I have been watching sports every day and night for the past 4 weeks. I love the Olympics and then the U.S. Open tennis started. I will be going into serious withdrawal tomorrow.
In between my sports watching my family went to several amusement parks. We were in Southern California and visited Sea World, Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure park and then went to Kennywood for Mark's company picnic back in the 'Burgh.
I was excited to take my girls to Sea World because I had fond memories of going when I was younger, back when there was a Sea World in Ohio. We went on a few rides first, An Arctic Adventure, which is a simulator-type ride that was pretty cool. We then went on a ride called Atlantis that looked like a roller coaster and was although it had a water part that I was not expecting. Okay, so now that I'm wet we might as well go on the river raft ride. We were completely drenched after that ride. Mark and the littles went on it twice, to make sure that there was not a spot on them that was dry. After that we had lunch and then started attending the shows. The shows were very entertaining, but waiting in the hot sun for them to start wasn't great. We all had sunburn even though we did (I thought) a good job of putting lotion on. Is there anything you can do about sunburn on your hair part? Other than a hat? All-in-all we enjoyed Sea World but felt that it would have been better if they had a few more non-water rides.
Everyone in my family absolutely loves Disney. (ok, maybe not Mark but he is a great sport) We were excited to go on the rides that they don't have in Florida and to revisit our favorites. We went on the Matterhorn first and then headed over to the Alice-in-Wonderland ride. After this we noticed a trend. We were next to go on the Alice ride when it broke down and were told that the wait would be about 15 minutes before it started again. We decided not to wait and went to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. About half through the ride it broke down and we were escorted to the exit. We next tried our luck with the Pinocchio ride. We made it almost to the very end this time before yes, once again the ride broke down. I thought maybe Fantasyland was having problems, let's check out some other areas of the park. It didn't seem to matter. The Indiana Jones ride was down when we first went to ride it and the Haunted Mansion was down for most of the day. By the end of the day we were able to ride everything we wanted and loved the Indiana Jones ride so much that we went on it twice. The only thing we missed is the It's a Small World ride because they are completely overhauling it and it would be out for I think a few months. The girls sang the song to Mark anyway so he wouldn't feel he missed out completely or just to be annoying. Hee Hee!!! Actually I wanted to go on the canoes and the girls said, "no way, it looks too much like exercise."
After taking a day off we went to Disney's California Adventure. The park opens at 10:00 so we went to Disneyland first and rode Space Mountain before heading over to CA, which is separated by a courtyard so it is really easy to go from one park to another. We headed for Soarin' and had a little longer than expected wait because one side broke down and we had to be diverted to the other side. We were worried about another day of mishaps but I think the only other ride that went down while we were there was the new Toy Story Arcade ride. We did end up going on it twice because we loved it but the line was very long, they really need to give this ride a fast-pass. We enjoyed California Adventure a lot. I always allow the girls $20.00 to spend on souvenirs for the whole vacation and we had no trouble spending it all at Disney. My recommendations for a Disney trip are, arrive as soon as the park opens, use Fast-pass for any line longer than 20 minutes ( if it is available) and don't get stressed by break downs.
I have to admit after going to 3 parks in August already we (Mark and I) weren't very excited about going to Kennywood. It was paid for by his company and they had dinner included and the girls were really looking forward to it, so we went. Of course, we had a wonderful time. It is nice that the girls are at the age where we like to ride pretty much the same things. Steph wanted to go on the Phantom's Revenge and neither Mark or I was willing to brave it. Laurel was missed because we know she would have taken Steph on it. One ride that we all like is the Grand Prix or what I like to call the Dodge 'em cars and everyone else says are Bumper cars. I like to drive around and try to avoid being hit and Mark and Leah in one car and Steph in another try to bump me as much as they possibly can. "Getting Mommy" is the highlight for Leah.
So we had a very amusing August and I am glad that we are now home and back to a normal routine. Although we miss our Laurel, but that will have to be another blog.