Kings Island


As a child, my sister, brother and I got passes to Kings Island for Christmas every other year. In high school, I spent two summers working at Kings Island. The first summer I sold baseball caps and mini baseball bats in an outdoor “dugout” at a sports memorabilia store. The second summer I was in charge of several souvenir stands throughout the park (and, as such, got to play with dry ice—which we used to pack glow-in-the-dark necklaces—on a daily basis).


It had been a long time since I had been to the park. But the sights, sounds, smell—it was all the same. So many memories.


It was incredibly hot, the day we chose to go (with Lizz and Eric, and their friends, although they spent their time riding the adult rides while we, obviously, stuck with the Sophie-friendly rides).





Sophie only tried three rides. The carousel, the swings and this helicopter thing that followed a high-above-ground track around the park.


We decided to cool off in a theater, where we watched a Snoopy on Ice show. James loved Linus, who was standing outside.


He also loved the show, constantly dancing and clapping on Andy’s lap. (Owen sat on my lap, still and mesmerized.)


Sophie slept.


After the show Sophie attempted to walk through a water thing. She flipped out, about halfway through, refusing to go forward (through a water wall) and refusing to go back the way she had come (where she had been blasted with water). So I had to rescue her. And lift her over some landscaping and a fence, and endure glares from people working the “ride.” Here she is, happy to be out of the storm.


We endured a real storm (more on that later) and grabbed some ice cream before the second round of storm clouds moved in. Despite how hot it was the boys were so, incredibly, well behaved. And Sophie had a great time. Andy and I, honestly, were expecting the worst—thinking we’d pay a lot of money for what would end up being a very short trip. But we stayed for hours. Sometimes, things do work out the way you want them to.

“If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.” —Nadine Stair