Morrigan's middle school choir competed in a competition outside Richmond on Saturday. The plan was to sing, then spend the remainder of the day at Kings Dominion. Having never been there, this seemed like a great day for the rest of the family to glom on and enjoy the funpark too. Plus we could save Morrigan the trip home on the bus.
Saturday started early. M needed to be at school by 6:15. At about 5:45, Morrigan asked if I had the sheet with instructions for the day. After fishing it out of the recycling, we discovered that it was not her school, but another middle school at which we needed to meet. And needed to leave right about that moment. Oops.
Happily, she made the bus and we returned home to wait for Mags and E to wake so we could head out to Richmond. We were approaching ready when Ann and Hans texted to remind us to buy our tickets online as we'd save $10-20 per person. In theory, this should not have been a problem. In practice, we were out of printer ink and no stores were yet open.
As we are trying all sorts of poke-your-ink-cartridge-with-a-pin online remedies, Tim came up with the idea to call a friend and use their computer. I sent a text to the neighbors but things were not moving fast enough for some. Tim declared, "That's it, I'm calling Sean and Amy." (He figured, correctly, that they would appreciate the desire to save a few bucks.) "Sean," he said, "I need to use your printer. It's an emergency."
Really? Emergency? But as we had already woken them up, we might as well save the money.
Upon arrival, I had to explain that the unnamed emergency was indeed Kings Dominion tickets and apologized profusely for waking the family, and their guests. Sean was most British in accepting said apology, insisting that he really needed to get up anyway and we had done him a favor. File this one away under great friends to whom I owe a favor.
Discounted tickets in hand, we were off and arrived safely three hours later at the funpark.
Tim, Maggie, Eion and I had a great time! We kept having near misses with Ann and Hans, not quite managing to keep the whole group together but it didn't dampen our spirits. Maggie was a brave soul and tried a few scary looking rides, like The Crypt, which Tim said was not only frightening looking, but intense for real.
Eion, that was a mixed bag. He loved the bumper cars and tolerated some of the lower key roller coasters but other rides, some of which I felt we not far off the state fair variety, scared him to death. It was tough to know when to force him to ride something. At times, he walked off after thrilled and wanting to ride again. But others would cause him to lose his stuff entirely.
Tim and Maggie bonding.
Though we had to bail on most of the big coasters, we found enough lesser rides that the kids were pretty happy. And then there is always ice cream.
A mere $9 bargain.
Morrigan's phone had the misfortune of a damaged sim card on the one day when we could really use it. So we knew she was out there, somewhere, but didn't find her. At about 3:30, Ann told me they we eating lunch at some pavilion where I tracked her down. She had been there for hours and had yet to ride anything. They had pre-assigned groups that had to remain together. So if you had some twirly-whirly upside down coaster riders, those who didn't want to be as adventurous got to wait for them outside the ride. Sometimes for an hour at a clip. She was miserable.
Now I'll concede that she could have manned up and tried a big ride, but I hated for her to have such a crappy day. So I browbeat an adult in charge into letting me take her for a few hours.
Not to get all nostalgic here, but at a similar age, I, along with my class, was left almost completely to our own devices all day at Cedar Point. I'm not saying you have to let them run wild, we all know it is not the 80's anymore, but I would be ok with 4-5 kids who had to stay together and were chaperone free.
Having set her free, Morrigan was in a stellar mood and quite happy to be with family, which is not always the case.
And to make it even better, we finally aligned with Ann & Hans, who had additionally picked up a splinter pack of middle schoolers who also had been misfits in their assigned groups, and we all had a great rest of the day.
Morrigan did try some of the coasters.
Morrigan was happy with her peeps, Maggie and Luke paired up, and Eion would ride with anyone and everyone.
Look Ma! No hands!
This picture makes me laugh because Tim looks like he's enjoying
Planet Snoopy alone. Really, E was in there too.
By the time the kids were due back to the bus, we were all ready to cash it in. We had entertained the idea of spending the night but it was just early enough to make driving home feasible. We were home by 11pm and everyone was happy to go to bed. It had been a pretty great day.