Friday, June 15, 2007

SuperAunt Chronicles: Not Quite As Super As I Used To Be

My throat hurts from screaming, I ache everywhere, and I have bruises all over. Yes, it was a fun day at World of Fun.

We estimate that we managed 15 roller coaster rides, 10 other assorted rides, and a minimum of three complete trips around the park in 4 hours. No wonder I hurt. It's a miracle I survived!

The Patriot - 6+ rides (60 mph inverted roller coaster)
The Mamba - 7+ rides (75 mph roller coaster)
Cyclone Sam's - 2 rides (I'd really like to know just how fast this thing spins, because I've got bruises on my ribs!)
The Boomerang - 2 rides (50 mph one way coaster, then reverses and goes backward over the tracks)
Twisting Dragons - 2 rides (spinning roller coaster)
Log Flume - 1 ride
The Monsoon - 1 ride
The Detonator - 2 rides
The Zulu - 1 ride

As we were dragging ourselves back to the parking lot, we realized neither of us could remember exactly where we parked, even though we had deliberately chosen a spot right under a light pole with a placard proclaiming C-something. It was the "something" we couldn't quite remember. After having hysterical giggles over that for a few minutes, we bravely trudged in the general direction of the car (we hoped), predicting they would find us hours later draped over some random white van, crying, unable to find our white van. In reality, once we got about halfway across the parking lot, we were able to figure out which pole was the right one and headed straight to the correct van.

I remember the days, not so long ago, when I could go all day at Worlds of Fun or the zoo or whatever with the niece and nephews and arrive home tired but intact, and even sane. Not anymore! I suspect the problem is less age and more overweight-and-out-of-shape, but the age isn't helping. I resolve to be in better shape before The Nephew descends next summer! I have to, because:

The only flaw in the day, from The Nephew's point of view, was that he couldn't talk me into doing The Ripcord with him. That's the ride where they truss you up, hook you to a cable, pull you 180 feet into the air, and then drop you into a 50-foot free fall, and then you swing at the end of the cord about 80 miles per hour. I have to admit I did it once, about five years ago, but it took me two years to work up the nerve, not two hours. Swinging 80 mph is awesome, but I hate falling. I'm not wild about dangling 180 feet up in the air with nothing to hold onto, either. I understood how badly he wanted to do it, and I felt for him, I really did, but…no. I just couldn't get up the courage. I did make a promise, though, because I'm a fool. I told him if he couldn't find someone else, like his cousin or his sister, to do it with him next summer, I would do it. Idiot, idiot, idiot…I have a year to either work up my courage or find a sub. I'd better start getting in better shape, because I need to be able to scream a lot more if I'm going to do The Ripcord.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

SuperAunt Chronicles: Arrival of The Nephew And His Maalox

I have to say two things right off the bat here: first, he hasn't said the word "bored" once since he arrived more than 24 hours ago; second, his parents both thanked me several times for going to get him. I have to give credit where credit is due.

The train trip to get him was pretty uneventful, if long--the train was 1-1/2 hours late arriving. Having made this trip a few times in the last several years, I was expecting that, so no problem. The Nephew called my cell phone twice in the first 10 minutes to see if I was on the train yet. Twice, because I was busy boarding and signing for my ticket and ignored the first call. I answered the second one and told him, yes, I was indeed on the train and on my way. He only called three more times during the 6 hour trip. He also sent me three text messages, most of them consisting questions like "Where are you now?" and "How about now?"

Once at my brother's house, we all had a nice evening chatting, while universally dreading our 4:30 a.m. wake-up time to get to the train station for the return trip. My sister-in-law busied herself making us fabulous hoagie sandwiches for our trip and packing a small cooler. Twice during the evening she reminded The Nephew that there was a bottle of Maalox for him in his shaving kit. True to his parentage, he likes spicy food but it doesn't like him, and she wanted to make sure he was prepared. That was perfectly reasonable. It got silly later.

The next morning I woke at 4 a.m. when The Nephew's alarm clock started going off upstairs in his room. He hit the snooze five times. I'm not exaggerating. Five. About 4:30 he finally got up, and he, his dad and I stumbled around getting showered, dressed and packed for our trip to the train station. About 20 minutes before we were due to leave, my sister-in-law got up to make sure T.N. had everything, and she told us each twice again that there was a bottle of Maalox in his shaving kit. Right, got it. Then she gave him strict instructions that he was never to be out of my sight, except when he had to go to the bathroom, and then he was only to use the restroom in the same train car we were sitting in. We are talking about a husky 15-year-old boy on a train crossing the farmland of central Missouri. He got a little testy during the second recitation of these instructions. Finally we were out the door, and my brother delivered us to the train station, where the train was already 10 minutes behind schedule. We settled back to eat the cupcakes in our lunch for breakfast and watch some episodes of "Stargate: Atlantis." Less than 30 minutes into our trip, T.N. got two text messages, both from his mother, reminding him that there was a bottle of know the rest. Shortly after that I got a text message. Guess what it said? Once we got to my house, Mr. SmartyPants called his mother to ask her where his bottle of Maalox was.

In other news, during our train trip I finally got the official call from the police department offering me the CSO position! We celebrated by going to the snack car and getting some root beer. While we were there, I sent text messages to our families letting them know I'd gotten the job. My sister-in-law and I had been talking the night before about how if I got this job, one of the department requirements was that I be sprayed with pepper spray, since I would carry the spray on duty. After I sent the message that I'd gotten the job, The Nephew got a text message from his mom that said, "If she gets sprayed while you're there, take pictures!" No, we have no grown-ups in my family!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

SuperAunt Chronicles: The Nephew Is Coming

The Nephew, the one I called All Boy below, is coming to visit Tuesday. Back when he and his cousins were younger, we planned a special week each summer when the three cousins would come to stay with GeekBoy and me, and we would do all kinds of kid things: Worlds of Fun, the zoo, the children's museum, all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, etc. Now, about ten years later, the older three have more or less outgrown this (one is Emma's mom now), but The Nephew, the youngest at 15, still treasures his visits here. There are a few problems, though.

First, he forgets that after about an hour here, he is bored. I'm going to keep track of how many times he says the words "I'm bored" while he's here. He is an outdoorsy kid, and GeekBoy, as the saying goes, "went outside once, but the graphics weren't that great." I no longer have a job that gives me the summer off, so we have to work around my work schedule, which is flexible, but not optional.

Second, he eats like a normal teenage boy. GeekBoy is not, and never has been, a normal teenage boy (I'll pay for that later, but he's knows it's true). I remember realizing during The Nephew's last visit that teenage boys apparently need feeding every two hours. Ye gods! Luckily his favorite breakfast food is cereal, any cereal, which will help a lot with the next problem (see below).

Third, he gets up early. 'Nuf said.

However, he's a fun kid, and I'm glad he likes to come and visit. Like any smart kid, he's discovered Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis, so I have 4 seasons of DVDs to distract him with. He's called me twice a day for the last several days, evidence of his anticipation of the visit. I've agreed he can bring his guitar. I hope he actually knows how to play it.