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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Trip to Vadosta Georgia - Wild Adventures

Valdostians like to tell the story about the wild elephant. The circus used to "winter" in Valdosta in the old days. One day an elephant broke loose.  It ran up and down main street terrorizing the locals. The sheriff shot the elephant. 

About 70 miles north and east of Tallahassee is Valdosta GA. In the old days - it was a railroading center for the lumber and the cotton industries. Now it is famous for Wild Adventures - a budget water and theme park. 

Lulu and I decided on the spur of the moment to drive up there in her convertible and enjoy the town and the water park. It was hotter than heck - temperatures reaching 100 both days. Did you ever think it could be too hot for a water park?

The ride up was very nice - the road were empty. We passed several courthouses along the way - most of them on islands in the middle of the main intersection in town. We booked a very nice Hampton Inn along I-75 for 2 nights. 

Sunday at the water park was traumatic. The admission was $40 for 2 days - quite a bargain compared to the $100 a day price of Disneyworld. The parking lot was pretty full - most of the guests were locals because a season pass is just $80. This is definitely a Red Neck Riviera - we saw our share of confederate flag towels and bathing suits. The locals looked at us a little funny when we lined up for the flume ride. We had our street clothes on - but no one dared warn us what was coming.  When we approached the main chute we realized - we were going to get wet - soaked to the bone was more like it. Then we went to the flume viewing area - and at the last second realized we were going to get it again. As George Bush said - fool me once - shame on me - fool me twice - we won't get fooled again. 

Wanna bet - next we decided on a coaster ride - the one where your feet are hanging out. It looked like we could not get wet - so what the heck. The thing ended up doing 4 loops and two spirals. At least we did not get wet - but we did she Lulu's beautiful Italian lunch again. 

Queasy Lulu waited at the entrance as I got the car - our hotel was just a couple miles away. We spent a couple hours in the wonderfully cooled hotel room. We even missed supper. At 9 PM - as we were dozing off - I woke up to realize I forgot my CPAP. This is no big deal to anyone that does not know what a CPAP is. Basically it prevents me from stopping breathing at night - sleep apnea. So we would not be spending 2 nights in Valdosta - we would be home for Sunday night. I had a fitful night of no sleep - where I usually get 9 hours. 

Monday morning would be different - Lulu woke up fresh. We toured downtown Valdosta and Valdosta State College. To  my surprise VSC has an ALA certified library science program. At one time VSC was an all girls school - now it is famous for its football program - among other things. 

Now our batteries were charged for another day of Wild Adventures. It is 5 miles southwest of town in the country. The Valdosta Regional Airport is close to the park. 

We checked out the airport terminal to see if it was similar to ours. Valdosta has 56,000 people. The airport is very nice for a town that size. Delta has 3 flights a day out of there. All of them go to Atlanta. Sometimes flights are cheaper out of Valdosta than from Tallahassee. Also Tallahassee charges you $11 a day to park - parking is free in Valdosta. If you do not mind the 90 minute drive - you can save some money on parking and ticket prices. If you live northeast of Tallahassee - it becomes even closer. 

Although Vadosta had only 3 flight out a day - they had a full security crew of 5 uniformed TSA cops - I wonder what they could do to look busy - 3 flights a day. 

Monday at the water park - there were maybe 10% of the guests as compared to Sunday. We parked much closer to the entrance. When I told the parking admission person of our early exit the day before - he waived the $10 parking fee. I hope he does not lose his job. 

This time we both lathered up with lots of sun lotion. We had a nice time in the wave pool. We went on a couple of flume/tube rides then settled for the lazy river in inner tubes. It was over 100 - we did not get sun burned but our feet were scorched from the hot concrete. Reality was creeping in  - I am guessing we were just too old for this in 100 degree straight down sunshine - even in the water. We packed up early - tails between our legs - it was about 5 PM - probably the best time for swimming - we were gone. 

Originally - we planned to attend the Valdosta restaurant crawl on Monday from 5 PM to 9 PM. You paid $20 and got samples at each restaurant. We were out of town before it started. 

Lulu drove home. I spent the 90 minutes nodding off - and waking myself up with snorts and snoring.  When I got home - I had a new appreciation for scientific medical technology. Lulu said at home  I was gone by 8 PM - and I did not move until 8 AM. 

So we enjoyed our impromptu Wild Adventures in Valdosta. It would probable be perfect at about 85 degrees - with a good night's sleep. Nice people at the hotel refunded our money for one night's stay. 

Harry was soaked on the flume ride. It was not even the highlight of our one hour Sunday visit to Wild Adventures.

The Valdosta Library was built with funds from Andrew Carnegie. Today it is a beautiful museum of local history. Plenty of local civil war stuff in there. We have tons of pictures of Lulu in front of libraries - add this one.

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