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What Happens When A Small-Town Family Visits The "World's Largest"... Whatever!

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A Review of Slide the City: What to Know


Slide the City

By now, you’ve probably seen it on the news. The looooong green and blue water slide, a BIG version of the “Slip n’ Slide” you might have had in your front lawn as a kid. Slide the City is making the rounds through the U.S. and Canada, setting up its slide through sloping city streets everywhere. It even broke the world record for “Longest distance traveled on a slip and slide in one hour” this summer in Fort Worth, Texas.

Enthralled with the idea, we bought “early bird” tickets for the July event in Stamford, CT. It’s a pricey investment, even when you get the early purchase discount. You can choose your price based on one ride, three rides, or unlimited rides.

What we didn’t know at the time was that the slide’s length depends on the location, and what the localities will allow. The slide can range in length from approximately 600 to 1,000 feet. This was one of the shorter versions.

Bottom line: this was a fun ride! Our kids laughed the entire way down. It was worth trying once.


Slide the City

Happy kids!

However, here’s what you should know about Slide the City:

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PEZ Visitor Center, Orange, CT: World’s Largest PEZ Dispenser

PEZ Visitor Center

PEZ Visitor Center, Orange, CT

I remember my first PEZ dispenser; do you? It was Snoopy, my all-time favorite cartoon character. The Boy started a collection several years ago, and R2D2 was the star of that show. It’s since been passed down to The Girl, and she’s glammed up the group with Hello Kitty and a princess or two.

Where we went, and who was coerced into going:

The kids and I drove over to Orange, CT to visit the PEZ Visitor Center, home to the world’s largest PEZ dispenser, as well as the world’s largest public collection of PEZ memorabilia.

It was one of those late summer days, when camps have ended and the first day of school is still weeks away. We were bored.

Okay, what was so cool about it?

If you’ve nibbled on a pack of PEZ at any time over the past 30 years, it was made here at this manufacturing facility. The visitor center is a new addition, acting as part museum, part attraction.

As soon as we got out of the car, I smelled the sweet scent of cherry candy in the air. Once we entered, our eyes went straight to a wall covered by rows of PEZ dispensers, and a PEZ motorcycle hanging from the ceiling.Beyond the ticket window, you’re greeted by a giant, 12-foot tall PEZ dispenser, topped by a boy’s head with a blue baseball cap. Adorable.

Worlds Largest PEZ Dispenser

You’re free to explore this place on your own, and you’ll have to give and take. There are the decidedly kid-focused activities, like a create-your-own dispenser table, alongside the display cases of vintage memorabilia. There’s a fascinating historical time line across two walls which appeals those of us old enough to remember some of these earlier decades. Included here are bits of fun trivia.

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World’s Largest Group of Christmas Carolers, Westport, CT

On Wednesday night, 502 Christmas carolers in Westport, CT set a Guinness World Record for being the world’s largest group of singers caroling door-to-door!  We weren’t there, but two of our friends were! You may remember Fiona from her guest post on the world’s largest Rubik’s Cube. She and Libby got their official numbers to wear in the “One Voice” event:

One Voice

Ready to sing! Libby’s the “high-spirited” one on the right.


The caroling took place in Westport’s Compo Beach area Wednesday night, and raised more than $4,000 for a local charity.

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Foxwoods Resort: North America’s Largest Casino

The thing about grandparents is – if they’re the good kind – they will babysit for free. Over multiple days. My parents are the good kind. Matt and I never got a chance to celebrate our 15th anniversary in October, so last week, while my Mom and Dad were visiting from Florida, we escaped for a few days.

Little did Dad know he would also be called into duty as The Boy’s social studies project assistant. I came home to find a soundly-constructed, two-story cardboard Egyptian villa. (Phew.)

Where we went, and who was coerced into going:

Matt and I went to the Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, CT for three days. With the promise of spa treatments for me, and hours at the poker table for Matt, we knew this would be a destination we could both enjoy.


This is the view from the Pequot Museum observation tower. I was plastered against the far wall with jelly knees, so Matt took this shot.

WHY did you go there, exactly?

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World’s Largest Dairy Store, CT and NY

Okay, here’s my attempt at blogging with a cold. We feed, clothe, and house two Petri dishes, and they re-pay us with post nasal drip.

Stew Leonard's

We hang at the Danbury location.

Where we went, and who was coerced into going:

I don’t know anyone who actually enjoys grocery shopping, especially with kids in tow. Things are different when we go to Stew Leonard’s, the world’s largest dairy store. There are four locations in CT and NY, and we usually end up in Danbury. I get no arguments from anyone when I announce, “We’re going to Stew’s!”

WHY did you go there, exactly?

Granted, a grocery store is not necessarily a travel destination. But if you’re driving near their Danbury or Norwalk locations during the warmer months, you can stop in for a little diversion, and eat outside at their “hoedown,” which offers grilled cheeseburgers, chicken, hot dogs, as well as steak sandwiches, lobster and fries.

Stew Leonard’s is in the 1990 Guinness Book of World Records for having the “largest sales per square foot for a single grocery: $115 million in sales, $3,470 per square foot.”  The “World’s Largest Dairy Store” title came from Ripley’s Believe It or Not.  Regardless, the offerings go way beyond dairy. The bakery, deli, and meat department are also stand outs, and the prepared foods make a lazy cook out of me.

If a trip to Stew’s is in the forecast, I ditch the weekly meal plan like a hot potato. Yes, I’ve recently attempted to plan dinners a week in advance. Because I like to pretend I’m organized and in control. Until 4:00 comes around, nothing is defrosted, and the cereal boxes start calling my name.

Okay, what was so cool about it?

Stew Leonard's Cow

Girl: “Don’t pull the rope!” Boy: “I’m pulling the rope…” Cow: MOOOO!!! Girl: “AAAAAACK!”

Stew’s strategically elevates the supermarket to quality entertainment. The largest elements of this are the animatronic animals, food, and other characters. Push a big red button, and Twinky the Kid pops out of a box and says “Hi” with a friendly twang. The Farm Fresh Five dairy band jams over the frozen food cases, mesmerizing the kids while I peruse the nugget selection. There’s a parrot, chicken, donkey, bears, and a pine tree all ready to greet you.

And then, there’s Clover the Cow. The Boy, at ten years of age, has just recently gotten over his fear of her loud, deep “moo,” initiated with a yank of her rope. The Girl will still shake and plead “No cow!” when we pass near her sweet face. Both would much rather stand in front of Chiquita Banana, shimmying and singing along with her.

Do you know the words to the Chiquita ditty? I thought these might help, because once you watch this video, you’ll by humming the tune all day. Curiously, the official lyrics are not the ones sung by this big banana.

Whoever designed the store layout was a genius. Instead of straight aisles, there’s a winding path through each department, with occasional cut-throughs. You’re forced to pass by every single item sold at Stew’s. Not that you’ll mind. The quality is above par, and the prices are reasonable. Frequent free sample stations of both hot and cold foods lessen the burden considerably!

Farm Fresh Five

“Slim Skim” is secretly jealous of “Rich Milk,” who gets to sing lead. The cookies are just throwing themselves at him.

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