Last week I traveled to the home state of a good friend and we enjoyed her family and the beauty that is Kentucky for a few days before driving home to Texas (16 hours if you're interested in stats like that). She has three kids and the trip was possible in a day if we shared the driving burden. Actually, with DVD players, Ipods, and earphones, the day was long but enjoyable.
A couple of really cool things happened while in the state known for its love of horses, basketball and bourbon. I got a behind-the-scenes tour of a race track -- an old one with a clubhouse that felt like some man in a smoking jacket would be coming around the corner any second with a cigar and a brandy in hand. The horses were doing an early morning workout and it was cold. The snorting and hot breath were both audible and visible. I loved it.
I also saw an incredible art exhibit which I want to come to Houston (see next post) and enjoyed hanging out with my friends's cousins and sisters. Have you ever seen a Kentucky fan during March Madness? Wow!
But my biggest grin came when my friend's five-year-old got her first glimpse of the wilderness themed water park from the second story of the similarly themed lodge where the entire family was staying for the night. She pressed her face against the window pane that gave a bird's eye view of the plastic trees, buckets of water pouring into other buckets, spewing/spitting/spinning water trails, inflated tubes and pools -- lots and lots of pools. She was quiet for a moment and then said as though hypnotized, "I've always dreamed of this."
When we made it down to the first floor and I walked into the heated chasm and began to take in the three stories of children running wild I had a slightly different reaction:
"I'm in hell. Dante forgot to mention the theme park level."
Of course, as soon as I was pulled away from my cynical state and climbed the tower for my first excursion down a shaft of water on top of an inner tube, I had a bit of a change of heart.
Maybe it wasn't my dream, but it wasn't a nightmare either.
And by 2 p.m. the next day when I discovered the 21 and over hot tub, I was a much happier camper!