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A Day At The Park

Twill Shorts & T-Shirt

20150619_090230-001I originally intended to write this post on Saturday but unfortunately the allergy attacks I had earlier in the week blossomed into a full-out sinus infection. Oddly enough, on Friday however I was still able to go to Kennywood, a local amusement park in Pittsburgh, but by Saturday I was down for the count.

You’ve heard me say on previous occasions that while I am definitely a planner when it comes to day-to-day dress I just can’t operate on a plan because I dress the way I feel. But a preplanned event always calls for careful consideration, based on venue, weather and any other influences as to what I’ll wear.

Comfort rules the day when dressing for a day at the park but this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a chic look. My 5 essential pieces for the day were:

  1. Gloria Vanderbilt Margo Twill Utility Shorts | Kohl’s | The neutral taupe colored shorts go with everything and looked especially nice with my cap. I like the added button tab detail at the cuff of the shorts and the lightweight twill fabric was oh so comfy.
  2. Black Tee (old) | Old Navy – similar HERE | I knew I was going to wear either a black or white v-neck tee. The one I wore was an old one from Old Navy. The cotton blend material is lighter than some of my other tees making it comfortable to wear even in the hottest weather.
  3. Canvas Plimsolls (old) | Forever 21 – similar HERE | I forgot I had these shoes but I’m so glad I wore them because they made walking around all day a breeze for my feet. They are sort of an off-white but not quite the color of my shorts or cap. These sneakers are affordable, wide variety of colors/prints, and they can be found just about anywhere.
  4. SONOMA life + style 3-Button Cadet Hat | Kohl’s | It was last summer that I got into this cap-wearing phase and I like it because even if you’re going for a casual appearance a cap can serve a couple of purposes: 1) protection from the sun 2) gives that extra bit of glam.
  5. Drawstring Backpack (very old) | similar HERE | I would have liked a backpack handbag (been wanting one for ages) but I had this old black drawstring backpack that fit the bill perfectly. It’s lightweight and can be worn over the shoulder or as a backpack. The added advantage of a drawstring is that it decreases the likelihood of pickpockets.
Sky Rocket coaster - the launch goes from  zero to 50 mph in under 3 seconds! Then there's a 95-foot vertical climb to plummet 90 degrees. Oh and did I mention the twists, turns and loop de loops.
Sky Rocket – the launch goes from zero to 50 mph in under 3 seconds! Then there’s a 95-foot vertical climb to plummet 90 degrees. Oh and did I mention the twists, turns and loop de loops.
Aero 360 - Kennywood really makes good use of their logo with this ride. It's literally two Kennywood arrows that swing back and forth like a pendulum, going higer and higher until they do a complete 360 degree rotation.
Aero 360 – Kennywood really makes good use of their logo with this ride. It’s literally two Kennywood arrows that swing back and forth like a pendulum, going higher and higher until they do a complete 360 degree rotation.
Photo collage containing 4 pictures: Sky Coaster, Thunderbolt,  Musik Express & Swing Shot
Top L to R – Sky Coaster, Thunderbolt, Musik Express & Swing Shot

The Pre-Trip

This little park excursion was planned by my three cousins Charese, Lance, and Craig as a family gathering since Craig, and his family are in the U.S. for a couple of weeks. Due to Craig’s job, it’s been awhile since the three siblings were all together because Craig, his beautiful wife Dayna, and their five children relocated to South Africa a couple of years ago.

Collage of 6 pictures of Orian and Arian
Orion and Arian

In preparation for the day I went to Kennywood’s website to get an up close view of the attractions because this would be my first visit to the park since I lost my vision. Just looking at the park online brought back so many wonderful memories and I couldn’t smother the flames of my excitement even if I tried.

So on Friday morning my son, Arian, picked me up, we swung by the daycare, scooped up my grandson, Orion, then it was off to Kennywood. As we got closer to the park the highest peak of one of the roller coasters rose above the trees and you could hear the screams even from the parking lot.

We buckled Orion in his stroller and made the trek to the park’s entrance. Metal detectors – ugh I forgot about those and here I have my little bedazzled canister of pepper spray on my key chain stashed in my backpack. “Will they confiscate it,” I think to myself. “I seriously hope not because that little blinged out canister goes so nicely with one of my embellished wristlets.”

The Arrival

Beeeeeep – “oh here we go, I’m going to be patted down.” I don’t know what it is about situations like metal detectors, or, when I used to drive, police sirens, but I always felt nervous and downright guilty, even though in the case of driving I was never pulled over in my entire life.

I have a great respect for those in authority but this is an amusement park for crying out loud and you’d think I could relax. But here I am though not a stutterer, I begin stuttering, “uh, uh, uh, um, c-c-could it b-b-be my earrings, k-k-keys, or…” I pause because I can’t remember what else I have that could have possibly set off the detector.

The guy says “it’s probably your white cane, don’t worry about it.” “Oh that, I forgot about that.” “What’s wrong with me?” I’m imagining they were gonna push me up against a wall, and make me spread my legs like a perp (again, too many crime dramas). Reality check – no one cares Steph.

Collage of Craig, Dayna, 3 of kids and 2 of Charese's kids in the top photo, lance is in the center and right photo on the bottom
Dayna & Craig with several of my young cousins in the top photo. Lance or Pastor Whitlock is in the two bottom photos center and right.

We enter the park and go directly to the agreed upon meeting location and Arian spots Charese and her husband Wes. A little time passes until the rest of the gang arrives amid many hugs and kisses.

I was even prepared with my phone at the ready to take a group photo. I took, or so I thought, three great pictures, only to find out later I didn’t capture the moment. It wasn’t a big deal though because I managed to get some nice candids.

Our group of twenty consisted of four generations: Dayna’s parents, me and my cousins, our children, and my grandson. Everyone had oodles of fun and while I personally am not a thrill seeker (I so wish I were), I got a charge out of everyone else getting on those crazy, crazy rides.

Collage of various family members greeting one another
Greeting Dayna, Craig, their children, Dayna’s parents and two of Charese & Wes’ children.

The Kiddie Ride Incident

Arian and I separated from the group to take Orion to the Kiddie Rides. Orion is only two years old but he’s so tall (the pediatrician estimates that he’ll be well over 6 feet tall), when he started crying on the Wacky Wheel (little ferris wheel) I’m sure everyone thought (geez, what’s up with that four-year old). In the video you can hear my son laughing so hard I thought he’d blow a gasket (for the record adults were not allowed to go on this ride with the kiddos). Poor little thing I felt so bad for my baby.

After our foray into kiddieland we reconvened with the group, grabbed a bite of unhealthy but delicious park fare, then sat around chatting and catching up. I think out of the whole day this was my favorite part because it was here that we got to really connect with one another.

A few more rides, the getting ready to leave ice cream cones, then it was more hugs, kisses and sweet goodbyes. All in all it was a very good day!

“The family is a haven in a heartless world.” ~Attributed to Christopher Lasch

3 thoughts on “A Day At The Park

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  2. Were potato patch fries in that park fare!

    1. You know it Susan LOL!!! Some of the others also got funnel cake (not one of my favs but hey who cares?)

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