Thursday, July 22, 2010

Backtime Road Trip Day 15: Muppet Mayhem

The penultimate day of the family journey began overlooking Cal Sr. Park at the Ripken Baseball Academy from our hotel room in Aberdeen, Maryland.

Ripken has become a brand name in youth baseball over the last several years, drawing little leaguers to the complex from around the country, and consequently filling up the adjacent minor league stadium.

Naturally the address of the hotel was on "Long Drive," and we were off on hour 3+ hour trip to Busch Gardens Williamsburg for the brand name in youth everything, and a much more famous address...

The Sesame Street Forest of Fun at Busch Gardens. I don't know if I'd call it "fun for all ages," but I definitely got into the spirit on Prince Elmo's Spire.

Even Gramps got into the act, riding on Oscar's Whirly Worms.

And after several hours running around in near-100 degree heat, with never enough to drink and no nap, there was a great kiddie cool-off. Fortunately Daddy was on top of it with sunscreen, bathing suits, and towels (the ones that didn't cost $20 in the gift shop).

And speaking of the heat, how do you think you'd like to be dressed as a muppet as your summer job?

The chroma-key green background is so they can sell you overpriced pictures of your family with their favorite Sesame Street characters superimposed on some sort of background from the actual set of the show - much like how your favorite weather lady appears in front of a regional map.

I wasn't going to pay for that picture when they still let you take off-center snapshots against the green. But there was one picture that I bought, framed even, since there's no recreating the moment.

The kids took their first ever roller coaster ride on Grover's Alpine Express. I tagged along, expecting a kiddie ride. It wasn't. It was a real roller coaster, though a very short ride. I'd call it a junior coaster. The kids had a blast and rode it over and over again.

And sitting next to my 3-year old girl on her first roller coaster ride ranks right up there in the highlights of my life. But I am surely aware that the real roller coaster ride is only beginning.

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