It’s June, and we are spending the week with some of our best friends in the world. No longer neighbors under the jacaronda trees in our quiet Zambian neighborhood, instead we traded bush camping with lions for a shameless, child-oriented vacation of water slides, sun screen, and a swim-up bar where the kids can get slushies!
It’s fun to say slushies.
You know you have been overseas too long when you travel to Prague for the weekend just to hang out at the Aqua Palace.
And you all end up having a blast!
These faces spent the whole weekend plastered with smiles.
What is it about water parks that makes everyone giddy? Splashing, rolling, getting tossed about and finally dunked into a pool of swirling water, barely able to see through the chlorinated spray that burns your eyes. Maybe even coming up to find someone’s feet in your armpits? Complete strangers, with their body parts touching parts of yours that rarely get touched by other humans, and yet we are all uncontrollably laughing! Your suit came off, ha ha ha!! That’s so funny! I can’t see! I can’t breathe! That hurt so much! Ha ha ha!! Did you see me get slammed into that wall? Ha ha ha!! Come on, let’s do it again!
And we do, over and over again, I guess because we all really like this feeling of uninhibited joy. Kids and adults both, it’s like a drug that transforms our sense of the world for this brief time and makes all the problems slip away.
Going to water parks in other countries also brings with it the cultural experience of Eastern Europe. Karaoke? Check. Beauty pageants? Check. A stage full of beautiful girls singing karaoke in thongs wasn’t enough to distract our 9-year old boys, but I imagine that day is coming. We could write a whole chapter on the swimsuits of both the men and the women, but since that borders on catty, here is a picture of a family that showed up in their bathrobes.
Our rooms were great, we loved the beds, and of course we loved the buffet breakfast. The staff were friendly, the hallways were bright, and the music was happy and fun. Water parks in eastern Europe have no rules. Running by the pool? Going down slides backwards? Making a human chain with 15 of your best friends and jumping in the tube all at once? Sure!
The wave pool had an ice cream bar and a huge pirate ship.
Best of all, the water was heated! The water slides were warm enough even for me!
How many more years do we have when our kids are still so excited by water slides? Or by a lobby full of little stuffed ponies?
We all agreed the Aqua Palace was a success. Oh, and we also visited Prague!
Does sitting around playing with fidget spinners count as “visiting Prague?”
What about eating goulash at a metro station, or listening to a string quartet play “The Final Countdown” on the Charles Bridge?
We coaxed the kids through churches and squares, found a playground, had cinnamon doughnuts, and watched the changing of the guard at Prague Castle.
Eli and Gabe made this puppet dance!
For a 9-year old it’s hard even for Prague to compete with the Aqua Palace, but we still agree, that on both ends of the vacation spectrum, this trip was the best ever.