I won’t go to Funtown Splashtown USA without a cooler ever again

For the last several years we’ve made an annual trip to Funtown Splashtown USA, a family amusement park in the southern part of our state. It’s a solid two-hour drive in each direction and we are at the mercy of Paul’s demanding work schedule and the weather when trying to plan the trip during Maine’s very short summer season. Everything finally fell into place recently with little time to spare before the kids go back to school after Labor Day. In past years I’ve spent the evening prior to our trip chopping up veggies and washing fruit, then making a variety of sandwiches and filling water bottles since the park allows patrons to bring their own food. For us, it was mostly due to a need to save money, but also because I’d rather we fill up on healthy food to give us energy for the rest of our day rather than greasy crap that slows everyone down. This year, though, I made the decision to go with the flow. I took a quick glance at their menu online and figured it would make my life a little easier and Nick would love being able to order a burger rather than nibble on carrot sticks. I didn’t compromise on the water bottles, though, we simply don’t leave home without them. I also filled a gallon jug of water and froze it overnight to pack in the cooler for when we would need refills in the middle of the day. Yes I know, I’m kind of a genius. As the ice slowly melts, you are left with cold water that lasts pretty much all day. I ran track, it’s what we did.

After a few hours in the parks, we all agreed it was time to eat. Finding a place where we could all get something we wanted proved challenging, especially for me since I don’t eat meat and well, they sell a lot of meat products. We walked back and forth between a few different food spots and I could feel Paul getting annoyed because his decision was easy – he wanted the biggest burger they sold, french fries, and a soda. I tend to be a little indecisive. I realized quickly that the added time to pack the cooler would have been worth it, especially for me. I browsed the menu of Mexican food (or attempt at Mexican food), the one with fresh-made subs, and the one that offered a fish sandwich (the one meat I do eat). Finally after making my decision, with all the boys dying of hunger, I decided on the fish sandwich. I went to the cashier and started to place our order only to have her point at the empty space on the board where the fish sandwich used to be. I politely pointed to a sign nearby that listed the fish sandwich as a menu option and she stated that it was a really old menu and that they don’t offer that option anymore, in a voice that was too chipper for my hungry stomach. I ordered Paul and Nick their burgers, Cody his pizza, and settled on french fries for myself since it appeared they were made fresh. I moved to the pick-up window to see lines of burgers, fries, and pizza slices sitting under heat lamps. It was mid-afternoon, not at all busy, certainly we could expect freshly prepared food. I guess I have high expectations. I took the tray of food to the condiment station where I needed to add everything to each burger, only there were no cups for the ketchup, no spoons to scoop out the onions or relish, and several employees standing around with plenty of time to socialize. In case you’re wondering, I was annoyed and again regretting my decision to go with the food flow. Paul wasn’t even impressed and he pretty much never complains as long as the food satisfies his hunger.

Needless to say, I learned my lesson. Aside from an ice cream treat or some sinful fried dough, I will pack a cooler in the future. Now I just need to find one with wheels before I break the news to Paul and ask him to carry the one we have all the way from the car next year.


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