Saturday, August 2, 2014

Summer's First Mistake (albeit a minor one)

My trip to Dorney was the bridge too far with my kids this summer. It's a good park, but wasn't worth the cost in time or money this year. It might be next year, when Caroline will be tall enough to qualify for many of the rides and when I can figure out a way to not be the only parent on the trip. I think Sam enjoyed the day there. No, I know he did. But I'm not sure the same is true for Caroline.

I have no photographic record of my trip.

My trip there created my first moment this summer when I was really conscious of the money I was spending, and I think it was my most expensive day of the summer. I say that even after park personnel made an exception and permitted me to carry in the lunch I had prepared for the kids, something in clear violation of the park's let's-make-money philosophy. One gets hit quite a few times before even beginning the fun part of the trip: parking for $15, locker rental for $20 (this is, of course, in addition to the admission that we obtained from ticket sales back in Lansdale).

I've been spoiled by the relative inexpense of camping. We've made three trips this summer. At Hickory Run, a campsite only costs $24 a night. At Promised Land $19. Before yesterday, my one-day trip to New York seemed a bit pricey but I don't see it that way any more. And that trip to the city meant a lot more to me (and I think to the kids).

My faithful readers might not know what prompted my trip: My good friend, Brian, was back home from Texas visiting his folks, who live in the Allentown area. Brian and his family invited us to dinner, so I thought it might be fun to make a day of it up there. Upon reflection, I probably should have enjoyed the day in Lansdale and then traveled up for dinner. The dinner was great. Or, I could've taken the kids to Knoebels . . . and figure out a way to bring another grown up with me.

As of today, I get my partner back, however. We start our vacation tomorrow, a day earlier than planned. I look forward to the shared decision-making. Though it's been a fun summer, I'm eager to have the other parent with me, so I'm not the only one with the direction.

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