Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Beat the heat in Hurricane Harbor.

When the news tells you that you are going to be experiencing your first over 100 degree day in your new surroundings, don't panic!  You know that whole saying "When life hands you lemons make lemonade".  Instead of lemonade we jumped into a giant chlorine filled pool of awesome sauce and had an adventure.  I'm talking about Hurricane Harbor in the beautiful but warm Valencia California.

Back home in Utah we spent a lot of our warm days at a local water park.  It was filled to the brim with children every day it was open.  It was a constant job to watch which bobbling head belonged to your little person in a sea of bobbing heads.  Here in California, where the world is a just a bit bigger and more crowded, I assumed that the water park would be ten fold what we experienced at our home park.  I'm assuming that we experienced a miracle this week because the park was peacefully packed.  As we drove up to the parking lot my sweet daughter was counting school buses as they dropped off their loads of passengers.  She made it to around 40 before she gave up and lost count.  Im not sure where they hid everyone but I'm not complaining either.

This is a picture of their lazy river.  Is that what it is called?  I can't  really remember, but that is what I am calling it because I can lay back and float along in a very lazy way while the river takes me on a trip around the park.  The water was shockingly cold.  Maybe it was just the difference between the air temperature and the water but it was a hard few steps in.  After that we were giddy with excitement.  We played shark which is where I hum the tune of Jaws and chase my kids down in the water until they can get to a safe point, then I go after the other kid. This is why I needed the lazy river.  Its a tough workout to run in water!

The lazy river goes around the little kiddie area.  I wish I had a tiny one to play in at home. It had everything you could want to keep your littlest of friends excited to play here.  It was complete with a giant bucket of dumping water and pretty big slides that dropped out in to a shallow pool.  Really just this small area was a park in itself.  One thing that Hurricane Harbor does very well is to give you a lot of places to sit that are close enough to watch the action happen.  I am an admitted Diet Coke addict.  I know it's  awful for my body but its therapeutic on my soul.  I was able to get a soda and have my choice of a bunch of places to sit where I could still keep a good eye on my kids.  They had a lot of lounge chairs that we shaded as well.

We spent the first half of the day discussing whether we wanted to get tubes for $7 a day or a year rental for $35.  We talked about how often we thought we would visit the park and how often we would want a tube.  We opted for no tube at all on this trip.  As it turns out, Hurricane Harbor has tubes for you to use on tube friendly rides.  This was mind blowing to me.  In the past if we wanted to ride the slides that needed the tubes we needed to provide our own.  Its one of the ways the park gets its money form us right? The tube would have been cool in the wave pool and the lazy river for sure but it wasn't at all necessary for a great time.  The yellow tubes are kept at the bottom of the slides and where you enter the lines.  You pick one up at the bottom and leave it there when you arrive at the
They had a great amount of rides to choose from, each with its own theme and feel to it.  We didn't get to ride on this ride.  We ran out of energy before hitting everything at the park.  It's a rapids ride.  You get a big blue raft and you ride down a huge slide full of twists and splashes.  This is a must do for our next time here. It is a huge park full of fun options.  In the link I placed in the first paragraph you can explore the park and all of its slides and rides.  The list is impressive.

When I was younger I had no fear.  I could tackle any big ride with excitement and eagerness.  I'm not sure what happened.  Its not that way anymore no matter how much I'd like it to be so.  It was like a switch was flipped in my mind when I entered mother mode and suddenly it mattered if my life was cut short when I drowned in a freak slide accident.  I try to hide it for the most part but there are times when it takes over and you aren't in control anymore.  Enter the slide part of our adventure.  Its just a water slide.  I tell the kids that the park is all new to us and I walk over to a set of stairs going up.  The plan was to see where this path takes us and experience what it had to offer.  These blue and yellow drops of doom were waiting for us at the top of the stair way that went on forever. You literally stand in a tube that they lock you in and after the right amount of water fills the tube up the floor drops out and gravity takes over.
Absolute fear was all I could feel, but youcan't  admit that to a 14 year old boy and an 11 year old girl.  They smell fear and suddenly you are not the authority figure any more.  I already look up to both of them since they passed me in height eons ago.  Chickening out was not an option. Luckily there was another option.  The Black Snake Summit offers two pitch black slides that you lay in and glide your way down.  This was my way out and I was very grateful for it.  As the men in line before us got in the drop slides and we listened to them howl in surprise I knew that this day I made a wise decision.  I entered the black snake with full confidence.  That confidence was soon dashed.  The slide is dark and not visible to others.  This is a good thing because I was doing my best to keep my composure but I was failing. At 75 feet high and 500 feet of twist and turns this was no kiddie ride.  There was sudden drops and turns so fast you were tossed about like a washing machine.  I ended the slide with my sunglasses half way off and on, my swim suit rolling up my stomach and my composure visibly shaken.  It was a roller coaster without a lap bar.  It was fast, it was dark and if I was brave it would have been the best water slide I had ever been on.  I'll pull up my courage and try again next time,but we're  all friends here and so there is no judgement right? I might even attempt the drop slides when I've built up my courage enough.

 The park offers lockers for $20 if you need a family size or $14 for a small size.  You can get in and out all day long so its worth the cost.  We got a small locker and it held a backpack with three towels, three pairs of shoes and my wallet.  We could have jammed a few other small things in there but it was a tight fit so not  much more.  We grabbed my wallet and ran to the gift shop to buy water shoes.  The ground was scorching hot and unbearable to walk on barefoot.

With money in hand we went right over to the food stand.  It seemed like it was us and everyone else in the park waiting there to eat.  Many of us were toting the 2016 refillable drink cup.  We bought it at Magic Mountain but it works here as well so yay for free sodas! Free refills all year for around $25 was a steal of a deal. It was a hot day and I needed it. We also got some food but it was nothing overly special.  We were fed and happy and that is all that really mattered.  Burgers, chicken fingers, salads,  hot dogs and nachos were our options.

For those who are looking for adult beverages there is a Grub and Grog place.  I'm not sure if the food options are the same or not.  I'd think there would be a menu online but I couldn't see one anywhere.

After eating we went back to the wave pool to end our day of fun. Its huge!  There is a big screen television at the far end allowing you to watch Looney Toons cartoons and VH1 music videos.  This was a little weird since the sound was of to the screen and instead music was playing.  As you sit and watch a music video different music plays through the pool area.  In the summer nights they do this awesome thing where they play movies on this screen and you can watch them from the surrounding areas. It's called Dive-In Movies and my son is so excited to try this one out.  We will for sure get a tube that day!

 Overall it was a great park that way over delivered on fun for what we expected.  We can't wait to go back.  As you played in the water Magic Mountain roared in the back ground.  You could hear the screams as Goliath rushed down its 255 foot drop.  They share a parking lot so if you get the annual parking pass then your parking is as easy as your Magic Mountain days. 

 I'm a lucky gal to have a hubby that works hard so that I can have so much fun with our minis.  I really am so blessed to have him. We have lived here in California for about two months now.  The kids and I have enjoyed about a dozen days in amusement parks of one kind or another.  Brandan on the other hand has visited Universal Studios after work days and Magic Mountain on weekends.  Part of me feels guilty for all the fun we have while he slaves away.  There is another part of me that knows that he loves us and wants us to cram all the fun we can into our lives and live them to the very fullest.  This is the part of me that I am going to follow.  There is a lot of adventure out there and were going to find our share.  

Live your life so that you have memories and not dreams. 


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