It was love at first sight. I heard her squeal, and when I checked the mirror I saw her absolutely ecstatic expression. I'm sure she had no idea what she was seeing, exactly, that was so thrilling. After all, she'd never ridden the Zipper or the Ferris Wheel, but carnival rides are like mall Santas, they ooze hope, excitement, promise, and pleasure.
We spent the next three days trying to decide if we wanted to ride the carousel horses just one more time, or take a bold step and try out the Dizzy Dragons. The final count was carousel horses - 11, Dizzy Dragons - 1. We tried other rides, too. Pink Pig Airplane was a second place favorite, just ahead of Pink Car and Pink Truck. When I'd ask what she wanted to ride next, "Pink," was always the first reply until I could narrow it down.
When we reached a fever pitch with the carnival, and I feared that Dylan would force me to unbolt a carousel horse and kidnap a carnie so she'd have them with her forever and ever and ever, we'd stop for a healthy snack of cotton candy, corndogs, and mini-donuts. Fortunately, Dylan was enamored by more than just the bells and lights of the carnival. She also got to see all of her friends. She'd run off with them and I'd suddenly have a couple of minutes to dash over to the beer garden.
I took Dylan to the "Extremely Amped Motocross Show," which was guys on dirt bikes doing crazy X-Games style jumps and a band playing Journey covers with a lead singer who dressed like, as Dylan put it, Barbie. Honestly, I expected her to get bored and anticipated leaving five minutes into it. Not so. Dylan loved the whine of the bikes and after every jump (even if they were mili-seconds apart) she'd tap her cousin Roxy on the shoulder and yell, "That was soooo cool!"