Family Friday: Roller Coasters

stock-photo-silhouette-of-wooden-roller-coaster-70910776This past summer, my family and I traveled up north and visited Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania during our vacation. In addition to Hershey Park, we also visited Washington D.C., Mount Vernon, Amish Country, and Wheatland in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Now, a couple of months later, my four year old twins still talk about the day at Hershey the most. I’d like to hope some of those glorious historical sites planted some seeds of love of history and stories, but that will remain to be seen down the road. They want to go back to Pennsylvania, stay in the hotel, and go back to Hershey. The day at Hershey, though, showed me some insight into the members of my family.

     Wonderful hubby. Let’s start with my wonderful hubby. I like to think we balance each other. He’s my rock, and I remind him to buy deodorant with antiperspirant instead of just deodorant. This day reminded me why he’s great at strategy games and planning. He wisely chose to purchase the add-on fee to park next to the park entrance. With twin four-year olds, it was the best spent money on the trip. By the end of the day, Cupcake was tuckered out, and wonderful hubby and I were each carrying a twin out to the minivan. I was so thankful he indulged with that nearby parking spot.

     Kath. It’s hard to believe that the little girl who twirled on the fireplace hearth is now in high school. Her boyfriend lives in Pennsylvania, and he accompanied us to Hershey. They toured Zoo America on their own and also went on some of the roller coasters while touring the park on their own. Kath still talks about her reaction to the dips and turns of one of the coasters, but she participated in the rides without us. In two years, she’ll head off to college, and she’ll live in a dorm away from home. Hershey Park drove that concept into me, but we all still ate meals together and we all laughed together. But she’s now grown up enough to take that first step into her own life by riding the roller coasters with someone other than her parents.

     MJ. My tween son talked nonstop of the roller coasters prior to the trip, but then the moment came when he actually saw the roller coasters. Up close. He had no problem with the bumper cars or the Screamer. The Tilt-a-Whirl and the Pirate were right up his alley. But he discovered he’s not keen on roller coasters. I still don’t know what to make out of this. On the one hand, I want all of my children to live life to its fullest and face any fears they have. On the other hand, maybe this is a sign that my tween son is starting to develop some common sense that will guide him through his teen years and beyond. If something doesn’t feel right and some little worm of doubt grows within him, that might help him later in life. So as hard as it was to watch him not to get on the roller coaster, we had to go along with what he felt was the best choice for him.

     Cupcake. The most fearless of the bunch. She went on every roller coaster the park allowed her to ride. The Super Dooper Looper. No problem. If it was a roller coaster and she was permitted to ride it, she was there. She not only rode every one she could ride, she rode some of them twice. (We were very fortunate to go to Hershey the first week after school ended in our neck of the woods while school was still in session in Pennsylvania. As a result, the park wasn’t crowded and we literally walked onto many of the rides, especially toward the end of the day.) She loved the roller coasters. She came back and reported every wonderful second of the ride to her twin brother and her older brother. She might look sweet and she might cuddle up to you, but this Southern belle has a spine of steel. 

     Chunk. Cupcake’s twin brother didn’t cotton to roller coasters like Cupcake. He allowed his sister to go with Daddy on the roller coasters while he went off to another ride with MJ and Mommy. But the roller coasters were always in view. And by the end of the day, he wanted to try riding one. And then, he loved roller coasters. In the last hour, we rode two roller coaster before ending the day with a Tilt-a-Whiril ride and a final twirl on the Screamer. That’s Chunk. A little cautious at first, but then full steam ahead. 

     The whole day was fun. From the wonderful ice cream dipped cone to ramming into Kath, Kath’s boyfriend and MJ in the bumper cars, it was a great day. 

     What are some of your favorite family vacation moments? Let me know.

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