A Big Kid at the Beach Park
With a nervous laugh, two grown men stepped aside as I reached the starting point for Insano.
They signaled me to go ahead while they peered over the edge of one of the tallest and fastest waterslides in the world.
There was no line for this ride, just a few guys standing at the top testing their limits.
I’ve always found that with hesitation comes doubt, so I kept my gut check quick and moved right into position.
Like standing at the edge of a waterfall, the slide was only visible a few feet in front of me before it dropped off and left me with a view of only the treetops in the distance.
With a deep breath and wave to the camera, I launched myself forward, crossing my arms and legs just before the giant drop.
Stomach in my throat and swimsuit not much lower, I flew down the slide in a few adrenaline-packed seconds.
A crowd cheered from the viewing area below as I popped out of the water with the biggest grin on my face.
I looked back at the massive slide and gave the guys at the top an encouraging wave and thumbs up.
With just a half hour drive from Fortaleza and I felt like a kid again.
Covering 42 acres, Beach Park is the largest water park in Latin America, and thanks to my mid-week, low season timing, I had the place virtually all to myself.
I hit every single slide and attraction, starting with the heart pounding Insano and Arredoidus and finishing with the relaxing lazy river and wave pool.
There were pitch-black tunnels, crazy half-pipes, toilet bowls and even one where the floor dropped out from under you.
Without many people in attendance however, it was difficult to hide the fact that there was this big kid trapped in a 30-year-old man’s body, bouncing around the park like a pinball machine as he laughed to himself and high-fived everyone around him.
On more than one occasion, I even had to remind myself to stop running.
As the name would suggest, one of the best aspects of Beach Park is their prime location on the Atlantic Ocean. The beach stretches for miles in both directions and it’s a great place to unwind after a wild day at the park.
After a full day of acting like a big kid, the most fitting way to finish my day was with a little seaside nap in one of the bungalows on property.
I curled up with a few dry towels and ordered a juice box and some animal crackers from the waiter.
I never want to grow up.