We are still talking New Hampshire reunion...after all, it was the highlight of our year!
One of the most special trips we made during our visit was to the amusement park, Santa's Village. It is a really a unique place. Set high in the mountains, the views are just amazing. It's clean, and although full of families, it doesn't feel claustrophobic. Still, when an insanely large group of adults and children traipse into a park full of strangers, the wise thing to do would be to make a plan. Sadly, we did not. Luckily, no permanent harm was done, but we have learned some lessons from our excursion. Feel free to learn from our errors in judgement; hindsight is 20/20! So, what NOT to do:
1. Don't discuss a group meeting spot in advance. Turns out cell phones don't work so well in the North Pole, so a plan to meet in advance would have been very useful on several occasions.
2. Dress in a variety of apparel. Even though it is supremely nerdy to dress in fluorescent orange shirts en masse, practicality would dictate that a wise suggestion for next years park trip.
3. Walk haphazardly. Perhaps a buddy system? Or require children stay with their own parents who are used to counting to 7 rapidly and repeatedly every 20 seconds or so? Either way, the random pairing and grouping of children resulted in a high level of parental stress while walking through crowds.
4. Don't look at a map until halfway through park. Make a plan of "attack" before entering the park. It would have saved on the spontaneous direction changes and useless dithering that results when disorganized.
5. Don't discuss park safety and review actions if lost. I'm sad to report, we did lose one of our progeny for a fearful 10 minutes. Luckily, said child (to remain nameless) kept her wits about her and informed the staff of her name and her mother's name and was even able to give a description of her mom! Yay! No harm, no foul. Still, we should have given the kids a quick tutorial of what to do in case of separation.
Happily, we were not complete morons and did make some competent decisions:
1. We packed lunches and snacks for all the children thus saving boatloads of cash.
2. We brought along The Nicest Person In The World to help us! God bless you, Chrissy! I will never forget the fruit cup and lemonade you brought to a weak and ravenous pregnant woman.
And yes, I was in that pic looking spectacularly unphotogenic per usual. But "it's my blog and I will crop if I want to!" I kept in the star of the photo anyway.
3. We managed to bring 13 children under age 11 to a park...and then brought the same number home again!
Easy Rule #7445: In case dementia strikes and you want to bring too many people to a crowded amusement park, please do as we say, not as we do. And may God and His Holy Angels be with you!