This week’s HoliHint

The two-week countdown to a new holiday has begun.

On Wednesday, July 13, at 11:00 am CDT we’ll all know which holiday will be added to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari for the 2006 season.

So how exactly will we get to this New Holiday Section?

The new walkway’s exact beginning is still to be determined. We do know, however, that one of the waterslides will get an interesting bit of cosmetic surgery.

Sort of a face-lift for the Bamboo Chute.

Only one more HoliHint to go!
___
Would you like to receive HoliBlog notices – along with news releases and sweepstakes – by email? Sign up here and you can choose whether to receive the emails weekly or the same day the blog posts are published. Thank you!

A call from Afghanistan

It’s not often we get a phone call from Afghanistan, but a very special one came today.

Joe Yeager is stationed there. He was supposed to be home by now, but there was a delay.

And today is his wedding anniversary.

Joe had plans to bring his family to Holiday World to celebrate.

His question: Could we somehow get a greeting to his bride and children? (Now before everyone else starts planning signboards and announcements: we do not do this. There are so many birthdays and anniversaries, it would be pure insanity trying to satisfy everyone.)

But Joe Yeager is serving our country. And his family sacrifices daily; they miss him a lot. They had plans to be together today, their special day.

So Joe figured out the NBT (Next Best Thing). Rick, our graphic artist, whipped up a quick sign and affixed it to the back of a “sandwich board.” It was placed by the entrance gate in the hopes Joe’s family would see it as they left for the evening.

And they did.

Yeager family

That’s Deborah and one of the kiddos. (He looks kind of shy, doesn’t he?)

Here’s her story: We met several years ago, right after my dad and I moved to Corydon (Indiana) from California. I went into a store to rent a movie and asked the clerk, “What’s fun to do around here?” Her future husband replied, “Absolutely nothing — except Holiday World. Wanna go?”

Real smooth, Joe!

Back to Deborah: I told him I had a boyfriend, but thanks anyway. A year or so later, I was working at Subway and he came in. We each thought the other looked familiar, but it took us a minute to remember. All of a sudden, we both said, “Holiday World!” and started laughing. This time I said “yes” when he asked me out. So Holiday World has always been “our place.” After we got married a year ago, we even honeymooned here. Joe left for Afghanistan soon after. He’s due home any day.

And guess where they’ll be heading soon after? (We couldn’t possibly make this stuff up!)

God bless our servicemen and servicewomen all around the world. And the families who love them. And miss them.

Happy Independence Day to us all!
___
Would you like to receive HoliBlog notices – along with news releases and sweepstakes – by email? Sign up here and you can choose whether to receive the emails weekly or the same day the blog posts are published. Thank you!

HoliBribes

Kathy, who is one of our Bavarian Glassblowers, told me that lately she has been offered sugary bribes on a daily basis:

They want to know what we’re adding for 2006! Mrs. Klaus’ Kitchen is right next to us, and they try to bribe me with all kinds of fudge!

Wow. HoliBribes.

That’s fighting dirty.
___
Would you like to receive HoliBlog notices – along with news releases and sweepstakes – by email? Sign up here and you can choose whether to receive the emails weekly or the same day the blog posts are published. Thank you!

Petal pushers

How nice is this? Petal pushers!

Heading out to the Front Gate to meet with yet another travel writer last Friday morning, I saw two nice-looking fellows standing by the Group Sales building, holding a bouquet of flowers.

How sweet. Maybe someone’s getting engaged. Or meeting up with old friends.

Well, I was half right.

It was Chip and Tom. Two coaster enthusiasts from Atlanta.

Bringing flowers for Mrs. Koch.

And me!

For once, I was speechless.

How very nice. We had a fun chat and then they were off to ride our coasters. And we were off to find vases before the flowers wilted in the humidity.

And the greatest gift of all?

These petal pushers didn’t even ask about what we’re adding for ’06!
___
Would you like to receive HoliBlog notices – along with news releases and sweepstakes – by email? Sign up here and you can choose whether to receive the emails weekly or the same day the blog posts are published. Thank you!

Water temperature: Did you know?

If we’d gone to school together, I would have picked Will to be my partner in science class.

We had an email yesterday from a woman who was concerned about the notation on our website stating that the average water temperature in Splashin’ Safari is currently 85 degrees.

She asked if that water temperature was too hot to be comfortable.

I forward all emailed comments to Will and our directors. Usually, I’ve already responded to the email by then, but sometimes I ask for help.

I emailed back that hot tubs are usually set at 100-101 degrees, so 85 degrees was considerably cooler. Quite refreshing, actually.

This morning, Will sent me a slightly more sophisticated explanation:

Most people don’t understand that because of water’s high specific heat capacity, water of a given temperature (say 85 degrees) can cool a guest much more effectively than air at the same temperature. Eight-five-degree water feels cool to us humans while 85-degree air feels hot (our bodies are at 98.6, of course). We are all constantly giving off heat, and the water is better able to “absorb” it than the air around us. Seventy-degree water feels downright frigid. Anything below 78 to 80 would be described as “cold.”

Who says working at a theme park isn’t an educational experience?
___
Would you like to receive HoliBlog notices – along with news releases and sweepstakes – by email? Sign up here and you can choose whether to receive the emails weekly or the same day the blog posts are published. Thank you!

A brief panic

Driving home last night, there it was …

By the side of the road.

On the shoulder.

On its side.

A sneaker.

Tennis shoe.

Casual footwear.

Left behind by someone.

How do you lose a shoe on the highway?

Do you fling it out the window because the Odor Eater finally gave out? Does it slip off your sweaty foot during your morning jog?

How does this happen?

This made me think of something else I found recently. In the water park.

Underwear.

A grown man’s pair of underwear–abandoned–in the middle of a walkway.

How did this happen?

I was finishing up a tour of Splashin’ Safari with yet another travel writer. She’d already remarked about how clean the park appeared. We’d passed a napkin and I’d quickly scooped it up and disposed of it in one of the zillion trash cans Mrs. Koch has spaced evenly throughout the park.

And there they were.

Up ahead.

Gleaming, snowy-white in the brilliant sunshine.

A pair of … tighty whities.

Oh, no.

While explaining our Free Sunscreen to the writer, my eyes dashed wildly about, hoping to find …

What? Someone looking for an errant pair of undies?

Well, you never know.

As we got closer, the decision-making time had arrived. Gotta do it. Gotta pick those puppies up.

“Goodness! Look at this! Someone lost something here … I’ll bet they had just changed into their swim trunks and lost these on their way back to their locker.”

Can’t just leave them lying there. Pick them up. Now! Grimacing only slightly, I used my fingernails to gingerly snag the edge of the still-springy elastic waistband.

Now what?

They didn’t look … well … used.

Rather a shame to throw underwear out. But who in their right mind will call a park the next day, “Um…did you find my … um … well, you know …” I consulted the employee closest to me — over in Locker Rental: Anyone report a missing pair? No? Hmmmm … okay, thanks.

Now, socks, I’ll put on top of the nearest trash can. If they’re still there at close, into the dumpster they go. But isn’t a trash receptacle topped with someone’s unmentionables rather … unseemly?

The travel writer started to get quite interested in my dilemma. Shifting focus in this way is not advisable. Flip went the flap on the trash can. Gone. Whew!

I do apologize to the poor man who undoubtedly experienced chafing on his way home that night. If, sir, you also lost a sneaker on your drive home, please send me an email and we’ll get it back to you — it’s the least I can do.
___
Would you like to receive HoliBlog notices – along with news releases and sweepstakes – by email? Sign up here and you can choose whether to receive the emails weekly or the same day the blog posts are published. Thank you!

It’s HoliHint time again …

Holiday World LogoReady for another HoliHint?

At last, we know: On Wednesday, July 13, we will announce the 2006 expansion project.

It will be held in the Hoosier Celebration Theater at 11:00 am CDT.

Anyone visiting the park as a guest that morning is welcome to listen in and cheer with us.

So, which holiday will be announced?

Can’t tell you which one till 7/13, but we can tell you it’s one of the following (included are some rather remarkable suggestions for rides that have been suggested to us through emails and posts on Internet forums).

These HoliHints are presented in alphabetical order:

April Fools … “…with a bunch of queues with no rides.”

Arbor Day … “Will Koch likes trees – doesn’t this make sense?”

Arbour Day … (one of our Canadian neighbors suggested this one)

Easter … “How about a family/kiddie coaster called the Cotton Trail?”

Groundhog Day … “…part of a ride could go underground and pop up again…”

Mother’s Day … “Name a ride The Stork.”

New Year’s … “A coaster could be named The Countdown.”

St. Patrick’s Day … “Lots of rides for the little people.”

Thanksgiving … “Free unlimited gravy!”

Valentine’s Day … “What about The Heartbreaker?”

Only two more HoliHints to go!
___
Would you like to receive HoliBlog notices – along with news releases and sweepstakes – by email? Sign up here and you can choose whether to receive the emails weekly or the same day the blog posts are published. Thank you!

Let the good times roll

Skeeball: Games crew after hours

The Lifeguard crews aren’t the only ones having fun after-hours.

The Games crews recently got together for a friendly little competition:

Skeeball: Games crew after hours

According to April, their Director:

The eight teams were paired up and they each got to play three games of Skeeball in the first round, with the winner advancing to the “Final Four.” Five games were played in the “Final Four” and then the championship game consisted of seven games each from our final two teams. The scores were tallied by the number of tickets won by each team.

Everyone had a blast – some coming up with cheers and chants, dressing up, and then some serious competing.

The final game came down to the “4 Hot Mamas and their Sugar Daddy” team and the “Sign Up w/Me” team.

Here is the Mamas/Daddy team in all their finery:

Games crew party

Those who are still in uniform have made the traditional “I’m off the clock” fashion statement by untucking their shirts.

Back to April’s report: We didn’t let anyone know the score of the final round until the last game – this, of course, was driving everyone crazy. In the end, Sign Up w/Me pulled out an upset over the heavily favored 4 Hot Mamas and their Sugar Daddy with a final score of 292 to 261.

It was a fun couple of nights and everyone enjoyed the friendly competition – so much so they are asking when the next tournament will be.

Here’s the “Sign Up w/Me” team after their win with the “Bob the Rock” trophy.

Bob the Rock

Bob the Rock?

Yes, of course. Bob the Rock.

It seems Bob the Rock once took up residence in Tori’s office.

It’s not a large office, and Tori decided one day it was time to downsize her … um … decor.

Although surely some items were permanently removed from the office building, Bob the Rock simply moved across the hall.

Into April’s office.

A few minutes ago, April told me that when she realized she needed a trophy, she looked around her office. Bob the Rock seemed to be the natural choice.

Yes, of course. Why have all that cool, colorful plush from your office serve as a trophy?

Not when Bob the Rock is available.

I never thought to keep a rock in my office, much less to name it.

Must be a generational thing.
___
Would you like to receive HoliBlog notices – along with news releases and sweepstakes – by email? Sign up here and you can choose whether to receive the emails weekly or the same day the blog posts are published. Thank you!

Bahari baby

Such a cute Bahari baby!

A local mom gave us permission to show you her little Savannah, enjoying ice cream at Bahari wave pool:

Bahari baby, eating ice cream

Not a bad way to spend a June afternoon.

Not bad at all.
___
Would you like to receive HoliBlog notices – along with news releases and sweepstakes – by email? Sign up here and you can choose whether to receive the emails weekly or the same day the blog posts are published. Thank you!

The paper chase

Mrs. Koch and I were chatting outside the front gate yesterday. It’s always easy to find her in the morning, as she likes to greet our Guests as they approach the admissions area.

“Hey! That’s the lady on TV!”

Sometimes families stop to talk for a minute or two, maybe ask a question; but usually they just smile, nod and keep moving.

All of a sudden, with no warning, the day threatened to turn ugly.

There it was — off in the distance — coming toward us:

A piece of trash.

As the breeze lifted the paper napkin, it flew loftily toward us.

Teasing.

Taunting.

Coming right at Mrs. Koch.

Our Queen of Clean.

(Now, what does that make me? Her henchman? Henchwoman? What’s a “hench”?)

The breeze picked up and became a gust. The napkin unfolded and careened past the strollers and wagons, overtook the mom pushing the pram with the twin baby boys.

GET THAT TRASH!

We jumped into action and gave chase.

Since the napkin was floating just above the ground, moving along at quite a clip–the best way to catch it was, of course, to stomp it.

You try to get just a bit in front of it and then step firmly on it with your clean, white sneaker.

Stomp!

Missed!

Stomp!

Missed again!

(How embassassing. People are watching. People with cameras.)

Mrs. Koch graciously held back at the end to “let” me capture the offender. As I turned around triumphantly, with the piece of white paper crumpled in my hand, I saw the crowd.

Smiling sheepishly, I realized there were probably a few cynics who thought this was a staged production. Or that we were chasing a $100 bill.

Nope. Just two middle-aged women fighting the good fight.

One scrap of refuse at a time.