Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hatch Family Reunion--The End

A lake day, which included a boat rental, was originally planned for Friday.  But the boat was being rented from the same person that was supposed to provide the Park City housing.  It was decided that all business deals with that joker should cease, so a day at Lagoon became the new plan.  It was, in my opinion, way more fun for the kids anyway.

I will be honest, I had to make a concerted effort to remain positive about the day ahead of us as we drove through steady rain toward Lagoon that morning.  The kids went straight to roller coaster riding while Jon and I took shelter under a not-yet-opened airbrush tattoo stand.  We witnessed several rides close due to the inclement weather while the rainwater streamed off the awning over our heads.  I tried to appear optimistic on the outside while my insides were thinking all sorts of over-dramatic thoughts like, "Seriously?  It's gonna be a rainy day at Lagoon?  This might be the most ill-fated reunion ever!"

But AccuWeather promised it would clear up and thankfully it did.  Actually, the weather ended up being picture-perfect by early afternoon.

You know what's great about the stage of life that we're in?  My kids are old enough to explore amusement parks on their own.  The kids had the time of their lives going from ride to ride, checking in with us every couple of hours.

We did ride a few rides with them every now and then.

I really hate rides that carry the potential of getting drenched in my clothes and Sam couldn't get his stitches wet, so the two of us waited by the soakers so that we could aim them right at these crazy people.

Jonas was the lucky (or unlucky, if you ask me) rider to get the most wet.

Jon and I took a selfie on the train:

These two grandparents proved that there's no age limit to riding the Colossus.  Both braved not one, but two loop-the-loops.  Impressive!

Jon and his mom on the sky ride:

These thrilling-seeking girls had an absolute blast!

The fun lasted long into the night and was capped off by DQ Blizzards before falling into bed, exhausted.

We checked out of the Crazy House Saturday morning and had a few hours to kill before the matinee of Wicked that the girls and I--and many other family members--had tickets to.  Jon offered to watch Henry and Daniel during the show, so we made a plan to meet the rest of our family members at the Capitol Theatre in SLC a little bit later for the 2:00 pm curtain.

Our family decided we hadn't had enough of Park City so we returned for more adventure.  Adventure was had to be sure, but I can scarcely look at these photos or write this recap without reliving the immense anxiety that accompanied these next events...  

We arrived at Olympic Park just the ski jumpers were finishing up their show.  Their high-flying aerial skills are amazing!

The kids decided that they wanted go give the zip line a try.  There are two options at Utah Olympic Park, the Freestyle zip line and the Extreme zip line.  The girls did not meet the weight minimum for the Extreme version, so we bought three tickets for the Freestyle.  The Freestyle's steep chair lift ride up the cliff was free, so Jon and I followed the kids to the top.  The line starts at the platform seen on the right side of the photo below.  The Extreme is seen at the very top, on the left side of the ski jumps:

 Riding to the top:

Caleb ready to go:

Jon and I rode the lift down to meet the girls at the bottom.

Here they come!

It was just too much fun for Caleb not to try the Extreme version.  So we bought him a ticket and sent him up the much longer and steeper chair lift alone, as it was not included for non-riders.

After sending Caleb up the mountain, I noticed an "estimated wait time" white board and started to panic that he would not make it down in time for us to get to the theater.  I had a worker radio to the top to see how far back in the line he was and to make sure they knew he was a single rider, hoping that would help him skip to the front like it had on the smaller zip line.  They told me he was about thirty minutes back which was cutting it awfully close.  I wanted to leave no later than 1:00.  Their estimate was pushing us slightly over that deadline.

The girls rode the free chairlift again but then were getting antsy waiting for Caleb.  There was a neat ropes course nearby, so I suggested they go do it while they were waiting.  What I didn't realize then was that once you entered the course, you could not get off without finishing the entire thing.  You also couldn't go around any slow pokes in front of you.  (We had done the ropes course at the Provo Beach Resort the week before and it is set up in a way that allows participants to go in all different directions and at all individual paces.  I wrongly assumed that this course was similar.) To make matters worse, a group of four girls (much less agile than mine) had cut in front of Lys and Nat when they were being fitted for their gear and my girls hadn't stood their ground.

Alyssa and Natalie are competitive gymnasts that are capable of moving through the rather difficult course (much more difficult than the Provo version) with ease.  But I soon realized that they were at the mercy of all of the people in front of them on the course.  After the first obstacle, it was clear that this was going to take much longer than I expected.

Shortly after taking this picture, I started going out-of-my-mind crazy!

I ran to two different workers to tell them that I had theater tickets and needed to get my girls off of the course.  Both turned me down stating that I was making an impossible request.  In my helpless dismay, I took my frustration out on the girls, scolding them for letting those slower girls cut in front of them.  

"Go as fast as you can!  We are going to be late and if we are late, we will not be allowed in the theater.  I hope you remember this next time someone tries to cut in front of you!" I chided as they stood on a platform high above my head.

The girls were soon sobbing through each obstacle while I continued pacing between the ropes course and the end of the zip line.

Jon had gone to get the car, which was fairly far away and up a steep hill, in hopes that he could bring it closer and save a few precious minutes.  He, like me, was unaware at that point that the girls had to finish the one-way course and assumed that as soon as we caught sight of Caleb, we could high tail it out of there.  He called me to say that the way was blocked by a gate so he couldn't bring the car any closer.

A few minutes later he called again, "I see Caleb!  He's coming down right now.  Get the girls and let's go!"

"I can't!  They have to finish the course!" I replied in all-out panic.

"We're going to be late!  We need to leave right now!" he retorted.

"I knowwww!  I have already asked two different workers and no one can do anything about it!"  (My voice being significantly raised at this point.)

Another employee, one with seemingly more authority, who was walking past me at this very moment, stopped and asked, "Can I help you?"  I hung up with Jon and tried to calm myself enough to appear a sane person, though I'm sure any efforts to undo my crazy-lady first impression were entirely futile.  In the end, though he was exceptionally nice and calm, the only thing he could do to help was give me the code to the gate so that Jon could bring the car closer.  It was now 1:15 pm and he estimated the girls would take another 15 minutes to finish.  We were at least 30 minutes away from the theater!

The estimation was spot on and we sped away from Utah Olympic Park at 1:30.  Jon flew through Parley's Canyon, with bad rotors on our car only adding to our unease.  We pulled up to the Capitol Theater at 2:05 pm.  Maureen (who also had a ticket to the show) was waiting outside with Henry and Daniel, ready to load them in our car.  The ushers at the front door waved us through urgently and scanned our tickets.  As we ran up two flights of stairs toward our nosebleed seats I thought, "We're going to make it!"  We got to the door just as the orchestra blared their first notes and another usher extended both arms in front of us, telling us to stop. 

She said we could not enter the theater but she would be able to seat us in nine minutes.  I was worried they would make us wait until intermission, so missing the first nine minutes was not as bad as I was imagining.  It is, however, a crucial nine minutes of the story and when we were finally seated--frazzled and sweaty and stressed to the max--the girls were quite fidgety.  Natalie continued to fidget through the entire show and most of the story was lost on her.

So was the $65 ticket worth it for Natalie?  Probably not.  Did I still enjoy the show?  Absolutely.  But probably not as much as my previous calm and on-time viewings of this musical.

The end of the show marked the end of our time in Utah.  Jon was waiting curbside and as soon as we loaded up and said goodbye to our family members, we started on our way home.

The good memories certainly out-numbered the stressful ones.  It was a fabulous 16 days away--we reunited with family and friends and did a boatload of fun activities--but I was not sad to be going home.  It was time.


Karen said...

What a great job of reporting with words and pictures!

Granny said...

I've loved these posts. Great job Tara!

Melissa said...

Yikes, just reading this post stressed me out! :) It sounds like even with the unexpected changes and a few bumps in the road, you guys still had a great trip! Good job documenting it all!

Jen said...

I didn't know all that stuff that happened after the reunion :) Glad you didn't miss too much of the show! Lagoon was a blast. So glad it made it into the reunion plans :)