Virginia Beach Day Eight- Busch Gardens

Today we headed to Busch Gardens.  I had visited this park as a young teenager and was excited to take my children!

It was a full day; we got there a little after 11 and didn’t leave til the park closed at 9 PM.  We had so much fun!  It is a very nice amusement park- beautiful landscaping, great kids areas, awesome coasters, elaborate themes that carry into the smallest details.  We lucked out and went on a day with nice weather and short lines (although the rides did shut down for 30 minutes because of a random power outage). On the way home I asked The Husband what his favorite ride was and he rattled off 3 or 4 roller coasters.  He didn’t mention the one I thought he would and when I brought it up he remembered a few others- he said “Pretty much every ride was my favorite!”

Sassypants is a brave little girl!  There was nothing she was scared to go on.  She’s so cute on rides; she gets the biggest grin and softly giggles between her “weeees’.  After one twisty ride The Husband asked if her tummy felt funny and she replied “My tummy feels FUN!”

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Wiggles is hilarious.  At 42” there are some scary big kid rides he can go on.  He’ll try everything but doesn’t like much!  He squeezes his adult companion very tightly, whimpers through the ride, and is excited when the ride is over- but then he’s ready to try another one a few minutes later!  The bumper cars were his favorite.

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Diva is my only kid that likes roller coasters, so she got a lot of 1:1 time as The Husband and My Sister broke off from the group to take her on the big rides.  She loved them!  She’s cute on rides too; she belly laughs at all the fun parts.  The woman in front of her on one ride turned around afterwards and said “Well that was the best soundtrack I’ve ever had on a ride!”

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Amusement parks are not Smiles’ thing, but he had a good time today.  He’s now too tall to go on most of the baby rides, but he got out of his comfort zone and rode a few twisty-turny rides today.  He really liked this elaborate virtual reality ride, and he won a stuffed animal from a soccer game.  The highlight of his day was when he scored a free basketball for helping out the game attendant.

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My nieces had fun too.  My Big Niece has come a long ways; she used to be scared of most rides but now she rides everything she can!  My Little Niece is only 1.5 so there’s not much she can do, but if it were up to her she’d do a lot more!  She was a trooper today (and really all week); she had very limited nap time on a hot and busy day, but had a great attitude through it all.

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Some of my favorite moments from today- when we were waiting for the train, fun music was on so I started dancing.  Diva gets embarrassed very easily and gave me her stare that lets me know she disapproves.  Then her Aunt started dancing with me, then my Big Niece started dancing with me, and that stare transformed into a smile.  I asked her why it was acceptable when they danced but not me?  She said “You’re my mom, everyone knows moms are embarrassing!”  She’s only 8, Lord have mercy on her teenage years.

At the end of the night we were playing in the splash pad by the entrance when Sassypants and her Big Cousin started fighting, for real fighting with hitting and pushing and yelling.  I went to break it up and right as I was reaching them one of those buckets spilled right on top of me!  I screamed, my sister cracked up, and the girls kept right on fighting.

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We leave tomorrow, so tonight we said good bye to my sister’s family.  There were tears.  One of the best parts of this vacation has been watching our kids interact together.  Sassypants is between my nieces age wise, so she fits right in.  She fights with my Big Niece like they’re sisters, but they can play together for hours.  At one point I lost track of them for a minute in a kids area and finally found them…on a ride.  Wiggles leads his little cousins around and takes this responsibility very seriously.  Diva is the mother hen.  It was rare to see Diva without one of my nieces attached to her.  Smiles is quite a bit older than my nieces, but he is so kind and gentle with them.

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We were so lucky to spend all week with my sister’s family!  I don’t know how my sister does it all; her girls are way off their schedule and we’ve had nothing but long days this week.  She’s been operating on little sleep but is always up for fun and is so patient with her girls.  We sure miss them in Kansas City but are so thankful for this week!

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Tomorrow we’ll hang out at the campground for awhile before starting the trek back!  We’ll definitely miss Virginia but are excited to come home!

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