We survived another Mullet Festival!
We ate too much and spent way too much money but we had a great time. It rained on us several times but there was no lightning and it was a light rain that would come and go. It didn't bother us and I didn't see anybody else complaining either LOL Just inside the gate the Army Rangers had their reptile tent set up. The Rangers have a thing for reptiles and they have a big reptile display at their base on Eglin. They travel with their snakes as an educational tool so they have this big tent set up and inside are several different kinds of snakes and alligators. I don't like snakes AT ALL. I mean I'm seriously scared of them. Way past all reason. But I like alligators a lot and so I want to go in the tent. Island Girl reminds me that their are snakes in there and I tell her that's ok because they'll be in cases and I saw in the newspaper that I can hold one of the baby gators so I'll deal with the snakes in the cases. We're standing in line and Island Girl says "Mom, you might want to rethink going in the tent" and she points to the entrance where there stands one of the Rangers holding a live snake for everyone to touch. Right in the middle of the very small tent opening.
Well I wasn't going to squeeze past the man with the snake and I've held a baby gator before so I told the Island King he was in charge and Island Girl and I bugged out. She told me she was relieved because she's not as freaked out by snakes as I am - she just doesn't like them and really didn't want to go in the tent. No problem LOL The boys loved the tent and the only snake out of its case was the one at the door. But there were no gators to be held. I'm really glad I didn't go in.
After they were done the Youngest Island Boy wanted to ride the Ferris Wheel. Hmmm. This really hasn't come up before now. The Island King and I don't like to ride most rides at festivals and fairs. He says he's old and that his body doesn't respond well to being thrown in every direction while his neck snaps back and forth. I say that I don't like heights and that if I go too fast I'll throw up and we both agree that safety is questionable on a ride that was set up in under 30 minutes LOL Our oldest two kids seem to feel the same way, so we've always ridden the more sedate, close to the ground rides and everyone was happy. Until today. They Youngest Island Boy is different from the rest of us LOL He's a daredevil in every sense of the word. He climbs as high as possible, wants to go faster than fast, loves to hang upside and has been trying to figure out how to get on the roof since he could walk. He has NO fear. So today he immediately sees the biggest, highest ride and wants to go on that one. The Island King and I look at each other in panic. What will we do? We're standing in front of the Ferris Wheel now and I keep telling the Youngest Island Boy to look up - see how high that goes but of course that just fueled his fire. "Yeah!!" he's yelling "that goes really high! Let's go NOW!". Island Girl is looking at the Ferris Wheel and trying her best to overcome her fear and she says "I want to go too". This is bad. She says she's not sure but she doesn't think she'll freak out up there. Great LOL So the King or I must go with them. The Youngest Island Boy will probably do fine but since he's never actually ridden anything but the little cars that go round and round on the kiddie aisle we aren't positive. And what if Island Girl freaks? The Island King gave me a pleading look and I must admit that I pulled the "Girl" card. "Well, I'm scared to go that high and I just can't do it so Dad has to go" I say. Poor Island King. I've dumped it right in his lap. He has no choice now. If he doesn't suck it up and ride the Ferris Wheel he'll either be Scared Dad or Mean Dad and those are the two things the Island King hates to be the most. He shoots daggers at me with his eyes but smiles at the kids and agrees to go. I tell him that it doesn't go too fast and his neck won't get snapped around but he's not even buying it LOL So we stand in the really long Ferris Wheel ride and finally get to the front. The Oldest Island Boy does not like most rides so he's staying on the ground with me and we walk away from the line to a spot where we can watch the ride. It's been raining off and on for a while and the Ferris Wheel starts making this loud groaning noise. As the next car comes down I hear a woman yelling and look over just in time to see the Ferris Wheel man yank this little girl out of the car as it continued back on up the other side. It's making even more noise now and just as I'm deciding that my family is NOT going up in that thing the man turned everyone in line away and shut down the ride. When the Island King got to where I was standing he said the car the little girl was in stopped and her mother got off and then before the little girl could get off the car started moving again. The man grabbed the girl and then let the car go on up. He told everyone in line that the brakes were wet and he would have to close for a while. The Island King was quite relieved. Next to the Ferris Wheel was the Tornado. This ride went around really fast and lifted up off the ground some and you could make the car you were in spin if you turned the wheel in the middle. Island Girl wanted to ride that one and the Youngest Island Boy started saying he wanted to ride it too. He met the height requirement so with great trepidation we let him and the Island Girl get on. I don't think he's ever had that much fun in his life, he was yelling and laughing and trying to spin the car faster and faster. Island Girl looked like she was torn between having fun and sheer terror.
They rode the bumper cars and a dragon ride and spent a while sliding down the giant slide. There was a ride the Island Girl wanted to ride that went really fast and kind of high and I asked her if she was sure. She said yes so we got in line to wait for her turn. The Youngest Island Boy was disappointed that he didn't meet the height requirement and the Oldest Island Boy wouldn't even consider riding it. We stood in line for a few minutes and I watched how fast the ride was going and was amazed that Island Girl wanted to ride it. We got closer to the front and Island Girl, who had been watching the ride too, grabbed my arm and said "I've changed my mind - I don't want to ride this" LOL It wasn't long before the kids all decided that they wanted to ride at least one ride with Dad and he picked the Tornado. He saw how much fun they had when they rode it earlier and decided it would be the least traumatic for him LOL So they all piled on and off they went. The ride started and started going faster and higher and they were making the car spin and I heard the Island Girl scream and looked just in time to see the Island King grabbing the Youngest Island Boy and trying to get him back into his seat. I saw the Island King relax and the Youngest Island Boy seemed to be safely in his seat so I didn't have a complete panic attack but I sure was glad when that ride stopped. The Island King tells me the Youngest Island Boy was raising his arms and swinging his feet and for a minute it looked like he was going to slip out from under the bar that was holding him in. He said he told him to sit still and to stop trying to throw his body off the ride and the Youngest Island Boy sat still after that and didn't look like he was going to fall out again. Something tells me we have a lot of broken bones in our future with that boy LOL After riding the rides, wandering around the festival and eating too much it was time for the Kenny Rogers concert. He really put on a good show. He chatted with the audience alot and told several funny stories. He brought his twin three year old boys out onto the stage and they are so cute! They sang a little of the Gambler which was too funny. We were standing a little ways back from the stage and could see ok but I couldn't seem to get any good pictures. There were bleachers set up next to where we were standing and I decided to ask a man sitting on the top bleacher to take a picture for me. He was very nice and took 4 really good pictures -of his hand LOL Obviously his hand was in front of the lens the whole time but I didn't want to bother him by asking him to retake them. I did get a couple of pictures but you'll just have to take my word for it that it's him.
He sang all of his hits and then some and we really enjoyed watching him. His show ended about 7:30 and it was time to take the Island people home. We were tired and full and we had a blast. Can't wait til next year!