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A few Saturdays ago, we took an impromptu trip to Holiday World, a family-friendly amusement park a couple of hours away from our house. We’d heard good things about it and the weather was supposed to be perfect (unlike the rainy weekend before), so we packed everyone up and drove south.
“Driving” the cars with the incredibly annoying horns.

We’d left a little late and didn’t make up much time on the drive because of all the windy back roads we took to get there (Evelyn was complaining about being car sick before we even got on the rides–uh oh!) but, it turns out, the amusement park was in a different time zone and we ended up making it there right as the gates opened. Being tardy has its blessings!

Riding the kiddie coaster.

We parked, slathered up with free sunscreen, then guzzled a bunch of free drinks and headed for the rides! Well, after we said hello to Santa…because it’s only natural that Santa’s meandering around at Holiday World.

Helping Santa deliver presents.
We started off in the Christmas kiddie section, because the girls could all go on the rides and we could gauge their ability to stomach thrill rides. They helped Santa deliver gifts…
…rode wavy fish…
…and swung on some saddled seahorses.
‘Cause seahorses scream Christmas.
But the girls didn’t seem to care, because, you know, they were riding SEAHORSES.
Who’s missing in this picture…?
Overall, the girls were over the moon to have an unending supply of rides (and they didn’t even have to beg for a coin like the do at the grocery store!) until they came to the last one and Kate was a couple of inches too short to go.
Tears ensued.
But, she recovered and we moved along.
One of the few rides Henry got to go on and he was sooooo happy!
Thought Kate was left out of the occasional ride due to her petitness, Henry was only able to go to on a handful, but it didn’t dampen his spirits. He looooved watching the clanking roller coasters swoop past and smiled when he heard gleeful screaming.
Watching people go down the log ride drop!

Most of the day, Jack and I passed him back and forth while we took turns with the girls, and he was as happy as could be!

Claire’s in the middle, riding a kitty with a fish in its mouth.

We progressed from the milder rides, like the carousel–where Claire’s life may have been completed, because she got to ride a CAT (which as we all know, is way better than a seahorse)–to the more thrilling, like the raging river ride.

You’d better believe I dropped that quarter and soaked them with the geyser!

I went with the girls on the first go ’round and made the mistake of not sitting by Katherine. I sometimes forget how tenderhearted little kids are and while there was nothing really overwhelming on the ride to me, it was to Kate. She wept quietly in the seat across from me, which made the couple who went with us really concerned. Once it ended, she jumped onto the deck and declared her love for the ride and immediately went with Jack and her sisters again.

Kate taking Jack for a drive.

Not far from the river, the girls realized they could drive their very own car and were bound and determined to stand in line until they could hop behind the wheel of a fancy looking automobile. Kate giggled and grinned as she drove Jack around the track, so proud of herself for really driving.

Evelyn taking Claire for a spin.

Evelyn teamed up with Claire and it was hilarious watching them figure out how to navigate the track. First of all, they weren’t quite sure how hard to push the pedal, like they’d go careening out of control if they jammed it down too hard and secondly, they were positive they were steering. Evelyn crept and jerked around the curves while she held up the entire ride. Hey, if you’re going to learn to drive, might as well do it right!

Screaming during the log ride drop!

The entire day had gone really well until that point–everyone was laughing and getting along, no one got lost, we found a table in the lunch hour rush, no one had gotten sick to their stomach…we were all having fun.

Are we having fun yet?!
Until Jack took the girls on the Mayflower, a giant, swinging boat.
Mistakenly, I thought riding a giant swing would be awesome. Nope. Once I found a spot to sit and watch with Henry and Kate, who was weeping again because of her shortness, I looked up to see Jack trying his best to comfort Evelyn, who gripped the rail like it was the only thing keeping her alive and Claire, who was red in the face and had an expression of sheer horror.
I couldn’t help but feel awful. And giggle a little bit.
You’re okay Claire, I promise!

Interestingly enough, after the girls walked off the ride, shaky-legged and teary-eyed, they decided that it’d be best if they showed me just how scary it was, by going on it again. And again. And again and again.


Once they realized how fantastic it is to have your stomach fly up into your nose before dropping down to your feet as the ride swings enormously, they had a blast. In total, they went on the ride five times of their own free will. They were made for amusement parks!

One unusual highlight–Jack caught a feisty little skink!
After we’d roamed the entire park and ridden most of the rides at least once, we divided and conquered a bit so Jack and I could go on a few roller coasters and revisited some of our favorites. One thing that shocked me was that quiet, sometimes timid Evelyn went on a “grown-up” roller coaster…twice. At seven, she did something that I wasn’t brave enough to do until I was a teenager and came out smiling. I can hardly wait until all the kids are tall enough to go!
One of our favorite rides!
At the end of the day, we were all pooped, soaked from head to toe and tired from literally running through the park the last half hour so we could squeeze in as many rides as possible (we got our money’s worth!) and had a long drive home in the pouring rain, but it was so nice to have a day all to ourselves where we didn’t have a care in the world, other than what ride to go on next.
Sleepy baby!
I think we’re going to have to plan a trip to Holiday World over Halloween next time…

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