We try and pick a theme for each summer and plan activities for one day a week based on that theme. Last year’s theme was horses and we managed to plan an number of events that involved riding. This year’s theme is being brave and most of these activities were picked by La Niña (and usually involves sliding on something, climbing into/onto something, or jumping from something).

The first event in the series took place at Raging Waters Waterpark in San Jose (jumping, sliding, and climbing).

Our only waterpark experience is Legoland Waterpark in San Diego and compared to that, this was a cake walk. It’s close to our apartment, wasn’t too busy, the line-up for rides weren’t long (max 20-minutes), people were polite, and the height and weight restrictions are realistic.

The best ride (in my opinion) was the Dragon’s Den, which was like being shot out of a giant tube, into a toilet bowl, being flushed down said bowl, going through a pipe, and ending up in a long tub. It was a lot of fun and we managed to get 3-circles of the bowl before being flushed (most people only got two).

The “being brave” part of this adventure came with the Bombs Away ride. Basically, it’s a giant tube that drops you for a 2-second free-fall and then shoots you through a 200m long tube that eventually spits you out somewhere in the distance. As we stood in line with all the tattooed and burley men, they kept har-har-ing and saying you gals will chicken out at the top like all the others.

At the top, La Niña glanced at them, put her hands on her hips, strode over to the tube, got in, waved goodbye, and shot out the bottom. I didn’t think it was all that scary (not like jumping off a 10m high dive platform) though the ride’s speed guarantees you’re going to get water up your nose… lots of it.

Some advice for surviving the park:

➤ Get there early because the line-ups for rides are short early in the morning. Also, you are able to park closer to the entrance and not a bazillion, excruciatingly hot, miles away.

➤ If you plan three days in advance, you get a discount when purchasing online.

➤ The park has very strict “no external food” rules but they are also reasonable when you tell them that you have food allergies and nothing in the park is safe to eat. We were able to bring in our own food because of La Niña’s corn allergy.

➤ Don’t bother waiting in the “wait here for a tube” line with all the stressed out parents in the Lazy River. Simply walk a quarter of the way upstream in the lazy river and stand and wait by the non-congested middle entrance (like all the regulars). Then float by all the angry people who have been waiting FOREVER for a tube.