As promised this post will be about our wonderful visit to Story Land. Now, those of you who are not from New England may not know what Story Land is. I'll give a little background...it's motto is "Where Fantasy Lives". I worked there for 4 summers as a teenager. It was a great first job, they taught us respect for the customer (or guest as you're called there), how to smile even when you really don't want to, and how to deal with a HUGE multitude of people (mostly small children) and not lose your mind. It was also a great place to work in that it employed many of my friends and so we had fun working there even though we were terribly underpaid for what we had to do.
The park is set in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, so it's scenery is breathtaking anyway. The park began as a kind of story book village, with attractions centered around children's stories. The initial park was actually quite small, but has grown steadily since then and even quite a bit since I worked there (cough! cough!) 20 years ago.
We left our house bright and early at 7:00 am to make the long ride to the park. On the way, we made a small detour to Pittsfield to see our old house. This was our first home we owned together and was a beautiful house. It was bittersweet for us to sell it, but the community we lived in was very bizarre and we just didn't want our children in one of the worst school systems in the state. If we could have picked up that house and moved it where there were less inbreds, we would have done it in a minute. We also found out that it's back on the market and for sale for $20,000 more then they paid for it, we'll see what happens there....
But, I digress, so after a long drive we arrived at the park to find the parking lot PACKED! I figured this far after Labor Day, not as many people would be there. I was dreading the lines I knew would be inside for all the rides, but since the park is so large, the lines weren't so bad and I think the longest we had to wait in one was probably only about 20 minutes, so not bad at all. It was completely surreal for me to enter the park and see all the things I saw as a teenager, basically unchanged at the entrance gate. I had a lot of fun working at that park, as well as having plenty of heartache when my first love started to date other girls there, ahhh, such a tangled web life is when your young.
As we progressed through the park, it became apparent how many improvements have been made, there are so many new things to see and rides to go on. I saw people that worked there when I was there 20 years ago, and that was amazing to me that some of those same people are still working there all these years later. The best new thing for Maestro and Music Man was the Professor Bigglesomething or other's Lab. They had a great time shooting foam balls all over the place and just being silly. It was too loud for Little Red, he's very noise sensitive, so I took him outside and we enjoyed some people watching while we waited for the other boys. Then Maestro wanted to go on some flying fish, which looked like a blast, but Little Red was nearing the end of his patience and was tired and did not want to do that. We had previously gone on the spinning tea cups, which everyone liked. The boys were hysterical with laughter watching the tea cups come inches from colliding with another cup before we were whisked along the track to do it all over again. Since Little Red loved the tea cups, he wanted to go on some turtles that spin. While Music Man and Maestro went on the flying fish, we went on the turtles and it was a HUGE mistake. When you only have two people in the turtle, and one of them only weighs 30 pounds that thing gets some spin going on, liked to throw us to the moon!!! Little Red was terrified and screamed through a good portion of it with me holding him as close to me as possible and telling him it was okay, I won't let him get hurt. Next to labor, that had to be the longest 2 minute ride in the history of my life. When we finally got off that and went over to see how Maestro and Music Man were fairing at the flying fish, they were flying around in a big circle having a grand old time. Pretty funny to see Music Man with the world's biggest grin on his face with Maestro giggling away, they were having so much fun.
After that, Maestro wanted to try the Polar Coaster. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, it's a kid sized roller coaster that is made to look like the north pole, hence the Polar Coaster. Kinda funny, I think. I had to ride this horrid contraption during pre-season testing when I was 16 for almost 8 hours. I was so sick at the end of this, I vowed to never do it again. Though, to be honest, I was game, but Little Red was NOT going on that after our terrifying time in Turtle Land, so we took a train ride around the park and met them back at the train station. As we were pulling up, I could see Maestro beaming and waving at us. He had SO much fun on the Polar Coaster and wanted to do it again. I can see that he's gonna be Daddy's little thrill seeker in life. I'm much happier with my feet firmly planted on the ground, but Music Man has the part of him that just wants to jump out of planes and things like that, so now he'll have a buddy to do that crazy stuff with. It remains to be seen what Little Red will make of all that when he's older. He is only 4 and so I don't like to assume he will be this motion and sound sensitive forever, he might outgrow it. Then again, he might not. I used to love roller coasters and things when I was younger, but now that I'm an old middle aged lady, I'm not nearly so enthusiastic about them anymore.
After such a fun day of excitement (a perfect day for us really) we enjoyed a nice meal at a new to us restaurant in North Conway called Delaney's Hole in the Wall. The kids were so outstanding all day, very little complaining, lots of thanking us for bringing them for such a fun day. It was worth every penny spent ($96.00 just to get the 4 of us in the gate!) to see them having such a joyful time and for us to break our routine and have a fun time all together. Some very special memories were made for all of us, I know they will remember this trip forever. I remember a trip to Disney World when I was six in the same way, and we felt humbled to be giving our children the lifelong memories of their own. Remember those perfect moments I spoke about in a previous post? This was a whole day of perfect. Right down to looking at their happy faces snoozing in the dark car on the ride home, just perfect.
Music Man had to work overtime at his job to pay for this day and though I know it was hard for him to do that, I truly appreciate the time and effort he spent making that happen for us. He's such a great provider for us. We aren't materialistic people, which helps, and I can squeeze every last gasp out of a penny with my budgeting, but it's because of his hard work and longer then he'd like hours that we could do these things for the boys. So, thank you again, Music Man, you're my hero.
Wishing you flying fish and fried dough days, ~Peacemom