Friday, June 27, 2014

The Story of an Adventure Back to a Water Park

One might think adventure would happen in the water park.  But in this story the adventure began after the water park.

You know, the part where you walk out of the park with your kids, exhausted after a few solid hours of water parking, ready to pack it all up in the mini-van. You smell like you've ingested one of those chlorinated pool tablets, and as you walk, you're looking over your kids, questioning if the seventh coat of sunscreen was enough, while announcing a prompt "rest time when we get home", followed by a "where did we park?!?"

That pretty much describes us being daughter Sara, who is a ten-going-on-sixteen-year-old, and was suffering through a no talking until we get home time-out, and daughter Siri, who was being pushed in her wheel chair, looking beachy in her larger-than-life, sun-protective hat.
Reaching the mini-van, I rooted for my little water-proof carrier thingy that keeps my important things like i.d., park tickets, and the mini-van key.  As I pulled it out of our beaten up Old Navy tote, I realized something.
I realized the car key was in the water-proof carrier thingy.  That wouldn't be a problem if we were driving the car, as we had been the day before at this same water park.  But today we were driving the mini-van.  So that meant the mini-van key the mini-van!

Oh no.  What are we going to do?!!!

We are going to think and act a little too quickly.

We are going to say..."Don't panic 10-year-old-going-on-sixteen.  This is a time for an adventure (yay!) and not a chance for a bad attitude.  We are going to walk the short distance to daddy's work and ask him if we can take his car.  We will figure it all out with him, because your daddy knows all things.  Also.  You're still on time-out." 

Something like that.

3.3 miles and an hour and 5 minutes of walking later, according to google maps, we arrived at husband Dion's workplace.  It was maybe the hottest part of the day, and the humidity has been something this summer.

Once there, husband Dion said, "You cannot take the car.  If you take the car, the water park will be closed by the time I come home, and we will not be able to get the mini-van."

"Oh. (pause for thinking)  right."  I said. 

Husband Dion said, "Do you have any money?"

"No." I said.

He counted out and handed me three dollars.  

"Say whaat?" I said with my facial expression, and something like it out loud.  

I don't know.
I guess I thought it would probably be good to have a little more than three dollar bills.

He gave me a ten dollar bill.

okay.  I guess. 

We ended up making it back to the water park 15 minutes before closing.  

Now.  Since good stories have a take-away, I'd like to share with you a few lessons learned from this adventure.

Lesson 1:  Put correct key in the water-proof thingy.

Lesson 2:  My feet will begin to blister within 5 to 10 minutes of continual walking in my new flip flops.

Lesson 3:  If walking in the heat, it is a good idea to stop by a grocery store to cool down and to buy something to 2 cans of Pringles even if they are not on your diet plan.  It's good to take full advantage of these justified, stress eating, carb-laden moments, and for me, more often than not, those moments are with the white potato.

It is also good to buy a head of cauliflower for later.  Because buying a head of cauliflower helps one feel better about buying, and then immediately consuming 2 cans of Pringles.  

(Buying a head of cauliflower does help me feel better about myself.  "How are you today?" the cash register person asks.  "I am healthy and well," I reply and continue, "as evidenced by the purchasing of this head of cauliflower, thanks for asking.")

Lesson 4:  When buying 2 cans of Pringles, it would be helpful to also buy a drink for the remainder of the walk.  We, being on a limited budget, did not get the drink.

Lesson 5:  If you're in this, or a similar situation, and there is NO money...and if checking out the thrift store you're walking by with blistering feet is still a level 9 temptation, there may be a problem...

Lesson 6:  I thought I knew more people.  
You probably know more people. Husband Dion probably would know more people, but along this highway, nobody recognized me and the girls.  If they did, I'm sure they would have stopped to ask, "What are you doing, walking along these four lanes of busy, eating 2 cans of Pringles, while carrying a head of cauliflower?"

Lesson 7:  There are trollies that go from the water park to husband Dion's workplace.

Lesson 8:  Take time to think through all of the potential options before walking. 
Ask questions.  For example,  "Are there trollies?" (see Lesson 7)  "Do you have friends who might be available to help?" And I don't know, maybe, "Did we renew our triple A road plan for moments like these?"  (yes. we did.)

All in all, it was a good day.  That's what daughter Sara said when we arrived home.  She was going on about how this is how storybooks end...a good day was had by all...or something like that.  So it is fitting to end this story in that way.

And really, it wasn't a total loss.  We got to eat the white potato, see husband Dion unexpectedly...and a ground hog.  also unexpectedly.

And while at the grocery store, convincing myself that Pringles are completely acceptable in this moment, this gift appeared directly before me.  
for a dollar!  A few revisions and this toy will make a pretty much perfect pool table for Ken and his Barbie wives.  So really, it was ALL worth it.

That's the thing with adventures.  Many times they come unexpectedly.  They come with the chance to make memories.  Sometimes they come with a chance to take ourselves a little less seriously.  And I suppose in the end, a good day may be had by all.

What are you doing to make
your today world beautiful?

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