Sep 112019

Chooch, on the balcony of our guest house, in his too-big house slippers.

On Thursday morning, the first day of August, we woke up disgustingly early (5:00am) to get a head start for DisneySea. This was the ONE THING in Japan I was fully educated on. I read blogs, websites, watched YouTube reviews and vlogs until I was navigating this place in my dreams.

This was also why I was so irritable the night before though — STRESS. Going to any Disney Park can be nerve wracking because you want to be able to do all the things and have a good time without worrying about huge crowds but hello, we picked the fucking summer to do this. I can’t help it that I’m a summer birthday baby!

DisneySea still uses the old Fast Pass system, where you have to go to each ride and scan your ticket in the Fast Pass machine and hope for the best. I was STRESSED ABOUT THIS! But even more stressed about the act of actually getting to the park, which involved two transfers and theoretically would take about 45 minutes. (According to Google.)

View from the balcony. I was obsessed with the neighborhood we were staying in and sad that we didn’t have more time.

The streets were pretty quiet when we left the Green Hotel to start our Disney Journey. We stopped at the closest convenience store on the way to the subway station to grab some breakfast to take with us. Some of the tips I read said to get to the park as early as possible, up to 2 hours because the gates open, and eat your breakfast in line with everyone else. I was already accustomed to eating samgak kimbap in Korea so I grabbed the Japanese equivalent  to this – what most of the world is more familiar with: onigiri. I didn’t even pay attention to what Henry and Chooch got because it was fucking way too early in the morning and I was a miserable cry baby about that, never mind that this was my idea!

I have to give Chooch credit – he is a real take-charge kind of guy. Me? I’m more of a stand-off-to-the-side-and-let-everyone-else-do-it kind of gal. Especially when it comes to directional things.

I kept yammering on social media about how this was the only day that we had zero fights but I forgot about the early-morning subway arguments between Henry and Chooch. These two just literally cannot ever be on the same page (of the map) and then Chooch supposedly found some better way to go and Henry was like NO THAT’S WRONG and Chooch was like YOU NEVER LISTEN TO  ME and then Henry was like FINE WE WILL DO IT YOUR WAY and I was like IF YOU TWO FUCK THIS UP FOR ME, YOU BETTER RUN RUN RUN.

Basically, we took the subway from Ueno to Somewhere??? Station, saw this display of Kewpie Dolls, walked to WHATEVERVILLE STATION, per Chooch’s directions, couldn’t find it, walked around in tiny circles while looking up at the sky, saw a sign that said the name of the station we were looking for but couldn’t find the entrance, started overturning rocks to see if the entrance was under there, had a fight, drew a station entrance with chalk because maybe magic was on our side, said YES!! when an older Japanese gentleman paused and asked, “Disney?” and then pointed to the half-hidden staircase that we never would have found without his help.

Thank god for Chooch’s Mickey Mouse shirt.

(Honestly, we couldn’t believe how hard it was to find this opening!! I’m not sure if this ended up being the way Chooch suggested, or Henry’s original plan, but whoever decided this was the way to go surely fucked up.)

From that point on, it was OK. We got tickets for the train to Maihama Station and when there was a split second where we weren’t sure which way to go to find the platform, a group of excited girls in matching clothes blew past us, so we just followed them.

The train ride to Maihama was pretty quick, maybe about 15-20 minutes, and as soon as we arrived, that’s when the real mayhem began because that station was FLOODED with Disney-goers. DisneySea and Tokyo Disneyland are right next to each other, so this is the main station that park visitors need to get to in order to take the Disney shuttle to either park.

I was on pins and needles at this point! The anticipation! Wondering how crowded it was going to be! And if we would fight with each other all day! If this would end up being a big let down and a wasted day!

SO MANY UNKNOWNS! Traveling is such a gamble. Especially when you throw something like this into the mix.

The shuttle ops are on point at Disney, so we didn’t have to wait very long for the next one to arrive.

Henry originally got a seat, but then gave it up to an older woman who bowed profusely at him and I wanted to tell her not to waste her bows on that dummy but, you know, they’re her bows to give, I guess.

So then Henry had to stand and hold onto the Mickey Ears for the whole whopping 5 minutes we were on the shuttle.

It was 7am by the time we made it to the entrance and there were already dozens of lines snaking out from the front of the gates. We secured a spot and got as comfortable as we could under the scalp-melting 95 degree sun, and then Chooch OF COURSE got sunscreen in his eyes and we looked like we were That American Family whose kid even cries at Disney because he’s a spoiled American, and then he kept using Henry’s shirt to wipe his eyes and Henry was like, “EXCUSE ME DON’T GET MY GENERIC MIDDLE AGED MAN POLO SHIRT DIRTY WITH YOUR SUNSCREENED TEARS, THANK YOU” and I was just staring at the time on my phone wondering how we were going to survive for two hours without causing a scene, but THEN GUESS WHAT the park actually opened at 8am, not 9am like I thought, so we only had to stand in that (actually pretty calm and orderly) crowd for an hour!

THIS IS THE FIRST THING YOU SEE WHEN YOU ENTER THE PARK! ICONIC!! I already forgot about how difficult it was to get out of bed at 5am, and the direction drama at the first subway station, and the literal scavenger hunt for the train station entrance. Because we were in DisneySea! But that tranquil moment would only last a second because our mad dash for Fast Passes started NOW and I had to focus. THERE WAS NO TIME FOR DAWDLING!!

Sep 102019

I made Henry drive us back to Santa Claus, Indiana for one reason and one reason only: TO RIDE THE MOTHERFUCKING VOYAHHHHHHHGE! If it was possible to take a rollercoaster to prom, I might still be pulling splinters out of my body right now.

That’s all I’m saying.

Because that’s pretty gross.

Anyway, I was so anxious when I woke up last Sunday morning. Henry was like, “Yo, calm down. This place doesn’t even open until 10:00” but I was READY. We left our shitty hotel (actually, it was pretty decent, but it was in desolate area next to a shuttered gas station and lots of empty lots where the weeds go grow wild, and it just made me feel uncomfortable) and had a very underwhelming breakfast at Subway because the only other options around there are Denny’s or gas station donuts.

We got to Holiday World around 9:20 and decided to just head on over to the entrance, where several lines had already formed. In the very front of one of the lines, we saw this tall young guy with shaggy hair and glasses who we also the day before at Kentucky Kingdom, so we knew he was one of our kind.

To our great joy, the entrance actually opened before 10 but of course we wound up being in the line with the slow-ass employee, some old man named Larry. But eventually our tickets were scanned and we were in!

However, only the main courtyard area was open, and the paths leading down to the rides were all roped off. We were standing by the roped-off entrance to the Halloween section when Chooch wondered if we should walk through the courtyard more and find the 4th of July area. He pointed to a map he had snagged earlier and showed us that it looked like it would be the faster route to THE VOYAHHHHHHGE.

“Yeah, but you probably won’t make it very far over that way,” Henry argued, never wanting to concede to any of our great ideas. “Just stay here!”

But I was with Chooch on this one so we made the trek to 4th of July world and planted ourselves in front of the roped off path over there. Our fellow coaster enthusiast was also over here so we felt confident that we chose wisely. Henry still wasn’t sold, even though Chooch kept trying to show him that the path we would have had to take by Halloween Town wasn’t as much of a straight shot as this one.

Chooch was supposed to be pointing at the VOYAHHHHHGE. Way to fuck up the picture, boy! (I just noticed that his shirt matches the sign. Unintentional, I promise.)

As the time ticked down, more and more people had accumulated behind us, but we were still at the front, right next to the rope, and evry Holiday World that moseyed on by totally faked us out like they were going to unhook the rope.

There were two teenagers standing next to me and I heard the enthusiast talking to them. “Just follow me,” he said. “I think I know where to go.” I knew for certain he was talking about the VOYAHHHHHGE and now I was really starting to tense up because I am a Leo and everything is a race that we need to win. You have no idea what a cursed life this makes. Sometimes, I just want to casually stand in line and not worry about getting the best spot, seat, first prize, etc etc. But no, my heart rate was up, I had to stress-pee, I was jogging in place and wringing my hands.

Why do I have to be this way. Even when I’m waiting for the trolley in the morning, I am like GUARDING MY SPOT IN THE FRONT like a crazy person, side-eyeing the people next to me, thinking to myself, “Yeah, bitches don’t dare cut in front of ME” while bouncing back and forth from one foot to the other.

Finally, at EXACTLY 10AM, some Holiday World guy came over to the side of the rope we were standing on and I started chanting, “DO THIS SIDE FIRST!” but he walked all the way to the left and took down the rope from that side like a real punk ass bitch.

We didn’t even wait for the rope to hit the ground—we jumped over it and FUCKING RAN like true ridiculous dumb asses. It was me and Chooch, the teenagers next to us, rollercoaster tycoon, and I dunno how many other kids.

Yes, kids.

It was all fucking kids, and…me.

But I gave no fucks! I ran like I had nothing and everything to lose at once! I ran like I had been training for this moment my whole life. I ran like a gang of chainsaw guys were chasing me through a field next to a farm at 2am in the morning on Devil’s Night and I was missing a shoe and bra and had twigs in my hair but I was NOT GOING TO TRIP AND FALL LIKE ALL THOSE FINAL GIRLS IN FRIDAY THE 13TH so I started to run like an ostrich, picking my legs up real high, kind of like how Urkel probably ran at his school’s field day, so that my feet wouldn’t trip over anything because I know my level of clumsiness and I am a pretty consistent tripper.

So now I’m running my face off, acutely aware that it’s just me and these kids, when Coaster Carl and the teenagers veered to the right.

“THAT’S THE WRONG WAY!” Chooch screamed to me over his shoulder, and in that moment, I put all my trust in him, my spawn, my coaster partner, my sometimes sworn-enemy.

And he led me to motherfucking VIC-TOR-Y.

The only other kids who had surpassed us continued to run past the VOYAHHHHHGE toward the semi-new flying coaster, Thunderbird, which was fine by us, because…………..


There’s a set of steps that we had to run up before getting inside the platform, and by that time, we were huffing and puffing but not any threat to blowing down the VOYAHHHHGE because our breaths were more wheezes at that point.

“Good morning, guys! You ready to ride this?!” one of the ride attendants laughed, and we were like “HNNNNNGGGGGGGHHHHHHH” while grasping our sides.

We still had some time before they were ready to send off the first train of the day, so I guarded our spot in the front while Chooch claimed the second row for Henry, who had walked a normal pace from the rope-drop area to the platform and calmly slid into the queue for the second row.

“Idiots,” he said, smirking at us. But I felt like a fucking WINNER.

Meanwhile, Loves Coasters, Can’t Read Maps had corrected his directional mistake and came barreling into the station, claiming the last row. And, after a few minutes, the queue was starting to fill up with all the normal people who don’t understand that running gets you there faster.

Eventually, the gates opened for us and we stuffed ourselves into the seats. My hands trembled as I buckled my seatbelt. That could have been blood pressure-related though.

And then, we were finally climbing that inaugural hill, and I felt #soblessed to be back there to experience this wooden miracle again. I wish I could properly convey how this coaster makes me feel, like a limp rag doll being whipped around by a derailed train careening down a mountain.

I asked Henry if he understands now, after finally riding it (HE DIDN’T RIDE IT LAST TIME, WHAT A LOSER) and he was like, “It was good” but I could tell that he just didn’t get it because he’s a n00b and I really think he’s just jealous that I imprinted on an actual roller coaster and will probably eventually be on some upcoming episode of MY STRANGE ADDICTIONS and he’s already trying to distance himself from me before the CONSUMMATION happens except this isn’t an addiction IT’S TRU LUV.

“I can’t believe I ran that fast and got to be in the front row on the first ride of the day,” I said dreamily later that day.

“I got second row, and I didn’t have to run,” Henry shrugged.

NOT THE POINT, HENRY. Running was part of the process, it elevated the experience, it MADE FOR A MEMORY. I will never forget that moment. I felt like a kid!

I love the VOYAHHHHHHHHGE so much, and thank god Chooch does too. I can’t believe we haven’t argued yet over who loves it more…

Sep 072019

Ever since we went to Holiday World in Indiana last summer, I have been begging Henry to take us back. He finally agreed to make the return (or, what I kept calling “the homecoming” in my head) during Labor Day weekend. Well, this got me thinking…if we were already going to Indiana, and we had a three-day weekend, why not make the most of it AND ADD KENTUCKY KINGDOM TO THE AGENDA. I mean, we have to drive right past Louisville anyway, I reasoned.

My greatest skill is the lucrative ability to wear people down until I get my way. Sometimes, all it takes is my perfectly-pulled puppydog pout. (OOOOH THAT ALLITERATION CAME SO FUCKING NATURALLY, SECOND GREATEST SKILL, BITCHES) but other times, I have to use my words wisely and manipulatively. I am almost always able to get Henry to say but I have to say that lately I think this has less to do with my queenly talents and everything to do with him being THAT BEATEN DOWN.

For any virtual coupon cutters out there, you will be as stoked as Henry was to know that Kentucky Kingdom offers a special deal for out-of-state visitors! It’s a pretty substantial discount (we got in for $29) PLUS!!! you get a wristband which enables you to get free drinks all damn day.

No, I’m not talking about once you purchase some $20 ugly ass souvenir tumbler. The wristband is all you need, and you walk up to any of the beverage stations around the park, go up to the KK person who will scan your band and give you a (PAPER!!) cup, and then you can get whatever Pepsi product or water that’s in the fountain.

As someone who doesn’t like soft drinks and often winds up dehydrated at amusement parks because even water costs $$$, this is a wonderful service and so much better than refilling a water bottle (that  already paid $5 for) at lukewarm water fountains all day. It was 90 degrees the day we were there, so thank you, Kentucky Kingdom.


I know what you’re thinking though: why would you go out of your way to visit some mostly unknown park in freaking Kentucky? Well, it certainly wasn’t for the atmosphere! This park was small and (please don’t be offended if you’re reading this, KK) not very visually pleasing. I mean, it’s situated in a huge concrete slab shared with a convention center, and it’s just a really ugly area. It’s also right next to the Louisville airport, so…just lots of cement.

And if you know anything about me, you know that I hate water parks. I haven’t been to one since I was 13 and don’t plan on changing that anytime soon. But Kentucky Kingdom and their water park, Hurricane Bay, intermingle with each other, so you have to actually walk through the water park to get to certain rides. It made me uncomfortable.

So, you’re still wondering why I wanted to come here. THE COASTERS. I watch a lot of YouTube channels about theme parks and vlogs from coaster enthusiasts and every single one of them gives high praise for the coaster collection this unassuming park in Kentucky has.

Right away, we got in line for Lightning Run, a steel coaster that I have heard gets compared to Kennywood’s Phantom’s Revenge. This seemed nuts to me once I saw the coaster in person, because it’s…not big. It looks kind of lame, actually. So right off the bat, I was preparing myself for let down.

We only had to wait in line for about 20 minutes, and Chooch and I claimed the back row for our inaugural ride. Henry sat in the seat in front of us, and right away one of the ride attendants came over and told him he had to take his glasses off. Chooch and I were like, “Hahaha, he got yelled at” (he didn’t really, but we love to amplify anything that happens to him). I heard Henry say something back to the person, but then he didn’t take his glasses off.


I tapped (OK, pounded) on his shoulder and asked him why he was disobeying the rules and he EVER-SO-CASUALLY said, “I have a sports strap on.”




Chooch and I fucking LOST IT. Henry just shrugged and turned back around in his seat, probably reciting his mantra in his head (the lyrics to Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off). Why was this so funny to us?! Oh, I wished our friend Alyson was there because she probably would have thought it was funny too!

Since when does Henry have a “SPORTS STRAP”!

“I bought it before we went to King’s Island,” he muttered irritably when I pressed him about this later. “Why is it such a big deal.”

“What kind of sports do you even play?” Chooch chided, and then we started making up scenarios for which he would need to wear his sports strap, like when a military plane flies above and he has to whip his head back real fast to identify it, or when he’s visiting Cheetah Girl at Blush.

OK, enough about Henry’s dork strap. THIS COASTER SLAPPED!! Holy shit, I wasn’t expecting it be that intense, but once it went down that first drop (which was harrowing), that thing never slowed down. It was whippy and had insane air time hills. I didn’t think it was AS GOOD as Phantom’s Revenge, but it was really fantastic, unexpectedly ferocious, and completely memorable. I was actually shaking when it pulled back into the station and we couldn’t stop gushing over it as we walked through the gross water park to our next coaster, Kentucky Flyer, which was the new coaster for 2019.

I was excited about this one because it’s a Gravity Group woodie and ALL OF THE ENTHUSIASTS were so stoked about this and the reviews have been wonderful. Now, that being said, it IS billed as a “family coaster” so I did go into this with that knowledge….but I guess I was still expecting a little bit more than we got.

Even for this coaster, Henry had to go through the whole “I have a sports strap” rigmarole and I have no idea why a person couldn’t wear glasses on this particular tame coaster but I do respect and commend Kentucky Kingdom for having a policy and enforcing it every time. When I see people getting pissy because they’re told to put their phones in a bin, I get so frustrated. Why do you need your phone on a roller coaster. YOU DON’T. Leave the POV videos for the coaster experts who have permission to film these and also have safe equipment to do so. No one wants to watch your shitty, shaky videos that sound like you’re being murdered in a windtunnel.

I get so mad when there’s always that ONE PERSON who holds up the dispatch of a coaster because they didn’t put their shit in a fucking bin!!!!

YES, THIS HAPPENED SEVERAL TIMES THAT DAY. And every time the person would be shocked, like, “OMG I didn’t know.” Really. Because there are signs everywhere and recordings of the rules playing in every ride platform and also EVERY ONE KNOWS?! Kentucky, you got some dumdums residing in you.

Another coaster we rode, which Henry declined to ride (“NOT BECAUSE I’M SCARED!”), was T3, a Vekoma SLC. First, the boys standing in line front of me gifted me with odoriferous ass-spritzes so that was a delight. Love smelling the farts of strangers, especially while stuck in line inside an old, musty coaster station on a 90-degree day while the air is pregnant with humidity.

Also, the Gassers were wet from a water ride, so Chooch and I got to sit in their butt-puddles afterward BECAUSE THE COASTER WAS RUNNING ONE TRAIN OPS.

I am actually terrified of coasters like this one so I screamed my stupid face off from the crest of the first hill all the way back to the break run. It was so scary…but fun…but scary!

The next coaster was the one that I most intrigued about because it’s an RMC hybrid and if you know some things about the coaster scene, you know that they’re the manufacturers of the infamous LIGHTNING ROD in Dollywood. That coaster really made me want to ride every RMC in the world (the newest one is Zadra in Poland!). RMC is also really notable for taking shitty wooden coasters and refurbishing them into something wonderful and mind-bending. In 2016, this coaster came in second for best new ride, behind Lightning Rod.  So that really speaks volumes about how cool this coaster is!

And even still—NOTHING COULD HAVE PREPARED ME FOR IT. First of all, before you go down the first hill, there is an inversion, and the hang-time had me freaking out man. The airtime was sick, the overbanks were relentless, it was fast as fuck….I loved it. I look like I’m lifting weights in every on-ride photo because I was screaming so hard!

We rode it in the back, front, middle—every seat was an excelsior experience. There was one block of time when there was NO LINE, it was a total walk-on, so Chooch and I got off and ran (and I mean RAN) down the exit and back to the entrance. The second time we did it, Henry was loafing out front and yelled at us not to run and we were like, “Yeah OK old man.” Turns out it was because he wanted to join us for that ride but we didn’t know until he came huffing and puffing his way up to the platform. He’s lucky that dispatch for this ride IS SO SLOW or else we probably would have already been on the train and leaving the station.

And when I say they’re slow, I don’t necessarily think that’s on Kentucky Kingdom as much as it the patrons who just refuse to follow instructions. Like, buckle your seat belt first and THEN pull down the lap bar like they tell you to do over and over and if you’re deaf, they got you covered with signs, man. It was absurd how many people just don’t listen.

God, we had some good times on this damn ride. My favorite time in line was when we stood behind a middle aged man wearing an Ed Sheeran concert t-shirt and Dunkin’ Donut shoes and of course he kept popping up throughout the day. Actually, he really stuck out because most of the people there were, well, you know…very Kentucky. And also looked like they didn’t need anymore free Mountain Dew.


But really, we didn’t have any bad people experiences, although I did see this one mom be a total bitch to the nice kid working in Scoops.

Thunder Run was the last credit we needed to get (aside from the kid coaster, which Chooch and I rode later but Henry was like, “I don’t count credits, so…”) and hoo-boy was this one a doozy!

I love me a good woodie and this one had its moments — but shit, I heard my back crunch as soon as we went down that first hill.

Thunder Run station selfie.

Henry thought he was going to get to ride alone but a single kid scooched on into the seat next to him which made me and Chooch crack up because who would willingly want to ride with him!? Meanwhile Chooch and I were still obsessing over Henry’s sports strap. I made him show it to me and then cried, “EW!!!!” like he had just exposed himself from behind a trench coat; he was so angry and spat, “I DON’T KNOW WHY THIS IS SUCH A BIG DEAL.”

Literally my favorite part of the day was every time Henry got to explain to a ride attendant that he was wearing one.

HENRY WAS OVER US BY LUNCHTIME. (Kentucky Kingdom has some satisfying flatbread pizza and they put the calories on the menu which I appreciate because I’m a psycho.)

I have never seen a carousel like this! What even is that elephant?!

I liked that there were vintage advertisments going around the top.

We wished our friend Tommy was here to ride the cock, lol. Chooch sent him this picture but Tommy never responded, I GUESS IT BURNED TOO MUCH.

Sometimes you just really have to take a step back and appreciate a good carousel when you see one, you know? I thought this one was really pretty.

I can’t remember if I previously posted this, but here it is again.

One thing I was sad about was that they have a 5D theater and one of the movies they show is Happy Family, but something different was showing the day we were there! The only reason I cared was because the same 5D movie was showing when we were at Everland in Korea and I wanted to experience it in English this time, haha.

Their kiddyland was actually pretty cool and had interesting versions of classic baby rides. I loved this one!

There weren’t very many extreme flat rides but they did have one of these new takes on the classic Enterprise. We didn’t ride it, but we did ride a different flat ride called Breakdance and while we were in line, some girl in front of us was mindlessly putting something in her mouth, I didn’t see what it was, but her dad totally snapped and yelled, “GET THAT OUT OF YOUR MOUTH. I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT’S GOING  TO  TAKE TO GET YOU TO STOP PUTTING THINGS IN  YOUR MOUTH!” so that’ll be a fun conversation to revisit when she’s older.

Then I made eye contact with her dad and it was chilling. I have a bad habit of putting my hair in my mouth when I’m concentrating and I was so afraid he was going to catch me in the act and yell at me too and look, my friend Kara has sent me articles about people having to get giant hairballs removed from their insides and that clearly hasn’t deterred me but sure, let’s try the raised voice technique.

I wish the ferris wheel was a different color scheme, but otherwise, it was still very majestic. We rode it (at the same time as Ed Sheeran Concert Guy and his family, and also a VERY CLOSE FAMILY OF FIVE who were all wearing polo shirts and touching every time we saw them; I call Mormons) and it was the first time Henry wasn’t interrogated about his glasses.

(Guys, no phones allowed on the ferris wheel either. It’s apparently state law that you can’t have phones on any amusement park ride and perhaps other states should consider this as well.)

When we first arrived at Kentucky Kingdom, country music was playing and I was bracing myself for a nauseating day. But the park actually played a good mix of tunes! Like when we were taking a break with some free drinks after giving Kentucky Flyer another shot (it was decent, and that’s my final opinion), Catch Me I’m Falling started playing in the water park and I was so excited!

HOW HAVE I NEVER SEEN THIS VIDEO!?!??!!??!!?!?!? The people jumping off the ladders make me nervous though. If Point of No Return had come on after this, I probably would have had to leave and find the nearest roller rink because parts of me were AWAKENING.

“We can’t move from this spot until this song is over,” I declared, not that Chooch and Henry had any objections — it was one of the only rests we had all day!

Can we all agree that 80s pop/new wave is the only music that should ever be played at amusement parks?

OK, I’m just going to put this out here—for as incredible of a coaster Storm Chaser is, I think Lightning Run was my favorite. It just made me crack up so hard and it gave me the epitome of rollercoaster stomach. Do NOT judge this coaster by its looks! Just like you shouldn’t judge the park in general by its looks, either! This is a real gem.

Chooch spotted a stand for frozen lemonade while we were on the kid coaster and then became obsessed with wanting one, but then he couldn’t find it later so while we were in (the hardly moving) line for the rapids ride, he sent Henry off on a mission to procure one for him, but then we saw an empty-handed (but still man purse-clad) Henry afterward who said it was SUPPOSEDLY closed, which was probably for the best because it would have been melted since it took us an hour to ride that damn rapids ride, I’m not even kidding, it was the only long line we stood in all day but it didn’t seem like it was long…UNTIL IT WAS TOO LATE. The operations for this ride were so hideous. I have never in my life wasted so much time on a water ride HOWEVER!!! We got seated with some decent people after dodging a bullet and just barely escaping getting matched up with the family of 6 in front of us. THEY WERE A HOT MESS. One of them was wearing a Breaking Bad t-shirt and I can’t explain why he made me feel uncomfortable but he did, and then the mom and her boyfriend (I assume this was his role, I didn’t get the impression he was the dad) were so PDA that I couldn’t stand it and one of the adult sons was missing half his face. I felt really horrible for him and kept internally freaking out every time he’d turn around and look at me with his one eye because my empathy is the kind where my whole body will start to physically hurt when I see or even just hear about some type of malady.

Anyway, our raft was pleasant and I will say this —  this rapids ride was PRETTY EFFING GOOD. Unlike at Kennywood where there’s nothing to look at it, just fake rocks, this one actually had you going inside buildings and it was kind of penguin-themed, I think? It was entertaining!

We did eventually find the stand later on too so Henry was able to prove that it really was closed.

Chooch whined about wanting to play Criss Cross Toss all day long so we finally gave him money for it on the way out and he lost and then blamed Henry for not being “encouraging” and really this is kind of true. Good job, dad.

Verdict: If you’re a coaster enthusiast, get your ass to this park. I’m not sure how it typically is, but we were there on a Saturday during Labor Day weekend and aside from T3 and that rapids ride, nearly everything was walk-on. Plus, that out-of-state ticket deal is pretty damn sweet. I definitely plan on returning to this place sometime in the future! (Probably not next summer though — Kentucky is weird and driving through Cincinnati gives me the dry-heaves.)

And you know what? I think this may have been  the most Henry has ever ridden at a non-Disney park?! He seemed like he really had a nice time, too. Maybe he has a sports strap fetish.

As we drove out of the parking lot that night, I noticed that bruises had already formed around my elbows from Storm Chaser, haha. My bruise count would definitely go up the next day…

Sep 052019

Real talk here for a minute: I need a break from furiously trying to recap my summer for posterity so I am going to regale this quiet corner of the Internet with some photos of us riding some of the rides at Kentucky Kindgom, because I think they’re kind of adorable and they’re the best kinds of family photos we ever manage to take.

I guess because amusement parks are where we fight the least!

(Note that I said “the least” and not “never.” There was definitely still bickering at Kentucky Kingdom, but it was minimal!)

I especially love getting a group selfie on carousels. Maybe if I find the motivation to get off my ass this December, I’ll make this into our Christmas card, YOU NEVER KNOW.

This was our first time at this park, and I will always hold it close to my heart now because Henry actually rode every coaster but one, and even did RE-RIDES which he barely ever does! LOOK AT HOW STOKED HE LOOKS HERE ON STORM CHASER! I posted this on Instagram and it got more likes than the picture of me and G-Dragon’s dad, which I’m not salty about at all OK I AM. Get your priorities straight, IG friends!

And then this one, from Thunder Run, which we all rode just once because it was a back-breaker. Henry’s partner, though — was he even actually riding this ride?

Wow, Henry was clearly having an alright day!

I actually got in a fight with Henry after getting off this ride because he didn’t get the ENTIRE ZEPPELIN IN THE PICTURE, WTF IS YOUR MALFUNCTION, HENRY???! So then we didn’t talk for like 10 minutes because I called him a stupid idiot and he really showed us by sitting out the next ride on Lightning Run.

“I’ll take another picture later!” Henry barked after I tossed him my signature weener-withering glare, and I yelled back, “NO YOU WON’T BECAUSE I’M NOT RIDING THAT THING AGAIN, IT ALMOST MADE ME THROW UP!” and then we all started laughing and were back to being a functioning dysfunctional family. Aw.

Chooch and me, getting our coaster cred on the little kid coaster. That’s us in the back but Henry the Amateur Photog fucked up this picture too.

THE FLYING DUTCHMAN! I fucking loved this ride, it was so cute and totally suited my aesthetic.

I WONDER WHAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT. J/K we were ragging on Henry.

I look like I’m smiling here but I remember this moment and I was definitely scowling at Henry.

And here we are, being a cute mom and son duo on the Breakdancer, which is the type of flatride that Kennywood desperately needs! I love these types of rides even though they can quickly put me out of commission if the wind blows the wrong way, I swear to god. But I tempt the fates every time!

So these are some pictures just from Kentucky Kingdom. We also went to my beloved Holiday World over the weekend so I have lots of reporting back to do here soon because recapping amusement parks is what I live for! I hope turning old doesn’t stop me from enjoying the rides any time soon. :(

Sep 022019

The rain held off for the rest of the day, so we were able to enjoy the outdoor portion of Lotte World, too! First, we had to get the obligatory Instagram shot.

This park is so ADORABLE.

The outdoor portion didn’t seem like it was all that crowded—because everyone was already camping out in the outrageous lines. (Note to self: go back to this park in the spring time when all the kids are in school!)

Look, I know it’s no Cinderella’s Castle, but this castle is iconic in Korea and it was so cool to see it in real life!

During our outdoor jaunt, we at lunch at this place called School Food, where Chooch had cheesy ramen and I had tteokbokki and mandu — not something I would ever think I’d eat at an amusement park! Henry was all, “I DON’T WANT TO EAT ANYTHING HERE” but then he ended up eating our leftovers, so….

Henry’s favorite moments are when he’s able to wander of without off, like here, where he had a minute to stare sadly at a lake before we summoned him back to us and began firing off more demands.

We found this little house with candy stuck to it and I yelled, “IS THIS A RIDE?!!?” and I mean, people were standing in a line next to it, so that was enough confirmation for me.

“What even is this?” Henry asked, and I just shrugged. Who cares?! It was a house with candy stuck to it!

Candy roof-nipples!

Henry was like, “There are lots of little kids standing in this line” and I guess he was insinuating it was a KIDS RIDE but since when has that stopped me? Because of that though, he was like, “I’ll just see myself out of here,” and went and stood alone like the predator we all know him to be.

But you guys! Once we were let inside the doorway, we had to TAKE AN ESCALATOR down to another floor and I was like, “Whhhaaaat is this going to be?” OH I’LL TELL YOU WHAT IT WAS! It was a dark ride! Like It’s a Small World but with candy and clowns and a dragon and singing flowers and and and…

…we had to sit in a train and enter the ride through a clown’s mouth!!!

This was my favorite ride at Lotte World! I told my friend Jiyong about it after I came back to Pittsburgh and she literally had no idea what ride I was talking about and then, after she looked it up on her phone, said, “Oh, because it’s a childrens ride.”


I sent this to coulrophobic Wendy and she was like, “Wow, it’s nice to know you still torture your friends while on the other side of the world.”

You’re welcome, Wendy. I do my best!

Immediately after, I decided I wanted to ride this outside coaster called Atlantis. The line was relatively long, but I conned Chooch into getting standing in it by reminding him that we may never be in Korea again and YOLO, whatever. He is absolutely spoiled when it comes to going to non-crowded amusement parks because we had a super longstreak where we just timed our trips right and wound up at parks on super light attendance days where we just walk right on rides. Well, guess what pal? This is what it’s like in the real world, so suck it up.

Right when we got in line, Chooch noticed a Gongcha, which is a super popular chain of Taiwen boba tea, so he sent Henry over to get him one. We watched Henry standing there in line and didn’t think anything of it, but then the next thing we knew, Henry had rejoined us…EMPTY-HANDED.

“Where’s my Gongcha?!” Chooch shrieked.

“The line was too long,” Henry replied calmly, because our histrionics don’t faze him at all anymore. “I’ll go see what else I can find you,” and he strode away.

And then we we were without Wifi for a REALLY LONG TIME because he had the wifi thingie in his man-purse and was probably making his food-stand rounds instead of procuring Chooch a boba tea…

…which he proved when he came back 45 minutes later with a Smoothie King smoothie, which sent Chooch over the edge.

Still in line! I think I took this picture at the point where it said we had 80 minutes left.

That sign LIED.

I mean, it sucked standing in line for so long, but since it was Korea, we actually had really decent, inoffensive people in line around with us, like the group of high school boys in front of us who were SO COOL and I wanted to be a part of their crew in the worst way. I don’t care how creepy it makes me, I had so much fun standing there and listening to them talk, and I even understood a little!

“That one right there is the leader,” I whispered to Henry one of the times he came back to “visit.” Chooch just rolled his eyes because he was so annoyed at everything by now.

There was also a young couple behind us, they weren’t Korean; it sounded like they were speaking in Thai, maybe? I’m not sure! But they also spoke English and I know this because the girl part of the couple was super concerned when she spotted a bug in my hair and was sweet enough to alert me about it, and then they both assisted in helping me get it out. It was so kind! Chooch and I agreed later on that this probably wouldn’t have happened in America.

“Yeah, people would have just made fun of me about it behind my back,” I sighed.

Chooch was using the faux rock wall to hold himself up. It’s amazing how tired standing in line can make you.

When we eventually got to the platform-part of the queue, we got to skip to the front because the ride attendants were looking for two people to fill one of the cars — and it was the front row!

I thought the coaster was worth the wait – it was pretty thrilling and had some indoor elements too which I like! And I know enough Korean to know that the girls behind us were shrieking, “WE’RE GOING TO DIE” lol.

Chooch was just like, “IT WAS GOOD BUT WE WAITED IN LINE FOR LIKE 2 HOURS” and then pretty much complained about that for the remainder of our trip.

We ventured back inside after that and it was definitely more crowded now. I don’t think any of the rides had a wait time that was less than 180 minutes by now….

…except for the haunted house!

We had to pay extra for it but whatever – the wait was only about 15 minutes.

Spoiler: we escaped. It was your typical country fair-level haunt, and I think only two actual scare actors were inside. One was super laissez faire with their role, and the other kind of got into it, but the scariest thing for me was the fact that I was creeping around a dark haunted house with only one contact in.

Then as we were walking, a parade ended and everyone turned around and walked right toward us, like a literal Korean Wave, and I got caught in the undertow.

“10 million people in Seoul and a million of them are here right now,” Henry said after we swam to shore. It was overwhelming! But not as scary as it would have been if this happened in like, NYC or something. No one really pushes or shoves in Seoul, for what it’s worth.

We got some ice cream and were just about ready to punch out for the day when I noticed an entire kiddie section that we had missed earlier and I became obsessed with riding this dumb fish ride. Even this had about a 30 minute wait (I have never waited this long for a freaking kids attraction before!) but again, standing in line for rides in Korea is not as excruciating as it in America.

The whole time we were in line, Chooch kept saying, ‘We have to get the puffer fish!” and I was like, “Sure whatever,” but then when it was our turn, the ride attendant came over and said, “Oh no, you can ride by yourself,” to Chooch, because the front seat on the fish are smaller and meant for little kids, so Chooch was SO PISSED because now he had to ride in a different fish while I got to stay in the puffer fish, and not only that, but we were THE ONLY PEOPLE RIDING ALONE WITHOUT SMALL CHILDREN and it was so uncomfortable but oh well, YOLO remember.

Jackass Henry took pictures with his crappy phone but you can tell that Chooch is super sulky here, haha.

We picked up some stuff in the gift shop and then decided to peace out. It was 7pm at that point and the lines weren’t getting any shorter…

Chooch was soooooo cranky, but THANK GOD he got a seat on the subway. Trolling for seats is his specialty.

…so we left, rode the subway 20+ stops back to Hongdae, dropped our stuff off, and then headed back out to Dongdaemun/Jongno for some late night food and giddiness.

Overall, this was a great pre-birthday celebration. I love amusement parks so much and couldn’t imagine a Korean vacation without including one!


PRO TIP: If you ever go to Seoul and want to visit Lotte World, they have huge discounts for foreigners! We got ours through, but there are a number of websites that offer comparable deals, so don’t go to the gate and pay full price! 

Aug 292019

Every time I hear “Lotte World,” I imagine Pee Wee yelling, “SCREAM REAL LOUD!!!” and then in my head, I scream real loud because anytime I do that out loud, people think I’m either IN trouble or that I AM trouble and let’s be real, either one of those could be true at any given time.

Let me back up a minute. Lotte World is not only considered Korea’s Disneyland, but it also just happens to be the largest indoor amusement park IN THE WORLD.


It also has an outdoor section, too!

Originally, I planned to go here on my actual birthday, but then  that turned out to be the day of the kpop show, so Lotte World birthday pre-gaming it was!

But first — idol sandwich for breakfast!

And Henry had his basic red bean bun.

Then Chooch and I had to go and get our daily elevator selfie and also a picture of the view of Hongdae.

I have this Instax taped to my monitor at work and I blow it a kiss every now and then OK FINE IT’S THE TAEMIN BACKGROUN ON MY COMPUTER THAT I’M BLOWING A KISS TO, GODDAMMIT.

I dunno, I just thought this broom was nice-looking.

We had to take the subway out to Jamsil, and this was the first time we made it out to this area, which is nuts because it’s where the famous Lotte World Tower is and that’s like a total tourist destination. Imagine my surprised when we were walking through the subway station and stumbled upon this “little” slice of Italy! Yeah, just chilling underground, you guys, this luxurious fountain.

No big deal.

Then we emerged from the subway like mole people and this humongous phallic symbol of Seoul was thrusting its shiny tip into the heavens right before us. There’s an observation deck up there but…heights.

And then there it was—Lotte World!

Oh, also in case you didn’t know, Lotte is a HUGE corporation in Korea. They have luxury hotels, department stores, food (Choco Pies!)—don’t fuck with Lotte, is all I’m saying. You might end up at the bottom of the Han River with a cinder block tied to your ankle.

Chooch said he didn’t agree to this pose but I was like IT’S THE DAY BEFORE MY BIRTHDAY JUST DO IT.

We had to go into some special foreigner office to get our discounted tickets and then Chooch was like, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU” because I kept trying to hand my ticket to a Lotte World worker at the ticket turnstile to have them scan it but it turned out IT WAS A KID, LIKE A YOUNGGGGG KID who was just standing there waiting for his family and I felt like such a stoop but look—I was still just wearing the one contact, OK?

I will milk that excuse for all it’s worth, you betcha.

Anyway, look how fancy the lobby area was!

Family portrait. We *mostly* got along all day. *Mostly.* There were moments, though.

Then suddenly—BAM. We were inside Lotte World and it was staggering. Also, it was already pretty crowded even though it was only 9:30AM and had just barely opened. But look at that layered cake of amusement!

One thing I wasn’t stoked about was the pirate ship. I just generally dislike them lately because they make me literally feel seasick, and for some reason, seeing this gigantic one INSIDE made me feel so terrified.

Luckily, the line for it was ridiculously long all day so Chooch never even once entertained the idea of riding it.

We did ride Sinbad though! Lotte World has so many cool dark rides! Granted, we had no idea what was being said during the ride, but they were fucking fun! IT WAS A BOAT RIDE!!!

When we were standing in line for it, Henry murmured, “I wish we had a washing machine in the bathroom at home…” because he was OBSESSED with washing clothes every night in our guest house bathroom.

The Thoughts Henry Has.

We thought we were going to have the front row but then dumb fast pass people showed up and stole it from us, story of our lives.

(We were just bitter because Henry is too cheap to get us fast passes.)

30th anniversary, apparently!

Lotte World was so massive inside that it was hard to understand just how to get from one place to the next. It took us a stupidly long time to find the line for French Revolution and that had nothing to do with being foreigners — the signs were in English! There were just so many nooks and crannies like Thomas left the English Muffin factory to give amusement park designing a go. Random staircases were nearly hidden in the dimly lit hallways and we never did figure out how to get to the 4th floor until the end of the day. It was nuts and I already can’t wait to go back during the off season to really explore that motherfucker!

OMG for some reason, I really latched on to the rapids ride they have there. I mean, first of all, it’s indoors and that made it seem so much scarier! We rode it with some lady and her two kids who did not seem happy to be on it probably because the mom kept making them smile for pictures.

Even Henry rode it with us! And then he would tap out, having ridden two whole rides first thing in the morning. He spent the rest of the day people-watching while Chooch and I aged exponentially in lines.

Like when we were standing in line for what we thought was the French Revolution, because we were literally standing right next to part of it. It was about an hour long wait, I would say, but it went fast because so much was happening around us. First, there was a young elementary school and his sister in front of us, and he was happy to get to practice his English on us. HE WAS SO FUCKING CUTE. I have spent my entire blogging career (lol) bitching about how much I hate children, but Korean children are the exception. They were just wonderful and adorable and I made the mistake of telling Chooch once on the subway that I love listening to them talk and he congratulated me for being a predator but WHATEVER CHOOCH YOU’RE JUST JEALOUS THAT I LIKE KOREAN KIDS BETTER THAN YOU.

Then this kid starts talking to us about the French Revolution and how scary it is, etc and I was like, “Wow, what a brave kid, standing in line for this roller coaster even though he’s clearly terrified of it.” But then he and his sister decided that the wait was too long so they said bye and peaced out. Now there were new people in front of us, and one of them spent THE ENTIRE TIME taking selfies of herself so I had to keep ducking and turning my head or else I’d have ugged-up some nice Korean girl’s selfie bigtime.

MEANWHILE, there was live entertainment below us. Lotte’s house band was down there playing Baby Shark and Chooch demanded that Henry go to the source and record it for Calvin who, like all 2-year-olds and probably some weird adults, loves Baby Shark.

I looked over the railing after a minute or two and thought for sure I saw Henry but it turned out to be some pot-bellied ahjussi, so Chooch and I were nearly peeing our pants over this but then a minute later, I looked again…



Then I was like, “WHY IS HIS HAIRLINE SO WIDE?!?!” and we were cracking up over it so I airdropped the picture to Chooch and he airdropped this one back to me:

And to top it all off, Chooch does the best impression of Henry which makes Henry look like a barbarian, and Chooch does this grunting thing that sounds like Paul Eugene and I swear that Henry doesn’t actually grunt when he walks, but it is SO FUCKING FUNNY TO ME that I had to beg Chooch to stop because I was seriously coming super close to peeing my pants and people in line around us were probably SO ANNOYED at the obnoxious Americans but I couldn’t help it—making fun of Henry is Chooch’s and my best hobby.

Oh, my stomach hurt badly from laughing.

Then Henry came back up to the line after we had moved forward considerably and Chooch stopped laughing and barked, “WHERE THE FUCK WERE YOU. DID YOU GET A RECORDING OF BABY SHARK” because he’s more of a nagging wife than I am, and Henry calmly said that no, he didn’t, because the band had already moved on to the next song by the time he managed to weave through the labyrinthine hallways to find the steps and he excitedly told us that the foreign girls dancing in the performance were scantily-clad in bikinis while the Korean girl dancers were wearing really nice and respectable dresses.

If Henry kept a diary, this would have been the only thing he wrote that day.

After standing in the extended queue for about 45 minutes, we were finally ushered into the entrance of the ride, where of course there was more standing but at least we were inside the main queue now, which was dark and made to look like a cave, so of course I tripped–HARD–and again I loudly reminded those around me that I was only wearing one contact.

Just the one.

In one eyeball.

When I have two eyes.

And then my favorite thing ever happened! WE GOT TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE AND I SAW THE RIDE VEHICLE.




This ended up being some type of Indiana Jones-like ride called Pharaoh’s Fury and it was actually a lot of fun but my feelings were all wacked out because I spent an hour thinking I was going on some crazy-ass coasters with a bunch of inversions, but oh well. Lotte World had other plans for me.


As the day went on, the line for French Revolution kept getting longer and longer until it was eventually like 250 minutes so, no French Revolution for me.

Stay tuned for the second half of our Lotte World adventures!

Aug 272019

Hello it’s me, here I am, back with some more Kennywood bullshit in bullet-form, because Chooch and I did, in fact, do other things besides ride the Steel Curtain.

  • ONE TRAIN OPS: OK, so maybe not all of the coasters were actually just running one train, but the operations were still TURRIBLE. Just straight up TURR-HUH-BULL. I don’t know if I just never really noticed but I was hyper aware of it on this day, which wasn’t crowded by any means but the sloooooooow asssssssss dispatchhhhhhhhhes made it feel insufferable at times. The worst, hands down, was the fucking Aero360, which I have actually complained about in the past but it felt even worse this time around. First of all, they were TRAINING SOMEONE and look, I want this kid to really learn his job and make sure the green light is on behind everyone’s seat (I just learned that along with him) but holy fucking deep-fried crucified Christ, it took a good 5 minutes AT LEAST to check everyone’s restraints and in the meantime, the SIZZLING HOT BLACK RESTRAINT that was stapling me into my seat was ALSO burning the bare flesh on the top of my thighs because I was wearing shorts and that fucking thing automatically slammed down into my legs before I had a chance to adjust myself and I was SQUEALING like a pig being barbequed alive which is probably a weird thing for a veg-person to write on her blog, and I considered deleting it but thought nah, that’s a waste of time so instead I’ll just type a bunch more words about it?! But yeah, fuck the Aero360. This ride used to be bae, but now I have officially slid it over into my “skippable” list.
  • KAREN: We kept seeing this Bitch Mom in every line and I was like, “What if that was the kind of mom I was?” and Chooch was like, “A MOM WITH KAREN HAIR? NO THANKS” and we were laughing at her because she had her weird “pretending like I just came here from a jog” racer-back athletic tank on and shorts of a modest length, but she was also pulling around a goddamn carry-on luggage with her everywhere, just kidding, it was some sort of huge insulated cooler that was in everyone’s way in every line. She was the worst. Her kids looked like dicks too.

  • Raging Rapids Mom: Speaking of moms, we were on the Raging Rapids with a mom and her daughter who looked like Dustin from Stranger Things but a girl and they were actually not too bad to ride with as far as strangers go but afterward, Chooch took it too far and said that he could see me being friends with her and I was like, “CHOOCH SHE WAS A MOTHER” and he was like, “Oh yeah, never mind.” In other Raging Rapids news, that piece of shot Thomas Town that debuted last year completely ruined that area and now it feels disorienting – I’m not sure if the line for the rapids was actually relocated or if it’s just more exposed now but it definitely doesn’t feel right and I hate it. I fucking hate it.

  • Phantom’s Revenge is still my #1 in case you were wondering. Our first time standing in line seemed to take forever but it was because it was ONE TRAIN OPS but then they brought on the second train while we were standing in line and everyone was like WHY ARE THEY SENDING THAT ONE WITH NO ONE ON IT?!?! because they’re fucking n00bs who don’t watch coaster videos every single day after work while eating dinner like I do. My life is fucking fabulous.
    • During our first time in line, we saw a kid puking over the side of the platform after he got off the ride, so that was fun. Also, I saw two ride operators that I recognized from last year and Chooch was like, “You’re a stalker” but HOW CAN YOU NOT REMEMBER JAKE??!!? Anyway, poor Jake had to clean up the puke and then we never saw him again after that so maybe they let him go home early.

  • Golden Nugget: I feel blessed to report that while the ride operations were questionable on this day (except for the Racer — that kid running dispatch was a real MVP and didn’t miss a beat while he was counting riders to quickly respond with “in the closet” when some little boy asked him where he got his yard stick) the young’uns slinging those famous square ice cream cones over at Golden Nugget were friendly and actually gave a shit about how the cones looked. Total redemption from last year’s sour experience! If you ever come to Kennywood, ya GOTTA get one of these, you guys. YOU JUST GOTTA.

  • That Guy Chooch: In line for the Jack Rabbit, some little boy said to his dad, “Look at that guy behind you” and nodded at Chooch, which made me crack up because he’s only 13 and some kid is referring to him as a guy. Anyway, it turned out that this was all because of Chooch’s corgi phone case and he was momentarily smug because finally someone was noticing his accessories, but then the little boy’s sister said, “LOOK AT HERS, IT’S A CACTUS” about my phone case so hahahaha. Also, one of the times we were in line for the Steel Curtain, I made eye contact with some lady and she cried, “WE WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT YOUR TATTOO” and then she started showing me pictures of her cat on her phone and Chooch was like, “Ugh” – he hates when people notice me.

  • Kennywood’s Got Jams: One thing that I feel like I never mention after a jaunt to K-wood (OMG I wish that meant Koreawood, wah) is that they play the fucking best music. I’m talking shit from the 60s thru 80s. We heard Duran Duran, Whitney Houston (“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” which is peak W.Houston, fight me, no don’t—I just did strength training and my muscles are all flubbery right now), Modern English and other things that I forget now because I rode Steel Curtain three times and felt like a football player the next day, i.e. concussion-y. The most recent songs we heard were TWO BRITNEY SPEARS SONGS on the Music Express and I was THERE FOR IT. It was back-to-back “Toxic” and “Womanizer.” I was so happy.

  • Music Express Observations: Maybe I was just oblivious for the first three decades of my life, but I don’t recall ever hearing so many warnings being blasted on the Music Express. When we were at Waldameer in May, they actually stopped the ride early because no one was listening when the ride operator kept yelling, “DO NOT HOLD ONTO THE SIDE BARS” and the same thing happened this time at Kennywood; in fact, it even happened while we were waiting too. I don’t remember anyone ever forbidding me to hold on to the side bars before and I have ridden my fair share, probably more than my fair share, so now I’m wondering: DID SOMETHING HAPPEN!!?? All I know is that I was so mindful of ONLY HOLDING ONTO THE BAR IN FRONT OF ME on this day because I hate being yelled and also didn’t want to die in a freak Music Express accident but mostly I hate being yelled at.

  • BONER JAMZ: We were in line for the Exterminator, which is a totally fun indoor coaster with a total NOT fun indoor queue that gets so hot, stinky, and LOUD when suddenly, someone airdropped Chooch a picture that he knew was going to be a mistake to accept, and I was like, “Don’t do—-” but it was too late, he accepted because he’s 13 and lacks the strength it takes to Just Say No to dick pics. This was actually just the smiley face emoji—-but you, know with a dick in its mouth. Then they airdropped me too but I was like, “Not today, Dick Pic Satan.” Chooch LOVES being airdropped by strangers and gets great joy sending pictures back, so he was searching his camera poll for this one particular picture he took in Pocheon, Korea of a giant weener, when he was gifted with another airdrop by this generous Airdrop Santa, whose name was Boner Jamz. So he’s giggling and trying to find a picture to send back when I notice that there’s a group of people in the queue next to us and one of them has also been getting these airdrop gifts, however, this recipient IS NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT. So his girlfriend happens to look over and sees Chooch getting ready to airdrop a picture and she nudges her boyfriend, who sees what Chooch is doing and gets this FURIOUS look on his face. Chooch is still giggling, unaware that he’s about to get his ass whopped by this guy who thinks he’s Boner Jamz, so I knew I had to intervene. “It’s not him!” I shouted, and I held up my phone to show the most recent picture from Boner Jamz that I had yet to accept or decline. “We’re getting them too. He’s just trying to send one back.” “WHO IS IT!?” the guy yelled and I was like, “Bro calm down. I don’t know.” Like, it really wasn’t the end of the world. There’s someone who tries to airdrop me the same picture on the trolley at least once a week, the picture is some hairy, naked middle-aged man holding up his arms to expose his pits. I just simply decline and move on with my life. Meanwhile, Chooch was upset because Boner Jamz went private so Chooch was unable to send him a picture of a stone weener and a zoomed-in picture of Henry’s face. In any case, it made standing in line a little less boring.

  • The Cult: For our very last ride of the night, we obviously chose the Phantom. You guys, we are totally back-row babies on most coasters, but when it comes to night rides on the Phantom, it is front row all the goddamn way. We got so lucky too because the ride operator made the last two people in line behind us move to different rows because we were going to be THE LAST RIDE OF THE NIGHT. WOOOO! But that’s neither here nor there, whatever that means. The whole point of this bullet is that I witnessed what I believe to be an actual religious cult target two teenagers in line in front of us. I’m not sure how it started, but the teenagers were probably 16 or 17 and one of them was a girl wearing a furry tail. The cult was a trio of men: one was in his 50s and the other two were maybe between the ages of 19 and 24. I wasn’t really paying attention at first but then I suddenly snapped to attention when I heard actual praying happening and I looked over just in time to catch the tail-end of a PRAYER CIRCLE. They were all holding hands with their eyes closed and at first I thought they were praying for a safe ride or something but no, they were praying for the girl with the furry-tail I think, and then they were all exchanging their contact info and one of the younger guys, to me, said, “This is a strange request but do you have a pen?” and first, I didn’t think that was really strange because I assumed he wanted it so they could write down phone numbers because maybe their religion doesn’t allow them to have cell phones but now that I think about it, maybe it was for some kind of blood-letting initiation challenge. In ether case, I did not have a pen. Now I couldn’t stop eavesdropping into their conversation (the cult is from West Virginia and they were asking the Lord to help Furry Tail do well in school this year) and it was creeping me out so bad because the leader was SUCH A STEREOTYPICAL CULT-TYPE CREEP you guys. Like, he was oozing predatory signals and vibes from every pore and he was throwing out this phony avuncular charisma that made me gag. They were all wearing matching Church-y shirts too. I forget what it said now. Something about redemption. I hated them so bad.

So that’s about it for our annual trip to Kennywood. It was just Chooch and me so we didn’t have Henry around to use as a whipping boy which meant that we occasionally turned on each other, but we always made up right away and then moved on to the next ride. Eventually, he’s going to be too old/cool to go to Kennywood with his MOMMY so I have to really savor these trips and try not to get too bratty but it’s hard when I’m basically the same age as him, attitudinally-speaking.

Aug 242019

I came pretty close to eschewing our traditional end of summer trip to Kennywood this year because we have two amusement parks we’re doing during Labor Day weekend, but the coaster enthusiast in me was all “hold up, wait a minute—you’re seriously going to wait until next year to ride the brand new Steel Curtain?”

It was less of a desire to ride it but more of not wanting to have FOMO by not riding it in its debut season.

My issue with this new ride is that it just didn’t look that great in any of the POVs I watched but mostly – it’s themed to the STEELERS. YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I HATE NOT ONLY FOOTBALL BUT THE STEELERS SPECIFICALLY.

It is literally one of the worst things about living in Pittsburgh, having to rub elbows with those insufferable Yinzer Steelers fans, do not even get me started.

Anyway, I took the day off on Tuesday, the last operating weekday of the season, but Henry was like “LOL nah I’m good.” So it was just Chooch and me, the Diabolical Duo, the Pathetic Pair, the Terrible Twosome, the…you get the idea.

The downside to this is that we didn’t have anyone to make fun of/boss around all day/take our pictures on rides/get our food/drive us there & back/hold our bags.

Henry, you useful motherfucker, you.

So,  not only is the new coaster themed after the Steelers, but there is an entire new section of the park dedicated to those meatheads, called Steelers Country. I hate this so much.

Also, the new ride is called Steel Curtain and that’s dumb. I don’t even know what that means aside from something footbally.

But I digress.

Chooch and I got to the park right before the gates opened and then had the same idea as most everyone else and ran toward the entrance of the Steel Curtain. My first thoughts:


I mean, I already knew that it was because I had seen pictures, but being inside the park and seeing it for myself was really jarring. Kennywood’s landscape as we know it is totally changed, you guys. It looks like something I would have tried to design in Roller Coaster Tycoon, but then it would end up being unrideable because I never had any idea what I was doing.

OK, let’s move on from the aesthetics, because we all know what the most important thing: is this ride good or naw? Well, it took us about 90 minutes to get on the thing, because the ride wasn’t running yet for the first 30 minutes we were waiting, and then we wanted front row, so that took a bit longer, and while we were standing in the queue for the front row was when I realized that the damn thing plays Renegade every time a train goes up the lift hill.

That has to get super old for the ride operators.

Anyway, Henry  told me later that this is because that’s the song that’s played at Steelers games and OMG IS HENRY WATCHING FOOTBALL BEHIND MY BACK!?

Even though they were running two trains, the operations were sooooo bad. The dispatching was dreadful and the next train doesn’t start up the lift hill until the previous train comes back so two train ops doesn’t make to much of a difference.

Now, I’m only partially a coaster nerd so I’m not sure if there is a legit mechanical reason why the dispatch is so abysmal, but it seems weird because this is 2019 and you would think the ride would have been designed to run more efficiently.

OK, minor gripes aside: THIS RIDE SLAPS (I watch a lot of Coaster Idiots on YouTube). My expectations were pretty low, I’m not going to lie, but mostly because I’m so jaded when it comes to the Steelers, but this ride blew me away, almost literally. I didn’t think it looked very tall until we were inching up the lift hill (and I do mean inching — that lift hill was slow AF) nearly on our backs, staring straight up into the sky. And if you’re in the right seat, you got a killer view of the river which is creepy to me but if you’re into those filthy industrial vibes of the Mon, then sit on the right side and lap it up, baby.

Nothing could have prepared me for this ride. I had watched a bunch of videos and review online but being on it, holy shit—it is way faster than it appears, the inversions (a North American record of 9!) are relentless, and there is even a pretty decent airtime hill that really surprised me and actually might be my favorite part?!

I was fucking SHOOK by the time the train entered the brake run. Chooch and I just looked at each other and yelled, “OH MY GOD” in tandem. I guess I was expecting the second half of the track to be a bit boring, kind of like one of their other coasters, Sky Rocket, which runs through all of its tricks and elements right out of the gate and then just kind of goes through the motions for the last half, like it’s taking you on a Sunday joyride.

But Steel Curtain…it’s in it to win it.

My only legit gripe, aside from the theming, is that the lift hill IS SO GODDAMN LOUD.

And the queue line is DIRECTLY BENEATH IT.

I actually had a headache by the time we made it through the line the second time (we rode in the last seat, and the rest of the train was completely filled with blue-shirted Pitt band members so we totally ruined their picture; sorry Pitt band!).

I don’t know if the general public at Kennywood know how much of a big deal this ride is worldwide, but all the coaster vlogs I watch have been FREAKING OUT about it. One of them is from the UK and actually planned a US road trip last June with the intention of coming to Kennywood and riding it, but it wasn’t open yet when he was here. Still, he LOVED Kennywood and it made me feel so proud to watch his review of it! Kennywood is such a great mid-sized park.

I think Henry was expecting a sour review from me but I was blowing up his phone with accolades and super bold statements. I mean, I was even able to overlook the FOOTBALL-SHAPED seats and safety instructions as told by Steelers announcers (I didn’t know that until I watched a YouTube review the next day and they were like, OMG SO-AND-SO ARE THE VOICES ON THE SAFETY RECORDING.

OK cool.

We also got in one last ride – AT NIGHT.


It was…a beautiful experience. We were screaming our faces off.

When we were in line for it the last time, someone behind me, “It’s about time they got a Steelers ride here.”


The historic Log Jammer had to be removed to accommodate for this right and I am still salty over that, but I can’t deny that Kennywood…scored a touchdown (UGH) with this black & gold bastard.

(The Phantom is still my favorite coaster in the park, especially for night rides.)

Jun 192019

Janna follows some frozen custard place on Facebook and mentioned that she had wanted to stop by and get some but that perhaps driving 90 minutes to Conneaut Lake was a bit much just for ice cream but I was like BITCH PLZ, BEST REMEMBER WHO U BE TALKIN’ 2 so after I took off my queen bee rapper chains, I quickly convinced her that this was the best idea she’s had probably ever and that I would be happy to accompany her.

In my head, I had it billed as some big deal GIRLS DAY OUT and wonder who would be Romy and who would be Michelle, and I was so giddy about this all last week! When Saturday rolled around, aka THE BIG DAY (god, my life is so rich), Chooch was moping around. “Where did you say you and Janna were going again?” he asked, and then sadly murmured, “…oh” when I told him.

Later that morning, when I was upstairs drying my hair, MOM GUILT crept in. “Do you want to go with us” I texted him. A moment later, he bounded up the steps, dove onto my bed, and screamed, “Yes!”

Janna was like “Sigh.”

No, j/k, we’re all BFFs here.

The plan was to swing by Conneaut Lake Park for an hour or two as well even though it’s sad and decrepit…but, it’s there and it’s $10 for a ride-all-day, lol. They have a really old wooden coaster and a pretty rundown but fun dark ride, too. Janna surprisingly was on board with this even though rain was in the forecast all day…

…and it started literally the moment we turned off the highway on the Conneaut exit.

I blamed Janna because it took her so long to come and pick us up!!

We were going to alter plans by going to a cafe first so Janna pulled over in some spookily small town so we could troll Yelp but since we weren’t in some metropolitan area, the options were very slim. I got frustrated and eventually just decided for the whole car that we would continue on to the park even in the rain.

In the few minutes it took to get there (Janna had to turn around a few times), the rain had ceased! It was still a dreary day though, and kind of chilly too so I was glad I wore a jacket. Janna parked basically in a field and we immediately found ourselves surrounded by LAKE FREAKS. Just like, you know, townies trying to enjoy a rainy day at the broke down amusement park, same as us BIG CITY CREEPS.


We rode the Devil’s Den right away, as soon as we got our wristbands. (Janna reluctantly bought one too once she realized that otherwise, she would have to buy $5 worth of tickets just for one ride–maybe Henry could have found her a coupon during one of his Bored Housewife Coupon Hunts.)

The ride operator has to actually push the cars into the entrance and around a corner until the car catches the chain on the small lift hill. Basically, Henry might be able to build something like this, is all I’m saying.

I thought it would be funny for Janna to go first for some reason and then the next day, I started cracking up because what if we had sent Janna in alone and SHE GOT MURDERED. I tried to tell Henry this but it came out as a indiscernible bray courtesy of my giddiness.

Janna was playing some podcast about the Susan Powell case during the whole ride there and back so I guess I just had murder on the mind.

I don’t know why I’m laughing like a maniac here because the ride isn’t really all that great but it has been long enough since my last jaunt through the Den that I forgot enough of it to make actually scream. But yeah it’s most just a bunch of darkness and Kmart decorations from the 1970s.

When we rode it the second time, we were all supposed to ride separately so that we could each take a picture of each other but then Janna wasn’t privy to that plan I guess because after Chooch departed alone in his pretzel car, Janna got in the same car as me! So then there was no one to take my picture!

I mean, the obvious solution to this would have been to get back in the non-existent line and ride again, but we were over Devil’s Den by then.

One of the things I was most looking forward to was riding the Witch’s Stew again, I guess just because it looks cool?! I mean, the ride itself isn’t that great and it’s actually in pretty bad shape. There were cobwebs in the car Chooch and I chose and when the operator slammed the door shut behind us, a swarm of tiny gnats awoke and fluttered out from god knows where, you guys, it was creepy and I was afraid of inhaling them.

Anyway, the ride takes forever to start because the cars can only be loaded one at a time due to the fact that there’s not an platform that people can walk up to access the cars that are on the incline. So jacked.

Janna stood by the fence and diligently took photos of us like she was our mom. It was adorable. WE ARE ADORABLE.

lol jk we’re annoying.

Yeah boi finally time to ride the Blue Streak! It wasn’t running when we first arrived because it had been raining. I was really stoked about this one and let me tell you something: absence make the body forget pain because in my mind, all I remembered was, “Yeah, I think this one is pretty rough if I remember correctly, but it’s not like, the worst.”

Oh no. It’s actually the worst. I mean, it starts off great! You go straight into a tunnel that seemingly goes on for miles and Chooch was screaming, “I love this already!” and we were pretending to pull Janna’s hair, Janna who stupidly sat in front of us, Janna who had no idea this ride was going to be the difference between a relaxing Sunday at home and a painful Sunday getting fitted for a neck brace in the ER.

As soon as we began the ascent up the first hill, I started to have flashes of recognition and suddenly wondered if this would be the worst idea we made that day. The ride is in BAD SHAPE. I mean, the track going up the hill wasn’t even straight! It was all warped and the wood looks like a termite commune. And then as soon as we hit the bottom of that first hill, the discs in my back cracked like knuckles on a cold day and Chooch started howling in pain and Janna passed out and then slid out of the car and her limp body somersaulted into the woods of Conneaut where the townies came and made pinwheels out of her vertebrae and then stole her ride-all-day wristband for their five-year-old who was born with fetal alcohol syndrome.


Chooch’s review was, “I feel like an old man. I never want to ride that again.”

The best part honestly was the two weirdos running the ride. They had more personality than all the fishermen on the lake COMBINED.

We had to recuperate on the carousel after that.

Carousel crew. I love this picture so much! I need to get a frame for it and keep on my desk at work to remind me OF THE GOOD TIMES. This is also such a great depiction of the relationship the three of us have – it’s not like “me and Janna and my kid” but it’s like we’re all the same age and just hanging out for the day. Chooch has always been one of the grown-ups! Or maybe it’s just that I have always been one of the kids…maybe Janna feels like she’s our babysitter?!?

For years, I wouldn’t ride carousels because I have a fear of heights, even low heights, and I would GET STUCK on the horses because I’d be too scared to try and get off when the ride ended. Many embarrassing episodes resulted from that. I actually almost fell off the one I rode a few weeks ago at Waldameer.

You guys. This ferris wheel is NEW FOR 2019! I’ve seen nicer ones at church carnivals, but Conneaut’s trying, I guess. I mean, this place is on the brink of shuttering it’s proverbial windows every season so this is a good sign!

We walked over to the lake for a brief look-see and Chooch immediately tripped and nearly took a nose-dive into the wet sand that might as well just be mud.

Hotel Conneaut is haunted!

We saw a wedding party getting their pictures taken in the “midway” of the park which is cool if they were going for a post-apocalyptic carnie style.

These were supposed to be pictures of us “relaxing” but we just look like Janna roofied us.

Chooch took this picture as an example of the shitty framing Henry does when we ask him to photograph us and I love how it turned out because I was literally in the middle of bitching about Henry so I imagine this is how my face must look the majority of my days.

Meanwhile, we were in front of the hotel and Janna said, “Wow, I guess this is where those people got married. That’s weird.”

This infuriated me.

“Why is that weird?! People get married here all the time!” I exclaimed. “Did you think they got married in the amusement park?!”

“No, but I mean, this is just a weird place. Like, why here?”

“BECAUSE IT’S A BEAUTIFUL HOTEL?!” I screamed, and then I realized what Janna was talking about was the chairs set up in THE CAR PORT in front of the hotel. Like, they literally got married in a glorified driveway and so then I was all touché, Janna.

And then it started raining again, pretty hard too, so we left and went to get Janna’s beloved frozen custard. Chooch and I were actually getting pretty hungry at this point (Henry wasn’t home to make us lunch before we left) so it’s a good thing we left when we did because our OTHER FACES were going to show very soon.

Conneaut needs another coaster, like a Wild Mouse or something, and maybe a log flume. Then it would be more worth the whole whopping $10.

Jun 012019

The weather on Sunday was unseasonably chilly and I wasn’t mad about it – sweltering heat and amusement parks do not make a great duo, if you ask me. However, it did start raining pretty steadily for a good two hours while we were at Waldameer which isn’t awesome but we’re pretty used to feeling rain drops slice our skin like wet blades while we’re being flung about on amusement park rides, so it didn’t really much of a damper on our day.



If you guys only knew how long it took Henry to take this picture. It was actually embarrassing.

Waldameer is pretty tiny and definitely not a full-day park (unless you split it between the water park I guess, but we’re not water park people). Henry loves this park because non-riders get in for free, with the option of paying-per-ride. In order to do this, though, one must obtain a Wally Card, which you can fill with money using various fare-like machines around the park. So instead of paying like $30 to sit on benches and ride the Ravine Flyer once, Henry just had to pay $4 for unlimited bench-sitting and one ride on the Ravine Flyer.

Imagine how amazing this would be if, say, you were passing by Cedar Point and you didn’t have time to spend the whole day there but you REALLY NEEDED THAT STEEL VENGEANCE credit, and you were able to slip right on in for nothing, throw down a five, and get your fucking credit.

That, my friends, is the dream.

Anyway, the above photo is Henry not riding the Whacky Shack.

Hey yo, speaking of Whacky Shack, this is my favorite non-coaster ride at the park and is actually the sole reason why we started going to Waldameer in the first place (my love for dark rides will always trump my coaster obsession, I think).

During one of the many times we were in line, I was acutely aware of the fact that the next car in line hadn’t yet entered the Shack, and then suddenly, another car came bursting through the exit. That’s when I noticed that a young guy was pushing the car, and the girls sitting in it turned to scream at the ride attendant, “OUR CAR GOT STUCK IN THERE!!!!”

So then a ride manager lady came power-walking over to the ride, her strides oozing authority and darkride expertise, and started fiddling with knobs and levers before moving past the ride attendant to the actual control panel.

“There’s a little girl in there by herself,” an old lady in front of me said, and I pretended to care.

Just then, said little girl came hurdling out of the exit, on foot, and screamed to the manager lady, “MY CAR STOPPED MOVING!!!” before bursting into tears. It was popcorn-worthy entertainment.

Anyway, they fixed it within minutes but then forgot to turn the lights back off, so the girls who had been waiting patiently this whole time to go next got to have a true dark ride enthusiast experience.

“THE LIGHTS ARE STILL ON!” the girls cried to the ride operator, and Chooch murmured, “Lucky!”

Steel Dragon Selca!

One of the highlights, if you ask Chooch, was when we were in the Pirate’s Cove, which is a dark walkthru. I mean, it’s pretty fucking dark and disorienting in there to begin with, but then there is one room that is tilted, with railings that make you weave your way through the room. I was being an asshole and pretending like I was a gymnast, using the railings as parallel bars and swinging my legs. However, the one time I did this was in the part of the room where I was on an incline, and I overshot my legs and came thisclose to flipping the whole way over and landing on my back. Chooch just missed capturing this golden moment on video and he was so bummed about it. He wanted me to do it again but there was no way I was recreating that dumbass maneuver without ending up in a neckbrace.

When I think of our day at Waldameer, I think of us being perpetually peeved at Henry who failed to get good, quality pictures of us.

For instance, before he took this shitty picture of us in like for the Comet, he captured a HILARIOUS Boomerang which perfectly depicted our demeanor (Chooch was rolling his eyes and I was mouthing off) but he did it through Instagram and DIDN’T SAVE IT so after he sent it to us, it fucking disappeared like it was some majorly top secret war document.

OMG, Chooch and I were so angry about this for pretty much the entire day and every time I (accidentally) looked at Henry, my face immediately fell into a scowl.

Us on the Comet before we found out about Henry’s Boomerang blunder.

Guys. The crane machine plushies at the arcade here were total kawaii quality. I couldn’t believe it. One had plush cartoon toilet paper rolls! Anyway, Chooch failed to score a Corgi and his mood was soured for a bit after that because these trivial things really affect him and I wouldn’t know anything about that because anytime I get upset about something, it’s totally legit and reasonable.

Too foggy to see Lake Erie, but we did spot Henry down below on terra firma, eating something.

Whacky Shack photo bomb.

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Pirate’s Cove is a mash-up between a funhouse and a dark ride and there are always hooligans running amok in there, and I’m not even talking about just me. There’s always at least one kid asking an ass-kicking by pushing me or line-jumping. Ugh, I hate it.

Henry on his favorite ride – the stationary bench.

Chooch’s new Lake Erie look.

You guys, something incredible happened while we were on the carousel…

Henry won a stupid corgi for Chooch!

Waldameer’s pizza is a-ight as far as amusement park food goes. But what made it even better was that there were three kids at the next table wearing BLACKPICK hoodies and one of them was also wearing a Monsta X shirt underneath! It’s always exciting to spot kpop fans out in the wild of the United States, especially when they’re reppin’ something other than the ubiquitous BTS.

Henry didn’t WANT PIZZA so he GOT A BURGER.

Oh shit, we rode some hot air balloon ride in kiddyland and Chooch spun it so hard that I almost barfed. Henry didn’t know where we went and we got to watch him looking for us.

Then when he spotted us on the baby ride, he just rolled his eyes and went back to benchin’ it.

Well, of all rides, the Scrambler is what did me in. I had to hang it up after this one, you guys. It was awful.

Chooch had to ride the new for 2019 ride without me. I was fine with that. I sat on a bench, a la Henry, and took pictures of my nail polish matching the ride.

Henry, after a day of getting berated.

All in all, it was a very decent day at Waldameer. This is definitely not a park I need to go to every year, but every three or four really does the trick. I’d like to see them get one really great thrill ride, possibly another coaster, because that would really make the price of a ride-all-day wristband way more worthwhile.

I’ll end with this iMovie that Chooch was obsessed with making, and poor Henry (lol) somehow became responsible for collecting a lot of the video footage of us, but of course, in true Henry fashion, he kept shitting the bed so Chooch and I would have to get back in line and re-ride the thing in order for Henry to try, try again.

It was exhausting, Get it together, Henry. You oaf.

May 302019

Alternately titled: When you love wooden coasters so much, you plan your holidays around them.

I wanted to do something fun during Memorial Day Weekend that wouldn’t require us to hemorrhage money or drive long distances, and I realized that it had been a hot minute since we last ventured out to Erie. There is a small, family amusement park there called Waldameer which isn’t THRILLING but it does have a couple dark rides and one wooden coaster in particular that I remembered to be relatively breathtaking.

Look, I have a sickness, OK? I just love have my body battered on wooden coasters and counting the bruises the next day.

The first thing we did after getting our ride-all-day wristbands was ditch Henry and run toward the Ravine Flyer except that we went the wrong way and wound up in Kiddie Land and then had to pretend like we meant to do that when Henry caught up with us and asked, “Where are you going?” when he knew damn well that we went the wrong way but had to be a fucking Poindexter about it.

Ugh! It doesn’t even matter if he’s behind the wheel of a stupid Faygo truck or on foot at an amusement park – he’s a fucking direction snob!

The park was nearly empty so I wasn’t too shocked to see that the Ravine Flyer was running ONE TRAIN OPS* and this wouldn’t have been too terrible considering we were practically walking right onto the platform, however, the dispatch was nearly as slow as Trump trying to sound out a four-syllable word.

*(There’s this one coaster channel on YouTube that I love and one of the guys, Logan, is always screaming ONE TRAIN OPS and that’s his Instagram name too so people are always tagging him when they’re at a park and experiencing one train ops, but my favorite was the time someone tagged him in a picture of a hotel breakfast buffet that had two waffle irons but one was broken and their hashtag obviously was #onewaffleops and why did this make me LITERALLY GUFFAW and elbow Henry?!)

At least they have great classic rock playing in the Ravine Flyer station….

…courtesy of these assholes, I guess. For a long time, Chooch thought the Ravine Flyer was actually called The Bob & Tom Show..??? So now I have to take his picture next to the sign every time we go to Waldameer.

So, my first ride on this thing after four years was definitely something to savor – I forget how exhilarating the first drop was and how much fun it is flying over the road.  It was worth the visit, but I have to be honest — we have ridden quite a few EXCELSIOR WOODIES since our last visit with the Ravine Flyer, and because of this, it was a little bit less write-home-worthy.

The first half is definitely the best, but the trim brakes definitely bring it down a few notches and there was some weird pacing in the secon half. Still, this coaster is pretty fucking fun!

What I love is that as you’re ascending that first hill, you get a stunning view of Lake Erie. It was very foggy and overcast on this day so we couldn’t see it the first several times we rode it, but by evening, there it was – a huge expanse of water making me dry heave. 

Henry is our Instagram Husband when we go to amusement parks and he is getting really good at standing in the perfect spot and patiently waiting for that one sweet shot. And if we’re unhappy with his attempt, we just get back on the ride and he has to keep trying until he gets it right (see: Whacky Shack).

I only had one bad experience at Waldameer on this day and it was when Chooch and I were about to get into line for another go when some young kid, like elementary-aged, leaned over a railing and spit onto the ground, missing me by a fraction of a centimeter. I’m not kidding, I was so close to getting marked by some Erie yokel and I was PISSED. I stopped dead in my tracks and screamed for Henry to come over, I don’t know why, not like he would ever in a million years even dream of defending my honor, and I hysterically explained to him what had happened. I was still waiting for the kid to exit the ride (you have to walk down a wooden walkway that turns a few times, and he was at a higher level when The Spitting occurred) so I could point him out to Henry and honestly I was considering confronting his dad, when some guy meandered over to us and said, “Are you talking about how that kid almost spit on you?” and then to Henry, he turned and said, “I saw it—it JUST MISSED hitting her” and I was like THANK YOU, DO YOU WANT TO BE MY NEW BABY DADDY because at least this stranger who had been casually sitting on a bench gave a shit about keeping my flesh free from boy-spit!

“IT’S NOT THAT I DON’T CARE, I DIDN’T SEE IT HAPPEN!” Henry cried in defense, but it was too late Damage was already done. Henry cared less about me getting spit on than a stranger did.

(That guy wasn’t too bad looking either, although he kind of gave off hunter vibes and ew no.)

“Is it that kid in the orange shorts?” Henry asked, suddenly trying to be super involved in my trials and tribs. I nodded and he said, “Yeah, I don’t think his dad is going to care” but I didn’t get a chance to see the dad.

The first time Henry took this picture, he only got half the sign in it and I started yelling, “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?! WHY WOULD YOU NOT THINK I WANTED THE WHOLE SIGN IN THE PICTURE WHEN I SAID TAKE OUR PICTURE STANDING BY THE SIGN????” and some guy was totally spectating Henry being emasculated, so that was cool.

My favorite seat on this was definitely the back, and my favorite ride on it was when IN THE AIR TONIGHT BY PHIL COLLINS started playing right as we were loading into the back seat. That song paired with the anticipation of getting on a roller coaster? Perfection.

We rode it over and over that day, even in the rain, to the point where it was actually giving me a headache. I lowkey panicked internally, wondering if my rollercoaster days are numbered, but then Chooch groaned, “Ugh, I’m starting to get a headache.”


Although, he may be 13, but he sure does have a plethora of elder maladies.

We managed to get Henry to ride it one whole time because he didn’t get the ride-all-day wristband so he had to pay FOUR DOLLARS to ride it ONCE. Cheap ass bitch. I started bitching again about that kid who nearly spit on me and wished out loud that I could have said ratted on him to his dad, and just as our train was leaving the station, Henry pointed and said, “Lol, there he is right there!” and pointed at some burly doof waiting in line next to Public Spitter and he for sure looked like a man who was still hanging onto his high school football glory days and all the concussions that came with it.

Yeah, for once I’d have to agree with Henry — I don’t think confronting him would have gotten me anything other than a second chance of being hit with spit.

Anyway, riding the Ravine Flyer with Henry was fun because I got to scream in his ear the whole time, and actually, I screamed so much that my scream was actually taken away halfway through the ride—maybe by God? I’m not sure, but it was almost like someone ripped my voice right out of my mouth and I couldn’t muster a single screech after that.

I outdid my own goddamn self, I guess.

Be back soon with more Waldameer bullshit!

May 082019

Obviously, I’m hyper-enthused about amusement parks because they are fun as fuck and appeal to my childlike interests, but also I love them because when we do things like this as a family, we almost never have a bad time. It’s like we all just put on our best behavior bottoms and act like an actual, well-adjusted family for an hour day! I mean, until Chooch loses at some stupid midway game and doesn’t get some lame made-in-Taiwan stuffed animal he’s been coveting.

(Literally happens at every park.)

So even though we had one experience trying to order food, it wasn’t enough to kill the mood of the day for us. Not even the rain could, you know, rain on our parade. I think this is why Henry is generally so agreeable when I say I want to go to an amusement park – he knows he’ll get to eat junk food and spend lots of quiet time alone on benches – and if any military aircraft happens to fly overhead, that’s what you would consider A Perfect Day for one Henry J. Robbins.

That being said, when we were still in the parking lot and realized that we left our portable phone charger thing in the car, Chooch and I made sure we had our tickets and didn’t even pretend like we were going to wait for Henry. We were already inside the entrance of King’s Island, fully searched, tickets scanned, when Henry called me and said, “You guys might as well just go in, I fucking forgot my wallet in the car, now.” Lol, cool thanks for the permission, bro, but we were already halfway to getting in line for our first ride of the day – Vortex.

So….if you read my last King’s Island post, you know that I called this coaster “trash,” and then if you read my most recent blog post, you know that I felt bad about that afterward and even started to tear up on the trolley to work when I was thinking about it because I am a HYSTERICAL WOMAN WHO NEEDS TO CALM DOWN, obviously. But honestly, this coaster is just fine, but these types of steel coasters are not my thang, you know? It was a pretty uncomfortable head-banger, HOWEVER it was also our first coaster of the 2019 season so I can’t be too much of a hater because the bottomline was that even though it wasn’t an excelsior ride, it still made Chooch and me nearly pee our pants with giddiness because we were BACK IN ACTION.

Also, there was no line and we just walked right on, so that’s always a bonus.

Henry was waiting for us when we got off the ride and I was like, “DID YOU TAKE PICTURES OF US” and he asked, “Pictures of you doing WHAT?”

Uh, living our best lives?

Mystic Timbers was my second favorite ride in the park, right behind Beast! In fact, there were times when I thought that maybe I liked Mystic Timbers a little  better, especially when Chooch and I got some incredible evening rides on it in the rain. I love how some of these newer wooden coasters are manufactured, which is why over the years, my love of woodies has surpassed steel. This particular coaster is a GCI babe, and it was incredibly smooth and fast, but I think I still like RMC more because I was spoiled with so many incredible rides on the Lightning Rod in Dollywood last fall!

I like how they have theming and an element of suspense surrounding the brake run, so instead of just sitting there waiting to go back to the station, you’re actually sitting inside of the shed that you were warned not to enter, waiting for something to happen. I won’t spoil it here because it’s fun going into it not knowing what to expect, but I thought it was cleverly done and it made Chooch and me have Hall & Oats’ “Maneater” and Gary Numan’s “Cars” stuck in our head, because those are the two songs that were playing in the shed each time we rode Mystic Timbers.

This coaster was actually the reason why we opted to go to King’s Island over Hershey Park for Chooch’s birthday, and I’d say it lived up to the hype. My favorite moment was when we were standing in line during one of our evening rides and struck up a conversation with two ladies in front of us who had never ridden it yet.

I told her I liked it because it was smooth, even though Chooch disagrees with that assessment. One of the women asked Chooch now he would compare it to the Beast and he super confidently said, “Well first of all, I wouldn’t compare this to the Beast, I’d compare the Beast to this.”

“Wow! That’s a bold statement!” she explained, and later Chooch told me he wasn’t even sure what he meant by that haha.

I think my favorite thing about Mystic Timbers, aside from how it hauls ass and has great theming, was how the ride operators said, “We hope you enjoyed your ride on Steel Vengeance!” which is funny because SV is a wooden hybrid that the mother of all Cedar Fair parks, Cedar Point, debuted last year, which totally stole the spotlight from Mystic Timbers.

Diamondback was one the few rides Henry actually went on! He never screams or anything when he’s on roller coasters, it’s so weird.

Oh! I didn’t get any pictures of this one, but Chooch and I loved Backlot Stunt Coaster! When I was last there, Paramount still owned King’s Island so it was called the Italian Job then. It was also the ride’s first season, so my only memory was standing in line for a really long time and ex-BFF’s sister starting an argument with someone over something trivial, I’m sure, and Henry being so pissed off but internalizing it because that’s what Henry does which is why one day, when you see Hot Naybor Chris on the news saying, “I just can’t believe it. Lived next to the guy for YEARS and he was the NICEST guy,” you can say, “Yeah well reading two pages of Oh Honestly Erin was all I needed to not be surprised.”

But yeah, I don’t remember if I enjoyed the ride back then, but it was super fun on this day!

Instead of riding the log flume earlier in the day when the sun was blazing and the temps were in the high 70s, we waited until the clouds usurped the sky and the degrees plunged faster than Charlie Brown’s log-shaped boat. Dumbest idea.

I was trying to put up the hood on my windbreaker and I thought the ride operator was yelling at me to keep my hands in the boat but then it turned out it was just a recording, which Chooch pointed out right before I had the chance to snidely inform the ride operator that I don’t BREAK AMUSEMENT PARK LAWS, I MAKE THEM.

It was mediocre as far as log flumes go but I still enjoy even the worst ones and am still pissed that Kennywood removed theirs even though it was old and decrepit and they’re putting some record-breaking steel coaster in its empty lot.

(And then named it after the Steelers, and you know how much I hate the Steelers!)

(Ugh. I’ll still ride it though.)

Oh shit, I loved the Bat! It’s been a MINUTE since I’ve been on an old-school suspended coaster and I forgot how terrifying they are! I loved the vintage feel of this guy, and I also loved how secluded the area is around it. You could probably easily miss this ride if you weren’t paying attention.

People kept booing whenever their train would return to the station and I don’t know if this is like an inside joke at King’s Island because I’m not A LOCAL, but I thought it was pretty funny. My expectations were pretty low once it was our turn but I was pleasantly surprised! The location is so scenic and I actually was pretty scared as soon as we left the lift hill and the cars started swinging.

Whenever we got back to the station and the ride operator asked how the ride was, we kind of clapped a little but everyone else was stone-faced so she was like, “Oh well, go find a ride that you like better, BYE-EEE.” It was hilarious—I loved the ride operators at King’s Island!

Banshee was the longest line we waited in — about 40 minutes — which wasn’t surprising because a of the coaster enthusiasts I follow rave about this one and I will say — it was worth the wait and I enjoyed it (I liked that the station was themed after a haunted chapel and the queue was surrounded by gravestones) but we weren’t inspired to run back in line. Chooch said it gave him a headache.

The one thing I remember most about this ride was that while we were slowly dying in line, Henry was standing near a fence EATING AN ICE CREAM CONE with his HAND ON HIS HIP, totally TAUNTING US. I was so mad! I wanted an ice cream cone too! But instead I was standing in a line around weird Ohio-Kentucky people and it was starting to ride!

We managed to finagle Henry into riding the Racer with us but we made him ride him alone on the opposing train. My favorite part was when the annoying little bitches in front of us got reprimanded by a King’s Island employee for sitting on the railing. YEAH, YA DUMB COOZES, GET YOUR ASSES DOWN.

Henry will point out here that the girls were like 10 but IDGAF.


This was another ride that had EXCEPTIONAL ride attendants. This makes so much of a difference, you guys, I can’t even stress enough! Especially when the main purpose of our park visits are to ride things, not eat, shop, see shows, or play games, the interactions we have with the employees working the rides are what leave a lasting impression for me. I want the ride operators to get us AMPED. I want them to make us SCREAM. I want them to TEASE US! It’s all part of the experience, and King’s Island definitely has some winners on their payroll.

Good job, King’s Island!

Anyway, Henry’s stupid train won and I was PISSED.

Kennywood’s Racer is better than King’s Island Racer, though and I’m not just saying that to be a hometown hero.

YAY WE GOT OUR ICE CREAM! It was blue raspberry softserve and I was worried I would hate it because here are some flavors I tend to hate when it comes to ice cream/candy:

  • blue raspberry
  • cottoncandy
  • bumblegum

Now you know a thing about me.

Because this blog isn’t filled with millions of things about me.

But yeah, that ice cream was great! It was raining so we stood under a roof near the kiddie coaster and mindlessly licked our ice cream while watching dumb kids on a baby coaster and I’m sure that didn’t look creepy.

Then I finally got to ride Woodstock’s Whirlybirds!! I had been obsessing over it all day, because I love these types of kiddie land things. Chooch and I get very invested in what color car we want on certain rides and for this one we wanted—-nay, NEEDED—-the pink one. But we did a headcount while in line and realized we were one away from securing Pink Position, so I turned around and asked the family behind us if they wanted to cut ahead. “Cuz we want the pink one,” I explained. The dad looked very perplexed about this but eventually let his kids get in front of us. When the ride attendant opened the gate for all of us, the dad asked “And you guys will get your pink, right?” He was so concerned about it! But yes, we snagged the pink one.

It was a whole ordeal. You had to be there.

I wanted Henry to take a picture of us while we were on it but he took a stupid one where you couldn’t even see us so then I was pissed. He needs a tutorial on being a better Instagram Dad, honestly. He lets so many memories slip through his fingers like sand in an hourglass so are the Days of Our Lives.

Sorry, that just happens naturally.

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Our fave ride obvi.

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No wait for Boo Blasters which was great because that ride isn’t wort waiting for but it was raining so WOW LET’S GO BLAST SOME BOOS! Except that my gun wasn’t working right so I threw a fit and then said, “JUST FORGET IT” and rode the rest of the ride with my arms crossed over my chest while Chooch gloated because he had the highest score and I made sure to remind him that my score on the Gobbler Getaway at Holiday World was approximately 27x greater than his and Henry’s.


The rain started around 5pm and was sporadic over the next three hours but it hindered us not. None of the rides we cared about closed and the crowds had drastically dispersed so we were able to enjoy an evening of walk-ons! Now I regret not going back to re-ride Adventure Express, which I thought was a pretty underrated family coaster that everyone on the ride with us made fun of but my “WHEEEE”s were genuine and without even a shade of irony, I need you to know this. Mine trains tickle me in a certain way. I think my favorite was the one in Indiana Beach that broke down while Chooch and I were on it.

Mine trains are everything! I wish Kennywood would get rid of Thomas Town (it literally just opened in 2018 lol) and put in an outrageous mine train.

I need to take over Kennywood. I have so many plans for it.

Diamondback at night.

It smelled like poop-feet in the arcade but then again, don’t all arcades.

I spent the last several hours trying to snap as many pictures as possible because I realized I didn’t take as many as I normally do. In fact, I feel like we barely saw much of the park outside of the rides and I have some real REGERTS about that so I guess we’ll just have to go back but first I want to go to King’s Dominion and ride Twisted Timbers, their new RMC woodie!

You can go up the fake Eiffel Tower but we did not do so because I was too busy getting whiplash and having my lumbar crunched.

We didn’t even check out anything on International Street! Maybe if we hadn’t spent half the day waiting for food and Flight of Fear, we’d have had more time to leisurely explore the non-ride areas of the park, haha.

Overall, we had a great time at King’s Island! The crowds weren’t as bad as we anticipated, I had a delicious Impossible Burger, THREE TRAIN OPS, and we got in some incredible rides on Beast and Mystic Timbers which is the whole reason we made the 4 hour drive!

The only downside was that we had to, you know, drive all that way back that night which I thought would be a great idea and a money-saver, but yeah. Let’s never do that again.

May 042019

We have had a long streak of good luck with theme park crowds where we, usually accidentally, pick an off-day and end up enjoying a ton of walk-ons. Our Saturday at King’s Island was the second Saturday of the 2019 season, so we were bracing for some long-ass lines. However, it actually wasn’t too bad! We did enjoy several walk-ons with certain rides (like Vortex, but that’s because that ride is trash) and most other lines only required about 20 minute waits which was reasonable for a Saturday at a park of this size.

However, there were two times that required us to linger in line for much longer and one of those lines was pretty unacceptable and the only negative experience of the day.

The first long line of the day is one that Henry and Chooch will probably never let me live down. Look, I love dark rides, and I love roller coasters, so when you put a roller coaster inside and turn off the lights, I am a bitch in heat for that shit. Therefore, one of the only things I remembered from my previous trip to King’s Island in 2005 was Flight of Fear, their indoor coaster. I kept talking about it on the way there last week and could NOT wait to plant my fat ass into it.

But Henry checked the app at one point and mentioned that it was closed. I was heartbroken! I was looking forward to riding it again! But then on our way to the Racer, Henry took the wrong path and accidentally lead us right to Flight of Fear, which was OPEN! The outdoor queue was almost completely full so I knew that it was probably going to be a long wait, but I was ready for it. Chooch, spoiled by all our past walk-in experiences, did a lot of bitching and moaning, especially because this wasn’t HIS idea.

Thirteen is such a wonderful age.

Chooch kept asking me what the ride was like and I was like, “Can’t anything just be spoiler-free?” But really, I couldn’t quite remember anything other than maybe there was a launch? Perhaps there were inversions? I knew it wasn’t just a Wild Mouse in a warehouse, but this kid wanted me to practically draw out a blueprint of the track layout.

So, 25 minutes our wait, we had just snaked through an area of the queue line that brought us right behind the ride attendant manning the entrance of the ride. There was a telephone on a pole right in front of her that rang, and as she answered it, I just knew in my heart that we weren’t getting on this ride.

“Sorry guys!” she called out after hanging up the phone. “The ride is temporarily closed. You can stay in line if you want, but the ride is not currently running!”


There was a mass exodus of people hopping out of line, but the dumbasses in front of us weren’t moving so we had to climb over the railing. I fucking busted my leg in doing so because no matter how “in shape” I am, my sloth ass cannot climb things. I’m happy I didn’t straight fall onto my face, but my slo-mo hurdle over that fucking railing was devoid of any semblance of grace.

So, we went on to ride some more shit and then came back about two hours later to find that it was open again! And this time, the line was much shorter — the end was almost to the point where it enters the building so I was stoked! Except that there were these two middle-aged PDA predators in front of us that were either having an affair, or they were each freshly divorced and learning to love again and lucky us with the front row seats.

After about 10 minutes, we finally, for the first time, made it inside the building where the spaceship lives! It was starting to look more familiar to me and my anticipation was building. I needed to ride this thing.

We had just about made it to the entrance of the spaceship when the dreaded announcement happened.

It was down again.

The ride operator’s killjoy news rained down on us from the overhead speakers, like a bored grocery store clerk asking for a cleanup on aisle 5. He did say that it was “minor” maintenance issue and that we were welcome to stay in line. It was pouring down rain outside so Henry was like, “We might as well just stay….”

Chooch was not fond of this decision.

We waited an additional 20 minutes. PDA Pals in front of us had relinquished each others tongues and turned to their phones for entertainment, so we at least had a reprieve from THAT annoyance. I did hear the guy say to her, “This always happens to us when we get in this line!” so I guess this ride is notorious for breaking down.

Finally, a ride operator came out of the spaceship and said that the issue had moved past being minor and that we were now looking at about a 2 hour wait, so he encouraged everyone to exit the building and come back later.

Chooch wanted to fucking kill me.

I understood Chooch’s frustration, but also recognized that behind his fury was an underlying hunger causing him to project. Some might say I’m an expert at Mom’ing, but most would say I just know these things because he’s a near-exact replica of myself.

Which brings us to our next line, which was really the only thing that managed to piss me off this whole entire day. I can accept standing in line for a ride, but I HATE STANDING IN LINE FOR FOOD. This is why food truck round-ups are usually lost on me. I’d rather just make a grilled cheese in my own kitchen (read: tell Henry to make me a grilled cheese in “his” kitchen) than stand in some clusterfucked hipster-populated food-queue.

And also, I’m not one of those people who go to amusement parks to eat. I go to RIDE THE RIDES. I’ll grab a slice of pizza maybe at some point and a bottle of water just to keep from blacking out on some spinny-ride but I will always pick something that is fast and has little to no line. Last year at Kennywood, we had to stand in line for like FIFTEEN MINUTES at our favorite ice cream stand and even that was insanity to me and I bitched and moaned the entire time.

However, new for 2019 at King’s Island is the Miami River Brewhouse, which is relevant to my interests only because they have the illustrious Impossible Burger on their menu. If you’re not in the know with veg/vegan current events, this is the premier veggie burger of our time. IT’s popping up in more and more restaurants now, thank god, but to have this offered at a theme park? Fuck yeah. We had planned months in advance to eat here, and I was craving it all week.

I assumed it was a, you know, restaurant. The kind where you sit down and have a waitress, I mean, you know how restaurants work. But instead, you had to stand in a line and wait to place your order with a cashier in the front of the restaurant. There were two cashiers, but the line, every time we walked by, snaked all of the way out the door. By the time we were ready to try our luck, the line was only to the door so we thought it wouldn’t be too bad, especially since the line split into two near the front since there were two cashiers. There were menus posted everywhere, plus an employee kept trolling the line, handing out paper copies of the menu. There were not many items on the menu, so people should have had PLENTY OF TIME to figure out what they wanted by the time they got to the cashier.

Oh, well, if you thought that, you would be wrong. Every motherfucker got to the front of the line and then LOOKED AT THE MENU ALL OVER AGAIN and then ASKED QUESTIONS.


It was unreal how slow those lines moved, and of course once the line split, we chose the line that ended up moving even slower because that is just how we do. The line length odds are forever against us.

We could have probably ridden Banshee twice in the amount of time we spent here, just saying.

When it was finally our turn with the cashier, Henry banged out our order in record time (the people behind us were probably cheering) and then we grabbed a booth.

Once we sat down though, I started to process the fact that it cost $47 for three burgers, one of which was supposed to be free because Henry paid extra for one park ticket that came with a meal plan, which he had the cashier scan before he paid. So I started to think that he got screwed and still was charged for one of the meals but we didn’t have the receipt, so he had to go back up the cashier, much to the chagrin of everyone still in line, and she was like NO I GAVE IT TO YOU so he came sulking back to the booth and started accusing me of losing the receipt and I was like, bitch why me?

He went back to the cashier who was probably at this point like “look I don’t get paid enough for this shit” but then she found the receipt on the floor behind her! CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT.

But the receipt just had our order number and listed three drinks with no other items and no total price?! Eventually, he found a manager who was like no you got a free meal but the drinks were all $5 HAHAHAHA.

WOW. I paid $5 for a paper cup of ice? Cool.

Here’s the manager telling Henry that perhaps poor people shouldn’t be eating at his establishment.

So yeah, I’m not like an expert on food prices at theme parks because I leave that for the adults to tend to, but Cedar Fair really seems to be running a racket there.

Sure, my Impossible Burger was fucking delicious but so are the ones in Pittsburgh restaurants…I’ll just stick to my go-to pizza slice next time!

We rode some more things after eating, but then I lured my reluctant cohorts back to the Flight of Fear, which was open again. Third time’s a charm?

Look, I was NOT LEAVING THIS PARK without riding this piece of shit, OK? I was determined by now. The ride attendant at the front this time was the guy who told everyone to leave the last time. So I strode right up to him and asked, “Is the ride open?”

He looked at me like I was a dumbo because the line was now the longest than it had been any of the other times we were there that day, and said, “…yes.”



THE DREADED PHONE. It actually rang while we were standing there and I don’t know what the deal was, but he never turned around to tell us the ride kicked the bucket again, but oh, the suspense in the air was THICC.

I have never been so clenched and nervous when standing in line, constantly waiting for that theme park version of “Christmas is canceled.”

Eventually, we slowly snaked our way inside the building again, until we finally made it past our record of “closest spot in line.”

And then we made it through the spaceship and to the actual station!! We did that!

Shit you guys, I almost pissed my pants with pure joy-urine when the gates opened and we were actually able to SIT IN THE CAR! Henry sat in front of us and he looked miserable as we waited for the ride attendants to check our restraints–he was probably willing it to break down again because he kept saying all he could remember about this ride was that it beat the shit out of him last time. But before he had a chance to finish his religious spell, the launch engaged with no notice and even though I had a slight recollection of this, it still caught me off guard and I started screaming Impossible Burger fumes all over the other riders.

After being launched through a straight tunnel of darkness, we careened up into the main building which was just dimly-enough lit that I could see the track layout and I felt SCARED FOR MY LIFE. It looked pretty shoddy and there was a distinct rattle; all I could think about was, “Hi, this ride broke down three times (that we know of) today—WHY.” Yeah, that was definitely the most terrifying ride we went on that day, and, cumulatively, the longest line we stood in.

But was it worth it? Fuck yes. I love launch coasters.

(Henry and Chooch gave it a hard no, though.)

May 012019

I didn’t realize as I was hypnotizing Chooch into thinking that going to King’s Island for his birthday was his own idea, but the last time I was there was when I was pregnant with him! I mean, I didn’t know it at the time because it was like, right at the beginning (Henry kept saying he was conceived at King’s Island and I was like, “Please don’t ruin amusement parks for him, he’s the only person who will ride on coasters with me, thanks.”), and actually my only memory of my one trip to King’s Island was frantically checking for menstrual tendrils in between every ride I went on (which wasn’t very many because it was crowded that day and we were with ex-BFF and her psycho sister who kept starting fights with people in line).

Oh! And seeing a vagina.

So that was memorable.

It’s curious to me why we even went to King’s Island that day because as I remember, I went through a pretty long phase where I had no interest in theme parks or parking lot carnivals anymore and had somewhere along the way developed a crippling fear of steel coasters. But I obviously worked through those issues because now I’m constantly planning the next theme park road trip.

I hate hate hate anytime we have to go near fugly Cincinnati, but the pull of King’s Island’s wooden coasters was just too strong. I had no recollection of riding the Beast (Henry swears we did, but it turns out we actually only rode the SON of Beast that day) so I was eager to sit my fat ass down on that one, and also their new GCI woodie, Mystic Timbers. I would say that if I had to specifically list my theme park kink, it would be wooden coasters. It was darkrides for a bit (especially darkride/coaster combos—LOVE THEM) but something went off inside me last year when Chooch and I rode the T-Express at Everland in South Korea, and no, not just because it was a roller coaster in Korea! It was, at that time, the best wooden coaster I had ever ridden. (Google it, you guys, it ranks up there among the best coasters in the world.)

But then later that summer, we went to Holiday World and that was when I imprinted on a roller coaster for the first time, the VOYAHHHHHGE. After that, we went back  to Knoebels in October where I quickly remembered why the Phoenix was once my favorite coaster (don’t let those small, rural parks fool you — Knoebels and Holiday World have WORLD CLASS WOODIES). But the icing on the 2018 Coaster Cake was our late-season trip to Dollywood where we rode the infamous Lightning Rod and yes, it lived up to the hype. It was at that point that I realized I had become a snob for the wood and ever since then, I have been chomping at the bit to get back out there and ride more.

So for Part 1 of my King’s Island recap, I’m going to just focus on just the Beast, because I have not been able to stop thinking about this gnarly wooden hunk ALL WEEK. OK, Henry, you’re right — this is getting scarily close to becoming a fetish.

Ideally, Beast would have been my first ride of the day but instead it was the second because we got lost (yes, even with a park map, which Chooch always snatches up immediately upon park entry) so we ended up riding Vortex first (it was pretty awful). Henry bitched out so Chooch and I got in line without him. We only had to wait for about 10 minutes and then the line splits so you have to choose front of the train or back. We chose the back but there was a ride attendant assigning seats and she put us at the beginning of the back section, so we were essentially in the middle of the train. It was fine but I do prefer parks that let you queue up where you want (unless it’s super crowded, which it definitely was not on the day we were there).

Anyway, after taking one ride on the Beast, I could easily confirm that I have never ridden it before because you better believe I would have remembered that! WOW, WHAT A RIDE! I love the wooden coasters that make you feel like you’re out of control and this was definitely that. And it had numerous tunnels, which make me so giddy—something about them makes me scream my face off even harder than I would generally.

The trim brakes were a little disappointing but I know that they’re needed so I tried not to be a big baby about them, but that second lift hill and everything that followed made me forget about that minor gripe.

We ran straight to Henry afterward and heckled him for being too scared to ride it and he was like I AM NOT SCARED, IT IS TOO EARLY AND I HAVE A HEADACHE.

Mmm, OK.

I think we rode this about 5 times that day. We went back later in the evening and BitchBoy Henry actually got in line with us and we were like OMG HE MUST HAVE CALLED CHEETAH GIRL* FOR COURAGE.

*(That’s the make-believe stripper we invented for Henry to date in our imaginations. Sometimes we crack each other up so much with our scenarios that we make ourselves vomit.)

Chooch and I snagged the backseat this time and then doubled over in a giggle-fit when some kid slid in the seat in front of us, next to Henry. The kid’s friends were sitting in the car in front of Henry, and they were all talking to him which was KILLING US because we couldn’t hear what they were saying, but Henry was all, “Hyuk hyuk” and trying to act like he was all tough and was probably thinking of a way to mention that he was in the SERVICE or, I don’t know, rode a skateboard once.

Oh, and did I mention it was also raining during this particular joyride into the woods? Getting sprinkled with wet cloud-darts while careening around break-neck bends is next-level exhilaration, my friends. Chooch and I were laughing so hard, because of the rain slapping us and also because Henry had new friends, that I worried I was giving myself internal bruising. Look, I don’t know what goes on in there, OK?!

Apparently, the people manning the photo stations at King’s Island give zero fucks when people take pictures of the screens with their phones, so I snapped this one of Henry and his new crew. (Chooch and I got cut out of the photo!?!?)

#brosbeforehoes #friendsforever

Chooch rode the Beast several more times once the sun set, once in the front seat while some girl elsewhere in the car shrieked, “I THINK I SHIT MY PANTS!!!!” over and over, and then, “I CAN FEEL IT RUNNING DOWN MY LEG!” and it was all fun and games until we rolled back into the brake run and then someone got annoyed and screamed, “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” and apparently the “I think I shit my pants” girl’s sister or friend was sitting in the seat behind us so she tool offense to this and started screaming “EAT MY ASS” and then it was just really awkward and everyone hated each other so that was fun.

Our very last ride on it was in the last seat and Chooch accidentally hit me in the face when we were barreling through one of the tunnels, and that’s how you know a coaster is great, when you leave the park with welts and bruises.

I really love this ride — it’s powerful and the ride time is beefy – 4:10 (granted, the two lift hills are included in that). For a brief moment, I started to fret that Beast had edged out THE VOYAHHHHHGE from the #1 spot in my heart, but at the end of the day, I think THE VOYAHHHHGE is safe, although I told Henry I’mma need to go back to Holiday World this weekend to ride it again and verify. Henry laughed but it was devoid of humor.

Anyway, that’s all for this installment. Unless you wanna read more about the aforementioned vaginas and periods? Then here, have a 2005 LiveJournal entry within a blog post!

While I would love to sit around the campfire with hot cocoa, recounting tales of all my favorite rides at King’s Island (Son of Beast was the most funnest you guys), all I can really remember amidst the whirlwind of clanging metal parts and side-stepping fresh gum in my path is one thing: checking for my period.

I came prepared. The arsenal of tampons was just short of being strapped to my body like dynamite—I had one waiting in each pocket of my cargo pants in addition to a surplus of “just in cases” in my purse. If I had worn boots, I would have tucked one or two in there, also…next to my switchblade. Which I don’t have yet, but someday. Someday.

“Check me! Do I have stainage?” These were my pleas to Henry, Christina and Cynthia every ten minutes while we were held hostage in one line after another. Oh, how I yearned to make fun of others in my proximity, but feared to in case Karma came back to paint a large blood target on my crotch.

I got lucky when we disembarked Flight of Fear, an indoor ride, as no one was around me. “Block me,” I whispered hoarsely to Christina as I leaned forward and spread the legs of my pants apart nice and wide, to inspect for wetness. Doing this while keeping a steady pace walking down a slanted corridor takes skills. Skills which I possess. I like to compare it to performing magic amidst a ring of fire.

But something good came out of my obsessive bathroom breaks–the highlight of my amusement park junket.

Picture it: You’ve just emerged from a stall with eyes raised to the Heavens (bathroom ceiling) above and are silently praising the Lord Almighty for no blood stains on your panties (if you’re a man, picture it anyway. It’ll help build character). As you’re washing your hands real good because this place is dirty (and if you had a more accelerated condition of OCD, you probably would be convulsing and foaming at the mouth by now), you start to panic as you wonder when your next chance will be to “check.” Everyone in your group groans as you drone on and on about your need to “check,” but you can’t shake the paranoia and obsessive need to make sure you’re not drizzling menstrual blood down your legs; the fabric of your cargo pants is thin and blood will seep right through in no time.

You slowly snake the paper towel around your wet hands, sopping up the water and looking at yourself in the mirror, wondering when you became so uptight about the small things. You contemplate telling Christina you want drugs (ask and she’ll do it) so you can relax and if you end up floating around town with curdled blood around your thighs, big deal; you’re too busy goo-goo’ing and ga-ga’ing at the giant unicorn smiling down at you from a cloud.

And then you start thinking about unicorn porn.

Wait, where were you? Bathroom, hands, drying. So, you turn to your left and casually pitch the paper towel into the large garbage can, when you happen to get a glimpse of something extraordinary. So extraordinary it snaps you back to the here and now. No more unicorn.

The bathroom stall directly in your line of vision is slightly ajar, with its occupant standing hunched over, jean shorts and white cotton underwear down around her knees. Before you even have a chance to scold yourself, your eyes slip down a few inches and that’s when you see it.

Your second real life vagina.

And you don’t mean in general, because hello porn, but this is your second OUT IN THE WILD vagina-spotting. You feel your friend Christina tugging on your arm and saying in a terse whisper, “Erin, let’s go. You’ve seen enough” but you can’t pull your eyes away from the hairy mound of flesh ten feet in front of you. Your body slightly lurches as you feel the giddiness building up and you’re ready to explode into a conniption of giggles. Christina steers you to the exit and you run and tell your friends what just happened, waving your hands like you’re approaching the climax of a jazz dance routine, and rubbing it in their astonished faces. “You don’t know what you just missed in there!” you say smugly, trying to catch your breath. You feel like you’re on a safari. Then you make them stand around, in the way of hundreds of fast-moving patrons and strollers, so you can point out the woman whose vagina you saw. They don’t really care but you make them wait anyway, and when she comes out of the restroom with her kids, you jump and point and they shrug and start walking away.

And that’s my big exciting highlight. It would have been cooler if she was being scalped or having her face painted at the same time I saw it, but what can you do.

My second favorite moment was eating at the Festhaus. I had pizza and fries, but not just any fries: Fries with a buffet of condiments. I derived great, some might even say ecstatic, amounts of pleasure by deliberating in which pool of sauce each fry would be taking a bath: would it be the succulent marriage of ketchup and mayo, the tiny basin of honey mustard, or the thick and rich vat of creamy nacho cheese? My companions had long since finished eating and sat around idly while I dined on one single fry after another. It was heaven.

Lately I’ve been really into dipping things.*

*(Editor’s Note: Yeah because I’d find out a week later that I was PREGNANT. #CondimentCravings #PeriodNeverCame)

Dec 162018

Remember when I said that there would be one more Dollywood post and you were like IS THIS A THREAT well guess what, IT WAS A PROMISE.

Even though we didn’t go to Dollywood specifically for the Christmas shit, it was still really hard not to get swept away in the festive feels. There is just something so magical about amusement parks all lit up for the holidays!

So, I just wanted to dump some of the evening shots we took from that day.

This was supposed to be “an artsy shot” of Chooch admiring the drop tower, but then he turned around too soon and I didn’t feel like redoing it.

“Did you get it!?” he asked, because this was his idea.

“….yup,” I said, shoving my phone back in my pocket.

The lights over this walkway changed….


Second time at Dollywood and I still can’t say that we went in the museum, lol, sorry Dolly Parton! We’re just there for the rides, not your history!

Never been in the theater, either, lol. Some day I will be an old person and maybe then I will do these things…?

As the sun set, Dollywood’s walkways started to get more congested. I think a lot of people only come at night, maybe. This had zero impact on the wait time for the rides, though.

Thank god.

I loved this area of the park so much. My dad is a huge geek for anything 1950s, so I grew up in a house where the Oldies station or a classic jukebox was always blasting in the garage as my dad worked on his hot rods (he had four different ones when I was growing up; I’m not sure which ones he still has though) and some random Andy Griffith show rerun was always on the TV. He even had several vintage pop machines that worked, one of them held glass bottles of Barq’s root beer, I’ll never forget. Of course, I didn’t appreciate any of that shit back then and would die of embarrassment any time I had to ride somewhere in one of his damn old cars, but man do I miss those simpler times now!

This area of the park is right of my dad’s alley, all the way down to the 1950s garage-themed queue line for Lightning Rod.

We thought this Santa had blackface at first but I think it’s just really old and hasn’t aged well. As I was trying to take this picture, the adjacent theater let out and I got swept away in a tidal wave of wheelchairs and walkers. Old people don’t yield, you guys. Then some broad accidentally unplugged the lights, so that was a real scene.

(It wasn’t, really. She plugged them back in right away.)

I took this from the train, so it’s not the best but look at how lovely the Grist Mill looks all lit up!

Home of Sherbet the Waiter and the Secret Veggie Burger.


My oppa, King Lightning Rod.

And then as we were heading toward the exit at the end of the night, snowflakes began to softly hit my cheeks.

“It’s snowing!!!” I cried. “It’s a real Dollymiracle!” Yo boy, I was so stoked on snow and I typically hate that fuck-slush. That’s how you know Dollywood is a real mood enhancer.

Aaaaaand, then I realized that the snow was coming from snow machines mounted to the roof of the gift shop.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend a trip to Dollywood during the holidays. I was surprised by how many people told me that they didn’t even think there were rides at Dollywood — guys, don’t be fooled by the countrified mountain themes – this place has some world-class coasters and really interesting dark rides., and as long as temperatures are 40+, the coasters should be running even during the holiday event. I can’t speak for the shows, but they seem to be wildly popular, so I think it’s safe to say that D-wood is a joint for the whole family. So don’t leave Gramps at home! I mean, we brought Henry and he seemed fine.