Did anyone else grow up watching the Lawrence Welk Show?

My strongest recollection of that show is how the musicians all smiled — even while playing their instruments.

My dad would marvel (okay, he made fun) at the delirious grins on every last one of the musicians as they played. (How in the world do you smile while playing trumpet, clarinet, or flute? Somehow, they did it.) We laughed at the thought of Mr. Welk hollering at them in his thick accent to, "Smile! Smile!"

This photo that Lori sent me of Craig cleaning up a … um … HoliMess made me think back to that show.


This next week we have special Hospitality Training for all of our Hosts and Hostesses. I wonder if we're planning to show any clips of the Lawrence Welk Show … or maybe if just threatening to do it would do the trick.

Just moments ago, in Splashin’ Safari

I'd just completed giving a travel writer from Nashville a tour and was starting back to my office.

A nice lady stopped me.

Nice lady: Where in the world is the entrance to Congo River? (She seemed at her wit's end.)

Me: The Congo River? Here, just turn around, it's right over here. (Maybe 10 paces away. She'd just walked past it.)

Nice lady: Oh, good grief. I can't believe it's right over there.

Me: It's okay. You're on vacation.

Nice lady (smile gone from her face): No. I'm not. I'm chaperoning a fifth-grade class.

Me: (Gulp.) Oh. Well. In that case, you're definitely not on vacation. Sorry. I'm really, really sorry.

The nice lady/teacher laughed out loud and went to search for her class.

Crazy like a Fox

A roller coaster wedding?

Are you CRAZY?

Been asked that more than once the past month or so.

Well, if you head over to the homepage at Fox News Channel's website, you just might notice it's the featured video front and center.

Here's the direct link to their story.

When I asked Elvis to sing "(Can't Help) Falling in Love" to the newlyweds, he asked: "Oh, so that's their favorite Elvis song?"

Uh, no … that's my favorite Elvis song. (Actually it's a tie with "Devil in Disguise" but I didn't need to toss a coin to decide.)


Eyes wide as saucers

Santa and I were chatting it up this morning in our Christmas plaza.

He told me about two little girls who visited with him earlier this week.

They looked to be three and four years old. Cuties.

After their chat, Santa added: "Oh, and girls — thank you so much for those delicious cookies you left for me last year on Christmas Eve. They were extra yummy!"

Those pixies' eyes grew wider and wider … until one piped up.

"Then how come you took the plate?!"

Falling in love

Who knew an engineer could be so romantic?

One of the fellas who designed The Voyage just revealed to me he was married on a roller coaster nine years ago. And they're still married, proving coaster weddings have ERT (his joke).

ERT = Exclusive Ride Time … coaster enthusiasts live for those extra rides.

Today's question for you: Which one of The Gravity Group engineers was it?

Any guesses? (If you post a Comment, please also explain "why.")

Remembering Santa Claus Land

It's always nice to hear from past visitors to Santa Claus Land who now enjoy Holiday World with their own children.

This fellow turned his memories into an article for the Louisville Eccentric Observer.

He liked the creepy Edgar Allan Poe factoid.

Here are two others: The Raven was first published in 1845; a roller coaster by the same name premiered 150 years later, in 1995, at Holiday World Theme Park. Ravens used to thrive in Indiana. The last sighting of ravens nesting in southern Indiana was in 1894. This was exactly 100 years before construction of The Raven roller coaster began in the town of Santa Claus, Indiana.

Water Park Director to the rescue

Lori emailed this to me:

I "rescued" a small brown stuffed dog (plush) out of the Applause Fountain last night. Mrs. Koch called me; she tried to get it out with a mop, but it was not long enough (because the dog was next to the hands in the center of the fountain) so I had to bring a long telescoping pole from the water park.

The young boy (about 12 years old) who'd lost the dog thought it was the coolest dog now since it had been swimming. It was the first rescue of the season!

Lori added a side note: I thought Mrs. Koch said there was "poop" in the fountain; my 2-way radio cut out when she said "plush" so I misinterpreted it as "poop." I had the hardest time figuring out why the boy was still there and wanted it back!

It’s up to you

Have I lost my mind?

Or haven't most people heard of eHarmony.com?

(There was just an eHarmony commercial on the radio …)

I'm emailing out the notice about our upcoming Voyage Wedding, along with the joke that these two coaster lovers who met through that online service found their "30th dimension of compatibility."

My husband came up with that witticism — and he never watches TV. (Except for Ax Men, which we happened upon a few weeks back on a cold, wet Sunday afternoon. Don't get me started…)

Anyway, I've already heard from two savvy reporters who didn't get the joke.

So, my question to you is: Are those eHarmony commercials as ubiquitous as I thought, or have I misplaced my gray matter?

Hip to be square

Any old timers out there remember that Huey Lewis tune? It was out a few years (*cough* 22 *cough*) ago.

Back then I worked at a magazine publishing company. As editor of Pizza Today, I often trekked back and forth to the art department where the crazy art directors worked. Their radio was cranked up to a pretty high volume and I had to nearly shout to banter with them.

For a stretch back in 1986, Hip to Be Square was high up on the charts, so it was played quite often. And somehow, every time I walked in the art department, it was blasting.

"I hate this song," I'd announce in a prissy voice.

The hippie-freak art guys would crack up. Every time. Somehow, we connected through that song.

I thought of those guys and that song when I read this blog post from a "formerly cool" mom who visited the park yesterday.