Friday, July 22, 2011

Six Flags Field Trip or Just Fun Trip?

Okay, maybe not the most educational field trip I have ever planned, but there are definite lessons to be learned at Six Flags.

First and most successfully drilled into the average learner is patience.  On a hot and humid July day in Georgia, patience is needed greatly.  It wasn't that crowded, but Six Flags seems to want you to wait regardless of the crowd size.  They like to put as few cars running on a ride as possible just to mess with your head.  Maybe the hour long wait for a 62 second ride teaches more than patience.  Maybe it teaches you to just live in the moment.  Talk to people around you.  Read every t-shirt in line.  Eaves drop on others' conversations.  Think about your bodily fluids and how quickly they evaporate in the heat.  How one minute you need to go to the bathroom and the next you don't.  There is a science lesson there somewhere.

Second, a field trip to Six Flags gives lessons in courage.  When you're in line for the Goliath and watching that mammoth coaster run over and over (yes, successfully, but still...), it takes a lot of courage for a twelve and ten year old girl and boy to climb aboard... not to mention how much courage it took for the forty-four and forty-six year old girl and boy to do it, too.  On a side note, I am sad to say that I may have ridden my last major rollercoaster.  The Goliath does not hold back the thrills, but my neck is getting too old to enjoy them any more.  It seems that Six Flags also gives lessons in aging.

Third, kids can learn valuable lessons in delay of gratification or as Mick Jagger would say, "You can't always get what you want!"  We all had free tickets to Six Flags (thanks to two free from Anabel's spring chorus trip and all three kids earning their tickets through the 6 hour reading program), but we explained before we left that we are saving for big travel this fall and do not need to waste money on tacky souvenirs from Six Flags.  This went over fine until we had to take shelter from a major storm for two hours in a gift shop in Lickskillet.  Thankfully, I had told the kids in the car that if anyone asked for a souvenir it would be a chore when they got home.  They probably handled about every item in the shop, but didn't ask for a thing.  I love my kids!

Finally, Six Flags gives lessons in perserverance.  Staying in that long line takes a lot of perserverance.  You learn to stay the course and don't jump to another line.  It may seem like it is moving faster, but usually it isn't.  You learn to keep walking even though you have three blisters because your youngest wants to ride the Dahlonega Mine Train.  (You also learn to travel in packs.  Thank you, Mandy, for taking over with Emma!)  You also learn that it is worth it to wait out the summer thunderstorm so your kids can ride a few more rides before the trip home.

Final tips: plan ahead and have your kids read for free tickets (saves $37.99 per kid), take friends and/or family with you, wear comfortable shoes, bring extra clothes to change into if you plan on riding Thunder River or Splash Water Falls, buy the souvenir drink containers for free refills all day (very important in the summer!) and let go... laugh, listen, have a thrill for a day!  Open yourself to the lessons Six Flags has to teach and maybe even have some fun along the way.

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