This year marks our second going to Got To Be NC. Last year was so much fun I declared that Stephanie would miss a day of school to go back this year. A year later, I was less confident about the plan, but it is the end of the year, so why not! We have missed school for the beach and Disney, so may as well as add a carnival.
The deal hasn't changed- $20 gets bracelets for the kids to ride as much and as may rides as they want. This year, the weather was sunny and quite warm. Last year was overcast and threatening rain. I prefer last year, as I thought I might melt a few minutes in! Many of the rides were self-shaded, and I tried to stand in whatever shade I could find.
Gwen has grown to 36 inches, which gave her access to a couple more rides, but not many more. Stephanie, at 46 inches, could still ride most, but the next cut off was 48 inches, so she also couldn't go on more rides than last time. Gwen struggled some that there were rides she couldn't go on, and I thought we would have to call it quits. We went with our neighbors, and we managed to pull enough together to satisfy Gwen and let the big kids ride the bigger rides and keep Gwen in motion and happy on the little rides.
Until our neighbors showed up, just a bit after us, I had Stephanie only ride with Gwen. Even the tiny rides were fun for them.
The picture above was from a Dumbo type ride that Gwen was not big enough for. It was the only ride that I let Stephanie go on before the neighbors got there. As it would turn out, the hydraulic line blew mid-ride. Some people were sprayed with yucky oil fluid, but fortunately not Stephanie.
Gwen was just big enough for the teacup rides this time! One guy that worked there offered that I could go with her on the ones shaped like strawberries (You might notice them in the background of other photos). I went, and then was motion sick. Not terrible, but not interested in going on many more rides!
Did I mention there weren't many lines....?
Gwen was tired, and we had "won" these stuffed animals from a Geico booth. The operator tried to take it away before starting the ride. She wouldn't let him, and held the critter close the whole ride. Later, Blake managed to take the big kids away and Gwen became obsessed with a ride similar to this one and went around and around. It would end, she would change vehicles, and the operator would start the ride again. After many turns, she actually fell asleep towards the end of the ride. I didn't get a picture, but it was equally hysterically and adorable. It was also a sign that she was overly tired and we are still struggling with not resting though exhausted days later. I am glad she can push through when we want to, but often we don't need to- I will not miss this phase when it passes!
Did I mention it was really hot out? Because it was. Blake and I got the kids (and ourselves) Hawaiian Ice, and also spent some time indoors at the Food sampling event hosted by Lowes (grocery store not hardware store!). We all enjoyed the sampling- and then back to the heat!
The dragon rollercoaster was a favorite! Looks like I have at least one hands up roller coaster kind of gals!
Stephanie has all the energy in the world. Our neighbors had to leave around 5:00, but we stayed to play a bit more- I had no plan and I told Kevin not to expect us until I texted him to expect us. Blake passed onto us her unused tickets, which gave me a chance to take Gwen on some bigger rides. At this point in the day, the operators (okay, carnies) were getting pretty flexible about size limits and what a "responsible person" looked like- they let Stephanie take Gwen alone in the Ferris Wheel, as at under 42 inches, a "responsible person" was required. Gwen finally got to go on some of the rides she had coveted earlier with Stephanie, and I went with her on some of the rides that the operators were more stickler about- which included the helicopter ride from the hydraulic line blow earlier in the day. It also included, as the absolute very last ride, a ride called "The Paratrooper". Gwen really wanted to go on it, but it looked really fast with way to much circular motion. When the operator would not let Stephanie take Gwen, I made them wait until the end. It was like I knew how much it was NOT a ride for me just by seeing it, despite Stephanie's assurance that it really only looked fast and didn't feel that fast. It was awful! Gwen was next to me, gleefully telling me that "this ride is super super super super super fast!" and I was just trying not to be sick. After the ride, I managed to stumble them both out of the park (Stephanie still skipping- and it was 8:30) and get them home. I will not be paratrooping it again in, but at least Gwen thought it was awesome.
I haven't mentioned this on the blog yet, but I am soon to be gainfully employed again, starting in August! I mention it now because I declared I wasn't going back again next year unless Gwen was big enough to ride the next tier rides- and then I realized that I wasn't going back next year anyway because of the new job (teaching at a private high school- not many flexible days off when you have summers off!). Kevin piped up that he would take them next year, as he has plenty of time off. And lets be realistic here- if anyone can do the paratrooper ride, it is Kevin- and next year it can be all his!