Every year, our base likes to hold a free carnival for all us military folks called Maynia. Even though it is free for the military and you are supposed to have to show ID to get in, we did not. And based on most of the people that were in attendance, they were not making anyone show their ID because every Tom, Dick and Harry from the podunk corners of Jacksonville, NC were there!
It's pretty much like any other carnival you've been to. Expensive food, scary carnie's, rides that make you puke and pushy, rude people. Maynia is just the same. The only difference is, admission is free and all the rides are free. I remember when we lived here before, I LOVED going to Maynia! I loved the food; I loved the rides; I loved it ALL!
Fast forward 10 years and now I don't love it so much. I look at all the rides and wonder if they are really safe for us to go on. I can't help but think who has puked where and the germs that are on everything we are touching. But MOST of all, I just don't have the stomach for it anymore. There was a time when I could ride ANYTHING! It couldn't go too fast, or drop too far or spin too much. Now, I am such a wimp!
When we first got to Maynia, we headed to the kids area where Grace got her face painted and Zachary went through a jumpy maze and a couple of jumpy slides. They enjoyed it but they were ready to move on to the "real" rides. We first saw the Spinning Barrels and I told Grace how much fun they were but the line was kind of long. But right on the other side of the barrels was the kiddie version of it. Spinning Dragons! How bad could it be? They're cute little dragons that little kids were laughing on. So we all (except for Dave who decided not to ride because he couldn't help but think of all the germs on the wheel) got in line. We sat inside and I grabbed the big wheel in the center and started spinning us.
A few things I learned....
1. It wasn't laughing. It was screaming.
2. Your head will bang against the side of the 'dragon' as you spin out of control.
3. Always place your focus on a stationary subject. Don't keep your eyes on the doorway, praying for escape as you watch the world spin out of your reach.
4. Dave is smarter than I thought he was.
The kids loved the Spinning Dragons and wanted to keep going so we moved on to the next ride which didn't look too bad at all from the ground. It was some sort of umbrella type ride that two people sat in and you were lifted up in the air and went round and round, up and down. At first, I thought "this is nice...nice breeze...not too fast..." Then as we were flying through the sky going around and around, I could feel it...that dizzy, butterfly in your stomach feeling. Just as I was beginning to think that I really didn't like this ride, it slowed down to a stop and I thought "thank goodness, it's over". Unbeknownst to me, it was not over. The carnie guy was just stopping the ride to kick off two ignorant kids who decided to light up while they were flying through the sky. Once they were off the ride, it picked right back up and away we went again. I thought I was going to die and that it could not end soon enough!
After that fun, fun time we decided that our stomachs were all feeling a little queasy, well, at least mine and Dave's were. We then opted for the 'fun house'. In carnie land, there is nothing 'fun' about a fun house. As we entered the trailer, I lead the way with Zachary and Grace behind me and Dave brought up the tail end. Everything was pitch black and it took me the longest time to figure out which way to head first. It was narrow. It was hot. It was smelly. And it was very difficult to walk through this tiny, narrow, uneven maze with a 5 year old holding on to you for dear life with his eyes squeezed so tight that he couldn't see a thing! Thankfully, it turned out to be some lame attempt to be scary and was actually funnier than it was scary and we ended up outside before we knew it.
Dave and I were both ready for some food at this point but we came upon the bumper cars next which they kids were dying to ride. The kids and I got in line while Dave went to get him a hot dog and I'm actually glad we stood in line to ride them because they were the most fun of any ride there. And I didn't feel too old for them! Zachary and Dave rode in one car with Zachary driving and Grace and I were in another car with Grace driving and we all had a blast bumping into each other and everyone else.
At that point, it was definitely time to go and get something to eat and even the food was not as good as I remembered it being. Have things really changed that much or have I just grown up? Although, the funnel cake loaded down with powder sugar was still very yummy!
After we got some food in our tummies, we decided to call it a day. Even though the kids were not ready and begged to stay, it was time to go home.
1. Carnival food is not what it used to be.
2. When Maynia comes next year - we're skipping it.
3. Rides that spin are bad. REALLY REALLY bad.
The best part of the entire day - the funnel cake!