this year. (Hint! Hint!)

She counted down the days 'til the opening of the 2011 season, even writing the numbers on our kitchen blackboard and "Opening Day!" when that rolled around. Needless to say, receiving a pass to her favorite summer attraction made her birthday. But it wasn't just a pass for her. It was a pass for all four of us! Wow.... We were all going to the water park this summer. Yeah! Uh-huh. Oh....gee....

Water Country has spectacular features. If you like going down steep hills on rafts, inner tubes, foam mats or just your bathing suit, you will love the assortment of attractions. For someone brand new to the water park experience, not a swimmer and not a fan of going into new places, Water Country loomed as one more "dark, spooky closet" to check out for RJ2. Still, water rat that she is, we figured she love it.

R and I picked a date with time in advance to prepare. We told RJ2 we were going the week of. CJ took the visual schedule one step further and prepared a PowerPoint presentation on the park. [Would I ever kid you? I would post if Blogger had that option.] So, RJ2 had ample preparation for the big day. We laid out her swimsuit the night before. It's not every day you wake up and put on your swimsuit right after breakfast!

Of course, because this is how things happen in life, the afternoon before had brought one of our worst neighborhood pool outings this season. Too complicated a series of events in dynamics to explain, let's just say, we left early and no one was happy--no one! Was seriously hoping that today was a new day--in every respect!

We left the house in great shape--picnic lunches packed, suits on, sunscreen waiting to be applied. Got to the park in great time and spirits. Made it to the front gate. Then, a stumble! Even though we had told RJ2 there would be no "going inside" and it was only a gate, we were stuck. She could not get passed the blaring soundtrack coming through the loudspeakers. Steps away from fun--even access to the quick lanes, with our passes--but we couldn't budge.

We regrouped, moving to a less loud position and offering to cover her ears. She wanted so badly to just get beyond it. Then, as she has proven so many times this summer, she just said OK. And, screaming most of the way, we went through the gate. [Breathe....Breathe!] It was smooth sailing from there.

Today was supposed to be 101 in central VA. Crazy day to have picked to be at the water park! Lots of other folks had the same idea. But, it worked so well. We arrived at the opening, so we had our pick of the pools to play in, and everyone had a good time. R and CJ went off to ride on the larger flumes. RJ2 loved exploring the different pools, their mini-slides, little boats. Fountains, not so much! The freedom to explore shallow water was just the best.

After a trip down the park's Lazy River--two-person blow-up boats that move very slowly around a segment of the park--we broke for lunch. Then, we closed out the afternoon with the Hubba Hubba Highway and the wave pool. The wave pool has calm water for 8 or 9 minutes and constant waves for another 8 or 9 minutes. Cool! Then, we returned to the car, five hours from when we had started, and left for an uneventful drive back home. We figure the girls will soon fall asleep [yeah, right!], being so tired from a long, exciting day, while we're wondering how we are still awake--because we are tired--and why our legs and knees ache!

Looking back, by far, we had the biggest smiles on the Hubba Hubba Highway. Unlike the Lazy River, we donned life vests before entering this river ride, as the current moves at a strappin' pace! Jets shoot water from the sides--to keep the folks moving around the very long track--as well as from the bottom, occasionally and surprisingly! [Insert slightly embarrassed giggle here. Think Fraulein Maria sitting on the pine cone in the Von Trapp dining room.]

Various types of squirting devices and misters spray water on the participants as they quickly pass by. Signs, a la Burma Shave days, cover the sides of the track. We had the best time, zipping along, grabbing hands when we could, trying to steer against the current. Even RJ2, by the third time around, didn't mind getting rained on! She loved the feeling of freedom, even as she was moving much faster than she could control things.

I was really hoping that our adventure would turn out to be special family time. We don't get to go to "big" places together very often. But our time on the Hubba Hubba Highway--and spending a super-hot day in a wonderfully cool, wet water park--together, will be remembered and talked about for weeks to come.

Although there were so many "picture perfect" memories, we didn't want to bring a camera into the park. Just too much to think about with doing that. So, there are no actual pictures of our visit. But, since it's hard for me to blog without a photo....

I made one.

Greetings from Water Country USA! 'Til next time....


LouiseBC said...

Loved this! What a wonderful day for your family. I know the feeling of not really being able to do many "big" things as a group, so this sounds like a magical day.

Anonymous said...

We were there, too! So surprised we didn't crash into each other on the Hubba-Hubba! You're right...a great way to spend a scorching day. Glad it turned out good for you guys. HOW did you "make" the picture???