My grandsons, eldest daughter and “son in law” shared their family
day with me, yesterday! It ended up a wonderful time, despite an
overcast sky and torrential rains around 3:15 p.m. We were at the
water park next to the Columbus Zoo, “Zoombezi Bay.”
I was going to be assigned the care of Micah, age 4 but when Skyler
heard that, he asked to tag along. Last year, M. being 3, there was
a nap time included on the lounge chairs by the “baby pool area.”
Skyler was going to miss out on all the giant water rides, slides and
rock n rolling stuff with his Mom and stepdad. Turned out, later, after
the rain stopped and Nana was headed home, he got a chance to
go on two of those wild rides.
Our first part of playtime, was to go to the big Pirate Ship that has
cannons that shoot water, floating rafts that you can lie on but look
like they are wooden rafts like Huckleberry Finn rode down the good
ole’ Mississippi River. I am able to mention this to Skyler since he has
seen the old time “Huck Finn” movie made in possibly the nineties?
It had the cute blonde boy from the Tim Allen t.v. series, “Home
Improvement.” Now, I think I better look up that date… (1991- 99).
The now grown man is named Jonathan Taylor Thomas.
I asked him, “Skyler, do you remember who Huck Finn was?”
S. answered, “Was he going down the river with a black man named
“Yep, your Mom probably loves that show since you know the details!”
S. looked at me funny, “Nana, I ask to watch that because he has a
lot of fun adventures on that raft!”
M. just laughed, “Push me, Nana, so I go in circles on my raft!”
Soon, getting bored with the beginning part of the fun stuff, we got
off our rafts and headed up onto the pirate ship, crawling up rope
ladders and looking around. Promptly, Micah went back down the
slide and into the water!
We looked down, and all of a sudden a lifeguard was whistling and
pointing at ME! I figured that I was supposed to be with M. at all
times so slid down the slide.
A walking lifeguard, motioned over to me by the one up on the tall
lifeguard chair scolded me!
“Ma’m, you are not allowed on the Pirate Ship!”
Turns out the height limit for the Pirate Ship is 54″! Oops! Nana broke
the posted rules!
We headed over to this building that is out in the water by the Pirate
Ship and got under a huge bucket. From a distance, this looks like
someone’s imaginary vision of a watermill combined with a sawmill.
There are streams of water that come shooting everywhere on this,
I was allowed on the platforms, rope ladders and bridges. I was
also told by Skyler,
“Stand here, Nana!” when a big work whistle blew! It reminded me
of the end of the day for Fred Flinstone and his buddy, Barney.
I heard kids start rushing towatds this area and whoosh! The biggest
bucket ever dumped water all over us!
Micah was safely hiding in a wooden barrel on a platform next to us.]
He knew the “drill!” I could have guessed it, but the first time, said,
“Skyler, you tricked me!!”
When it came to the long and narrow tube slides that zig zagged in
different directions, I asked if Skyler could wrap his legs around M.
and go down with him. That was fine with the two of them and I
climbed down the rope ladders to a very nice “island” where a fake
palm tree was. I heard a macaw, looked around and there was a
real macaw, a beautiful azure blue, golden claws and beak. A few
fluffy feathers on his or her chest. The netting around his cage
was made of rope and the little island could be reached if walked
to or swum to.
I just propped my feet on my own little island and imagined a nice
cool Long Island Iced Tea or Strawberry Margarita in my hand.
A shriek broke my solitude and escape from reality, was that one
minute or five that I was peaceful?
I looked all of a sudden up one of the three tubes that the boys
could have been coming down, found Micah who had somehow
wriggled out of Skyler’s grip and was zooming towards me!
I grabbed him up and hugged him, asking, “Are you okay?”
What do you think he said?
You are correct!
“I wanna go again!”
I asked Skyler if there were a height requirement or if Micah
could go alone down the shoots? He said,
“Silly Nana, anyone can go down these slides by themselves,
they are covered so where can they go but down? No one is
going to fall out of them like other rides!”
“You gotta be smarter than the average bear, Boo Boo!”
Yogi would have known that answer and possibly even little
I spent almost an hour watching them go up and down the
rope ladders and slide down one of the three choices for
tubes. It was quite relaxing, no problems, and we ended up
heading to the lounge chairs at the agreed upon time for
lunch and met their parents.
Lunch was a smorgasbord for them, consisting of chili cheese
fries, hamburgers, hot dog (for Micah), onion rings and some
lemonade for the boys, and soda pop for the parents. I ate my
crunchy peanut butter and jelly sandwich, my mixed berry
applesauce and my popcorn leftover from my t.v. snacks
popped the previous night.
The afternoon was spent on the “Lazy Kalahoochie River.”
Micah chose to be on an individual floating soft blow up style
raft, I started with Carrie on a double “O” raft and we ended
up snagging another one, where she and I could lie with our
heads on one end, our behinds on the middle and feet over
end. It may have looked like an “8” more than a double “O”
raft, come to think about it. Skyler had his “8” and Mike,
Carrie’s partner, Micah’s Dad, Sky’s stepdad, walked the
river, making sure we didn’t get our heads under waterfalls
and Micah didn’t capsize too often!
We saw a log, above our heads, filled with turtles between 6″
to about 2 feet big all lined up and looking at all of the people
floating by them; not “fazed” a bit by their daily sight!
While floating down the river, I heard that older song, “Day- O,”
sung by Harry Belafonte. Also, they had some calypso music
with Jimmy Buffett thrown it. It is hard not to relax and enjoy
those floating moments. Frees your mind of any or all worries!
Overall, I would say, hope you all can “cast away” and have
a fantastic escape from your “daily grind” sometime this
I am no longer “blue” about school starting since I played
“hooky” from the good ole’ Advance Auto distribution center
and lazed around on islands and on manmade lazy rivers!