Sunday, August 28, 2011

More Galveston Adventures - Schlitterbahn Galveston

Two weeks ago on our trip to Galveston we visited Schlitterbahn Galveston for the first time.  We weren't sure how much the boys would be able to do at 3 years old and just shy of 40", but we all love the water and thought we would give it a try.  And we are really glad we did.

We actually got to the park about 10:30 on Sunday morning along with droves of other people.  Though we were lucky enough to find a great parking spot and then a table at the front of the park near the wave pool entrance to the lazy river, just steps away from food and just around the corner from the restrooms.  And it stayed in the shade all day long.  We couldn't have been luckier.

We dropped our stuff off, slathered on the sunscreen, strapped on the kids' life jackets, then waded out in the river to topple half a dozen baby tubes off the opposite wall.  We grabbed two, and then headed out into the river.  We passed by various slides, and kids playgrounds before getting in line like lemmings for what turned out to be the single working ramp up to the white water area - a series of 5 or 6 rapid shoots that circled the back part of the park.  The boys LOVED it!  Connor was so excited when we started getting tossed around, splashed and our float filled completely up.  :)   We enjoyed it so much that we had to do it again before continuing on in our trek around the river.

When we exited the second time we went ahead and followed the main river around into the Torrent river wave tunnel.  Every 20 seconds or so GIANT waves would come flooding out of a shoot and send everyone and their floats super high up into the air.  The second we crashed back down we anxiously anticipated the next wave and watched eagerly for it to come.

After making a whole circuit of the park we made our way back to our table, grabbed some drinks out of our cooler, slathered on more sunscreen and headed back out to see what else we could find.  We stopped in the Wasserfest area and let the kids play on the little slides before making our way over to one of the larger slides only to discover that the kids weren't quite tall enough for the big body slides.  So we headed instead to the Pirate ship kid pool and let the kids play for a while thankful of the covering overhead giving us a break from the sun. 

We then made a second trip through the wave tunnel this time without tubes and made our way back to our table and grabbed some lunch.  After polishing off our weight in turkey legs, sausages on a stick, and pork sandwiches we applied more sunscreen, ignored that whole wait an hour after you eat malarkey, and headed straight over to one of the big fast water slides in the Surfenburg area - Dragonblaster and Tempest.  Seriously.  BEST.PARENTS.EVER.  It's a wonder no one got sick.  :)  Kevin and Ryan took one of the slides, while Connor and I took the other.  With the kids seated in front of us, and us with a death grip on the loops on the back of their life jackets the treadmills shot us off down the slides.  It was a super fast, curvy ride in the PITCH BLACK so we had no idea what was coming next.  I was so thankful I was holding on to Connor with with one hand and with my feet or I wouldn't have known if he was there or not once we got into the tunnel with the exception of the shrieks and laughs that started coming out of him about half way down each time we would made an unexpected turn.  I was relieved to see daylight when we finally skidded out the bottom of the slide.  Connor's first words were "DO IT AGAIN!!"   Kevin and Ryan came out a few seconds after us.  Ryan was as eager as Connor to do it again.  Though by then the lines were getting pretty long so we headed for the Surfenburg kids play area instead.

Ryan was throwing a fit to get back into the river so we didn't stay too long before heading back to the white water river and making our way over to the Blastenhoff kids play area.  The boys were having a good time playing on the pirate ship, unfortunately Kevin and I were baking out in the shadeless heat of the afternoon and vultures were swarming eyeing our floats which we made the mistake of letting go of in the Wasserfest area only to discover that everyone else was holding onto theirs so there were none left so Kevin and the kids headed over to check out the white water beach while I rested in the shade for a little while watching them trying to drown one another.

By that time even in the water it was getting miserably hot, the kids were getting a little cranky having not had a nap, and we were thirsty and looking forward to resting for a few minutes so we followed the river around back to our table and got out to have some snacks before heading home.  As we sat there resting however, clouds rolled in making the temperature more bearable and refreshed with a short rest and restored with snacks the kids were having no part of any ideas to head home so we headed back out again.  We decided to head back to the Surfenburg kids area and let the kids play on the slides there.  After 30 minutes or so we noticed the smaller slides nearby and went to check them out.  We walked right to the top waited on one or two people and then zipped down together.  It was an instant hit with the kids who shouted out which slides they wanted to try next the second their little heads popped back up out of the water and their little feet were already furiously kicking to get out and do it again.  The second time Connor in particular wanted to try the blue enclosed slide.  Unfortunately it's a one rider at a time thing so I went down first and Kevin stayed at the top to help the kids go one at a time while I caught them at the bottom.  I could hear Connor calling for me all the way down and then when it was his turn there was silence for a few seconds followed by laughter as he plunged down the slide and zipped off the end.  I caught him and then stood to the side to wait for Ryan, too.  He came out with a smile on his face and was already negotiating again how many more times he could go and with whom before Kevin even made it down the slide.

Needless to say we spent quite a while going up the stairs, down the various slides, and then getting in line to do it all over again.  After the 15th or so trip Ryan spied the big pink Wolfpack slide and insisted that he wanted to do that one next.  So we climbed the million and a half steps to the top of the thankfully short line and before we knew it Connor and I were in a raft by ourselves with me holding on to him and the tube with a death grip as we started down the big tunnel shooting up the sides and zooming around the corners while he practically cackled with glee.  Kevin and Ryan followed equally excited to do it again.  This time when we got to the top we got in the other line to check out the other slide the Thunder Tub that turned out to be one giant straight shot down with little ripples that sent us completely airborne before we smacked down again only to take flight again seconds later.  It was a much bumpier ride and one we decided that having done it once could check it off our list of things we needed to do again.

We did however head back over to do the first big slide again the Dragon Blaster and Tempest.  The lines were much shorter and it was no time at all before we made our way to the top and swapped slides this time.  No sooner had we gotten to the bottom before the kids were shouting out their opinions of which slides we should do next.  We did the kids slides again a few more times and as closing time approached made our way back to the giant pink Wolfpack for one last trip.  We were in fact the absolute last people on the slide at closing time.  It was hard to believe how fast the last couple of hours had gone as we were having so much fun riding all the slides. 

After changing clothes we gathered up all our stuff and made our way to the thankfully uncrowded parking lot.  The kids passed out in the few minutes it took us to make our way out of the parking lot.  Needless to say they had had one long, fun filled day. 

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