Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Artichoke Dip Goes 'Round and 'Round

Six Flags has too many terror-rides to bother going there with small children, DisneyLand freaks me out with its gender stereotypes and latent racism, but a vegetable-themed amusement park?

I am all over that business.

Yesterday we all took the girls to Gilroy Gardens, a small amusement park in Gilroy, California. If you understand that Gilroy is the garlic capital of the world, and that just to drive past Gilroy on the highway is to have your car fill will the delicious smell of Gilroy garlic, then you will understand that the mascot for Gilroy Gardens is a cartoon garlic.

A garlic, friends. A cartoon garlic. Can you grasp the awesomeness of that, or do I need to tell you again? This theme park's mascot? Is a garlic.

I bought a stuffed Gilroy Garlic, and Grandma Janie bought Sydney a Gilroy Garlic baseball cap.

So one of the cool things about Gilroy Gardens is that it has the Circus Trees, which I saw on some TV show probably two decades ago, and yes, they're pretty awesome. Another cool thing about Gilroy Gardens is that where DisneyLand and Six Flags are all huge expanses of concrete, this amusement park is rife with tall, shady trees and cooling creeks and duck ponds and stuff. And for being perhaps one of the top five awesomest places that I have ever been to with my children, it really wasn't that crowded (unlike the City Museum, but sort of like Walking with Dinosaurs Live near the end of its Indy run). Part of that is that, since I am an obsessive researcher, I have read pretty much every California travel guide that has been printed in the last decade, even for the parts of Cali that we definitely won't visit because it's like a 12-hour car ride away, and I have NEVER seen Gilroy Gardens listed.

Which is whack, because look! The Artichoke Dip!The Garlic Twirl!And the Strawberry Sundae and the Apple and Worm, and for adults the Mushroom Swings and the Banana Split and two roller coasters:
And when you're bored with those there are the bird shows and the paddle boats and the monorail and the two water playgrounds----and the train and the path behind the waterfall and the rock maze--
--and the tours of the six distinct gardens within the amusement park and the greenhouse and the audio tour to introduce you to all the different trees in the park and the fruit-and-vegetable show--
--and the garlic-themed food items and the two carousels...
And the chance for little girls and their Poppas to hang out on the kiddie rides together:

Tomorrow I'll tell you all about the traditional Indian wedding that Matt and I took the girls to yesterday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is one amusement park that even I could like (I'm a Disney boycotter). :)