What is it about vacations that make you do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do? While sitting at home today I started reminiscing about my  past vacations in which I did things rather out of character for me. Day in, day out I’m a totally boring person… I go to work, I come home, I eat, I veg on the sofa, I go to bed, I get up the next morning, I go to work… you see the cycle here. Nowhere in my day is there anything exciting (Granted, I don’t feel the need to have an abundance of excitement, my little life is just fine.)

Not in a million years would my rearend be going on this...

Last summer my main squeeze and I took his two daughters to a water park for a weekend. Right from the get-go it was out of character for me… “water” and “park” … already freaked me out. I’m not a big water fan. Showers and hygiene, yes… large swimming pools and open expanse of big bodies of water not so much.  The very fact that this place was called a water park meant that there was the possiblity of “fun” with water… another term that is not in my dictionary. That being said, we gathered the 5 and 12 year olds, packed them in the car and went for the 3 hour drive to the water park.

It was hot that day. HOT. Like Africa in August kinda hot. And that’s hot for an eastern Canadian city on the 3rd of July. Maybe this water park was a good idea. It had a huge outdoor wave pool, a lazy river to relax in a blowup tube and float around, and about half a dozen water slides.

This trip with the kids was a sort of much needed mini-holiday for me. It was a chance to have fun and enjoy the first bit of summer vacation with three of my favorite people.

Downside to this whole water park idea… I couldn’t wear makeup. Me not wearing makeup is like being hungry and not having a mouth. I neeeed makeup. I get hives at the thought of leaving the house without makeup on. (I’m high maintenance, I know.) I drool at the very sight of a department store makeup counter. So not being able to wear makeup was a fate worse than death for me.  I mean, sure, I could have worn makeup but after the first splash of water in my face I would have looked rediculous. And THAT would be embarassing!

Another downside… I was going to have to wear a bathing suit and walk around in public. This wasn’t a beach in which I could just shed my attire, reveal my bikini, slink undetected onto my towel and pretend to be a hermit crab by staying silently and perfectly still on the sand. No sir, this was a water park which meant parading around visiting all the slides and pools. Grrrrrrreat. Shoulda kept that gym membership a little longer.

"Does this shell make me look fat?"

The biggest and by far the worst downside… there were water slides. What’s a water park without them, right? As we arrive and I see them in person I have no desire to do them, and to be quite honest they scare the heck out of me. Problem: I am with a 12 year old who can’t wait to get on these slides of doom. These water slides combine many things I don’t like…. such as pitch darkness, water, and speed.  My heart started pounding just looking at them. I didn’t have the heart to tell Emm that I couldn’t do this. She whisked me away and before I knew it we had arrived at our turn at the top of the slide. Emm plunked down the big figure 8 blow up tube and we take our seats. The park attendant holds onto us for a few seconds before pushing us through the first waterfall. I already hate this, and I have too much water in my eyes even at this point but I don’t dare let go of the tube in order to wipe my face. I can barely see. No wait, I can’t see anything at all. This tunnel is well, pitch black. We’re on our way in complete darkness. I’m deafened by the squeals of  excitement from Emm. No wait, that’s not her, it’s me and they aren’t squeals of excitement but rather screams of terror. I have no idea what awaits me at the end of this winding tunel of death… and no idea when it was going to end. I was certain that my hair had gone from a lovely deep brown to a sudden hue of grey during this 15 second thrill ride.

Suddenly, I see a glimmer of light and the sound of people. Sure enough, we are near the end and are propelled out the bottom of the slide into a big pool of water. I have a white-knuckle grip on our inner tube, holding on for dear life as our tube rocks back in forth in the waves we’ve created. I’m praying fervently to the higher power begging him not to let my little air inflated refuge tip over. Emm is laughing her head off at the whole experience. She looks overjoyed and happy. I look panicked and horrified. I’m not sure what had really happened, but I’d compare it to a hell-ride through someone’s digestive system at a velocity close to the speed of light.

If I thought that this ride through the “Tornado” was scary, imagine what I was in for when my better half wanted to go down it with me. He’s 6’2″ and 225 lbs of muscle. I’m 5’3″ and possess no mucsle at all. Reluctantly, I head to the top of the slide. We wait, it’s our turn, we sit down, and before I can take one last look at my surroundings, we’re off. If I thought the ride with Emm was fast, this was like lightning. We were going down the slide with such speed that I could hear the wind whizzing by my ears. Around one turn, then two, down a vertical drop and I was sure my head hit the top of the tunnel. The end must be close and dear God what was going to happen when we hit the pool at the bottom? I soon found out.

We came to the end of the slide and were projected out the end of it. We hit the pool’s water like a jumbo jet making a crash landing and hitting nose first. My better half, sitting in the front of the figure 8 tube came to a sudden stop, a tsunami sized wave covers him. The last thing I remember was sitting in the back of the figure 8, coming into the light at the end of the tunnel and then somehow managing to soar out of the tube, over the head of my boyfriend, and landing somewhere under water some 10 feet away. It proved to be quite the spectacle for those standing around the pool waiting their turn for the next available tube. I’m sure I resembled a lifeless rag doll being thrown from a speeding car… arms flailing and legs being flopped and bent every which way. I stood up, gasping for air and frantically trying to reach the side of the pool. I emerged like I was hauled from the water after surviving the Titanic disaster…. traumatized and emotionally drained.

That put an end to my waterslide adventures that day. I stayed with the 5 year old in the kiddie pools after that. That was much more my speed.