Sunday, June 8, 2008


I thought that I would give H at least a moments pause when I told her that we were going out to the sand dunes to ride a rhino...  somehow my street wise daughter knew immediately that I was referring to a vehicle and not a wild rampaging beast.  Whether this is a reflection on her being over-exposed to extreme sports or under-exposed to wildlife education has yet to be determined.

The one we rented was actually a 6 seater (or 7 if you squish two girls together in the back seat) - and actually was not a "rhino" - it was a ranger, but since it was the same idea and "rhino riding" was a more attention grabbing blog itle, that's what we're calling it.

The first fun of the day was actually before we left home - W climbed up into the driver's seat and began reading the warning label out loud (missing the big NEVER at the beginning) "Use alcohol or drugs before or during operation of this vehicle...  allow children under 5 to ride... allow more than 5 passengers...  Go faster than the conditions or your skill permits...  Go up hills steeper than 15 degrees...  Operate this vehicle if you are under the age of 16"  He was confused for a few seconds while he considered a pre-teen drunken idiot careening out of control up the side of a pyramid with a load of toddlers.

The next big fun moment was about 15 minutes into the ride when we had amazing made it up to the top of a small rise only to realize that the down side was steeper than we would probably enjoy, and the sand was just soft enough there that the wheel sank in quite quickly when we tried to reverse.  After a few minutes of attempting to dig out the vehicle we were wishing that we had tossed in the shovel and pail that had come free with purchase of Jell-O - or maybe the preschool carpet squares because we were going nowhere fast.  To our extreme relief, up the hill come a crowd of rough looking biker types who were probably amused at our plight and our misguided efforts.  The trick you see (if you ever find yourself in this situation you will be glad you read this) is to rock the vehicle slightly and encourage more sand to go under the tires - in less than 4 minutes we were free to continue driving around - which we did for a little while before stopping for lunch.

Lunch - our location was where "sandwiches" got their name - and we had to constantly remind Po that running around and playing upwind of the cooler was causing a bit of a problem for the rest of us - both girls ended up tossing their jell-O in the garbage because of its high grit content.

Driving lessons finished out the day as Q decided to allow each of the children a chance behind the wheel... (how many "never" rules have we broken now)  They all did quite well - especially those who couldn't touch the gas pedal.  Speaking of the gas pedal - I did my turn at driving and can I just mention that "pedal to the metal" has no bite behind it when your legs are short and the seats are not adjustable!  

We then returned the beastie to its proper owners, and since the kids had all read enough to earn an ice cream cone we went to Arctic Circle for dinner - where we insisted they finish consuming their deep fried starches and processed fats before being rewarded with their dairy related sugars.  Being the health conscious individual I am I opted to wait and eat a salad at home, but did my fair share of helping polish off the fries to the degree that I didn't need a salad at home anymore.

And that folks, was our Saturday in a nutshell - as long as you don't want to hear about the service project that was somehow avoided due to a missed phone call... 


Megz said...

That sounds way fun! I have never heard of a sand dune rhino either. And to seat a whole crowd! Jealous are we.

I have a strange longing for a trip to the sand dunes now. But I'll just let the kids play in the sandbox and curse all the sand in the hair and diapers and call it good.

cold cocoa said...

Blessed be the missed phone call! You had a better family experience and a memory made forever. The rhino sounds like a lot of fun! I am proud of you guys for knowing what wholesome family recreation means!

LC said...

Wow! Rhino riding sounds way fun. If I were to play in the sand I would prefer there be an ocean nearby to wash off in but I think the rhino would be pretty dang exciting. Way to turn a Saturday into an adventure.

I always have to laugh when I catch myself encouraging the kids to eat more fries...just skipping to the ice cream is a lot healthier.

Sher said...

Your family does a good job of planning adventures I think. I am not even remembering what we did on Saturday except I prepared a lesson I felt guilty for having forgotten about and it seemed like a rather stressful day when I wanted adventure. Sigh.