With our upcoming new arrival (a boy due December 23rd!), we wanted to take Bella somewhere special by herself. The idea of Sesame Place came up, and I was thrilled to learn that it was an Anheuser-Busch park. A-B is great in that they give military members free tickets to one of their parks once a year. So, woo-hoo...free tickets! I also had Starwoods points, so we were able to stay at the Sheraton across the street from the park for free as well. My deal-loving self was doing a serious happy dance.
A few days before we went to Sesame Place, Bella took a nasty fall. She tripped and fell into a fire hydrant, giving herself a lovely black eye. It didn't seem to bother her past the first day, but it made for some lovely pictures, as you'll see.
On our way to Philadelphia, we finally told Bella that we were going to see Elmo and go to Sesame Street. She then spent the next 24 hours asking me if it was time to meet Elmo yet. The park doesn't open until 10am, so it went on into the next morning, when I had to explain to her that Elmo was still sleeping. Luckily, the Sheraton had a great complimentary breakfast that we were able to take advantage of. Then we hopped on their shuttle to go over to the park so we were able to avoid the major parking fees.
Thanks to our eager little one, we were among the first in line and found ourselves waiting in front of the closed gate in the special line for military which was right next to the SP roller coaster, Vapor Trail. Bella watched the roller coaster make a round, turned to us and declared, "I don't want to see Elmo, I want to ride the roller coaster!"
As soon as the park opened, we headed straight to Vapor Trail and we all jumped on. It was a fun, fairly tame for a roller coaster, ride. Bella buried her face in my side the whole time and I was worried that she was going to be crying at the end. She looked up at me, a bit shell shocked. I asked if she was ok and she nodded. I asked if she wanted to ride it again and she grinned and said "YES! I want to ride it AGAIN!" Vinny took her the second time around since it made me a bit dizzy and I wasn't sure how safe it was for my pregnancy.
While they were riding, I took advantage of the fact that SP considers pregnancy to be a disability, and got my disability wrist band. I ended up not using it very much, but it was nice not to have to traverse the waiting lines when my hip started acting up.
We headed over to the Elmo's World section of the park. It was drizzling and not looking promising, but we had on swimsuits, and I had gotten waterproof cases for our phones, so we figured we would ride what we could as fast as possible. She rode Blast Off twice, but then she was pretty done with it.
Then Peek a Bug, Flyin Fish (which Bella loved and rode again later), and Cloud Chaser.
It was raining a bit harder, so we headed over to the Elmo Rocks show, which was really cute. While we were there the bottom dropped out. We rushed through the rain into one of the restaurants to wait it out. After reading a bunch of blogs and articles about Sesame Place, we had decided to pack snacks instead of buying food in the park, so we sat and ate our snacks. While we were eating the thunder and lightning started and all the rides closed down. We figured we would go the the Elmo's World show and then head out. People were leaving the park in hoards by then.
The Elmo's World show was really cute and Elmo decided to pick on Vinny a bit, booping his nose a few times, which Bella thought was hilarious. After the show, they opened the door and lo and behold, the sun was out, the rides were all open, and over half the people were gone, so there were no lines! YAY!
We hit up the water rides next. I tried out the Sky Splash, but the stairs were too much for me, so Vinny rode the other rides with Bella while I watched.
They hit all the water rides, but spent the most time in the Count's Splash Castle. By that time we were post-usual-nap-time so we got dried off, dressed up, and hit the gift shop. Bella picked out a small Elmo for herself, a matching Grover for 'baby brother,' and we got a Christmas ornament for Bella. (Grover is a new favorite now because of his association with the roller coaster) It was around 2:30 by then, so we headed out by the main gate to get a spot for the parade. We were by the roller coaster again, and Bella wanted to go one last time, so I went with her. There was NO line because everyone was waiting for the parade to start, so we were able to ride in the front car. Here is the crazy picture we got from the ride:
After we got off it was time for the parade, which was definitely worth the wait.
Then we hopped on the shuttle back to the hotel. On the way back Bella started having a conversation with my belly.
Bella: What's that baby? What did you say baby Noel? You liked the swings best?
It totally made the whole trip...