Despite the problems with our hotel, we enjoyed our weekend in Amarillo. It's a little closer than Wichita, and since it's smaller, there's less driving in the city and traffic is non-existent.
Splash Amarillo was a lot of fun. The wave pool was my favorite, but Ella's favorite was the Sidewinder (aka Taco) Slide. It's a taco-shaped slide that you ride in an inner-tube. It sends you down one side on an almost 90-degree drop, then shoots you back up the other side. You can click here and here to see some pictures of the slide.
When we first saw the slide, I didn't think Ella would be tall enough to ride it. Then I found out she is exactly 48 inches tall (the minimum height to ride the slide), but I didn't think she'd want to ride it. I was wrong. Then I thought she'd chicken out when we got to the top. Wrong again. You sit down in your inner-tube at the top of the slide while the lifeguard holds you in place with their feet. Then the lifeguard jumps out of the way and you go shooting down. The whole time we were dropping, Ella was screaming, "Mommy, mommy," and I thought, "I am the worst mother in the world for letting her do this. She's got to be terrified." Then we got off and she said, "That was fun. Let's do that again." So we did. The things we do for our children.
Sunday we went to Wonderland. Ella is such a little dare-devil. She rode every ride she was tall enough to ride, over and over and over. I was still a little motion-sick on Monday. I've decided next time we go to an amusement park, we're bringing a cousin or a friend so someone else can ride some of those rides with her. Mommy's a little too old for that many rides. Luckily Ella's not quite tall enough yet for the really scary rides, but in a few months I'm sure she will be.
I'm not quite sure where this fearlessness comes from. After all, this is the girl who was afraid to go to both Bible School and summer reading this summer. She routinely says, "But Mommy, I'm just not comfortable doing that" or "Mommy, I'm not comfortable without you." But put her in line for a roller coaster, and she has absolutely no fear.
We didn't do everything we had hoped to do. We didn't make it to the zoo or down to Route 66. We didn't go to Palo Duro Canyon. But less is more, especially when you're traveling with children.
Emilia was a little trouper (as was Ryan, who spent most of the time at Splash Amarillo and Wonderland holding her while I took Ella on rides). Emilia's nap schedule was thrown out the window; she just little cat naps here and there. Except for a meltdown at the water park before she fell asleep, she hung in there for everything we did. It was kind of hard at Wonderland because she wanted to get down and crawl around but there really wasn't anywhere safe for her to do that. She did demonstrate problem-solving abilities by pulling the stroller toward herself and knocking over the popcorn bag so she could feed herself popcorn while Ella and I rode the roller coaster. That's the second child for you, huh?