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Kathryn's first trip to the park

Published August 27. 2011 09:01AM

What a week this has been. First on my way home from Allentown last Friday, I get caught in a powerful thunderstorm which I was fortunate to skirt around, but not before it started pelting my car with hail in a manner reminiscent of our May storm. Two days later we received another torrential downpour and on Tuesday of all things, the area rocked and rolled from an earthquake centered just northwest of Richmond, Virginia. Now at the time I am writing this column we may be faced with a major hurricane that was bearing down on the East Coast as of Wednesday.

So the question I have is, who ticked off Mother Nature? All I know is I was minding my own business. Hopefully things will be calmer next week.

On a lighter note, Saturday was a beautiful day and we decided that it was perfect to give our daughter Kathryn a new experience so we took her on her first trip to an amusement park. She was excited and as a side note there was nothing more special than listening to her tell her grammy that she was going to "Kah-no-bels Amoosement Park". Kathryn was even happier when we asked Katie's mom if she wanted to come along.

Like most trips when you are waiting to get there, it seemed to take forever. Fortunately for Kathryn, she slept most of the way so the hour trip went by quickly for her. For us it was somewhat redundant as Interstate 80 usually is, but fortunately it was also uneventful.

When we got there we faced a sea of cars. Apparently Knoebel's and nice weather go hand-in-hand with large crowds. We were parked halfway across the lot and we were fortunate enough to catch the tram. We climbed aboard and at the next stop, the tram picked up some more passengers including a lady carrying a rather large present. I jokingly said, "You shouldn't have." She said, "I didn't" and then chuckling added, "I'm just glad I don't have to carry the presents out of the park." We all laughed and soon were at the entrance.

Our first ride was the giant wheel. Kathryn was enthralled as we climbed aboard and was a little uneasy at first as we began our ascent, but that lasted for only a few seconds. Pretty soon she was enjoying it even though she confessed the height was a little scary. Even when we stopped at the top, she didn't seem to mind.

Katie and I were encouraged by her initial reaction and although some rides were still too big for her, she didn't seem to mind. Our next adventure was on a Rockin' Tug which was a boat that moved back and forth on a track while it spun in a circle. Kathryn was excited and enjoyed it tremendously.

Close by was the Sploosh and while we didn't ride it, we did stand on the observation platform and got wet from the spray which she took very well. As we turned away from that, Kathryn spotted the train and told us she wanted to ride that also. It only took a few short minutes to reach the station and soon we were riding the half mile train through the park.

It was obvious at this point that mommy and daddy had made a good recreational choice as our little one asked Mommy to ride the carousel with her. Although they weren't able to get one of the moving horses, Kathryn had a lot of fun on one of Knoebel's centerpiece amusements. I was surprised it still had the brass ring. I remember when we were kids riding that same merry-go-round and sitting on the outer horses to reach for the ring. The first person to grab it would get a free ride. Some things still do not change and the ring was still on the ride although Kathryn is still a little too short to reach it.

We ventured toward the children's rides and stopped for a magic show and some snacks along the way. Soon we reached the children's section and Kathryn was totally in her element riding the boats, tanks and a fire truck. She rode airplanes and rocket ships and even took a turn at the bumper cars although she needs a little more practice at that one. Next, she and Grammy rode the tea cups although Grammy wasn't too fond of the spinning.

I thought she reached her peak, but then she surprised us by asking Mommy to ride the log flume with her. My previous experience on the log flume was hilarious as well as terrifying and subject for another column, but Katie agreed to ride the flume with her. I was surprised when they came around the turn to see Kathryn wide-eyed and up front taking it all in while Mommy was a little more wary and holding her from behind. As they reached the top of the hill and came down, Mommy looked more nervous than Kathryn, but after it was over Kathryn was extremely proud of herself as were we.

I suppose we better get in training because in a few years I suspect we will have to keep up with our little thrill seeker, but all in all Kathryn had a wonderful time and in the end her happiness elated us as well.

Til next time….

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