Cameron’s had limited exposure to roller coasters and other rides, but he’s heard Kate enthusing about Playland and how much fun it is, every time we drive past the PNE grounds. You can see a few rides from the road, notably the ancient wooden coaster, and so Cameron’s caught on. Playland equals fun.
On Saturday, Leif’s work had a corporate event day there – which meant we spent a good four hours I think there, riding the rides. Many thanks to his work!
First things first, a roller coaster! No, this wasn’t the giant old wooden one, he’s too little to ride that one yet. Cameron had seen them before, and just knew they must be fun, so it was easy to convince my cautious boy to climb aboard the Kettle Creak coaster. His enthusiasm waned somewhat as we slid into the first drop – his eyes went wide and he looked … well, horrified. Another drop, and he started to wail. I steadfastly yayed and whooped, and laughed, wrapping my arm around him, and by the time we started the second of the two laps around the loop he was laughing too. “Waitwaitwait, this is going to be fun, are you ready?” I asked as we hung a second pre-drop. “YEAH,” he yelled, and thus my little one became a thrill-seeker.
“I wanna go on that ride! Mommy, can we go on that one next? Then that one? And that one?” A whole lot of the rides the answer was, “You’ve got to grow three inches first, kiddo.”
One thing we hadn’t planned on was “Flume”, involving much splashing of water, though knowing the weather forecast we should’ve predicted that this would be on the list. So we had our cameras and cell phones, and no plastic baggies to protect them. No problem, this just meant that we took turns taking the kids on that one. Now … this one’s drop made the roller coaster look a little like nothing more than a hilly backroad. I was a little surprised when Cameron happily trotted off with Leif and Kate for his first time on it. I’m told that after the first, small slide, and on the way up for the big one, he announced that he wanted to get off. Right now. Really. Now. Off. Now. Yeah, there’s no backing out once you’re on! He buried his head into Leif’s back and held on. I expected to meet a sobbing drenched kid at the exit, but was floored. “Let’s go Mommy! We’re going on it again! Let’s go, c’mon!” He rode it three times, and would’ve kept going if we hadn’t dragged him and Kate off for lunch.
While Kate and Leif went off to wait in line for too-short-to-ride disappointment at the big rollercoaster, Cameron and I took advantage of short lineups in the ‘junior pass’ section. There was the scrambler, which my newly-discovered speed demon loved. My stomach mildly objected, but it was a flashback ride for me, with memories of the Richmond Fair with Tammy, trying to get the attention of a boy I had a big crush on. After a few too-short-to-ride disappointments of our own, Cameron rode a “motorcycle” around and around, then a car, then ran around in a pirate ship playroom.
While the glee, shrieks, and full-out belly laughter of the roller coaster, the log ride, and the scrambler were thrilling and exciting, a much less adrenaline-filled moment just made my day. We were on the Wave Swinger, and Cameron had seemed a little uncertain about this one at first. The look of pure joy on his face as we soared around and around peacefully was extraordinary. “I like that one,” I explained as we walked away afterwards, “Because it feels sort of like you’re flying.” He gasped, and answered, “Mommy! That’s what I was singing – I believe I can fly!”