This year our family decided to take our family vacation to one of the larger water park resorts.  Actually the kids decided and knowing Disney was their next recommendation, and we couldn’t afford that this year, we agreed on the water park.  Now, I am a germ-a-phobe, things like hotel rooms where 2,000 other people have slept, arcades where kids touch every orifice they have before hitting the one button your kid needs to touch and water parks where everything is possible (pee, poo, vomit) with the rule that you close it down for 60-90 minutes and all the germs miraculously disappear.   The whole thought makes me shudder , but we committed to doing this thing with our kids so I made the reservation and for a mere $300 a night I could subject myself to the things will most likely result in my needing counseling or meds to ward off the nightmares.

You have to enter into this whole thing with the idea that you’re going to be doing a lot of waiting, and you are going to want to punch a lot of people, but cannot, unless you want to spend additional money on bail and Lord knows my kids are going to need that money for souvenirs and the arcade.  It’s not so much the waiting that bothers me, as the fact that people take no responsibility for their kids when they are waiting next to you.  If your kid is zigzagging in and out of the line and whacking people with his magic wand, it is time to sit his ass down somewhere – I don’t really care where, just as far away from me as possible.  Also, to the lady with the kid that just stands behind me and whines the entire time, “How much longer, mommmmmmmmmy”, I saw your husband walk off (as I would have if that were my child) get his ass on the phone and have him remove your brat, preferably outside.

Of course, the first thing my kids want to do after check-in are the things that are not included in the price of the stay; the arcade, rock climbing, mini-golf, wizard game and having their caricature done by some art school drop-out.  These are the creepiest things in the world and where the hell are we going to put it?  You kids want it hang that up in your room, because I guarantee when you wake up at 1:00AM one night you are going to take one look at that thing and start screaming at its giant, malformed head.  We decided to do that wizard game, which includes running up and down four flights of stairs with 700 other kids that have no issue slamming into the back of you and stepping on your feet and apparently have never heard the term ‘Excuse me’.  After an hour of that I offered up ice cream or any other treat they wanted if they were ready to head to the pool (don’t judge, I have never claimed to be perfect).

The water park is the loudest place that I have ever been, between the 10 million gallons of rushing water and the kids screaming it is the equivalent of standing next to a jet taking off.  My kids pretty much get whatever they want while we are in there because I can’t hear them and just keep saying “yes” to everything they ask.  What really bothers me is the attire of my fellow swimmers.  There is appropriate, there is inappropriate and then there is what I would call offensive.  First, swimsuits should cover your body in a way that does not call attention from the people around you.  If you are large, a bikini is not the way to go, and men, a Speedo thong is meant for people in the Olympics, not for chasing your kid around the water park structure when you are dangerously close to that next grid on the doctor’s weight chart.   There are so many things I saw, that unfortunately I cannot unsee, however to the very large woman that wore a long shirt over your bathing suit, your efforts did not go unnoticed and I applaud you. 

While I am on a people observation rant, why is it that the people with more than five kids and really bad tattoos are the ones that get into some kind of lover’s quarrel right after they decide to make out in public?  Of course it was like a Jerry Springer episode and I could not look away, even when my husband kept saying, “Poker face honey, they know you are staring right at them!”  I couldn’t stop, at some point I was waiting for a producer from Cops to have me sign a waiver because I had a front row seat to one of the uglier domestic disputes, sadly it ended in the man stomping away while his wife stood in place crying.  I really wanted to go to her, hand her a kleenex and say, “Don’t worry sweetie, he’ll be back and you will be knocked up with baby six any day now”.

I think what bothers me the most is the people that bring their kids to a restaurant and let them run around.  We purposely leave the resort to go to nice restaurants to avoid the people that somehow lose the ability to see what their kid is doing when they sit down at a table.  One evening we went to a nice place that thankfully had a full bar.  One family had a younger child, about 8, that apparently had a spring in his seat because every time he tried to sit down he bounced back up.  At one point the servers were dodging him, as he was having an imaginary sword fight with some sharp object he picked up and the parents did not even look his way.  Once the sword wielding calmed down, the child started doing karate directed at the people sitting at the next table and then when I finally thought a parent maybe took him outside for a nice “talk” I realized that he had gone to the ground and was rolling from table to table all over the dirty floor (the least of his worries).  I assumed he began digging a tunnel and was going to pop up under our table at any moment, if he had spilled my wine I may be in jail instead of writing this.  At some point apparently I was looking their way with what my husband calls my ‘non-poker face’ and the mother caught my face and said something to the child.  Rest assured, that did nothing to slow him down and she went back to her drink and conversation.  So much for thinking that spending $100+ on dinner would keep you away from the low-class.

At some point in our live we come to the realization that we are going to have to do a lot of things we don’t want to do.  Like most things, we have the opportunity to turn it into something fun and positive and while my silver lining was people watching, I also got to spend time watching my kids enjoy themselves.  So I will continue to go on bad vacations and hope for less than favorable service and bad kids so I have something to continue to ramble on about and entertain you.


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