Last week we took a little trip to New Braunfels and Schlitterbahn for the long 4th of July weekend.
This was our third visit to Schlitterbahn (Trip One and Trip Two) and we were bursting with excitement. Okay, the nine year old was bursting and we were very much looking forward to it.
She begged to be allowed to dig into the snack bag while we were still in the driveway and we had to shut that down right away. Once were were on the road but still not out of Houston (can you say urban sprawl?) I looked back and she was down for the count and snoring (we realize lying down like this is probably not the safest--and possibly illegal?--even though Scott and I both did that on road trips in the 70s and 80s, so we let her snooze for a while).
I was so happy to see her bring Luke (her Build A Bear tiger) and her pillow pet (Pandora the Panda) because they give me hope that she might stay little longer (I can dream). Of course she also brought her iPod and watched Disney channel in the hotel. Sigh.
We stayed at a Hampton Inn in New Braunfels just down the road from Schlitterbahn. This is my rolled out of bed threw on shorts and came to breakfast I need coffee face. Several people just wore their pjs to breakfast.
Here we are right before we sold our kidneys for ticket fare and went in. Oh I kid! But, um...yeah, the tickets aren't exactly cheap.
Sidenote: We always park in Lot 10 and enter at their side entrance because it's less crazy than the main entrance.
We set up camp, meaning we dropped off my tote bag and our towels at one of the picnic tables near the arcade in the same area we did last year, I guess we like it there. This year we didn't bother with lockers for our phones or money, trusting that the Schlitterbahn Honor Code was still in effect (it was) (seriously, no one messes with your stuff, which is odd but cool).
Every year we talk about how we should pack a cooler (they let you bring drinks and food into the park) so we wouldn't spend (read: waste) money on overpriced drinks and food and every year we don't do it. I may or may not have looked at another lady near us making a sandwich and pulling an ice cold water bottle from her cooler with a tinge of envy as I sipped my overpriced flat diet coke in my silly plastic souvenir mug.
We survived on Pringles, almonds, Nilla wafers and Goldfish.
We spent the first day at the original Schliterbahn. Our absolutely favorite rides, as always, were WhiteWater, Cliffhanger and Congo (although it was COLD). Coming up next were Raging River and Hillside. Scott and Annelise also had a blast on Der Bahn and Downhill Racer which aren't tube rides but more in-your-face-shooting-water rides so I abstained.
We spent most of our time alternating between WhiteWater (crazy swooshy fast and fun), Cliffhanger (really long bumpy waterfall at the end) and DerBahn because they are located near each other and later in the day the lines are gone and you can pretty much hop from one to the other.
Once the park closed we dried off as best we could and headed over to Gruene.
Which is exactly what we do every year.
We ate yummy queso burgers and onion rings at The Gristmill while bands played at Gruene Hall and we heard the occasional firework pop in the distance.
Goodnight Gruene. You never disappoint.
It was late when we got back to the hotel but I didn't listen to the voice in my head telling me to just go to bed.
There I was, up in the gym just working on my fitness, Instagram was my witness.
I know! Not only did I pack my workout clothes, I actually put them on and used them!
And? Treadmills, while convenient, are incredibly boring. But I worked off (maybe) a few bites of my burger and an onion ring by getting four miles in, so there's that.
The next day started off at one of the other Schlitterbahn parks (there are three parks with trams that take you to and fro), Blastenhof (just like the year before). I planted myself in a chair along Torrent Beach with my book and pretended I was alone (it didn't really work) while Scott and Annelise waited in line for Black Knight.
Note to self: the day after the 4th of July, especially since it was a Friday, is CUH-razy crowded. Remember this for next year.
One new ride for us this year was The Falls, which is a long tube ride that goes between Surfenburg and Blastenhof with lots of fun rapids in between. We all three liked it!
Oh the humanity!
We stayed at Blastenhof a bit longer so Scott and Annelise could ride MasterBlaster (it's crazy fun but also always has crazy lines) before heading back to the original Schlitterbahn later that afternoon. We rode our favorites a few more times each and then called it a day.
Overall I am not a waterpark person. I won't go to just any water park because they gross me out on principle and population, but Schlitterbahn is different. It really is family friendly and not as Scankville as some other parks.
However. That said, I have now seen more than enough tattoos (men and women) and bottoms and boobsies and bellies (men and women) to last me a good long while. The thing about Schlitterbahn is that since the park is built along the Comal river the rides are all at different heights, so several of the rides require you to climb stairs as you wait in line, not only do you have assorted people in assorted swimsuits on your main eye level you also have them above you and below you. So there's a lot to, um, take in. Ahem.
We finished off the night on the Taco Cabana patio, while not fancy it was still deelish (as far as semi fast Tex Mex goes) and perfect for damp swimsuit/coverup dining.
And no, I didn't hit the treadmill after.
We'll see you next summer Schlitterbahn (with our cooler)!