“You’re enjoying this too much!”

Since when is it a sin to enjoy your job? There’s a lot of chuckling going on around the office as we drop a hint here and there regarding next year’s record expansion project.

Sometimes, even more information is uncovered internally as the days progress. (In other words, I head over to the Main Office and ask some questions.)

For example, I just found out that the Snowy White Gravel Road is actually an access road to get supplies back to Bahari.

Go figure.

It’ll be mighty handy in the coming months, as the Snowy White Gravel Road is into multi-tasking.

Rich Davis, at the Evansville Courier & Press, grilled me hard last Friday, trying to unravel the mysteries woven throughout the HoliBlog.

And WTVW-TV called a bit ago; they’re doing a story for this evening’s newscast.

This is fun

So much fun, in fact, that we’re delaying the announcement.

No, not because we want to — we’ve hit a scheduling hitch and need to make the announcement a bit later than the originally planned June 16. (Sorry!)

On Friday, Rich asked if it made me nervous — would all this hype end up causing a big let down at some point. After all, in the past, we’ve always been buttoned-up tight until our announcements (usually held in the fall months).

This truly has been an adventure into uncharted waters.

I must admit, I’m a worrier. My mind constantly shouts, “What if?!”

Mrs. Koch and I laughed about this the other day. That advice, “Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s all small stuff,” doesn’t work with our personalities.

With us, it’s all big, huge, hairy stuff. (Although “stuff” could surely be replaced with a more properly descriptive word.)

But of this I’m certain. Folks who love Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari will be absolutely enamored with our expansion plans.
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Proud Grandma, lucky grandchildren

Mrs. Koch always has cute stories about her grandchildren (she has 11; #12 is due in July).

Beautiful little Anna was here last week.

She’s two years old (and just-barely-two, not nearly-three).

When Mrs. Koch took her to our Rudolph’s Reindeer Ranch so that she could go on one of the kiddie rides, Anna had her own plan:

Go ride coaster!

It’s in her blood, we figure.

Raven roller coaster

In case you’re wondering, the height requirements apply to the Koch children and grandchildren just as they do to everyone else. No exceptions. Not ever.

Four or five seasons ago, it was tough. Four of the grandchildren are the same age. Two were tall enough to ride The Raven and The Legend, and two were not.

The “vertically challenged” grandkids ate a lot of string beans that summer, believe you me! But until they were tall enough, “Go ride coaster!” had to remain the height of fantasy.

You have to listen to win

Please note: This contest has concluded and the prize awarded.

This is one of those contests where you have to be listening to the right radio station at the right time if you want a chance to win.

“Win what?” you ask.

Win this:

Contest prize: truck

Ain’t it a beauty?

All you need to do is listen to WBKR radio station. Weekdays, sometime between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm CDT, there will be an announcement to “call in to win.” If you manage to be Caller #10, you get a place on Revolution.

That’s right.

If you’d like a chance to win, you need to capture one of the 33 spots on “the wheel”:

 

Listen to win on Revolution

On June 18, all the finalists will climb aboard our new Revolution and when the ride stops, there will be only one winner.

Want to know more? Head over to the WBKR website for all the rules and regs.

Please don’t email me asking to sign up another way, because …

(All together now): You have to listen to win!
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Splashin’ superheroes

How cute are these little guys?

Crocodile Isle sliders

Rachel took this photo last week down at Crocodile Isle (thanks to the parents for giving us their permission to do this).

We had chilly temperatures that day, so those little fellows must have used their super-powers to keep warm!
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Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Bahari wave pool

We and our friends (old and new) certainly intend to enjoy this weekend.

Who wouldn’t?

Bahari wave pool is open!

Bahari wave pool

In case you’ve been wondering where in the world we put Bahari wave pool, the above photo should help put it all in perspective. (It really is a photo, I assure you. For some reason it looks a bit like an artist’s rendering.)

Bahari has a lovely “resort” look, right on down to the fossil-bed finish on the multi-colored decking.

Let’s zoom in a bit to get a better look at the theming …

Bahari theming

There are lots of new deck chairs (which we refer to as “towel holders”). And the new Bahari Snacks food outlet even offers fresh fruit!

Okay, it’s fresh fruit dipped in chocolate, but that doesn’t cancel out the health benefits, does it?
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I said I wouldn’t do it …

Painting water tower

… but here’s one last story about our new water tower.

My husband is a dairy farmer … and he needed some equipment welded yesterday.

The fellow he normally calls wasn’t available, as he was doing some work at Holiday World (oops! sorry, dear).

But the welder was available today and got the milking parlor stanchions all fixed up.

He told Gary this story …

Remember that photo of the painters, suspended high about the ground, touching up the paint on the “bowl”?

Yes, this one:

Painting water tower

Apparently, when one of the painters returned from the water tower to terra firma, he remarked about the view:

I could even see the high-dive team rehearsing their shows.

Those guys are crazy!
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Mother’s Day hits twice

I tease Thomas that he’s my egghead son.

John, 13, is my musical son.

And James, 5, is my farm-boy son.

Here they are on Christmas morn a few years back.

Christmas 1999

James, Thomas, and John Werne

They’re all bright fellows, but Tom is what I sometimes refer to as “scary smart.”

I have, by the way, a newspaper clipping of an article stating that bright sons get their brains from their mothers. (Just thought I’d throw that bit of scientific fact on the heap.)

Tom is finishing up his second year at Rose-Hulman. If you’re not from Indiana, this may sound like a school for florists. It’s actually a highly regarded school of engineering. He’s double-majoring in Electrical Engineering and Math and has tested out of enough classes that he could graduate a year early (if he didn’t love school so much).

Slacker!

Anyway, Tom was home on spring break shortly after the start of the HoliBlog. I asked him to explain the whole concept of “RSS” to me. (I listened to, but didn’t thoroughly retain, his explanation. It’s a “syndication” that delivers the blog posts to you, rather than you having to check repeatedly for new posts. Something like that …)

So Tom granted me a demonstration on his souped-up laptop. He set up RSS delivery of HoliBlog posts on his system.

Cool!

He then promptly deleted it.

A knife to my heart would have caused less pain.

How could you, my son?

Shall we talk about the many hours of labor … and that you were delivered naturally so that no foreign substance might taint your precious brain?

… okay, I won’t go there. You were the smallest of my three babies after all. (If you can call 8 lbs. 13 oz. a runt!)

Trying to keep the pout out of my voice, I told him how I’d received an email from another local college boy … who said HoliBlog was “like a letter from home.”

Didn’t work.

He didn’t take the hint.

Cleaned up his laptop and moved on to some unpronounceable engineering project (for some light reading, don’t you know).

So imagine my joy — my rapture — when my beloved first-born called a bit ago,

Mom … what’s going on? You haven’t posted on the blog lately …

(Cue the music — lots of violins swelling in unison.)

The prodigal son has returned. Kill the fatted lasagna!

Mommy’s tiny touch of revenge, of course, is this rather silly post. Tom will see it immediately since he has that RSS thing, right?

It’s nice to know — sniff! — that you care, Tom. (I also know my double-hyphens annoy you — don’t they, dear?)

Motherhood is a precious, precious thing.
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A new road in town

New road in town

Santa Claus is a cute little town. About 2,200 population, with street names befitting the town’s theme: Snowbell Lane, Sled Run, even Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire (I swear! I’ll post a photo of the very long street sign someday).

When a new road appears, it’s a bit startling

And when the road is improved from a dirt lane to lovely white gravel, it’s a sight to behold!

New road in town

Your intrepid reporter decided it was important to put the location of … let’s call it the Snowy White Gravel Road … into perspective for you. Grabbed the digital camera, hopped in my car and drove over to the site.

Once again, I risked life and limb (and this time — chigger bites!) to get the proper photo. The hillside, I’ve discovered, is remarkably steep. And full of colorful flowers interspersed with mean, scratchy weeds.

So steep, in fact, for a split second, I thought I was going to fall over backward. At that point I realized if I moved ten yards or so to the south, the angle would be better and the tangly weeds were not quite as thick.

In the lower foreground, you’ll see the entrance to the Snowy White Gravel Road:

new road in town

And to the upper far left, squint a bit and you’ll see the top of Liberty Launch. Working your way to the right, you’ll see the water towers and then the top of The Legend’s lift hill.

Got it?

Hopped back in my car and carefully meandered up the Snowy White Gravel Road.

Please note: Do not try this at home. Seriously, as a park director, I have access. This is definitely an “Authorized Personnel Only: No Trespassing” area.

At the top of the hill, I wanted to head over toward the piled-up wood. If you are a faithful reader, you already know about this. If not, please go back and read this and then this.

Luckily, with no recent rains, it was no problem moving from the “improved” Snowy White Gravel Road to Proceed With Caution Lane.

Apparently, we’ve had several more deliveries since we last took a look.

Not sure, but this looks to me like some sort of fancy roofing material:

more mystery material

What do you think?

I glanced up after taking that photo and got rather spooked.

There was a gigantic bird hovering overhead. With a huge wingspan.

Looked rather threatening, actually.

First I thought it was a hawk. But maybe it was one of those wild turkeys that hang out around here. Whatever it was, it wasn’t worth waiting around for a proper introduction; I snapped this and headed back to safety:

mystery material

As much as I’d like to stick around and speculate with you, I’m heading home.

There’s a big bottle of Calamine Lotion waiting for me!
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Water, water everywhere

water button

… and not a drop to drink.

Not!

About once a week during the season, we receive a comment that our Free Unlimited Soft Drinks selection should include water.

Well. Actually.

It does

Pepsi Oasis

If you dash in and dash out of one of the Pepsi Oasis buildings scattered throughout the parks …

… you may not see it in your haste.

But once you know to look for a separate button at the Lemonade or Iced Tea selection, you’ll never miss it again.

It’s good water, too. I get it all the time.

We’re happy to reply to these emails, letters and phone calls. Only it’s a little hard to take when we get a lecture.

At the risk of starting an international incident, I’ll relate a recent chewing out we got from a fellow from our neighboring nation to the north.

water buttonNow normally I wouldn’t mention a person’s nationality. But in his argument to “convince” us to offer water, here’s what he wrote:

Obsecity is rappant in the U.S.

So.

Is he calling us a bunch of fatties?

I only know a few Canadians. My sister-in-law Marie-Susanne, for example.

She’s slender.

And the fellows from ProSlide are Canadian. When they came down to test out Zinga a few years back, come to think of it, they were also quite trim.

Hmm.

In the interest of world harmony, what about this, my new friend from the North:

I’ll take off five pounds.

And you start using SpellCheck.
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Must be “sweeps week”

Oh, my: It’s Sweeps Week

Erica and Jackson got married after 17 long years.

Carrie and Bo are prepping their pipes.

Thirty million headed over to Wisteria Lane to get some answers.

… and Pat Koch is featured in a “Close Up” on Evansville TV this evening.

The producer called yesterday and needed some additional archival photos of Mrs. Koch; Jerry was kind enough to dash over with a batch.

Mrs. Koch as a child

We’re told a condensed version of the profile will air tonight at 5:00 pm CT on WFIE-TV Evansville, with the full four-minute feature on at 10:00 pm.

“Sweeps week.”

If you’ve ever been here, you’ve probably seen Mrs. Koch out in the park.

(Did you catch the pun?)
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