Fond Vacation Memories Are Usually Sideways.

I’m that person who sends her coffee back

It’s $4.50 and it needs to be really good. That’s a reasonable trade.

The last time I went to get my hair did- I returned 2x. Because (she’s been my friend and stylist for 20 years) and it just “wasn’t quite right” and for $200 I wanted it right and guess what- it got right! I love my new do.

We were at West Edmonton Mall with the kids yesterday. I have the fondest memory (1 memory because I only went once) of that ginormous wave pool and the SLIDES and the merriment and running and mayhem. So….of course we are only 2 hours away- day trip!

The price was $50 per adult and $40 per kid so we were in $175 deep cause I said my 2.5-year-old was 1.5 to get a discount. That’s a lot of money for 1 day of fun. That’s some very FOND memories.

We got inside and I can only explain it as the entrance to hell. First, they pump a smell into the air. A floral smell you can actually see spraying out of machines on the walls. No idea why. To make your eyes water?

We entered through the gates of hell and we met with a wall of sound. Loud tinny music from every direction, from every worst speaker in the world pointing at us to cover up what?  ‘Gaiety? Laughing? Family time?”

My 2.5-year-old put his hands over his ears and started crying. He has tubes in his ears, he had a hearing impairment up until 3 weeks ago so now that he hears things – he hears them. This was not pleasurable for him.

We tried earplugs. He preferred just clamping his hands over his ears and stomping around from kiddie pool to kiddie pool, not able to play of course because his hands were over his ears.

The hot tub was too hot.

The kids “adventure jungle time” area was terrifying and the water that dumped on me from above almost broke my neck.

The wave pool was fun, I must admit. I love a wave, until I got a hair in my mouth.

So after about 45 min we rallied the troops. “Are we having fun yet?”

“Let’s try the scald tub again,” my husband suggested. He loved hot water. There was a line-up. A line up to get into the scald tub.


One kid has his hands over ears.

One kid hates water on his face.

I’m trying to swallow a hair and the other 2 adults were dragged here by me to make “MEMORIES.”

The men took the kids back through the thicket of smell to the cinder blocks to get them changed and I stomped up to the ticketing booth.

“Scuse me’ I said in my mom suit to the 15-year-old working the till “manager please.”

She came down right away and saw a dripping wet woman with a topknot and a animal print one-piece on.

“We’ve been here 45 minutes. No where in any of your material did you mention extremely loud unidentifiable music coming at you from all directions, or smell cannons and my kids are crying and my husband didn’t get to sit in a hot tub and this just cost me a pair of really nice shoes I’ve been coveting so I need a full refund.”

“I’m sorry, but what was the actual problem?” she asked.

“Hmmm, the deafening sound of non-sound blaring at us. The hair. The line-ups.  We were trapped in a heated dome of expensive hell.”

“Yes ma’am, you didn’t enjoy your experience?”

“My kid normally CANT HEAR and the music was TOO loud, do you see?”

“Yes, ma’am” she starts typing furiously away on the computer (she wasn’t furious, her fingers were typing with ferocity).

Within 1 min I had my refund. A full refund. I took the receipt back to my family held high, battle won. There is nothing better than fairness, corporate respect and getting what you GD want.

So…with our free money we got KISS t-shirts made for the kids.

And I lay in this weird tube of water than “massaged” me and we ate at taco time. It was awesome.

The kids fell asleep on the car ride home (or were put to sleep by the chlorine) and we all got iced caps with more of our free money.

The memories we made that day were very fond.

Be a loudmouth.

Make the best of it.

And sometimes family memories are born of hate.

I hate you mall of hell. I love hating you so much.