Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kings Island

I’m not sure I remember enough of our trip there with 5 of our Grandchildren, but I can at least start it.

I’ll have to get some help from them for this trip, as I did for “The Smokies”. Here’s what I remember so far:

Jean and I took Jimmy, Bobby, Kenny, Molly and Kelly to the Kings Island Amusement Park - located at the town of Kings Mills, OH, just north of Cincinnati on I 71. That was the same week Jean put up a “schedule of duties” on the wall of our hallway. We had all 5 of them for a week. Again, Jodi and Sherilyn were too young. (Sorry about that!)

We left home early, so we could be there at opening time. We lived maybe 70 miles from it.

We only got as far as Xenia (some 40 miles away), when our car overheated. We stopped there at a service station for repairs. I don’t remember the exact problem, nor how it was fixed, but we then got on our way.

Arriving at that parking lot was somewhat intimidating, since it was so large. However, as we arrived, there were MANY cars/buses there ahead of us.

We unloaded everybody from the car, and headed for the gate. It seems to me that Jean had taken along some lunch and cold drinks that we left in the car in a cooler.

Just to the right of the gate was the first ride: The Tilt-A-Whirl! Everybody RAN toward that ride, and I think all the children got on. It wasn’t long, however, before one of them got sick from the constant whirling around, and we had to take him to the Nurses’ Facility. (I don’t remember what it was called.)

The rest of them didn’t get sick, so they went on to the next rides. I’m not sure, but I think Jean stayed with the sick one, while I chaperoned the other 4 on some of the other rides. Didn't stay there long, though.

Before I FORGET the name of the BIG ride, I’d better write down that it was called “THE BEAST”. The line to get on that ride was over an hour long. But, we ALL got in line. Since the order of events and the rides we took is a blur to me, I THINK the sick one was well enough to ride on it. That was the fastest, bumpiest, scariest, yet thrilling ride I had ever taken. The “kids” felt the same, I think. Much of my memory of it was the noise and shaking, especially as we rounded corners.


(I’ve got to be careful here not to confuse this visit with several others we had over maybe a 4 year period. Forgive me if I get the visits mixed up.)

One event that I’d better mention before Bobby gets after me was our experience with Colas and straws. When we got our drinks, I passed them all around, and asked the Attendant for our straws. He/she said, “We don’t provide straws at Kings Island.” Bobby thinks I said, “What!? No straws? Surely Kings Island would have straws! I can’t believe it!”, or something like that. Satisfied, Bobby?

(When he kids me about that, I say, “But don’t forget. The NEXT year they had straws. Complaining was worthwhile.” Bobby may or may not agree.)

In spite of all the fun he had, Bobby’s only specific memory was of the Hanna-Barbera boat ride that broke down, with him (and others, I suppose) stuck on it. The wait appeared to be less bothersome than the constant repeating of the song being sung - over and over and over! Quoting Bobby: they were “singing maniacally”. He said “it sounded pretty creepy after hearing it ten times in a row”. Apparently, they mostly liked that ride since it was cool inside, while being hot outside.

There were 2 water rides that I remember. One provided a big “drop” down a water filled incline (we were in a boat), and another provided a long ride overhead, along a fairly long course. We ALL liked them. I wish I could remember the names of the rides.

I just now remember seeing Davey Concepcion, the Cincinnati Reds short stop at the time, running out of that ride.

For lunch, I think we had our hands stamped while we went out to the car in the parking lot and ate the food Grandma Jean had prepared for us.

(Just 8 hours prior to this posting, Kelly sent the following. It’s a GREAT commentary about that time!)

Hi Grandpa,

I remember the week with the chore chart poster. It was such a special week because ALL of my favorite cousins were spending a week at your house, which meant I was spending the week with you as well. Like you, I tend to blur the multiple visits to Kings Island. What I remember is the ride there. When we were getting close, we would look for the tower which overlooked the mountains of trees. Such an exciting feeling. I had so much anxiety and excitement with butterflies in my stomach during the trip there.

It was always about the thrill of the roller coasters. The feeling wouldn't go away until I got off that first ride. Then, I was good to go. Except for one time. I think it was this trip that I came down with an incredible migraine headache. The only medicine available was at the clinic. It was in pill form. I must have been pretty young because at the time, I could not swallow a pill. I had to rest for awhile in the clinic. I don't even remember if I ended up swallowing the pill or not.

What a great week, overall. Grandma had a great idea with the chart for earning money. It kept us all in line and helped with keeping things picked up. The week was full of Atari (remember Grandma playing Pac Man and Bobby's triathlon Atari glove), trips to the rocket slide park (Dukes of Hazard Grandma), acting out and role playing movies in the back yard, bedtime stories, and corn three ways(Grandma asked what kind of corn to make and everyone wanted something different). What lovely memories. The entire week was magical.

Thanks for prompting me to revisit these memories. You and Grandma are the best!


(What a great time Jean and I had, in addition to what the grandchildren experienced.)


Molly Sabourin said...

I think it is very kind that neither you nor Kelly brought up my temper tantrum over having been gypped a quarter because I didn't finish everything on the chore chart! :) I have got to hand it to grandma, she stuck to her guns on that one! That was a WONDERFUL summer! You two made it so, so special for us!! I can still feel the excitement and anticipation of waiting in line for The Beast. Wonderful memories! Thanks for sharing!

Grandpa Mike said...


You "kids" made the summer "wonderful" for us!