Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Camp Reed

I've had such fun the past two days. I'm on vacation, and it's been Camp Reed, so on Monday, I had Hannah and Alex Ogden, along with Alison. Today, Hannah had a sore throat, but she also had her favorite (OK one of her favorite) aunts in town, and I suspect she may like Lori more than she likes me....

We spent some time just hanging out here and then we went up to (gag) Carmel for laser tag at a place creatively called Laser Flash. The kids had been there through their summer camp, and were excited to go back. Besides the laser tag, where they get to shoot each other, there's an arcade.

We got to the place about 30 minutes early, so I made them take a walk down the Monon Trail where we found a fountain, some flowers and plenty of running room for hyper kids.

Alison and Alex just couldnt' stop talking about th ecoming adventure. Hannah and I had a little girl talk, but inevitably, we got sucked into the Ali-Alex talk. ?W hen I agreed to give them asawbuck to play with at the arcade. You would have thought they'd died and gone to Heaven.

"I'm so excited I'm tingling inside!" Alex confessed.

Alarmed, big sister Hannah asked, "Is that good?"

"Oh yeah," muttered Alex.

So they get in there and go crazy. I made them give me their tickets for safe keeping before the shoot out. I had a small mountain of redeemable cash before me. About 20 minutes later, they emerge. Hannah is the victorious top scorer for the team she and Alex had been on.

"I shot Ali! I shot Ali even after she was dead!!!!" exclaims Hannah.

"Hannah and Alison have a frenemy relationship. Karin swears its because they both are alpha dogs and can't stand to be bossed by the other. (Alex doesn't mind being bossed; he kind of thrives on it) Because they can't help but be bossy -- oh, excuse me: I mean be leaders -- they sometimes experience friction. But they do love each other, and I'm certain they'd each back the other up if anyone happened to attack their little coven.

We had a agreat time, and capped it off with a trip to the Super China Buffet. Camp Reed Day 1 was an unparalleled success.

Day 2 was a bit more rocky. I had only Alex and Ali because Hannah was home sick. We hung out here waiting for the Carmel (ugh again) water park to open. Their Web site sucks, by the way.

According to the site, the park opened at 11 a.m. I thought it best to feed the little monsters first, so we didn't get there until about 1 p.m. At which time we find tha thte oudoor area doesn't open until 4 p.m. We're already there, and there's an indoor pool we can splash around in, so we decide to stay.

Alex must have asked 700 times whether it was time to go outside. Finally, it's 4 , so we pack up and head to the sun. That's when the lifeguards out there tell us it's really 4:30 that they open. Crap!

So we just park ourselves out there, warm up and wait. The kids snarf down some stale goldfish crackers and we ait. And Wait. And Wait some more.

Finally, we get to splash around and test out the slides. We spent five hours there. Near the end, I went to the bathroom to change out of my swim suit. Alex was polishing off the crackers and an apple while Ali was still (according to Alex) floating down the lazy river.

Apparently, it was about this same time that Ali decided to look for me. I wasn't to be found, and she had a momentary panic attack much like the one I had when I went to the rive to get her, only to find her missing. Once reunited, we were happy campers. Alex was nonplussed. He apparently knew we'd find each other, plus, he was hungry.

We were all starving so we set out for Taco Bell where I asked them what they thought of the water park. The water play had cost me less than just the arcade from the day before and I was thinking that I'd found a great bargain.

"It was kind of lame, Mom," Alison says around her double decker taco.

"Huh?" asked, reminding her that she was the last one out of the water.

"Well, I didn't lose my mom at the arcade, and there were lots of prizes and shooting," she said.

"Yeah," chimes in her little cohort. "It was kind of lame. Coco Key (our trip in the spring) had lots better equipment."

"Yeah, Mom," Ali continued. "Kids don't like just little baby equipment. We like bigger slides and pools you can actually swim in. And water toys you can climb on and well, extreme things. Not just little kid stuff."

"Yeah. Extreme stuff," Alex said, eyeing another taco.

I gave up. I mean, I don't like going to Carmel. It's just too perfect for my taste. But the park was nice enough. It's no Holiday World, but for a city park, it's pretty nice. The pools where you get dumped after sliding are just dumping grounds, though. Ali and Alex like to swim, and they wanted to hang out a bit. We never did find an outdoor pool where they could play a good game of pool tag. The pools for toddlers were immense. There was even a big sand lot, complete with showers for when they kids stagger out of the pit and back to the pool.

The timing of the openings was annoying, though. And you could tell summer is over: there were more lifeguards than customers.

So we finish up at Taco Bell with a little conversation that just reminded me how much I like it that Alison found such a good friend in little Alex. They were talking about how in Heaven if someone tried to cut your head off, the knife would just slice right through your body because you're an angel. (Why they think Heaven allows be-headings, I'm not sure. but nevertheless...)

"Alison, if I was in Heaven and you weren't there with me, I would be sad," said Alex.

Ali instantly teared up. "I would be sad, too," she said.

"If you were in Heaven and I wasn't, I would be in my room crying. A Lot. A really Lot," Alex said.

"Me, too," said Ali. "But you're a whole year younger than me, and I will be up there all alone!!!!"

"Alison I can tell you're really sad about this because your eyes are all wet," Alex said.

"Yeah. I cry sometimes when someone tells a bad story," she said.

"Hey!" said Alex, brightening. "Maybe something will happen. You never know. Maybe something will happen to me early, and you wont' have to be up there all alone so long."

"Thanks, Alex. But we we don't have to think about this for a long time," Ali said, wiping away her tears.

And then they started playing tricks with their straws.

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