On Monday morning, we woke up early and headed west as a whole family.
We had worked hard to pick a date a few weeks ago. Choosing a date that we hoped for good weather, but that coincided with bringing Allan back to college and hoping dad would be able to get off work was TRICKY and a little bit stressful for a planner like me. Down to two dates - Monday or Tuesday - I switched as often as the forecast, which was a LOT. In the end, we decided Monday looked more promising.
We arrived at Michigan's Adventure as soon as they opened and got started. Greg, Wendy, Allan and Brian headed straight for the roller coasters, and Mark and I headed for the lockers on the WildWater side. The lockers were reachable before the waterpark opened, so we stuffed our stuff in and went searching for the others, with a plan to head back to the water side when it opened. I was anxious to see how Brian handled his first much anticipated roller coaster. (Great! He's an addict!)
Mark, not being a fan of roller coasters, ended up being a good partner for me. We wandered around and hit some of the other rides. We managed the bumper boats - where Mark was insistent on getting his own boat and then struggled a bit but did pull it together and figure it out like a champ. And then we hit the bumper cars, the swings, some of the spinning rides and then another spinny ride (Trabant) that also tilted and felt like a tummy tickler and had me wishing we'd skipped that it.
Me: Wow, this one really feels like a tummy tickler, doesn't it?
Mark: It tickles a little bit lower than that on me
Mark and I ended up not rushing back to the water park side when they opened because the temperatures kept getting colder and colder. The park made a killing on hoodies this day. Where I had a little bit questioned Greg when he got dressed in the morning - (Really? You're wearing long pants??) now I was cold and envious. I even went out to the van and emptied suitcases and backpacks just to get everyone's hoodies and flannels which we had brought to walk the shoreline at night when the forecast predicted temps in the 50's.
And then we ended up getting our suits on anyway. Our mindset was that we came this far and worked this hard to get a date to come to the water park, that we were going to do it regardless of the temps, and besides - there were others doing it, and we're Finns. Enough said.
The temperature on my phone at this point said it was 63, with a real feel of 61 and then it started to rain pretty hard. It was bitter. I went on a few water rides and changed back into my clothes before the rest of my people. When I dried off, I could barely feel my legs and my back. I have this thing that when I get cold, it takes me FOREVER to warm back up, and it held true on this day. I was cold through our dinner and up to around midnight, when I finally took the hottest shower that the hotel could offer, and then warmed up the whole bathroom with the hair dryer. I still ended up going to bed with my bathrobe on. I'm cold again just thinking about how cold I was.
The rain let up, and the kids and dad went on a few more rides while I ran the wet bag of towels and suits back out to the van.
In this picture - Mark and Allan are on the swan ride, and the other three were on the Thunder Hawk behind them, but missed the frame. I took most of the photos with my phone, choosing to be camera lazy.
We only had an hour of park left as I brought the wet stuff to the van, so I gave my people stern instructions that they were NOT to ride the Ripcord before I got back. They didn't. Wendy is wondering here why they put her in charge of pulling the release lever.
I tried to take a video of this one, but my video is full of me panic laughing and repeating - "my babies! my babies!" and it didn't really capture it all anyway, but enjoyed Mark at the end heckling "The line is going to snap!!" followed by my husband's uproarious laughter. I ended up perusing youtube until I found a decent clip which took longer than one would think. I feel validated that it's not easy to capture that 180 ft free fall from up close and really give the viewer an idea of what it's like. Click for an example.
Wendy is glad she did it, but says she'll never do it again. Brian and Allan know no fear and can't wait for the next scary thing.
As for me - I was content being Mark's partner for the day, am glad that I got my suit on to try to the Funnel of Fear, and was talked into getting on the Thunder Hawk right before the close of day. While I can live content without going on another roller coaster for the rest of my life - I do admit to having been curious about these suspended coasters for awhile. Got that knocked off my list. There were only four of us on that whole run - Brian and Wendy in the front seat, and Greg and I about four seats back. In the above photo - Allan and Wendy are in the front seats.
The park closed - we then ventured to our hotel. I wasn't able to commit and make a reservation until a week prior, and we ended up booking rooms at the Shoreline Inn and Conference Center in Muskegon. We would recommend, and we would definitely stay there again. The rooms were very nice and clean, the indoor pool and hot tub were open 24 hours - only to adults after 11, and they provided a hot continental breakfast.
I will say that that burgundy thing on the end of the bed, however, is completely useless for providing any sort of warmth or cover. I would have really appreciated a heavier blanket or throw.
And Wendy, who rode every roller coaster several times and braved the Ripcord - walked the stairs up and down to our sixth floor room during our stay because she has a very real aversion to elevators. I had to work a bit to get her to appreciate the irony of it.
I had been excited about the hotel being on the water next to the marina - envisioning a nice evening walk, but it was just far too cold and rainy.
We didn't swim before bed, but with an eleven o'clock check out time - we easily had time for a swim in the morning. Only Mark and Brian swam.
It was only in the 50's this morning, but look there - some nutter is in the outdoor pool.
Yes, that's our ten year old nutter. They had to at least try it.
It turns out that Monday was definitely the better day to go to Michigan's Adventure. Tuesday barely touched 60 and I'm guessing the water park side never opened today. The workers had been grumbling and shivering yesterday that they never should have opened the water rides.
We checked out an hour early and headed over to check out the USS LST 393 which had been view-able from our hotel room. On a nicer day we could have and would have walked there.
I was starting to get that chill again at this point so I grabbed the keys and headed to the van - settling for reading my book and cranking the heat full blast.
An hour spent on the tour - we then drove the hour from Muskegon to Big Rapids to drop our oldest off for his second semester at Ferris. We stuck around to help him unload, a little visit, a (cold/wet) walk to the bookstore and lunch before we started on the return trip home.
Family time is good time.
And edited to add:
Somehow this photo fell out of my post, and it's my favorite. Taken with my phone, I was tickled to have captured Mark's very first and only roller coaster ride. He's cowering in the front, deep into his dad's lap, while dad is coaxing him to look at the camera and Wendy - a bit miffed at being booted from the front seat at the last second, still managed to give me some good hair for the photo. I wouldn't choose to sit behind her either.
And now onto the rest of this week. Tomorrow is a free day - where I'll play catch up and make lists, and then Thursday is a full day with karate, 9th grade orientation and more.
We still have some more summer to enjoy.....