Jul 252022
 

Henry mentioned that Kennywood was giving away free ice cream last week to pass holders and I was like, “I’m down for some free ice cream” so we went to  Kennywood after work on Thursday. Of course, it was a day that I actually went into the office, so by the time I came home and changed, it was after 6:30 when we got to Kennywood and because amusement parks have lame hours now, the park was set to close at 8. Boo hiss.

But the one good thing about getting there so late is that hordes of people were exiting when we were walking in, so even STEEL CURTAIN, that cursed coaster, only had a 15 minute wait. AND there was a nun AND a priest in line, AND it was running two train ops! MIRACLE?? Maybe.

THERE THEY ARE!! ^^^

Anyway, Steel Curtain is pretty great. My opinion fluctuates a lot because I want it to be a little bit better than it is and also maybe not so rattle-y considering how new it is. But I do like it overall! It just doesn’t have that WOW factor, and I mean, it really should because it still currently holds the record for the most inversions on a coaster in North America but you don’t really get off the thing feeling you just rode a record-holder, you know?

And in our case on this evening, you don’t get off the coaster until after maintenance fucks around and keeps your train parked out on the brake run in a knucklefucking downpour.

I mean, it was some heavy rain, people, and we were totally exposed, like sitting ducks. And the wind was kicking up all around us too so I was terrified that we were going to slammed with airborne projectiles. YOU NEVER KNOW. Don’t fuck with weather! Some broad died at Kennywood years ago when a microburst blew through!

Yeah, so were pretty fucking angry about this. I don’t know what was going on but as soon as we hit the brake run, one of the JOCKOS as Henry would say made an announcement that “SOMETHING SOMETHING BLAH BLAH 20 MINUTES” so the empty train in the station just sat there and ours couldn’t pull in. Thank god whatever was happening didn’t take the full 20 minutes and we eventually got to get off the damn thing after about 5 minutes, at which point the ride operator (who is ALWAYS there), chirped a quick and totally insincere “sorry” into the mic and I honestly wanted to kick him.

2 for 2 getting stuck in a rain storm at an amusement park that week! I was having a really great hair day too oh well.

“Do you think God was pissed that his people were riding coasters on his time so he made the sky open?” I hypothesized giddily.

“Well, no, because they were on the train in front of us and didn’t get stuck like we did!” Henry rationalized.

“Henry, even GOD fucks up, everyone knows that!” I mean, he allowed DONALD TRUMP to happen, didn’t he?

Steel Curtain: Not a Bad Ride.

The rain didn’t last for very long so we were able to ICE CREAM AND CARRY ON.

Um, hello, Henry failed to mention that it was only free to the first however-many passholders! So we had to pay. I would have opted to just go to Golden Nugget but it was already closed, and honestly this was still just as satisfying. I haven’t had true soft serve at Kennywood in a hot min.

After ice cream, we got in a ride on our beloved Phantom’s Revenge (walk-on!), attempted to ride Swingshot with five minutes left before the lines closed at 8pm but it started pouring down rain again as soon as we sat down and they were like “We can’t run the ride in this but you’re welcome to stay on the ride.”

….?

Why would we want to sit on a non-running ride while sheets of water poured down on us? N-n-n-no thanks. Of course, a few minutes later, the rain ended.

Honestly, Steel Curtain, soft serve, and Phantom’s Revenge in less than 90 minutes wasn’t the worst way to end a random Thursday evening in July.

And now, I’ll leave you with this apropos dulcet tune by Yangyang, Kun, and Taeil of NCT. <3

Jul 222022
 

Hi it’s me, the one who can’t stop typing words about amusement parks but so sorry that it’s prime park time and I’m trying to get in as much as I can because YOLO if YOLO is still cool which it is not but either am I which means I can still use it.

Anyway, I already told you that Henry and I went to Waldameer in Erie for a few hours on Sunday. It was…actually fantastic. We’ve been there numerous times but never JUST THE TWO US so it was like a date which is what everything has felt like lately and it’s weird and cool but also sad because it’s basically a taste of what life will be like once we’re empty nesters and I don’t want to be an empty nester because that will mean I’m OLD?!

I mean, because that will mean that my BABYKINS, MOMMY’S BEST BOY, etc etc will be in college, and then eventually, out of college…and OK Erin. Stop. Stop it.

Back to Waldameer.

 

There are several great reasons to go to Waldameer:

  1. it’s right on Lake Erie
  2. it’s free admission so if you’re not into rides but want to chow down on some fair food and people watch, you can march your ass right on in through those gates with authority
  3. RAVINE FLYER II is one of the best woodies in PA.
  4. WHACKY SHACK.
  5. parking is free
  6. they have SIMPLY DIVINE cookies
  7. it’s just a really cute little park with something for everyone, ok?

We go mostly for Ravine Flyer II and Whacky Shack, but you do you.

Here are pictures of the Ravine Flyer II as taken from the tRaIn:

I lied – this last one was taken from the fErRiS wHeEl.

(You guys it’s 100 degrees in my house and it’s making me be weird.)

Carousel mirror selfie!

I just realized that somehow, we didn’t fight at all. Not even when it was carouselfie time.

When we were riding the dumb train, it started storming, like with thunder and lightning so A REAL STORM and we were sitting in the front seat of one of the cars so even though there was a roof, there was actually very little protection. We were soaking wet by the time we got off it and ended up just chilling in the station afterward, waiting it out and watching a family of skunks terrorize a group trying to have a picnic at a nearby pavilion. It was exciting! Skunks are cute! SHOULD I MOVE ON TO SKUNK WHISPERING AFTER I CONQUER THE MR. GRAY GUY SQUIRRELS??

The Scrambler was actually still operating in the storm which I thought was questionable.

I’ve only ever eaten pizza at Waldameer and it’s pretty good! I could have easily BEASTED a second slice, to be honest though.

“I just took a picture of that guy taking a picture,” I wheezed to Henry, delirious with giddy self-satisfaction.

“Cool..?” he said, going back to ignoring me on the train.

It did eventually stop raining though and we got to enjoy rides again. We were the only people on the ferris wheel!!

I did start to rain again though when we went on the Tilt-a-Whirl but this ended up being the best experience I might have ever had on this dumb ride? Henry was super into it suddenly and had it spinning really hard and I was laughing so hard that my laughs kept catching in my throat. I was so fucking giddy on this day! If you had told me like, 15 years ago that Henry and I would still be together in the year 2022 and having so much fun that my face would feel like it was going to split open, I’d think you were a horrible fucking liar. I used to call him Hoover because he sucked the fun out of everything, for Christ’s sake! And now I prefer to spend all my time with him because we’re always doing fun shit?!

Life is wild.

There’s always country music playing in this side of the park but country music is ONLY tolerable in these kinds of settings so I didn’t hate it too much.

LOLOLOL.

I’ve only ridden this once, probably the first time we were there when Chooch was like 5 or 6 and I forgot that it’s actually a pretty cute/fun log flume! There’s a tunnel with storm effects! We got really wet all over again!

I love that there’s a huge ass tree that the Comet station and track was built around. Also, Comet was running pretty smoothly! This is a great little family woodie.

Literally one of my favorite dark rides ever.

I think that’s basically it. We left around 4:30, went to Hank’s in Meadville for some custard and there were two large groups of super annoying people in front of us that I really hated, and the flavors of the day weren’t anything special (strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla) and I immediately regretted getting a cone once I heard Henry order an apple pie sundae, but it was whatever.

 

Overall, a really nice day with my dumb Henry.

Jul 202022
 

I suggested that we take a little day trip to Waldameer Park on Sunday because why should Chooch get to have all the fun, amirite. Ravine Flyer II got some retracking done recently and I wanted to try it out for myself.

It takes about 2 hours to get to Erie, and we spent most of the time listening to a Megan Miranda audiobook that I ended up finishing on my own a few days later and do not recommend. I think it was called The Perfect Stranger. Who cares?

Anyway, we had a really nice time at Waldameer and I will get into the nitty gritty at a later date but not right now because it’s hot AF and I want to go to bed soon so instead let’s look at an array of Henry’s dumb faces at Waldameer.

Standing in line for Steel Tiger.

Standing in line for Steel Tiger: Portrait Mode.

Standing in line for Comet.

CAROUSELFIES aren’t the same without Chooch :(

Getting ready to wash down that pizza with a soft pretzel.

Henry, trying not to fall asleep on the train.

Henry, thinking about the impending 2 hour drive home.

Standing in line for Tilt-a-Whirl after waiting out a thunderstorm (evidence: my hair).

The “I Haven’t Ridden a Tilt-a-Whirl since 1987” face of impending regret.

That’s all for this sweltering Wednesday evening. I have nothing else to give, so sorry.

Jul 162022
 

100% the main reason we wanted to go to Michigan’s Adventure was to stuff our butts onto Shivering Timbers, the Custom Coasters, Inc. (CCI for all you woodie simps out there) monstrosity that sits at the top of every thoosie’s wooden coaster Top 10 list.

Literally the best coaster (if not ride in general) in the park and it was practically a walk-on all damn day. I could NOT believe it. I was ready to test my line-standing endurance with this one but nope.

Our first ride was in the back row.

YO. How is this ride legal?? It does NOT feel safe at all, holy shit. From the first drop until you hit the brake run, IT SENDS YOU. I was actually so terrified that I kept my hands down for the whole first half until it made its way back through the smaller hills but even then, I was flying out of my seat and being flung about like a ragdoll. I will not lie to you – this coaster was insane, incredible, and definitely a bucket lister, but HOO BOY brace yo’selves because this thing will try to play the accordion with your vertebrae.

Came back later for a spin on the front row and I am here to tell you that while I’m usually a certified backseater, the front row was my favorite. It was less painful and just more of a pleasant ride – OK perhaps “pleasant” is being too kind. It is still like going off-roading down a Transylvanian cliffside on the devil’s chariot pulled by drunk centaurs.

Completely fucking terrifying.

God please do not disturb the operator. Last year, two trains crashed into each other in the station because of operator error, so…let’s give the operator some peace & quiet, mmm.

Anyway, when Chooch and I rode it in the front seat, Henry sat behind us and had a decidedly very different ride experience from ours. While we were like YEAH THAT WAS THE SHIT, he was more like DID SOMEONE SHIT, LIKE THE STUFF THAT’S NOW IN MY PANTS? He said it was super rough and that his seat was moving forward!? I was like, “Bro you’re lying” and he was like, “No really, my SEAT WAS MOVING FORWARD DURING THE RIDE.”

Chooch and I were like, “OK sure cya sucker” and got back in line. This time, we sat in the second row in order to get a walk-on. It happened to be the same train that we had previously rode and not gon’ lie, I did notice that the seat seemed to be jutting out a good six inches farther than the other seats??

And OK fine I agree with Henry, this was the scariest journey of the three. First of all, my hair was in my face the whole time so I couldn’t see anything, and it just felt like if there was a wooden coaster built to represent Pittsburgh in all of its pot-holed glory – this was it. Step right up for Pittsburgh: The Ride. But in Michigan.

I was HOWLING. It was still fun, kinda (??), but dear Lord did I have the regertz. And fine Henry, the seat was definitely moving. I didn’t feel it so much on my side but by the time we got back to the station, Chooch had moved so far up in his seat that he was now pushed against the lap bar and could barely unfasten his seatbelt, lol wow ugh.

I definitely couldn’t marathon this like I could marathon, say, Phoenix at Knoebels, so 3 rides was enough for me that day. Would have loved to have experienced a night ride on this sadistic hunk of lumber, but when a park closes at 8pm in July, it’s pretty hard to unlock that achievement.

Yeah this ride was….something else. I bought the t-shirt.

(Gotta end with my favorite coaster youtuber’s video from Michigan’s Adventure because there is some good footage of Shivering Timbers and Ryan always provides the best reviews and explanations of coasters and their elements – plus I love when his friend Uncle Nate is with him. I ship Uncle Nate and Janna!!)

Jul 122022
 

We’re not allowed to use the word “general” at my job so now I feel like a real bad ass, rule-breaker.

Michigan’s Adventure is part of the Cedar Fair group (Cedar Point, King’s Island, Knott’s, etc) and it is pretty much considered the worst park across the board by enthusiasts and general public. But when you’re an enthusiast, you will go to where you need to go in order to add the new coaster credits under the proverbial belt. (I’ve mentioned coaster creds to several different people recently and they all asked the same thing: “what do you get if you collect the most? like a prize?” Nope. Just bragging rights? A beefy spreadsheet? Debt?) And the thing about Michigan’s Adventure that was appealing to us, well, two things:

  1. Shivering Timbers, this motherwhompin’ CCI woodie that is like THE TALK of Coaster Town – we will get to that in a separate post;
  2. It’s in the same state as Bill & Jessi so we got to visit them!

Michigan’s Adventure is located in Muskeon, MI which is where the minor league hockey team was that then-Pittsburgh Penguins Phil Borque got sent down to during one of the seasons in the 1980s. That was the first time I ever heard of “Muskegon” and pretty much the last time too until Michigan’s Adventure. So I always associate Muskegon with Phil Borque and thought about that a lot the day we were there, and also how back in the 80s he dated my aunt Susie’s friend Lori!!!

Anyway, my first impression was that the parking lot is a nightmare – the park had already been open for an hour and there was a huge line of cars trying to get in. I panicked and thought it was going to be crowded that day, but no – parking was just slow AF. Then the car that parked next to us, OMG I’m getting angry all over again remembering this, the passenger got out and proceeded to stand next to our car, blocking my door, while the driver of his car got out and stood there so that he could slowly and languidly apply sunscreen to her stupid person skin. I was like REALLY? REALLY? REALLY?!!? and then said FUCK IT and started opening my door until it was in danger of hitting the guy. He got the hint and they both moved down so that I could out, but now they were blocking Chooch’s door LOLOLOL OMFG MORONS. Chooch was like, “I’m not playing this game” and just scooted across the backseat and got out from the other side.

Idiots.

Getting into the park from there was smooth-sailing.  My immediate reaction was, “This place is not so bad!” Visually, I mean! We had yet to experience ride ops and customer service. WE SHALL SEE.

(Well, we already saw, but pretend with me that we’re going to find out together.)

…do Henry and Chooch count as friends? I hope so because they’re the only people I ever hang out with!

The Ferris wheel wasn’t running but I liked how it looked here behind the trees.

Let’s talk ambiance: this is a small park, but it’s cute and clean. I love parks that have lakes either next to them or in the middle – this one had really cute swan boats that you can see over yonder!

And I liked that the colors of the benches gave off a 1970s summer camp vibe.

It’s hard to fuck up soft serve (never mind, I’ve seen it done before) and  this one was simple and satisfying! (Although my one small complaint is that nowhere on the signs did it mention sprinkles so we had to ask. I expected them  to say no since it wasn’t listed anywhere, BUT THEY HAD IT! I’m sorry, but soft serve without sprinkles is like grilled cheese without ketchup.)

Stalking us while we were in line for Corkscrew. Then, in true Michael Myers fashion, I turned back around a second later and HE WAS GONE. How does he dip so fast like that? He must have learned it in the SERVICE.

Could this have been the least-worst Arrow corkscrew I’ve ever ridden?? It was smooooth and my head banged not even once. Also, the line was only about 20 minutes long which is appropriate. The longest line we probably stood in was for Thunderhawk, the Vekoma SLC, which was maybe around 30 minutes. Ops were decent here?!

Here’s Chooch ignoring me in line for said Vekoma SLC. I want to note, as evidence to support my earlier claims about ride ops: this one had ONE KID manning the general entrance to  the station, the Fast Lane entrance to the station, and checking the restraints on the left side of the train. ONE KID, barely any older than Chooch. He was getting the job DONE.

Also, I believe this was the only instance of LINE JUMPING we endured all day,  thank god. It was still frustrating though – a whole ass family of 4 or 5 “excuse me, pardon me”ing their way all the way up to the front. Annoying!!!! I wish I owned a park. I would enforce the rules and motherfuckers would be crying.

And probably suing too but we’ll tackle that when the day comes.

I should note that this was the third ride of the day, right after getting in A HUGE FIGHT with Henry on the second ride of the day: the carousel. Who fights on the carousel?? you might ponder. The couple who is 1/2 comprised of a camera-moron whose only task is to take a carouselfie of his family but does it shittily every time and then gets mad in retaliation when the other 1/2 gets mad first, and their offspring just sits there on his pony and endures it because, this is life. This is us.

Anyway, we got off the carousel and I was like LET’S JUST LEAVE but then proceeded to storm off in the opposite direction of the exit. Chooch kept pace with me but Henry was like, way behind. I dipped into the Thunderhawk line hoping that Henry wouldn’t know where we went but apparently he has us chipped because when we got off the ride, he was waiting for us like a dumb creep. Ugh. Then we were Happy Family again and didn’t fight anymore, look at us. That’s growth.

Zack’s Zoomer is a little wooden coaster that had what looked to be a short line but it was one train ops and suuuuuper slow moving.

We got to the station and I realized it was basically just like the Woodstock Express and I was like, “There is no fucking way we’re both fitting in one seat,” but Henry was like, “YES WE CAN” and he stuffed himself in next to me so hard that I felt my hipbone bend, I swear to god. I honetsly can’t believe that the ride ops let us sit together, it was sooo clown car-esque.

Chooch had to wait for the next train and he seemed fine with having a big of PARENT FREE time.

Bye, Chooch. Say “wheeee.”

OMG this fucking janky pile of lumber, lol. When we were standing in line, some really annoying, corny country ballad came on, something about “this is my song,” and I loudly said, “Who even likes this shit??” and Henry started cracking up because the three teenage girls in front of us where balls-to-the-wall lip synching along but I didn’t know because I had my back toward them when I was screaming about it.

I just think that amusement parks should exclusively play 1980s music.

I thought the station was so nice, how they had flower pots hanging over there.

Anyway, this ride was sooooo painful. The first part was great though – you leave the station and wind around into a tunnel and Y’ALL KNOW HOW I LOVE ME SOME TUNNELS. Then you go up the lift hill and get stuck at the top for a minute – at least, that’s what happened to us. Then the first drop is SO GOOD because it was recently RETRACKED so it was smoother than Rob Thomas singing “Smooth.”

But then as you’re going down the hill, you happen to look over to the right and notice that the rest of the coaster is OLD ASS WOOD TRACK and while you’re realizing this, the JACKHAMMERING BEGINS. Holy fuck, this was definitely up there with some of the roughest woodies I’ve ever willingly put myself through. Henry and I were bellowing our chorus of OWs like a couple of fallen angels taking their first waltz along the fiery coals of Hell.

Hey, GCI – bring some more of that smooth-ass track to Michigan, stat.

We didn’t ride this, but I thought the sign was cyoooooot.

Did I say Thunderhawk was the longest line we stood in that day? Scratch that bring it back, because it was actually Mad Mouse. We were prepared for this after watching numerous videos about how bizarre the ops are on this one, plus these damn wild mouse rides are GP faves so they always amass long lines no matter what.

Chooch was being such a baby about having to wait in line! Like we had anything else to do! I think he was really ready to leave because, GOD FORBID, his phone was dying/had died. Here’s a picture of Henry and Chooch talking about block zones and trying to understand why they were only allowing two cars on the course at once.

It really wasn’t that bad, waiting in this line. I think it was probably about 45 minutes (I mean, OK that’s pretty pathetic to wait that long for a wild mouse, but coaster creds make you do some dumb things). And it was actually a pretty decent ride!

After this, we stopped in the gift shop and bought some shirts (um, for one of the smallest, least-loved Cedar Fair parks, they have some great merch!), then made our way out of the park having ridden all of the coasters. Shivering Timbers was the highlight and you can let me fangirl about that in a separate post, if that’s OK with you. Cool, thanks!

Buh-bye, Michigan’s Adventure! You were not nearly as terrible as I had imagined. Hopefully Cedar Fair throws you a bone in the form of a new coaster and we will definitely come back!

Jul 112022
 

Yo, I still haven’t recapped our day at Michigan’s Adventure because I’m a shit blogger. And now I’m all, “wah, I miss my kid” like I sent him off to war. Henry said he was surprised at how much maternal emotions are actually contained within my standoffish self. Haha ugh.

That being said (I watch this one coaster review channel on YouTube and they say this so often that I blurt it out when I think they’re going to say it, like it’s some totally stimulating game I play by myself because I have no friends, so now I’m accidentally saying it in my head all the time during my normal non-coaster working hours, so that’s great), here are some pictures of Chooch looking like he’s….

….at the DMV;

waiting to have dental work done;

at jury duty but it’s a boring case; (side bar: Chooch had to rode with that kid and he was petty unhappy about it lololol.)

having a nervous breakdown while babysitting his next-door niece and nephews;

trying to sit on the couch but it’s full of my library books;

HAVING THE BEST DAY EVER WITH HIS MOMMY (and dumb dad, not pictured) AT MICHIGAN’S ADVENTURE!

He actually *was* pretty unsufferable toward the end of the day but he was mostly a delight.

I miss him. It’s fine.

It’s not fine. IT’S ONLY GOING TO GET HARDER! COLLEGE! MOVING OUT!! ETC ETC!!!

Jun 232022
 

We had already decided a few days prior to Father’s Day to go to Kennywood that evening for some night ride action. Originally, we were going to try and eke out a day trip to King’s Island but that’s a lot of driving and Henry didn’t have the luxury of having the next day off like Chooch and me. So he made the executive decision to ax that idea.

It actually turned out for the best because now that we’d be home most of the day that Sunday, Chooch and I were able to finish that stupid gem art project in time to present it to Henry while it was still Father’s day and not Labor Day.

(I originally said Flag Day but that happened a week before Father’s Day lol who knew?)

Plus, by the time we gave Henry his dumb gift, I was READY to go to Kennywood. I was like, “SET ME FREE, MOTHERFUCKERS!” Could not wait to get out of the house.

This will mostly just be photos of FAMILY TIME because I’m getting super wrapped up in mortality lately and want to remember every single moment I spend with these two OMG I’m so panicked about TIME.

We all squeezed on the Kangaroo! I do want to say one thing, that while I love the new LEWK, etc of the Kangaroo, the new queue is unfamiliar and makes me feel disoriented.

Keny Kangaroo: Bites & Pints Edition. I hate that Chooch is basically the same height as him now??

Chooch wanted to do the Bites & Pints thing that Henry and I did last week even though he’s picky as hell but he swore that OMG it wouldn’t be a waste, and Henry was like, “OK fine you and I will share it” but then they ended up not using it all so GUESS WHO’S GOING BACK TO KENNYWOOD THIS WEEKEND.

Deciding what he wanted from the German booth.

OK this wasn’t on the Bites & Pints thingie but I wanted to get this ever since I saw Coaster Spot eat these when they were at Kennywood earlier in the season: FRIED MUSH at Rogue BBQ. This whole fucking basket was $8 (actually the sign said $7 but the impersonable broad who took our order charged us an extra dollar) and so filling that I only ate like 4 and gave the rest to Henry and Chooch. They were GOOD though and I would get them again.

Some older lady also ordered them and tried to return them because she “ordered the fried mushrooms and these weren’t mushrooms.” LOL, she was That Day Old when she learned that mush isn’t mushroom’s nickname.

Dude this guy at Ghostwood Estate was NOT fucking around with people. He called out every single person who ducked under the railings instead of walking all the way around and he was NOT happy about it.

He called out this one young black girl who blatantly ignored him when he told her to go back and walk the whole around. Then he called out an older WHITE NERD GUY who was SO OFFENDED at being told he was breaking the rules when he was, you know, breaking the rules, and stamped his way all the way back through the empty queue like he was told. As he passed the line attendant, the same teenage black girl who had previously been called out decided she didn’t want to be in line anymore, so she backtracked and ducked under the railing again to leave.

The white guy cried, “Are you going to yell at her too?? Are you going to treat us equal??” and I was like, “Guy you are NOT even trying to passive aggressively make this a RACE issue, on JUNETEENTH no less.” I wanted to point out that she already BEEN called out the first time around, but then he was already moving past me in line by then. It was super annoying though. I get it, no one wants to be called out but you can’t fucking stand there and be pissed that someone is doing their job. I wish more park employees would do this shit and then maybe less people would be brazen enough to line jump!!

Anyway, I won.

BABY. The main reason why we came back later in the day was because we wanted those sweet, fine Phantom night rides, boy-o.

Chooch is the worst. His pose is sooooo fake, just so you know.

NOAH’S ARK SELFIE. The family in front of us took their picture here too and Chooch was like, “NO” before I even said anything, lol.

LOL Father Henry living his best life eating some type of meat food.

Henry rode Sky Rocket without us because we wanted to wait for the front.

The ride crew that day was sooooooo obnoxious but I loved them. Chooch 100% did NOT. When we came back, the main guy was like HOW WAS THAT RIDE and I was the only person who screamed, lol. He gave me a shout out though!

I just want to give a shout to Phantom. We rode it so many times and just straight-up marathoned it once the sun went down. I swear to god I don’t remember it ever running this good but this bitch HAULS ASS this season.

OK, I swore that I wouldn’t write another Kennywood novel, so I’ll end this by saying that it was a really great Sunday evening and so far this season has reinvigorated my love for Kennywood. I was falling out of love with it over the last several years but it’s got my attention again. It still has a lot of flaws, but I have faith. (Bringing back the old train scenery could win some points!!!)

Oh shit, one more thing! The musical performers that evening was a coverband called THE GEMSTONES, literally after I spent the last week working on a GEMMING PROJECT. It was like the universe taunting me re: GEMS.

“Do you think they hand-placed each gem on their outfits?” Chooch mumbled.

Jun 202022
 

And: other leftover thoughts.

Phantom Pheenin’

I’m a broken record, bigly, but my appreciation for Phantom’s Revenge somehow grows every year. Maybe it’s just because the more coasters I ride, the more obvious it becomes to me that this beast is ELITE. Like, God tier. You might say that this is my home park pride talking, but find me any seasoned coaster enthusiast who does not come off this ride shocked and awed.

Plus, it’s visually delicious. The purple repaint they gave it over the offseason is stunning. I legit cannot come to this park without taking a ton of pictures of it.

The station got a refresher too! I love the Phantom station so much because it’s always uber casual in there and the ride crew is always poppin’ off.  How can you not be stoked to ride a coaster when the ride crew is energetic and high-fiving everyone?! And maybe this is the origin of my being so impatient with ops at other parks, because the crew on Phantom is so efficient. When they have two trains running, it is a well-oiled machine. (This isn’t to say that Kennywood as whole has great ops because some rides have super questionable crews, lol ugh.)

These two guys were my favorite!!

I think we rode it about 7 or 8 times on this day and it was absolutely glorious. Backseat is my bestseat but we did sit in the front one time and I was reminded of how stellar that one is too but if we’re being real here, there is no bad seat on this bad boy. Sit anywhere, you’ll fucking love it. That second drop feels like it will never end and it actually scares me sometimes. And the bunny hills at the end will eject you so far out of your seat that it feels illegal. I have been saying that for years and it makes me laugh when I watch enthusiasts’ reviews on YouTube because they ALL SAY THE SAME THING.

The park wasn’t very crowded on this particular Sunday so it was a station wait at worst, walk-on at best. There was one time when we were in the back and came back to NO ONE WAITING for that seat so I cried, “cAn We StAy On?!” and the guy nodded.

“Oh….thanks,” Henry mumbled, re-fastening his seat belt. He loved it though, lol. This day of Phantom rides came close to rivaling the BEST experience I ever had on Phantom.

Here’s Phantom cruising past Thunderbolt and the Turtles.

Speaking of the Turtles…

I always like to ride the Turtles because it’s the only ride of its kind left in America (in the world, even?). It’s just so much fun and you get great views of Phantom and Thunderbolt.

The ride operator was this young guy who was oozing moxie & enthusiasm. 100% the kind of person you want operating this adorable family ride! He was doing the whole, “Scream if you want to go faster” routine and the kids were just eating it up. The best part was when he announced that it was the last time it was going to be going around and he wanted everyone to yell, but then it ended up going around one more time. Henry and I were in the front of the line when this happened, and after the ride finally came to a stop and the ride op walked past us to unlock the exit door, he said to us, “I overshot it,” and we cracked up. Then, instead of letting us on, he was like, “Let me go look at the book real quick because I can’t remember when she said to hit the brakes….” and we were like, “OK do you what you gotta do, my guy.” When he came back to open the gate for us, he continued to explain the braking sitch.

“The book says to start braking when the first turtle reaches the garbage can, and that’s what I did…” I wasn’t sure why he was confiding in us but I was cool with it. We sat in the last turtle, directly across from the control booth, so when he walked by to go inside, he called out to me, “Are you an enthusiast?” I wasn’t sure if this was a trick question and to be honest, sometimes enthusiasts can be super snobby and entitled, so I said, “Um, kind of!”

“I could tell by your shirt,” he said, and I remembered that I was wearing Chooch’s Diamondback shirt from King’s Island. I was originally wearing my Steel Vengeance shirt but I spilled coffee on it right before we left the house that morning so I had to change! Either way, I’d have been called out for being a thusie, lol.

Once the ride started, Henry was like, “Oh god, he loves you” and I don’t know why because I wasn’t really giving him much to work with by way of conversation. However, when he said to scream you better believe my lungs went hog wild!

When the ride stopped, he said something else to me and I wasn’t sure what it was so I just chuckled in response which is my go-to reaction when I didn’t hear what someone said to me. The next thing I know, he was saying, “I’ll show you the controls if you want, come on!”

Just like that!

In this scenario though, it actually really was a “tour” of the control booth and not a sex thing.

He didn’t even unlock the gate for everyone! One of the people getting off the ride had to do it and he just let the other people continue to stand in line while he took me over to his control abode (Henry ditched me!!!). Granted, it was actually cool to peep inside there – I had no idea that it was all manual. He demonstrated how he has to turn the speed knob and that was kind of provocative. Then he walked me back over the exit gate afterward like a true gentleman and the people waiting in line were like, “Hello, the fuck is going on here? Can we ride the Turtles or nah?”

LOVE HIM.

Henry was waiting for me and just smirked. “Wow, you’re lucky Chooch wasn’t there. He would have been PISSED,” he said, knowing how Chooch hates it when I get attention.

“Oh don’t worry, I’m texting him about it right now,” I laughed.

LEFTOVER KENNYWOOD PICTURES

I just really can’t stress enough how wonderful of a day it was at Kennywood with Henry. I mean, it’s rare to have a bad day there (unless you go on a Saturday, which sucks no matter what amusement park it is because, Saturdays…) but I think the older I get and the more parks I visit, the more I truly appreciate Kennywood (um, I almost typed “Henry” instead, what a Freudian slip!) I mean, no other park has a Noah’s Ark, for Christ’s sake!

Legit one of the best walk-thrus in the world.

I do wish Kennywood would get some more flat rides though. I mean, they removed 4 last year (brought back one though!) so they owe us. I wish they would rebuild Le Cachot which burned down in the 90s – it was a great classic dark ride with old-school pretzel cars. I hate hate hate Ghostwood Estate or whatever it’s called because shooting rides are dumb and I preferred the dark ride that it replaced.

I’d also like to see them get rid of their dumb 4D theater that hasn’t been used for several seasons now. I’ve been there 3x so far this season and it doesn’t appear that they plan on using it this year either. Please get rid of it and give us something good!

Thunderbolt was a walk-on!

Steel Curtain is never a walk-on because they are forever running only one train (I’ve heard rumors that the elusive second train has made some appearances this season but I have now been there three times – we went again on Father’s Day! – and, bitch where?).

However, on this day we only waited about 10 minutes! The line ended at the bottom of the steps going up to the platform, and we got the second to the last row. This was Henry’s first time riding it and only my 5th, I think. It’s such a bizarre coaster. It’s not bad by any means, and I hesitate to use the term “underwhelming,” but I think because it’s so frustrating to get on which makes it hard to get multiple re-rides, that sort of makes it feel less great. But, everyone wants to ride this and not Phantom so be my guest – keep Phantom’s station empty for me!

(This sounds so negative – I do genuinely like this coaster, I just wish Kennywood would stop fucking with prototypes and spend their cash on something more reliable.)

I used to hate how it disrupted the Kennywood skyline as I have always known it, but I think I’m over that now. It’s pretty interesting to look at. Which is good considering how much time it acts as nothing more than a giant yellow lawn ornament lol.

Growing up with Kennywood as my homepark has spoiled me when it comes to wooden coasters because all of ours, for as ancient as they are, run relatively smooth. Most wooden coasters at other parks kill my back!

Our Racer actually races (*clears throat* Cedar Fair “Racers”).

He decided to play this after we started drinking our way through the Bites & Pints sample card.

He lost, lol.

Lil’ Phantom also got a repaint to match Big Bro!

View from the train – it makes me disgusted but I can never not look!

Literally the weirdest views at Kennywood but I wouldn’t trade it.

LOL I dunno how he had room for a square cone after eating and drinking all those samples. Golden Nugget is part of the process at Kennywood and it’s my favorite thing to eat at the park, so you know my stomach was at capacity when I politely bowed out of square cone’age.

(I did steal a bite of Henry’s though!)

Literally one of the best days I have ever had at Kennywood. I was worried that going to so many other parks would ruin Kennywood for me, but it still has my heart. I just hope this dumb company that owns it now continues to make improvements and fills those flat ride gaps! I would love to see them remove Raging Rapids which I haven’t seen running in the last several seasons (it’s completely drained and we’re almost into July at this point) and put in a new and improved Log Jammer. I miss the Log Jammer so much and I think that’s another reason why it’s so hard for me to fully and completely embrace Steel Curtain.

Sigh.

Anyway, don’t want to end on a low note. This day made me appreciate Henry a lot because he was such a good sport – he even rode Swingshot with me and that’s totally not his jam at ALL. It’s nice to be able to enjoy coasters and stuff with him even when Chooch isn’t with us!

P.S. If you have never been to Kennywood,  this is a pretty good review of Phantom’s Revenge, also – come to Kennywood and ride this thing! It is 100% worth the hype.

Jun 182022
 

When I asked Chooch and Henry if they wanted to go to Kennywood last Sunday, Chooch was like, “Sry, I’m going to the gym” but Henry took one for the team and agreed to be my ride partner. That’s when we realized that in the 20 years we’ve been together, we’ve never gone to Kennywood alone before! Actually, the more I think about it, I never went to Kennywood “on a date” with ANYONE – always with family and friends. I think Henry and I went to Fright Nights there when it first debuted, but we were with a group.

This made me GIDDY, this notion that a random trip to Kennywood could potentially be considered A DATE? Lol. This part is sad though: since Chooch will be gone most of the summer and I literally have no one to go to Kennywood with, Henry bought a season pass so that he can just go with me whenever I want.

Two take-aways here: Henry is a nice guy, and I need friends lol.

(Or more specifically: friends who want to ride roller coasters with me.)

Sunday ended up being the best day ever. It was raining pretty hard when the park opened but we still went. We rode the Old Mill right away since it’s an indoor ride, and by the time we got out of that – the rain had mostly stopped and never returned even though there were supposed to be storms all day! The forecast was dreary enough to keep people away so nearly everything was either a walk-on or station wait.

WE HAD THE BEST FUCKING TIME. HONESTLY. We didn’t even fight until the very end when I asked him to take a picture of me in front of Phantom’s Revenge and he took a series of hideous shots of me and I was like “WHY CAN’T YOU TAKE A CLASS??? SURELY THERE IS A SKILLSHARE ON HOW TO BE AN INSTAGRAM HUSBAND!?”

COME THE FUCK ON, HENRY!!

That was the only lowlight of the whole entire day. Everything else was so fucking golden that I kept waiting for the other shoe to fall. Like, we’re about to Punk’d, right? Things are going too well? Nope. It was just one of the “stars have aligned” type of lightning-in-a-bottle days where you’re reminded that sometimes life is good and it came at a great time too, since we had been hit by the drama bus earlier that week and had been extra-stressed. It felt really nice to have an entire day where that shit wasn’t on our minds at all; we were just focused on having all of the fun!

To be frank, I have been up to my elbows in a stupid Father’s Day gift for Henry since Monday and have little time currently to dedicate to blogging, so please enjoy a deluge of photos of Henry and me during our DATE DAY at Kennywood and then I will return post-Father’s Day for one last Kennywood post full of my fave moments because THERE WERE SO MANY and I want to memorialize them!

HENRY AND ME ON THE OLD MILL. It was a very platonic boat ride. NO FUNNY BUSINESS.

ON THE KANGAROO! KENNYWOOD BROUGHT THE KANGAROO BACK AFTER STUPIDLY REMOVING IT LAST YEAR AND THEY EVEN REFURBED IT AND GAVE IT A NEW SIGN AND IT LOOKS SO GOOD.

Long live the Kangaroo.

I mean, wouldja LOOK?

“Will you ride everything with me  today?” I asked.

“I guess,” Henry said, slightly hesitant.

“EVEN THE MUSIC EXPRESS?”

Henry sighed, but he did indeed ride it!

Walking up to the Phantom for like, our 80th ride of the day.

HENRY’S DUMB “NOAH’S ARK” FACE.

Now please enjoy a series of carouselfies, sans Chooch :(

(Somewhere, Chooch was realizing that he dodged the carouselfie bullet for that day and was cheering.)

ON THE TURTLES. I have a super-fun story about this ride for the next post.

ON  THE TRAIN! We needed a break from eating and also I was feeling blitzed from tiny sample-sized cups of booze I had imbibed, so it was either “bench” or “train” time.  I was happy because the dumb Thomas train was out of commission and they were running the old classic train instead!

OK, that’s all for now. I have to return to my sweatshop and ruin my back some more.

Jun 162022
 

I had one of the best Kennywood experiences of my whole life this past Sunday and the giddiness has been carrying me through this week. TRUST that I will wear you down with a deluge of words on this but I wanted to start with the Bites & Pints event. Kennywood, like numerous other parks, has been doing this food and drink pairing thing for several years now but we have never participated. If you know me, I’m the type of person who goes to park specifically to ride shit, and eating is secondary. We rarely partake in any event going on.

But this time, it was just Henry and me and I had watched a coaster enthusiast’s YouTube video on Bites & Pints just the other day and there were some things that looked pretty good that maybe I might have wanted to try.

So, Bites & Pints is comprised of numerous tents offering fare from a particular region. There was: Italy, Greece, Poland, Mexico, Germany, the Caribbean, and Asia (this one annoyed me for two reasons: Asia is gigantic and could mean anything??? and also it was the ONLY tent that didn’t have one single meatless option. C’mon now, “Asian” food can be so veggie-centric, do better Chef from Spoon & BRGR who organized this dumb thing).

(OK it’s not dumb, but that was definitely annoying. This could have been a great opportunity to do something spectacular with tofu!)

Originally, I thought that maybe we could just get one or two things a la carte, but the more I looked at the menu online, the more I was like, “Orrrrrr, we could just bite the bullet and get the Bite Card….”

Season Pass holders had the option to buy a 15-sample card for the same price as the 12-sample one so we ended up doing it, figuring we could just share everything.

You guys, it was worth it! I mean, nothing that really brought me to my knees, but we did enjoy everything we got, plus it was super fun to run around and get our card punched.

So before I start barraging your eyeballs with posts full of pictures of coasters and our dumb faces, here is a run-down of the FOODS we redeemed with our big shot Bite Card.

From Italy:

Arancini (5/5, actually would go back and buy this again, a la carte) and whipped fresh ricotta cheese (2/5; it was good but kind of unimagined and underwhelming, like it was a last minute addition to the menu).

Not pictured: Nutella stuffed pretzel (4/5 but also this was literally just from the Kennywood candy shop, so I felt like that was a cop-out, Dude from BRGR and Spoon – ITALY HAS SO MANY GREAT DESSERTS TO CHOOSE FROM).

I forgot to take a picture of Mexico, but we got the street corn which I knew would be good because Mexican street corn. Nothing ground-breaking here. (4/5)

From Greece:

Dolmas (3/5 – just basic grape leaves; I could walk down Brookline Blvd and get better ones at the Greek restaurant here) and Loukoumades (4/5 because of the addition of the HOT HONEY).

From the Caribbean:

Fried plantains! This was a 4.5/5 but was also notably the smallest portion of everything we got from the other stalls. If we had bought these without the Bite Card I think it would have been like $8.99 which seems outrageous.

Black Forest cupcake from Germany. (2/5 – just OK. I’ve had worse, but this felt like a grocery store bakery cupcake. The icing was oddly satisfying though and it was an icing that I’m not normally a fan of – the thick Crisco-flavored bullshit with very little sweetness.)

From Poland:

Placki Ziermniaczane – fried potato cakes with apple compote (4/5) and pierogies (3/5 – they put the BACON BITS on the side so that I could also enjoy. It was OK! I mean, we live in Pgh and pierogies are kind of a THING here so I wasn’t expecting to have the best pierogi ever from a tent at Kennywood, you know?).

We still had samples left to get punched on our card so we decided to try some of the bevs. I liked that the Bite Card got us small samples of the drinks (the food was regular-sized) because I am *not* a big drinker nor do I ever drink at amusement parks.

I had:

  • Violet Cider
  • bellini
  • wine mule (THIS ONE WAS MY FAVE)

Henry had:

  • Speachless Peach Cider (I had a sip and it was delicious)
  • Reed’s Classic Mule (this one was weird but good? Goodly weird?)

Walking around with a wine mule in my meat paw, I gurgled, “I NEVER DRINK ALCOHOL IN AMUSMENT PARKS. I FEEL LIKE AN ADULT.”

“You’re not,” Henry was quick to point out. Then literally 30 seconds later, I spotted Kenny Kangaroo and his handler so I started waving furiously until he waved back.

“HE WAVED! I MADE HIM WAVE!” I screamed into the side of Henry’s face.

“OK!” Henry snapped in annoyance. “I SAW.”

Um, I think that was it. I should note that we did all this in between walking around and riding stuff, we didn’t get a Bite Card and then go balls to the wall on a feeding frenzy! Even with the small portions though, I was stuffed.

That was definitely a fun thing to do! I feel like we got our money’s worth too because it probably cost just slightly more than if we had bought lunch somewhere in the park, but it was definitely more filling. I mean, I probably would have just eaten my traditional slice (or two) of park pizza, which I can just do another time.

I do think some of the things were phoned in though, and I obviously can’t speak for the meat options (Henry didn’t get any for himself because he’s a Real One who only gets things sans meat so that we can share. <3

 

Jun 082022
 

Dude the *only* thing I cared about at this park was the RM, Wicked Cyclone. I was keeping my expectations at like, waist level I would say. This isn’t an RMC that the enthusiasts rank very high in their RMC Glory List but listen Linda: even the worst RMC is better than most other coasters. You have to believe me on this. So maybe this isn’t the Iron Gwazi of New England, but I was still gonna stuff my ass in a seat and appreciate the motherfucking ride.

The line was not long at all, and at a park with good ops, I would guestimate that it was about a 20 minute wait. They had two trains running and the ride duration was not very long. So the line should have moved quickly. But oh FOR THE LOVE, the ops here were excruciatingly slow, like literally crawling. The ride crew was straight up meandering about the station, and it was just such a slap to the face of RMC. This park clearly doesn’t appreciate the glorious mass of I-box tracks that is Wicked Cyclone. Give it to Kennywood. (Well….maybe.)

If you’ve ever ridden Steel Vengeance or even Twisted Timbers, you know that the ride operations on RMCs are TIGHT and STRICT. They don’t let you bring anything on the ride, there are no loose article bins on the platform. You go through a metal detector. They tell you repeatedly not to pull your own restraint down –  they will do it themselves. There’s even a screen  that counts how long each dispatch takes. The whole process is INTENSE AND EFFICIENT.

It was the total opposite of that on this one, lol.

But, we finally got our back row ride! Which promptly ended at the bottom of the lift hill, lol. Luckily, an evac wasn’t necessary but if we had to, it wouldn’t have been too scary since we hadn’t really gone anywhere yet. I didn’t really pay attention to how long we were stopped but it was probably somewhere between 5-10 minutes. They got us up and running pretty quickly and I was lowkey excited to have been stuck on RMC. Weird flex?

OK, honest opinion? DANG ya’ll. This little RMC was FUN. It exceeded my expectations too – not nearly as forceful as SteVe but maybe more along the lines of Storm Chaser at Kentucky Kingdom? It still had the crazy elements but the way it took them was almost GRACEFUL. Yeah, I’m a fan.

We only rode it twice since ops were so fucking abysmal, plus it seemed to break down frequently (like when we were in line for what could have been our second ride). The line never really got any longer than it was the first time we rode it but damn, Six Flags, get your shit together. You need to train your Wicked Cyclone crew accordingly if they’re going to be working on an elite coaster.

I would have loved to have gotten a night ride but the park closed at 8 and we clear on the other side of it when it was nearing time to leave. :(

Aside from that, I would say the lowest point of the day aka the most ridiculously long wait was for the fucking rapids ride which we only rode because it was after Wicked Cyclone broke down and it was right there. I’m fucking sorry, but when you even have shitty ops for the rapids ride, then you really should reevaluate what business you have being a part of the amusement industry because this was absolutely absurd and NO ONE was actively being amused.

We had to have been in that line for an hour and bitch I would never wait an hour for a water ride but that line did deceive me.

AND IT WASN’T EVEN THAT GOOD.

NO ONE GOT WET??

Plus, we were partnered with another group of 3 who came in from the Fast Lane line and the first fucking thing the dad said was, “Thank god for Fast Lane.” Yeah, how about fuck you.

OMG Chooch and I were so fucking miz.

Here we are mumbling, “Is he taking a picture, or…?”

Then we got right into another stupid-long line for Pandemonium, a family spinning coaster. Literally the dumbest rides had the longest lines. The line actually wasn’t TOO bad but not worth anything over 10 minutes, to be honest. Here we are waiting (Henry surprised us by saying he would ride it too!):

At one point in line, I caught Henry chuckling to himself. I put on my INQUISITION CAP and started firing away. He admitted that he was watching the Looney Tunes episode playing on the queue TVs and that he remembered watching it when he was a kid. Of course, Chooch and I took that as our invitation to mock him mercilessly. I literally can’t picture Henry being a kid and doing kid things. So, now we know that he:

Crazy stuff.

Some guy in line said to Henry in passing, “Hey man, nice hat – that’s a sick ride!” about his Velocicoaster hat, so Henry said, “Yes, it is” and I was SCREAMING ON THE INSIDE. HENRY MADE CONTACT WITH ANOTHER MAN IN LINE FOR PANDEMONIUM.

Anyway, we finally got on the idiot ride and at the last possible second, some teenage girl  slid into the seat next to Chooch, making it incredibly awkward and also balancing the weight a bit so that our car didn’t spin at all, not even a single time.

What a waste.

Anyway, credit #231 for Chooch, big whoop. At least now it was time for ice cream!

There were numerous ice cream places around but I was insistent on getting a cone from BROWN DERBY because I liked the looks of it.

Nothing spectacular (they had a real fancy bubble waffle ice cream joint that I would have preferred but it was CLOSED) but it was like 85 degrees out so ice cream was essential.

Henry promised Chooch earlier in the day that he would ride the gigantically tall wave swinger thingie with him because that, along with drop towers and Pirate Ships, are the only things on my DO NOT RIDE list. I’ll ride the regular-height wave swingers but those skyscraper ones can go fuck themselves, to be quite frank.

I sat down on the plush Six Flags asphalt and played on my phone while waiting for them. Apparently there was some huge ordeal when a large group of teen boys blatantly cut the line so Henry was frantically on the app trying to report them while another guy was on hold with Six Flags also in an attempt to report them. I didn’t  know any of this until they got off the ride and filled me in, which made me laugh because only the exact number of riders per cycle was let onto the final part of the line at a time, and when one of the groups was being let onto that final stretch, it LEGIT sounded like a house party on foot. Like all this uproarious…hootin’ and hollarin’ lol. I turned and looked just as this gigantic group of teens spilled out onto the last part of the line and thought to myself, “wow these kids like trouble with a capital T” because I’m a suburban housewife in a terrycloth robe, spying out the window with cold cream on my face.

This is who I am now.

Anyway, I was cracking up when Chooch and Henry were telling me this because while those kids were in that last part of the line, one of their buddies ran up the exit path and tried to cut with them, but they WOULDN’T LET HIM! They were like “no sir, you gotta get in that line way back there.” What hypocrites!!! Oh, this was so funny to me.

Here’s Henry and Chooch, finally in the next group to go on! People were annoying me so much while I was sitting down there, and my people I mean a young brother and sister recklessly playing with a ball that “some stranger” gave them while their mom only casually supervised from way far away under a tree. They were such brats! Actually, the girl reminded me of myself because she had very strict rules laid out for whatever game they were playing (literally,  they were just kicking the ball back and forth it seemed) and she was growing more and more furious every time things didn’t go her way.

Finally the mom came over and started yelling at them and then she confiscated the ball and started dribbling it so the boy sneered, “YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO PLAY” and she glowered with indignance, “Excuse me! I played basketball for two years in high school!”

Wow. Lol.

Anyway, she had HAD it with these brat-kids and told them that as SOON AS DADDY AND OTHER KID get off the swings WE’RE GOING HOME.

OK bitch, but you better follow through.

Little cutie I saw while waiting! ^^^^

CAN YOU SEE THEM lol.

Then we rode this Super Girl thing that was fun but the people in line in front of us were so obnoxious. Like, super loud adults because extremely touchy (a guy and girl kept playfully slapping each other super hard and it was driving me nuts) and one of the guys talked in a Donald Duck voice for a solid 5 minutes while his crew cracked up and I was like, “No, guy, that ain’t it” and actually told Chooch at one point that I was going to exit the line.

Like I could picture myself doing it in dramatic fashion, swan-diving into a somersault, rolling out onto the midway and coming to a stop at Henry’s feet.

But no, I stayed and endured. I knew that the line wouldn’t be that long because the ride cycles were short and we were due to be on the next one anyway.

My favorite part was the ride operator repeated numerous times over the speaker, “PLEASE DO NOT PULL DOWN ON THE RESTRAINTS; THEY WILL COME DOWN ON THEIR OWN” but the two dumb bitches in front of me who were a part of the ANNOYING HORDE, stuffed their asses in their seats and IMMEDIATELY wrenched down on the restraints.

DUMB-ASS-ES.

Then the ride operator came around to check everyone’s restraints and when he got to me, he LOOKED ME DEAD IN THE EYES, SMILED AND SAID, “Enjoy your ride” and I swear I did not hear him saying this to anyone else!!! Of course, he killed the mood when he tacked on “ma’am” at the end, but I will take it.

The park was now in the final hour by this point. Since we were already over by this side, I suggested that we ride that damn Joker freespin coaster again and Chooch was SHOCKED but the line was almost non-existent so I thought WHY THE HELL NOT. Turns out, we had a REALLY good ride and even though it was fucking horrifying, I got off the thing and admitted that maybe I was coming around to the concept of the 4D freespins.

People change. It’s called GROWTH, ya’ll.

Also got one last walk-on on Batman, and then made it to the carousel IN THE NICK OF TIME. Chooch was super thrilled.

Then we were tasked with the long walk back to the parking lot, where some young guy (19? 20?) was raging against his two friends over some incident that apparently occurred and he kept trying to push his one friend into a fence and the friend was trying furiously to restrain him in return. It was actually really scary to witness especially when the friend had to flat out bodyslam the guy in the middle of the parking lot to get him to stop trying to fight and the other friend (a girl) was screaming THAT’S ENOUGH and then walked away. The Mad Guy kept screaming about something that happened and how “no one there gave a shit” so was it work-related? School-related? I don’t know but I hope that nothing escalated later or the next day.

It was actually scary.

On the way out, Chooch was like I AM DOING A MOBILE TACO BELL ORDER and Henry was like “ok great” and then they fought over which Taco Bell location he should use, which is always fun. Then we got to the Taco Bell and there were like 8 cars in front of us, and I swear to god it was a longer wait than any coaster we rode that day at Six Flags. Like an hour. An actual hour sitting in a drive-thru, and then the order was all jacked up because it was two fucking stoners working in there alone and they gave Chooch all meat-items in his whatever-box and by this point, I was starving too but it was almost 10PM so I did my pouty baby sulking thing where I was like “JUST FORGET IT, IT’S TOO LATE TO EAT, I’LL JUST GO TO BED.”

Ugh, it was so annoying. Fucking Taco Bell.

The end.

Jun 072022
 

Six Flags usually leaves a bad taste in my mouth – it’s kind of like the Walmart of amusement parks, if you know what I mean. Super commercial, totally tired DC theming, coaster clones, overpriced food…with the exception of Six Flags Great Escape in the Adirondacks, I’ve never left a Six Flags singing about how beautiful it was, etc. All of this is to say that Six Flags New England would normally not be a must-do, go-outta-my-way park for me….

EXCEPT…

It has an RMC.

We have a Six Flags membership (I know, totally negates everything I said there, Mary, Mary…) and this place is situated just over the border from Connecticut so it only ends up being about a 6ish hour drive. (I think that’s what it was and I don’t feel like looking it up again.) It seemed like a good option for Memorial Day Weekend because we wanted to go somewhere new but not too far.

I was NERVOUS because 1) holiday weekend; 2) Six Flags.

But yo! It wasn’t that crowded! We got there when it opened and Chooch and I proceeded to walk on THREE COASTERS: Joker (a 4D free-spin which usually has super long lines because it’s a GP fave), Batman (B&M floorless), and HENRY’S FIRST VEKOMA SLC – Riddler’s Revenge.

My initial impression was that it felt like a Six Flags (ugly concrete jungle with little cosmetic landscaping, etc) and the ops were slow AF, but the ride operators themselves were pretty personable and fun. But, slow AF in most cases.

Also, Henry fucking hated the SLC as expected. These coasters are bastards and full of design flaws and I typically hate them too but this one had me cracking up so hard that I thought I was going to pee myself. Maybe it was just because I was sitting behind Henry and had a great side-view of each grimace and flinch.

I guarantee that Chooch is in the process of Googling “ugliest/most annoying Crocs that cost too much $$$.” Because we had to hear about those fucking stupid carrot Crocs all weekend and he literally RAN TO THE MALL when we came home from the weekend and bought them. Jesus Christ, calm down, carrot feet.

Anyway, this was in line for the piece of shit Arkham wild mouse ride which ended up being the worst one I’ve ever ridden. I know I JUST said that I hate DC theming but I guess it’s Contrary Day because I loved that each car was themed to a different DC idiot and the ride operator would base his “goodbye” on which one was next. Like for the Penguin, he’d be all, “Enjoy your ride. Waddle waddle waddle.”

One of the cars was named after some Croc DC person that I have never even heard of and now I just felt like the dumb shoes were bullying me.

Henry made a huge deal of hoping that we got the Two Face car because of me and I was like, “Calm down, bro, dang.”

Anyway, we had to split up between two cars because even though they’re 4-seaters, only 2 adults are allowed to ride in each one? And Chooch’s size puts him in the ADULT CATEGORY. He and I had already boarded our car and Henry got practically clotheslined by the ride attendant who told him he had to wait for the next one….

…which was TWO-FACE lololol. And he had to ride ALONE!

But yeah – this ride is a killer. I thought my wrist was going to break from trying in vain to brace myself from being flung around like a ragdoll. Had to buy this ride photo, obvs.

Superman: THE RIDE. There are like 3 of these in the country I think? It’s an Intamin hyper. We’ve been on the one at Six Flags America in Maryland, which I know for sure is a clone of the one at Six Flags Darien Lake (aka the Worst Flags) and I think this one in New England is also a clone. Anyway, we had to wait for a whole whopping 15 minutes and Chooch was like losing his shit over that. Calm down, Carrot.

This ride was soooo rough so I was NOT upset when the line for it grew consistently longer as the day went on because I was for sure not looking forward to any re-rides. Even Chooch was like, “I’m good.”

My review was, “Wow, Intamin has come a long way.”

We then rode Wicked Cyclone, which you can see back there in the distance, but I will talk about that later!!

We ate at Hotheads, which is like Subway but for Mexican food. I was so happy about this because I was able to make a meatless rice bowl and it was GOOD. Usually my options at these places are pizza or REALLY BAD veggie burgers (and that’s if I’m lucky). So I was stoked on Hot Heads. Would recommend. (Not part of the meal plan though, apparently, if that matters to you.)

Chooch may be too old for a lot of things these days, but posing with characters is not one of them.

Thunderbolt is an ACE landmark.

The ops were sooooo slow on this! First of all, the restraint locks are all manual so the ride attendants had to walk to each set of cars and step down on the release so the exiting of the train was painstakingly slow. And they were only running one train. So even though the line didn’t seem that long, it crawled and we stood in it for a good 45 minutes. This was frustrating because the park itself didn’t seem to be too crowded!

Also, you can’t choose your own row and they reserve the last couple of rows for Fast Lane, so we took our seat in the middle and dealt with it. I truly didn’t even care and just wanted to get the whole thing over with at that point. Yes, this ride was a “classic” but it was also super forgettable.

Random non-DC theming.

I do like that one of their kiddie areas is themed to Looney Tunes.

Here are some pictures of Chooch getting that kiddie cred!

OK Sam, stay tuned for Part 2 which will probably be as yawn-inducing as Part 1 – I mean, we had fun but nothing too notable happened, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

Jun 012022
 

Yo, just when you thought I forgot to recap the second day of our recent-ish Cedar Point weekend, here I come peeing on your parade! We’ll do it bullet point-style though and maybe that will make it better.

  • First, I was so nervous because as pass holders, we get early entry, BUT since we had a guest with us who was NOT a pass holder, we weren’t sure if it was going to fly. Henry asked some of the employees at the gate when we were leaving the night before and the one person said that it really depended on which ticket-scanner we got the next morning. She said if it were her, she would allow it, but it was basically the luck of the draw. Henry purposely chose an old lady, thinking that she would be easy to convince, but I swear to god there was a moment when we were certain she was going to say no. Her face got real stern-looking as Henry asked her if Zakk could come in early too, then she stared off into the distance for a split second, and nodded with a sigh. We were so happy! Thank you to THAT lady! Every kid should get to experience early entry at least once, it’s so fucking wonderful.

  • We lined up for Millenium Force immediately, as this is the best bet when it comes to early entry (Steel Vengeance and Maverick weren’t even on the list for it, probably because they never get started on time, who knows). Chooch and Zakk were lagging behind us and then Chooch had the audacity to try and cut in front of two people who got in line behind me and Henry and I was like, “No, you will not be one of those people!” So Chooch, totally appalled, went with Zakk to the back of the line (about 10 more people had got in line behind us while this was happening, sorry Chooch, maybe try to keep up with your “old ‘rents.'”) Hilariously, once we got into the station they still ended up behind us in line for the back row, lol. We ended up being the 4th train of the day, I think. Millie in the Morning, always a great way to start the day!

  • It was Zakk’s first time to ride it and he loved it! I could slap Chooch though because prior to this trip, he was telling me that Zakk was too scared to ride Millie the last time he was at Cedar Point and I was like, “Wow, homeboy needs Chooch to help him conquer his fears.” Yeah but what Chooch failed to me was that Zakk was EIGHT the last time he was there!!

  • We rode Iron Dragon after this for early entry, then Henry had the grand idea to get in the “pre-line” for Maverick since it was 9:40 and the ride should open with the park at 10. Except that it didn’t open with the park at 10 because it was DOWN. Intamin, you’re so frustrating!! But we love you anyway. Here are things that happened in line:
    • Some teenager/early 20s guy casually cut in front of the people behind us and they called him out on it! I mean, they let him stand there for a bit until it looked like the line was going to move and then the lady was like, “Excuse me, I don’t think you belong in this spot. I think you need to go to the back of the line.” This started a super awkward exchange where the kid was like OH I WAS JUST SITTING HERE and she was like “Yeah but this is a line and I think you’re trying to cut” so then he got all flustered and said he was just going to stand near the front of the line and we were like “OK COOL STORY” so he left but joke’s on us because we ended up standing in this fucking line for 90 MINUTES HENRY THANKS SO MUCH. Anyway, it was a good ice breaker though because we ended up talking to that couple for a bit about how line-jumping is such an issue and the biggest problem is that it keeps happening because no one wants to be the person to call them out because you just don’t know who you’re dealing with anymore and the park stuff usually doesn’t want to handle it either because it’s a hassle to GOD FORBID adhered to your policies and remove the INTERLOPER from the park. I don’t think INTERLOPER works here but YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. Anyway, those people were cool. She looked like she could have been a biker bitch in the best sense, and he was super interested in the birds and tried to give one the gum out of his mouth??
    • Somewhere behind us, there was an elementary school-aged boy in a giant t-shirt and huge jeans who kept screaming OPEN THE RIDE!!!!!! Like, furiously shouting this until his voice went hoarse. “I bet he’s fun at sporting events” I said to Henry, who laughed but I know he didn’t hear me. Eventually the kid had enough and stormed off to the front of the line, I guess to confront the Cedar Point employee who was stationed at the ride entrance. Would have loved to have heard that convo!!
    • I was obsessed with the group of….high school seniors, maybe?…that were in front of us. The girls were EXHAUSTED and laying on the ground, complaining about how long we have been in line, and then they were all playing cool games like DUCK DUCK GOOSE (ok only the one girl was actively playing and the rest were just kind of sitting in a circle and refusing to get up) and Ninja which I will never understand. They were super entertaining and seemed like the types of people I would have been friends with in high school so they can stay.
    • SteVe actually opened at 10 so to rub salt in the Maverick wound, we had to stand there watching trains cycle through with happy riders screaming.
    • Everyone in our section of the line were certified ride maintenance workers by the time the ride opened, since we had to stand there watching it being tested. “It’s the second launch, I’m telling you!” I cried to Henry 1000 times until he finally believed me which I know because he tried to co-opt my hypothesis as his own 20 minutes later. “Count how many seconds the trains stay down there [where the second launch happens; it’s like a shed/tunnel]. It’s REALLY LONG, like 12 seconds!” I back  up my theories with evidence, yo. I didn’t get a fake SCIENTIST degree by doing NOTHING.
    • It was a real party atmosphere when the damn thing finally opened. We were close enough to the front of the line that we made it all the way to the steps of the station before coming to a stop. It sucks because if the fucking thing had opened on time, our overall wait time (including when we got in line prior to the ALLEGED 10am opening) would have been about 25 minutes which is SUPER SHORT for dumb Maverick. Look, this ride is great but also kind of overhyped? It is not worth waiting 90 minutes but that was the hole that Henry dug for us on that Sunday morning, so whatever.
    • True to form, as soon as we were loaded onto our train, one of the other ones cycling through the track broke down again so we had to sit in the station while one of the crew played rock paper scissors (it will always be the Korean version for me, thanks) with some of the people waiting to ride. One thing Cedar Point really has going for them is OUTSTANDING ride operators/attendants. This person (wish I had been able to see her name on her tag) was so fun and upbeat, so much so that I wasn’t even aware that she was stalling us at first! Her ability to distract was impeccable.
  • Of course the wait time for SteVe was 15 minutes the whole time we were in line for Maverick, but then shot up to 75 by the time we got off Maverick. Thanks, Henry.

  • I got Henry back by forcing him to ride Gemini, which had a 5 minute wait time despite only running two trains on one side (what is up with all these parks having racing coasters that don’t race?!?! Is Kennywood the only park with a consistently-racing Racer??). We made it all the way to the platform in about five minutes, so that wait time was accurate. HOWEVER. The train that loaded right before it was our turn broke down on the lift hill, so our 5 minute wait turned into about a 25 minute wait lol and as you can tell by that picture of Henry up there, he was T-H-to-the-RILLED. That was dumb, I apologize. Here are things that happened while in line:
    • The one young ride attendant, DAVID, was a really great MC. He was telling us coaster-related jokes, such as WHAT IS A ROLLER COASTER’S FAVE VEG? CELE-WHEEEEEE. I laughed obnoxiously hard at this and Henry muttered, “Stop.” Then David had us take a poll re: pancakes vs. waffles. Waffles won but David was not happy about it. When we finally got to ride, David, who was wearing a headset so everything he said was broadcasted through the station, said, “BYE-eeee” to us but when we rolled past him, I said BYE directly to him, and he said BYE BACK TO ME BUT IT WAS AMPLIFIED THROUGH THE STATION AND I WAS SO EXCITED, LIKE WHEN I’M ABLE TO GET OTR TRUCKERS TO BLOW THEIR HORN (in the most chaste, innocent sense imaginable here thank you). Henry was not amused by any of this, but he was amused by….
    • ….the collection of middle-aged, unhappy looking maintenance men who arrived on the scene. Most notably, Keith. Henry was really into giving a play-by-play of their actions. “OK now here comes RON to stand around also doing nothing. This is just fucking great, Erin.”

  • If Henry wrote a Yelp review for Gemini, it would probably be: I took my hat off for this?

  • Finally got a CHEESE ON A STICK after years of thinking that Carrie’s top rec at Cedar Point was a Bosco Stick, and NEWS ALERT, the stand for which has been removed after said-years of letting people down with their non-stock/non-workers. Anyway, I’m glad that this was actually the thing that Carrie was talking about, because it was divine. I LOVE corn dog batter so I was stoked to be able to get a hotdog-less version. The cheese was so creamy and interesting!! I shared it with Henry but now I wish I had just hogged the whole thing for myself because he was so-so about it in his review. “Well, once you have these in Korea…” he started to mansplain and OK, solid point. But I still thought this was a 10/10 for theme park snacks, go stand somewhere else, Hank.

  • Gatekeeper had pretty short lines all day!

  • Blue Streak selfie. It was almost a walk-on, we love that.
  • Speaking of my PIERCE THE VEIL shirt, the day before when we were in line for Raptor, it was air-dropping central and someone with the phone name CARAPHERNALIA air-dropped me a picture of a kitten and I was screaming because THAT IS THE NAME OF A REALLY GREAT PIERCE THE VEIL SONG so I wanted to air-drop them back a picture of Vic (the singer) but they weren’t accept air drops, TYPICAL. Anyway, I thought it was pretty coincidental since I packed my PTV shirt for the weekend trip. I wish I had been wearing it that day though instead! Also, the park person at the entrance of Rougarou said she liked my shirt <3

  • Um, OK Sunflower burger, I see you! I got this from one of the local food trucks that set up shop inside the park (super big props to Cedar Point for allowing this!!) and it was so delicious and healthy that I was inspired to return to the food truck to tell them so. I DID A GOOD, you guys. I DID A GOOD.
  • Meanwhile, Henry got mac & cheese and pretzel bites (hoo boy, they were so good and the opposite of healthy) from another food truck and was still eating when I happened to look at the CP app and screamed, “STEVE HAS A 10 MINUTE WAIT.” It must have been down and then recently reopened because those are the only times you will see wait times that low! Poor Henry wasn’t done eating but I was like CHOP CHOP MOTHERCHEFFER so he had to shovel down the rest while hunched over and walking to the garbage can, and then I inevitably got an earful about how “I thought this was supposed to be A SLOW-PACED weekend” lolol when is it ever? Bitch, I don’t know how to be slow!

  • It took us probably FIFTEEN MINUTES to get to the SteVe because there is no fast way to get from one side of the park to the other PLUS that fucking train was crossing right in front of the SteVe plaza and I was so pissed. The asshole manning the entrance of SteVe (literally the only sour CP employee we encountered all weekend and he was at this post both days) was like, “DON’T RUN. THE RIDE IS CEMENTED DOWN AND NOT GOING ANYWHERE.” I thought he was scolding me but Henry said it was the kids behind us. Whatever, I still hated this guy for yelling about fanny packs when they clearly can fit in the free lockers so I took everything out of mine (just my phone and lipgloss lol) and then folded the fanny pack so Henry could shove it in his pocket in order for us to get past the FANNY PACK WARDEN. Then, OMG, all of our stuff fit perfectly in a free locker, can you even believe it. Anyway, the above picture is where we ended up in line as soon as we got there, and if you know anything about SteVe’s queue line, you know that this is A GOOD SPOT, like almost to where Fast Pass entrance is and pretty close to where the lockers are.
    • Some broad behind us in mentioned wearing steeltoed boots to a concert. Henry mumbled “Only time I’d wear those would be if I was carrying steel.” Me: THATS ACTUALLY WHAT THOSE ARE FOR?? Henry: yeah, what did you think they were for?” Me: Kicking ppl?! Henry: NO!
      • See also: the things you learn when in line for SteVe.
    • We asked for the back row this time (lol the crew just loves that) and the guy reluctantly allowed it. This made me really confused all over again over which is better: SteVe or Iron Gwazi??? I think I am still siding with IG because it was just more ridiculous and fun and we were able to ride it multiple times in one visit. Good luck doing that with SteVe unless you have Fast Pass or Fast Lane, whatever they call it.

  • We rode the train for the first time ever! I had no idea that it was actually themed. It was fun!

  • We also rode the skyride for the first time! It’s pretty lame though because it doesn’t traverse the whole park, but it was still nice to relax for a minute and take in the nice views. Cedar Point is extremely photogenic. I will now proceed to clog your sight-orbs with pictures for no reason:

  • In line for Rougarou – last ride of the day before having to leave, wah :( I hate that CP is like, nearly a 3 hour drive. I would have stayed until it closed otherwise, but it was a SCHOOL NIGHT and we had someone else’s kid with us.

  • Told Chooch we were leaving at 5 but then he and Zakk got stuck in line for Millie so Henry and sat around eating popcorn when we should have just gone and ridden something near the front of the park and had them meet us there, ugh.

  • Leaving amusement parks is definitely one of the “sometimes moody” occasions.

BYE CEDAR POINT! TIL NEXT TIME! (Maybe while Chooch is in Mexico lol.)

May 252022
 

In addition to eating at Melt  (which took longer than any line we stood in all weekend, by the way, so excruciating!), we had great luck on rides! First I should note that as soon as we got to the park that Saturday, Chooch and his friend Zakk immediately went off on their own, as expected. I mean, I certainly didn’t want to hang out with two 16-year-olds anyway! So it was just Henry and me, like we were on a date or something. It was crazy!! The last time we went to an amusement park alone was before Chooch existed, and now the park we went to no longer exists! (Geauga Lake in Ohio – can’t remember if it was a Six Flags then or not…)

Technically, the last time we went to without CHOOCH specifically was King’s Island in 2005 but I was actually in the very beginning of my first trimester, unknowingly, but I’m not counting that because Christina and their sister were with us so it was less DATE-ISH.

Henry kept trying to hold my hand, even. I would allow it for a moment but then I’d say, “OK it’s too hot for this, go away now.”

We were kind of nervous when we got to Cedar Park because there was a SHIT LOAD of school buses there. I guess a bunch of school bands were doing a thing that day. Somehow, it wasn’t as crowded as we anticipated though, and Henry and I immediately rode Gatekeeper after waiting for only about 30 minutes which IS NOT BAD. Somehow Henry had never ridden it before because he claims that he doesn’t “care for” wing coasters that much. Wow, what an elitist.

But then he admitted that it was “good.”

Steel Vengeance was “only” a 60 minute wait at one point so we got in line after the DICK at the entrance yelled at me about my fanny pack which is totally small enough to fit in the free lockers inside the ride line, but OK DICK. He was the only sour Cedar Point employee we encountered all weekend, and his demeanor was exactly the same both days.

“How many pictures of this do you need?” Henry asked while I snapped away in line.

One for every ugly, plain gray t-shirt you have. Get ready for some iron-on action, big guy.

Of course it ended up being a longer wait than an hour but whatever. The thing I say in my head now while standing in line for roller coasters is: what would I be doing if I wasn’t here right? Probably sitting on the couch at home.

So who cares.

I will say that one of the most annoying things about Steel Vengeance is that it’s in a corner of the park that’s cut off by train tracks and I EFFING SWEAR TO GOD every time we’re in a rush to get there, that motherfucking TRAIN is going by so the stupid gate is down and a crowd of antsy people is forming, ready to rush the damn thing.

But Jesus, when it was finally our time to get on this thing, I was so stoked. I do think that Iron Gwazi has edged SteVe out just a tiny bit, but if anyone ever tells you that Steel Vengeance is overrated or overhyped, they’re a fucking joyless idiot. This coaster is everything. I guarantee if you ride it, you will have no idea what hit you. It really takes you there, lol.

A stupid post-Melt selfie. We were going to “casually walk around” and “digest” but then Valravyn had a 15 minute wait because it must have been down and we walked by right after t reopened, so we jumped on that. I don’t really care much for this one, because, like Henry and his hipster opinion of wing coasters, dive coasters aren’t really my jam. They’re one-trick ponies and just don’t do much for me, and Valrayvn (I have no idea how to spell this) is actually my least favorite of all of them.

Henry has never ridden this one though so I felt that we had to do it. The line moved so fast because people weren’t really using Fast Lane thank god. The most exciting part was when a young kid (maybe 9th grade?) told me he liked my tattoo and then said, “Must be a special cat.” YES, YES, SHE WAS, THANK YOU FOR RECOGNIZING THAT, BOY-O.

Here is a picture of Raptor (a better coaster) while in line for Valrayvn. Seriously, how do you spell that? I don’t feel like looking it up.

Really excited.

I love this part of Cedar Point! Frontiertown or whatever the fuck! However, I usually only see it in a blur when I’m running from Millenium Force to Maverick or Steel Vengeance. It was nice to “take it easy” this time around. I mean, we kind of did. There was a moment on Sunday when we were eating lunch in the little food truck area across from Iron Dragon when I happened to see that SteVe had A FIFTEEN MINUTE WAIT. I was like, “BITCH, WE GOTTA HAUL” – Henry and I nearly knocked the table over in our frenzy. And if you know the layout of the park, you know there is NO SHORT CUT to the other side of the park, so we had to speedwalk through Frontiertown and then GET STUCK WAITING FOR THAT FUCKING TRAIN TO PASS, ugh. But that was Sunday and we’re only talking about Saturday, so.

More shots of SteVe.

OMG did I even know that Cedar Point has a Troika?! We never have time to do flat rides usually but we did this time and Henry was so thrilled.

Especially when the ride operator was like, “Who’s ready to ride?” and I was the only one who screamed, and then when she said, “Come on you can do better than that” I was the only one who screamed even more maniacally.

“OK that’ll do,” she said as she started the ride.

“I CARRIED THAT WHOLE THING ON MY BACK!!!” I screamed as we were spun into the air. “YOU’RE WELCOME!!”

Love making Henry ride flat rides, lol.

Raptor selfe.

Henry hates inverts but I made him ride this anyway because the line was only like, 30 minutes and I haven’t ridden this since 2019. I forgot how GOOD IT IS. Also, I think B&M inverts are my second favorite coaster type??? If you don’t know my #1, then do you even read this crappy word cemetery?

MAGNUM SELFIE! The park closed at 8pm that night and we JUST BARELY made it into this line. The girl at the line entrance just got the call to close the line off but we slipped right on through while she had her back turned, lol.

Henry hates Magnum so much but I pouted until he gave in. I always win!

Anyway, we ended up being the third to the last train of the night, but when we came back into the station, there were only a few other people waiting in line for the last train of the night. Henry and I had already gotten out but the kids behind us asked if they could stay on. The ride attendant who bore an uncanny resemblance to my brother Ryan said yes so I screamed, “OMG US TOO????” and he laughed and nodded. Henry was like, “Have fun with that,” and left lol.

Here I am on the last train of the night! You can tell Henry took this with his shitty phone because it’s a weird size. I hate when he takes pictures with his phone. But anyway, Magnum is so painful but it makes me laugh so hard and that last tunnel with the lights and space sound effects is just SO GOOD. Henry said it feels like it’s running on square wheels, and I do agree with that, lol. It’s a fucking spine smasher, that’s for sure.

Anyway, I was so excited to tell Chooch that I ended my night on Magnum, but in true Chooch fashion, he up-staged me….

…by not only getting to be one of the last trains of the night on Steel Vengeance….

….but being allowed to stay on making his train the ACTUAL last train of the night….

….AND HE WAS IN THE BACK ROW!!!!

THAT IS THE FUCKING DREAM!

We knew that he and Zakk were in line for this so we had already walked over to the area to wait for them. We watched the one train return to the station and everyone on it just erupted in a massive chorus of ONE MORE RIDE! ONE MORE RIDE! Henry was like, “I think they’re on that one….” and sure enough, we spotted Chooch’s striped shirt as the final train of the night roared past us. I was SO JEALOUS but also extremely stoked for him because that is fucking AWESOME and you know what else makes it even better? It was Zakk’s first (and second!) ride on Steel Vengeance, so what a fucking way to experience it!

When they got off and rejoined us, I yelled, “I HATE YOU SO MUCH!” Chooch was straight gloating, and Zakk said, “I can see why that’s your favorite!” It turns out they actually rode it THREE TIMES: when they got off the first time, the crew was like, “If you hurry, you might make it back into the line before they close it…” so they ran off and around, managed to be one of the last people to squeeze into the line, and then that’s when they got the back-to-back SteVe special. SICKENING!!

At this point, the park was CLOSED so our walk out was super quiet and peaceful. I love the feel of an amusement park after-hours. I also love that Cedar Point doesn’t shut down lines before the park closes. I have to give them so much credit for that. So pro-tip, loiter around the entrance of SteVe and wait until a minute before the park closes to get in line, I guess!

This is them on the last train of the night. UGH.

At least he granted me one selfie, lol.

What a great first day. <3

May 242022
 

Guys, we went to Cedar Point last weekend as a belated birthday “party” for Chooch which I think I probably mentioned in some scattered blog post or another at some point. He brought his friend Zakk. It was one of the best times I’ve had at Cedar Point to date, which is a huge feat considering how finicky this place can be.

Back when our friend Jason still lived in Cleveland, we used to meet up with him at Melt for some pre-show grilled cheese action. This was when Melt was still new and novel and didn’t have a ton of locations spread across Ohio. So when Cedar Point got their own special Melt location, it wasn’t that exciting to us.

However! Jason no longer lives in Cleveland and we no longer road-trip there constantly for concerts, so it’s been A MINUTE since I burnt my mouth by scarfing a Melt original too zealously. Normally we don’t do sit-down meals at parks but I thought it would be nice to pencil it in this time since it was kind of a special occasion and Chooch had a friend with him.

I checked in with Chooch around 2 and he said that they were both ready to eat too, but they were in line for Magnum. Henry and I had just gotten off Steel Vengeance (<3) so I told him we’d just walk to Magnum and wait for them there. He texted me again right as we got to Magnum and said they were in the station about to get on.

Oh, good! We were just in time to see their train leave the station and then promptly get stuck on the lift hill, lol.

At first, we thought that someone got busted with their phone out because one of the Magnum crew people left the station and walked up the track to them. She was going back and forth, stopping at certain rows, so we weren’t sure what was going on at that point. Then she left and a few minutes later, another crew person went down under the lift hill and pushed a button as a recording came on that said ATTN THIS RIDE WILL NOW RESTART so that was fun to watch.

Magnum’s manual literally says, “Turn it off and then turn it back on.”

This ride is soooo janky but iconic and incredibly photogenic.

LOL Chooch.

Finally, we were reunited as a QUAD and walked together (sort of) to Melt. I was happy that it wasn’t crowded AT ALL and a little surprised when the hostess said it would be a 20 minute wait. I looked around at all the empty tables and said, “OK. We’ll wait.” The place was literally at like, less than 25% capacity, but OK.

We had JUST sat down in the waiting area, and the hostess was calling my name, cradling a stack of menus in her arms. Literally less than a minute after she told us it would be 20 minutes?? Did she mean 20 seconds??

I loved that Melt’s decor was a marriage of the traditional Melt aesthetic (vintage plastic holiday yard statues, old school arcade vibes, etc) with historical Cedar Point memorabilia.

Anyway, it quickly became clear that when the hostess said “20 minutes,” she meant 20 minutes for the waiter to take our order which was whatever, but it became progressively longer between returns to our table. He was really personable at first but then gave us less attention every time he got a new table and I was super butt hurt over this.

Meanwhile, Chooch ordered some type of “wet” chicken sandwich but refused to say the “wet” part and just sort of pointed at it instead. He got the vegetarian version of his and I got the vegan version of the BIG PARMA (a whole one so Henry and I could share). Henry got an order of tofu wings, and Zakk just got chicken strips – lame!

It took so long for our food to come out. It’s frustrating when you see tables that were seated way after you get their food first. People were coming and going and we were all just sitting there, idly sipping our drinks and looking at our phones….

…well, the guys at my table were looking at their phones. I was looking at everyone else’s food around me and eye-stalking the young food runner who kept coming out of the kitchen with NOT OUR food.

And then when our food did come, they only brought me a half of my sandwich like they were TRYING TO TELL ME SOMETHING (“It’s called smaller portions, HONEY”). This was an issue because I knew we were going to get charged for a whole, and also because half of this was supposed to be Henry’s. But the way I said, “I ordered a whole,” came off sooo bitch-babyish. It was like I had floated over myself and just in time to witness the stampy-foot whine come out of my mouth, like I was complaining that Santa brought me a brown pony when I ASKED FOR A BLACK ONE WITH A WHITE DIAMOND ON HER NOSE.

Whatever. Some people find this side of me endearing, like Veruca Salt Lite.

Meanwhile, Henry was mumbling, “Don’t worry about it” but I was like BABE I GOT THIS. (LOL I would never call him that, FYI.) Anyway, I got the other half of my sandwich in less than 5 but then it seemed like our waiter liked us less after this so I was sad because I really liked him but it was clear that he was only interested in playing with all his SHINY NEW TABLES.

We cut Chooch and Zakk loose after they were finished eating because it became clear that we weren’t going to get our check anytime soon. So now with those two gone, we had an open window to the table in front of us: a mom and dad with a daughter who was about 4, a boy who was like 3, and then a super little baby. The girl spilled her chocolate milk ALL OVER HERSELF and started crying, which brought me so much joy. So the mom dumped the baby on the dad was took the crying girl into the bathroom to mop her off.

“Wow, she actually got all the stains out,” Henry marveled when they returned. Laundry-related things excite Henry greatly.

Still waiting for our check, and now these two older women were standing right next to our table, like so close that I actually thought maybe we had been there that long that Chooch and Zakk had grown up into middle-aged women? Turns out they were looking for the chocolate milk bitch. They finally spotted her (I mean, she was literally at the next table, put your fucking glasses on maybe) and handed her a bag from the gift shop with a NEW FUCKING T-SHIRT IN IT (well, obviously new – I assume it wasn’t off the back of some other child-bitch). I can’t remember what the damn thing said now but it was purple and had like a cupcake on it that said best day ever, or something, like why wouldn’t you get a Cedar Point-specific t-shirt, but OK.

So now the dumb girl was happy again and I really needed to pay the damn check and get away from this Church of the Latter Day Saints commercial.

First of all, how do those women even know that this kid deserves a non-milky, dry t-shirt? She could be a terrible kid!! She could have a record at pre-school!! What if she’s a kindercare bully?? There could be a row of mutilated, naked babydolls in her closet!

I felt very conflicted over this good Samaritan spectacle.

“I would never do something like that for a kid,” I murmured around my straw (paper even, go Melt!) as I took a sip of water, and Henry said, “Yeah I know.”

But then! Her little brother fell out of his chair – not even all the way. It was a super slow descent where he lazily ping-ponged between his chair and his dad’s chair, and didn’t even hit the ground, but still somehow hurt himself enough that he started wailing, so now the mom had to take the baby from the dad so that the dad could hold the screaming toddler in his lap.

IT WAS ALL TOO MUCH.

I wasn’t ruling out the possibility that he did this on purpose so that someone would buy him a shirt too. We made eye contact while he was crying and I hope that I was able to convey in my returned glare that it wasn’t going to be me, buddy.

Finally, we got to pay the damn bill and get the FUCK out of there. Great food but easily one of the most frustrating Melt experiences of my life, lol ugh.