Somehow with all the down time the week right after the beach (and flood), we managed to fit in a trip to Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA. :-) Nana and Pop-Pop had wanted to take the kids, and who are we to decline a day at an amusement park?!? I'm not sure how these pictures have remained un-posted for so long, but better late than never...right?
The kids were so psyched for the trip! Heck, the very thought of being able to get on rides all day long without Mommy and Daddy saying, "This is the last one," is enough to thrill even the most subdued child! We left early enough to arrive right as the castle "doors" opened, right at 10:00. After being thoroughly searched and scrutinized by the "security knights, " we made a bee-line for Ben's first request - the antique cars. I absolutely love this "Driving Miss Daisy" shot! :-)
Especially this one...
Ben immediately wanted to drive again. While he did so, Ellie and Nana "watered a cow." Can you read the sign? It reads: "Bossie says, 'Please Squeeze.' Don't Pull." Uh huh... Yeah...
And see, the humor in the whole thing is that I can't even come up with anything sarcastic to say about it! It just speaks for itself, doesn't it?!?
This is one of my favorites from the day! The kids were waiting in line to get on a ride together, and Ben felt the need to keep Ellie in tow, I suppose. Too precious!
This shot is thanks to Pop-Pop. He and Nana stood right below the opening to the sky ride to capture the initial take-off. Can you see Ellie (below Jim) waiting in her princess pose? Oh my...
See what I mean? Such love. :-)
When we passed the big pretzel in the morning on the way to the antique cars, the kids were too excited to stop and everyone else made me wait as if I were inflicting cruel and unusual punishment upon them! When we finally got around to stopping later in the afternoon, I got this peppy pose. Uh huh. And this is why I wanted to do it in the morning! Talk about cruel and unusual punishment! Doesn't it look like someone has just forced them to march 100 miles carrying the giant pretzel ?!? So much for my "cute" shot. :-)
When Ben went back for this third go-round on the antique cars, Ellie chose to have some rainbow-flavored soft ice cream, instead. She's no dummy! I love putting white shirts on her in potentially messy situations. They're actually much easier to get clean than colored clothes. Bleach is a mommy's best friend! :-)
Ben and Ellie both unleashed their loves of roller coasters on this trip. I had NO idea that my children had this in them, especially Ellie!!!! This coaster was the largest one that Ellie could get on because of her height, or lack thereof. Heh. There's something I never thought I'd say about my daughter! :-) She got on this one with each and every family member at least once. I believe she rode it 5 times, total. Maybe more... Even though this shot is blurry, I just had to share the sheer joy on their faces.
Ellie continued to ride this coaster while Benjamin scared me to death by riding the King Coaster, the largest coaster in the park, over and over. This one was easily comparable to The Comet at Hersheypark. It just didn't have quite as large of a beginning hill. I'm not exaggerating. This was a REAL roller coaster. No pics of this one, since there were no good angles to be had. :-(
Time out to take in a show. Ellie, of course, sat herself (and the rest of us) in the front for her viewing pleasure. This shot cracks me up. It looks as if she is the only one in attendance! She (and all the other kids) absolutely loved the snow machine! What a fun surprise! We got a good laugh at all the fake snow bubbly stuff that was stuck in her hair after the "storm."
By mid-afternoon, Ben was somehow still going strong! He even voluntarily pushed Her Highness as she sipped her lemonade. :-) This shot was taken on our way to the river boat ride. I think it was the long, slow ride and all that sitting that made everyone realize just how tired we were!
Two very tired kiddos. Ben and Ellie were tired too. :-) Soon after this picture was taken, we began the trek back to the van.
We stopped for a quick dinner on the way home, and the kids promptly fell asleep with full tummies. Jim and I braced for what we knew was going to be an ugly few minutes, getting the kids stripped, showered, into pajamas and to bed. And it was ugly. ...but WELL worth it!
We would definitely recommend Dutch Wonderland to everyone with young children. There are LOTS of different rides for each age and comfort level. The facilities were clean, kid-friendly, and uncrowded. There are many appealing shows at staggered times to provide a reprieve from the sun. There is even a large water park within the amusement park that we didn't get to touch! I'm thinking we'd need more stamina to do that, too! Maybe next time...
Thanks, Nana and Pop-Pop, for an awesome day!