Summer Update…..Where are We Going

This winter season has flown by so fast.  Its so hard to believe summer is coming again already.  We were so busy this winter.  We did so many things in the park, that I haven’t written about.  I will start filling them in later.  It seemed we were so busy that I never had the chance to write, always thinking of my next activities to get ready for in the park.  So now we are starting to get some down time.  As of April 1st the Workampers were done.  Everyone is leaving to go up north and back home.  It is like when you were a kid and summer camp was over.  Then you hope all your new friends will come back.  So many good memories are always made.  Now we are having our last dinners out,  our last happy hours,  and our last trips to Mexico with friends.

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Here is our last dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  First couple on the left are Ron and Theresa.  We met them at Adventureland last year.  Theresa works from her trailer on the internet.  They left for Yellowstone National Park on Thurs.  A few stops visiting their kids and Ron will be workamping at a store at the North Entrance.  What a fabulous opportunity,  except for the snow….lol….Just imagine you days off the explore Yellowstone for a whole summer…..Such Memories they will make….”Good Luck Guys”…. Glen and Kathy are next.  They live in Canada at a trailer park.  They will be leaving this weekend.  Of course Canada is colder, so their park actually closes down for the winter.  They don’t turn the water back on till May 1st due to freezing.  They are parking behind us, so it will be sad to see them go.  The last couple on the far right is Bud and Cathy.  They are also from Canada.  This is their first year in our park, but they’ve been down before.  They have also become good friends with us all.   Such fun they all are.  They just had 10 of us over last nite for Happy Hour and Supper.  They will be leaving in another week or two.  Canadians can only be out of their country for 6 months with out getting Visa’s and more formal papers.  They all have a date they must be across.  So for the last month the park has been emptying out.  Some pull their rigs, some leave them and tie them down for storage until fall and drive home, and some leaving everything, including their car and fly home.  Our park has a capacity of over 300 lots, that is RV and permanent Mobile units.  So if you figure 2 people to a trailer, we probably have around 500 here at its peak.  By the time everyone leaves their are around 100 permanent people….A Ghost Town?…..No, They LOVE it.  They say its a time of peace and relaxation….Time to go swimming and lay by the pool all summer day….

So the BIG QUESTION IS…..”WHAT ARE WE DOING THIS SUMMER”?????

We are staying here also.  Rich is working for the park doing trailer repairs and maintenance.  So many of the rental mobiles are in need of things.  New floors, and just a lot of general work.  They sit during the summer, and it takes a huge toll on them.

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My new part time summer job is working at the Cinema 10.  I’m in the Box Office on weekends.  It has A/C.   Now how nice is that.  We have 2 in town, and this one gets the second run movies, so they are also called the “CHEAP Theater”….lol….A daytime ticket is only around $2.  The other theater is Cinema 16, much larger and they also get all the first run movies.   So we can also go to the movies anytime we want.  So something new again.  I’ve never worked a theater before.  So because of this job and staying on for the summer and then still being here next winter,

……..WHAT DO I NEED……”MY OWN CAR”…..

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So here she is…..My 1997 Chevy Lumina with 101,000 miles on it…..She is in excellent shape and a one owner car.  One of the campers decided to give up his trip down from Battle Creek Michigan every year.  He is getting older and his wife died several years ago.  He sold his fifth-wheel, and we bought his car.  Rich let him keep it till he was ready to fly home.  Joe came by at 4am the other morning and picked up Rich.  They drove to the Airport which is only 2 miles and Joe flew home, and now we have a car…..It is sure nice to have my own again.  Also automatic windows and transmission….lol…The little ranger is all manual….”Living in Luxury” now…lol….So now we own …..2…1997 vehicles…..only 20 years behind.   lol.  So now…..The REST OF THE STORY…..

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We are coming home the end of May and first part of June.  We have a time schedule that we have to be back because of my little job at the theater.  We will be doing a short part time job.    We will be working Security at Chillicothe for the Summer Camp Music Festival at Three Sisters Park.  Because we still have our Texas Gate Guarding Security license,   we were able to get this job.  We attended this Festival several years back and we had such a blast.  We are people watchers and it was such a good time.

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The Summer Camp Music Festival is a multi-day music festival created by Jay Goldberg Events & Entertainment and held every year on Memorial Day Weekend at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, Illinois. The event normally attracts around 20,000 visitors, of which between 8,000 and 10,000 arrive before gates open.  It was listed as one of the top 40 music festivals in Rolling Stone Magazine in 2014  They offer over 100 different bands on 7 stages throughout the park.  The park consists of 400 acres of rolling hillsides full of grassy areas for parking, tent camping, amphitheater, Farmhouse, Chapel and authentic reproduction timber barn.  Acres of fields for festival events as well as shaded forest areas.   All the required elements for a Fabulous Music Festival. 

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When we were here before, it was so much fun to watch the activity.  All the “flower children”  from the 70’s, now grown up,  bringing their family’s and still wearing tie dye, funky clothes,  and having a blast dancing and doing what “all comes natural”…..lol….

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The entertainment is fabulous, the light shows are awesome.  I think the best part is just riding threw the camp sites and seeing all the people.   How they camp, dress,…..lol….and how they interact with everyone.  How much will we see as we are working?  I don’t know ….But just being their in the presence of it all will be enough.  After that visiting with all the kids and then back to Texas so I don’t loose my little job at the theater.   Then in September we hope to be back.  Rich will work the harvest, and I might only stay for a week or 2.   It all depends on the cat…..We want to drive up then in the car, and I would take the train back, but Its Kitty…..He is the problem….I guess time will figure that out…..We need a Kitty Care Person to babysit…

…….So That is Our Summer Plans…….

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….