Thursday, June 20, 2013

Weekend Away: Dutch Wonderland

(photo courtesy of
I am always looking for ways to generate more family time so this Father's Day was no exception.  I had heard of Dutch Wonderland (located in Lancaster, PA) last summer, but with an infant it was too crazy to consider!  I decided that now would be the perfect time for a getaway.  I organized it (albeit at the last minute) and it was a go!

Preparing for this trip seemed a bit easier than other trips, I am assuming because we were only going for a weekend!  I had things relatively organized and just had to wait for Hubby to drop our Copper dog off to a friend and then we would be on our way.  Of course, there was one item I could not locate for our journey: the activity tray for T's car seat.  I looked where I thought it would be, to no avail.  When Hubby returned he looked.  We spent a good twenty minutes looking for this stupid thing and never found it.  Grr.  I HATE losing things!  

Our trip was going pretty smoothly until Mad Man lost it!  Seriously lost it.  Screaming, kicking his feet, inconsolable.  He only napped for about the first hour of the trip, so initially I thought we were golden.  Boy was I wrong. I attempted to deactivate his meltdown by climbing back to sit next to him.  That was clearly not enough.  So, we got off the nearest exit and I nursed him, which calmed him down until I had to put him back in his seat.  Ugh.  More screaming.  He earned a new nickname this trip:  Monster Baby.  He did finally calm down when he realized he was stuck in there. Poor little guy.  Then our directions became a bit confusing and with the fussiness it looked like our ship was going down!  Thankfully, Hubby has a fantastic internal GPS and was able to find the hotel in spite of my less than stellar navigational skills.  At one point he asked if I was even paying attention at all to the directions. The sad part was that I was trying! 

We made it to Lancaster, and met up with Mima, Poppi, and Auntie.  Dutch Wonderland has a cool policy that you can "preview" the park from 5:30 until 8:30 if you buy a full priced ticket for the following day. Awesome!  So, even though it was almost 7:00, and we had not had dinner, we figured we would get as much as we could out of it.  I'm so glad we did.  T had a blast.  We put off dinner and went ride to ride to ride.  There were virtually no lines, which was fantastic.  The kiddos were able to meet the Dutch Wonderland Princess, Prince, and Duke the dragon as well.  The thing that is so cool about this park is that it truly is designed for young children.  There are numerous rides for all heights.  Mad Man could even go on many of the rides (of course helicopter mommy would have to step aside for a few moments to allow this to happen!).  

When the park closed we headed to Red Lobster for dinner.  Both kiddos were beyond tired and hungry, but we decided to try anyway.  T did a great job, where as Mad Man had serious difficulty.  Luckily I only ordered a salad, since I am still unsure as to whether or not I am allergic to seafood (something that seemed to pop up a few years ago) so I was able to wrestle him.  Actually, I think everyone took a turn trying to entertain him.  Poor guy just wants to be on the go!  Then it was time to settle in.  It was probably around 11:00 before the kiddos passed out, but Hubby was out when his head hit the pillow.  Figures. 

We were staying at the Wingate by Wyndham right in Lancaster, and they had a yummy complimentary continental breakfast.  T had a minor meltdown because there were "too many people" eating there, but we were able to diffuse it and had her go back to the room with Poppi.  After breakfast it was off to Dutch Wonderland.  The weather was beautful and we were ready for some fun!  The park did not disappoint.  We spent the morning going on ride after ride.  T absolutely loved the giant slide - she and Hubby went on it countless times.  I even let Mad Man go on these two little rides; one of which T had to help him with because he was so scared.  At one point he was holding on to her shirt with one hand and the side of the ride with the other.  Poor little dude.  We all went on the Double Splash Flume.  Mima and I were not fans (any log flume scares the life out of me!).  Mad Man was scared, but didn't freak out; he actually fared better than Mima and I!  We also watched the Adventures of the Frog Prince water show, which was really cool; although T was scared of the "bad guy".  After lunch we went on a few rides, Mad Man fell asleep, and we headed for Duke's Lagoon.  T and Poppi were the only two that brought bathing suits, so they were ready to go!  Mad Man woke up and was also ready to go as he is truly an Aquarius baby!  He and T loved the water geysers and little slides.  Then T discovered the humongous water slide - Pipeline Plunge - that she and Poppi could go on.  This child has no fear!  They rode that enclosed slide probably five times.  Her little lips were chattering, but she wanted to continue!  We managed to get both little ones away from the water and headed back toward the rides.  We only made it on a few and decided that everyone needed a little break. 

Pipeline Plunge, Turtle Whirl, Frog Hopper (photos courtesy of

We left the park and went to dinner at Miller's.  This place is huge!  It is a smorgasbord restaurant (although they have other options) which serves fresh food.  It was delicious!  I particularly enjoyed the desserts (shocking, I know!).  Now, Mad Man is in that stage of not wanting to sit for a meal, much less a long drawn out smorgasbord meal.  So, after he was full he was ready to go.  Mima attempted to take him to look out the window and somehow lost her balance and fell to the floor.  She landed on her rear, somehow threw Mad Man, and sat there.  As I am writing this I am fighting back the laughter (although at the time it wasn't funny).  These are the moments I love about family vacays - you cannot predict the memories you will make!

After we gorged ourselves we returned to the park to soak up as much fun as we could before closing!  T got to go on all of her favorite rides one more time.  She dragged me on the roller-coaster - The Joust - countless times!  Auntie even convinced me to go with her, Hubby, and Poppi on the large roller-coaster:  the Kingdom Coaster.  Big mistake!  I am not a roller coaster enthusiast at all.  This coaster was super fast!  The little sneak said it would be fun! The tears streaming down my face from the fierce adrenaline coursing through my veins did not scream fun!

The next day we decided to go on a horse and buggy ride - Amish style (thank you Aaron & Jessica's).  Unfortunately, it was Sunday so we were unable to witness the full Amish experience, but we enjoyed our little jaunt with the horses.  Next time we will definitely plan it better so we can go through an Amish community, and stop at an Amish house.

We, of course, hit the outlets (which are right there!) on our way out.  T loved both the Disney outlet and the Toys R Us Express.  Other than getting lost a few more times (okay, my navigation skills need work...I know), we had an uneventful trip home...thankfully.

Overall, the weekend was a success.  I love discovering things about my kiddos, and allowing them to try new things too!  I learned that T is truly a dare devil.  She is not afraid of any ride!  Mad Man on the other hand is more like me, he didn't even like the merry go round.  T Bear and I loved the Turtle Whirl; I finally found someone besides Poppi to endure the tilt-a-whirl type rides with me!  The screams we let out are truly priceless, especially since I think she was screaming to go along with my reaction...too adorable!  T did not like the bumper cars - I can't blame her there; I never understood the enjoyment of ramming into another car.  Watching them discover new things is amazing.

High:  The pure sounds of joy coming from T.  Witnessing T taking care of Mad Man on the kiddie rides.
Low:  The drive.

No comments:

Post a Comment