Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Independence Day at Dreamland

"Helter skelter in a summer swelter
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter" - Don McLean

We asked the kids what they wanted to do to celebrate the 4th of July. Fortunately, they are still young enough that they aren't expecting fireworks. Those are pretty hard to come by over here. The kids unanimously declared that they wanted to go to a "water playground." You can probably guess what that means... a water slide park. 

Now, in the US, a water park may be one of the last places you want to be on the 4th.  Everyone and the dog will be there and you will likely spend more time waiting in line for the slides than actually in the water. We hoped the crowds wouldn't be quite so big. So, we called up some friends and headed to Dreamland Water Adventure Park with a carload of kids excited for some wet and wild times.

On the way, we got to share the road with something you won't see much in the US on the 4th:

We arrived at the park about the time that they opened.  I think we were the third car in the parking lot. We went in, changed clothes, and made our way to the kid pool area.  There may have been 2 other kids.  Lets just say, we did NOT have to worry about crowds.  In fact, we never had to wait in a single line all day long.  We had just about every slide, ride, and pool pretty much to ourselves. We did have to wait a couple times at the top of a slide (notice I didn't say in a line), but just for the workers to start the water running down the slide. Nice.

What wasn't quite as nice, and may have contributed a little to the low numbers in the park was the heat. When we first arrived, it wasn't too bad.... probably around 100 degrees.  The water felt nice. It only took about 1/2 hour before things started heating up. The walkways, sidewalks, stairs... anything that wasn't in the water was too HOT to walk on. We had to wear slippers (flip flops for you non Hawaiians ;) everywhere. Even a couple steps and your feet were literally getting burnt. The rides were great, but a little different because you were holding shoes in your hands the entire way down (apparently it is against safety policy to wear them on your feet in the slides).  By mid-day, the temps were around 115 degrees and the water was probably close to 90. The kids were having fun, but that kind of heat takes a lot out of you. Luckily, we found some cave pools where the water was significantly cooler and made that our home base.

In the end, we made it until sometime between 4-5 o'clock.... pretty much the entire day with the park mostly to ourselves. It was a lot of fun and the kids had a blast.  They even went on some of the 'grown-up' slides. A few tears were shed that we couldn't stay longer, but those same eyes were closed and fast asleep practically before we got out of the parking lot.



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