Today we were at Lagoon.
What is Lagoon, you ask? I personally think it’s Utah’s best kept secret (disclaimer- to my knowledge, neither I nor anyone I know has any financial involvement whatsoever in Lagoon).
It’s an amusement park north of Salt Lake City, which has a remarkably good collection of roller coasters of all different kinds, and an assortment of other decent vomit-inducing amusements. The park is privately owned, with a friendly feel you don't get at generic Six Flags places.
For the record, I’m an amusement park person/parent. I know most people hate going to them with kids, but not me. I love going on wild rides with my kids, shrieking with them, and doing all the corny amusement park stuff.
Wicked, in particular, is a great ride. If you’ve never experienced sphincter dysfunction before, the first 10 seconds of this coaster is a great way to do it.
Another ride is simply called “Roller Coaster”. It’s from 1921, and is the oldest roller coaster in the Western U.S., 7th oldest in the world. Although the ride is tame compared to it’s newer cousins, it has the added thrill of being made of entirely of wood, which flexes in all directions during the ride. This gives you the exciting impression that the whole thing is ready to collapse at any given moment, burying you in a pile of toothpicks.
The park also includes a variety of other features not normally found at amusement parks. This includes a waterpark, accurate 1800’s pioneer village with a museum-quality set of antiquities (medical geek that I am, I spent time in the old pharmacy, which also sells ice cream), a campground, and surrounding hiking trails. All of this is set on the side of a mountain, with some spectacular views. The park has so many trees that in some areas you feel like you’re on a roller coaster in the middle of the forest.
And the lines are nothing compared to Disneyland. The locals bitch if the line is 15 minutes long, and have no idea how lucky they are. Even better, unlike the greedy bunch that runs Disney parks, Lagoon lets you bring in your own food and picnic. You can also buy a giant soda jug with endless refills. Which is just perfect for me.
We haven’t been here for a few summers, back when the kids weren’t big enough for all the attractions. That year one of the ride-height-Nazis carefully measured Marie and proclaimed that at 45 and 7/8 inches she couldn't go on a 46 inch ride. This guy actually took a freakin’ credit card out of his wallet to see if he could slide it between the top of her head and the 46 inch height marker.
Craig, who loves to swim, absolutely HATES getting wet when he isn’t swimming. In spite of this, he loves going on water rides, as he has a bizarre belief that he won’t get wet (no matter how many times this has been disproven). So we went on the river ride.
This time, however, his luck held out, as we all got soaked except him. UNTIL we passed through the area where people watching can plug in quarters to set off water bombs as rafts go by. So as we floated past Craig stood up and yelled at them that they BETTER. NOT. GET. US. WET!
Bad move, Craig. I hope you learned a lesson.
While on the sky ride one of Frank’s flip-flops fell onto the roof of a building. Fortunately, they sell flip-flops at the pool shop there, and I suspect the sky ride is a regular cause of business.
Around mid-afternoon Mrs. Grumpy ran into some old friends, and
And then it happened.
We were on the log ride, and as Craig waved his arms wildly, he hit me. And my glasses snapped cleanly in two. Then both halves fell off the ride, into the water far below.
I’m so near-sighted it’s unbelievable. I travel with a spare pair, but it was back in the hotel. And I couldn’t reach Mrs. Grumpy.
So, setting the problem aside for later we finished up on the rides as I let the kids drag me around (the crazy leading the blind).
And then I faced the big challenge: finding the car.
I had only a vague idea where we parked, because Mrs. Grumpy had moved the car when she went to get lunch out of the cooler. And in my current state the parking lot, which is pretty damn big (and full) was a collection of many fuzzy blobs of various colors and sizes. I couldn’t read license plates from more than a foot away.
So in a desperate attempt to find our car, I hoisted Frank (because he's the tallest) onto my shoulders. I used to carry him around that way when he was younger, but now he’s 11, and pretty damn heavy. I told him to look for the car, and guide us there.
You have no idea how many other people have white minivans until you try to find yours. In Utah family transportation comes in 2 sizes: Minivan and Ford Excursion. I think Frank led us to EVERY SINGLE FREAKING LIGHT-COLORED MINIVAN except ours, until Marie noticed it as we passed it heading for another one.
By that time my shoulders were killing me. And they still hurt.
Driving back to the hotel, in my prescription sunglasses, at night, was not fun (regardless of what Corey Hart may have told you), but we made it. The kids enjoyed hearing me swear at the pompous GPS bitch-voice.