Kind of like the Bible, you know? Before Henry and After Henry.
The last ride that Chooch and I went on before Henry came and pooped on my birthday* was Aero 360. When we were in line, we kept thinking that we saw Henry, but it was just other middle-aged men in non-descript shirts and varying shades of brown and gray. Then some girl behind us was talking about how she was on the Jack Rabbit earlier and it stopped right before the double dip. (Foreshadowing!)
*(J/K Henry was actually kind of OK, I guess because it was my birthday and he knows I’m fucking fragile these days.)
Henry rolled up to the Aero360 right as it was our turn to ride, so were like, “HENRY! WATCH US!” because we’re weirdos who like it when our people watch us go on rides. One time, we were like JANNA TAKE OUR PICTURE!!! while we were riding the Swing Shot but she fucking failed us.
Anyway, I used to like the Aero360 a lot but now I’m just like, “It’s fine.”
After that, we made Henry buy us ice cream cones at Golden Nugget! Truhdishun!!
We made Henry ride THE TURTLE….
….and pose by the corn dog pagoda thing…..
…and go in Noah’s Ark! Henry hates going in Noah’s Ark with us because we act like the biggest raging assholes in Kennywood inside that fucking bible boat.
Guys, I’m so excited. The Volcano (formerly known as the Enterprise) was shut down nearly every time we went to Kennywood, to the point where last year was actually the first time Chooch had the opportunity to ride it. I found out through the Kennywood grapevine that it was because they were having a hard time finding a part for it, but then they did and now everything is right in Kennywoodland again! I love the ride, and always have, even though they gave it a dumb name so it would “fit in” better in a themed area that only last like three years.
But the whole reason I took this picture is because I recently mentioned this in a blog post and wanted to be able to show you what I was referring to! SO GO BACK AND REFRESH YOUR MEMORY about the time that ride nearly took off my foot.
And also I took this picture because I had just regained some semblance of equilibrium after stupidly lifting my years-long ban on the Pirate Ship thanks to Chooch’s peer-pressuring and I was killing time while sitting on a wall swallowing back vomit and waiting for Henry to come back from the super-long way to getting me water, which turns out was purposely at Auntie Anne’s because that selfish bastard wanted pretzels.
Also, right after I took this picture, two girls probably in their early 20s walked by and one of them was wearing a BTS hoodie and I was desperate to talk to her but also didn’t want to look desperate to talk to her, so instead I watched her walk away and then I spent the rest of the day wondering if I just let my possible new-BFF slip through my stupid fingers. Ugh making friends is hard.
I needed to go on a baby ride after the Pirate Ship made me nearly give up the ghost, so I dragged Chooch and Henry on Garfield’s Nightmare which is the lamest ride in the park (a darkride that used to be cool until it was rebranded into Garfield). Henry tried to get out of it but I was like IT IS MY BIRTHDAY, GET YOUR ASS IN THIS BOAT.
And it’s 3D! Henry is so stoked!
Getting loaded waffles is our new tradition. MINE IS SPECULOOS. This was also my dinner. And my make-believe birthday cake since I didn’t get a cake this year.
Henry was supposed to have a G-Dragon cake made for me but I guess his love for me isn’t strong enough.
Chooch suddenly thinks the Auto Racer tide is “so lame.” Well it’s my birthday so shut your face and get your ass in the car, boy.
There was a brief moment in the afternoon when the park started to get crowded (we blamed Henry because it happened after he arrived) but then by early evening, it cleared out again and we have no idea where everyone went but it was glorious. If I ever had to wait more than 20 minutes for anything at Kennywood, I think I would riot because I’m so accustomed to going on off-days.
(We’re supposed to be going again next Tuesday so I probably just jinxed myself.)
Kennywood definitely isn’t cutting edge when it comes to amusement parks, but it has a nice collection of wooden coasters and in case you ever go to some dive bar’s trivia night and they have an Oh Honestly Erin category, WOODEN COASTERS ARE MY FAVORITES. My top 3 are:
- T-Express in Everland (It’s just the best)
- The Phoenix in Knoebels
- Ravine Flyer II in Waldemeer
OK so none of those are in Kennywood, but the ones here in K-Wood will always be close to my heart no matter what because they are pure nostalgia and always leave me with a raw and scratchy throat the next day because I AM A SCREAMER.
We made Henry ride the Racer alone. Every time I tried to take his picture, his ginger guardian would turn and watch me with disappointment. Like, wow, lady. Worry about your own dumb family.
We call this one Henry Rides Alone. This was right before his ginger guardian plucked a strand of his hair to keep in her Stalker Chest. I was just wistfully wondering why I’ve never kept a Stalker Chest but then I remembered the time my brother Ryan and I were obsessed with GARY, the guy who was building a backporch on our house during the summer of 1994 and we collected his cigarette butts and beer cans after he left one day and hid them under the couch, for what reason, I have no idea—I GUESS YOU WILL HAVE TO CLICK THAT LINK UP THERE— but then our dad found our psycho stash and was like WHAT IS THIS and when we told him it was Gary’s, he believed us because hello, everyone knew we were weirdos.
Henry’s stupid train won and Chooch and I tried to shrug it off like we didn’t care but I was internalizing the urge to break bricks over my knee if we’re being honest.
- Chooch’s hair
- It was THIS empty!
We rode the Swingshot for the second time that day, excited that now Henry was there to watch us. (We really are like little children.
) I begged Henry to ride it too but he was like, “I DON’T GIVE A SHIT WHOSE BIRTHDAY IT IS, I AM NOT RIDING THAT THING.” We rode it with this one little boy who kept screaming, “It’s Mary Poppins yall!” and a couple in their 30s who I thought were going to be annoying at first because they were kind of trashy (guys have you read my children’s book, See Erin Judge?) but the lady actually ended up being super cool and after the ride ended, her man-thing peaced out but she was like I WONDER IF I CAN JUST STAY ON because there was NO LINE so she was like, “Do you guys want to just stay on with me?” and this was after I just spent a minute giving birth mid-air to a doom-baby but I said, “YEAH SURE OK WE WILL RIDE THIS TWICE IN A ROW, NO BIG DEAL, I’M NOT SCARED YOU’RE SCARED” and then the laissez faire teenage ride attendants were like, “Bitches, yall can do what you want, we don’t give a fuck” and Henry was mouthing the words, “WTF are you doing” but I just laughed and waved him off, because he wouldn’t understand, this was real daredevil shit right here.
And then we were catapulted into the air for round 2 and I couldn’t even try to be brave because my fight-or-flight inclination to scream off the contents of my Living Will into the ether smashed any ounce of stoicism that I might have had inside me.
Once the ride was over, I was so fucking relieved to see that there were people in line this time. “OH WELL GUESS WE CAN’T GO FOR THE THREEPEAT, SEE YA LATER, LADY” and I ran out of there, haha, just kidding, I fucking slowly stumbled out with actual knocking knees.
HOW DID STANLEY DO THIS 80 TIMES IN A ROW?
Henry just shook his head when we rejoined him and said, “Why do you ride that?! You don’t look like you enjoy it AT ALL!”
I DO A LOT OF THINGS I DON’T LIKE FOR NO REAL REASON, OK HENRY? It’s call sado-masochism and also I clearly hate myself.
Ugh, we ran into those dumb kissers again.
I can’t remember the last time I rode the carousel at Kennywood but I felt inspired to on this day. We just missed getting on and while we were standing in line, the ride attendant came barreling over and slammed the gate shut. I was like WHAT IS HAPPENING and apparently the ride wasn’t supposed to start yet?! Like he was still going around and making sure everyone was ready and the gate was wide open so basically if it hasn’t started moving right as the people in front of us got to the entrance and stopped, we all could have been stepping on the platform as it started moving and that sucker went from a standstill to MOVING in no time.
The ride attendant was like totally pale-faced after this happened and had to get the ride operator to shut it down while he finished making sure everyone was OK which they were but there were only about seven people on the damn thing so the lady in front of us turned to me and said, “He could have at least let us on!” I KNOW RIGHT, STRANGER?!
Of course, I accidentally wound up having a crush on that ride attendant afterward and Henry was like, “I’m not surprised.”
OK fine, I’m going to admit something to you, blog: I AM AFRAID OF CAROUSELS. I’m weird about heights/disembarking things and I always panic when it’s time to unstraddle whatever animal I chose so sometimes I will actually pick either the stationary horses or the old people seats. Nevertheless, every so often I get the urge to feed my fears.
And thank god because what a stupid family selfie I was able to collect on this thing.
We did not ride the swings. I can’t remember the last time I rode these ones, to be honest! I have been on ones in other parks though but, because I am a sentimental d-bag, I have lost so much love for Kennywood’s swings since it moved locations.
And it wasn’t even recently! It moved to this current location, like, a LONG time ago but I am such a baby about it still.
I hate change!
Kangaroos is fucking underrated. I always get super excited to ride this and vocalize that excitement maniacally and then I realize, “HEY, NO ONE ELSE IS SCREAMING.” Come on guys, it’s the Kangaroo, get fucking crazy!
Also, the ride attendant from the carousel was working this ride by that time and I kept shouting to Henry, who was standing on the other side of the gate with all the other grandparents, “HENRY LOOK! IT’S MY BOYFRIEND! MY BOYFRIEND IS HERE NOW!” and Chooch was like, “OMG please stop.”
We didn’t ride the Music Express because the Pirate Ship ruined me.
And then we finally got to ride the Jack Rabbit—oh, I didn’t tell you? We tried to ride it previously after Henry got there and made it all the way to the front of the line before an announcement came on that said they were experiencing technical difficulties and while everyone was welcome to stay in line, they were going to have to temporarily suspend operations.
Guys, I have never seen so much mechanical failure in all the years I’ve attended Kennywood, and it only got worse because later that week, Thomas the Tank Engine derailed twice, the Phantom’s Revenge got stuck and passengers had to be walked down the steps, and THE FUCKING BRAKES STOPPED WORKING ON THE PIRATE SHIP AND PEOPLE GOT STUCK ON IT FOR 10-15 MINUTES. Yes, WHILE IT WAS MOVING. It was on the news and obviously people were like puking and stuff. Kennywood, you are fucking drunk this season.
We left the park around 8 because we pretty much did everything we wanted to do and I feel like I might have been pouting when we left but it’s also possible that I’m mixing this up with pretty much any other time we’ve gone to Kennywood.
I love your Kennywood adventure stories! And I’ll tell ya – I can’t generally do a lot of rides b’c they make me puke but somehow a friend of mine convinced me the Pirate Ship was FINE b’c it doesn’t go upside down. OMFG. Never ever ever again. I’m green just remembering it. /shudders/
I’m glad it’s not just me! It seems like it would be totally fine, doesn’t it? There is one ride I love (the Swingshot) that goes so much higher than the Pirate Ship and for some reason I’m totally fine on that (I mean, I’m 100% fearing for my life, but it doesn’t make me feel sick!). I used to love the Pirate Ship when I was kid :(
Definitely not just you. The Pirate Ship lies. I will not fall for it again. I feel like in my younger days I might have liked the Swingshot, but I’m guessing now I’d be more likely to watch you from the ground.
Some of your best photos ever. Wow.
Thank you! Kennywood always inspires me :)