we hung out in the marketplace area to wait for the kids to arrive on the bus, which pulled up a full 20 minutes after us. one of the dads had driven his own car down there too, and then when the kids finally emerged from the parking lot we made our way over to the park entrance.
once we'd checked in with our tour guide, she led the kids in a single-file line into the ghost town area where they gathered at the general store to learn a little bit about living in a small town in the early days of california. they watched a candle making demonstration, which i thought would have been way more fun if they'd been able to participate. a good number of them were pretty zoned out about halfway through.
didn't matter, though. they were still out of the classroom on a school day inside an amusement park, so they were still pretty happy campers.
they were all pretty stoked when they realized they were heading into the entrance for the log ride.
i really try not to hover around my kid when i'm chaperoning a field trip, and since she was closer to the front of the line she got to ride it with her friends and another mom.
i ended up in one of the last logs with a couple of kids who weren't all that sure they even wanted to ride. it was pretty funny listening to them chatter nervously through the whole thing.
it's a pretty dark ride, and you really don't know when you might round a corner and get soaked, or when the ride will drop. being in the front, i just knew i was going to end up getting wet, and as we climbed the last hill i was bracing myself for it.
and sure enough, i bore the brunt of the splashing as we took that last steep drop. luckily it was a pretty warm day, so i didn't mind it so much.
they headed back into ghost town for the next part of the tour, where they sat in the lobby of the theater and listened to a story told by another costumed park employee.
i couldn't help but marvel at the fact that the place really lived up to its name - there were hardly any other parkgoers in sight. such a huge difference from disneyland, which is maybe ten minutes away and never looks like this except when they're not open:
the blacksmith's shop was the next stop, where the kids got a demonstration on how to make a horseshoe.
as we walked through the park, they got to stop and look at all of the models of the missions of california. they'll be doing their own missions project in class later on in the year, so it was great for them to be able to get a sneak peek at what they'll be working on.
boysenberries were created here.
when we re-entered the park we rode the train, where i was surprised to find that they don't do a "holdup" anymore. and it's not even a real train anymore - it's some weird vehicle they created out of spare parts, including an old school bus. oh well. the kids loved it either way.
look at my ass!
the final story was told by a "trapper," who wore a fox on his head and shouted random exclamations throughout his tale.
one last ride, and it wasn't one of the fun ones that the kids had been tortured with all day long. heh. no, it was the mine train, where they got to see what it was like to be a miner back in the day.
and then that was that. although they did receive a certificate that they could use towards a future visit. it included a coupon that would get a child's admission free with the purchase of one adult ticket, so it looks like we'll be going back again - probably over christmas break.
and if it all possible, you really shouldn't go to knott's and not have mrs. knott's fried chicken. if not here:
then at least you can stop here and grab it to take home.
after a long day of field tripping, it sure was nice to go home and not have to make dinner.
and it was pretty delicious...although i have to say that disneyland's plaza inn is still better. guess braving the crowds is still worth it in the end.