Berlin, OH - Events of Thursday, August 11, 2016
At the end of our last post, we told you we had a trip planned to another planet. The name of that planet is Planet Bounce.
Well, okay. It's not really another planet. Planet Bounce is the name of a children's attraction in Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania, (located just a little south of Pittsburgh) that is filled with bounce houses for kids to play in. We thought it would be fun to take Lydia, so we drove to Pittsburgh on Thursday morning then headed to Planet Bounce with Lydia and Lora. We got an early start because, while they have longer hours on weekends, they are only open from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The cost is $10 per child. Adults are free. Parents are permitted into the bounce houses with their kids.
When we first arrived, Lydia, who doesn't adapt quickly to new things, was a bit overwhelmed. There were dozens of yelling kids running around, and there was the constant, loud hum of all the blowers that were keeping the bonce houses inflated. We had a hard time deciding what to try first.
After watching some of the other kids play for a few minutes, Lora and Lydia decided to try the smallest of three inflatable slides. That sounded like a good choice because Lydia likes slides; but with this one, the kids have to climb through several narrow openings to get to the top of the slide. Lora went in with Lydia to help her through.
Lydia was a afraid of the small openings, especially with the whole thing shaking constantly from all the other kids moving around inside. When Lora lifted her through the opening in the photo above, Lydia was all by herself on the other side of the barrier and started to cry. Lora pulled Lydia back and lifted her out over the side to Margery before climbing back out the entrance herself.
The biggest slide had a ramp that went straight to the top and that wasn't in a confined area, so they decided to try that one next. Lora helped Lydia to the top.
Lydia liked the ride down, but she wasn't ready to try it again because, although the the ramp is not in a confined space, it is very steep and it jiggles a lot when the other kids are moving around. Not only that, but some of the bigger kids insisted on trying to push past Lora and Lydia on the way up making things even more uncertain for Lydia.
Just as Paul was starting to think taking Lydia to Planet Bounce might not have been such a good idea because she was still a little too young, we found a small room off the main room that was a lot more quiet and that had some foam blocks that the kids can stack and crawl on and under. Lydia quickly started feeling more at ease.
The small room also had a wall maze with space aliens, rocket ships and comets. It was cute because it kept with the "planet" theme. Poppy and Lydia played with it for a while.
When Lydia started losing interest in the things in the small room, we all headed back out to the main room where Lora and Grammy took Lydia into a plain bounce house that had no slides and no obstacles. It was just a rather large, inflated space with nylon mesh sides where kids can jump around. Lydia had trouble keeping her balance when the other kids were bouncing and was a little afraid at first, so Lora held her hands and jumped with her. As Lydia started getting used to having everything around her move and shake, she started having fun.
After Lydia got used to being in confined spaces by climbing under the blocks in the smaller room, and after she got used to having everything moving and shaking around her in the plain bounce house, she was ready to try the slides again. She still needed help getting to the top of the big slide and through the mazes and tight squeezes in the smaller ones, but she loved them all - especially the tall slide.
Poor Lora got really tired from all the climbing, lifting and jumping she had to do to help Lydia, but we were happy to see Lydia get used to all the new experiences and eventually start enjoying herself. We didn't know the bounce houses would require so much adult assistance for smaller kids like Lydia or we would have waited until next year to try it. By 12:30, Lora was worn out and we were all hungry, so we headed back to the house for lunch.
After Lydia's nap, we headed to the Texas Roadhouse in nearby Bridgeville to meet J. Michael after work for dinner. J. Michael had gotten a coupon for a free appetizer, so we all shared an order of Rattlesnake Bites, which are deep-fried cheese and jalapeño balls. They were outstanding.
Texas Roadhouse has 8 or 10 early bird specials for $8.99 before 6 p.m., so that's what we all had. J. Michael had grilled chicken, and the rest of us had 6-oz sirloin steaks. Everything was yummy!
After dinner, we said our good-byes and headed back to the rig in Ohio.