December 17th, 2015

happyday

The Berry Farm

I'm kind of in lala land right now; I'm not sure what all happened today. The important thing is, we finished our translation! And we would have finished it early if we hadn't deliberately thrown off our own schedule. We had planned to use today, the last day before our passes get blocked out for the rest of the year, to go to Disneyland and finish up some Gift Quests. Then the Gift Quest in question was rendered irrelevant, so we were going to stay home and take advantage of the extra time, but then we realized we needed a Pluto hat, so off to Disneyland we went! More on that later.

Today, I wanted to write about our berry farm adventures. A week and a day ago, we went to Knott's Berry Farm, which may sound like a place that farms berries, and originally it was. But now it's a theme park! Tadah! And its theme is mostly an expanded Frontierland (even though apparently Knott's Berry Farm started being a theme park before Disneyland was built), but more importantly (these days) is the thrill rides. We don't really like thrill rides, though, so we were mostly there for the theme and the shopping. But first, we went to the RV park to meet up with all of Alice's relatives, with whom we were going.

The day started out with our encountering a child (one of Alice's nephews) who was reading Prince Caspian, and someone asked what book it was in the (Narnia) series, and I said, "Book three! No wait, that's Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It's book two!" And the child, referring to the number on the cover, said, "No, it's book four." And we were like, "No it absolutely is not. The publisher got it wrong." And we launched into a rant about how you can't read The Magician's Nephew before you read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, because it completely ruins the mystery and magic of encountering Narnia for the first time with Lucy. Why must people be so insistent on linear narratives!?

Perhaps in an attempt to put a positive spin on the conversation, Gaston said, "But the movies were really good!" Not to be deterred in my ire, I declared, "No they're not, and here's why." and launched into my rant about how the WHOLE POINT of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is Aslan's sacrifice, and they treated it like an afterthought!

Anyway, apparently the child found all our angry ranting endearing, because he was attached to us for a little while after that. I'm going to guess that it's because we showed genuine interest in something he likes. And then we all drove to Knott's Berry Farm.

We started out with some aimless wandering but eventually we found ourselves in Camp Snoopy, and somehow the first ride there was something called the Sierra Sidewinder. It looked a little too thrilling for us, but we figured if it was in Camp Snoopy (aka: Kids' Corner), it couldn't be that bad, and since there wasn't a line, we got on it. It was a small-ish roller coaster, but the cars were made special, so instead of just facing forward, they spin around as the coaster takes you up and down. It was a pretty wild experience! By the end, Athena says her brain had relocated to one side of her skull, because our car tended to favor certain angles.

We decided that ride was at the edge of what we could handle, and soon thereafter, we discovered that Knott's has a thrill rating system for its rides! The Sidewinder was a 4, so we figured we could go on anything 4 or below...but then we discovered that Big Foot Rapids was a 5. Big Foot Rapids was the very first thrill ride we willingly went on, back when we were eleven years old, and people only convinced us to go on it by assuring us it wasn't that scary...and it really wasn't. We thought maybe they'd changed the ride in the last twenty-two years, but we went on it again and it was the same. This was when we knew with a certainty that Knott's needs to revise its thrill rating system. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

After the Sidewinder and a little Charlie Brown train ride, our group split up, and we went with Gaston and Alice and "the big kids" in search of "big kid" rides. First we came up against the Jaguar, which actually had a fancy queue area (not a very common thing at Knott's), which I found to be rather intimidating, so even though it, too, was a 4, I almost chickened out of this one, but then Alice's father pointed out that they didn't even have shoulder harnesses, so it couldn't be that bad, right? Right. It turned out to be almost relaxing because it really wasn't very fast at all.

On the other hand, the shoulder harness logic was overturned pretty soon thereafter, when we came up against the Xcelerator. It didn't have shoulder harnesses, either, but we looked at the track for it and immediately said, "Nope." It went straight up, over a curve, then straight down. Like an upside-down U. Nope. So Athena and I hung back with the one big kid who was just barely tall enough but didn't want to go on it, either. Unfortunately for him, his parents made him go on the next one (the Boomerang), which included a loop and a half loop, then sends you back through the same track only backwards. But back to the Xcelerator, Gaston reported on it thus, "The good news is, it's over before you can start to cry."

Then there was their newest attraction: Voyage to the Iron Reef. It's a 3D interactive ride that mostly involves shooting mechanical steampunk sea creatures. It was pretty fun but made me motion sick. There are two important things about it. We went on it three times, and every time, Athena (the resident video gamer) managed to get approximately all the special medallion things, while Gaston (naturally) usually had the highest point score (not the first time, but that was because he was playing with two guns, since there was an empty seat next to him). The other important thing is that it had its own special gift shop with awesome plush octopuses. We had one by the end of the day.

And I have been multitasking while writing this post, and I just thought of all the things I still want to write about, but I don't want to do it all right now, so I'm going to save that for later.

Today I'm thankful for finishing our translation today, obtaining a Pluto hat, getting to continue our milkshake quest (today we tried the milkshakes at Flo's V8 Cafe; still not as good as Ghirardelli's), getting to visit the berry farm, and getting a super cool plush octopus.