Six Flags Great America

I went to Six Flags Great America a total of three times in the four years I lived in Chicago. After immigrating to Canada in 2000, I never thought I’d return to this park. But traveller souls have a way of always coming back to places they never thought they’d see again.

The last time I was here,my cousin Davi had come to visit, and we had packed sandwiches in a cooler and ate lunch sitting down on the parking lot pavement to avoid the high cost of food in the park. We were young, but we knew the value of a dollar. We went to the park for the rides, and rides we got. We rode roller coasters and I ran between rides with my cousin. My brother waited in line for an hour to ride the Raging Bull, only to give up at the last minute. So I rode on my own, and I loved every minute. 

This time around, it was my turn not to ride the bull. As much as I love roller coasters, when I come to amusement parks with the little ones, the day is about them. And there was no time between family and kiddie rides to go on the bigger coasters, when we had a short day at the park. That’s not a problem, though—I won’t be done travelling any time soon, and one day I’ll do a roller coaster road trip, riding all the tallest and best coasters in the Americas (or around the world?). G-boy already said he’s coming with me on that one 🙂

 

Six Flags Great America with kids, www.marianamcdougall.com

 

Despite only riding two roller coasters at Six Flags Great America, one of which really hurt my neck and back, we still had a good time at the park. There are nice rides for the kids, the park is clean, and the staff was friendly. They enjoyed meeting the cartoon characters, too.

The kids were ultra happy to be on rides, and Daddy was probably happy he didn’t have to ride any coasters. 18 years with this man, and I only find out he doesn’t like roller coasters on year 18. I always thought his antics were an act to entertain us, when in reality the act was very much real. So we’re just waiting until all the kids reach the 54″ height requirement, at which point I can take them all on my own, and Daddy can stay home.

Currently, both parents have to come to the park, because while the older ones ride the thrill rides they’re tall enough for (with Mama, of course), the other parent needs to stay with the little one(s). But time flies; you blink and they grow another several inches. Soon we’ll go on even more roller coasters—as long as my body will let me. And one day, I’m going to do that roller coaster trip.

It’ll be awesome.

After Six Flags, this trip is almost over. It’s been such a wonderful ride, literally and figuratively. I have loved every minute of life on the road, and it’s been difficult to accept that it’s not a permanent lifestyle for us. But we will keep finding adventures and enjoying our time together as a family.

We have such a short time with our kids… we’ll keep finding experiences instead of things, and we’ll keep living our dreams. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: a dream is only “just a dream” until you turn it into a goal. After that, it’s only a matter of planning and time before it becomes reality. So we’ll keep dreaming our dreams, and we’ll keep planning our adventures. We don’t know what the next adventure will be yet, but there will be one eventually. So stay tuned.

 

Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum

Blast from the past at the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum

When I was a teenager, I didn’t get out much. I had to work to help at home, and as such, I moved between my house, school, work, a couple of after-school activities, and not much else. But there were some cool outings once in a while. One of these outings from my teenage years that I’ll never forget was a field trip to Hannibal, Missouri, where the high school juniors got to see Mark Twain’s Boyhood Home and Museum (and more).

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Making Memories at the Cabin

She runs out of the driveway, waving at the RV as she comes near the street. She smiles at us, and I like her immediately. Not that I didn’t already like her—after all, we’ve been speaking to one another about writing, editing, and various other topics for nearly four years now, and she has always been kind. Her offer of a cabin by the lake, for as many days as we would like, is simply the cherry on top of what I already considered a good friendship.

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Winnipeg, Manitoba: Libraries & New Old Friends

After leaving Regina, we drove towards Winnipeg, Manitoba, to visit some friends. But first, we (of course) had to stop at a library, so I could get some freelancing work done and so the kids could have a nice break from driving while they read books and played.

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Regina, Saskatchewan with Kids (and Moose Jaw, too!)

After finishing up our time in Alberta (and thankfully recovering from the awful bug that went through the RV), we headed towards Regina, Saskatchwean, with a stop in Moose Jaw to break up the drive a bit. Dan seemed to have escaped the virus for the time being.

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Tepees and Butterflies in Medicine Hat, Alberta

After visiting Calgary and Dinosaur Provincial Park, we stopped briefly in Brooks, Alberta, prior to moving on to Medicine Hat, a city whose name I’ve always wondered about. We didn’t know much about this town prior to visiting it, but it turns out there are some really neat things to do here, and we do recommend a visit, if not for the tourist attractions, at least for its beautifully sunny skies.

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Alberta: Downtime with Friends & Family (and Convenient Medical Service)

After driving through Nevada, Idaho, and Montana, we finally arrived back in Canada, crossing the border into Alberta, where we enjoyed some downtime with friends and family and took a few welcome days off driving. Continue reading “Alberta: Downtime with Friends & Family (and Convenient Medical Service)”