Have you ever gone go-karting? If not, I highly recommend going out and finding yourself a go-kart track where you can give it a whirl.
It's fun. It's really, REALLY fun.
Expensive, too, at least in this neck of the woods this year. Is it due to rising gas prices? Not sure. But it was $2 more per ticket than last year, which sort of sucks.
In any case, this is an integral part of our annual Super Family family vacation up in the northwoods of Wisconsin, and it's just soooo much fun.
Wait, did I say that already?
The cutest part of this not-to-be-missed annual family ritual is watching Super Boy and my Super Nephew eagerly run up to the "You Must Be This Tall To Ride Alone" sign to see if they've yet hit the mark. You can see the hope-mingled-with-anxiety in their eyes as they spot the sign and race towards it, their adorably muscular little 6- and almost 6-year-old bodies pushing the outer limits of their abilities to see which of them will get there first. Invariably, it is my slightly younger Super Nephew who is a virtual powerhouse of an almost 6-year-old who stands a good inch-and-a-half taller than the already 6-year-old Super Boy.
But Super Boy doesn't care. All he cares about is whether he can ride a go-kart alone yet.
The boys butt their little butts back to the wall and try to stand as tall as they possibly can without cheating and tip-toeing to see how they measure up. In years past, they fell way short of the line, much to their mutual disappointment. This year, they were both just a few inches shy of the line, to their extreme mutual disappointment.
But wait, we tell them. Look how close you are - you two will probably be able to ride alone next year!
Their eyes light up again as this information sinks in, filling them with hope once again. They can hardly wait for next year's vacation, and this one has scarcely even begun.
Given that the boys could not ride alone, the jockeying began to see which of them would get to ride tandem with Super Uncle T. The boys LOVE riding with Super Uncle T, because Super Uncle T goes FAST. My Super Nephew won the first round, because Super Boy rode with Super Man. When my Super Nephew had to ride the next round with his mom, my Super Sister, he told her that she drives like a baby and that he wanted to ride with Super Uncle T because he goes REALLY fast. (Heaven help us.)
Super Boy rode with Super Man, Super Grampa, me and Super Uncle T., and I think I'm the only one who failed the speed trials being unofficially run in Super Boy's mind. Oh well - it's my job to keep him safe, right?
There's nothing like go-karting. The loud rumble of the engine at your back, the wind flying through your hair, miniscule bits of the track being kicked up into your face as you jockey for position with your family members on the track, the herky-jerky steering as you round the tight corners at top speed. It's exhilarating, and for those of us chickens who prefer to stick with vehicles of the four-wheel variety and to moderate-to-fast speed versus balls-out FAST, it's a very safe way to fulfill that occasional need for speed.
I think between me, Super Man and my Super Mom, we took a solid 100 pictures at the go-kart track this week. I can't wait to print them and put them in this year's vacation photo album. They always make me smile. It's a long year waiting for the next annual vacation to roll around again, and it's the pictures of moments like this that make that long wait just a little more bearable.
Speaking of pictures, I can already picture the little boys a year from now, eagerly running up to the sign to find that they've just hit the mark and then delightedly racing to the cars for their maiden solo voyages. Scares the hell out of me a little, to be honest with you, but I know they will be so amazingly proud to finally drive their own go-karts, and they'll have so much fun doing it. I know that with Super Boy's fledgling competitive spirit, it will give him enormous joy to finally race against the rest of us instead of tagging along for the ride, and I'm pretty sure that my Super Nephew will feel the same.
I love family vacation, and I love go-karting. I highly recommend them both.