Perhaps it is because I spent several years teaching clinical microbiology, and I know a little too much about waterborne pathogens to take much comfort in the postings about the water park’s “commitment to clean safe water” for its patrons.
But truthfully, the real reason I don’t like water parks is because I cannot get into and out of those $#!@ (oops, this is a family blog) ahem—delightful—inner tubes gracefully.
I hate the tubes, and I despise the people who slip effortlessly into them and glide down the lazy rivers reading their magazines or chatting with their loved ones—easily steering themselves into or out of waterfalls as they desire. Me?
Once I do finally make it into the tube, floating along with the artificial current, the current takes me directly into a wall or crevice, and I get stuck under a torrent of pouring water issuing forth from a crocodile’s mouth or other such delightful water feature.
I end up drenched, hair plastered straight down to my head, covering my face so that I cannot see.
However, my daughter loves waterparks, and we live in Wisconsin, home of the Dells, the waterpark capital of the world. Even I must admit the waterparks in the Dells are pretty amazing. This summer, instead of one long vacation, we decided to take several short ones. One of them was spent in the Dells at a waterpark—no history, no learning, no enrichment, just play.
The first tube I encountered on this vacation got me on my dismount. I skinned my knee on the bottom of the shallow pool, leaving the pool bloody and needing a band aid.
The second inner tube merely left my ego bruised. My daughter and I had been riding on a double inner tube down a lazy river that incorporated a small slide. She wanted to go back through the part of the river of that had the slide, but on the first time around, I couldn’t get the tube to go in the right direction, and we ended up making a rather boring and time-consuming trip around the part of the lazy river that ran underneath the drippy framework of the water slides above us. Not exactly the scenic route.
The second time, I steered us directly under the most vicious part of a water “feature” so that we would be sure to take the route up to the water slide, but at the last minute we got knocked off our path and back to the lovely scenery of the underside of the waterslides.
The next time I decided that we would not miss the cut off, and we almost made it, but at the last minute, a diversion. I gulped hard, and against my better judgment, got out of the tube and walked us to the side of the divider we needed to be on. In my attempt to remount the tube, just as I was about to gain the upper hand over the inner tube, the back side of the tube flew into the air—sending my back side with it. I was more concerned with making sure my daughter stayed above water, so I was ingloriously dumped under the water, legs and their attached arthritic hips all akimbo. This caught the attention of a passing life guard who kindly offered his assistance.
I was mortified, certain that between my pale, white Wisconsin winter skin and my probably bright red face and flailing appendages, I probably resembled something similar to a beached sea lion.
I love the water slides.
I love to have water squirting fights with my daughter and husband.
I hate the inner tubes. They bring me no inner peace.
©2012 Michele Arduengo. All rights reserved.