Food, glorious food

I was pondering how to talk about our new allergen-free food initiative, when this email dinged in my Inbox.

This happy mom says it much better than I could:

I just read online in The Courier about your new offering of allergy free food. Thank you SO much for doing this. I have a 3-year-old son who has allergies to wheat, egg, milk, barley and nuts, so it is always hard to find things he can eat. I always feel bad when we go to places and he can't eat what others are having. We are from Evansville originally, but live in the Chicago area now. We always like to come back for visits and come to your park, and this will make it even better when we come later this summer. I also appreciate that you all have taken care to make sure there is designated equipment for preparing the food. Many people don't realize that reactions can occur just from coming into contact with the food on their skin.
Thank you again. You are all wonderful.

Kim B.
Aurora, Illinois

Happy Food Allergy Awareness Week!

Play the day away

Another Play Day has come and gone.

The weather wasn't the best, but no one seemed to care. Laughter filled the air.

Play Day 2008

I especially enjoyed watching one young fellow riding HallowSwings. He was having the time of his life.

I got dizzy just watching and had to turn away. But I'll never forget the complete and utter bliss on his sweet face.

Fashion forward?

Fashion forwardA flower pot on the head and a pink “grass” skirt.

Now that’s a fashion statement.

But one person’s flower power is another person’s …

Fashion forward

…well, I’m not sure.

But there’s plenty of attitude.


I may tweet, but I’m not a twit

Are you familiar with Twitter?

You may have noticed, we added a feed to the right of the latest HoliBlog post …

It’s a micro-blog. With a maximum length of 140 characters (not words) per post … er, tweet.

So you have to choose your sassy comments carefully.

Once we’re open daily (Saturday), it’s our intent to provide running commentary about the day. If you’re in the park and have the feed text-messaged to you, you’ll know which rides have the shortest lines. If you’re not in the park, you might still get a kick out of knowing that stuff.

Apparently the Motley Fool likes the idea.

As I was typing this, Eric called. He’d just read the latest column from the Motley Fool and saw that we were mentioned. He wanted to know: What’s Twitter? After my brief explanation, Eric sighed, “Wow. I’m getting old.” That made someone who is old enough to be his mother feel pretty good.

An A+ for Hannah

Hannah is a sweetie.

I met her a few seasons ago when she visited the park with her family. Her dad is a journalist from Cincinnati.

Hannah is finishing up 4th grade ("Just like Bart Simpson," her dad told me).

Her proud papa emailed me a theme paper (remember those?) for which Hannah received 25 out of 25 points, plus a one word comment: Great!

Here is that paper, but first a photo of the author loving on her little sister, Lizzie.

Hannah and Lizzie at Holiday World


The best trip of my life was last summer. I was so excited I actually got a headache from being excited. That turned the whole trip around.

My sister, a young blonde with blue eyes, sat next to me and my dirty blonde hair and shining green eyes. We were going to Holiday World, best theme park ever! (Not Disney or Blizzard Beach, that's a tie). My dad is a writer. He reviews DVDs. He also writes for The Gary Burbank Show and interviews comedians, but for the second time in a row he is reviewing Holiday World. It is located in Santa Clause, Indiana. It is named "Holiday" World because its town is named after Santa Claus. All of the rides and restaurants have a holiday theme, except for Easter, St. Patrick's Day and birthdays. We had to stop at two Lincoln museums, but then went to Holiday World. We stayed in a large wooded area called Rudolph campsite. In the trailer we slept in, I felt excited and I got a headache, but the trip was awesome.

My little sister Lizzie is 4. She was fine and I thought I was too. I ate at a Thanksgiving sever-yourself restaurant. My mom paid me to go on the tallest rollercoaster made. Um, hello mom I have a headache!

A few rollercoasters later, I had barley any headache at all. And right in front of me was my favorite rollercoaster, The Raven. It was tall brown and wooden. The top had 2 flags. On the tallest hill there was a big raven. My mom and I got in the front seat, but oh boy did my head hurt. I would rather have dipped a cookie in orange juice. But once I got off the ride I was fine. So we went in the water park Splashin' Safari. It was connected to Halloweenland. I had my favorite swimsuit, lime green and navy blue. My mom and sister went to a large fenced area and ran through sprinklers. Me and my dad went to my favorite water slide. It was green, yellow and pink and blue. It was slightly steep and went up and down and side to side. My dad and I got spongy blue mats with rubber handles, climbed up the stairs and splashed down the slide. After a while I knew this was the second best day ever. The first best was last year's trip to Holiday World!

Later that night we were at a hotel that was a house. Kind of a condo, but not connected houses. You could sleep in it like a hotel. There was a cozy library, cute rooms and a list of rentals for movies. We rented The Wedding Singer. Halfway through, I got a stomach ache. Then something came out my front end. Didn’t want to get descriptive about that!

This is dedicated to Paula, a worker at Holiday World. She made this trip happen and I can't think of anyone I met at that park who was nicer (including Lizzie, my sister!)

"I would rather have dipped a cookie in orange juice." That's classic. I predict Hannah has a wildly successful writing career in front of her.

Here we go!

We open for the season tomorrow.


Where in the world did the “off season” go? Amazing.

Meanwhile, we’ve got some photos from yesterday. (It rained most of today, so we meltable PR types didn’t venture forth much.)

The landscapers were hard at work.

Readying to open in 2008

The last of the flags went up (good thing, too; today would not be the day to hang coaster flags):

Flags for Legend

This photo of our Paint Shop Manager painting our Santa statue was taken this morning, before the clouds opened up.

Painting the Santa statue

It is such an honor to be part of this tradition. For the 62nd time, the park will open for the season.

Remember, we’re splitting the difference on time this year: The rides open at 9:30 am CDT.

It’s the spring of the year…

John's hair

…when the sweet, melodic voices of mothers all over southwest Indiana murmur to their darling teen-aged sons:

Work starts on Saturday — time for your haircut!

Exhibit A:

John's hairYou probably won’t recognize this friendly Holiday World Host from the past several seasons because, well … you can only see about 30 percent of his face.

His mother (um … me) and father allowed #2 son to go organic over the winter.

It keeps my head warm. You don’t want my brain to freeze do you?

Said parents were more concerned about whiplash. John enjoyed snapping his head to swing his bangs a bit to the side. Within half a second, the hair would slide back down, and the whole process would begin again.

Yes, son, very cool. You rock.

But all good things must come to an end.

John's hairLook at the size of that head! (Did I mention John weighed 10 pounds, 11 ounces when he was born via natural childbirth? A reminder to sons with large heads everywhere: 10 shopping days left till Mothers Day.)

The poor stylist was probably ankle deep in clippings as my sheep-dog son was shorn.

But in the end, all is well. The haircut is complete.

I can see John’s blue eyes again and …

John's haircut

… my middle child will qualify to earn a summer paycheck once again.
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Lunatic on the loose

The subject line of this post is a nod to my dear husband. Gary loves malapropisms (and I loved reading The Rivals in high school, so I still use the word malapropism whenever possible).

We live out in the country (which works well, seeing as though he's a farmer). Whenever a large moth flies by, he cries out: "Look! A lunatic moth!"

Yes, there's a lunatic in our midst, dear, but it's not the flying kind

This post and accompanying photo, though, are from Eric:

Today is cleaning day in the Admissions Department.

This morning, I headed out to the Holidog Inn to prepare it for opening day.

Luna mothAs I opened the door, I saw something fly into the room over my shoulder. At first glance I thought it was a leaf.

A closer inspection made it clear that it was no leaf, but a living being!

A luna moth decided to be the first unusual Holidog Inn guest of the year. It's a beautiful little creature, but kind of creepy. It wouldn't stop smiling at me!

(Perhaps it sat in on one of our Hospitality Training sessions?)