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theme park, photo snafu, food snafu - Rounding up the Usual Suspects
Steve's Livejournal
theme park, photo snafu, food snafu
We started the morning early, with a light breakfast. Neither "J" nor I had packed enough food, and because we are traveling with her parents we couldn't get out for groceries without quite a hike. We had enough, but it might have been nice to have more food.

Story Land

Part of our package with Nordic Village Resort was admission to the Story Land theme park. It's close by, and it's been there since J's parents were young. We packed into their small SUV and rode there, a short trip. Admission was smooth and friendly.


The first ride we tried was old-fashioned cars. The cars were on a track with a metal rail in the middle. We could steer for ourselves, but if we strayed too far from the middle of the path a guide under the car bumped into the center rail and pushed the steering back toward the center of the road. J's father "R" is an antique car enthusiast, and enjoyed it whether the cars were authentic or not. J and her mother "L" passed; instead they watched and took pictures.

Gift shop

"J" and I realized that we had only one hat between us, and it was quite a sunny day. We were close to a gift shop, and looked for another one. No such luck; none of the four Sun hats I found were anything either of us would ever wear again, except maybe to a costume party. We also looked for souvenir gift shirts, and found nothing we liked in size "L", and nothing at all in "XXXL". (J later found a cute train conductor's hat, and gave me our big white Sun hat.)

More rides

The next ride was a train that gave us a tour of the entire park. There are several stops, so it can also be used to get around with less walking, but we just treated it as a tour. (All of us rode this one.) R has an amazing model railroad in the cellar of his house (unless he got rid of it since I saw it on a previous visit), and lives in a house that was a rail terminal in the 19th century; he's a railroad enthusiast.

We continued past one of the water rides (with circular rafts) and on to the log water ride. J's parents watched, and tried to take pictures, but they didn't have a good vantage point. It was fun, and a steeper drop than I had expected.

We came across a cute version of a ferris wheel, with cars styled like balloons. I took pictures from the ground, and although I thought I had a pretty dubious vantage point, J reviewed my pictures and said that I got some good ones. I haven't had a look at them yet myself.


By then it was time for lunch. We found a food place, and J and I both got the veggie burger. Bad move: they reminded me of the burgers at my junior high school cafeteria. (At least yhe veggie burgers were not tainted, however.) Neither the patties nor the plain white bread buns had any flavor. The condiments table had ketchup, yellow mustard, and sweet relish, but not salt or pepper that I could find. We ate them only because we were hungry.

At least J's parents did better with their lunches. L liked her salad, and R liked his "whoopee pie" dessert.

Rides and a castle

After lunch, we found a swan boat ride. The boat went under a drawbridge (which passengers opened with an "open sesame") and past an island of magical butterflies that switched from sad faces to smiles as we passed. We also saw the pirate ship ride in the same little lake, and some swan paddle boats in another section. The boat sailed back through the drawbridge and to the dock, and we hot out.

Just over a bridge and up a slope, in a quiet corner of the theme park, was Cinderella's palace. It included the glass slipper, the fairy godmother's magic wand, a few courtier chairs, and a fairly long line of people (mostly kids and their parents) waiting to be photographed with Cinderella. And as a bonus, it had air conditioning!

As far as I could tell from the other end of the throne room, it was the same Cinderella as we had seen at the resort yesterday, and almost certainly the same costume. I suppose the job doesn't pay all that well – though the air conditioning is a rare benefit at the theme park. Maybe moonlighting at nearby resorts is a way for the actors to make a little extra.

Our final ride was an antique carousel. R has had antique carousel horses in his shop, though he doesn't have any right now. We didn't actually ride it, however. While we were in line, consensus was reached that it was getting late, and we needed to head back to the resort.

We were a bit disoriented by the twists and turns of the park, so the route back to the exit seemed wrong, even though it was a pretty short route. It did include a walk over surprisingly steep ridge, and a passage through a space that didn't look like it was meant as the usual way to the exit. But strange as it looked, it was a pretty direct route.


On the way out I saw a booth for picking up photos. J and I thought it would be nice to have a picture from the log ride, so I asked about photos. A woman who seemed bothered told us that pictures were saved all day, but log ride pictures weren't there; we'd have to go to the special log ride photo booth.

To spare J's tired ankles, I made the hike. There, an unsmiling man asked me for my photo number. I replied that I had no idea that I even had a photo number, but I had been on the ride early in the day. He said that they couldn't look up pictures that long ago. So, no pictures for us – and no $12 for the photo booth.

I rejoined the group without pictures, and we exited. On the off chance that we might return before closing time, we even got hand stamps. Then we returned to the vehicle, and R drove us back toward the resort.


Near the entrance to the resort is a convenience store with a deli. J and I went in to get some food, in case we didn't get to leave the resort grounds again. The deli was closed, so we had to settle for a small selection of pre-made sandwiches. J and I both chose wrap sandwiches, and picked out some other items, hoping that it would be enough, R picked up a few things for himself and for L.

In the evening, J and I ate one of our wrap sandwiches – and some of the food we had planned for tomorrow's breakfast. This might be inconvenient tomorrow, because we hadn't planned our food supplies very well.

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