First I want to share something I learned over the weekend.
The City of Clearwater’s Parks and Recreation Department will start a free open gym focusing on building basketball skills in individuals with disabilities for ages 14 and up. So, even though this isn’t for Kyle as he’s under the age group, I wanted people to know, if they were looking for something like this.
The program will be held on Thursdays starting December 6th, this coming Thursday. The sessions will be from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and will be held at the Ross Norton Recreational Center, at 1426 S. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave., Clearwater, FL 33756. To register, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, on to what we did with Kyle over the weekend.
First, we took Kyle to his baseball holiday party on Saturday. He had a lot of fun, but mostly he was waiting for Santa to give him a present. Kyle and I did dance a lot, though. A big thanks to the Dunedin Elks for providing the space, volunteers and food.
Then on Sunday, the Grandma and I took Kyle to Busch Gardens for the first time. I know, it’s weird, as we’ve lived in Tampa Bay his whole life, but I guess it does happen that way, when you live close by something. You almost forget it’s there.
Plus, the cost just kept going up. It used to be much less expensive to go to Busch Gardens instead of Disney. But, now with their Fun Card, and their Flex Pay option, it’s easier. So, the Grandma gave us Fun Cards for Christmas.
For kids that love trains, this place is a keeper. The train was the first thing we did. It also helped that it was decked out for Christmas. There’s been a pretty recent development, in that he realizes that roller coasters are a lot like trains. So now he likes roller coasters. A lot. So while I like that he’s expanded his idea of what a train is, he now can’t get enough of roller coasters, and rides in general.
He loved the Air Grover coaster at the new Sesame Street Safari of Fun children’s area. The only thing is, after he got off the ride he tried to get to the front of the coaster to spin the propellers of the fake airplane Grover is “flying.” It took myself and a Busch Gardens employee to keep him from getting to it, and possibly falling off the platform. Sigh.
At least, now I know the person riding with him will have to sit on the left, so that they can grab him before he does that again. And/or have another person meet us there, ready to steer him away and off the platform.
Also, when we got to this treehouse play area there (it’s like a McDonald’s play place on steroids), he went into manic mode and got away from me, and ran ahead, across two rope bridges that were suspended high above the hard concrete below. At least that’s what I was thinking. It probably wasn’t as high as it felt. I’m afraid of heights.
Somehow I made myself get across them (but not without sustaining even more stress to my heart) and closer to where he was. Then, after almost losing track of him, I spotted him coming out of a playground tube. Luckily, when I finally got to where he was, there was another employee on the other side of the netting, who could get ahold of him before he could get away again. I told her the situation, and she took him by the arm, got his things he almost left in the tube, and walked him over to me.
Thanks goes out to this lady, whoever she was. Without her, I’m not sure I could have gotten to him in time before he got away again, and further up into that tree house. Sigh.
But, other than that, we did have a good time. He wanted to go back and ride more roller coasters. And we will. With another warm body to help, like the Dad. Hint, hint…
Yesterday afternoon, the lines were short so that even though I did get information on their Ride Accessibility Program, and a piece of yellow paper that I could show someone at any ride’s exit in order to bypass long lines for people with special needs, I didn’t need it. But in the summer, I know I will.
Before the next time we go for the rides, we may be going to the Christmas Town holiday event at Busch Gardens on Saturday night. He might be frustrated at not being able to ride the roller coasters, but he sure is going to love the snow, and the train.