Monday, June 7, 2010

Just like an old friend...

It took Ben a while for it to hit him. We spent several hours at Darien Lake park before this calm warmth covered is face, mixed with the intensity of a very serious ten-year-old.

"It's like Geauga Lake. Remember how I've mentioned that place, how sweet it was?"

Yes, I recalled him telling me that. And I had to agree; from what Ben had mentioned to me over the years, Darien Lake was quite similar in feel to the now-closed Geauga Lake. In fact, after we drove to our motel for the night, he looked up both parks online and found that they were owned by the same company for a time. Both had almost identical entrance gate structrtures and "emporiums" - places to buy t-shirts and stuffed animals.

What struck me most about Darien Lake was how it wears so many hats: rollercoasters this way, kiddie park that way. A batting cage area here, mini golf there. Two boys with fishing poles, wandering over from the cabins to the serene lake. We took in a sea lion show (featuring four comical mammals, each with a distinct personality and job to do; my favorite was Rose who could breakdance).

Darien Lake is a true resort, with lots of "new", including a brand spanking new water park. But they haven't forgotten about their history either. Opened in 1952, it boasts the only mid-century merry-go-'round I've rode (brought to the park in 1964) and a giant wheel from the 1959 World Exposition. At 51 years young, it still transports you at a rapid clip!

According to Ben, Darien Lake is the sister park to his beloved Geauga Lake. I feel honored to now see what I'd been missing, what, until now, I'd had no possible way of experiencing..

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