The week between the end of the school year and the start of summer camp is a rough time. Many families are left scrambling for child care or trying to arrange play dates to keep the kids entertained. This year, we wised up and headed out of town for a mini-vacation.
Since I’ve blogged about avoiding car use for the sake of the climate change fight, you might be thinking that we hopped into our hybrid for an eco-tour.
But since the theme of this month’s Green Moms Carnival is EcoConfessions, I have to confess that we don’t even own a hybrid.
Last week, we loaded up our station wagon to join the throngs of tots journeying to see Thomas the Tank Engine and to explore Dutch Wonderland, a kid-focused amusement park I remembered fondly from my 4th birthday.
The irony of this “Green Mom” traveling 400 miles round trip to see the Crown Prince of “Kid Marketing” – a coal-powered train no less – was not lost on me. Sure, we squealed with delight when Thomas steamed into the station, but we also coughed and complained when we breathed in the foul coal smoke from Thomas’ boiler.
That’s when I snapped this picture of the pile of coal used to power Thomas, and tried to shake off a feeling of hypocrisy. Memories of many bloggy conversations with LaMarguerite about coal and global warming and thoughts of Retro Housewife’s upcoming Green Moms Carnival on coal clouded my mind. I sighed and sent a quick tweet about how the trip was great fodder for this month’s EcoConfession carnival!
And it’s not just the travel – it’s the food and the souvenirs to boot. Yes, that’s a piece of Cheap Plastic Crap (also known as a miniature plastic train) that my 2 ½ year old is grasping ever so tightly in that photo. Yes, I’m the one who blogged about “Just Say No to Cheap Plastic Crap.” But when it’s the only thing a darling boy asks for in the souvenir shop, it’s hard to resist. I pushed thoughts of my plastic-free friend Beth from Fake Plastic Fish out of my head. And the Star Wars figurine in his other hand? Sigh. Caught again. I’ve clearly bought plastic toys more than once. (Beth, will you still be my friend?)
Heading over to Dutch Wonderland the next morning, we were greeted by this sign: No Food Allowed.
We stayed in the car a few minutes extra to fill up on fresh hardboiled CSA eggs , organic cheese and whole wheat bread. As we entered the park, I managed a sarcastic aside to the guard, saying “Oh, since we can’t bring in our own food, I suppose there’s plenty of boiled eggs, fresh organic apples and raw veggies for sale in the park?” He referred me to the kosher mart as the best bet for “health food.”
Since the healthy kosher mart was closed, we ended up with this for lunch.
But I suppose it’s okay, because the souvenir shop’s organic t-shirts proclaimed, “Dutch Wonderland: We’re Going Green!”
And the most shocking part of my Eco Confession? We had such a great time that we hope to make this decidedly “un-green” vacation an annual event!
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