This past weekend Chris and I spent some much deserved and needed time with my children in the north woods of Minnesota.
Maddie also turned eight on Friday.
To celebrate, we picked them up in International Falls and drove to Duluth to spend a night at the Edge Water Park.
Of all the water parks I’ve been to in my adult life, this one is by far the most tolerable and fun for adults.
It comes equipped with two water slides, one of which I can handle twice until I?begin to feel like I’m on the cruise ship all over again. That water slide allows you to take either a one passenger or two passenger inner tube down a dark tunnel of twists and turns. Thankfully, Maddie had done it before so on our two passenger tube, she coached me on my breathing all the way down.
The other slide is called a body slide. As the name implies, you go down it using only your body.
I’ve been on it once and only once.
A couple of years ago when we visited the same water park, Mason told me that the only way to go down the body slide is head first.
Stupidly, I?took his advice.
After an endless series of twists and turns—in the dark—I was launched out of the end of the slide at what felt like warp speed. I knocked down the lifeguard standing 10 feet away.
I floundered under water for a few seconds trying to decide which way was up. Eventually I burst out of the water, my lungs screaming for air, and knocked the lifeguard down a second time.
Naturally, this time around I passed that slide up.
Aside from the slides, the water park also boasts a hot tub with water-fall effects, a wave pool and a regular pool to shoot hoops, a pool with floating animals to climb on, a lazy river for floating down on inner tubes and a kiddie pool complete with a splash of cold water that is dumped on you from the ceiling at regular intervals.
To make the park tolerable for adults it also has a bar and grill. When you are sick of being splashed, soaked with cold water and scared witless from the slides, you can get a bucket of beer and lounge around at one of the many seating areas to calm your frazzled nerves and watch your children tire themselves out.
Customer reviews have said that the pools have been known to be filthy with urine and suspicious floating UFOs (unidentified floating objects). My children say they have been witness to the UFOs on other visits.
This time around I?only saw one possible UFO, but it was quickly pushed under in a swirl of water around the slides.
Out of sight, out of mind!
The following morning Maddie woke up bright and early and convinced me that before we left the park we should take one more turn on the slides.
After squeezing into my still wet (and now cold) swimsuit, we set out for round two. I was wrong in assuming that it would be calm and quiet at 8 a.m. It was as full, if not fuller, than the night before.
After one time down the slide with each of my children, I?went to the hot tub to warm up.
I had to canvas the hot tub for five minutes to find an open spot. Once I spotted one, I made a dash for it. A lady who had crawled in at the same time on the opposite side apparently thought I looked nicer than I was. She assumed that I would slide over to make room for her.
Without a second glance she sat on my lap. After an awkward exchange she squeezed herself in beside me so our shoulders were touching.
Seconds later a father with four small children under the age of four strapped life jackets on each of them and sent them adrift in the hot tub.
They splashed and shouted and gave me a headache. I?decided I would be gracious and let the lady who sat on my lap have my spot after all.
After the hot tub experience I began to mutter things under my breath I?shouldn’t have been saying at a family park. I decided to wait for my children at a table. My observant son found me a couple of minutes later.
“Mom, no one looks really happy to be here this morning compared to last night,”?he said. “The lifeguards look crabby and the parents look tired,” he noted.
I can’t wait until he has children of his own some day.
Eventually it was announced the slides were closing while the life guards attempted to identify one of those UFOs. I was able to convince Maddie her birthday fun was over.
“Next year I?think we should stay two nights for my birthday,”?she announced excitedly.
Good luck with that, Maddie.