Saturday, December 24, 2011

An experience to say the least // SDC

At the beginning of December Marcy and Cameron decided to go to Silver Dollar City and have lunch with Santa. The original plan was for us and the Clawsons to tag along but the Clawsons came down with strep and had to bail. Due to the cooler weather and the threat of rain, we left Dane with my parents and off we went!

The day began a few steps behind as we were a little late getting started. Momma Fail #1.  Halfway there Ryan was certain we were not going to make lunch with Santa. Needless to say he discovered his lead foot in efforts to get us there on time. We made a tragic mistake and did not take the traffic relief route going into Branson. This was a BAAAAAD idea and we will never do it again. Momma fail #2. Stand still traffic is not good for my husband's mood .... or his vocabulary. Ugh! After a long time in traffic we were on the home stretch to SDC. Ryan was absolutely certain we had missed lunch as we were now 30 minutes late and not even in the park. We parked and loaded the stroller as fast as we could -- have you ever tried to cram a breast pump under a stroller?? Well, it isn't an easy task. As I was doing this, Ryan was working to repark the car as he pulled in a little crooked. In doing this he almost backed over me-- luckily the people parking next to us yelled and I hopped out of the way. Are you keeping score? This is like fail #3 for the day.  Once we got everything loaded we headed towards the park without ever looking back -- remember that last line, it will come back to haunt us later.

We called Cameron only to find out that we really hadn't missed anything yet. YIPPEE!! We rushed into the park and made it to lunch! Happy momma, kiddo and hubs! (I do however still maintain that this Santa was tipping the bottle but it sure didn't matter to the kids!)
 We also saw this penguin and frosty lady. Not sure of their role, maybe to stall the kids while they waited for Santa. Campbell was clearly NOT a fan! Of course I am a little surprised Chaz even got this close to the penguin.. he is usually not a fan of these big stuffed things.
 After lunch it was time to tell the big man what they wanted for Christmas. We were consistent with Transformers, Power Rangers and a computer.
 Then it was Chaz's solo time. He was obviously a little leery of ol' Santa. But he told him wanted, Merry Christmas and to be safe on his trip. 
 Next up.. Jackson. Jackson has never been scared of Santa or character suits. He was all smiles!
 Then we piled the boys back on the bench... and added Campbell. She is clearly a little more on Chaz's side when it comes to trusting people in character. Poor baby!
 We thought maybe if we sent Cameron with her she would be ok.. She was better but not a big fan.
  "So Daddy, Santa isn't bringing you a porch [Porche] but he is bringing me Power Rangers, Transformers and a computer. Got it?"
 After lunch we hurried to the kids roller coaster as we knew the rain was coming. Ryan and Cam took one for the team and decided they would ride with the boys. They stood in line for the roller, got loaded...and then got the boot! It had started to rain, let up and THEN they kicked them off. It made no sense but the boys didn't care. They were off to the next ride. Campbell was a great little trooper and stood with Marcy and I as we waited for this nonsense. 
 Thank goodness it had stopped raining when we made it to Dumbo. I am not sure the boys would have handled that one well. Once again, Ryan and Cam took one for the team and hopped on board. Such good sports!! Just remember my overall rule -- Blur = fun!
 Yes, it is super important to check all emails/texts before taking off on the Dumbo ride. OMG Ryan..
 This face makes me laugh!
 Again, the hilarious antics of my hubs.
 Chaz is yelling at Jackson below "Jackson!! JAAAACCCCCKK- SOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNN!! Can you see me? You laughing!" 
 Then we were off to the frogs. I don't think I have to tell you who got in with the boys. I would have gone but the boys just jumped at the chance.
Yeah, so I don't think these were made for a six foot man. HIL-arious!! Chaz said "Um Daddy, you don't fit!!"
 I think Ryan is regretting his decision to ride. It was a little cramped. 
 He fit! HE was ready!
 Jackson and Cam seemed to be having a great time!
 But not as fun as these two! Ryan figured out how to "bounce" the frog. They were hopping REALLY high. It was absolutely hilarious!
 Cameron didn't know that Ryan had discovered the trick to these but Jackson could see them and you could tell by some of the looks he was giving that he was thinking "Hey, why isn't my dad doing that??"
 And then they climbed aboard this one.. I heard some people coming off saying "WOAH! That was fast!!" These were grown men. I thought "Nah, it can't be that bad." Then I saw it. It was FAST! I texted Ryan and told him to "hold tight to my baby." All I was thinking was the horror stories I had read where little kids slip out of roller coasters. I know, I am paranoid.  

 Oh, there they are. Or at least the tops of their blond heads.
 And then this. really?? Both Marcy and I have great cameras and this is what we got. WOW! I mean look at Chaz smushed up against Ryan! HA! Glad I told him to hold on!
 Not happy that it was naptime!
After these rides it began to rain pretty bad so we headed off to the balls. This is all Chaz talked about on the drive up-- Not Santa, not the rides, not the lights... the balls. Remember back in August when I sent the boy to SDC with all the cousins? Well, the balls were very memorable. Clearly.
In the middle of all the fun I had to go find a spot to pump. I know, TMI. But there is actually a reason I bring this up. To all the breast feeding mothers out there--- SDC is our friend!! There is actually a "nursing house" right down from Ball Land. It is literally a little wooden building with a rocking chair, a bench, a heater, Christmas decor and a heater. Oh, and a plug!! Yippee! Really, if you haven't been through the pains of pumping you wouldn't understand but this really made me happy and brought me much needed relief. Thank you SDC for thinking of the momma!!!

While I was doing this, the rest of the crew headed to see the Frosty show and get out of the rain. 
 Very cool! They even let the little ones come up for a closed look. There is my little man in the middle with the red jacket.
 Yeah, right there!
 Cousin hugs! L.O.V.E.
 And this is me. Why the unhappy face you may ask? Well, once I was done in the "nursing house" I headed to the Frosty show. Or so I thought. Well, it was POURING down rain and I must have gone left when I should have gone right... anyways, I ended up in the wrong place and had to do some major backtracking. By the time I found the Frosty show I was soaking wet. I mean soaking. I wasn't mad, just really cold. It had been raining Oh and did I mention we left the umbrella in the car?? Momma fail #4.
After some more rain, a pottery show (to which Chaz told everyone "I did this when I was a baby") more rain, a funnel cake (MMMMMM!!) and some warm cinnamon bread.. it was time for the lights. Chaz fell asleep about 10 minutes before the lights. Yes, we woke him up! Much to his dismay. But I didn't take a picture of him. I figured this would be pushing it.
 And we managed to stand behind a tree.. Great placement Hills! It was still a beautiful show. I'm glad we stayed to watch. But we decided to bail after the lights as the rain started to come down even harder.
 We weren't the only ones who decided to leave at that point. It seemed like everyone was ready to go. We, along with the other 1000++ people, were herded through the streets, alleys and finally directly through the gift shop to get out of the park. At the end there was a fork in the road and SDC employees asked "Are you in lots 1-3 or 4-6?" We didn't have a clue.  Remember at the beginning when Ryan was backing over me with a car and we were rushing to catch the Santa lunch that we didn't actually miss?? Yeah, so we didn't even think to look at what lot we were in, really?!?! I know better than this. My father taught me better than this.  But all I thought was--it is SDC, we can see the entrance, we can find our car. Um no. Not even close.

We walked out like we knew what was going on and quickly realized we didn't. It was pouring. I was so soaking wet that my hair had stopped absorbing the rain. Chaz was curled up in the stroller with the shade pulled down over like a cocoon to protect him from the rain. Miserable. Did I mention that both Ryan and I had zero battery on our phones? Momma fail #5.

We walked. And we walked. And we walked. Finally, we decided to go back to the main gate and catch a tram. Maybe if we hopped one we would spot our car. Back and forth. Back and forth. We jumped off a few times thinking we had spotted our car only to realize that when we got closer it wasn't ours. UGH! Back to the main entrance. Hop a bus. Back and forth. Back and forth. We even told the bus driver and several tram drivers that were had lost our car. We were pitiful. But there was zero arguing and Chaz was wonderfully patient with his terrible parents. Unfortunately, there was a last straw in that the final bus driver dropped us off in a lot in the MIDDLE.OF.NOWHERE!  OMG. Ryan ran up a hill to get a better vantage point and I quickly shed some tears before putting my brave face back on. Don't judge. It was dark, freezing and pouring rain. I had a child and they had told us the shuttles stopped at 7.. Oh but we didn't know what time it was because our phones were dead. Yes, I dropped a few tears in this situation.

Up the GIANT hill pushing a stroller. Then we decided to go further back in a previously explored parking lot. Ryan was pushing the alarm button on his key fab the entire time in order to set off the car. All of the sudden "BEEP BEEP BEEP"  There it was!! We had been within 30 feet of it three times.  Really.

Total time lapse from leaving the park to getting in the car-- 1 hour 45minutes.

Ryan and I felt like total failures as parents but in the end all Chaz said was "I had fun but tomorrow we are not going to lose our car"  Amen little man, amen.

Strip down the kiddo, put on pjs and crank up the heat. Never.going.back.ever.

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