Through the unexpected generosity of some very kind friends, we were able to take our kids to Sesame Place for a final summer fling late in August. Dave and I are huge roller coaster fans, so it was fun to get to get our kids' toes wet in the thrill-ride scene. My midwest man has dreams of taking the whole crew to Cedar Point (i.e., "The Roller Coaster Capital of the World") in Ohio when they're all old enough to handle the big dogs.
(Sesame Place, for anyone who might not know, is a Sesame Street-themed amusement park geared toward little people; I'd guess the prime ages would be about three to eight, though there are a few things older kids might enjoy as well.)
We had a gorgeous day for our trip to Philly! I think it was in the high 70's all day. We made it to the park around 11 a.m., and the training opportunities started right away, as we stood in line for our very first rides! It's tough, when you're three years old (or five, or one), to understand why you have to wait for something that's right there in front of you. It's even tougher to understand why you still can't get on the ride, when you've already waited patiently, and the line started to move, and you got closer and closer to the entrance, and you came so, so close... so close that you are actually the first person not to make it on this round! So we had some tears, and we had some public fits, and we had a mommy and daddy with some opportunities to be sanctified that day. But overall, it was a great memory-maker. (And the first two lines that we stood in were the longest of the whole day.)
I skipped most of the rides, tame as they were, since all of them have dire warnings about people with "serious medical conditions," such as pregnancy. (Soapbox warning: Um, hello? Thanks for lumping the pregnant women in there with the heart conditions and the neck braces! I do not have a medical condition--I am carrying a new life!) But it left me free to get some pictures, so I didn't mind too much.
Here's my little crew on Grover's World Twirl (i.e., tea cups!):
Esme on Ernie's Bed Bounce (basically an open air moon bounce):
Despite her nonplussed expression, she really loved this and refused to come off when her time was up. Twice.
As a matter of fact, Esme--dauntless third child that she is--loved almost everything that she was allowed to ride and mourned all day over the ones for which she was too small. (Especially Elmo's Cloud Chaser, better known as the swing ride.) There was one ride, however...
...that she didn't love so much. Blast Off. Esme was desperate to ride, since Daddy and the big kids were going. And surprisingly, there was no minimum height requirement, as long as you were with an adult. Against my better judgment, I let her go. Before it started, she looked like this:
But as soon as Blast Off lurched into motion, I knew I should have heeded that mommy intuition. I can still see the startled look on her face. It was somewhere between "This is not what I bargained for" and "I think I'm going to be sick." Poor baby. Stupid mama. But... she survived. With only minimum of wailing. And hopefully no lasting neck damage.
(Esme also did not like getting too close to the Sesame Street characters. Take a close look at the first picture of all of us with Bert and Ernie.)
Meg's encounter with Zoe:
And this one pretty much sums up what Matthew thought about the day.
At one point I attempted to get a decent shot of everyone together as they waited in line.
And... still nope.
We ended our day with a very late dinner at a local Cheeburger Cheeburger, where I snapped a few last pics.
After dinner (we left the restaurant at 9 p.m.), we changed the kids into their jammies, strapped them into their carseats, hit the road, and watched as total exhaustion overtook them, one at a time. Within about 15 minutes, they were all asleep, and they slept allllll the long ride home. At almost exactly midnight, we were back at our own front door. We transferred our comatose kids to their beds, and soon Mommy and Daddy were fast asleep too!