Summer is so wonderful. I’ve been relaxing, enjoying time with my family, and, of course, cooking. I made dinner for my mom last night (for Mother’s Day) and it was one of our favorites: Orecchiette Pasta with Caramelized Onions, and Blue Cheese. She loved it! I’m hoping to spend some time in restaurant kitchens over the summer and I might get a part-time job at a catering company. It would be so exciting to get that kind of hands-on experience.
The past two weeks at home have been blissfully wonderful. I usually wake up between 8 and 9 AM; jog a few miles; shower; eat lunch with my mom; watch TV or catch up on reading; pick my 14-year-old brother up from school or tennis/baseball practice; cook dinner; and then spend some time with my family before going to bed around midnight. It’s the perfect schedule! Of course, this schedule will change once I begin babysitting…but I’m looking forward to spending time with the kids I baby-sit for – they’re awesome.
Over the weekend I took my first road trip EVER, with my roommate (and friend), Raychel. She used to live here in Kansas City, so she came to visit and we decided to drive to Branson, MO for a couple of days! It is a three-hour drive from here to Branson, so we left Friday afternoon and arrived just in time to primp for a show and eat dinner. The main reason that Raychel wanted to visit Branson was so that she could see The Haygoods, a musically talented family that she has loved for years. We had a great time at the show and, surprisingly, there was no traffic on the drive back to our hotel (that’s pretty impressive for Branson…there’s usually lots of traffic at night)!
Raychel and I woke up early on Saturday morning and, after getting lost a few times, we arrived at Silver Dollar City. Before entering the park, I specifically told Raychel that I did NOT like roller coasters and that she would have to ride them alone. She laughed at this remark and said, “Trust me, after today, you will love them.” We started out easy, with a fairly small wooden roller coaster called “Thunderation.” I had a blast on it, and, the burst of adrenaline helped me agree to ride a larger and faster roller coaster known as “Powder Keg.” After seeing part of the track, I wanted to get out of the line. There was a fairly large drop, and I just didn’t think I was ready for it. With Raychel’s encouragement, however, I managed to get into the cart and buckle up. As we prepared to take off, I heard Raychel say, “Oh crap.” I looked over at her suspiciously and asked her what was wrong. “I’ll tell you after the ride,” she said. I reminded her that I couldn’t get off the ride now – even if I wanted to – and begged her to tell me. “It’s gonna go really fast. So just be ready,” she said with a smile. A moment later we were flying down a 90 degree drop at a speed of 64 miles per hour. Little did I know that we had gone from 0-60 mph in just TWO seconds. Talk about a rush of adrenaline… It was a very fun, but a very, VERY fast, roller coaster!
After the first two roller coasters, Raychel told me that I was ready for “Wildfire,” the tallest and most intense ride at Silver Dollar City (pictured at right). After seeing the monstrous ride, I quickly put my foot down. I had never been on an upside-down roller coaster before and I was petrified of it. Raychel’s attempt to drag me on the ride failed; I stepped onto the ride and then immediately stepped off! As the day went on, we rode other exciting rides (one of my favorites was the “Giant Barn Swing”) and I finally got up enough courage to try “Wildfire.” I was so nervous and, at one point, I seriously contemplated stepping on and then stepping off like I had done the first time. BUT, I managed to keep up my confidence and give it a shot! While we were waiting in line, I asked other people what they thought about the ride. I wanted to know how intense it was, and what exactly it feels like to go upside-down. After being told by several 10-year-olds (and Raychel) that “I could do it,” I rode “Wildfire.” It was incredible!!! My hands and feet were tingling when I stepped off the roller coaster and I wanted to ride it again! Raychel was very proud of me, and I must say, I was very proud of myself. I definitely got my money’s worth out of the $50 ticket to the park.
We left Branson on Saturday, around 4 PM. My mom encouraged us to get on the road early, because storms were supposed to move in as the night went on. It rained a little bit as we traveled back to KC, but we made it safely. The next morning we woke to see a CNN news report entitled, “Storms Kill 22 in the Midwest, Southeast.” Had we left Branson even an hour later, we could have faced those frightening conditions. We both said “Thank you Jesus!” for getting us home safely. Overall, the trip was wonderful. Everything worked out perfectly and I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend or anyone better to spend it with.
I’m looking forward to more adventures this summer (and hopefully earning some money to prepare for next semester)!