Friday was technically the last day of Summer for my boys. I say "technically" because there is a very good chance their first day of school will be delayed due to a teachers strike. But even so, I decided to take them to celebrate one last day of summertime freedom.
We piled into my little earth lovin' car and headed to the local water park. We threw in a couple of neighborhood friends to amp up the fun.
My boys have been BEGGING me to take them to Wild Waves since the first time they were able to see it out the car windows along side the freeway. And seeing as how they are up to my chin now goes to show you how long they've been begging.
I hadn't been to said water park since I was a teenager, some uh, twenty years ago. Yikes. I haven't been in a huge rush to return because even from the freeway you can tell the park has pretty much remained in the same shape since the totally tubular 1980's.
Now mind you all of the boys LOVED the park. From the stomach churning amusement rides to the sea sick inducing wave pool. They were in tween boy heaven.
I, on the other hand, was grossed out. I don't think they've cleaned the park since the day I last stepped foot in it. The stairs leading up to the water slides were caked in mildew, dirt, and who knows what else. The mold growing on the exterior of the water slides was disgusting to say the least. What disgusted me the most of all was knowing that this park is raking in the dough. I know this because I had just spent 24 dollars on a lunch consisting of two stale pretzels, a plastic cup of fake cheese nachos, and 3 small sodas. (You are not allowed to bring food in from the outside world.) Seriously. Not to mention paying 10 bucks to park my car in their own lot. I also dropped $8 to keep my personal belongings safe in a locker. All this on top of the small fortune I shelled out just to get the three of us through the front door. Would it hurt them to purchase a pressure washer and put it to good use? I don't think so.
The rides in the amusement park are the exact same ones I rode on as a kid. I couldn't help but hope and pray that we weren't going to be the ones on the ride at the time it decided to kick the bucket. Rusty hardware, rickety fencing, and completely moldy awnings greeted us at every turn. Nice. I'm so glad I was the only one who cared. All four boys were as happy as can be. They were looking at this fun day with their kid goggles on. I wish I still had a pair of those. You know, the goggles that once you placed them on your face make everything fun and wonderful. Kids are born with those and I think somewhere between 20 and 30 they disintegrate.
Nick was constantly thanking me for taking them to this place he's been dreaming of since toddler hood. The kids were enjoying this last day of summertime freedom. I guess I shouldn't be so critical of a place that can still evoke smiles and laughter from the people it's meant for most of all. I hope they enjoyed it, 'cause I doubt we'll be going back... at least for another 20 years.