Thursday, July 24, 2014
Water slide adventure
I tried a water slide last summer in Arkansas and thought it would be my last.
But I gave in to the temptation once again last week.
Pam and I, along with daughter Erin and her friend Maddie, visited Alabama Splash Adventure on the outskirts of Birmingham.
We’d been there for several hours and Pam and I had watched the two of them try almost everything, except one huge water slide, a straight drop, that was off limits for all of us. The lines were not long for that one – not many brave enough to try it.
Pam and I, who had enjoyed the wave pool, the lazy river and other attractions throughout the afternoon, had considered a water slide.
When Erin and Maddie wanted to make a few last runs through some enclosed, dark tubes with an array of dizzying twists and turns into a splash landing, we decided we’d share in the excitement.
After climbing a few flights of stairs, Pam and I boarded the double inner tube and off we went. It was fast. It was dark. It was fun, too, but once was enough.
I don’t think water slides were made for 52-year-old men. The hardest part for me was getting out of the inner tube.
Alabama Splash Adventure is about three and half hours away, and for us, it was well worth the drive.
We stayed about six hours on a beautiful day – sunshine and temperatures barely reaching 80.
That was day one of our brief vacation before school resumes in a few weeks.
The next day we enjoyed a trip to the Birmingham Zoo. I had not visited this particular zoo in many, many years.
It was a nice way to spend another wonderful day weather-wise.
We started by seeing the birds and finished with the lions. In between there were snakes and elephants and zebras and much more.
I think our favorite activity at the zoo was the Red Diamond Sea Lion Show.
That night, it was time for some baseball. I guess this was designated as my part of the trip, but the others had a good time, too.
The Birmingham Barons hosted the Mississippi Braves in the Barons’ new downtown park, Regions Field. The 8,500-seat facility just opened a year ago.
The park is indeed a bright spot in the city’s outstanding downtown improvements.
We were about eight rows behind the Mississippi Braves’ dugout. Pam, Erin and Maddie wore their red, in support of the Braves. We kept our cheers for the Mississippi team minimal.
There was a large crowd on hand – close to a sellout. One of the most crowded places was the bank just outside the fence along the third-base line.
We stayed until the end with the Barons taking a 3-2 victory.
Food options at the ball park are plentiful, including the world-famous Dreamland BBQ. We actually did not make it to the barbecue because we filled up on popcorn and fries and so forth.
Our ride home on Friday was a slow one – set aside for Pam and the girls to enjoy some shopping.
I did a lot of walking and looking and then sitting – and more walking and looking and then sitting.
We capped off the three-day vacation with a stop to have dinner with my family in Alabama.
Sometimes the shorter trips are the best.
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