Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Busch Garden and Water Country 2010

We had the pleasure of going to BG/WC with our good friends again this year! A and E went together last year, and had a blast. What a difference a year makes! First of all, it was a billion times hotter this year--each day it was close to 100 degrees. Second, both A and E's younger siblings also came, which made for some serious multitasking. Viv and ER didn't seem to like as many attractions as their older siblings, and both tired out quickly in the heat. Still--despite all the work and exhaustion, it was a great trip.

We brought the Beach Walker to Water Country USA. This turned out not to be a good idea. E's Beach Walker is pretty small--any water over a foot deep makes the wheels start to float. So, we ended up lugging it around (not the biggest deal, as we all had giant double strollers and gear) and not really using it. We did get a few people asking us about it, and saw two children with CP (one was much older, navigating the park independently, wearing AFOs and crocs). I saw a few other children with disabilities, but as you know--they're a minority. I feel this difference is strongly accentuated in a place like a water park. Still--I am proud that we're out there, doing our best, having a great time, no matter how challenging it may be.

The best part was the Hubba Hubba Highway. No lines, just ride along with the current. Last year, E couldn't right herself in a life vest (any type). This year--not only could she stay upright, she could doggie paddle across the water and ride along the current with her good friend A. That is a HUGE CHANGE. I still had to stay close--she tipped twice and I helped--but it didn't freak her out.

E and Mommy getting ready to float away

G'ma and Viv--Viv only liked it if you were holding on to her tightly

We rode some rides--E would try to stand in line, with her feet down while we waited. She moved along the line sometimes while holding a handrail, other times I carried her. It was a full-time job, seeing that the kids were safe, having fun, staying fed and hydrated and cool (ish). A pretty tiring day.

The next day we woke up ready for Busch Gardens! We love it. Both families pushed kids in double strollers. Occasionally, the kids (not Elena) got out and walked. That stung--too many hills, too hot, for Elena to do much on her own. We did bring her crutches, and she did use them. Elena is an adventure-seeker--she LOVES rides, even scary ones. She rode her first roller coaster in the Sesame play area. WOW did she like that!

As always--the highlight of BG was The Festhaus!! Vivian went bananas when the band came out...

E danced a lot too--but I only have pictures. She liked to have a "launching point" from a bench--she'd dance around and then come back to the bench and do it again.

Here is E doing the Chicken Dance! Last year I had to hold her up. This year, she did everything!

Viv also had her first "big girl ride". She didn't really enjoy the rides (not even the carousel!), she preferred to play on playgrounds and watch shows.

Elena loves them, though. Grandma, not so much. E loves the "scream" part when you're up high.

Here's the group, near the end of our day, around "Italy".

What a great time. A big special thanks to our friends, the Rs. Thank you so much for your fun company! A big thank you to Mr. Ben, since he did most of the planning for this trip. And another big ups to Grandma and Grandpa--I literally could not have done this without you.

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