The Return of the Adrenaline Junkie

We tried for the water park on Tuesday, but it poured 15 minutes after we got in. We left, hoping for better weather during the rest of the week, this last full one of our summer. We got just that today and spent three-and-a-half hours at Wet and Wild, a new personal record for Madison and I. Don’t worry, the Goob and I applied sunscreen twice. Madison’s gotten so much better and spraying it on my back that I no longer fear getting burned in a couple of spots on my back. This advancement in her skill is likely due to the fact that she no longer holds the lotion half-an-inch away from my skin.

High above the mucky-muck, castle made of clouds.

High above the mucky-muck, castle made of clouds.

Just when it seemed like we had maxed out all of the things Madison could do at the water park, she surprised me by agreeing to give the Island Racers and Raging River a try. She was apprehensive about the Island Racers for a couple reasons:

I was really scared because I would just fall off and hit my head. When I go down facing down, I’m like “Oh, man.” And I thought the tube was so dark, I couldn’t see.

Since the ride is an individual one and requires holding the sliding mat with both hands, I don’t have any actual pictures of she or I on the ride. We ended up on riding it three times today, and Mad sings a different tune:

It’s fun now, but I don’t scream anymore, but the first time I screamed the whole way, even when I was at the end. My favorite part of it is when I’m going straight down.

She didn't fly out of the raft. Win.

She didn’t fly out of the raft. Win.

I do, however, have pictures of the Goob on the Raging River. It was maybe a 10-minute wait both times we rode it today, but the wait during the first was high comedy. A family of 5 – three daughters – lined up beside us and the middle girl asked Madison if she had ever been on the ride before. Madison shook her head and whispered “no.” Sensing Madison’s anxiety, the girl quickly perked up. “You’re going to love it! You’re going to want to ride it again!” she said. She looked up at me and smiled. Madison also looked up at me. She didn’t smile. We could see others going down the ride before us. Some of them were screaming. One of the groups got so much air that part of their raft protruded over the lip of the wall. “They almost fell out!” Mad said. I assured her it wasn’t possible. A few minutes passed. “Hey,” I said. Madison looked up. “It’s not going to happen, but just in case you fall out of the raft, don’t stand up, don’t run, don’t scream, just slide down on your but and back OK?” “OK…” Madison said. “Don’t worry,” I said. “It won’t happen. But just in case.” The girl looked at me and smiled. I couldn’t help it.

“Dad, I’m super-scared,” Mad said when we were close enough to see people load into the raft. “Do you want to get out of line?” I asked. “Because we can if you don’t want to go on the ride,” I meant it, too. She had shown me enough courage for the day. “No, I’m going to try to be brave.” As we got closer to the ride, she asked about falling out. “No, you see the straps? They’ll hold you in.” She exhaled and giggled. “OK!” But when we got closer, she asked me how to use the straps. I think she assumed it was something akin to a car seat, but didn’t see anyone clicking in. “Oh, you have to hold on to the straps,” I said. “BUT I HAVE SWEATY HANDS, DAD!” she shouted. “But that’s fine, because everything will be wet. Look, the straps are wet already!” I said. “Yeah, yeah,” she said (I’m savoring the Jedi Mind Trick Era while it lasts). “Good luck!” the girl behind us said as we boarded the raft. She screamed during the turns and her eyes widened to the size of cue balls when the raft when up the sides. “That was awesome!” she said as we walked away from the raft. “I wanna go again!”

I spent the first 25 years of my life ruining pictures in exactly the same way.

I spent the first 25 years of my life ruining pictures in exactly the same way.

By this time next week, I’ll have finished my second straight day of meetings in preparation of the upcoming school year. It’s Beowulf time. Honestly, I’m just hoping for one more week of glorious weather so Mad and I can cram a few more things into this summer. Maybe we’ve got one more day of snorkeling in us. I think we’re obligated to hit up a pool or two in the Mililani area before we go back to school. Other than that, I guess we’ll just do as we’ve done all summer (and my entire life): make it – and memories – up as we go along.


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