Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

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Lakeside Amusement Park - "Life's a Rollercoaster: Enjoy the Ride!"

I slept in this morning. I've not been sleeping well with the stuff going on at work and at home, so I slept in. The boys went to church without me, and came back when I'd just gotten up, DEET'ed myself up, and I was out in the garden picking two mixing bowls' worth of tomatoes. I didn't get them all. The cucumber has been taking advantage of the tomato cage and climbing its way up it. Its leaves are shading the tomatoes, which is all to the good. The fruit that is out in the sunshine, directly, seems to sunburn, badly, and go yellow and speckled around the stem and crack. The fruit that develops in the shade is big and fully and completely smooth and red.

Very different than my Mom's San Diego tomatoes, which she can trim extra branches off of to keep the leaves and extra foliage away from the fruit. Easier to pick, but here it'd be inedible.

So the boys played Crash while I finished picking, got showered, and hopped into some clothing. John had asked if I wanted to do Babys R Us shopping and then asked Jet if he wanted to go to Lakeside Amusement Park. Jet was very enthusiastic and actually dug through nearly a dozen crackers with cream cheese in order to go.

Once in the car, Jet fell sleep almost immediately, as he hasn't been sleeping nearly enough, recently, so we let him sleep while John went in and got the registry list. We picked stuff in the car, and then John went and bought it all.

Then we headed down along Sheridan and found then right at I-70, just as it said on the coupon in the newspaper that read "Up to FOUR free admissions to the park!" Turns out admission was just $2, but the ride tickets were only fifty cents. Wow. And most of the kiddie rides were a single ticket. At the Fair, rides were 2 tickets, at least, and the tickets cost $1 each. So this was bargain entertainment. They had wristbands for sale for $16 and some change, and after the Fair experience with Jet wanting to ride long past he was exhausted, we just bought $20 worth of tickets and told Jet that when they ran out we were going home.

There was a Kiddy Park that had all the little rides. There were three rides we did with Jet outside that park, they were the diesel engine run rail train, the merry-go-round, and the adult-sized Ferris Wheel. The diesel train track sometimes has a steam engine running it, too, and we saw the old steamer engine on the side rail behind the diesel, but it wasn't running today. The engineer said that they'll be running both trains come Labor Day weekend. But it's narrow gage, so John and I just barely fit, and Jet sat in the seat facing backwards to ours. He loved it as the train rumbled, jerked, and jigged around the "lake", which Jet, quite properly, called a pond. The best part was the tunnel, right by the big, wooden rollercoaster, where Jet thought he was going to fall off because he couldn't see for so long and the train was bumping along quite happily.

The Merry-go-Round was Old. Jet and I rode wooden pigs, mine, as he said, was covered with dirt, while his was covered in caramel and a little dirt around the edges. :-) They were beautifully carved, antique animals on old cog systems. Reminded me of the one in Balboa Park, but no ring game.

The Ferris Wheel was marvelous, just bench seats with a bar across the lap. A little mesh up at face level, so you weren't just looking straight down all the time, had some sense of something physical between you and the rest of the world. The seat would tip, however, whenever you leaned forward or back, and when it felt like there was nothing between you and the ground 50 feet below, it was pretty scary at first, especially the stomach dropping feel of the drop when you were facing forward and could see nothing between you and the ground. The ups were easy, even at first, but the downs were pretty Wow when it was going fast. The whole wheel went much faster than any of the transportable Ferris Wheels I've ever seen, and without the enclosure cage for each group, it felt a lot scarier and more fun.

Jet loved it.

He also loved the rickety old kiddy rollercoaster that jumped and jerked over each of the five bumps across the backside of the ride. The chain was bring it all to a screeching halt as it jerked on the catchers and the whole thing would rumble up and then slide down the right side and back again. All the kids screamed, and they'd try to keep their hands in the air. When the whole train jerked on each of the humps, though, all the hands would go back down. Jet said, later, "I loved keeping my feet up in the air, all the time!" "I thought you were keeping your hands in the air." "Yeah! My feet, too!"

Jet rode a lot of the little stuff over and over quite happily, and we were there nearly four hours by the time the $20 worth of tickets finally ran out. He really wanted to stay longer, but we said no more tickets for today, but that we'd be back.

The price is definitely right, and the lines were short on the most part. The longest line had Jet waiting one ride's worth of time before he could get on at the head of the ride if he wanted to. So it's mini-training for Kathy taking him to Disneyland someday. :-) Another great thing is that the park is okay with people bringing their own food and drinks! Wow. They had sno-cones, popcorn, pop, cotton candy, pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs with all the trimmings (chips and fries) all at reasonable prices; but that was it, and there were parties all over the place with food, cakes, and even BBQ's going on some of the patios. So they're definitely okay with folks bringing their own food.

A very friendly, local amusement park without an ax to grind or making profit the bottom line. We really loved it.

And I had no qualms about sitting there watching Jet do ride after ride when we had paid no admission to get in at all. It was nice, even, to just rest and enjoy it. Even at $2 for my entrance fee, that might have been enough.

On the way home, we tried to stop at Federal to go to the Pho 70 only to discover that it had disappeared. Since one had appeared by the Pacific Ocean market, we decided to go there, and it turned out that the Federal one was the one that had moved here. Sadly, there was a far more modern looking pho restaurant right next to the entrance of the market, and it was packed while 79 was half empty. The quality of the food was as good as ever, and Jet ate a huge amount of his noodles and soup compared to usual, and was much, much more cheerful as a result.

I really enjoyed the usual rare steak, but the fatty brisket was chewy and rich with flavor, and the tendon... oooo... it was buttery soft and perfect for dunking in the haishen sauce. Yum. The noodles were firm and chewed nicely, the soup was HOT and clear and delicately scented. The Thai basil was fragrant and let just the right herbal element while the fresh lime chunks squeezed very nicely to lend tartness. I'll admit it, I eat my pho clear not made red by chili paste. I like being able to taste the nuances of the soup and I can't when my mouth's on fire.

On the way in, the rain was falling in big, heavy drops and John and I told Jet to head for the covered area of the sidewalk. He complied but then started giggling and said, "I love the rain! I love the rain! I love the rain!" and, just like John, Jet stood with his arms wide on the sidewalk and beamed as the raindrops hit him in the face. On the way out, after we had eaten I heard an "Awwwwww... darn! The rain stopped!"

I nearly fell over laughing. "Your son." I said to John. He beamed proudly.

We did a little shopping at the Market. We haven't had a party at the house all summer, so we'll do something Friday. It's past time. I bought quite few short ribs in prep. Probably do sweet corn, roasted, smoked chickens, short ribs, brats, veggie brats and burgers, maybe a pasta salad with real goat cheese and lots of olives and sweet peppers, fresh and roasted tomatoes galore, plenty of beer and homemade pop, let folks bring salads and desserts but for one dessert from Chocolat.
Tags: food, jet, joy, tomatoes

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