So shortly after 1pm, my brother suggests that the two of us take Kylie to Funderland in Sacramento. There's a kiddie coaster there that Kylie likes. Great! Instead of borrowing some stranger's kid for a credit, I'll have a more legitimate reason for riding. Alas, 'twas not be. Kylie was not in a very playful mood that day, and didn't want to ride the dragon coaster. We did do the miniature train ride together, and that was fun. She also did the airplane ride with her dad, and I told her how proud I was that her and her dad's plane was the only one to go up as high as it could; everyone else's stayed low or at the midway point. And of course, she did the fish ride (Bulgy is a strange name for a kid's fish ride IMO; also found the same ride, with the same name, at Bonfante Gardens-more on that in part 3).
Funderland is located at Land's Park, near the zoo and another kid's attraction called Fairy Tale Town. For children, this is actually a pretty neat place to be for an afternoon of fun. Kylie and my brother John (yes, John Bob-my Mom says we were named for the Kennedy boys) also did the antique car ride before leaving. The prices are definately reasonable there, as a ride is $1.25. Refreshments were reasonable by park standards, but still a tad high. Funny thing is, they do not have, or wish to, any lids or straws for the drinks in "consideration of the animals in the zoo", according to the sign on the concessions window. I found this a bit odd, seeing as they have no problem with that at the Portland zoo. And the fact that we weren't even on zoo grounds made it more weird. Yes, the zoo was nearby, but it's a big park, and we were still some distance away. Shrug. Before departing, Kylie took a pony ride on one of the ponies just outside Funderland. They also have horsies, but Kylie is still afraid of them.
Eventually, it's time to make my way to the family reunion in Cameron Park, 30 minutes eastish of Sac. Now, an Olivo family reunion is a big event. I'm not kidding when I say my mom comes from a family of 16 kids. Yep, that's right. I have (had) 15 aunts and uncles from my mom's side of the family. No, no adoptions. And most of those 16 all had kids of their own, some of which have kids of their own, etc. In short, your talking about hundreds of attendees. Grandma is a great grandma to a lot of the kids there, like Justine, but not great-great yet, although I suspect that'll change very soon here. She is 86 and still gets around the country to visit with her kids and grandkids.
Just over a year ago, the family suffered three tragic losses in a row. So, this reunion would carry a more somber mood than those crazy reunions of years past. When the 16 of them would get together, they would totally change. My mom, for instance, usually fairly reserved, could be seen drinking and dancing, and partying up a storm, something me and my sibs told her she should do more often.:) Well, we all still did party up a storm, because as we were reminded, you never know if and when we will all see each other again. And I got to see a first look at the cover of "16XMOM", a book about the family that my aunt Barbara wrote, and is now in the editing process, soon to be published. 16XMOM is also the license plate of the car all 16 kids pitched in to buy grandma some years ago.
I arose Sat morning and again headed to the reunion. I ran into still more people who knew who I was, yet I had no idea who they were. I did a lot of "Hey, you! How've you been?" and "Good to see you again! It's been how long?". Only a few people said "You have no idea who I am, do you?", although I'm sure others suspected I was bluffing. Well, after spending Friday evening and most of Saturday at the reunion, it was time to say goodbye. I gathered up the girls, and we headed for Golfland-Sunsplash in Roseville.
I don't exactly remember when I became cognizant of Schlitterbahn in Texas, but I do know it was during some type of Travel Channel show and it was the Master-Blaster that made me stand up and take notice. A waterslide that actually had rollercoaster drops and dips? A waterslide that could propel you rapidly up-hill?!? I was so there!! Unfortunately, getting to Texas would be a daunting task, so I resigned myself to more wishful thinking. So I ask my bro if he knows of waterparks in the area around Sac, and he mentions Waterworld at CalExpo, and Golfland, which he commented he believed had a small waterpark with a few slides. OK, I look them up. Waterworld is your local flag waterpark, and this Golfland seems to be OK, but hey, what's this? An attraction called the Master-Blaster?!? Naw, it's probably some slide that just happens to have the same name as that ride in Texas. But could it be true? Was I truly lucky enough to have one of these near where my bro lives? Upon calling the park, I get a recording that specifically talks about their water-rollercoaster. Now I'm stoked!!! That was about 2 years ago. Unfortunately I visited the week after it closed for the season, so Waterworld it was.
The waterpark at Golfland closes daily at 630pm, BUT this weekend they just started "Nightslides!", where they re-open from 730pm-11pm. AND admission is less than half off, being only $10.99 for the night sessions. I thought there was a hook. So I called them up. Are ALL the same rides/slides open at night, or only some? No, they are all open. Are they really busy? Not really. The go-karts, lazertag, and mini-golf are all open late on Fri and Sat, so they experimented last season with nightslides, which was popular enough to do it again this summer. I was amazed. Folks, if your in the area, you can't beat that price; you owe it to yourself to go on some warm weekend night (thank me later). And think of the park as compact, as opposed to small. There are a lot of attractions there, just shoe-horned into a small space. Think of it as the Indiana Beach of waterparks. The wave pool has at least 2 different cycles that I noticed. One is your more traditional wave pool; very straight-forward. The other produced swells, and seemed to use waves bouncing of the sides to create a more tropical storm set. I didn't stay to see if there were more cycles; I had a Master-Blaster to ride!
Way too cool! Now I have read on these boards recently about what short rides these give. Whatever. The one in Roseville is definately not short. Here, it went for quite a ways, actually. I will say that after the opening drop and climb back up that the rest of the ride is mostly smaller dips, yet it's still great fun. And that first drop, while swift and steep, goes nowhere close to all the way to the ground, but it's still intense anyway. I was so completely happy!:) And then there are the bowl slides, the ones where you end up in a funnel. Well, Sunsplash has not one, not two, but three of this style, all unique! One is a body slide, where you pick up immense speed before shooting into a smaller funnel where you go around and around and around and around and around until you finally plop out the bottom into a pool. Another is a tube ride, where you don't quite get as much speed as the body slide, and your jetted into a medium-sized funnel, where after sliding around a couple times(tops) you go down a tube and ejected into the lazy river. And the third is a 3-4 person raft (identical to those used on Zinga at HW) where riders are shot into a big funnel. A lot of the rides/slides there end up dropping you off in the lazy river that surrounds the slide complex. And if anyone is going soon during the day, be sure to stop at a local Raley's or Bel-Air supermarket for discount tickets. You can buy tickets for 4 people for $56.00. That's $14 a person, and it comes with two-for-one coupons for mini-golf, lazertag, and the speedway.
Oh, and the girls thought it was pretty nifty too...
So far, I'm two for two in terms of fun and excitement. Stay tuned for the third and final act, which includes my first visit to Bonfante Gardens, complete with pictures! I'll say this: mOOSH was right!:) *** Edited 7/18/2004 1:00:02 AM UTC by Robocoaster***
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