Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Darien Lake Theme Park

Going to a theme park when we have plans this summer to hit several, was NOT my first choice for this extended weekend, but Mark had already purchased tickets (at an amazing discount through his union) and the boys were ready to made it happen. Despite my initial disagreement with weekend activities,I actually had a pleasant time.
Darien Lake is the closest "REAL" theme park to us and it has been a childhood regular since as young as I can recall. This park was,  for many local high schools, the senior trip and mine was not excluded.
There was once another theme park located a little bit closer called Roseland Park, which I went to several times as a much younger child with my mother. It  had since been closed and then in recent years re-opened as a water park only.I have never been there since it re-opened.
There is also Thunder Island which is mostly a water park as well. Thunder Island is only about 20 minutes from us. This is an enjoyable day trip with mini golf, a few water slides and bathing pools.  There is also Sea Breeze which is maybe an 1 hour and 1/2 from us is another theme park. Sea Breeze is one of my personal favorites. I enjoy the layout and despite this being a fairly popular park I never have felt crowded.
Darien Lake was once for a brief period of time, associated with six flags. This association as well as having a campground and resort, and amazing summer concerts has made it the most likely choice of  theme parks of the teens in this area. Our teen and pre-teen do not disagree and we have made multiple trips to the park over the years. Most years we have gone during scout week, when we were able to get tickets dirt cheep. At one point I was able to score tickets for the steal of a deal of $10- a piece. A few years ago we brought our friends children with us when I was able to score tickets for $13-. Darien Lake, even as a Six Flags has always been a fair priced theme park and perhaps another reason for it's popularity. (I have never stayed at the resort or cabins, Mark reports they are not cheep).
Anyways....we were on our way to Darien Lake at 8:30am on Sunday and off to get our summer of the Theme Parks to a good start.

 The umbrellas

 The Silver Bullet
 Of course the Bumper Cars

We arrived just as the gate opened and immediately hit some familiar ride. (The boys did NOT go on any of the roller coaster this trip, I am wondering if this will be a common occurrence as we make our way to the many parks we plan this summer.) They did however enjoy this Darien Lake favorite. The motorcycles.

A few more rides and we were ready for lunch. I always HATE being stuck at the mercy of theme park food, so I am glad to say that Darien Lake does not prohibit the bringing in of your own food/drink. Worst experience with that; Paramount in Canada. We had to dump our drinks at the door. It was a real bummer and lots of money down the drain. (well actually the shrubs...but it was a bummer all the same). To date Paramount has been noted as my personal least favorite theme park I have ever been to. (I have friends that would say otherwise, so please do not take my claim as gospel). I digress... we had a nice lunch in the park, unloaded much of the heavy cooler and made our way around the park.

Up next were the log flume type rides. I personally was not in the mood to get wet. I was so unprepared for what a beautiful day we had. I wore jeans, sneakers and I had a sweatshirt (although I dumped that in the car before we entered) I was not in any mood to get soaked and spend the rest of the day a wet mess, but the boys were off.

I always love these rides. Mental note to self...ALWAYS WEAR SHORTS AND COMFORTABLE WATER TYPE SHOES. The weather has been so inconsistent, who would have guessed it would be anywhere warm enough to get in water this weekend? NOT ME

Log flume is my all time favorite. (I waited and waited for these guys to come with my shot ready to video record and still missed the movie..I will never learn how to make my camera be a video recorder...)

More rides. I found this one hilarious and begged the boys to ride on it so I could get a video. The Moose ride took a track around a campground, and back to the start. It was funny because the riders bounced up and down sort of like that kids toy Caterpillar ride we had as kids. I laughed so hard.

They refused. Instead they road another water ride called the Grizzly Run

Mark went to the car to get the bathing suits, while I waited for the boys..wishing I had my shorts on. It was getting HOT!!!
 Ben getting water out of his shoes and socks.
The boys came back COOL and WET! Perfect time to hit up the water park area of Darien Lake.
We made our way to the water park area and I was never so glad to remember that I had packed my bathing suit in the water bag the night before (we had gone to the YMCA and I packed my suit just in case). At least I wont have to sit at the water park in my jeans. I didn't think the waterpark area would have been open at all this trip, so even having the water bag (my bag full of everything for swimming; suits, goggles, towels, sun screen, and a small first aid kit..I usually have flip flops too, but was slacking this time..) was pure LUCK! I packed it "just in case". You just never know when you might want to take a dip after all. The boys were GLAD and I was too. I just wish I had put sun screen ALL over instead of my forearms, and my upper legs...I did get a little burned.
 my view from my afternoon blissful seating.

 let the waves begin.

Burn or no burn, this had to be my favorite part of the day. After scoring some seats and planting myself, the boys were off to the lazy river, the wave pool and many of the water slides. I spent the entire afternoon in heavenly bliss; wind gently blowing, sun shining and consuming a cold beer. I was in total happiness.
 The boys making the climb to the top to ride the funnel.

After several hours enjoying the sun, we made one last pilgrimage to the games.

The boys played a few and won a few stuffed items. I never understood the Thrill of these types of games, but Mark continues to provide the cash and the boys continue to win junk we DO NOT NEED!
After it was all said and done, we had a GREAT time at Darien Lake, a first of many Theme Parks we will visit this summer. I was impressed with the day. I enjoyed the peace of basking in the sun and remembering all of my previous trips to this park over the years and anticipate many summer days like them.
Good bye Darien Lake......
Smiles and Sunshine!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Happy Post Memorial Day; Spinning Wheel/Surf City N. Syracuse NY

I am hoping your Memorial Day was busting with new memories, while you were remembering those who have served for our country. Happy Memorial Day.

We avoided the picnics, watch fires, parades, and other such Memorial Day traditions and started out this Spring/Summer season with a THEME PARK.
Friday night was non-eventful. TV time, some crafting in my woman cave as Mark calls it, and an early bed time.
Saturday we were up and ready for some fun at a place in North Syracuse called The Spinning Wheel. Well, actually the Spinning Wheel is the restaurant/banquet area, we were heading to Surf City the fun play place right next door. (Not 100% sure if the two are affiliated with one another).
The play place offers, mini-golf, go-carts, batting cages, bouncy houses, an arcade and a few other assorted fun things enjoy. Ben and Gavin decided on the Bouncy House's and The batting cages.

The boys had the place to themselves and they were totally loving it. They have several packages and the boys had decided on; both bouncy houses and Ben wanted the batting cages while Gavin wanted the gravity ball. The bouncy house was for an hour, several throws at the cages and one ride of the gravity ball.

 The bill was about $20- I didn't think that was to bad, and although the gravity ball was later put on CLOSED due to repairs, Gavin totally enjoyed the batting cages instead and Mark found an extra token on the ground.

Batter up!
We rounded out a late afternoon with a meal at Zebb's. Always one of my favorites.

I got the soup and salad combo. My Zebb's favorite.
The rest of Saturday was relaxed. I went with Renee to one of her friends house,  made it to church service as I knew I was not going to be around on Sunday, and the family all spent the rest of the night watching tv. Sunday was the big day and we had to get some rest in before we left. A THEME PARK WAS IN OUR FUTURE!!!!