Well, I thought I wasn't going to enjoy today much. I spent a lot of mental effort last night trying to talk myself up for today. And the main event I was less than enthusiastic about? Going to the waterslides at Magic Mountain in Moncton, New Brunswick.
Sounds like it should be fun, right? But my inner adult was doing everything in its power to dissuade me that it could be fun. After all, Magic Mountain was conjured up as an amusement park in this area, likely due to the popularity of a natural attraction - Magnetic Hill. It seems like it should be a cheesy place where corporations are hosing poor tourists, similar to a Simpsons episode I swear I saw many years ago. And do you remember how I love finding the soulful places off the beaten path (I wrote about that earlier in our trip)? I don't think I would include this place on this list.
But we had some surprising discoveries before the trip to Magic Mountain. We found the local farmer's market, and smiled and felt whole as we met the farmers who grow food for the people in this area. We picked up some local wild blueberries, apples, baby tomatoes, green beans and carrots. How I've missed raw veggies! It was a little peace of heaven for me at that farmer's market.
Then, we swung over to the city's Artisan Village. We weren't sure what to expect. It turns out that about 20 artists and artisans share a warehouse in downtown Moncton. It functions as a shop, gallery, and studio for the artists. They also host workshops and on this day, they had an art teacher on hand who would do children's crafts. It was quite the creative space we stumbled upon.
One of the artisans, who makes pottery, took my children under her wing and showed them her studio space. She gave them some good pearls of advice...that there is no such thing as a mistake, but there are happy accidents...that "tools" can come from the most unexpected objects...that while looking at pottery is fine, it is meant to be touched and picked up too, so texture is important. I think my children received more of an education in the art of pottery in one hour with this extraordinary woman than in a week of pottery classes!
Lastly, we headed over to Magic Mountain and spent the rest of the afternoon there. It is an impressive park. I don't know how many waterslides they have - Astrin wasn't too enthusiastic - but they do have a kids pool with 4 slides, a wave pool, a splash pad, a hot tub, what looks like thousands of beach chairs for lounging in, concessions, etc. So, while my husband took Nicholas and Jaelyn to stand in line at the waterslides, Astrin and I people-watched. When we got adventurous, we found a puddle to splash and kick in. We dug deep to find even more courage and headed for the kids pool, where we tickled the water and tossed it in the air. We sat near the edge of the wave pool and let the waves splash us. We went for a lazy river ride on a tube. We cuddled. We smiled. We had fun after all.