The grade school Band leader gave out discounted tickets for Lagoon, a local amusement park, which were only good this past Saturday. Lagoon is actually quite a large park and is quite entertaining if you are into that kind of thing.

I suppose there was a time when I enjoyed amusement parks, but with each passing year I have found that rides just make me sick to my stomach. As a result the whole idea has lost it's appeal for me. As a result my younger children have not had the outings their older siblings had (although I am sure the older ones would beg to differ). When the tickets came home, I tried to think of everything I could to get out of the excursion -

"I think I'm busy that Saturday. I may have to work."
I didn't have to.

"It's too expensive."
They saved and pulled the money together to pay their own way.

"It's going to rain."
It didn't. It was a beautiful day.

"I don't really want to go."
But Mom you have been promising to take us for a long time!

So what could I do? I finally gave in and took them. . .

They rode everything!
Without fear, and without getting sick. There were a number of roller coasters they rode where I was not able to get a photo. The ones where you fly around upside down and then loop around this way and that over and over again. The ones that make me sick to my stomach just watching them. My girls rode them all and they ate it up!

My job was to drive them there and back, walk around (and I have the blisters to prove it), keep them in line and photograph the fun.

Likes these darling ducks. . .
and sweet Swans.
"Mom! Come on! You have enough pictures of the (insert bird here)."
We ran into some of the girls' friends and followed them around for a bit.
Even though the girls had each other to share the experience with, there was an added bit of fun in sharing the experience with classmates.
I found it entertaining that one of their favorite rides was one I had always loved:
The Scrambler!
There is just something about being spun in circles and trying not to slam into the person next to you that is entertaining. And depending on who you were sitting with, you might find it even more entertaining to actually make sure you DO slam into the person you are sitting with.
The girls even spent a little extra money to drive go-karts.
Surprisingly this is the one ride that made one of the girls sick to her stomach. It wasn't the driving that made her sick, but rather the excess exhaust fumes. A little Sprite in the stomach seemed to clear up the problem though. It's amazing the tricks that a Mom has up her sleeves!
I loved how these geese were keeping their children in line as they made their way back to the lagoon. Does that say something about my parenting style?
As the day wore on, the patrons became fewer and the girls were able to ride the log flume twice without having to get out. How often does that happen? Fun times.
As I look over all the photos of our fun day, and I took about 500 pictures, I remember all the times when my Mom took me and my sister to amusement parks. Mom really loved amusement parks - Or at least I think she did. She seemed to take us almost all the time during the summer. We occasionally went to the big parks like Santa's Village, or Great America, which is now a Six Flags, and sometimes the medium sized parks like the one that used to be all the way out in Bolingbrook or the one that was on Chicago Avenue until it closed, but mostly to the small fairs held in the parking lots of St. Mary's, Cermak Plaza or in the alleyway after the Houby Day Parade. These are some of my favorite memories with my Mom.
I didn't think of it Saturday, but I suppose it was very appropriate that I took my girls to the amusement park this weekend. Appropriate because today is my Mother's birthday. She would have been 66 years old.
And even though she wouldn't have been able to ride the rides due to an inner ear problem, she would have been standing right beside me the entire night enjoying the smiles on the girls faces, and the color and fun that comes only at an amusement park.


Anneliese said…
Oh my! Looks like they had fun. I remember going to Santa's Village. Maybe I'll post some pictures up from our excursion when I was little.
Anonymous said…
Ah summer time at LaGoon, every year I pray I'll be spared, but there I am walking and waiting and roasting. Happy times. Terina

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