I hate Winter. Everything but the cold is so limited. I haven't really been anywhere due to Old Man Winter, and I had surgery.
Anyway, so Saturday ended up being a really nice day!! My son and I met up with my best friend of 20 yrs and her kids and husband in Front Royal, VA. We went to Applebees, which wasn't busy at all considering it was noon on a Saturday...Afterwards we went to the Fantasy Land which is next to the Bing Crosby Baseball Stadium. We stayed on the playground side of the park, so this review doesn't cover the baseball side.
Anyway, as soon as we get there my kid hauls butt straight into the woods. We follow, because I'm not letting my kid roam around the woods alone. Plus, we all like wondering around and exploring! We're walking along, we end up finding blankets, pillows in trash bags, candles....a tube of lip gloss. My son, Bailey (12), and my friends middle daughter, Kassie (9), get a little ahead of us. Jennifer is like three months pregnant, and we're dragging little five year old Khloie, and I just had surgery, so we're moving slow. Those kids were fast!
Bailey and Kassie get up to the part of the river that is closest to the park first. They stop, they're yelling at us, and pointing at the ground. We hear, "dirty needle!!!". We're screaming at them to not touch it and get away! We make our way over there, and there it is....an uncapped dirty syringe. Used for God knows what.
After that, we went walking up the grass (out of the woods now) along the river, and to the bridge. There's a fountain there, that doesn't work. It used too! Maybe it's shut off for Winter?
We wandered over to the playground. They have a newer part, that's all medal. It's pretty fun.
The old part is wooden, and is huge, but there are things missing! A lot of the things that are used to climb up onto the towers and platforms (where the slides are), are gone. Some of the swings are gone. And some of the monkey bar type things are gone.
Unfortunately, what was there, were a couple of perverts! Jennifer and I were standing at the top next to the slide, when she pointed it out. I looked over, and this dirty old man (sugar daddy?) had his hand up this younger woman's shirt! I'd say he was around 60, she was in her 30's. There are kids standing there talking to them while he's doing this. Really?????
The funniest part of the whole thing were these kids digging for worms, and daring each other to eat them. Nobody ever took the dare, but it was still funny :)
Now, I lived in Front Royal from ages 14 to 20, so it's not like I'm a stranger coming into town. I spent many days as a teen during the Summer hanging out at this park, and it was awesome. Sadly, things change. My brother comes back fairly often, and his friend takes his kids there still. When I told him (my brother) about what we saw, he said he's not surprised. The homeless population there has grown, they live in the woods. The drug users are worse, they hang out it in the woods. The wooded section of the park is not huge by any means. maybe about 50-75' deep until you hit the river. The other side of the river are houses. Also, there are NO signs posted saying to stay out of there. So we were not breaking any laws by going in.
My advise if you happen to find yourself here:
-Stay out of the woods. Apparently there are homeless people and drug users.....if you want to wander around the woods, go to the other side of town and explore Skyline Drive. They have great hiking up there :)
-When you see perverts, make loud comments that you see what they're doing, they'll get embarrassed and either stop or leave. *awkward*
-They have lots of picnic tables, so bring a picnic!
-Bring mouthwash and Wetwipes, just in case your kid actually takes that dare, and eats the worm.
Happy Travels, Candi