Kings Dominion

A little more then two weeks ago, Charlotte and I joined Jon and some of his orchestra students on a trip to Kings Dominion. Kings Dominion is an amusement park near Richmond, Virginia. We were so excited that Charlotte was finally old enough to take on the trip. (Evan was having a blast at Nana and Grandpa's house that weekend... pics to follow tomorrow)
So, we boarded the coach bus Friday afternoon. Charlotte had snacks, activities to keep her busy, her pillow pet, and two seats to herself. She could not have been more excited.

We were in the very front of the bus and Charlotte loved the view of traffic from so high up. We got stuck in a bit of traffic around 9pm just before we got to our hotel. When Charlotte started getting as frustrated with the traffic as our bus driver, we knew she needed to fall asleep. Jon sat with her and sang to her while rubbing her hair and within about 5 minutes, he had her asleep and drooling on his arm.

Our hotel room was so nice! It's one of the only suites I've stayed in during my life... I think. Charlotte and I shared the king sized bed since Jon would have to get up really early to take the orchestra to their performance.

When Charlotte and I woke up the next morning, we watched Home Alone together and then jumped on the bed.... a special hotel family tradition I'm carrying on.

Even though the breakfast buffet was really exciting for Charlotte, she still couldn't wait for it be time to leave for Kings Dominion.

Finally! We were there and it wasn't raining. We lucked out and it stayed cloudy and a little misty most of the day.

Charlotte loved the characters! She must get that from Jon. I'm not a fan of anyone in a mask or a costume that covers their face. I stayed back and volunteered for picture duty unless Jon forced me to.

The top of Eiffel Tower was hard to see in the thick clouds.

Charlotte's first ride was Snoopy's Driving School. I was encouraged that she stopped at stop signs and seemed to be a careful driver. Let's hope that holds true 10 years from now.

Jon took her on her first mini roller coaster and you can tell by her face that she wasn't a fan. It was a tiny coaster and only went about 8 feet high but it was fast and jerky. She was a little nervous about rides for a little while after that.

She enjoyed the rides in the kid section the most. She didn't mind that they were slower and not as "exciting". She's always been a cautious child and I was not at all surprised that she didn't go for thrill rides. There were hardly any other children in the kid's area so Charlotte got to ride each ride as many times as she liked.

She rode the "Jeep Tours" four times that day.

Her green hot rod blends in with the pretty roses.

I was surprised how much she liked the little bumper cars. She bumped into quite a few other kids and laughed so hard each time.

We took a little break from Kidville to watch Jon ride a few of the rides he loves most.......

Roller coasters!! Jon is in the left front seat getting ready to ride the Volcano. I'm not sure why anyone would want to wait for an hour in line to be shot out of a volcano. Jon says it's fun but I not buying it.

While we waited for Jon, I convinced Charlotte to ride the Scrambler with me. It's one of my favorite rides. It slings you around as if you're going to hit the wall but just before you do, you sling shot the other way toward the other wall. It's fast and so much fun. I was worried that Charlotte would be scared but afterward she said she liked it but didn't want to ride it again.

Do you see that insanely tall roller coaster? That's The Intimidator. It's a 300 foot drop at an 85 degree angle! It goes up to 90 miles an hour! Jon said that after riding that roller coaster, it makes all of the other coasters he's ever ridden seem like sissy rides.

We rode the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Luckily the fog had started to lift a bit so we had a decent view of the area.

We were so excited that my brother, Chris, was able to meet us at the park later on that day. Jon had an extra ticket and Chris didn't mind making the drive to ride some rides with us. So, Charlotte and I watched the fountains while we waited for Chris.

Charlotte and Chris worked together to drive on the Blue Ridge Tollway. Charlotte was in charge of the steering wheel while Chris pushed the accelerator.

They make a great team.

Chris and I rode the Flying Eagles (formerly Parrot Troopers).... another one of my favorite rides.

Then we all went on the carousel. This carousel is from the early 1900's and is just how I remember it as a kid. We used to come to Kings Dominion every year.

Chris and Jon took the ride very seriously.

How funny is that little brother of mine?

Next we all rode the Ferris Wheel. This Ferris Wheel was only added to the park in the past few years. I have to admit that I was a little nervous when we kept stopping near the top to let other passengers on. I don't consider myself afraid of heights but I felt just a wee bit vulnerable up so high.

After the Ferris Wheel, Charlotte and I sent the boys off to ride a roller coaster while Charlotte got her much anticipated ice cream cone. It was nearly as big as her head. I really didn't think she'd be able to eat it all but she proved me wrong. She ate every last big of that ice cream cone.

Jon and Chris really have a hard time getting along, don't you think?

Next Chris and I went on the Wave Swinger. This is my all time favorite ride. When you ride it, you feel like you're flying. You can swing your feet and put your arms out and you may as well be a bird. I can remember riding this ride with my mom and sister. We rode countless times in a row one time since no one was waiting in line to ride it.

I love looking at the pictures painted on the outside. I love that they've stayed the same.

Jon took Charlotte on the big bumper cars. I couldn't get a clear picture of them because they were moving so fast.

Around 7:00 that evening, a storm rolled in. We all made a mad dash for the bus and left the park sooner then planned. Even though Jon didn't get to ride The Intimidator at night, we had such a wonderful day. Charlotte kept telling Jon thank you for taking her along on this trip. She felt so special that day getting to have all of our attention. It was a great day.