Friday, July 29, 2005

Howard's Holiday Vacation

So where have I been? On vacation!

Not a lavish one, no traveling, but one that has actually made me relax without the required high doses of rum and cokes.

Where'd we go? First the zoo. I think I've been once and that was it. We went with a friend from high school and his 14-year old son. I'm the kid's godfather - please don't laugh. I feel bad about never going to the zoo because it's large and a ten minute drive away. The girls could really learn alot. If nothing else where the zoo is. It's one of those benefits of leaving here that I've just not taken up. So I bought a premium family membership. They always get me with the free parking. The zoo is stuck right in the middle of the north part of the city - very close to UC - and I think it must be nice and strange for some of these people to hear Ziegfried and Roy's White Lions of Timbavati roar in the middle of the night.

With this new membership we can go any time. It takes a few minutes to get there so maybe we'll return today.

Next we went to a Red's game on Sunday. Since my friend is a client also I used the company season tickets in section 141 in right field. They both had a nice time. I'm not a big baseball guy but even I thought Adam Dunn's ninth inning homer that landed 10 feet behind me was way cool. If you see a video of it on ESPN, I'm the guy crouching with Daughter No. 2's head covered.

This was the second day of the mid-western heat wave and while I enjoyed the game and being at the ballpark, the heat truly sucked.

Monday we spent driving to a hotel and relaxing by the pool because we were going to spend 2 spectacular days in Holiday World. The hotel was in a place called Tell City, IN, Holiday world is in Santa Claus, IN on the beautiful shores of Christmas Lake. When the Divine Mrs. M started talking about how much others recommended this place and it was good for the kids, etc. I both inwardedly and outwardly rolled my eyes. A park based on Christmas? I don't like Christmas in December why would I like it in July? What are they going to do? Make me wait in line to buy overpriced gifts for people I don't like.

But once again I was wrong. Here's Holiday World. It's a very impressive theme park in the middle of nowhere. I could only get 1 FM station, but it was very nice. We live about 25 minutes from Paramount's King's Island (the park the Brady Bunch went to) and about 10 minutes from a smaller park so I wasn't too excited about this. But then my wallet felt better.

Tickets were about normal theme park prices, but the parking was free. I hate being charged for parking. Paying $10/hour downtown? Fine. Paying in the middle of a corn field? I get pissy. Then I realized they gave away free drinks. Every little park section had a Pepsi Oasis which is just a place where you can get fountain drinks gratis. And it wasn't crap. A full selection of drinks. Also, there were free sunblock stands. Finally, the food. It was good and nicely priced. I remember I got Harper her baked potatoe for $1.90. I got a chicken sandwich for about $3. And the drinks were free. They even post the food prices.

The rides were very nice. Dagny even rode their small coaster The Legend with me. Other Streaming video is here.

The Holiday stuff was underplayed. You have the distinct feeling that the place is run by evangelical christians. There are rules posted everywhere about the dress code shoes, shirts required. Crude shirts will be cause for removal. This is nice. The last time I was a King's Island, I was with my oldest daughter behind a man whose shirt simply said "F&%K Off" on the back. He was with this young kid. Now I mutter that word several times a day, but what would cause you to put it on a shirt in a family park and what kind of world are we in where he is not asked to change it or leave?

I'd say the park looked like it was began by Ned Flanders but then Homer took over the last half to make sure it was good. Te only overt religion park - besides christmas - was that Santa told the kids a story and then at the end highlighted that their nighttime prayers were very important. Also, crosses, etc were sold in the gift shop.

After two days at holiday work and three night in a hotel, I'm home today and back to work on Monday. It's been nice.

Stay You.
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