I took the day off today to surprise the kids with a trip to Zoombeezi Bay before they go back to school in 2 weeks. Zoombeezi Bay is a water park attached to the Columbus Zoo. The night before, the children were up till about 9:30-9:45 which is way past their normal bedtime. Now any normal kid would take the opportunity to then sleep in the next day because they would be missing out on much needed sleep. But our kids hate us and never sleep in. So we compensate by putting them to bed earlier because we know they will up at the same time regardless. So last night, I beg and plead with them, "Please, we have a big day tomorrow. You are going to want to get plenty of sleep. Please oh please sleep till 8 tomorrow." At this point I'm on my knees pleading with them, "You need your sleep. Mommy and Daddy need you to sleep. Everyone of your friends is sleeping in this summer. You will be left out and socially rejected in school if you don't do what your friends do. Please bend to peer pressure in this area. Please sleep in." They woke up at 6:30. I go in to their rooms and they explain, "We thought you meant stay in your room till 8." With large dark bags under their eyes and with 1.5 hours of sleep missing, we start our super fun happy day!
We leave Nate with a babysitter and take the older 2 with us to the zoo. Nate is 3 and sucks. Now please don't get offended by that statement but their are times when he is very hard and their are other times when he is sleeping. We wanted to have a special day with the older 2 without yelling and chasing a whining 3 year old who is always either cold or hungry or both. Dublin movie theater has banned him from returning until he is 10 years old because of our last attempt at a "family movie." He spent more time watching the people in the row behind us than the movie or attempting to escape to the lobby when no one was looking. But he did manage to eat 15000 calories in 1 two hour movie. Anyway, we leave him with the babysitter and wish her the best of luck.
We go to the zoo first cause the water park is not open yet. We go to see the new Dinosaur Island at the zoo only to find out you must pay to ride in the boat. I turn into a 65 year old man complaining about the racketeering operation they have at the zoo charging for every little thing when in the olden days your admission ticket was all you had to pay to ride the rides. But the boat ride was broken, so "good bye parental guilt," I don't have to feel bad about not spending extra money on my children at a ride that should have been included in the admission fee. We stop by the oragatan...orangetan, orangatan, orangutan...large orange monkey. Drew thinks its a horse, which makes us all laugh. We also discover that Drew is the most high strung, jumpiest kid ever, especially around fake dinosaurs. When looking at a fake dinosaur, we had many "Drew watch out!" moments which would send him screaming and jumping out of his shoes. It means years of therapy later, but hilarious at the time. Worth it.
We finally make it into Zoombeezi Bay at 10:30 when it opens. Side note: at the time, our kids have now been up for 4 hours when some of their friends are still sleeping in. Just thought I would throw that in...for pity. The weather is relatively nice at 75 degrees but its still the morning and warming up. We first go to the large tube ride and ride as a family, which Drew did not like but Zachary did. I then convince Z to go with me on the Cyclone ride which he is very fearful because my wife called it the most extreme ride at the park. Some kids see this as a challenge, Zachary sees it as a warning. But with much encouragement get up the stairs, get to the top after waiting in line for 20 minutes, get in the tube, and as we are about to go... he asks to get off and leave. But at this point, I tell the worker "just push us" and we go. He survives and I ask him how he liked it and his response, "It was awesome." "You want to do it again?" "No." Next we do the Dolphin Riders water slide as a family and are enjoying our family time. We have a good morning and break for lunch.
During lunch I make some water park observations. Is there a dress code at a water park? I know the dress code is swim suits but is there a definition of swim suits? I saw 2 women wearing either large black fishnet lingerie or it was a large black doily over top of their swimsuits. I did not see the point because it did not protect them from the sun or cover up their bodies. The only point I could see would it would make their tanned skin look like they were grilled on a charbroil grill. I did not know the Burger King was a "look" this summer. I also saw a teenager who was wearing underwear and athletic shorts. It was not a swim suit but street clothes where he took his shoes and shirt off and jumped in. But the best was this other teenager who I can only imagine was planning on going to the zoo only today but was convinced to go to Zoombeezi bay by her persuasive friends who were planning on going the water park and met her at the entrance. This was their imaginary conversation, "Hey girl!"
"Heeeeeeeyyy! What are you doin here?"
"We're goin to the Bay. You?
"I'm here for the dinosaurs."
"Why dont you come to the Bay with us?"
"Cause I just came for the dinos, I didn't bring a suit."
"Girl, that never stopped you before. Remember J.R.'s party?"
"You're right. I don't need a suit. Lets go!"
So she was walked into Zoombeezi Bay, took her shirt off and went to her first water slide. She was literally wearing bedazzled jeans and a bra, soaking wet. No joke. It was hilarious.
After lunch, we noticed it started getting colder and colder and colder. The dark rain clouds moved in and blocked the sun. So what do you do when it gets cold and rainy? That's right...the wave pool! Yea!! We take the boys to the wave pool and it is now freezing. It went from 77 degrees to 70 degrees in 20 minutes. And have you ever gotten into a cold pool when its cold outside. That's the worst feeling, stepping out of the pool into the cold air. Well imagine that feeling over and over and over again cause that is what a wave pool does to you. You're in the water, then out of the water, then in, then out. The water was warm but the air was freezing. I was like, "ahhhhh warmth, EEEEEE cold, ahhhhh warm, EEEEEEE freezing" over and over again. Drew's lips turned blue but he refused to leave. It was so cold, even peeing in the water did not warm me up. Not me peeing, but Lindsey. There was a large time and temperature display at the wave pool and I told "natural water warmer" if the temperature drops to 69 degrees we are leaving. She agreed and I watched that temp display like a hawk as arctic wave after wave beat against my goose-bumped body. With every tick, I expected that 69 to show up to end my misery. And just when I had had enough it changed...to 71. Just when I thought God was messing with me, He came through. The lifeguards blew their whistles and everyone had to leave the wave pool. I never got a clear explanation to why but I could only come up with 2 reasons since there was no lightning: 1) too many people had died of hypothermia or 2) some kid dropped a Baby Ruth in the deep end. I hoped it was the latter because that is hilarious. I am just sorry I didn't think of it earlier. It would have been really easy to drop a deuce, swim away, and blame the nearest 3 year old. I knew we should have brought Nate. It does kind of make you feel weird when you swim with a turd. You know people pee in the pool and you don't think about it cause its invisible, victimless, and hard to pin on the perpetrator. But with a dookey, you can't ignore that and you legitimately feel like you are swimming in a huge toilet..with waves. When someone poops in the pool, pardon my french, but literally, "sh!* just got real."
And with that wonderful experience, we leave. It was a good time but because everyone laying on the lounge chairs looked like they were getting ready for a fall bonfire dressed in sweatshirts and drinking hot chocolate. Not a good pool day. But the kids had a great time and Zachary was asking to come back tomorrow. But tomorrow we have a fun day planned at the Ohio State Fair....blog to follow.
May all your summer days be filled with fishnet over shirts, bedazzled jeans, and highly chlorinated pools,
The Joyful and Tired Dad