Amusement parks may very well be the 10th circle of hell as far as I’m concerned. Sure, they can be fun if you’re in the right frame of mind, but not in 90 degree weather and not right after coming from Stone Barns. BUT, we can only blame ourselves. It’s not like the kids came up with the idea themselves and forced us to drive there. It seemed like a good idea at the time, particularly because it’s right on the Long Island Sound, and a swim sounded appealing, but I should have known that as soon as the girls saw the rides they would be thinking of nothing else. The whole experience was jarring in the sense that I can’t think of anything else that’s as polar opposite of how we spent our Sunday morning.
Bucolic farm pastures vs. rainbow colored industrial steel and plastic
Farm animals vs. people in animal costumes singing choreographed dance numbers
Fresh, locally harvested food vs. Popeye’s Chicken and Nathan’s hotdogs
Quiet countryside vs thumping bass and loud music
Still, to see the excitement on the girls’ faces was almost worth the junk food and the lines to get on the rides. I had been to Rye Playland once before. It was the summer after my senior year in high school and some friends and I were visiting our art teacher who lived in a nearby town. I think it’s probably the last time I’d been to an amusement park as a “kid”, still wanting to go on rides. I don’t, however, remember being 4 years old and being such a thrill seeker. I swear Claudine in particular was getting addicted to that adrenaline rush of being twirled around, dropped from high points (that last photo up there? Her favorite ride which she must have gone on about 6 times) and zoomed through a mini roller coaster course. She said that the rides “tickled her tummy” and when she got off each one, she’d do a little hyper excited dance with this goofy grin on her face. Pretty funny stuff. And I guess that’s why as parents we tolerate spending hours in places that we normally wouldn’t want to spend our Sunday afternoons in. I may have loved going on these rides when I was a kid, but now that I am old, just watching the girls being tossed around is enough to make my stomach churn.