Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Memory: Wild Waters

There are six inches of snow outside and we spent a couple of hours out this weekend playing on the snow tube, so of course it's the perfect time to reminisce about hot summer days at the water park, right?

I lived in Utah for about 7 years while growing up. Near where we lived, there was a fabulous water park, Wild Waters. This place was awesome for the 8-12 year old crowd. Waterslides, hours of sun, tubes, concessions, lifeguards, and minimal parental supervision. It was pretty dang perfect.
(Yes, that is me at about 9 years old. Rockin' the itty bitty top and the ridiculously bony legs. No, I don't know who the mulleted boy is in the tube beside me.)

For several summers, Wild Waters ran a summer pass deal that allowed the "whole family" unlimited enjoyment for the entire season for $100. They weren't specific about who could be considered "family" and just huddled the group together for a picture, printed off cards, and if you were in the picture, you were "family." I think between all the parents, cousins, grandparents, and those who were temporarily adopted into the family for picture day, we probably had 30 people on that one pass.

Some things I remember about Wild Waters:
*The Ragin' Rapids slide was a simulated river which was traversed on a float tube. Inevitably, skinny blonde girls ended up flipping their tubes on the first set of rapids and going the rest of the way down tubeless.
*You knew you'd earned "big kid" status when you finally has the guts to climb the steep stairs to the fearsome, Double Trouble. You only got to keep the newly acquired status once you actually went down the slide instead of walking back down the stairs once you reached the top and the scariness of the attraction was too overwhelming.
*I've never slept better than after a day of playing in the water, wearing a slight sunburn, and being mildly dehydrated.
*If you hurt yourself and had to go visit the medic's office, upon your return, you were a minor celebrity to your waiting friends. In all my years at Wild Waters, this only happened to me once. I stepped on a bee and it stung me. Bee stings were taken very seriously and I was given a Popsicle and a bandaid.
*We were allowed to bring in coolers of food and drinks, so buying food from the concession stand was usually not permitted by the thrifty adults. On the rare occasion when one of us was given a few dollars to buy french fries or a hamburger, every sibling or cousin within a 5-mile radius, walked up the hill with the gifted child in hopes of pouncing on a wayward fry. The ironic thing about it is the concession food was not good at all. I'm sure the sandwiches in our coolers were tastier and better for us, but there was just something about getting to order something from the snack stand.

Wild Waters is closed now. The slides and pools removed, and if you didn't know at one time there was a magical water park in that space, you wouldn't ever know. I'm very glad I still have this picture and the fond memories of that time.

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