roller coasters

And I asked myself - How did I get here? or Contemplating existentialism at Knott's Berry Farm

I have not been to Knott's Berry Farm in about 18 years. Growing up in LA, we did go there a lot as "older younger kids", tweens and teens. Fast roller coasters, scary Halloween parties - all the things beloved by the 8-20 year old range. 

This weekend we had the chance to visit Knott's and their child-friendly Halloween-themed "Camp Spooky" (normally Camp Snoopy). My kids were thrilled to try a new amusement park and I was curious to see how the park has changed over the years. You know, the whole "seeing things through your adult eyes" experience. 

Being 8 1/2, Lucas is just now entering the roller coaster phase of life. Being a whole 52 inches tall, his world is now open to the amazing world of being strapped in and propelled down metal tracks at high speeds. He had his first taste of a pure coaster-induced adrenaline rush after his first loopy-loop earlier this year, and the boy is addicted. A few years back we realized that Jason can no longer do roller coasters. While I think in his early 20s he attributed the post-ride migraines and vomiting to the Jagermeister they were drinking in the parking lot, in his late 20's it became clear that wasn't the case. He just can't handle the speed and loops. Which leaves me to ride with Lucas…

Sunday found us staring at coasters with drops of up to 109 feet and loops that just keep going. Talking about going on a coaster is nothing compared to standing next to it and seeing how it spins, drops and flips you over in real life, and I think Lucas was a little relieved to learn he was still too short for a few of the bigger ones. But the one that I {kinda} forced him onto was the classic Montezooma's Revenge. One of the oldest coasters at Knott's, this ride holds a special place in my heart. Walking through the waiting area (lines were nonexistent since we were there so early) I was flooded with memories of my 12 year old self waiting in line with my friends for that same ride. I remember we were there for my BFF's birthday, flushed with hormones and wearing a neon yellow and lace sweatshirt with a scrunchy around my wrist as we waited in these hot long line with our "boyfriends" at the time ('cause you know it was serious at 12…) excited to maybe hold hands on the ride. I remember feeling SO GROWN UP because Debbie's mom had let us go off by ourselves at the park - that taste of controlled freedom craved by all tweens. 


That was the feeling that stopped me in my tracks as I was now, at 37, going on the same ride, walking though the same area with my 8 1/2 year old child. Standing there, I felt the urge to yell "This is not my beautiful house! This is not my beautiful car!" Because, really? How did I get here? And while we are contemplating these heavy, existential questions - why are neon yellow lace sweat shirts back in style?? 


My kids had a fabulous time at Knott's Berry Farm on Sunday. Camp "Spooky" was perfect for Zoe - the rides and decorations were perfectly fitted to her (almost) 5 year Halloween sensibilities. Being that we were lucky to be there bright and early before the park even opened to the public, we were able to go on almost every ride we wanted to. We hadn't even left the parking lot before the questions of "when can we go again?" started from the backseat. 

*disclosure: Knott's Berry Farm was nice enough to host us, and other bloggers, for a fun day at the park to promote their kid-friendly Halloween activities. Opinions and memories are my own.