2 nd Annual Oktoberfest at Adventureland….Amazing

Finally, Oktoberfest arrived, the event we have been waiting for.  It was a long day but so much fun and amazing to watch what the Park had accomplished.  It was so professionally done.  It was a classy affair that had something for everyone.  It was affordable to anyone according to their wishes.  Or you could spend and drink and party to your hearts delight.

Oktoberfest was not something we knew about at first.  This is an affair separate from what the Workampers were expected to do to finish their season.  Last year which was the 1st, was much smaller, so this year the plans had grown and escalated to quite a large affair.  We kept hearing about the plans,  games would be open in 2 of the 3 areas, and many of the large rides would also be open.  It sounded exciting, so we decided to stay and work.  A number of other Workampers stayed also.  After last Sunday of working, which was the last day we had to stay to satisfy our bonus, many of the Workampers left the campground.  It was really a mass exit…..Then mid week all the weekenders started filling up the lots again, just for Oktoberfest.  By Friday we were quite full again….

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We knew they were putting new LED lighting on the Big Wheel.  Last Thursday, Rich looked out the window towards the park and he said, Look the Big Wheel lights are on.  We sat their and watched in delight, and then drove the golf cart to the parking lot.  I took pics and a video.  It was so beautiful.  The colors changed, moved in a wheel, moved in swirls…..It was so pretty.  They ran all evening till 10pm and again Friday nite.  Finally Saturday came.  We arrived at 10:15 am to turn in our uniforms for the year.  I was in Games again and was assigned Alpine which would be up by the main stage….This is just where I wanted to be.  Right in the middle of the action.  Now Rich was assigned to the Tilt a Whirl. He would be near the back of the park and probably wouldn’t see as much action.  This year they would be having 13 bands on 7 different stages through out the park at different times.  Wow.  It was a rather cool morning to start, so I wore jeans.  It was going to be a casual affair for us in Games as many of our rules were relaxed.  We could buy from the many food vendors in the park, and their were many (although Rich had to eat in the commissary, strange, it was a rule for Rides. ).  We were also allowed to take our phones.  Soooo pictures….YES…..So the gates opened at 11 am.

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Their just so happened to be 2 Iowa football games that afternoon, so things started slowly.  They had also brought in a big screen for the bands so they also played the football games for those interested.  Tickets were only $15 to enter, that also got you a mug with Samuel Adams Beer.  Very reasonable.  At break time I wandered the park and bought a sandwich and found some really cool things they were offering for fun to play.  No cost.

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Bean Bags on Main Street

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Connect Four….. King Size

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Huge Jenga……These were placed in a number of places through out the park.

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Ladder Ball

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This was really cool….It is a moustache Tetter Totter

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Beer Pong….Everyone was having so much fun.  They also added some other beer games that cost.

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Pumpkin Launch….Their was a small wooden boat in the water.  If you made it you got a fun trinket, Key chain or beads I believe.

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Keg Bowling…..lol…I think this is self explanatory….I believe all these games were $3 each….not to expensive…

How about Speed Beer….Shake up a can of beer and throw it…See how fast you can throw…..As the day progressed, more people came.  Finally I heard at 6pm the tickets booths outside were standing line, and the parking lot was getting full.  The last i heard our count was 7,000 people.  I was working the game Mr. Frog, which was near main stage.  All the bands were playing through the park at different times, but main stage was going to be playing last until 9:30 and then the ……Fireworks….Grand Finale…..The last band began…..The Spazmatics…..They were so good.   They played music of the 80’s….Fabulous sounds and High Energy music….It turns out, they are a “Chain Band” from Chicago.  That means their are many chains of the same band through out the US.  Listening to them and watching the Big Wheel lites behind them was just Magical.

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The people were having a blast, dancing and moving and singing to the music.  The crowds became so thick, I couldn’t hardly see the band anymore.   Lots of people were stopping to play Mr. Frog though.  I became very busy.

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This game is really a neat game that has been here for years.  You buy rubber frogs to launch in a launcher.

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You hit it with a mallet and try to land the frog in the white lily pad that is moving in circles in the water. So as you know, most people miss and the frog lands in the water.  So I have to pluck the frogs out…..lol…by the end of the evening I was soaked….You get 3 frogs for $3, 6 for $5 or 15 for $10.  People love this game.

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All through the park the big rides were running.  Rich said he had lines all night.  Nonstop.  The big rides were busy ..Monster, Tornado, Space Shot and the Storm SearchEveryone was having a blast, most of them walking around with a mug of beer in hand.  But was their any problems?  You would think that alcohol and all the rides wouldn’t mix.  I heard of a few problems but the police force were patrolling through the park all nite.  From my and Rich’s viewpoint, everyone was  well behaved.  They were laughing, singing, dancing….Being Happy…..Finally it was almost 9:30 and the band called last song.   Soon as the last chords were played the Fireworks began…..Beautiful  fireworks in the sky.   What a wonderful fitting finish to an Evening of Magic…..

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My Manager Devin……Really Good Guy…..

 

So the lights on the Big Wheel continued till 10 pm.   We packed up the games for the last time this season….Counted my frogs for inventory….lol…Put them in their plastic bin to be taken in the building….Said my goodbyes to the kids I worked with…..Little by little the people cleared out….Rich and I headed back to the employees area, turned in our last shirts we had on and left the building…..Got in our golf cart and headed to our campsite for the last time this year……Whewwww…..Finally, its over…..but its Bittersweet….We are ready to leave but, its also sad to leave…….Well weve been packing for several days, so Sunday we packed up what was left and left by 2 pm….Headed to Illinois….but ohhhh soooo Tired….Worked almost 12 hours Saturday…….Didn’t realize I was so tired…..

But What a Wonderful Day and Evening it Was…..Adventureland, you put on a Class Act….

 

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Labor Day Over….A Week Home

Labor  Day weekend was the last big FLING at the park for the year.  We worked all 3 days.  I worked doubles being it was the only hours you can have now.  Saturday and Sunday was 10 am. – 10 pm.  It was a long day but the weather was beautiful.  The temperature was high 70’s and low 80’s. “A PERFECT WEEKEND.”   On Labor Day Monday, the park was open 10 am – 7 pm.  The park was full of people.  It was the last day of Adventureland Bay.  The water park will be closed for the season, but the Adventureland park it self will be open weekends till the end of September.  We were busy all day and evening.  It was sad on Saturday evening to look out and realize that we wouldn’t be seeing the lights of the “Monster” in the beautiful park anymore.  The sights and sounds of the park are just magical at nite.  The beautiful colors of the twirling rides, and the reflections of the buildings and lights in the lake by …..Dragon……

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We will be closing earlier now on weekends and it will still be light. We had decided to take off the following week end and head home for a week.  The one problem was the cat.  Kitty has never road in the pickup.  Also he had no place to stay.  Tammy said he could stay their as it was his house, but she has a big dog “Chaos” and a cat “Charlie”.   But that was what we decided to do.  The nite before we went to Dairy Queen and took him for his first ride.  Kitty was curious, but we thought that was all it was.  When Rich opened the door at Dairy Queen, Kitty ran out the door.   OMG.   I panicked, and ran for him.  He went up by the building and under the picnic tables.  He was near the drive-up but their was a railing up that intimidated him.  He could have went through it but he backed away.  Finally we cornered him under the picnic table.  The next day we took off for our 4 hour drive.

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I put his soft harness on.  He again was curious.  He was nervous and kept walking around.  Finally he settled down under Richs feet while he was driving.  Half way into the trip, we decided to stop at a rest stop.  I took him out and hooked up his leash.  I kept walking towards the bushes and fields.  It was really hot and he started panting.   Took him over to the water hydrant and he wanted no part of that.  lol  Finally took him back to the truck, tried to give him some water and he wouldn’t drink.   So we headed on down the road.  …….Poor Kitty…….

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He was so tired and exhausted.  I think he was actually dehydrated and exhausted by the time we got home.  I carried him in the house and he ran for the bedroom and went under the bed.  That was the end of him for several hours.  I got his food, water and litter pan all set up and we closed the door  so he could rest alone.  I stayed at Tammys and took her bedroom that night.  He climbed in bed and was much better by morning.  In the morning we were all in the living room and Chaos ran down the hallway.

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He is part Lab and Pit Bull.  I was worried about him hurting Kitty.  Tammy ran down the hall as the dog started running and barking.  She SCREAMED…..”Mom, come get Kitty, he just got TWICE THE SIZE that he was…..lol..lol…She was worried about the dog and she was afraid Kitty of sink his claws in her dog.   Well poor Kitty just set the dog straight…..He said,  “I am BOSS, this was my house first.  Stay away from me”…..It was really funny.  Later we let her cat up from the basement.

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His name is “Charlie”.  He is a beautiful Persian.  Now Charlie was curious and wanted to play, but soon found out, Kitty does NOT PLAY.   He is an OLD MAN.  They had a few scrapes but managed to be respectful.  I kept seeing Charlie staring at him around corners and across the room.  By the time we left, Kitty was walking fairly freely through the house.  I was really amazed.

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This is “Dexter”, Tina and Ed and the kids dog.  He is a Golden Doodle who is going on 2 years old.  He is a very loveable and active dog.  He is almost like another “son”  in the house.  lol.

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Now Brandy and Scott have 2 house cats.  Both came as strays.  The yellow is “Seymour”, and the gray is “Clyde”.  lol.   Seymour has finally become lovable, but Clyde really likes to hiss at you.  So these are all the animal cousins…..lol…..

One day, Tammy went to work and forgot some papers, so Carly and I went to Peoria.  We got to tour the Kindred Hospital and seen where her momma works.   Carly loved that.  Then we went to Steak and Shake.

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Tammy said she would know just what she wanted by the pictures and she did.  We had to sit by the window by the Illinois River.  I had gotten some stuffed animals at the park for the kids so we gathered them together to give them out.  Cassidy didn’t make it, as she had went to her friends.

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They had fun.  Carly is far left, Austin, and then Miley.  Around their necks, you can see a stuffed snake.  I got Cameron a huge snake.  He has wanted to buy a real Python in an aquarium for his room.  I told him if he ever did that, I wouldn’t go in the house again.  So “Here is your snake”…..lol…..The only one I allow.

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He is a hard one to get a nice picture, but I managed to get this one uptown.  He’s doing what he does best…..driving….lol…Rich had his own agenda of fixing things.   Theirs always things to fix when we go home.  He also goes through the garage putting tools and things BACK WHERE THEY BELONG….Hmmmmm….Now why is that…..I also got a Biker Bear for Scott for the Bar.

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He was so big.  I looked at him for a long time, hanging in one of the games.   Finally I bought him.

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He was so BIG, he had to sit in the passenger seat with Rich.  I sat in the back and held him up.

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So here he is in his new home.  “One Paw’z Pub”…..McNabb, Illinois.   He’s going to be nothing but a BARFLY….lol…That weekend was also “ONE PAW’Z PUB’s”Pre Harvest Hoe Down.  Scott and the local Car Club had the Main Street blocked off.  He had a Band staged on his flat bed truck trailer.  Around 70 cars showed up for the Car Show.   Some Beauty’s’  That will be the next blog.   We left to go back on Wed. so we could have 2 days off before the weekend.  Groceries were needed and laundry to do.   And ya know we don’t have to move fast anymore, so 2 days to rest up is Wonderful.   I went back to Tammy’s that morning as we have been staying at Scotts, and put Kitty’s harness on and carried him to the car.  He was such a trooper all the way home.  I think he now realized it was ok.  He slept, although his space was not to big, but he didn’t get upset or anything.  He was fine.  We were all glad to get home.  Kitty walked in just like he was glad to be home from his vacation.   So Poor Kitty at 16 is still learning new things.  He learned how to ride in a pick up.  He learned how to live in his old house for 8 days with a dog and cat that had invaded his house.

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This is his new thing to learn.   How to go outside in a pen and not wander.  Now this is a problem.  He doesn’t understand yet.  He walks in circles and thinks he should be out under the motorhome……Not a Good Place for Him……

 

 

Eastgate Friends & More Adventureland

We’ve had a break in the heat.  This past week it has cooled down to the 80’s.  So much nicer.  Makes your day at the park so much more enjoyable.  In fact last Tue. it rained all day, so they closed the park.  That does not happen very often.  One evening I worked in Alpine which is in front of the park.  I forgot my hat, so I went back in the morning to get it.  I went in through the employees entrance about a half hour before opening.  I retrieved my hat and decided to have a wonderful waffle cone made with Blue Bunny Ice creamThe Creamery faces the opening of the gates into the square.  The girl said it was something to witness the opening of the park from the inside, so I sat their and waited…..and watched….

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Our park characters came out to welcome everyone at the gates…..One of them is Bernie the St. Bernard……They each go to the 2 different gate openings.

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Finally it was 10 am….The gates on both sides of the carousel opened.  They were like a herd of cattle….Stampeding…..It was crazy they way they came in running as fast as they could to be the first…..lol….Not only the kids, the adults too….

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Here is the inside of the Creamery.  Very cheerful and bright….As I turned around to look through the doors, all the people came running from the 2 gates, converging on Main St..….For my own safety, I stayed inside until the “HERD” had passed…..Then I walked out with my wonderful Waffle cone filled with Chocolate Mint and Praline Pecans…..Mmmmmmm….so good…..

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On my way out another Park Greeter…..Glad he has a Cane……Long fall if he tripped….

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This week Rich has been the A-Train Engineer….The first picture is the station.  Now this was an extremely hot day.  That’s why the kids look so miserable…..lol… A friend of ours, Ron, asked his wife to come and take some pictures of Rich.  I was trying to figure out how to take these pictures as I can’t bring in my phone.   Theresa came in probably one of the hottest days.   She did an awesome job.  These pictures are so nice.  Thanks again Theresa.  Ron and Theresa will also be joining us at Eastgate this winter…..Can’t Wait….

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THE A-TRAIN     With Engineer Rich…..

This is my favorite picture.  The train makes a round trip about every 15 minutes…..It Choo-choos as it leaves and comes into the station, and also has the old time bells that clang as it comes in also….Really neat….Now for our day off on a Friday……….

A friend from Eastgate text me, Gail.   Gail and Dewey live near Kansas City.  They wanted to come up and have lunch….We were so excited to see them.   We met at Olive Garden on the west side of Des Moines.  It was easier for them as it was a direct shot from their house.

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We had such a wonderful visit with them.  We probably sat their for over 2 hours.  The waitress was very gracious.  Gail and Dewey were winter residents of Eastgate for over 17 years.  They both had other mates.  Gail’s husband passed a number of years back, and her and Dewey got together.     Such a wonderful Happy couple.   Rich played pool with Dewey.  He is a Pool Shark….lol…He is good and he believes in …..RULES……Don’t mess with him….Gail also plays pool.  The women have their own pool time at the hall.  Last February, they decided it was time to leave.  It was sad but times change.   Gail was missing out on her family as it grew.  They both wanted to leave in a car….not a Body Bag.   Sounds morbid doesn’t it.  But many do.

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This is their new adventure in life.  They are looking for that first house together.  In the mean time they are living with Gail’s daughter.  They  are such a Super Couple.  We miss them, but they are really enjoying life.  Thank You guys for taking the time to come and visit us…….  Happy Trails…….

Another thing I want to mention is our daughter Tina,  has a new Job.  She works at the Putnam County Court house in Illinois as the Deputy Probation Officer. 

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This is her new office.  We think this is pretty exciting news.  Putnam County is the smallest county’s in Illinois.  It consists of 6 small towns.  In fact some are just villages.  It has 1 school district consisting of 1 high school in Granville, 1 junior high outside of McNabb, and 2 other elementary schools in Hennepin and Granville.  Lots of busing for the students, but it is a great county and school district to bring up your children.  All 3 kids ended up moving back to Putnam Co.  All the grandkids are attending school their.   Remember when you were a kid?  You couldn’t wait to graduate to leave and never come back…..lol….and then you grow up…..Common sense moves in….

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I’ll close this blog with a few more pictures of the “Monster”.   I never get tired of watching it.  As I work games in the County Fair area, I look up and see the Monster all day.   This was another picture taken by Theresa……..Yep….Not for me…

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Nite time….It is such a beautiful site at night……You hear the car flying over the rails…The people screaming at every turn….the lights are dazzling….Music in the distance….If you look close, in the center you will see the cars on the Sky Ride…..It goes from one end of the park to the other at tree top level.  That will help you understand the size of the “Monster”….It travels through the loops of the Monster.  It was purchased from the 1974 Worlds Fair in Spokane Washington.   Amazing isn’t it.   Many of these rides have such a wonderful history.

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This is another cool picture……The Storm Search looking through the loop of the Monster.  The Storm Search was added in 2014.   So only 3 weeks left of the park being open 7 days a week.  After the 3rd week in August, it will open only weekends……

Whewwww……Were going to make it after all…..I had my doubts for awhile……

 

4th of July….Adventureland

The 4th was a beautiful weekend.  The temps had cooled down to mid 80’s.  We even brought our sweatshirts several days as the evenings were so cool.  The park was open till 10pm on Fri. Sat. and Sun.  Of course we have Fridays off together now.  We went across the street to Prairie Meadows Casino and Race Track for lunch.

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They had a great buffet with everything one could ever want.  Salad and Dessert bars were to die for.  lol.   Yes all for only $21 for both of us.  You could almost spent that at McDonalds.  After we went up just one floor and checked out the casino.

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Pretty typical of a casino.  All the same machines and tables.  It was decorated very colorful and all the bells were ringing of course.  The one thing I don’t remember was the smell of Cigarettes.  Must be smoke free.  But I still seen the people gambling with their Oxygen tubes hooked up.  Sad isn’t it, that’s all they have to do.  SSI check comes in and off they go to gamble.  We walked to the back and that’s where the big windows were that looked out over the Horse Race Track.

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The water trucks were preparing the track for the weekend races.  Their were lots of outside tables to the right and left of the picture and inside their were all the box seats.  Seems like a lot for just a few minutes of racing.   I guess I just have never appreciated horse racing.

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We left deciding to come back again for the buffet……Excellent….and maybe spending $20 next time gambling.  lol  .  Saturday and Sunday, we of course worked.  Rich is working the Himalaya this week as the Operator this time.  This gives him an enclosed area that has AC.  How nice.  I was up in the Alpine Arcade area.

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These pictures are taken with my old camera, as we cannot take our phones in to work…..Bummer…..The quality of colors inside is ok, but outside in the evening, they are horrible.  This is called Water Gun Fun.  Its a squirt gun game.  I worked this game all day.

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This was my friend Carolina, (pronounced Catalina, like the dressing) who was my reliever during break.  She is from Brazil, and is really a neat person to talk to with her accent.  More about her later.  The prizes are these cute little dragons.

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Another picture of the Arcade area.

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These girls are the Manager and Assist. Manager of Alpine for the nite.  Very nice girls, both still in High School, but very good at what they do.  Jordyn on the left and Morgan on the right.  We can tell what our positions are by the striping on our shirts under the arms.  Ours are a light blue.  Now Morgan’s is more of a medium blue, which designates an Assistant Manager.  Jordyn’s, if you could see hers, has a black insert.  That is for managers.  All areas have the same shirts so it is easy to tell what their position is.  Then by reading their name tag, you can tell what area they are in, Games, Rides, Retail or Foods.  All Company or important people…..lol…are dressed in Black shirts and Kaki colored slacks.

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This is a picture of the Big Wheel…..So much prettier than this.  In this picture the lights blended together, when their were really many different colors….That’s what the ole camera does.  lol.  But it is just beautiful at night.   All the pretty colors of the rides as they go around and round.   The sounds of the different rides and the laughter and voices of the kids.  And theirs always the sound of the train whistle as they start their ride on the rails.  At 9:30 pm Prairie Meadows had a fireworks display, but we couldn’t see anything because of the trees, but we sure could hear it.  Beautiful sounds.  The next night was the 4th of July.  I worked in County Fair.

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I worked the Goblets Game.  This is a game of chance.  You toss a whiffle ball in the rink.  If it falls on white, you lose.  Yellow gets you a small snake. Red is a medium and the center blue is a large.  You can also trade up.  3 small makes a medium, 3 med. makes a large.  Several guys came up and played and played.  You can also buy a bucket of balls with a small prize in it.

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After lots of laughter and money spent,  these guys won and traded up to several large snakes.   Notice the one kid has the snake head on top his head.  They had won many other prizes.  Now I am pretty sure that they had to have spent way over $100 to win all these stuffed animals.  But they sure had a good time winning.

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As the evening progressed I watched the Storm Chaser.  It is so cool to be near it when it goes up.  They leave their shoes and belongings on the ground as they will lose them.

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This is the Storm Chaser as the sun set and darkness came.  Such a beautiful site.

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This camera doesn’t show of the true colors.

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Once it reaches the top, it goes around faster and the swings swing way out.

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Finally it came time for the Parks fireworks.  They were set off on the other side of the park.  We were allowed to walk up a ways to watch.  We could only see the high ones, over the Monster.  They were pretty.

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The beautiful lights of the rides, the music playing in the different areas, and the laughter of the people made it a magical evening with the park closing at 10 pm.  Now that our golf cart  is here, it is so easy to go home.  Rich parks it right at the Security gate.  We meet each other there when the park closes and head home.  That nite the traffic was horrible.  The cops were directing traffic, which was stopped…….and we just drove off through the parking lot and sidewalks and over to the campground……it just takes minutes…..From now on the Park will be open from 11 am to 9 pm Sunday-Thursday and on Friday and Saturdays were open till 10 pm.  So our nites are late now.  We work all the Pm shifts.  The park stays open until the last week of Aug.  That week they will close on week days and only be open on weekends till the last of Sept.  As long as we stay till then, we will be paid a bonus money per hour we worked.  So it is worth it staying, especially as we still get free camping.   Its really a nice package deal.  More people are leaving every week, but they have their own issues.  Some depts. have their own problems, some of them can’t take the heat.    If you look at the whole deal, it is really a great seasonal job.  Just imagine if you received a pay check and didn’t have to pay rent or electric.  All we do is buy food.  Meals at the Commissary are cheap also.  Today we had Turkey, Dressing, Mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and green bean casserole.  All for $2 with your drink.   What a deal.

Stay tuned for my next blog…..We went and met friends last Friday and visited Rieman Gardens in Ames Iowa…..FABULOUS…..