Sunday, August 22, 2010

Road Trips

Took a road trip with the family this past weekend and my family and I spent time at 6 Flags Amusement park in Illinois and then took the Milwaukee Zoo.
Not really all that excited about 6 Flags, being a former amusement ride operator for 14 yrs., I tried to keep an open mind about visiting a place packed with people.
We arrived early, determined to take full advantage of the park's facilities and me not being crazy about the rides, I looked forward to the movie theater and shows...all of which were closed for the day.
Decided to take the train around the park to orient ourselves where the rides and activities we wanted to see were at...train closed for the day.
Plan B...take a ride on the sky tower, or whatever it was, and were first in line.
Had to wait 20 min.'s before boarding, only to find out that they wouldn't run the ride for less than 24 people.
We waited another 10-15 min.'s listening to the ride attendant complain about her partner not being ready and at the site.
Did you know that at the end of each ride that the operators are required to say,"Have a great 6 Flags day!" and they do (with about as much emotion and enthusiasm as someone going for root canal work.
From the perspective of a former ride operator, the "Have a great 6 Flags day..." translates to "hurry up and get the heck out of here so we can load the next herd onto this ride."
My son, still recovering from a concussion he sustained in a soccer scrimmage, wasn't up to going on any rides and our was to spend half the day with the rides and the other half in their water park.
That did not happen.
Amber, Jean, and I went on maybe  8 rides altogether and sought some relief from the sun in going into various "sucker bait" shops which were air conditioned.
By 2pm, I was fried to a crisp, or at least me head was, and really was burned out hearing, "Have a great 6 Flags day," we decided to find our hotel spite of the fact the Jean was bound and determined to stay until the last dog was hung.
We left.
Day 2. Spent the night at a hotel in Racine, we headed to the zoo for Ala Cart.
Arrived early.
We were all impressed with the changes that had taken place at the zoo from the last time we were there (some 5 or 6 yrs.ago) and were eager to spend the day there and listen to good music, eat food, and enjoy the antics of the animals.
Took the train ride first, and then the family farm area. 
Amber displayed her artistic talents with marble painting and printmaking, Dane was busy checking out the girls (especially the employees), and I waited for the upcoming music acts staged throughout the zoo.
First stage... empty, second stage...empty, third stage was a couple of people that the acoustic guitarist showed his talents but could not sing or tell jokes to save his life and his singer could sing marginally well for free entertainment.
The next stage had a band called, "Siren," with the lead looking something like Sheryl Crow, and her other two band mates harmonized while playing violin and bongo drums.
Dane had a special interest in them and we stayed through their first show.
He commented that one reminded them of a hippie and she had lots of "jiggle" when she played bongo.
At 3pm, we once again faced burn out as the catch phrase of the day was, "Have a great 6 Flags...."
even though it was the zoo we decided to skip the evening concert by the Gin Blossoms and head for our hotel and take advantage of the outdoor pool.
Just leaving the zoo, a storm hit and by the time we arrived at the hotel, it was closed on account of the weather.
Stayed in the room and ordered in pizza from one of the local establishments that delivered and we had one of the best pizzas ever (the second place Jean discovered that had the best food).
In Racine, we had food brought in from the London Broil and ate a ton of food for almost next to nothing.
In Milwaukee, I cannot remember the name of the place, but it was on Blue Mound Rd. about 7 miles west of the zoo.
The whole trip does seem like it was a bust, but for what may be the last family road trip that we take altogether; it was a nice time bonding with each other.

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