Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hurricane Harbor

To celebrate Todd’s last day of summer vacation, we went to Six Flag’s Hurricane Harbor this week.  It’s hard to believe he’s already back at work!  Summer seems to get shorter every year.  Anyway, we’ve been promising Grace all summer that we would go to a water park, and it ended up being a fun day.

Of course, anything compared to Dollywood’s Splash Country is a letdown….that place is awesome.  I think I’ve figured out why Dollywood is so clean, well-run, and inviting.  It’s the employees.  The average age is about 70…mostly retired folk.  They actually care about doing their jobs well and have a sense of responsibility.  Even the lifeguards are older and more experienced.  At Hurricane Harbor, the 87-pound, 16-yr-old lifeguard is more interested in flirting with the bikini-clad crowd than actually watching kids in the wave pool.  Just sayin’.

Anyway, Grace didn’t know the difference…she just had fun!  We didn’t take any pictures because we didn’t want to risk getting our camera or phone wet.  They ended up staying in our rented locker all day. 

I’m quite adventurous when it comes to roller coasters, but not so much with water slides.  I don’t even like the smaller ones.  My idea of a water adventure is floating down the Lazy River, preferably with a cold beverage.  However, Todd finally managed to talk me into going on the Roarin’ Rapids “as a family”. 

After waiting in line for an hour, we grabbed our floats and started climbing the stairs to the top.  Grace was tall enough to ride by herself with a life jacket.  Despite my nervousness about the whole thing, Grace was thrilled to be on her own.

Sure enough, something happened.  A woman was injured on a sharp protruding object and the ride was stopped for the paramedics and rescue team.  A cheeky lifeguard jumped over a wall and stopped the progression of our floats to the bottom of the ride.  For a long time, we waited and waited.  You might think that floating on an inner tube for an hour could be relaxing, but I bet you’ve never done it with a 5-yr-old who is in constant danger of falling through the hole and wants to ride to finish. 

Todd was fed up with the waiting game and started eyeing the side of the ride and looking to the ground below.  He actually asked the lifeguard if he could jump over and get off the ride, and the lifeguard shrugged his shoulder and said, “I can’t stop you.”  So, Todd vaulted over the wall.  I pushed Grace over the wall, then started trying to figure out how I was going to do it.  About 15 other riders were watching us with interest, as well as the lifeguard.  No pressure.

I tried to boost myself up with my arms, but when I pushed up, the roaring water and undercurrent of the ride shoved my body off the wall.  It was hard, people.  I finally managed to do it (thank you, Jillian Michaels).  After the three of us were safely over the side, the lifeguard decided to evacuate all the other riders.  I guess we were the guinea pigs.

And that, my friends, is the final chapter in my life experiences with water slides.


Anonymous said...

so, i'm reading this immediately after doing the shred (like, my arms are still shaking). good to know it came in handy in real life :)

glad you're all ok, too!

Megan said...

I enjoyed reading you blog and It's very nice to hear that idea of yours.Thank you for sharing this post.

Pamela said...

You have a very nice post. It inspires me. Thank you.

Mimi said...

You didn't mention a previous chapter of water slide history...the time you broke your tail bone going down a very bumpy ride that the water had been cut off or something like that! We do have the stories, don't we?!

P90X said...

I enjoyed reading you blog and It's very nice to hear that idea of yours.