Monday, June 08, 2009

And Then, I Yelled at Those Kids to Get Off My Lawn!

I'm a terrible, sentimental traditionalist. There are certain things that I don't want to change and if it's a memory I hold dear, I really don't want anyone to mess with it.

After a little sentimental Googling this evening, I found out that Santa's Village in East Dundee, Illinois went out of business a few years ago. I remember going there when I was a kid.

It was a Chicagoland area amusement park geared toward younger kids and built in a less-sophisticated time than the time that we live in now, but oddly, as a kid, that was exactly what appealed to me. I was the one that wanted to live in the Dick and Jane readers with a cat named Fluff when everyone else was all Strawberry Shortcake and Barbie's hot pink Corvette.

Santa's Village used to run commercials in the afternoons or on Saturday mornings when kids were home watching cartoons and if I remember correctly, for awhile, they had a jingle that went something like: "Any ride a quarter, six for a dollar!" (Yes, I know - you can't even buy a pack of gum for a dollar, let alone six rides at a theme park - or even a carnival. Now get off my lawn.)

By the time I nagged my mom into taking me, you just paid to get in and then rode all you wanted. We went on a day that wasn't really busy (apparently there were a lot of those, or else it wouldn't have gone out of business) so if we wanted to keep riding what we were on, we'd wave at the teenager running the ride and they'd just let it keep running as long as no one else was in line.

There was a frozen North Pole - coated in ice, even in July. There was a petting zoo too, but the ride that I remember the most was something called the Swiss Toboggan.

(Click HERE to check out other roller coasters of today and yesterday.)

The Swiss Toboggan was really the first "roller coaster" ride that I had ever been on and I imagined that I was quite grown up. The kid from next door and I had a whole elaborate game going on where we were rich and famous and had the park to ourselves, etc. We were always somewhere deep in our imaginations no matter what was going on around us. We always had a little embellishment, a little sparkle to add to the situation.

Do kids still do stuff like that or is it all Nintendo and texting and surfing the 'net?

It made me a little sad to find out that Santa's Village was gone - for childhood passing, I suppose, and the fact that times change whether we want them to or not.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Weddin' Nonsense

So, there's the dress that I'll be wearing whenever it is that Redneck and I finally tie the knot. We don't have a date yet, mainly because it seems that one commitment at a time is enough for the poor darling. He's going to be surprised when I just tell him when it is.

Can I tell you how ridiculously happy this dress makes me? I love the net underskirt part that hangs below the skirt - so Lucy Ricardo! It's just frilly enough without being a giant meringue of a dress.

The jackety thing may stay or it may go, depending on how the dress looks with a sheer pashima wrap that a co-worker has kindly offered to lend me. I'm not much on sleeveless so one or the other is going to be worn.

Since both of us have been married before, neither of us wanted the huge wedding with attendants and all that fuss. We were actually thinking about just going to the mountains by ourselves and getting married there.

Then, I got the phone call. From my mother.
(For those of you who have read Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, the Mother-of-Roadchick closely resembles Vivi except for the drinking and fun.)

Mother: Are you making plans yet?
'chick: For what?
Mother: Um, your WEDDING.
'chick: Oh. No. Not really. All I have to do is show up.
Mother: Hmph.
'chick: What?
Mother: Well, I certainly HOPE that you intend to get married in a church somewhere.
'chick: Well, no, that wasn't really the plan.
Mother: I'm sure that Pastor Smith would be happy to marry you at the church in town.
'chick: Why? I don't attend.
Mother: He would do it for your BROTHER.
'chick: Brother didn't even get married there. He got married in Vegas.
Mother: We are not talking about that.
'chick: Yes we were.
Mother: No, we were not. You need to give some serious thought to this.
'chick: Ok.

I seriously thought about it for two seconds and then dismissed it completely. I got married in a church last time. It wasn't really what I wanted then and it's not what I want now. I don't have a thing in the world against church, but it's not where I want to get married. Vivi hasn't brought it up again, but she will, when I'm least expecting it.

The fun part is going to be when she finds out that I've already got the dress. I wasn't actually looking for a dress but I found it, loved it, and bought it. No other shopping required. Vivi loves shopping. I do not. I knew when I put it on that it was The One. Vivi would've made me leave it there to hit eleventy-seven other stores to try on sixty-seven other dresses that made me miserable only to go back and buy the one that I knew was The One from the start.

Maybe I'll get her to take me shopping for shoes. . .