Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Hair Question Revisited

The Hair Question Revisited

My daughter had canceled her coming to see us in December and wouldn’t be back until the summer.  She suggested we meet in Orlando at Universal Theme park so we could see her and her family.

We wanted to see them so we agreed to go.  We set up a date the beginning of February.

That week, we watched the weather and it was turning cooler and cloudy for that weekend.  We knew that our grandkids were anxious to ride the water rides at the park and we were told to bring bathing suits so we could accompany them.  Surprisingly, my wife agreed.

For those familiar with my wife’s hair habits, she never gets it wet outside of her shower.  Getting her hair wet is considered by her a catastrophe of the highest order.  I of course playfully try to get her hair wet whenever we are at a pool or the ocean.  Oddly, she takes umbrage at this for some unfathomable reason, often chiding me in a not so gentle fashion for this innocent act.

The last time she got her hair wet on a ride was around 1992. We went to Disney World and she got on a raft ride and the raft went through a waterfall directly on my wife.  This was sacrilege. I of course got the blame (for once I was blameless) and she has refused to go on any ride involving water ever since.  The exception to this rule is her traveling on large boats or ships.

Nevertheless, we set out for Orlando with our bathing suits packed.

We arrived at our hotel in Orlando, grabbed some towels and our bathing suits and went to meet our daughter and her family who were already in the Universal theme park.  The day had turned cloudy and cool, so the water rides were relegated to the next day.

We all went on various rides and saw various shows for the rest of the day. 

Now the thing to know is that Barbara hates rides. She doesn’t like going on any rides and refuses to go on any rides that involve fast movement like a rollercoaster. My grandson offered to rate the various attractions as to their “danger quotient” and give my wife some advice on which rides she could go on.

We proceeded to the Homer Simpson ride, which is a virtual rollercoaster.  Since you aren’t really on a rollercoaster we all thought it would be acceptable for Barbara.  After the first 10 seconds, she had her eyes closed the whole ride.  I am sure the designers of the ride had Barbara In mind when they created the ride and they will be happy to know she reacted as if it was a real rollercoaster.  By that I mean she was terrified.

We went to a show where members of the audience are chosen for parts in the show.  Usually, I get chosen, not this time. My 8 year old granddaughter, much like my mother, is the opposite of shy.  She pushes her way up front with her mother and grandmother in tow.  She got picked for a part as did my wife.  They said they were looking for a grandmother and since she was standing in front with my granddaughter they picked her.  They labeled her the “Cougar” grandma. We were all amazed she agreed to do it.

The show started and both Barbara and Hayley did their part to the amusement of all of us. They were a hit.

We toured the park, going on various (not rollercoasters) rides and seeing different attractions.  We had dinner and then returned to our hotel. 

On the way back to the hotel, my son called and told me he and his family were considering coming up for the day on Saturday.  It was to be a surprise and I was to tell no-one.  He would let me know in the morning. 
Barbara demanded to know what I was talking about with our son, but I can keep a secret and thus made up an excuse as to why he had called.  I told her he invited us to his house for the Super Bowl.  She was suspicious of this since she is the sports nut in the family and why hadn’t he asked her about it.  But she let it go.

Our grandson wanted to sleep with us, and since my daughter had requested a sofa bed be in the room he was able to do it.

The next morning it was warmer and sunny.  Again we packed our swim suits and towels and proceeded to the Islands of Adventure Park which has the majority of the water rides. 

We started out at the Harry Potter Village and ride.  My grandson, who normally is very protective of Barbara led her to believe the Harry Potter ride was PG.  Just as the ride started he admitted to her that it may be R in her rating system.  Once again she kept her eyes closed.

Our next stop was Jurassic Park.  We got onto the river ride, which seemed tame enough.  Even the plunge down was short and sitting in the last row, we didn’t get wet.

Now we headed for the “real” water rides.

In the meantime, I texted my son and he told me he was almost there.  I told him where we were headed.

We stopped and changed into our bathing suits. The ride we chose is called “Popeye”.  It consists of a round raft going down a fast moving watercourse with water streaming into our path from above at various points on the ride; as well as waves coming over the side.  My wife had taken my hat and was wearing it in a futile attempt to keep her hair as dry as possible.  It was not possible.  We came off the ride soaking wet and a little chilled as the temperature outside was pleasant, not hot and the water felt very cold.

As we exited the ride, my son appeared with a camera taking his mother’s picture with her hair wet.  My wife’s refusal to get her hair wet is legendary in the family. He stated the 3 hour car ride was worth this moment and picture.

Everyone but me was surprised and the two families were very glad to see each other.

My 3 year old granddaughter wanted to go on the ride, so she went with along with her mother and father and my other two grandchildren and my son-in-law. Barbara and I and our daughter stayed with our little grandson (2 years old). 

My 3 year old turned out to be fearless.  She loved all the rides and even went on a small rollercoaster.  All of the grandchildren had a great time being with each other.  I went on another water ride with my daughter’s family and then we decided to go back to Jurassic Park because my son’s kids wanted to see the dinosaurs.   
Before going we changed back into dry clothes.

We decided to take the river ride again, since no disasters had occurred the first time and no one got seriously wet.

We boarded the boat, this time sitting in the first two rows.  My daughter-in-law and all the grandkids sat in the front and the rest of us sat in the second row behind them.

The ride preceded on its way much like before.  We came to the plunge, and as we hit the bottom, a wall of water came over the front of the boat, pretty much bypassing the front row and landing smack on the people in the second row, us.

We were all drenched.  If you look carefully you can see Barbara with hair looking like the bride of Frankenstein and her hat flying backwards into the face of the guy behind her.

The front row with my grandkids and daughter-in-law were wet but not drenched.  In addition, my daughter-in law traitorously wore a poncho (she says intelligently) to keep from getting wet.               

Because we were in the back row the first time, we didn’t get wet.  This time, sitting in the front rows, was another story. Now we had no dry clothes.

Much to my surprise, Barbara took it all in good humor.  She didn’t complain and in fact seemed quite amused by being wet and having her hair wet and wild.  This devil may care attitude quickly disappeared once we were home, as she has hidden away the above picture from the place of honor on the refrigerator where I hung it up.

I attribute her show of good humor to her being with the grandkids and not wanting to appear like an old fuddy duddy to them. 

It proves: Grandkids rule!