Silly me, thinking I would have the motivation to post on Sunday evening when I had barely returned from a three day, 750 mile trip with a group of teenagers. Boy, was my glass half full when I wrote that! Too bad my body was completely empty of energy and creativity when I got home yesterday afternoon. I’m not up to full speed yet, but I rested enough last night to type a few paragraphs today about our journey.
It was a good trip. We had a safe drive, and no one lost anything valuable. Everyone came home with his iPod, DVD player, PSP, X Box, CD, cell phone, digital camera and other assorted electronic devices apparently necessary for any teenager to feel complete. There are so many batteries to charge when you carry that kind of stuff. The electrical outlets in our hotel room looked like a stable for little digital ponies feeding at the power trough every night.
No one got seriously hurt. We had three headaches, four brief heat related illnesses, one mild sunburn, one big blister and two chapped crotches. (That’s what happens when you walk around all afternoon in denim shorts that are soggy from the log flume.) Oh, and someone accidentally squirted lotion in her eye on the way home. I was one of the four victims of the heat, although I think the greasy pizza I ate for lunch contributed to the problem. The roller coaster with four upside down loops and a corkscrew may have been a factor, too. I spent 15 minutes in the shade, 20 minutes standing over the toilet in a public restroom (longing for the cool, clean tile of my bathroom at home) and another 45 minutes lying down in our air conditioned bus. I finally got sick of being sick to my stomach and decided to get it over with by making myself throw up. Yeah, we’re having some fun now, I thought as I heaved between a Buick and a Volvo. It worked, though, and saved me from an embarrassing ride in that first aid cart with the loud siren, which was the only option left. Aside from the heaving, it was a great day.
We made it through three nights at the Courtyard Marriott without any other customers complaining that we were too loud, probably because the entire hotel was filled with young people in town for a baseball tournament. We weren’t nearly as loud as that team in the red and white jerseys. Also, we stayed at the amusement park so late each day that our kids were pretty pooped by the time we got to our rooms. We also didn’t tear anything up, proof that God answers prayer.
Goofy moment of the trip: Having our boat get stuck in a corner of the Raging Rapids ride for about ten minutes while the water cannons repeatedly squirted us. We were soaked down to our BVD’s, hence the chapping.
“How old are you?” moment: A 15 year old who is, shall we say, pampered by his parents needed help in getting sunscreen out of the bottle. I squirted some on his arm, and he continued to hold out his arm, waiting for me to rub it in. “I’m not your mamma. You’ll need to do that for yourself”, I told him. Good grief! This is the same kid who lost his pants last year because he didn’t want to spend money on a locker in the water park.
Exciting moment: Seeing the kid who was too scared to ride anything last year ride everything this year. After being dragged onto a small roller coaster halfway through the first day, she worked up her nerve to ride something a little bigger and wilder. By day two, she had slain “The Beast”. I’ve never seen her so excited.
Goosebumps moment: We attended a great concert by the Christian rock band “The Newsboys”. They opened the show with a song called “Shine”, and in the middle of the song it started to rain lightly. The concert lights made the rain look like pearls drifting down onto the heads of some two thousand people. There was a collective “ooh”, followed by a “wow”.
Finally, for those of you wondering, I did make it home without any emergency bathroom stops, probably because I had only one greasy meal, and that one came up during my little heat stroke. And we had to endure only two “Who farted?!” incidents on the bus ride home. If you’ve ever traveled with teenagers, you know that’s a miracle in itself. As the emcee kept saying at the concert, God is good. All the time.
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