Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lagoon . . . It's What Fun Is!

When you finally go back to your old hometown, you find it wasn't the old home you missed but your childhood. –Sam Ewing

Last Monday I took the Little Bugs to Lagoon, Utah's very own amusement park {Wikipedia has a great page on Lagoon for more history and park information}. I worked at Lagoon for five seasons {read about it here, here and here}. It was my first job and I loved it. It was fun to take a stroll down memory land and I loved showing the Little Bugs around my old stomping grounds.

When we arrived, Grasshopper was feeling a little queasy {carsick, I guess. Kind of ironic, don't you think?}. He laid down on a bench in the midway, while I got him some pizza and a soda. After he ate and rested a bit, he perked right up. My super cute, super cool, super fun mom met us there and we had a really great time together. It was a perfect day to go, as the lines weren't long at all. It was a bit warm out though, so we rode a few rides that get you wet {read completely drenched} so we could cool off a bit. We rode some old favorites, like the Bumper Cars. We had so much fun that we got right back in line and rode them again. Grasshopper kept calling them the Bumpah Cahs, heavy on the 'um'. It was awesome. And we did a few coasters. We rode their new coaster, Bombora, three times. It turns out that LadyBug is a bit of a coaster enthusiast. Grasshopper? Not so much.

Lagoon has a Big Wheel, which came to the park in 1991 or 1992 {can't remember which} and replaced the standard-size Ferris Wheel. It is 150 feet tall, hence the name Big Wheel. There was a contest for employees to come up with a more original name and the winner was Sky Scraper. You can see over Grasshoppers shoulder clear out to the Great Salt Lake. And over LadyBug's shoulder you can see the beautiful Wasatch mountains.

This little photo-montage is a tribute to my last summer at Lagoon. I was supervisor over Kiddieland and it was awesome. At 58¼" Grasshopper is too tall to ride most of the kiddie rides {I know! I can't believe how big my little boy is!}. But LadyBug had a go on a few, while Grasshopper and my mom watched from a bench and I wandered around taking photos.

One of my favorite rides in Kiddieland is the old carousel. The year that I worked in that area, it turned 100 years old. The animals were taken down and repainted, beautifully, I might add, the wooden floor was stripped and refinished and the outside structure got a makeover as well. Back in the day, it was called The Merry-Go-Round, but a merry-go-round only has horses on it. They've renamed it The Carousel, which is fitting. These are the lead horses; the horse with gold on its sash and a silver mane is #1 and the horse with silver on its sash and a gold mane is #2 {although I think they might be reversed in their placement. I understood that #1 has a gold mane and #2 has a silver mane. I'll have to do a bit of research . . .}. This is the beginning of the carousel. All of the animals on the carousel were hand carved from solid wood; something that doesn't happen anymore. Aren't they beautiful?

And this is my favorite old-fashioned wooden roller coaster, called simply The Roller Coaster. I worked this as a ride operator my second summer at the park and it was part of my area my last year as a supervisor on the park. It was built in 1921, and a fire in 1953 a fire destroyed the lift. It was re-built and remains one of the favorite attractions at Lagoon. When you ride the coaster, it may feel old and rickety, but that is part of the coaster's charm. Bumps are added to the track to give that appearance, but no part of the coaster is more than 5 years old. A section of the track is re-built each winter. The coaster used to be painted white, but several years ago park owners decided not to paint new sections or re-paint older sections and let the coaster be natural.

We ended our day with treats from one of the many food vendors. LadyBug and Grasshopper shared an Icee.

And my mom and I had a funnel cake with strawberries on top. YUM!

Yep. Lagoon. It's what fun is!


Shay said...

Glad everyone had a blast..You and your Mom look positively done in!

joyce said...

What a fun day!!! It looks like you all had a blast!
(btw, we're making block decisions on facebook. I don't know if you've been on in the last day or so - don't want you to miss it.) You don't have to post this!

Kerri said...

What great photos! It was so fun to hang out with you, your mom, & your kids. Not as personal as I wish, but very very fun.