My day started off with enjoying my protein shake out on the porch in 55 degree weather. Realizing I hadn’t connected with Mom in a while, we chatted for a long time before heading out to Six Flags Great America for the day.
Let me start by saying this….living near Disney World for the last 10 years has spoiled me on Theme Parks. The “Disney” I had growing up in the nearby State was THIS Six Flags. Nothing was more exciting to me than a full day of rides, cotton candy, twisty unicorn suckers, and nachos. My favorite memory was my 16th Birthday celebrated at Great America, and I won a Buffalo with pink hair that stood as tall as me- 5 ft! Imagine me walking around with this huge buffalo on my back, basically like carrying around a loveseat beanbag with hair. Seriously, it was hilarious. I loved the spinning rides, the water rides, the IMAX, and running into the characters. Nope, not the rollercoasters, too scared of heights. Still enough to do, and I made the most of my childhood here.
But now….. maybe it’s Covid, maybe it’s time, maybe it’s the lack of caring. The Six Flags I remember has been replaced with broken down rides, garbage everywhere, paint peeling here and there, and not a team member who seemed to care. I realize it’s a job, it’s probably not that exciting, but it does count when at Disney, Cast Members are smiling, happy to see you, greeting you with open arms, and more than willing to help you with something. Now, my ticket was $30- and then $25 for parking. Still cheaper than a day at Disney, but this is more like a day at the County Fair now.
My favorite ride as a child was the double-decker Carousel at the entrance…it was always so exciting to see and ride the first thing of my day. I of COURSE rode it today, Walter needed to ride it too, but there was no music. None. It was creepy, and we asked where the music was and of course got it “I don’t know.” Great, thanks for the help. LOL
We rode some other things, but most of my favorite stuff was closed. Several eateries, stores, and including rides, were shut down. Yes, like Disney, but for some reason I had hoped coming out of Covid it would be different. Lesson learned, and honestly, it was my last time. You have this moment as an adult when you realize that you’re good, you don’t need to repeat things to keep the memories alive. They happened, they exist, you enjoyed it at one time, and now it’s time to move on. So many wonderful times here with Craig and the girls, my parents, my brother, Kim and her Bachelorette party….and of course my Campus Life group and High School friends. It was time to close that chapter, and I was really ok with it.
Every time I am in this area, I have to hit up Gurnee Mills. For those who don’t know what this is, it’s a large indoor Outlet Mall that has Rainforest Café, the Disney Store, and a HUGE Bass Pro Shop! It was kind of a thing we would make a weekend of- one day at Six Flags, overnight it at a hotel, and then a day of shopping at Gurnee. We had a great time walking around, finding GREAT gifts at Disney, and then headed out to find dinner closer to home base.
Now lunch was basically a snack, but it was something. Chicken fingers and fries at Great America, so I did eat somewhere new. But dinner was a wonderful indulgence of 2 pounds of crab legs, warm butter, baked potato and seasoned green beans at Red Lobster. I also treated myself to a Mojito, which was good, but not “Ale House” good. Good enough to get a bit lit before I headed to Target, cleaned my car and packed, addressing postcards, and now watching “The Cave” while blogging.
One full day here tomorrow yet and then I head off to Wisconsin early Friday morning. My cup runneth over, I am ever so grateful. See you tomorrow.
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