It can’t all be life lessons! You guys… beyond the immense “growing up moments today offered us, today was just plain ol’ crazy FUN!!!

Water slides, wave pools, ice cream, lazy river, chicken strips, roaring rapids, new friends, more new friends, rides, more rides… phew! 

Rudy is a champion amusement park kid. Not too demanding, not the “unimpressed” kid, not whiny (unless the line is too long…then maybe a little whiny😂), always excited, every ride is, “Guys!! That was AMAZING!” 

He loved the water park! We rented him his own tube so he could fast-track some of the slides instead of waiting. He was so cute carrying the tube. Dad offered to help him, but he said, “I got it, dad!”

Jared and I had waterproof covers for our phones. We tried to take an underwater selfie. This is what we got. 😂😂😂

The rapids ride at the water park was amazing. We met a really cool lady named Shonna, who rode with us; her kids and kids’ friends rode together. We almost lost her as the tube slid up the wall a couple times, but it was all fun! 

After hours at the water park portion. We went back over to the Carnival side to close out our day. It was about 4:00, and the park closed at 9:00. Still immensely hot, but slooooowly cooling off. We did a bunch of repeat rides that Rudy had loved the day before, found some new ones to try and we were just kind of walking around to relax and see what we felt like next, and ended up back at the Tilt-A-Whirl . . . big shock. There was a bit of a line this time (bigger shock, actually), but Rudy didn’t mind. He had met friends. Teenagers. Liz and Mo we came to find out later. We were not at all surprised when we saw him head to his carriage with a lanky teen girl on each side, both in hysterics at whatever clever thing he had just said. At different points during the ride, you could see him gesturing with his hands, super animated and goofy, and just cracking the girls up, mid-twirl, like they were all at a coffee house or something. After the ride, Rudy brought the girls over to say hi. Jared told me later he heavily fought the urge to make a 3 Stooges joke when Mo introduced herself. That’s why he doesn’t ever get to meet any of Rudy’s girlfriends . . . ever again. But the group was about seven teens big. All of whom had fallen victim to Rudyard’s charms and were totally smitten. He even plugged Champagne Sunday (#bandparentsforthewin), and they gave him a small basketball they had won. 

We finished the day with the parachute ride we’d all gone on several times that day. This time, he wanted to go it alone. A quiet moment above the noise, rides, people, Rudy looked down at us, we looked up at him, a black figure, silhouetted against the dusky Idaho sunset, and, as he was most certainly as overwhelmed by his love for us as we were for him . . . we waved and threw up the “I love you” sign language sign. He threw us 2 “birds” and rounded out the whole experience with a huge laugh. 

Picture is the “rock” hand he presented. The double bird was just for us. 😂

Amusement park achievement: unlocked. We’ll see you in Montana tomorrow. 


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