Have Twins, Will Travel

Canobie Lake Park

Salem, New Hampshire – To celebrate the 4th of July, Twin S was diagnosed with pneumonia. Poor little monkey. Twin V had also been feverish for a few days, though he seemed to be on the mend.
It was 95 degrees out. The in-laws were in town. And my kids were sick. Happy holiday.
When I get sick, I usually ignore the illness in hopes that it will go away − and sometimes it does. I see no reason why this strategy would not also work with my children, but Daddio does not usually let me get away with that. He is an advocate for letting the kids eat ice cream and watch TV until they get better.
That’s why I was surprised when he agreed to take them to Canobie Lake Park with his family. Before you judge, let me explain why it wasn’t as irresponsible as it sounds:
  • The boys did not have fevers and I don’t think they were contagious.
  • We went after naps − late in the afternoon when the heat had subsided. (Bonus: reduced admission after 5pm.)
  • We brought the stroller so they didn’t have to exert too much energy.
  • I promised not to make them go on any rides they didn’t want to. I know, how generous of me.
The twins were thrilled to be going and they were very excited to see MIL and their aunties. They were ecstatic when we drove into the parking lot and saw the `castle’ at the park entrance. We were off to a good start.
First stop: Antique Carousel I thought we’d start with something familiar and fun, so the twins could get their confidence up for some of the other rides. Besides, this carousel is one of the few `family rides’ for both grown-ups and little people, so the whole crew climbed aboard (two toddlers, two parents, MIL, two aunties and an uncle).
The merry-go-round at Canobie Lake is more than a century old, with music provided by a vintage Wurlitzer Duplex Orchestral Organ. We can vouch for the fact that the Wurlitzer is in good working order, as the music was at about 100 decibels, and Twin S spent most of the ride with his hands over his ears.
Second stop: Canobie Express As soon as we got off the carousel, Twin V asked “Can we go on the train now?” So − ever conscious of my top tip for successful travel with toddlers (which I have written about in previous posts)  − we headed straight to the train stop.
The Canobie Express is an authentic steam engine, which chugs through the park and along the lakeside. It’s not the most exciting train journey I’ve ever been on, but it definitely beats the zoo train. The twins were in locomotive heaven.
Third stop: Kiddie Land Kiddie Land is a collection of about a dozen rides geared toward toddlers. They’ve got every form of transportation you might want: race car, boat, tank, helicopter, fighter jet, fire engine, horse and carriage, etc. Most of them do pretty much the same thing (go around in a circle) but the twins did not seem to tire of it.
Twin V was even daring enough to venture onto the rides that had the added element of bouncing up and down. Twin S was not interested. (As promised, I did not push him on this.)
By now we had reached the two-hour time limit we had set for ourselves. We stopped for dinner on the way out, but the twins had apparently filled up on lemon slushies (like father, like sons). They were fast asleep by the time we hit the highway.
And the in-laws stayed on to ride roller coasters and watch fireworks and act like teenagers. Luckies.

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