It was such a special treat for me to take my daughters to the site of so many of my own happy childhood vacation memories. I probably shouldn't admit this on a public blog, but I was actually nearly as captivated by the whole pretend world of storybook characters as an adult as I was as a child. I mean, I was totally pretending I was Goldielocks in the Three Bears House as I laid down in Mama Bear's bed yesterday. The girls were thrilled with all the adventures Storyland had to offer, from the aforementioned bear beds:
to the play house of Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater:
to riding the pumpkin coach to Cinderella's castle and sitting upon her throne:
Perhaps even more exciting were the various amusement park rides. We started off riding the teacups:
and eventually graduated to the Polar Coaster, the first time on a roller coaster for either kid. Since Madeleine just barely made the height requirement, I was a little worried she might be totally freaked out by the ride, but instead, I heard her little pipsqueak voice in the car behind me ask, as soon as the ride was slowing to a stop, "Can we do it AGAIN?" Julia was thrilled by the whole ride, admitting only after the fact, "Mama, I was worried I might be SCARED on the roller coaster, but it was SO FUN!"
Unfortunately, the afternoon took an ominous turn when a big gray cloud slowly moved from the mountains in the distance to directly overhead. In probably the worst timing imaginable, it started to rain just as we got on the hot air balloon ferris wheel ride, and we heard thunder just as our balloon reached the top of the wheel. I think Julia was literally ready to throw herself from the top of the ride in order to escape the threat of thunderstorm. Once we were off the ride, it began to downpour, so we all ran to shelter under a big tent to wait out the storm.
Here is how Madeleine reacted to the torrential rain:
This is how Julia reacted to the torrential rain:
The reason that the angle of this picture is so weird is because Julia was wrapped around my leg in a death grip.
Things really got ugly once Ethan decided to go get the car and pull around to the entrance to the park so we could hop right in. As I walked through the pouring rain holding one kid's hand in each of my hands, trying to find the fastest way to the exit, I had a battle of who can scream and cry the loudest going on between the kids.
On one side of me:
"MOOOOMMMMY! MY STICKEEEEER! I LOOOOOST MY STICKEEEEER!" (referring to the big, circular Storyland sticker, which had lost its grip on Madeleine's shirt due to the heavy rain.)
On the other side of me:
"MOM! GET ME OUT OF HERE! THIS IS THE SCARIEST DAY OF MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE! MOM! WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME IT WAS GOING TO THUNDERSTORM? MOM, GET ME TO THE CAR!"
I think the best part of all was once we had finally gotten through the exit of the park and stood, completely saturated with water, waiting for Ethan to drive up to the curb and get us. We saw his car go by, realized he had failed to spot us, and began running after the car to get his attention. Like a trio of buffoons, we chased the car in circles through the dirt parking lot, each of us screaming "DADDY! DADDY! DADDY!" as if our lives depended on it.
I'm sure we were more entertainment for the rest of the Storyland crowds than any of the rides themselves were.
At any rate, the day was not lost, as the kids quickly regained their spirits once we were home and changed, and the storm passed and the sun came back out. In fact, it wasn't long before we were all enjoying ourselves in the hotel pool:
To end the day, we went into nearby North Conway for dinner, followed by dessert at the kiddie wonderland of ice cream shops, equipped with an outdoor playground:
What adventures will today hold? That remains to be seen, as the day is still young, but I can guarantee you I will be checking the weather forecast before we head out today.