Sunday, August 29, 2004



The kids had a wonderful time, I am just happy I am home again. The trip up there was pretty uneventful. Sylvia slept most of the way, and we only had a minimal amount of fighting and 'She's touching me!!!' going on. We arrived with about 1.5 hours to spare, and decided to eat something at a nearby Dairy Queen. They turned out to have things like hot dogs and hamburgers in addition to ice cream, so decided to have some of those too. I asked about any vegetarian options, the girl looked at me like I was crazy. 'Veggie-what????' I patiently explained about no meat, and she looked at me like I just fell out of the sky or so. After some hesitation, she said they could make a cheese sandwich. I agreed that that would be an ok choice, and sat down to wait.

After ten minutes or so, all our food was ready. Including a nice FISH sandwich for me... Dh said that that must be the closest to non-meat that they could get LOL. She had pressed the fish sandwich button at the register, because there wasn't a cheese sandwich choice. Which made the kitchen decide that I wanted a fish sandwich, they were sure that the cheese sandwich must have been a mistake... Oh well, about another ten minutes later, I finally got my cheese sandwich on an icky white, soft roll.

We were at Storyland around 3pm, which meant that we could get back in for free the next day. The kids enjoyed walking around in the park and trying out a few rides. They seem to enjoy the swans the most, swan shaped motorized boats, which were dubbed bumper ducks by one of the dads. Seemed an apt name, they tended to do a lot of bumping into each other, especially since they reacted so slowly to the steering, and the kids could not always anticipate what was going to happen and how to reach a certain location.

After Storyland hours, we checked into our hotel and were happily surprised about the quality. Their website had claimed that they were very child friendly, but I wanted to see for myself before really believing that. Well, I have to admit that it was a wonderful place to stay with the kids, nice playground, and a warm pool, with lots of pool toys. The kids played and swam for a while before they got stuck watching cable television :-) We had two rooms, so the kids were in one room, while Sander and I were hanging out in the other one. Kate soon joined us, to talk, and talk, and talk, and talk. Cable television just wasn't social enough for her :-)

We did eventually get them to sleep, but it took Jane till 2am or so before she was really sleeping. Only to wake up again an hour later, crying, when she fell out of bed... Erik managed to fall out of bed too, I guess my kids aren't used to sleeping in real beds. At home, most of them sleep on crib mattresses on the floor in our room. Which makes for a much smaller drop if you fall out of bed :-)


The next day, they made sure to wake up early (yes, using the alarm!) to watch even more cartoons. After having breakfast (yes, while watching cartoons :-), and cleaning up the rooms, it was off to Storyland again.

It was a long, long day. Tons of fun for the kids, tons of stress for us. And here we were, waiting in line for attraction after attraction, until we came to a pond with ducks. The four little ones stopped in their tracks, bee lined it to the ducks and sighed happily. 'Ducks!!! I have never seen a real duck so close up!', 'They are so cute!' and spent at least 20 minutes just enjoying the ducks. Geez, we could have done that for a lot less money closer to home I am sure LOL.

Not sure which ride they liked the most, I think they really enjoyed all the rides they went on. One of the rides, the Bamboo Chute, where you ride down a water slide on a 'log' has one of those picture opportunities. You can buy an overpriced picture (at $8 a piece) at the bottom, where you can see yourself going down screaming. We got one for the girls and Erik, but Kate wasn't visible, because she was behind Jane. So we ended up going on the ride again, with Kate in a different position. That was $16 for two pictures.

The boys saw the pics and wanted them too, so they went on the ride again to have their picture taken. Later that day, they went on another ride and left their bag outside. When they came back, their bag was gone :-( Including the overpriced picture. And a towel and two metal water bottles.... It still puzzles me what could have happened, it seems such an unlikely thing to steal. We checked Lost&Found twice, once after it happened, and once after closing, and the bag wasn't there. I hope it will still turn up, it really freaked out Tim, he was very upset. At least it happened late that day, so it didn't color the whole experience.

Of course, I let them go on that picture ride again, so that they still would have a picture. This bought the picture total to $32 for three pictures... A bit expensive. But hey, my kids were extremely happy about them :-)

Kate was starting to get really tired, and totally broke down at the end. She couldn't decide between two things she wanted, and there was only time for one. 'I don't know what's the funnest one!!!!' 'What do you think is the funnest one???' 'What if it isn't the funnest one???' A lot of screaming and crying later, she decided, and then had to go to the bath room, which was really far away, so she ended up not doing the one she decided on :-( Guess we'll have to go back some day, but I do not want to think about that yet!

Stress levels were high by now, and the ride home was a lot more eventful than the ride to Storyland. Highlights were when Erik managed to throw his ice cream over a stack of books, and when Tim dropped his medication out of his mouth into his water bottle when he was trying to swallow it.... Tim totally freaked out, and the pill was stuck on the bottom. We poured out most of the water, so he could drink the water with the pill in it. Pill got stuck on the sides of the bottle now. We dug up the scissors, and cut off the top of the water bottle (cheap plastic one). By now, the water had started to turn green, and after some screaming, Tim decided he did not want it anymore... We had not brought any more pills, so we ended up delaying a new pill till we got home.

It was 10:30pm by the time we made it home, and we all were exhausted. At least they did sleep well that night :-) And they very badly want to go back to Storyland. I don't, but I won't be surprised if I get myself suckered into it some day anyway :-)


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