Friday, July 14, 2017

Summer Adventures - Carowinds

One of my goals this summer is to experience some things Emily hasn't ever done before. Our first summer adventure ended up being Carowinds, an amusement park a couple of hours from where we live.

I work from home at a company that is based out of Texas, but there are only a few states were they hire at home people. They usually do a company picnic in the summer and a Christmas party, but I've never been to either mostly because of timing. But when it was announced that the company picnic for the Carolinas and GA was going to be at Carowinds, I jumped at the chance.

I got a ticket for me and a guest (which was Emily) for free, plus they provided lunch! I had been wanting to check out Carowinds anyway, and to do so for free made it extra awesome!

Emily and I got up bright and early that morning and drove there. We got there just before 10 am when the park opened. We easily found the tent with the person from my job who had the tickets, and we entered the park.

When we got inside, there were several Peanuts characters waiting. Emily met them all and we got pictures. It was a good thing because we never saw the characters out and about for the rest of the day. Sadly, Snoopy wasn't there so we didn't get to meet him.

Most of the people who were there at opening headed to one of the many roller coasters, but we headed all the way to the back of the park to ride on the Plants vs. Zombies ride. We had no wait and it was an ok ride. You got on these bike things after you picked either to be a plant or a zombie and then you shot at your enemies. The bike thing would jerk and move sometimes. It was fun to do once but neither of us wanted to do it again.

From there we went and rode on Boo Blasters which was another shooting game. The ride vehicle took you through a haunted house and you shot at things. I liked this ride a bit better, in fact we rode on it twice before moving on.

We then rode the bumper cars and did a ride in the Planet Snoopy section which was all Peanuts themed rides for kids. The park was starting to fill up a bit and we had some time before lunch so we decided to ride the white water raft ride. The line was long, and much longer than I had thought when we got in line. But finally we rode, and it was fun!

From there, we went to the picnic area. We had to show our tickets which had a lunch voucher and we found the pavilion my work was at. I didn't know anyone there because no-one from my team had come, but there was yummy food. There was hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, potato salad, cookies and a variety of drinks. We ate up and then headed back to the car to drive to the water park section of the park.

I was a little unsure about how much Emily was going to like to the water park because she doesn't know how to swim and still isn't thrilled with water on her face. She's much better than she was when she was younger but she still doesn't want to go underwater.

We started small. There was a little kids area that had a small water slide that we went down several times and then we went to one of the wave pools. Emily loved this so much! She loved jumping in the waves and letting them push her back.

As we walked around we found another kids section but this was for bigger kids. There was about eight different water slides and we went on most of them. And on one of these, Emily's head actually went under the water. I always had her go down the slide first and then I went after her. She didn't freak out and she was really excited to tell me that once I went down the slide.

After another stop by the wave pool, we got changed out of our swim suits and drove back to where we were before. We spent about 3 hours in the water park.

Once we were back in the regular park side, we stopped and got some Italian ice as a snack. We did more rides, mostly at Planet Snoopy. Some of the rides were kid only, so I just watched from the side and took pictures.

I did make Emily ride the Carolina Skytower which is a ride that takes you up really high and you slowly go around in a circle to see the park and the Charlotte skyline in the distance. I really enjoyed it - it was very relaxing.

We had supper at Chick-Fil-A and then Emily rode more Planet Snoopy rides. We even rode on a kiddie roller coaster that was very exciting. I was out of spoons at the end and just let her ride to her heart's content while I watched. We ended up leaving at 9 pm, an hour before the park closed, because I was beyond exhausted. Of course, 11 hours in an amusement park will make one exhausted even without chronic pain.

All in all, it was a fun day! I'd like to go back and maybe even get season passes next year.

Up Next - The Drive-In

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