On Saturday, Mrs. Cutter and I ventured up to Pennsylvania. We would be visiting my parents as well as partaking in some fun activities which we had been planning for years.
After our arrival, we went out shopping with the intent of purchasing an Eagles cheerleader outfit for the Cutlet. She had one last year, but that has obviously long been outgrown.
Surprisingly, Babies R Us didn’t have any Eagles merchandise in the store. I don’t know if they had been waiting for the end of the NFL lockout, but all they had were Phillies clothes.
Of course that didn’t stop us from spending money there. Remember, when it comes to these baby stores, nobody gets out alive.
We also stopped at a children’s shoe store named Olly to look for some much-needed shoes for the Cutlet. Her old shoes were getting too small, and now that she’s fully mobile, a nice pair of shoes is a necessity.
You might think that since toddler shoes are so small that they’d be inexpensive. You’d be wrong. Mrs. Cutter defends the price by saying how adorable they are. But this doesn’t take into account the cardinal rule of little girls’ clothing: It’s all adorable! Seriously, it’s near impossible to find clothing for a little girl that isn’t cute. Therefore, adorableness should not be a motivation for purchase.
Unfortunately, the shoes were necessary, and to be fair, the Cutlet does indeed look adorable while wearing them.
On Sunday, we figured that the Cutlet would enjoy spending the day with her grandparents. Or at least that’s what we told ourselves as we left her behind and went to Dorney Park.
Dorney Park is an amusement park near Philadelphia. I went there several times as a child, but hadn’t been back since the day before I left for my freshman year of college. I got a really blotchy sunburn that day that made my freshmen year roommates think I might have a skin condition.
Obviously things have changed greatly since then. I barely recognized many of the rides they have there now.
I got to put another entry in the “Wow, I’m old” file. Back in the day, I remember them raving about their new attraction: A giant wooden coaster named Hercules. Well, apparently, Hercules was torn down a few years ago and replaced by a new ride called Hydra.
One thing that had certainly changed was the price. While I’m sure it wasn’t cheap back in the day, it is very expensive now. Between the $15 parking, the $85 admission for two, and then the $17 locker rental fee, we had already spent a lot of money before even doing anything.
Later on, we had lunch at Subway, and a foot long sub, chips, and a drink cost us over $18. For that price, you might expect to get the best sub you’ve ever had. The sub we received fell far short of that standard.
In recent years, when Mrs. Cutter and I have gone to amusements parks, we’ve tried to go on weekdays, to avoid the weekend crowds. We were a bit worried about how crowded it would be, but our fears were largely assuaged. It seemed like most of the crowd had understandably headed to the water park. And while the lines to some of the water slides were lengthy, the non-water rides weren’t bad at all.
Perhaps the highlight was riding the large steel coaster Steel Force. It’s a fun coaster, but the ride was made much more memorable by the girl behind us screaming “F*** my life!” throughout the whole ride. When we rode it for a second time, the fun was somewhat diminished without the soundtrack.
We wanted to ride the Possessed coaster, but once we got strapped into our seats, the computer malfunctioned. Unfortunately, they couldn’t let us out of our seats until maintenance came to look at it. So we had a fun ten minutes of just sitting in the ride, unable to move.
Eventually maintenance did show up and said the ride was safe to operate, but Mrs. Cutter and I both decided to get off and let other people test out just how true that was. We moved on to other rides instead.
One good thing about going to water parks is that it usually makes you feel better about yourself. You’re sure to see unattractive, overweight people wearing bathing suits that don’t quite it them well. This trip certainly didn’t disappoint in that department.
We only hit a couple of the water slides, since the lines for those were quite lengthy in some cases. But we did get on our fair share of water rides and spent some time in the wave pool. Although I don’t know if the wave pool is an apt name for it, since there didn’t seem to be any waves actually being generated.
There were a lot of people in that pool though. We might have been more turned off by the mass of humanity if not for the fact that we spend most weekends in our condo’s kiddie pool. As a bonus, we got to see a few get kicked out for blatantly disobeying a lifeguard’s instructions not to jump in off the side. So that was cool.
After a short stay in the wave pool, we decided we had enough, got changed and headed home to see how the Cutlet had done with her grandparents. We are happy to report that all had a good time together. My parents got to witness firsthand just how much the Cutlet likes to eat, as she had quite a large lunch.
To return home, we usually pass through Nottingham, PA, which is the home of the Herr’s potato chip company. Every time we go, we see signs for their factory tour. We have always said that we wanted to go on the tour one day, but we had never actually done so. The biggest obstacle is that the tour does not run on weekends.
But since we were headed home on a Monday, our opportunity was finally here. We expected to be just about the only people on the tour, but to our surprise, the tour is quite the popular attraction, and there were a few groups present that day.
The first part of a tour involved watching a movie about the history of the company. Unfortunately, the Cutlet was not quite as enthralled by the history of Herr’s potato chips as we were. Even an appearance by the company’s chipmunk mascot Chipper couldn’t hold her attention for too long.
What she wanted to do was walk around and climb stairs. Fortunately, we don’t have any stairs in our condo, but she apparently she figured out how to climb them at my parents’ house, and enjoyed doing it. Now, whenever she sees stairs, she runs over to them and begins to ascend.
We were brought around to the various departments to see popcorn, corn chips, and potato chips being made. It certainly smelled quite nice in there. Naturally, at the end of the tour we got to try a few samples fresh off the factory floor. The Cutlet greatly enjoyed those, and probably would have kept on eating them had we let her.
So did the factory tour live up to the expectations we placed on it? Not really, but I’m still glad we finally did it. And maybe when she’s older and can appreciate it more, we’ll take the Cutlet back.