Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I have good news and bad news....then more good news.

Good news: I am taking a much needed break from the daily rigors of work life today through Friday. That's right, I'm getting an actual vacation and will be away from my evil office phone, email and my coworkers who have been more cranky than usual lately. Sure it's only for a few days, but I'll take what I can get.

Bad news: This means no fascinating, highly entertaining, intelligent, yet redundant entries for the rest of the week. Yeah, by bad news, I meant for you.

Good news: You aren't coming with me. No, that isn't a slight on what company you might be. It's because I am going to spend three days in StoryLand. Yeah, by good news, I meant for you. For you are not me and poor me is going on a slow descent into parental hell. Somehow even my vacation time is focused on the little ones. This is the one thing they never prepare you for when you have kids - that your time is no longer your time. It's theirs. You don't take work off to go and relax anymore, you take it off 'to spend time with the family'. Translation: You do what your kids want to do in order to ease your guilt at having been working so much.

Nobody told me and I'm a touch bitter about it. So I'm telling you. Don't expect much of a life when you become a parent. You won't believe me when they're babies and confined to a stroller, but you will when they are suddenly involved in two different Little Leagues and you get that look from them when you tell them you're going away on business for a few days. 'Will you ever come back?' or 'Don't you love me anymore?' the look seems to say. I'm convinced the little buggers know how to exploit guilt. It's inbred. If you knew my wife, you would agree completely.

But I'm not going to be a scrooge about this. I'm going to have fun and take this as a positive. Take a little tour with me. Please? No seriously, I can't go through this alone. I need support, nurturing and massive amounts of alcohol to get through this nightmare. OK, so I'm not completely agreeable at the moment, but let me get in the proper frame of mind.

StoryLand seems to have a ton of stuff, after all. How bad can it be? After all the website claims 'Story Land's 21 rides generally are designed for parents and children to enjoy together.' Sweet. Things are looking up already. Let's take a look at some of the rides I will be enjoying this week.

Flying Fish: At first I thought his looked pretty cool. Like those rocket ships dressed up like a fish. Then I noticed what looks like a 5 year old girl sitting in there with her mother. I'm guessing this isn't the intense rush I was looking for.

Crazy Barn: Now we're talking. Kids have to be at least 3 feet tall, which means there is the real possibility of death or dismemberment on this ride. I'm not sure what it does, but it has 'Crazy' in the title and claims to be the only Crazy Barn in the country. I mean, just look at the thing. It even looks crazy:

It must be fun. It just must be. Please, let it be fun.

Farm Tractors: Come on! Who hasn't, at one point in their lives, wanted to drive a tractor around? Exactly!! Nobody! It concerns me these particular tractors look baked,

but they could just be worn out after a hard day entertaining the masses. Besides, these aren't just any tractors, they're 'Eggs-traordinary'! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

The Swan Boats: No mention of whether or not these are the only Swan Boats in the country (ala The Crazy Barn) but they've got to be. We could never get anything as delightful as these around Boston, that's for sure.

Antique Cars: These beauties ride around on rails and go at least 5 MPH. Kids that get on these things must have a serious death wish.

Cinderella's Pumpkin Coach: Whoa, wait a sec, does Disney know about this? Considering I have two boys, there is zero chance we'll be stopping here.

The Buccaneer Pirate Ship: This is a life size replica of a pirate ship that will take you around the calm, soothing lake and very slow speeds. Doesn't sound all that exciting. By the way, by life size, I meant for a pygmy.

Huff and Puff Whistle Railroad: This is how you get around in the park. They even have stations. Great, just what I want to be doing on my vacation - fighting other people to get on a train. Fucking fantastic!

Slipshod Safari: As a marketing ploy, naming anything 'Slipshod' seems a bit dubious, but this one promises to be 'bananas' and actually encourages us to 'Go bananas!' and that the safari is 'a bit bananas'. There better be some free bananas daiquiris on this safari. Or at the very least a poop flinging monkey.

Dutch Shoes: I have no fucking clue what this is supposed to be. Apparently you fly around in a Dutch shoe. I wish I were making this up. Here, see for yourself:

Dr. Geyser's Remarkable Raft Ride: Besides doubling as a great porno title, this promises to be the most fun. It's one of the water rides where you go down a river and get soaked in the process. If nothing else, we'll be able to cool off if it's hot out.

Silver Mine Tour: I was hoping this might be a way to recoup our vacation money, but my hopes were quickly dashed when I saw a picture of the donkey.

Unless that's some new robotic ass, I think it's just another kid's ride. Dammit!

That's some of the highlights. Others include a pool at the hotel which I'm nearly positive will have some infant's shit floating in it before we leave, free breakfast and sleeping in the same room as our two boys. Oh, boy! Can't wait.

One more item before I'm fighting my wife for control of the razor blade: Our neighbors are going to be in the same area at the same time and want to meet for dinner one night. Wifey has already made plans to meet them the night we get up there. We're not even up there 5 hours and we're seeing the same people we see every other day of the year. Nothing against them personally, but isn't vacation time to get away from everyone involved in your daily routine?

I say yes.

Today's distraction: A map of StoryLand. I give you this so you can track my murder spree after having to spend $6 for a bottle of water and getting zero sleep for two nights straight. 'Look! There's the lighthouse BeachBum burned to the ground! And there's the Imagination Shop where he told kids to imagine him a better life before committing Hari Kari.'

Don't say you weren't warned.


son pere said...

You just wait until they get to be teenagers! If you think they're trouble now, brace yourself. I can't even find it in my heart to pity you, 'cause I raised 3 boys back in the day. Ask me sometime about the two-week trip we took in a 32' motor home to Florida. Me, Mom, and 4 boys ranging in age from 16 to 10. Talk about "no sleep"! In addition, we also traveled with a large Golden Retriever who shed fur like there was no tomorrow. We spent about 3 days traveling down to Florida, then 3 days at Disney World, then headed back north with stops at Virginia Beach, Gettysburg and, yes, even New York City (the Financial District).

After returning home, did the boys even appreciate what they had experienced? NO WAY! They couldn't wait to get home to their Nintendos, buddies, etc.

So, Mr. Bowen, enjoy them while they are young and excited about going to different places, 'cause when they grow up, good luck!!!!

BeachBum said...

Funny you mention the Nintendo, because the first thing seven year old did when getting back home was ask, 'Can I play my video game?' and he was missing for over an hour.

The more things change....

French said...

Hey, I enjoyed those trips. As I recall, Mike and I were always excited about Florida, or wherever we'd go. Bowen, ask him about the trip to the Dude Ranch.

I appreciated Gettysburg, for sure. That was one of my favorite spots...I don't recall being a pain about those vacations. My oldest brother, on the other hand, is a different story.