Monday, March 14, 2011

A Day at Knott's

I've loved living in Oregon and Washington, but I do wish my kids could share many of the experiences I had growing up in Southern California. My grandparents lived just down the road from Knott's Berry Farm, and my grandpa has always loved roller coasters, so Knott's was a big part of my childhood. Even though this was a short trip, I figured an afternoon there was a great way to spend some time with Grandpa and do something the boys would enjoy.

We had gorgeous weather, and the park was all but empty. The sparse crowd was actually kind of a downer, but it meant that we didn't have to wait in any lines. We often got to ride again without getting off the ride at all, which was a good thing with two tired little boys. I graded the day "exceeds expectations."

Reporting for fun.


The Sierra Sidewinder was our first ride, and I was afraid it was going to break Grandpa and scare the boys off trying anything else. It's a swiveling roller coaster. Scared me to death. The boys were total troopers (as was Grandpa) and it turns out that Willem is something of an adrenaline junky. Surprise, surprise.

Matching dimples.

Willem is looking over my shoulder as I write this. He just pointed to the picture below and said, "Say that one is the boring-est." That one is the boring-est.

These cars went really slowly and then whipped around the corners.

Pure joy.

This little roller coaster was the favorite ride of the day. I think they went on it nine times.

We stopped in at the Calico Saloon so Grandpa could wet his whistle ($9 beers ensured that he didn't get sidetracked too long) and we happened to catch this (family friendly) performance. Man, that is one tough way to make a living. The banter between the actors and the crowd was quite lively, and Nels loved every minute of it. That boy is just itching to get on stage.

The show took me back to the days after college when I used to circle the amusement park entertainer jobs in the classifieds and bemoan the fact that I was a third-rate singer and that my dancing didn't rate at all. Some day I'd love to do community theater again, but the dream of being an actor is one youthful wish that it's a big relief to have outgrown.

I really talked up the Log Ride, both because it has always been one of my favorites, and because the cross street we live off of in Camas was originally a chute that conveyed logs down to the mill at the bottom of our hill. The ride's unexpected plunge into pitch blackness scared the boys more than anything that day. And Willem ended up in front (bad mom), taking the brunt of the splash from a grateful Grandpa (who nevertheless let slip his only profanity of the day.)

Guess who's terrified of Ferris Wheels?

It wasn't until Shaun started teasing me that Grandpa noticed how freaked out I was and started rocking the seat. (To the best of his ability, anyway. He's too tiny to do much.) This is my "trying not to lose it in front of the kids" face.

We ended our day with a feast at Ma Knott's Chicken Dinner restaurant. The boys were almost too tired to put their forks to their mouths.

Loaded with leftovers, we stopped by Grandpa's place (where he gave each of the boys a $2 bill and a pen that says Shay's Pour House) and then made our way back to the quiet sanctuary of Shaun's sister's house, where we were made to feel right at home for the duration of our stay.

There's an excellent brewery in Placentia, and we were thrilled to find their fine brews available at Albertons when we stopped in for some cough syrup and our own whistle-wetter. If you ever see something from The Bruery available at your local bottle shop, jump on it. Everything we've tried has been delicious.



DaveShack said...

Wonderful pics and commentary, but must admit that I was hoping to get a glimpse of the fanny pack.

Gypmar said...

We didn't have a good picture of it this visit, but here's one from last year:

We aim to please.

shaun said...

For anyone interested...all of these photos were taken with the iPhone.

Amy said...

Shockingly good pictures for a phone. O, but wait - this is the iPhone we are talking about. =D
Looks like you all had fun. I'm pretty sure Sunita will love thrill rides, looks like your little guys did.