Monday, December 31, 2012

Quite the rides

I promised the kids to take them to City Mall’s City Park during their vacation. City Park is on the top floor of the mall, and is almost a small amusement park. It has video games, fairway type games (including the tickets you can exchange for items) and even a roller coaster for smaller kids.
Valerie was not able to go what with her continued foot problems. She is not really able to do much of all that involves walking...and that is pretty much everything. She has her office chair here at the house during vacation to scoot from room to room, one of those big plastic boots to wear, and crutches. The good news is that we believe she will have surgery the first week or so of February. More on that later.
Our kids were most interested in going to City Park for that which you can see from a distance: The Ferris wheel and funky spinning motorcycle wheel of death. I was surprised when we arrived to find that all the rides and games functioned off a type of credit card. I charged up the credit card with sufficient money, and away we went.
The Ferris wheel looks safe enough (at night it is lit up with lights, quite attractive) but upon us going to get on, I was told the kids would have to ride in a separate car, for balance reasons. Balance? How much does this thing weigh? much are you trying to say I weigh? Huh? The kids were hesitant, but excited enough to forge ahead and go without me....of course for balance I was in the car exactly opposite them.

The safety measures for securing the door were substantial, as you can see here. In addition to cramming myself in the tiny car, there is also the option of using the center wheel to spin yourself around. I did that just enough to take advantage of the views afforded...I noticed that for other riders sometimes the attendant purposefully reaches out and spins them as fast as he can. The kids were happy with the ride, Cecilia scared a little (at first, I could totally sympathize) but Soren spread out and relaxed, loving every minute of it.
We then explored the bumper cars (You will have to enlarge this picture to get a good view of all the panoramic excitement.) Watching some of the other kids, and especially my kids, try to figure out how to drive was hilarious. It also reminded me how un-intuitive driving a bumper car is when you are first learning. Two trips in...Cecilia was absolutely positive she will have bruises tomorrow (reminds me of a slightly taller blonde I know) and Soren was smiling from ear to ear.
Then it was to the spinning motorcycle ride. Wow. I had originally seated with my feet hanging just off the edge of the ride. The prompt attendant asked me to pull my feet inside, and then remarked that at no point ever should my feet even come close to the edge of the ride. Interesting, I thought. And then the ride began. I have seen it going from looks fairly harmless. But wow...that sucker moves, then spins, and then moves and spins at the same time....with quite the speed, and higher than you might think. I was fine. Cecilia was laughing. Soren...looked like he was going to throw up. I told him to close his eyes and wait it out. He dutifully obliged. And my feet? Yeah, the ride comes close to stationary metal while you are moving and spinning. Had my feet been just a little extended....I would have been able to wear size eight shoes again.
We cut our excursion there, not exploring the other rides or games, but instead taking the kids for a end-of-the-year-eating-out-for-lunch special...their choice? Coco Baleadas was discussed, then Wendy’s, then MexTaco....but the desire for the odd fries that only Popeye’s has won out.
I should note that Cecilia was keen on the Louisiana Kitchen also for more than just the fries, what with us watching a marathon of Duck Dynasty and Billy the Exterminator on TV today.
And the trip was not complete without a shot at the banking area of the mall. There are times here when the lines are long...end of the month, first of the month especially...but today is always the perfect storm being the end of the month, end of the year, and that tomorrow is the biggest holiday of the year in terms of everything being closed. The lines went from one end of the mall to the other. It was really quite impressive, and I was quite happy that I did my banking online so I did not also need to be in that line that would have lasted for hours. At least they had a nice view while they waited. And the bonus line fact is that this mall is new and the banking center not used as much as other locations. I did not go to verify, but I safely wager that the lines at those locations was even longer.

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