Wednesday, August 27, 2014

#139 He Goes

We took a mini road trip with Jonathan a few weeks ago.  You might recall that Jonathan graduated this past June.  You also might recall that Hubby and I went to Niagara Falls two summers ago.

I promise, they relate.

As soon as we returned from our trip to Niagara, Jonathan began begging us to take him.

"I go Niagara Falls?" became a continuous question.

I'm not sure if it was the constant questioning, or a real desire to return, but Hubby and I gave in.  We told Jonathan that we would take him, not only to Niagara Falls, but also to the Lucy Desi Museum in Jamestown, NY as a graduation present.

We probably shouldn't have told him this a year in advance. 

Because we heard about it every other week for the next 52 weeks.

As plans were made, we added a few extra stops.  My next four posts will cover the stops we took on our mini road trip.

First Stop: Knoebels

Some of my favorite people in the world make an annual week long trip to Knoebels Amusement Park every August.  It was about two hours in the direction we were headed and seemed the perfect place to make our first stop.

Jessie and Jon
Jessie took Jon from the minute we got there on any ride he wanted to go on.

Knoebels is not your commercialized Great Adventure, so don't go there expecting that.

It's better.

There is no admission fee.  NO admission fee.  Hello parents, grandparents, and wimpos like me!  I usually avoid amusement parks because I don't want to pay an astronomical price to only ride two rides.  (I have serious issues with roller coasters--don't worry, I'm seeking therapy).  

At Knoebels, you don't need to worry about that.  You can come, enjoy the food, your family, and not have to pay for being yet another body on the benches watching everyone's cellphones, bags, hats, etc.  They offer all-day ride wristbands or you can purchase individual tickets to go on rides.  We got Jonathan the wristband because we knew he would want to go on everything and anything he could.  Hubby bought a pack of tickets for himself and I avoided rides like the plague.


The look on Jonathan's face in the above picture.


I just can't handle the adorableness.

Knoebels-girls and jon
Rebekah, Traci, and Jon
He's such a ladies man.

We were with some of not only my favorite people in the whole world, but the absolute best people in the whole world.  They're made from the good stuff.  There was a point where Jonathan left me for an hour to go on rides with Jessie and Rebekah, both sixteen-years-old.

Let me reiterate: sixteen-years-old.

I don't know many sixteen-year-olds willing to to hang out with a 22-year-old boy with Down syndrome.  No, not just hang out, more like cater to and involve that boy in everything they are doing.

And then, their sisters, Hannah, Emily, and Grace (ages 12-14) went on rides with him and walked around the park holding his hand or linked arm in arm.


My girl, Ree, and I had to pause to take a selfie after we'd been there maybe 4.23898 minutes.


Traci and Tom spoiled us all with the different delicious offerings the park has.  Jonathan ate a piece of taco pizza...


and hoagie pizza.  He wasn't too sure how to eat the hoagie pizza, but after a minute he cleverly folded it in half and ate it like a sandwich.

Some of the other yummies we enjoyed included sweet tea slushies, bison burgers, kettle corn, and tacos in a bag--if you've never heard of this, you need to make it a part of your life immediately.  

Perhaps an Orange Strainer on that to follow?  You certainly hope so.


If we hadn't been company to such a great group of people, Knoebels still would have been awesome.  Fortunately, I can brag of the gift of friendship with people who not only treat everyone with equal doses of love and respect, but they also look past disabilities and into the heart of the person.  They treated Jonathan the way I treat him.  They loved him the way family loves him.

Could you imagine what the world would be like if everyone was like this?  To not only the disabled, but to everyone they meet?

What a beautiful place it might be.

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