Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Niagara Trip - Day 12 - Two problems solved!

July 31, 2012

Well, I tried to add pictures, but the internet is too slow here.  I'll add them as soon as I can!

Two problems were solved today and I can't even decide which one is better.  We did finally get our air conditioner fixed, which is great of course.  But also, at Idlewild, they had a mystery spot (like the one at Mystery Hill that was closed on the first day of our trip!)  I didn't even expect that problem to get solved.  Well, really I wasn't sure if the AC problem was going to get fixed either. 

It was really a relief to get the AC fixed.  Early in the morning I drove out to Weimer RV near Altoona, PA.  Meanwhile, Kyrie stayed at the hotel with the kids and then took them to Idlewild Park when it opened at 10:30.  It took a couple of hours to fix the RV and then I met up with the rest of them at about noon.  I really didn't believe it was going to get fixed today until it was finished. 

This morning the plan was for Zoe and Marc to get the AC fixed while I take the kids to Idlewild where they will join us in the afternoon.  I called for a ride to take us the 2 1/2 miles from the Ramada to the park.  They told us they could not take us because we don't have carseats for the kids. (While I of course prefer the kids are in carseats at all times, the law usually does not apply to taxis and limos.)  Surprised and disappointed by this and out of ideas, I went to the hotel's  front desk and asked if they have a shuttle (knowing they do not.)  Hearing of our bad luck and seeing three sad puppy eyed kids, the kind lady at the desk took pity on us and conferenced with the general manager. They decided to personally drive us.  How amazing!  It saved the day and was a real turning point in my vacation attitude.  The lady at the desk, Sally, even gave us promtional coupons for concessions and souvenirs at the park that is reserved for people who buy a special package at the hotel.  Then Debra, the GM, drove us to the park right up to the entrance for Storybook Land just as it opened for he day.  Hooray!
Idlewild Park is an old amusement park that is geared towards young children.  It was voted as the best children's park in the world by Amusement Today.  It's a really nice park with lots of forest in and around the park.  There are many traditional rides such as a carousel, Ferris wheel, and bumper cars.  They also have a water park that is included in the price.  To me the best part of the park was the few unique rides that they have.  One of the rides was a trolley ride through The Land of Make Believe from Mister Rogers.  It was a fun look back at my childhood and made the kids want to see the show.  I don't know if they even play reruns of it anymore, but I'm sure I can find it for them on the internet.  Another unique attraction they have is Storybook land.  This is where you can walk through the stories of many old nursery rhymes.  Kyrie and the kids did that part before I was there, but they said that they really liked it.  My favorite attractions were the Hootin' Hollar Hotel and Confusion Hill.  The Hootin' Hollar Hotel had a spinning room which was really cool and Confusion Hill is the "Mystery Spot" attraction that I mentioned earlier.  I've only been to one of these in the past - The Wonder Spot in the Wisconsin Dells - but this one was much better.  Unfortunately, we left our camera in the stroller and didn't get any pictures.  When I have faster internet to work with I'll see if I can find some out there in the universe.  All in all, it was a fun day and definitely a relief to have our RV problems resolved.  Tomorrow, we are on to our fifth and final destination, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.

We nearly skipped this leg of the trip entirely due to "the incident."  I'm reaaly glad we made it here.  Idlewild is a very nice park.  It was a great day!  Storybook land opened one hour before the rest of the park and was not busy at all.  We strolled through a winding path of nursery rhymes come to life.  We walked through the 3 bears house, saw a giant on Jack's beanstalk, saw the big bad wolf in granny's bed, and so much more.   There were even live characters at some of houses and usually there were recordings with rhymes or songs at each stop.  Very cute!  We took our time and finished up just before the rides opened.
We reached a new stage on this trip.  Our kids are suddenly riding rides that we also enjoy.  Our first ride was a log flume.  Even Ella really enjoyed it so now I'm excited for next time we go to Disney so we can all go on Splash Mountain.  Many of the rides here were the kind you would see at fairs.  Some though, like Marc already explained , were very unique.  Mister Rogers' Neighborhood of Make Believe was well done.  I think it was more enjoyable for the adults who grew up watching Mister Rogers.  It was neat that you rode a trolly through the land and all of the characters voices were done by Fred Rogers' just like on the show. 
The waer park area was nice.  It was especially nice that there was no extra charge.  Unfortunately just as Jake and I were about to go on the big slides, they shut down the towers becasue a storm was coming.  That storm didn't amount to much, but later--around dinner time--there was quite a long hard storm.  We ducked in to eat dinner then and it didn't interrupt much.  With all of the rain on this trip, we've been very lucky that it never interrupted our plans much.

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