August 7th, 2005

hobbes-joy

LIFE WOULD BE TOLERABLE BUT FOR ITS AMUSEMENTS*

Why do I feel so much like MY mother when I'm sitting on a bench with a backpack full of rainclothes and sunscreen between my feet, while my children and my husband ride a rollercoaster? My mom rode rollercoasters with us when we were kids even though she didn't like them much. I love rollercoasters with a love as big as the ocean but I can't ride them anymore because they make me sick to my stomach. It's weird that riding in a car has gotten easier as I've gotten older, regardless of the length of time I'm at it, while riding a rollercoaster or any spinning carousel amusement park ride makes me so sick that I have to sit down for half an hour afterwards to recover completely. How sucky is that? Say it with me:

GIANT GREEN DONKEY DICKS!

We took the train across the Sound and met Mats and Annelott at Klampenborg Station in Denmark. Outside of the station, we allowed the children (their son is 6 months younger than Martin) to go unchaperoned in the horse carriage ahead of us, and we rode through the gorgeous greenery of a beautiful OLD park, full of giant beech trees and grazing deer on a long shaded path. Little curving pathways took off in all directions around us, wending through the forest. We passed a big whitewashed, thatched-roof inn, 1 9 1 6 was spelled out in iron letters across the facade. Arriving at the crossroads, we hopped down and thanked our driver and headed through the gates of Bakken, the oldest amusement park in the world.** In the woodsy setting, with the sun peeping through the beech leaves above and all around us, it's a magical place, and for kids, it's pretty much heaven on earth.

It was fairly cloudy, and on the chilly side, and not surprisingly the park wasn't crowded at all and there were no lines whatsoever for any of the rides. At Bakken there is no entry fee, you just pay for ride tickets or buy an armband that allows you to ride every ride 10x. The kids had a blast. For most of the rides they didn't need an adult, so we sat in the shade and the shadow and the sunshine while they raced through the turnstiles over and over, with progressively more manic and glazed looks of happiness in their eyes. Cotton candy was consumed, as that is a MUST whenever one is within the confines of an amusement park. Even though the limit was 10 times for a ride, 1 lovely grinning lady let them ride way past their limit on their favorite rollercoaster, for which we sent her looks of parental admiration and gratitude.

If I hadn't had to get back home to go to bed at a reasonable hour since I was the ONLY ONE OF THE GROUP that has to work tomorrow, we would have closed the park. :)

I've been realizing what a difference there has been in my attitude now from the same time last year, which was all about the angst and the aging and the life-is-over birthday madness. I'm glad that was a 1-time thing. I really hope I don't do a repeat freakout the next time there is a 0 after the first digit in my age.

Really Great Writing Out There Right Now: Virtuous Pursuits

*George Bernard Shaw
**Or so they claim on their website. It opened in 1583.