aka Yes, I'm Alive
The trip was great. I had a blast and, of course, so did the kids. Some highlights:
* I had to be at the school at 6. Although the kids' official arrival time was 6:30, many of them were already waiting when I pulled up. And by "many," I mean almost half. LOL.
* They were almost more excited about the bus ride than the trip. We had charter buses with TVs and bathrooms and overhead bins. (Shit, *I* still get excited about riding a charter bus.) I tricked the kids into playing educational games for part of the way, such as alphabet games and my personal favorite, The Grammar Game (I gave them a word and they had to tell me if it was a noun, verb, etc. Yeah, I know--I'm a dork. But they liked it because their competitive asses will play anything and I scored points with the parent chaperones).
* My group had 12 kids. I had an official parent chaperone, Steve, and a couple parents who kind of tagged along. My kids were, truly, great. I had 2 ADHD kids who bounce off the walls on a NORMAL day, so you can imagine trying to keep an eye on them on Wednesday. Let's say that I was doing silent headcounts every 10 steps, and about half of them ended with a "Wait. Where's A.?" "Oh, she's climbing that tree/bench/roller coaster/dolphin/utility pole, Miss K" was the inevitable answer. But as long as she was within 20 feet, I didn't care.
* Steve and I basically agreed to follow the kids and let them call the shots. It was their trip so they got to pick the rides. So they got a map, gathered around it, and planned our route with military precision--which, of course, went to shit the second we actually ENTERED the park and they were overcome with giddiness, running around and swooning. We ended up wandering around and just riding any scary-looking roller coaster that crossed our path.
* I thought I was going to cry as we began the ascent (the steepest and highest motherf*ckin ascent I've ever experienced in my life, including those on Nothwest airliners). It was even worse knowing that the first vertical drop was directly on the other side. And, of course, they hung us there before the dropped us. I was terrified. I'll never forget the feeling of freefalling like that.
Needless to say, it was the best ride EVER.
* We lucked out with the crowds. The longest waits were like 10 minutes. Most rides, we just walked right up to. (That sentence does not seem grammatically correct.) That's the benefit to going on a Wednesday before school gets out.
* The water rides were awesome, too. At one point, Steve and I were still waiting to get on a log ride when we heard one of the employees say over the soundspeaker: "Please do not rock the boats." I muttered under my breath, "$10 says that was one of our little angels." Sure enough, it was. For one ride, if you stood on the bridge directly above it, you were soaked with a spray of water so massive that you had to hold on the railing to keep your balance. It was SWEET.
* All in all, I had a great time. I bought a year pass, even. It's only 2 hours away and it is SO FUN. My pass includes Islands of Adventure, too. SO GEEKED.
This is definitely one of the perks to being a 5th grade teacher at our school. =-)