Cedar Point 2011

When it comes time to plan our family vacations, Ken and I try to think of someplace we haven't yet taken the boys. With how fast they're growing up, we know our family-of-four vacations are fast approaching an end. It's a thought we don't verbalize too often, but it's an inescapeable fact that our children will eventually move away from home and start lives of their own. That is the goal, right?

Our oldest boy starts Eighth Grade this fall. According to my fingers math, this means we most likely only have five more summer vacations with him. After he graduates, I'm sure he'll be anxious to run off to college or, at the very least, look into getting a place of his own where Mom and Dad's rules need not apply.

Forgive me while I weep.

I know there's also a possibility that one or both of the boys could get jobs when they start driving that make vacationing even harder. Oh, and what about sports camps and the eventual girlfriends I imagine they'll have?

Oh dear.  Maybe I should simply focus on the family fun we get to have right now and not worry about the future just yet.

Our little family of four.
This year our family-of-four vacation was doubled in size when our best friends and their two boys joined us at Cedar Point for a week.  We drove down on a Monday, set up camp, and let the kids swim in the pool while the adults sipped on beer and wine coolers.

Our real Cedar Point adventure began the next day.  We had Ride-n-Slide tickets for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  I can't tell you how much we enjoyed the ability to switch between the the water park and the roller coasters.  In the middle of the day, when the sun had baked the blacktop and sweat dampened more than our brows, we would head back to the campround for lunch and change into our bathing suits.  While the kids raced up the steps to rocket down the water slides, the adults enjoyed a few drinks at the adult pool. 

After the water park, we would return to our campsite for dinner.  The plan was to change out of suits, eat, and then return to the rollercoasters.  This was the plan.  The plan did not always come to fruition.  Tuesday night Terri and I took the boys back into the park while Ken and Ken ran to the store for a few necessities.  Wednesday night KC opted to stay behind and entertain himself with his DS and a movie thanks to a life preserver in the braces; it took nearly two weeks for the cuts-turned-sores to heal.  By Thursday the majority of our crew was too exhausted to return to the park.  Only the little guy and I managed to find the will to return for one last night of high speed fun. 

Mostly, the group stayed together, though.  We rode rollercoasters and water rides. 

We ate out at least once.  Famous Daves.  Yum.

The boys played games.  So many games.  They were determined to bring home some prizes.  The oldest managed to win a Laker's basketball and a stuffed Sonic the Hedgehog.  The youngest, after a meltdown or two, finally managed to win a stuffed turtle. 

It was the rides, though, that really were the big draw for us.  While the water park wasn't nearly as horrible as I feared - I have a thing about wearing a bathing suit for hours on end - it wasn't my first choice of entertainment.  I'm a rollercoaster lover.  And so are my boys!  I'm so grateful.  It would have been terrible if they had resisted getting on any of the rides.  Instead, they were game for almost anything.

Well, the little one was game for anything.   My older boy refused to go on the Top Thrill Dragster, but was otherwise willing to do just about anything.

All in all, it was a very successful family vacation.  We only had one injury worth noting, thanks to a careless life guard.  We made decent time there and back even though Google Maps had us braving the wilds of Ohio instead of following the Turnpike.  We didn't spend an outrageous amount on park food or beverages.  The boys each brought home souvenirs thanks to the midway games. 

Yes, all in all, it was a very successful vacation.