In Iowa, there is perhaps no place that bespeaks summertime fun better than an amusement and water park just outside of Des Moines called Adventureland. Boasting favorites like the ferris wheel, the scrambler, and the flume, Adventureland has that cotton candy-lemonade-funnel-cake-inspired whimsy and that scream-your-head-off delight that one finds defying gravity and racing faster and faster and faster in circles. Most respectable, academically-inclined families that I know here in Iowa City take their kids to Adventureland once each summer, just before school starts, as a big farewell to summertime.
Yesterday, my dad took us all to Adventureland.
The site of his annual company picnic, we commented all day, "What a great company to work for!"
There were so many smiles and laughs and thrills all day ... We began our day with a trip up, up, up on the ferris wheel to get a good lay of the (Adventure)land and saw the gleaming state capitol dome from our perch. Adelaide's first ride after the ferris wheel was a ride called G-Force with her papa; she loved every minute of her little body hurtling and bashing around her cart as they felt g-forces. After the excitement of G-Force, we tried a more sedate kiddie-ride for Henry and Adelaide and laughed as we watched Adelaide inwardly say "ho-hum" at the creep-a-long pace of the ladybug.
Henry, a scant 38" inches high, was able to ride almost all of the rides with a grown-up. He smiled and said "Whoa!" with me on the whirling, twirling, up-and-down Lady Luck. We ate fried chicken, sweet corn, and funnel cake. After lunch, we had the day documented by getting our photo taken at an old-time photo booth. We settled on a Old West saloon-themed image and were surprised when Joel and D looked just like they'd stepped out of the pages Lonesome Dove after the costumers had dressed us up in our saloon-wear (Henry piped up to the photographer as she was posing us, "I want a gun." I quickly added, "I believe we all want guns, please." We don't get to hold a lot of guns in our day-to-day lives.)
We stood in line for over an hour to get wet on the Raging River, then stood in line for about three minutes for this crazy, dizzy, spinning space capsule ride that made us all have to go to the bathroom. We floated down the lazy river at the water park, navigating our way between mildly boozy couples on tubes (we elected not to partake of the swim-up bar, this time).
We pounded the pavement at Adventureland for about seven hours. And then it was time to go home.
We drove back to Iowa City, exhausted, but happy.