Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Last Hoo Rah of Summer

We squeezed in one last trip this summer with just the five of us.  Originally, we were heading to Hot Springs, Arkansas on Thursday to go to an amusement park.  After checking the forecast we decided to delay just one day.  We still left on Thursday, but we didn't go to the park until Friday.  Instead, we decided to do a few things downtown before heading out.  We introduced the boys to Dyer's.  They were all big fans.  When you are on "vacation" you get things like milkshakes...and you don't even have to share it.  This is big around our house.

 After Dyer's we took the boys to the Peabody Hotel and saw the ducks.  They were swimming in the lobby, but we still went to the roof to see where they lived.
While I was in the elevator with Andrew (the other boys took the stairs, because that's what boys do) I said, "Isn't this elevator beautiful?"  To which Andrew replied, "It's pretty awesome, but it'd be more awesome if it had some games we could play."  Ha!
After walking downtown for just a few minutes we headed out.  While we were driving I googled "What to do with kids in Hot Springs".  A theater called the Five Star Theater came up with a magic/comedy show.  It was kind of pricey, but hey, we're on vacation.  Boy am I glad we went!  The guys thought it was hilarious!  At one point I thought Jack was going to fall.out.of.his.chair!  It was classic.  He said, "Man, I almost peed in my pants!"  (Sorry for that, but in boy language that means it was really funny!!)  Belly laughing...
We found a cupcake shop called Fat Bottomed Girls Cupcake Shop.  The name did not inspire me to eat a cupcake, but I overcame that and took one for the team.  Because I'm a giver like that.  It was delicious.  (Whoops, I think it's upside down.)

We spent the night in a hotel, because that's cool to kids...not adults, but kids.  Hotel rooms are not made for 5 people.  We convinced the boys to sleep in one bed, but our youngest sleeps side to side instead of end to end.  Around 5 am Jack came and got in the full size bed with me and Fred.  I was sandwiched between the two of them.  It was awesome...not really.
The weather still looked a little sketchy, but we braved the park anyway.  We got there when it opened.  There were not many people there.  This is how close we were to the gate...
That was nice.  We really didn't have to wait in many lines.  We rode rides and went to the water park all day long.  We even enjoyed a lovely lunch for $60.  I use the term "lunch" loosely, but not a loosely as the term "lovely".
Sweet (or poor) Andrew (however you  choose to look at it) is forced in to many scenarios because he's the youngest.  Please note that when Clayton was 4 we did not leave the kiddie area at amusement parks, oh, but not Andrew.  There's no slack for him.  If he's big enough...he's riding.  We started off our day with a (mildly thrilling, but grown up) roller coaster.  He rode it like a champ, but if you know him well you know that he talked the entire time.  Before the ride left the station he was asking the teenagers working the ride, "Does this have woop de woops?  Does this have woop de woops?  Does this have woop do woops?"...no less than 25 times.  Finally I got the guys attention and asked, "My son is wanting to know if this ride has loop de loops."  He gave me a puzzled look and then just shook his head no.  Andrew had a blast and since there were no lines we went again immediately.  They didn't even make us get off.
It was on this ride (remember mild thriller with no loop de loops) that Clayton and I had a major mishap.  He was sitting by me and said something about his seat belt.  The next events are all a blur, but somehow (and I think it was me) his seat belt was unbuckled in the middle of the ride.  The middle of the ride!! It didn't look tight to me and I tried to tighten it.  Next thing I knew it was unbuckled.   I threw my entire body on top of Clayton with my elbow on his chest.  He was not going anywhere.  He was laughing and screaming.  I was terrified, but laughing a little.  After a terrifying 30 seconds (it seemed like 30 minutes) he got himself buckled again.  And then he said while still laughing, "Would you please get your elbow out of my chest.  You're hurting me!"  I eased up on the elbow, but I still clung tightly to his arm.  You know, just in case.  His major concern was that the ride attendants would see us and kick us out of the park for breaking the rules. It was a memory for sure.
After a long day at the park, we headed to dinner.  We chose Sam's.  You can take $20 and 5 people in to Sam's and eat like a boss.  It was amazing.  Once our bellies were full and we tried out the mattress and looked at electronics we headed back to the hotel.  We made a pallet on the floor for Andrew.  He did not like it at all.  In fact, he was very upset with us.  I told him he got to sleep there because he was special.  He did not buy it.  We finally got him to sleep, but at some point around 4:00 am Jack stepped on him, which woke him up.  He asked if he could get in bed with me and Fred.  With the memory of the night before fresh in my mind I decided to give my place in the bed and head to the floor to sleep out the rest of the night...on a preschool rest mat.  Honestly, it was better than the night before.  When Fred woke up around 7:00 am he looked at Andrew and then saw me on the floor.  He said, "Yep, you are the baby."  There are perks to being the youngest, even if you have to ride all the big scary rides.
We ate a "free" breakfast at out hotel (a dream come true for Jack), took a brief tour of downtown Hot Springs and then hit the road for Little Rock's Wild River Country.

It's a water park and it really wasn't that crowded either.  We were able to just walk up to rides.  The first ride we had to convince Andrew to join us.  He rode with Fred.  He was a little apprehensive, but Fred said at the end of the ride Andrew proclaimed, "What was I thinking?!?  That was AWESOME!"  From that point on he rode every slide (minus the only one in the park that he was no tall enough for) and grinned the entire way down!  The rest of the day we played and played.  It was such a joy to see my boys in the wave pool or lazy river together.  They actually looked like friends rather than brothers.  It blessed my heart.  I pray they always hold each other as friends.
We left that evening and headed to Sam's for dinner.  Remember eating like a boss the night before?  Yes, we did it again.  About 10 seconds after we got in the car this was the picture in the back seat.
They slept like this the entire drive home.  Worn out.  Absolutely worn out.  Good times, good trip! Back to school on Monday...boo...summer's over.

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