For a day of spinning, twisting, dropping and rocking, the very beginning was rather ominous. I awoke with a rumble in my tummy, and not the hungry kind, either. With some help from Harry Potter and the bathroom exhaust fan, I managed to get some relief for my agitated intestines, but I was concerned about the implications of taking on an amusement park with an already queasy inside.
I was mindful of the irritation in my bowels during lunch, and made an effort not to eat too much. I also set a strict 30-minute minimum before our next wild ride. For Anna, this was an invitation to go to the gift shop.
I did my best to keep her from buying cheap jewelry at the not-cheap gift shop prices. "Buy something with a Six Flags logo - something to remind you of the visit," I said. Instead, she ended up buying one of these little fuzzy worm puppet things. Some kids at school had one, and she wanted it really bad but hadn't been able to find them anywhere.
I had one when I was a kid; I bought it out of a machine in the front of K-Mart for a quarter. Anna's cost her five bucks.
Alyssa really wanted a "bone" figure. I explained that this wasn't Wishbone - it was Scoobie-Doo. She gave me a look that said "Whatever. Just give me my money."
Twenty-eight minutes after lunch, we started into the spinning rides, like the teacups and sombrero. Spinning is OK, but I wanted a real ride. I wanted La Vibora. (OK, actually I wanted the Titan and the Texas Giant, but let's be realistic here.)
The line for La Vibora was 30 minutes long. Not bad by amusement park standards, but the longest wait of our day. Anna fussed and complained and told me over and over again that they didn't like that ride. I explained that she had never been on that ride, and once she went on it she could tell me she didn't want to do it again, but I was sure she would like it.
So we pressed forward in the hot Texas afternoon, inching along with the sweating mass of thrill-seeking humanity for a chance at the bobsled-inspired roller-coaster. When it was done, Anna had a new favorite ride.
But thirty minutes was too long to wait, especially when the Conquistador required no wait at all. So we rode it again, then went off to ride the train. My innards needed something a little more sedate.
Alyssa said she wanted to eat. I told her we had just finished lunch, but she persisted. "Dot dot dot" she said. I had to admit, Dippin' Dots sounded pretty good, and might even settle my tummy. So I bought us each a pouch of the micro-dot sized frozen ice cream, which we ate on the train (the lady said we could, even though the sign said we couldn't.)
We spun and whirled around on the other side of the park, and I talked the girls into the parachute drop. I got my one true thrill of the day on that one. As the little gondola lifted up above the trees, I realized that both my girls and I were going to fall and die right then. But we didn't. Instead, we saw a great view of Arlington.
It wasn't long after this ride that the cranky grouchies joined our party and announced it was time for dinner. I had a great plan to go home, eat dinner, have everyone take a quick nap, and come back to the park to finish out the day.
This plan did not come together quite the way I imagined it.
Coming up in Part 3 - Nature's Heart-Pounding Action