For a family that doesn’t travel, we’ve been doing a lot of traveling this summer. Last week we left for our third trip of the summer, which started with a stop in Pittsburgh to visit Tom’s extended family.
En route to the annual Krieger family vacation, we traveled with Tom’s parents and his brother’s family (including their four kids). We met at a gorgeous park in beautiful weather. The kids ran around and played while the adults chatted and tried to convince the kids to eat something besides popcorn and cookies for dinner.
We got to see Tom’s grandfather, aunts, uncles, cousins, and their kids ((ahem, second cousins and first cousins once-removed). I didn’t take any picture at all of the night. In hindsight, not having pictures is unfortunate, but it was definitely one of those “we were too busy talking and laughing and pushing kids on swings to bother with our phones” situations.
Just before the clock struck 7:30 and all eight Krieger children turned into pumpkins, we went back to the hotel.
Thomas’s very first hotel experience and he’s already a pro — sleeping diagonal in the bed.
Anna’s first hotel experience, too. She abandoned all manners and morals when she saw that breakfast buffet and Mama’s never been so proud.
We left the hotel and made a stop to visit another one of Tom’s cousins. This particular cousin happened to have a roller coaster in his backyard.
That’s right. You read that correctly.
But if you’re picturing one of those plastic toddler roller coaster that you can set up in your driveway then you’re picturing wrong.
This was the real deal.
David went first.
Then Mary, then Thomas and Tom.
After watching all of the children and family members that I love take a turn, I decided it was safe enough for me.
I laughed the entire time.
I posted a few of these videos on Instagram and then immediately went into the mountains where I had no service for a week.
When I got back and opened my phone, it was tapping its foot and checking its watch like, what took you so long?
I had notifications and emails from Facebook and Instagram that all basically said the same thing, 1) wow 2) how.
My answers are:
1) I know, right?
2) A blend of Krieger ingenuity, engineering, physics, carpentry, a lot of trial runs, the absence of a HOA, and (perhaps most important) a loving, patient, supportive [insert all the adjectives!] wife.
I do wish I could offer you a copy of the blueprint, but I’m not sure the blueprint actually exists. Plus, I’m not ready to take on that kind of liability.
If you zoom in on some of the pictures you can see some of the carpentry skills involved. It is very, very impressive and very, very fun.
Once our (my) heart rates calmed down a bit, we hopped in the car and went to lunch. Nineteen Kriegers swarmed a Burger King. We let the kids eat and play while we talked about the joys and struggles of parenting small children.
See!? People with roller coasters in their backyards are just like us!
Then we were off, all of us trying to convince our kids that the adventure had just begun.
Thomas adjusted his crown and asked, “Mommy, when do we get to Canada?”