Observations from a Water Park in 2013
Each summer, my family makes at least one trip to a water park. Normally, it has been to one in the city where we live. But this year, I bring my observations to you from the SeaWorld parks of Aquatica and Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida where we are vacationing. Aquatica is the traditional water park with slides, wave pools, and various medieval torture devices for middle-aged people. Discovery Cove – which I highly recommend – is a park where you can swim with all manner of sea life including dolphins. Together, they are the perfect storm of capitalism, Americana culture, and international travelers.
1. The “body mass to swimsuit fabric” ratio is still way too low.
2. Many people believe that if they wave their arm in the air long enough that the family on the other side of a sea of humanity will eventually see them. They are wrong.
3. A fact that escapes many people is that aerosol sunscreen is light enough to be blown around by the gentlest breeze. This was illustrated by the lady who sat two tables away from us in the outdoor restaurant area and sprayed down her teenage son while I tried to eat my lunch.
4. If you ever needed proof of the sinfulness of man, you need not look any further than the makers of Speedo bikinis in adult men’s size.
5. Teenage girls: “Modesty” is a real word. Please, please look it up.
5b. Middle-aged women: Please see #5.
6. The choice of a man having three carousel horses tattooed on his back is one of the most unique and/or tragic I’ve witnessed.
7. Once in your 40s, the placement of a man’s swimming trunks after a water slide is never the same as at the beginning of said water slide.
8. Orlando is the happiest place on Earth. Except for toddlers when it is their naptime and the family has decided to stay out for a little while longer. Then, it is unhappiest place on Earth for the child, the family, and everyone else within a 35-yard radius.
9. No matter when you visit a water park, there is always one guy in blue jeans.
10. Promotional photos of people gently going down slides with looks of glee on their faces are all lies.
11. No matter how hard one tries, a stroller will not roll through the sand.
12. The Lazy River should be renamed. I would like to submit: The Pre-Pubescent Boys are Knuckle-Heads Journey of Frustration.
13. Some guys wake up one day and say to themselves: “You know what would look good on me? Metal rings through my nipples!” (If you are such a guy, please do not hunt me down. You obviously have a higher tolerance for pain and would easily win in a fight.)
14. Unlike my fellow Southerners in the United States, international travelers are immune to the call of the Wave Pool announcement. We, however, are like Pavlov’s dog; completely unable to resist yelling “Woooooo!” and running for the water when the horn sounds.
15. Even when wearing swimming suits at a water park, when it rains, people scramble out of the pools and hide under umbrellas. Including the Nation family.
16. The use of an iPad as a camera in a water park is way too common.
17. My assumption that the wetsuit I wore, mask I put over my face, and snorkel I put in my mouth were all sanitized now disturbs me deeply.
18. Stingrays do not like for you to grab them. Ever.
19. The force of two toddlers running their heads into one another in a pool is equal to the force of a thermonuclear bomb. Or, at least the sound and aftermath feels that way.
20. Eating meals consisting of cheeseburgers, churros, hot dogs, French fries, and soda of various types is still a bad idea when you are out in the sun all day and bathrooms are not conveniently located any where you go.
(for my 2012 observations, click here)
image credit: Orlando Sentinel