The thing about Lakemont is that as far as amusement parks go, it’s puny. Nothing about it is really “new,” except this time when we were there, we noticed that one of the rides had been removed so maybe next year there will be an upgrade in its place. And how shocking that would be. Especially if it was anything manufactured post-1980.
But for some reason, I love the hell out of this park! People-watching is prime, the rides they do have are an amalgamation of bizarre and retro, and best of all—it’s cheap. Extremely cheap. We always go on the same weekend in September when Lakemont hosts some sort of Altoona craft bazaar, because it’s only $5 that weekend and there is almost no lines to stand in at all.
NOT EVEN FOR THE WINE SLUSHIES.
One of the bigger draws at Lakemont is a small wooden coaster called Leap the Dips, which also happens to be the oldest running coaster in the WORLD.
THE WHOLE FUCKING WORLD.
It costs an extra $2.50 to ride it. They didn’t charge extra the last time, but I guess this is their effort to do everything possible to maintain and preserve it for future use. The old man who sold us the tickets was hilarious and teased us mercilessly. He wouldn’t hand over the tickets until I was able to tell him how much it would cost for three. This of course caused sweat-on-the-brain but I was able to answer before Janna and that’s all that matters.
It’s so old that the young farm-handish employee had to actually run and push our car to give it momentum. But not before making fun of my iCarly messenger bag. (He accused it of being Hannah Montana and I felt the vinyl flap featuring Carly and Sam’s mug heat up as it rejected his insinuation. )
Janna and Laura quickly learned the meaning behind “Leap the Dips” as they were nearly catapulted out of their seats when we went over the first dip and our car became airborne.
It’s one fucking rough ride. Henry won’t ride it due to the fact that it agitates his hemorrhoids.
Lakemont’s Wacky Worm is definitely the Toboggan (I finally learned how to spell it! Gold stars all around!). This was Chooch’s first time riding it and he took to it immediately. We must have been ejected from that vertical time 20 times that evening. Such a stupid yet fun ride.
If we’re being honest, it was the guys running the thing that kept me coming back for me. They were hilarious and cute and coveted my iCarly messenger bag. The thing with the Toboggan is that there is a lot of sitting around in the cars, waiting for your turn to be carried up through the tube and then waiting for all of the other cars to come back before being unlatched and set free. But these two guys would walk back and forth, antagoning us, showing us stupid magic tricks and just being all-around completely entertaining.
It made me remember why I enjoy Lakemont so much — the kids working there actually give a shit about their jobs and have fun doing it! What a novel concept!
OK good, I did spell it right.
Isn’t it majestic?
Moments later, I almost lost an arm and leg when Chooch stamped down on the gas pedal before I was all the way inside the car. It was a pretty great scene for all the people standing in line.
This was the first time I was actually proud of my kid. Not for nearly spontaneously amputating me (though I would finally have weighed less!), but as far as riding things at amusement parks go. Of course I’m already proud of his sarcastic, biting words; knowledge of horror movies; and independence in the kitchen. He rode the shit out of everything he was tall enough to ride and I felt like we were really in sync with each other that day as we frolicked from ride to ride; even Henry rode his fair share AND EVEN SMILED AT TIMES.
Considering we had spent the morning screaming at each other over money, the day ended up being pretty spectacular and Henry even held my hand at one point (!!!) and said he was glad he came along after all. See that? My brilliant day trip ideas SAVE RELATIONSHIPS.
Can’t wait to do this again next September! WHO’S IN?
On the drive home, Janna admitted to not being able to see, provoking Laura and I to nervously suggest in tandem for her to pull the fuck over. Since I was now driving, I told Janna it was her turn to entertain us, and after whining for awhile about not having any stories, she launched into this shoddily-detailed narrative about going to a party when she lived in DC but then ended up getting a chili dog instead and then parking in a loading dock by her apartment and eating it in the car. I kept waiting for the climax, at the very least a car-jacking, but nothing ever happened other than her eating a chili dog while illegally parked.
Kids, don’t blow off parties for chili dogs or you too will grow up to not have any stories to tell.
[Read Henry’s harrowing account of the day here.]