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Hot fun in the summertime…

August 17, 2013, 8:54 PM

So this summer has been a pretty fun one.  I’ve taken the various summer safety tips that I’ve picked up along the way to heart, like not drinking straight out of the hose while it’s at full blast, tying the waistband of your suit really well while bodysurfing, not putting too much sugar in your Kool-Aid, and not gossiping because it makes your tongue susceptible to sunburn (and I don’t like the taste of Solarcaine), and went out and had some fun with friends.

Specifically, on August 4, I went down to Chesapeake Beach Water Park with Melissa, Doreen (friend of Melissa’s), and Chris (Melissa’s boyfriend).  We had a blast.  Chesapeake Beach Water Park is a little bit smaller (and a little more expensive) than Splash Down Waterpark in Manassas, where I’ve been many times before, but it’s not a bad time.  They have a lazy river, a small central pool, several small slides, and a slide tower that has two small slides and two big slides on it.  This is the slide tower:

The big slide tower at Chesapeake Beach Water Park

In the center of the photo are the two smaller slides on the slide tower.  The blue tube coming out of the tower at the top of the structure is one of the two big slides.  That is a fully-enclosed slide that takes you on a very fast and twisty trip down into a splash pool at the end, starting with a very quick and steep descent to ensure that you get up to the proper speed.  And all of this is in total darkness until you get to the end.  No light whatsoever enters this tube except for at the ends.  Then the other big slide is barely visible in the photo, being mostly on the other side of the structure.  It boards from the middle level, on the top of that squarish structure in the middle.  On that slide, riders take a tube, either indivudually on a single tube, or in pairs using a double tube, and go down a slightly slower, more open-air ride.

We all rode all of the slides, and paired up with double tubes on the lower of the two big slides in every way imaginable.  Melissa and me twice, alternating who was in front and who was in back.  Doreen and Chris, both ways.  Melissa and Chris, both ways.  Doreen and me both ways.  Chris and me both ways.  Melissa and Doreen both ways.  The most memorable of all the trips, however, was the first, where Melissa and I rode down together, with me in front.  When we hit the end of the slide on that one, I immediately went down, and Melissa kept going forward, accidentally hitting me quite hard with her heel behind my right shoulder.  I had a bruise there for about a week.  But it’s okay, because it was all in fun.

All in all, Chesapeake Beach Water Park felt a little bit too limited for me.  I got the feeling that this facility was designed more with children in mind vs. adults (though the two big slides were pretty good), and that they put a lot of effort into aesthetics, with the big slide structure’s being designed to look like stone and brick and such, rather than a purely functional design such as at Splash Down.  But while it definitely looked nice, I didn’t feel like there were enough things that were really good for adults.  Most of the slides were kiddie-sized.  They also didn’t have enough water coming off of the tube-ride slide to make it easy to start the ride.  Every time anyone tried to start down that slide, they had great difficulty.  I don’t know if this was a plumbing problem, meaning that there wasn’t enough water to supply the slide because of a maintenance issue, or if they had that low of a water flow on purpose, but it was very annoying, especially when using the double tubes.  I also found it odd and quite annoying that the water areas were completely cleared on two different occasions while we were there just to give the guards a break.  Don’t they rotate their guards on and off throughout the day so that patrons can play uninterrupted?  When you have paying customers, there’s no reason to completely clear the water, unless there’s a lifesaving emergency or a poop/puke incident.

We also hit the snack bar while we were there, and got snow cones.  I found the way that worked to be a very strange arrangement.  First, you paid for and received your cup in the store near the restrooms.  Then you walked over to the snack bar area where they prepared your snow cone in said cup.  Looking back at this, I see some potential sanitary issues here.  And believe it or not, we inadvertently illustrated the problem all too well with something that we did while we were being silly.  Before we got our snow cones, I took a photo of Doreen, Melissa, and Chris holding their cups on their faces using only their mouths:

Doreen, Melissa, and Chris hold their cups on their faces using their mouths

Those cups, which had been on their faces, then went into the machine to make the snow cones:

The cups that were on their faces went into the machine without question.

We thought nothing of it at the time, but in hindsight, I see a problem with this.  Perhaps it would be better for them to issue tickets at the store upon payment, which could then be redeemed for cups that are kept near the snow cone machine.  In such an arrangement, the customer would not receive any product until it is complete and ready for consumption, eliminating the issue of potentially unsanitary cups’ coming in contact with the equipment.

Another thing that I found odd while here was that they had a lifesaving dummy sitting out in the open where people could potentially trip on it:

The lifesaving dummy.

Yes, they had signs indicating that they used dummies for training purposes, but to leave it sitting out unattended struck me as irresponsible.  But since they left it out, apparently they didn’t mind if I played with it a little bit.  So I did this:

The dummy, with one food behind its head.

There you have it.  I envy that dummy’s flexibility.  I can’t get my foot behind my head (but I know some people who can), but being able to do that would certainly be neat.

And then towards the end of the day, we took some time to kind of unwind on the lounge chairs before leaving.  Case in point:

Melissa relaxes while Doreen uses her phone.

I, meanwhile, decided to have a little fun with my phone while I was chilling out.  You know how people, often women, take those poolside and/or beach photos where they’re laying down, hold their phone at chest level and shoot towards their feet?  Those sorts of photos usually look like this:

Stereotypical "beach knees" pic (Photo: Julien Gomba)
Photo: Julien Gomba

Well, since we were sitting there, I was in a lounge chair, I made my own “beach knees” picture:

My very own "beach knees" photo.  And yes, I am wearing a speedo.

Yes, I absolutely went there.  Especially since I was wearing a speedo, I couldn’t resist.  I got a comment about this photo, specifically that I have very pale legs (and I do).

Even funnier, though, was that at a cookout at Melissa’s house about a week later, Melissa and Doreen completely faked this one guy out, leading him to think that he was looking at a photo of Melissa’s legs rather than mine.  He didn’t believe them when they tried to make him question it, noting the amount of hair and the slightly different physique.  I was laughing the whole time, since I knew whose legs they were.  He finally realized that those weren’t Melissa’s legs when I said, “Dude.  Those are my legs.”  That reaction was priceless.

So there you go.  Fun times at the waterpark.  And I totally need to go back to Chesapeake Beach some time when I’m not planning to swim in order to photograph the area a bit.  It looks really awesome.

Postscript: And for those wondering why I wore a speedo to a waterpark, there are a few reasons. First, you get better speed on the slides when you're in a speedo because there's less drag. I've tested this before, and it's true. Second, I don't own any swim trunks that fit. I have one pair of swim trunks from around 2000 or so, and they won't stay up anymore because I'm so much smaller now. And considering I only do these sorts of outings a few times a year, I don't see any reason to buy a suit just for that vs. just pulling out one of my regular workout suits, since those fit well and I swim with those four times a week (I have three suits, so each gets used 1-2 times per week). And lastly, I generally hate swim trunks. Let's just say that guys in Europe know how to do swimwear. Wear the briefs, regardless of what kind of body you have. And if people don't like it, they can feel free to look the other way, because I am comfortable with my own body, lumps and all, so stop trying to project your own insecurities onto me (okay, end of rant).