Sep 192023

We left Djurs Sommerland around 8:00PM and set off for Farup Sommerland in….Dommerborg? Looking at a map, and um, OK I guess we’ll go with that. You’d think by now I could accurately decode a map like a regular adult but no. I’m always gonna be true to myself.

The park we were leaving is to the right of Randers so that should give a general sense of the drive. I’m going to guess it was about a two hour drive.

First though, I had to take blurry building pictures like I’m in 5th grade on a tour bus all over again, and then fucking scream into the crook of my arm and we passed THIS AWFUL, DISTURBING, DISGUSTING THING:


Anyway, this was also the bus ride where we found out that all ferry service was suspended due to this area of Scandinavia basically being hit by the biggest storm they’ve seen in over 20 years. It was called STORM HANS, I believe, and while the weather at Djurs was not ideal, it honestly didn’t seem like it was THAT intense. Well, we’d have a very different experience the next day…

I think I always updated about this from the bus the next day, but what happened was Tim, in a position I truly did not envy, was tasked with giving us our options:

Skip Norway, which was supposed to happen via ferry after departing the next day’s park, or drive all the way back down through Denmark, switch bus drivers in Copenhagen, drive across the bridge to Sweden, and basically drive UP through Sweden to Norway. This was a very contentious moment on the bus, and I was worried that the votes would be split, or lean more towards skipping Norway. I did not want to miss out on Norway! Either way, ferry or by bus, we would not really get to see much of Norway outside of the park anyway, so in my eyes, it was still worth going just for the park. I wanted to be in Norway, you guys! I wanted that country cred!

Chooch was like furiously shaking his head NO to overnight bus ride, but I was like YES, WE ARE VOTING YES AS A FAMILY. Even Henry was like, “We’re doing it. We’re going to Norway. Suck it up.”

There was MAJOR debating going on behind us amongst all the younger guys that I desperately wanted to be friends with. They were suggesting things like booking flights on Ryan Air but then someone pointed out that nearly everyone on the bus had checked bags with them so that wouldn’t work.

“All I know is that if we do this, everyone better take a mandatory shower tomorrow morning. At gun point.”

And this started a whole tense exchange with another passenger, culminating in an actual moment of collective “OOOOOOOHHHHHH”ing. It was….stressful.

First, Tim shook a show of hands and it seemed like most people raised theirs in favor of the busride. But then he came back, after conferring with his right hand man, Austin, and had everyone type out their vote on their phone so that he could just walk around and get an anonymous tally.

I confidently typed out OVERNIGHT on my phone and then pointed to Henry and Chooch, and said, “This vote is for ALL OF US” and Chooch just glowered at me. Dude, you’re 17, you can handle this. Get a grip, pal.

Later, Tim came back and said that the vote for the overnight bus ride was overwhelming, so WE WON. NORWAY’S A GO.

I mean, no, this wasn’t ideal but the fact that Tim worked to slap together an option for us, working with the current bus driver (amazing guy btw), and just overall putting himself in a really shitty position – it really meant a lot and it showed for the millionth time of this trip so far how good his character is. Honestly, I get teary just thinking about Tim and how well he took care of us. He was like, and hear me out because I’ve never actually done this as a kid, the best camp counselor ever. The kind that makes a huge impact on your life in your formative years, you know? I mean, I’ve watched coming of age camp-related movies and TV shows, so I’m basically experienced in this area.

When we arrived at the Farup Hotel that night, it was suddenly clear that this storm was no joke. The wind was INTENSE as we were trying to claim our luggage (note Henry and his Hero Complex up there assisting the bus driver – such a suck-up, it’s unreal sometimes) and I was lowkey starting to get a bit scared. Looking at the map I posted up there, I’m not sure I realized how far north we actually were.

Everyone had to congregate in the lobby while Tim called a family meeting. I thought it was going to be a CAMPFIRE TALK about being nice to one another in these tense times, but really it was just that some of the singles were going to be put in rooms for four because this was a family hotel, meaning that there were two beds for adults and then the cutest BUNK BED NOOK for kids but also large enough to accommodate adults of a certain size. I think it was mostly the younger guys that got lumped together. I know some of the older singles like Pam paid extra to get their own single supplement without having to be paired up with a roommate. This also brought back memories of the family Euro trips of the past, where there would be older women usually that ended up as roommates and sometimes they became friends, sometimes they….did not.

Chooch was STOKED for the bunk beds but he was also a fucking pistol that night and went to bed hungry; we went and got snacks but he refused to come out of his bed and indulge and then fell asleep angry and hungry – good job, brat!

Dude, these rooms though. So fucking presh. We had a little balcony but every time we opened the door, the wind was so strong that it felt like it was going to rip the door off the hinges. Just hearing the wind blasting through the woods outside our room was ominous and gave me big chills. I was really wondering if our day at the park was even going to happen the next morning.

Snacks for non-bitches. I miss Kims!! These snacks were so good.


Ahhhh, one of the park’s mascots is A SQUIRREL.

OK, that brings us to DAY FIVE, which we will talk about tomorrow or sometime this week, I swear.

Sep 152023

Um, I took this picture yesterday of my Coffee Cup of the Day thinking that I was going to finish this post, but well, that didn’t happen so let’s pretend this is Friday’s Coffee Cup of the Day. OK great!

Speaking of this cup though, I was happy that a lot of these parks had these camping-type of coffee cups as an option so I wasn’t lugging home a bunch of freaking ceramic or whatever the standard coffee cup is made out of.

Jesus Christ. What a snoozer of an intro.

The one thing I forgot to mention in my last post was that while we were at lunch, we were taking about how shitty the weather was and Eric jokingly asked Tim if the ferry ride the next night was still going to happen.

Tim got real serious and said he didn’t know, it was up in the air and he would let us know as soon as he found out.

OH SHIT this was definitely not something that I considered – I knew the weather was shit but I didn’t realize that in other parts of Scandinavia, it was REALLY BAD. So…that was ominous!

Most of the crew remained under shelter but I was getting antsy to explore more of the park, plus I REALLY wanted coffee. And Chooch apparently really wanted a milkshake.

OMG there was this playground area that I explored for a bit with Chooch. It got precarious inside the climbing part so I gave up like the quitter I am and actually, it was a really good thing because the only way down after that point was a slide. THIS SLIDE pictured above. I happened to be standing a few feet away from the bottom of the slide when Chooch came SHOOTING out of it, skidded across the ground on his ass, and nearly knocked me over like a duck pin.

Dude. Danish playgrounds man.

Here’s an Insta reel of some of his most dumb-dumb moments in Denmark:

I loved this log flume! I saw my first ever real life SLUG just chilling on the side of the ride right before we went up a lifthill and of course Chooch didn’t believe me, so when we came back to the station, I asked the guy if we could ride again and he was SO HAPPY to send us back around. You guys, there weren’t that many people there because of the weather, and the people that WERE there were not queueing up for a water ride, mm.

Anyway, of course on the second lap, the slug wasn’t there anymore!

This was the moment I discovered that Scandinavian sprinkles ARE THE BEST. They were crunchy and tasted like the sweet part of a Sweet Tart. So amazing. I miss these so much.

Chooch said this looked like Penelope :(

We did ride some of the kids’ ride, of course! There was one young guy operating three of the rides, and he seemed genuinely thrilled when we walked up to ask if we could ride. When the ride was over, he asked us if we wanted to ride again and we were like, “Mmm, no we’re good, thanks.”

Random self-operated water slide:

Oh this ride was great once Chooch realized that he had control of when the car lifted in the air and then timed it so every time we passed one of the statues squirting water, I’d get it.


It was somewhere in this area where I was so giddy and laughing to the point where I REALLY almost peed my pants and had to run to the nearest bathroom. Honestly, the weather was trash but shit, it was such a good day. For the rest of my life when I think of Djurs Sommerland, I’m going to think of, well, shivering, but also laughing so much over everything!

This was the first park of the trip where we got exclusive ride time! We all met up at Juvelen at 6pm, when the park officially closed, and then we got 30 minutes of chaotic ERT on Juvelen. It was so much fun because basically when your train come back to the station, instead of exiting you’d get out the way you came in and either fill an empty seat or just squeeze back into the queue and wait for the next train rather than running all the way back around to the entrance. Everyone was really courteous and cautious though so it wasn’t like you were being mowed down by a mob of thoosies every time you tried to get off the ride. I think this was one of the first times that we rode with ALL of our group, no interlopers, and let me tell you, being on a coaster filled front to back with enthusiasts is really a fucking hype experience. The only other time this happened for us was last year at the Coastin’ by the Ocean event at Morey’s Piers – riding Great White after midnight with a pack of loud-mouth thoosies was something I’ll next forget lol.

Next, we all ran over to Piraten, where another 30 minutes of ERT went down.

ERT on Piraten!!   I just realized that Henry got to ride this with Kevin #2! I don’t think I rode anything with Kevin #2. Anyway, what I will tell you about Piraten is that it’s an Intamin Mega Lite which probably means nothing to you but if you read my recent post about King’s Dominion, it’s been compared to a mini-Intimidator 305. Which still might not mean anything to you! I thought it was fun, and I was really thrilled that we got to ride it, but it was also A BIT underwhelming. I heard people saying that the weather was preventing it from running to its full potential.

I could only last about 2 or 3 rounds on this because I was so fucking cold. Literally, the next day, my whole body ached from the amount of shivering I was doing all day long at Djurs! So the three of left the station after getting a handful of rides and hung out in the courtyard-like area next to Piraten and watched train after train being sent with the insane, unhinged Coaster Crew members. At one point, Tony came over and showed me his phone. “Look at this picture!” he cried. “It looks like the thumbnail for a clickbait post. ‘Brawl breaks out on a roller coaster!'”

Turns out, they started playing PASS THE SWORD, where the ride operator handed someone in the first row a toy sword, and then once the train crested the hill and started its descent, that person would have to pass it to the person behind me, and so on, until the last person on that side got it and would have to pass it to the person they were sitting with so that the sword could then make its way back up to the front. They had to see how many rounds the sword could be passed before the train came back to the station, and then the people in the next train would have to try to beat them.

It looked and sounded like absolute chaos. I told Tony that this was only possible because I was no longer riding – there is NO WAY I would have been able to pass that thing on a moving roller coaster without dropping it!


Not my photos! I got these from the event page:

You guys, after this, we got to walk through the maintenance shed, complete with a NUDIE CALENDAR on the wall that I desperately wanted to take a picture of but the universe provided me with no good ops.

This was actually really cool. I wasn’t geeking as hard as some of those hardcore thoosies and YouTubers, but I still could appreciate it!

They were all like lovingly stroking  the wheels of the second train and naming out parts of it that meant nothing to me but I was really into it anyway. People’s excitement is contagious, you guys. I think I’m only immune to like, the excitement of Swifties.




You can actually hear me sigh like a little bitch and say, “Ugh it’s so cold.” And hear that wind?!? SPOILER ALERT: It would be way worse the next day. :)

Overall, LOVED this park bigly. It was the first one of the trip this far that really felt like the type of park that we’re used to here in the states, with a wide range of rides and a really great and varied collection of coasters. I would love to come back to this park someday, especially if they ever add a new coaster to the lineup!


On the walk back to the bus, Eric and Marie were talking about the huge slugs they saw around the park that day and I practically threw myself at them while screaming, “OMG SAME” and then whirled around on Chooch to still scream but now with an angry tone “SEE I TOLD YOU THERE WERE SLUGS HERE!!!!” Chooch was like, “Mm.” I FUCKING SWEAR TO GOD THERE WAS ON THE LOG FLUME AND HE LOOKED LIKE ONE OF THE EXTRAS IN LABYRINTH.

Sep 132023

Monday was our third full day with Coaster Crew and we had another delectable breakfast buffet to explore, this time at the Helnan Marselis Hotel in Aarhus. We knew it was going to be a rainy and very chilly day, but everyone was in good spirits at breakfast. Cassie sat with us, and then a bit later when I saw Pam come in, I told Henry to hurry up and finish eating so she could have his seat, lol. He was like, “Whatever, I have to finish packing anyway,” and lumbered away. I waved Pam over and said, “Pam! Pam! Sit here with us.”

“Where’s Henry?” she asked, and when I told her I sent him away so she could sit with me and Cassie, she gave me a faux-disappointed face and said, “Poor Henry!”

Chooch realized quickly that he was sitting with all women, so he excused himself. Byeeeee. Anyway, this was one of my favorite breakfasts because we talked about RELATIONSHIP things and then Pam said she saw all of Kevin’s tattoos the night before and I screamed, “OMG REALLY” because I was low-key stanning her and Kevin and she said matter-of-factly, “Yeah, he was at the pool last night.”


Other things that happened before leaving the hotel:

  • Judy and I bonded over Sugar in the Raw (she brought her own and told me I was welcome to use some whenever I needed because sweetener options were either straight up sugar cubes or these teeny-tiny aspartame tablets that were infuriatingly difficult to get out of the package.
  • Sam broke his umbrella when he was trying to leave through the hotel’s front door and I don’t know why this scene is seared into my memory, but there it is.
  • Cassie was asking people to give her the hotel body lotion if they didn’t want it, because she really liked the scent. Someone came up the steps of the bus with a lotion and said, “Someone was asking for this, but I can’t remember who.” A few of us said Cassie, so Tim took it and said, “Pass this to Cassie” which turned into “Passie to Cassie” and I don’t know why but this was one of those things that was SO FUNNY AND MEMORABLE TO ME??

When we left Aarhus that morning after breakfast, the rain was still coming down heavily. I think we all had pretty much accepted that this was going to be the theme of the day, take it or leave it. We have dealt with rainy park days many times back home so I wasn’t too bothered about this, just was nervous that maybe some rides wouldn’t be running.

Here is a video of moist scenery and bus chatter.

MAP FOR REFERENCE. Djurs Sommerland is located in Nimtofte – Battrupholt, whatever that means. The park’s address is actually listed as DJURSLAND which makes more sense. Apparently, Nimtofte is a nearby VILLAGE. Look at us, learning about the world together! Should we try to do a blank map test at the end of all of these recaps??

We arrived right before 10AM. Mark had already been there before and was like, “I’ll show you the secret way!” to his friends and ran into the woods. I wanted to go that way too because again, Desperate in Denmark, but Henry put it in my head that they might have been going that way to pee?! I DON’T THINK THAT THEY WERE, BUT OK.

Ugh, I wanted to be accepted by this group of cool guys so badly, but they were probably like OK MOM.

Going the non-secret way, the totally PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE way.

That smiling sun! Even on a rainy day, it felt so welcoming! Hello, Scandinavia’s biggest amusement park!

Chooch’s OOTD though.

My first impression of this park was that it was fairly big and SPACIOUS. Really wide paths, an ADORABLE kids area themed to farm animals, and a bunch of trampolines and death-trap play areas with some of the scariest slides I’ve ever seen. Slides that would never fly in America past like, 1998.

I know that the first thing we did was get the kiddie coaster out of the way with some other people from our group. In fact, now that I’m looking back on this day, there really weren’t many other people there but our group. And all of the rides were open! So, sometimes it pays to go to an amusement park on a rainy day, yo. I am basically a Professor of Fun so this is a fact and not just an OPINION.

Next was our first Thor-themed ride of the trip, Thor’s Hammer! Chooch took this photo of the ride operator and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since- she looks so sinister! ZOOM IN ON HER FACE, FAM. This was one of my favorite rides, too! Just a fun, quirky family coaster.

I didn’t take very many pictures of the rides this day because of THE RAIN, but after this, we rode Juvelen which Arnold taught us literally translates to the jewel, but it’s pronounced yoovelen I think he said.

Also, who is Arnold? This was the first time we chatted with him; he is this supremely friendly guy from Orlando (I think he even said he works at Disney!) who was always smiling and was just a joy to talk to, honestly.

Anyway, Juvelen is a multi-launch straddle coaster and also has the distinction of being Denmark’s longest coaster. I was really hyped for it because I had watched a video where it was MODERATELY compared to Hagrid’s without the theming and gimmicks. I mean, OK. I could see that, a little bit! I thought it was fun, and actually kind of aggressive after the second launch which was unexpected. But it didn’t make me scream, “JANNNNAAAAA!” if you know what I mean.

Chooch got his 300th coaster cred on Piraten, the park’s Intamin mega-lite, and also our very first Intamin mega-lite! We will talk more about this in my next post, because we had ERT on this coaster after the park closed and also got a tour of the infield, which was a big highlight.

DragenKongen is Europe’s longest and fasted launched family suspended coaster, apparently! I wasn’t aware of that at the time, but I REALLY loved this. The queue was so entertaining because the ride op screams something crazy in Danish before the launch and it just really gets you pumped, YOU KNOW? Maybe it wouldn’t be enough to get you pumped. Maybe you also call for a more bigly Viking send-off, like being set on fire first. And that’s OK too! That’s your preference. But for some of us, being hollered at furiously is enough to get it done.

I would also like  to insert here that it wasn’t raining when we were waiting in line for this (only about a 15 minute wait, probably the longest wait of the day!) but as soon as we got on it and it launched us out of the station, we were like OH OK, HI RAIN, WE SEE YOU. I mean, it was coming down pretty hard. Henry and I both cracked and went to a gift shop to buy ponchos (they are REALLY nice souvenirs too!) but Chooch said, “No, I’m good. I like water and I don’t get cold.”

You guys, it was fucking so chilly that day. I had on long sleeves, a jacket, and jeans but it was not enough for that August day in Denmark, somehow. I packed in preparation for chilly weather, but purposely didn’t bring hoodies or sweaters because those take up so much space in luggage! I had The Regertz on this day though.

Djurs has a family power coaster in their brand new Dinosaurland, and we rode it in the pouring rain with Kevin, Pam, and Marie. I was like, “KEVIN CAN I RIDE WITH YOU” because he had the front seat, and stupid Henry and Chooch were like, “We’ll show her for branching out” and went all the way to the very back in order to get the furthest away from me, is my guess. Anyway, I was so giddy about this that I bought the on-ride photo even though it’s not even that remarkable, it’s a memento of the first time I rode something with Kevin and Pam, even though you can’t see Pam because she was sitting behind me!

Everyone was ready for the lunch buffet though, hungry or not, because it provided shelter! This buffet actually had a lot of options for us veg-heads (I still think it was just Chooch and me out of like approx. 70 people; I really thought there would have been at least one other!). There were these unknown fried pockets up there and while I was pretty sure they were samosas, Johnny took one for the team and ate one while we were in line.

“Just potatoes!” he confirmed. “And some spices.”

“Is it a samosa?” I asked.

“Hmm. I’m not sure.”

It was a samosa.

Anyway, I sat with Pam, Kevin, Marie, and Eric (Marie and Eric also sat right in front of us for the entire trip on the bus UNTIL we got a new bus after Gothenburg, Sweden. I was sad, but they just moved over to the seats across the aisle. It was enough to screw with me though. I hate change.)

Anyway, I got this picture off of the event’s Facebook page that I was illegally perusing with my FAKE FB ACCOUNT that I had to create in order to make Instagram ads for my stupid card shop which I don’t even do anymore (the ads, I still make the cards) and my account has no picture and no friends and no information other than my basic-ass name so it looks like a goddamn sock puppet account and also I never even logged in to it until this damn trip happened and everything was being posted on Facebook and not emailed.

OK now that that explanation is out of the way, this picture is hilarious to me because Henry and Chooch were sitting alone and of course Henry is cavemanning food into his gaping maw at the exact moment someone took a picture because he just can’t help himself but to be THE MOST EMBARRASSING. But I also love it because…it’s so many of my people. I miss them. And even the best bus driver, the one who left us after Denmark, is in this picture! If you look for the guy in the reddish/maroon shirt, the bus driver is across from him in the white dress shirt and tie – he was so friendly and immersive!

OK, let’s end here for today and story time can resume at some point probably tomorrow BUT I AM NOT PROMISING ANYTHING. Chooch and I are demo’ing three tennis rackets and we had the BEST TIME on the courts with them tonight (I mean, we were using them to play tennis, we weren’t, like, wining and dining them) so I might be too busy tennis’ing my ass off tomorrow after work. TO BE DETERMINED.


Sep 122023

After leaving BonBon Land on Sunday (and after Henry found his phone LOLOLOLOL), our bus of coaster freaks continued our Danish trek and arrived late that the afternoon at a small park in Aarhus called Tivoli Friheden.

Exhausted after all of the BonBon’ing. I mean, it’s not every day you get to ride a dog fart coaster and slide out of a dog’s asshole. That shit would take a lot out of even, I don’t, a Garbage Pail Kid maybe.

Random shots from the bus window, reminiscent of all the film I wasted in Europe as a kid, taking pictures with the flash on through smudgy tour bus window. I have boxes of blurry scenery photos and unknown castles in god knows what countries.

But I just really needed to capture this amazing house!! Also, look at Creepy Henry’s silhouette in the window :/

I am going to be diligent about including maps from now on because if we are being honest with each other under the blanket inside a pillow fort reading my vacation journal together with a flashlight after I just yelled at you for spilling a bowl of SALTY LICORICE, I truthfully didn’t know where the fuck a lot of the times, just me over there spending a large portion of the trip totally geographically blind.

We arrived at Friheden around 4:30pm. Looking back in my vacation journal, I can tell you that the bus ride was full of chatter which was not appreciated by many, lol. There were some quirky personalities on the bus, that’s for sure. It was thoroughly entertaining for me, though! At one point, an hour into the drive, the owner of the unappreciated chatter asked our group leader Tim, “How much longer?” which garnered some groans from those in earshot. At one point, Tim told him it was nap time, and when he tried to keep talking, Tim said, “It’s still nap time.” I was furiously texting my brother the play-by-play because he was very invested in these characters.

This park was very small, but beautiful – full of gardens and really quirky decorations. Even on an overcast day, it was stunning! Unfortunately, as far as rides, its line up was pretty sparse. Only three coaster credits. There were four coasters there up until a year ago, when one was removed after an accident :/ To be honest, when I heard about the accident last summer, I wondered if this park was going to be removed from the itinerary, but it clearly wasn’t.

A bunch of people wanted to do the SCAD tower thing, which was being offered to our group to do for free when normally it’s at up-charge. I’m guessing this is the reason the park was kept in the itinerary, because SCAD towers aren’t very prevalent. I mean, that’s just what I hear. I don’t like, run the SCAD tower Wiki page or anything. Jesus.

I 100% didn’t want to do this. Just looking at it made my legs turn to jello.

Meanwhile, Chooch got RIGHT in line.

I had to walk around and take pictures of the scenery while he was waiting in line because it was making me so nervous.

I already wrote about the FALLING one day while we were on the bus, so you can feel free to click here and read all about how I allowed my 17-year-old son to be taken up a 100+ foot tower thing in a scary elevator, dangled over the edge, and then released by some Friheden man at which point he fell a bunch of fucking feet like 100 or something with no harness or safety thingies, but at least they gave him a helmet and that back brace thing to ensure he landed properly in the net. 

Ugh. Don’t smile at me.

Once that was over with, we went around to collect our creds. There was just a really old looking spinning wild mouse, an SBF Visa spinning coaster, and a kids coaster that was similar to the Wacky Worm but it was a dragon. Wow, I’m such a thoosie. I don’t even know the manufacturers or names of these coaster off hand lol.


There was a funhouse too! It wasn’t as good as Bakken’s but it had a fun slide at the end.

So, something happened at this park that was actually kind of horrifying but also funny and definitely memorable. OK, look. I was riding on a high from the way a lot of these people were being so inviting and inclusive toward us. Especially Larry and Jean, Cassie, and Pam and Kevin. There would be more added to that list later, but man, even just standing outside of the bus waiting for Tim to get our admission settled, everyone was just kind of milling around and talking and it was so nice not having it be totally awkward, you know? Just a lot of friendly banter and chatter – it made me feel overwhelmingly accepted.

I had noticed earlier that day that there seemed to be a young girl, like in her 20s, who was there by herself. She ended up being in line in front of us for a dark ride at Friheden and I had mentioned earlier to Henry that I was going to try and take her in just like others did to us, pay it forward, etc. Right? Well, I felt like this was my chance! So I asked her if she was with Coaster Crew, and she said yes so I introduced the three of us. She smiled and said her name, then IMMEDIATELY dropped the smile and looked away.

Chooch gave me a look, like, “Stop while you’re ahead” but I KEPT GOING, YOU GUYS. I started asking her things like WHERE ARE YOU FROM and she said Cinci and all the while she was doing the SMILE/FROWN thing but I couldn’t stop myself! I yelled, “Oh, Jungle Jim’s! I love Jungle Jim’s!” and she was like “*smile* Yeah, it’s great. *frown*”

Then, why am I like this, I asked her if SHE WANTED TO RIDE WITH US. NO, she didn’t want to fucking ride with us. She wanted my crazy annoying friendly ass to leave her the fuck alone so she could have a fucking zen ride in the haunted house. But since I asked her to her face, I’m sure she felt backed into a corner and said OK and then we all rode on this stupid shooter ride together and it was so uncomfortable. When the ride ended, she got out and walked through the exit without a word, never looking back.

“SHE DID NOT WANT TO RIDE WITH US,” Chooch said, in a chastising-toward-me tone. “You are so annoying! She hates all of us now.”

“No, she was just shy,” I said, but I knew he was right when we were walking toward her later and I said, “Hi, <her name>!” and she LOOKED RIGHT PAST ME AND KEPT WALKING. I thought Chooch’s brain was going to come shooting out of his nose, the way he tried and failed to hold back his laugh. It may have been one of Top 5 favorite moments on the trip.


I’d rather not eat the American Way :/

Remember when I got made fun of so bad for loving the Wacky Worm?? Well, I found my people, you guys. Grown ass adults who allow themselves to enjoy a kiddie coaster!

Our dinner was a pizza buffet and it was actually amazing. I’m saying “actually” not because I think Denmark can’t have good pizza, but because I’m of the American mentality that amusement pizza is going to be mid. But this pizza was SO GOOD. The one I liked the most had almost like…a ricotta type cheese as the base? And then these very thinly sliced translucent white circles that I am SURE were parsnips, but no one would back me up on that (and by no one, I mean, Henry, Chooch, and Dawn and Robert who were sitting at our table too).

I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of it, but it was so fucking good.

This might have been the most boring carousel I’ve ever been on.

It had no music, and it went around SO SLOWLY.

There were two little kids that actually rode it twice in a row, what sad lives they have.

Look at these awesome terrarium things!!

This game had guns that you put actually ball-thingies in to shoot!!!! I DID NOT WANT CHOOCH TO DO IT. But I already let him fall perilously from a tower, so why not give him a gun too, all in the same day.

We ended the day by using our free snack coupon for some ICE CREAM which we ate at a picnic table with PAM and some others. I didn’t take a picture of my ice cream for some reason, probably because I got it in a cup. I do know that I thoroughly enjoyed it though.

Then everyone bitched because the gift shop had NO SHIRTS, MAGNETS, ETC with the park’s name on it. We quickly learned that park merch in this region is almost unheard of and their “gift shops” are actually filled with, well, gifts you would buy someone. Like toys and pretty much anything else you could think of that has nothing to do with amusement parks.

After leaving Friheden, we had a short drive to the hotel for the night, which you can read about HERE IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY.

Pretty much all of the parks from the next day on were full-day parks with bigger coasters, so look forward to that, I guess!

Sep 092023

I know amusement parks aren’t everyone’s bag up in here, so here is a non-park recap from our trip. The second hotel of the trip, which we stayed at after visiting Park #2 of Day 2 – Tivoli Friheden – our hotel for the night was the Helnan Marselis in Aarhus. While the rooms had more of a traditional European style and were less “modern” like the Tivoli Hotel in Copenhagen, I preferred this one because it was on a beach!

This hotel was in what appeared to be a RITZY BEACH TOWN.

These cars!! Also, that’s our beloved bus up there! We only had this bus for the first half of the trip though :( I missed it dearly (and the driver!) and did not like the second bus as much. THE VIBE WAS OFF.

The houses around this area were poppin’ off.

Tim hooked everyone up with seaside views. We slept with the balcony door opened and it was the most amazing night’s sleep. Um, this was also the calm before the (actual) storm. We’ll revisit this in a future post. LOOK AT ME PRE-CLICK BAITING YOU PEOPLE.

Here we have Chooch in action, complaining about something, probably.

Chooch slept in roll-out beds in most of the hotels, but he had some sweet sleep-spots in two upcoming hotels.

The Bay of Aarhus, apparently! I had to look it up on a map. Looks like it has the North Sea to the west and the Baltic to the east??

Wow, maybe I should start including maps in all of these posts instead of just being like “someplace in xx.” Also, looking at this map, now it makes sense that we went over so many long-ass bridges after we left Copenhagen that morning. Suddenly, I understand so much more of this trip now, weeks later.

Maps, Erin. Maps help.

Hotel art.

Henry and I went for a walk along the beach after we got settled and it was just so nice. Well, I mean, as nice as it could possibly be with Henry as my company. It’s not like we were holding hands and looking like we were in some vitamins for active middle-aged adults commercial. Or a “I conquered vaginal dryness by using THIS PRODUCT and now this is what my life looks like!” ad in Prevention magazine.

I brought back two small seashells from here, sue me. They were rinsed off thoroughly!

Some of the younger, cooler guys from our group were doing the whole SAUNA/SALT WATER thing so that was fun to watch like creeps from our balcony.

Look at that sky, though. Denmark! I remember walking in the sand and thinking, REALLY thinking, “Dude. I’m in Denmark.” We are not rich people so anytime we do anything outside of Pittsburgh, I’m all hashtag blessed, etc. Never take anything for granted! You never know what the future holds. This was one of those moments where I really had some quiet time in my head to reflect on this shit, as nerdy as that sounds. I just really didn’t think that this was something we would be able to do, but we made it happen and I hope that this is something that Chooch thinks about fondly (lol, fondly) for the rest of his life.


Sep 082023

On Sunday, August 6th, we checked out of the Tivoli Gardens Hotel after another immaculate breakfast spread (I miss the breads and the yogurts!) and set off for BonBon Land located about an hour away from Copenhagen in Holme-Olstrup in the South of Zealand. It’s a small family park opened in the 90s by the owner of a candy company called BonBon (I mean, obviously). BonBon candies were themed to gross things, like dog poop, ants pissing, wet diapers, you know – all these things synonymous with sweet delicious candy. Mmm mmm mmm. Mr. BonBon wanted to give kids (his biggest fans) a fun experience, and since he couldn’t offer tours of the candy factory because of sanitary reasons (allegedly – I think it was more that he didn’t want to give away any trade secrets related to how he was carmelizing seagull droppings and candying the essence of dog farts), he went the Hershey route and opened a theme park.

With only 4 coaster credits to scoop up, you might ask, why was this part of our itinerary?

Well, having a juvenile sense of humor that this place appeals to was a big reason.

It’s also the home of the first ever Gerstlauer Euro Fighter with a beyond vertical drop (beyond vertical drops are everywhere now but BONBON HAD IT FIRST, BITCHES).

But most importantly? It has a kiddie coaster themed to a dog farting.

You guys.

Are you even an enthusiast of you don’t have that dog fart cred??

Needless to say, we were all GIDDAY. I mean, look at all of us up there waiting for the park to open! A bunch of grown ass people clamoring to stuff their butts into a farting dog.

CASSIE TOOK THIS PICTURE OF US. In case you didn’t know, I made friends on this trip!! I’m so pathetic that I was even mailing postcards home to my non-coaster friends screaming about OMG I MADE FRIENDS, YOU GUYS, THROW ME A PARTY WHEN I COME HOME.

I probably could have earned a Girl Scout badge for this.

“Now let’s take one with your eyes closed,” said no one but somehow that’s what Chooch and I heard.

I have to laugh because this is ALL Coaster Crew back there. No one else came early. But we were like, “LET US IN. MUST GET THE CREDITS.”


It took so long to get this photo because Chooch kept letting actual children cut in front of him and I was so annoyed and trying to pantomime an elbowing motion but he ignored me and just let it happen.

Really wish this was in my front yard,

The famous FARTING DOG!

We immediately ran to the dog fart coaster, and that’s when I realized the dog’s name is….HENRY!!! Oh, how apropos!

At home, it’s only Chooch and me riding the kiddy coasters – and to be fair, sometimes I sit those ones out but ONLY if it’s a crowded day and Chooch and I can’t sit together. I might hate kids, but I hate looking like an asshole even more and I don’t want to be That Adult who takes a seat away from a dumb kid, you know? But hilariously, on this trip, Henry suddenly was all, “Me too” but only because it didn’t relate to supporting women, and was getting in line for every baby coaster because all of his idols on this trip were doing it. Wow, you’re so cool, Henry. “Oh, Marshall, Nick, Gooch, Jimmy and Dewey are riding it? MAKE ROOM FOR ME, GUYS. Can I get a shout out on YouTube now??”

And of course Henry didn’t take any pictures of Chooch and me when it was our turn!

I guess I didn’t take many pictures here for some reason? So, I don’t have any of the Gerstlauer which was SURPRISINGLY not terrible. But I really enjoyed the spinning wild mouse up there, Han-Katten! There was a group of 5 middle school-aged boys in front of us who were being moderately annoying – some of them cut in front of us which was annoying since there 5 of them and that meant it AFFECTED us directly since we would have to wait for an additional cycle to get on. Anyway, when we were getting off the ride, Robert was coming up the exit steps and said, “Hey be careful when you go down there, because some kid just threw up everywhere when he came down the steps” and I was like “YES, IT WAS ONE OF THOSE JERKS!” and I was gloating, but then the joke was on me because I accidently looked and then almost threw up myself.

This video is not great –  I had to screen-record it from the Coaster Crew event Facebook page. Anyway, this coaster was just some strange family coaster. It wasn’t too bad!

SNACK TIME. We ran into Larry and Jean outside of this cafe and they spilled the tea on some things for us and it was at the moment that I felt like we were truly part of Coaster Crew. The amount of stress I felt leading up to this trip, worrying that we weren’t going to fit in, were going to be the black sheep on the outside, were going to have a miserable time sitting alone, etc. All for nothing. I still can’t believe how amazing the people portion of this trip was. Sorry that I’m basically acting like an aging GIRL SCOUT again but these things are really important to me and honestly, for as amazing as this coaster trip was, it wouldn’t have been even a quarter this amazing if not for the quality of the people.

I’m getting so emotional!

I am also drinking moscato which is way too sweet and dangerous for me to be drinking alone while tip-tapping away at this keyboard, but you guys. The fucking people, man. I never went away to summer camp but I imagine it must have had similar vibes.

Coffee and donut time!

Our first of many rapids rides of the trip! We were in line behind two young boys who were horrifically slapping each other in the face for fun.  When we got off the ride, it emptied us into a gift shop where I bought bushels of BonBon candy (most of which was licorice so no one but me will eat it!) and then realized that one of those kids completely stood up and mooned the camera, the evidence of which was on full display on the On Ride Photo screen.

At some point, I accidentally used the men’s room. I don’t think anyone would have cared though but it was something I thought about numerous times throughout the trip because Henry and Chooch saw that I was about to walk right in with all the confidence of a dick-swinging construction worker, and they just sat back and let it happen.

It’s fine.


Isn’t that the big Karen Argument?

Well, I wasn’t.

The theming was so cute/weird/strange/perfect.

In line for the boat ride which took us around the world and was….interesting. Of course, in America Town, all the characters were cowboys and had guns.

Aside from the Dog Fart coaster, I LOVED the log flume. It was so fucking quirky. We went inside a big hunk of cheese and I swear to god, there were people whispering all around us and it was so goddamn creepy. I loved it so much.

And Chooch made me go on this dragon ride which looked like just a little kids’ ride that went in a circle but it went SO FUCKING FAST that it was actually painful and I thought we were going to be flung the hell out. We were SCREAMING for it to stop, but then it went BACKWARD too and I was like, “We are going to die. I can’t believe I’m going to lose my life at BonBon Land I hope someone knows to put that on my epitaph.”

The way I love this group so much, you guys….I have attachment issues.

Anyway, we were only here for a few hours before departing for the second park of the day, fourth park over: Tivoli Freheiden. What I loved was that Tim decided that the original amount of time he allotted was too much since the park was so dead and we were able to easily get the creds, so he changed the departure time and updated the even page on Facebook with the info. But everyone was passing it on, so whenever we would run into someone, they would give us the heads up and that was just one more thing that made me love Coaster Crew so much.

We bought a HENRY glass for Henry and a bunch of candy which I’m almost out of so if anyone wants to buy me candy for Valentine’s Day like suddenly that’s a thing to buy strange bloggers candy on Valentine’s Day, let’s make it a thing, please do ship some BonBon candy to me, or really any kind of licorice in general. I will eat it and thank you bigly.

Oh and in case you missed it, something TERRIBLE OH NO BOO HOO happened to Henry that day, which I already wrote about it while we were still on vacation!

P.S. Oh wow looks like Henry the Oaf actually did take some photos of us on the Dog Fart coaster.

Sep 072023
I know you have been absolutely panting with anticipation over this, and now you can collapse onto your fainting couch and relax with a damp handkerchief draped over your feverish brow, because part 2 is here.

Look,  Henry doth returned from his quest for a portable phone charger. He was in a MOOD too because he hadn’t eaten yet since Chooch and I sent him on his journey back to the hotel (ON FOOT NO LESS, NOT EVEN A STALLION TO CARRY THE WIDE LOAD) before he had a chance to eat dinner, lololol.

It wasn’t NOT crowded at Tivoli that evening, being a summer Saturday after all, but it didn’t really feel crowded until we were in the more narrow areas like this one. It was a bit claustrophobic but I was also so caught up in how magical everything felt that I didn’t even had time to panic.

This little nook was like the OG Diagon Alley, honestly. I loved it! Even if amusement parks aren’t your jam, if you ever find yourself in Copenhagen, this should 100% be on your itinerary. I mean, do you like food? History? Feeling like you should be wearing a petticoat? Then come here.(I don’t even know what a petticoat is for sure, but I can tell you that Tivoli has the petticoat vibes.)
Chooch loved it here too, lololol.
Sorry, I could have stood here all evening taking photos. It was my favorite section of the place!
This was the facade of a funhouse which was basically just a rave for children and I almost had my kneecaps broken when one particularly high-energy child came barreling into me when I stupidly stood in the middle of the room like a dumb-dumb, totally asking for it, here I am, the Big Dumb American target.

Here’s a Chooch POV of him living dangerously in a Danish funhouse.

Ugh, I wanted to ride more stuff but Henry was like ME MEAT HEAD, MUST EAT so we went him to the food hall where it took him forever to decide what to eat because again, these parks had GOOD FOOD, yo. Like, GOOD FOOD.
He ended up with a burger of some sort from a place called COCKS & COWS hahaha.
LOL yeah boy, shove it in!
We had to get stamped in order to leave the park and enter the food hall (this is something that can be accessed from outside of the park too, so you don’t need to pay park admission to eat there) and I was excited because the stamp said TIK TAK. “Tak” means “thanks” in Danish but I’m not sure what the significance is behind “tik tak” other than sounding fun.
Speaking of fun, check out this railing!!
Imagine coming here on a date!! I can’t imagine it, I was with Henry. *cries in Boring Relationship* I wonder what Henry would have done if he was here with the GIRL WHO GOT OMG SO WET on the rapids ride at King’s Dominion last weekend?! Ugh, he probably would have given her back hugs which he learned FROM K-DRAMAS because of ME thank you very much, while actually HAVING CONVERSATIONS WITH HER and cooing pet names softly into the side of her perfect stupid hair when the only thing he ever calls me is URN!!!

Literally it sounds like he is calling me a vessel for corpse dust when he says my name!!

OMG Tivoli’s Rutschebanen was our very first brakeman rollercoaster! It was so cool!! Dude just stands up the whole time in the middle of the train while it’s cruising through tunnels. And there’s no airgates or any other kind of safety measurements on the loading platform so you just kind of step right on to it – I stood there and watched children running alonside of the train as it was coming to a stop!? Never in America. Never.
Here’s one of Johnny’s POVs from that day!

Not pictured, but we paid an upcharge for the walk-thru haunted house (I think it was maybe $15 for all three of us?) and it was so much fun! They sent us through just the three of us and it was slightly reminiscent of the one in Gatlinburg in that it seemed like there were only about 5 people working there, doing the most to get multiple scares at you. I really enjoyed it. Apparently, we could have bought a video or gif – I couldn’t figure out what it was – of us being scared in the kitchen and it was hilarious but the stupid QR code didn’t work for us Americans.

I only took this so we could try to fuck with the QR code later but it still didn’t work so OH WELL Tivoli, I tried to give you my $$ but your dumb thing won’t work for idiot Americans.

Second carouselfie of the trip!!!

The Hans Christian Anderson ride! A spin through this dark ride will have you REALLY seeing the Disney parallels.

Henry was in the car behind us, sleeping lol.
Even donuts were better on this trip :( I miss it. I miss everything.
Henry and the bitch from the rapids ride at King’s Dominion.
Fucking LICORICE ice cream from the famous Lakrids by Bulow. Literally the best gourmet licorice I have ever had (I have not had that much but I am still willing to wager that this is one of the best). I loved it. We had so many delicious delicious of slow-crafted licorice while in there too. The employees were wonderful and didn’t seem disgusted by us lard-o Americans with our crass palates. (To our faces, anyway.)
Henry’s Tivoli-Thoughts: “I thought it was a really nice park. I went in the haunted house. I forget what I rode. I rode that little kiddy coaster. (No you didn’t.) Yeah, I did! What else did I ride. It was too crowded. (It wasn’t that crowded.) I forget now. I would have rather have gone during the week when it wasn’t as crowded. Go ahead, write that, fucker.

Me again: It wasn’t THAT crowded?! The longest line we waited in was an hour for the Milky Way coaster. Everything else was 30 minutes or less?! Yes, there were a lot of people there but it didn’t feel excessive?! I don’t know why I asked Henry for his opinion because it was wrong.

What else – we got all the coaster creds. We definitely bickered a lot, lol. (Still jet-lagged.) Chooch conned me into going on some flat ride that I couldn’t see from the line because the ride itself was on top of a building – it was like crazy spinny airplane things that went upside down and I wasn’t too fond of it but even less fond of the children in line behind us who were rough-housing (hello, I’m my dad now) and being so OBNOXIOUS and oh wouldya look – they were AMERICAN.

My only regret is not riding Rutschebanen more than once!! I was so caught up in needing to see everything that was going on, that I couldn’t contemplate rerides at that time. Yes, I fucked up, fam. But…now I just need to go back someday! With a DATE. Someone who will be like, “Babe, let’s get some licorice ice cream and lick it together under the most picturesque tree which I have spotted with my monocle that I just happen to keep tucked into the BREAST POCKET of the pin-striped suit I am wearing just for this special occasion of being WITH YOU and then the next big Decemberists rip off indie band will walk by and feel inspired to pen a song about OUR LOVE that features an accordion and a beat made up of the sound of the wooden shoes of puppets hitting a pirate ship’s plank.”

I will probably break up with that guy after the first date but at least we will have the memories. And a song that will probably quickly play in the background of a scene with a couple (the girl has DIY Pippi bangs and the boy has a handlebar ‘stache) riding vintage bikes with poodles in the wicker baskets in an upcoming mumblecore flick that never even makes it to Tubi.

Mostly, we just took everything in. I couldn’t believe we were there, you guys. The famous, storied Tivoli Gardens. “I can’t believe we’re here” was pretty much the tagline of this whole entire trip. I am bankrupt now but I do not regret a single moment of this. I can’t wait to spend the next three fucking months recapping the rest because this was the only the FIRST FULL DAY and it’s taken me approx. 2 weeks to get it on this dying corner of Internet Diary Land.

Sep 022023

Still on the first day of the Coaster Crew Norden Adventure. We left Bakken around 3pm, ooh’d and ahh’d as the bus driver nearly wiped out several cars on the extremely narrow road (I felt like it was our group’s first collective moment of excitement! Something to remember!), and then made it back to Copenhagen around 4pm for our next park of the day, the famous Tivoli Gardens.

Now, this park has been on my bucket list for years because it’s world-renowned for being not only truly aesthetic and charming, but also the inspiration behind Disney World (Disneyland? I forget which one! Let me Google, please hold).

(Disneyland! I am not a Disneyhead, so pardon me.)

It’s also home to the world’s oldest rollercoaster, Rutschebanen. Yes, Bakken also had a coaster of the same name because it literally translates to “roller coaster.” So, you know, not the most original, but historical nonetheless!

180 years old!

We all had to wait here at the entrance while Tim procured our wristbands and also food vouchers, how wonderful! Aside from ice cream and licorice, we hadn’t actually eaten anything substantial at Bakken so we were pretty hungry by this point.

First, though, I needed a bathroom so let’s look at some of the views that were eyeballed along the way as I followed signs for the bathroom like Alice chasing the white rabbit. This place was really giving Wonderland, now that I think about it. It truly felt like we were back in Victorian times, running through a hedge maze looking for the WC.

Turned a corner into a tree of birdhouses, at one point, before finally finding the bathroom!

“Why would you go to Europe just for amusement parks?” said so many people.

Tivoli Gardens is a big reason why. So STEP OFF, HATER.

Tivoli Gardens is literally like one giant garden, just with some roller coasters and other thrills rides springing up here and there. This is the kind of the park that you want to come to even if you don’t like riding anything, because the atmosphere is ethereal, and the food is not your typical soggy burgers and wet pizza that we attribute to American theme parks.

I made Chooch stop for this photo op while we were on the hunt for this alleged veggie burger being served somewhere near the B&M invery, Daemonen.

Found it! Apparently, Henry didn’t want to eat anything at this particular place and he was being a big wah-wah crybaby about it, especially when I told him to take his bitchy ass elsewhere and save us a table.

Meanwhile, Chooch and I had an enjoyable ordering process. This smiling blond girl over there was so friendly! Honestly, we never encountered an unfriendly person anywhere we went except for the TRAIN GUY WHO YELLED AT US AT THE COPENHAGEN AIRPORT. Not a fan of that prick.

This veggie burger was delicious and I loved the souvenir cups our drinks were served in! This was also notable as being Chooch’s introduction to Faxe Kondi, a Sprite-like soft drink that he became obsessed with. He got a bottle of it somewhere else along the way and requested that we keep the bottle. That bottle made it all the way to Helsinki and then somehow didn’t make it back to Pittsburgh, explain yourself, Henry.

Anyway, now he wants a Faxe Kondi t-shirt.

Also, if you live somewhere in the US where Faxe Kondi can be found, please do alert your friendly blog hostess, thanks in advance.

While we were eating, we sent Henry back to the hotel (within walking distance) to get the portable charger because god forbid our phones should die!! Henry actually did it too because thar’s why we bring him. Meanwhile, Chooch and I rode Daemonen with Cassie and Sherry from our group! I was so stoked to ride with new friends. My life is very small and it doesn’t take much for me to feel fulfilled.

LOL who am I kidding?! We all know I’m never satisfied. The doves have been crying about that for years.

Anyway, our first non-US B&M! (I don’t think we rode any in Korea?! Canada?? Definitely not Tokyo Disney Sea.) The restraint stopped so high up – I actually couldn’t believe it and was actually marginally terrified of the amount of wiggle room this allowed. I’m so used to being stapled, I guess.

But overall, a nice invert. It definitely didn’t dethrone any of my faves in the US, but I gotta admit that the theming of Daemonen was beautiful. Look at the ceiling of the station!!

Henry still hadn’t made his big heroic return to the park yet, so Chooch and I continued our quest for credits and got in line for Maelkevejen – a power coaster that translates to Milky Way. This was somehow the longest line we stood in all day (Daemonen was only about 30 minutes) – I really want to say we waited at least an hour. Standing in line and watching each cycle had me questioning my choices because this basically seemed like a tame little family coaster.

View from one of the many parts in line where we set up camp. Henry eventually returned to Tivoli and we saw him being creepy down there, look like Michael Myers in the Daylight, in search of a bush into which to retreat backward. We also saw a bunch of Coaster Crew in line too. Believe me, this would not ever get old to me. I was always so happy to see familiar faces, even if they belonged to the small handful of people I never talked to.

I loved the ceiling of the station!! It was so retro and gave me Gemini feels.

OK you guys – this ride. THIS RIDE. It ended up being one of my favorites of the whole trip and I desperately wish we had been able to reride it, but anytime a ride is THIS fun and makes me scream my go-to giddy coaster curse of JANNAAAAAA!!!! then you know it’s special. It really made me so fucking happy and gave me a big case of the giggles. Even Chooch was laughing too although he made sure to tell me that I was annoying and to stop, but come on, this coaster had him loving life too. I’m sorry, but sometimes I don’t need super intense launches or crazy inversions – just give me some surprise tunnels and a gut-tickling helix.

For reference, Adventure Express, the fucking MINE TRAIN, is one of my favorite coasters at King’s Island. And this is a park with a stacked coaster line-up. But I will marathon that bitch and act so chaotic that I get yelled at by the ride crew. Airtime’s great but sometimes all I need is FUNTIME.

That made no sense and is probably also my queue to end this recap here because it’s getting late and we’re leaving early in the AM for King’s Dominion. More about this amazing amusement park coming soon!

Aug 302023

Ayo, I am over here drowning in photos that need sorted on my phone, so instead of posting about the second park of our trip, let’s jump ahead like, 8 days and look at post-Coaster Crew photos of Chooch and me being extremely incompatible in Stockholm, Sweden. This was, as noted, our first day without the Coaster Crew buffer so we resumed bickering like little fucking assholes, assuming no one would catch us in our true form but then of course we bumped into a couple of them shopping in Gamla Stan. It’s fine!

Anyway, these photos were also taken in Gamla Stan, after I had cooled off (LOL sort of) from an argument with Henry triggered by his utter inability to take a fucking picture of me. But just you wait, Freddy, we’ll get to that in all the gory detail when the time comes.

Tonight, Henry and I are going to see the Kang Daniel tour documentary at the theater (woo!) but hopefully I will have time tomorrow to finish editing Tivoli pictures because you guys (Linda, Mary, George, Marvin – if I forgot to name you, don’t worry, you’re still a voice I hear in my head!) really need to see them and then feel inspired to go visit Tivoli Gardens. It was pure magic there. Sigh.

Aug 282023

I’m excited to bring to you photos of the very first park of our Coaster Crew Norden Adventure! Bakken is located just outside of Copenhagen in a town called Klampenborg and it has the distinction of being the world’s oldest operating amusement park. Linda, I have watched so many videos about this place and it was one of the most anticipated stops on the itinerary – it did NOT disappoint!

After our inaugural breakfast with the group (we sat with Pam!!), we boarded the double-decker coach bus for the first of many drives. The excitement was palpable. Well, maybe not Henry’s excitement. He pretty much kept up the general demeanor of a prison warden the whole time, like he was being assigned to sit on a bus with coaster delinquents, making sure no one set off fire crackers in the bus bathroom or ate a tuna fish sandwich on the sly.

We sat adjacent from Justin, who was giddily telling me and the couple in front of me (Marie and Eric) his made-up, inappropriate limericks and jokes. He…was a real source of entertainment for some, but not for all.

I also met Josh and Nick that day, but I don’t think they liked me because I’m a woman who deigned to butt into a conversation about a coaster in South Korea that I have ridden and was just trying to make a connection, but it’s fine. I’m used to being a broad at the sausage party. And the coaster community is just basically a whole ass sausage factory. The older people were a lot more welcoming anyway, so I got over it pretty quickly (LOL as I stayed up until 1AM wine-drunk and ranting to Janna about it).

I believe the weather was in the high 60s that day, maybe pushing 70, and sunny AF.

Right off the bat, I was ENCHANTED by Bakken. It was small, festive, quirky. It definitely didn’t feel like an amusement park by American standards at all, but if I were pressed to compare it to something here….Knoebels? Because while Bakken had a small ride collection, including several coasters, it also had an abundance of restaurants. And I’m not talking like the shitty Six Flags fare we have all come to accept in the States, but legit, nice, sit-down restaurants. If I lived nearby, I could see myself wanting to frequent it for not just the rides (Bakken has a pay-per-ride option!), but even just for a date night (LOL when I imagined this, it was not Henry on these dream dates with me, but the silhouette iPhone emoji). Ugh, I loved the ambiance here SO MUCH.

I mean, would ya LOOK?!

OMG this was one of the best mine trains I have ever ridden. I guess I was expecting some janky death trap, being in the oldest park in the world, but it was fantastic.

Rutschebanen (literally “roller coaster”) was on the anticipated list for me even though it was recently refurbed so that the need for a brakeman was no longer a thing. But it’s still notorious for having a tunnel that is straddled by a giant wooden cutout of a naked lady, so you’re, you know, passing between her legs. It’s amazing and I was so giddy when we got to the part!

I heard a lot of the enthusiasts in our group saying that they were disappointed with this coaster, but I was fully entertained! Look, sometimes a coaster just needs to be a basic fun time, OK? And this was that for me. (Even though I stapled myself BADLY both times we rode it!)

Dude you guys, one of the people in our group, Johnny, films POVs for YouTube. Chooch and I took the back seat, but Henry was like, “ME BIG SHOT MAN, ME WAIT FOR FRONT SEAT” and Johnny asked if he could sit with him. Chooch of course was like, “LOOK, HE MADE A FRIEND” and we were braying over this like the fucking assholes we are. I was talking to Johnny on the way back to the bus (after we ditched Henry and left without him because he was trying to be COOL GUY again by telling some of the younger guys where the gift shop was) and he had me scan his QR code so I could subscribe. Of course I was screaming last night when he posted his POV of Rutschebannen!! HENRY IS SO EMBARRASSING!

I love this video though because I get to see Coaster Crew people! And at the end, after the awkward silence as the train sat on the brake run, that’ Justin asking Johnny questions from the line!

Guys, hoo boy. Tornado was…something else. I have watched plenty of videos about this so I knew going in  that it was going to be crazy, but that it would be even CRAZIER if you can get the ride op to send you in something called BOOST MODE. From the reactions I have seen on YouTube, this is not for the faint of heart. I’m not enough of a coaster nerd to really understand this, but the coaster itself is a spinning model, right? And there is something that the ride op can do where he reaches under the car and — disables, maybe? — a magnet, resulting in an uncontrolled, chaotic spin session. I mean first of, even without boost mode, you’re launched over a lift hill and that alone made me feel like I was being decapitated by the over-the-shoulder restraints.

PAM AND KEVIN ON TORNADO. Who is Kevin, you might be asking? He was another single traveler in our group and he and Pam just kind of organically paired up that day as riding partners, and it just stuck! The number of times I yelled, “THERE’S PAM AND KEVIN!” throughout the trip, you guys, it was a lot. I was always so happy to see them!

Anyway! This was our first time riding it that day and Henry was being a big sissy and said he didn’t want us to ask for boost mode. So, Chooch and I got back in line later that day, but the line was a lot longer than it was when we rode it earlier, so we were concerned about that because we still wanted to explore other parts of the park.

Right after we got in line, this one guy that I recognized from my FAVORITE coaster Youtuber’s, El Toro Ryan,  videos got in line behind us with two other guys. I figured if anyone would know about boost mode it would be Mark and this IS SO DISTURBING and makes me look like a fucking creepy freak, but I knew that he had been to this park before (BLAME YOUTUBE). So I turned around and asked, “Is boost mode worth standing in this line for?”

“Oh, they won’t do boost mode anymore,” he said sadly. “We tried.” And I do remember seeing comments on someone’s YouTube channel from locals who were saying the same thing. I was both disappointed and relieved! Anyway, Mark ended up talking to us the entire time we were in line, and he was beyond nice! I was so happy to be talking to another Coaster Crew person, you guys have no idea! Anyway, he even gave us tips on how to hold the restraint so that the decapitation sensation didn’t happen again.


Anyway, Chooch and I rode with two young girls and while I didn’t notice the ride op doing anything untoward beneath our car, it really felt like we had boost mode?! I mean, it felt like we were riding a completely different coaster from earlier, and I was SCREAMING. I mean, it was horrific, the spinning was unhinged, but I was also laughing hysterically. Even the girls were like OH MY GOD as the coaster came to a stop on the brake run and we all just sat there stunned and bonded over the shared trauma.

I did hear later on that SOME PEOPLE in our group ALLEGEDLY did get boost mode so maybe we did?? I’ll tell you one thing, if that WASN’T boost mode, then I don’t think I want to ever get it. Because whatever we had on that ride was pushing the limit for me, lol.

This is where their clown lives!! Sadly, his first performance of the day was scheduled for the exact time we had to be back on the bus and I was more crushed about this than Boost Mode: Did We or Didn’t We.

And now please enjoy a series of photos of Chooch and me getting that kiddie coaster cred:

Trolls are big over there.

American Troll.

YEAH. BOI. Pistachio for me. I can’t remember if I even looked to see if there was a licorice option, now that I think about it!

Ahhh, this was my indoctrination into Living That Licorice Life. I had been telling Henry for months that aside from the amusement parks, I was most excited to eat all of the fucking licorice on this trip. My love for licorice happened by accident several years ago when I went to Jungle Jims in Cinci and brought back the motherlode of foreign candy for my pumpkin of international candy horrors at work. One of the things I bought, unbeknownst to myself, was SALTY LICORICE (actually from a Danish brand, if I remember correctly). Everyone fucking hated it except for Glenn and me. Actually, I’m not even sure I liked it but I became addicted to the palette trauma and ate them until I got sick, and then bought more bags on Amazon.

I didn’t know at the time about the salmiak phenomenon in Scandinavia and Finland, but once I started researching for this trip, I was like, “OH SNAP IT’S ON.”

So, this was my first Danish licorice purchase! Henry and Chooch chose some non-black licorice flavs, but I was like, “Salmiak me, please.” I started noshing immediately, and of course while we were in line for this one indoor shooter ride, a couple from our group got in line with us and started talking to us; I was CONVINCED that my teeth were coated in licorice tar, so I was trying to talk without moving my lips too much. They ended up still talking to us throughout the entire trip (Dawn and Robert! Two of my faves, honestly) so I guess I didn’t scare them off by recreating the “Francis Chews Trick Gum” scene of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure:

No photo description available.

An OK wild mouse. I’ll remember it as the first time we talked to Alex from South Coasters! He sat in our car with Chooch and we briefly chatted afterward – just a really nice guy and he always said hello to us after that.

I wonder what they had at the American Diner…

Um…this was the SLEEPER HIT of Bakken for me! Actually, it was one of my favorites of the whole trip! Looked like it would be something similar to the Spider rides we have in America, but holy shit, this thing was psychotic. It had a wicked spin, and then what I referred to as “the bonus round” once the ride came back to the ground and you’d think the cycle was over, but then it started doing another round of chaotic Scrambler-like spinning on the ground! I was laughing like a hyena and even Chooch was screaming, “How is this so good?!”


First #carouselfie of the trip! Also,  this carousel doesn’t really stop moving so people just wait to jump on?? I was like, “Where is the line?” and Henry was like, “Um, I think you’re just supposed to run onto it?” It was actually kind of terrifying.

Super small, but it got the job done!

Chooch got his own ice cream later because he was waiting in a long bathroom line apparently when we ordered our ice cream earlier. He got this cute character cup, but then realized almost every park we went to have their own versions so now we have like, 4 of them.

Hidden troll!

One of the things we quickly learned was that a lot of buildings in Denmark had grass on the roofs. Very enchanting!

We left around 3pm to make our way back to Copenhagen so that we could be let loose in Tivoli Garden, but not before our bus driver nearly took out a bunch of cars in his attempt to drive our doubledecker coach bus down a very narrow, definitely not made for a tour bus, road. More like, lane

Bonus: The houses near Bakken were $$$$$$$.

Aug 262023

Actually whipped out the ‘good’ camera in Tallinn, Estonia and forced Chooch to have his picture taken a bunch of times. These are those pictures. (That’s his “get this over with” forced smile :))

One of my co-workers kind of made me feel like a basic bitch for taking a day trip to Tallinn, but I swear it was such a highlight for all of us, really. The Old Town was so enchanting, the people were wonderful, the vibes were right. I will definitely say  more about that in future posts, but I’m just really glad that I was able to get some decent shots of Chooch in this great town of marzipan & amber.

Aug 242023

Henry in the lobby of the Tivoli Gardens Hotel. 

Oh my god you guys. Once we got to our room, I took a shower and a quick 60-minute nap and then felt like an actual new person and not like some possessed asshole about to spew pea soup from her dirty mouth.

Henry and I changed and went out for a pre-dinner stroll along the other side of the city near our hotel. Chooch wanted to sleep some more so we abandoned him as usual.

Views from the side of the road that our hotel was on.

Even  though I was almost flattened by a bicycle, I decided that my initial disdain for the city earlier that day was unwarranted and definitely could be attributed to me needing a shower and a major mood adjustment.

We walked for a good hour, taking it all in. In the end, I was back on the Copenhagen Love Wagon. Sorry for my earlier opinions, CPH. It wasn’t you, it was me.

I was really nervous for the 8PM dinner later that night with Coaster Crew and even at one point tried to drag my feet. We did end up going to the dinner and I am so glad I didn’t let my anxiety get the better of me because this truly set the tone of the whole trip for us. I wasn’t sure what to expect – would we be sitting at giant tables, banquet style, taking turns standing up and introducing ourselves? I was frantically rehearsing what I would say JUST IN CASE. YOU NEVER KNOW.

But it turned out it was in the hotel’s dining room, with a magnificent buffet set up, and even a chef grilling outside! Tim was really concerned that Chooch and I would have enough to eat, I  guess we were the only non-meat eaters in the group, but my guy – this was the best buffet I had ever grazed. I could have subsisted solely on the bread alone! SO MUCH GOOD BREAD. And apparently, the chef was even grilling up veggie burgers! Good ones, too! Made with beets and so fresh-tasting.

But wait!! The food part was great and all but something even better happened before we even got up to fill our plates. The three of us had snagged a table for 4 and mere moments after we sat down, a woman came over and asked if she could join us.


Was she dropped on us by the Roller Coaster Tycoon gods??

Of course, Chooch, being 17 and so completely surly, thought that this was going to be awful because going into this trip, he said to me, “I’m not doing this to make friends. I’m not going to learn anyone’s names. I don’t care.” But then by day three, he’d be coming back from the bathroom at a park or whatever and say things like, “I was just talking to Larry and <insert gossip>.”

*BRB, I’m crying again, missing all these awesome people, ugh*

Back to the woman asking to join us. You guys, her name is Pam, she lives in Philly, and she quickly became my favorite person on the trip! She gave BIG Barb Riley energy, for those who remmeber the golden years of the law firm when I worked with the greatest lady ever, Barb. Goddammit, I still her miss her so much. Pam was like if Barb was super into roller coasters. We had very easy conversation with her all evening, and even when Henry and I left Chooch at the table with her when we went back for more desserts like the pigs that we are, Chooch even managed to talk to her rather than sit in awkward silence! I was so proud of him, putting himself out there like that.

Look, these situations aren’t always the easiest, you know? A lot of these people already knew each other from other Coaster Crew events in America, and some of them had even gone on past international trips with the group. So, while we weren’t necessarily the odd ones out like I was so concerned about, we definitely had a bit of a disadvantage. Pam joining us that night gave me the confidence boost that I needed, and I vowed to talk to more people at dinner. So, during one of my buffet prowls, I ran into a woman with a Coaster Crew name tag who was also pacing the food alone. I totally launched myself on her. “Hi, I’m Erin and I don’t know anyone here!” I cried, just basically leaning into my desperation at that point.

I chose a good victim, because Cassie from Indy ended up being so kind and because of this initial interaction, she made sure to say good morning, etc. nearly every day after that. Cassie was there with her friend Sherry, who was also a great lady and I’m so glad to have met them!

Meanwhile, Henry came back to the  table with LICORICE ICE CREAM. “Where did you get that?” I cried, and he told me that some man from our group was standing near him at the ice cream bar and pointed it out, so of course I sent Henry back up to get  me my own bowl. Pam observed this and turns out, she’s a very quick study – she was saying “Poor Henry” by the very next day!

Near the end of the night, a couple from Columbus came over to introduce themselves – Larry and Jean. Evidently, Larry was the one who alerted Henry to the fact that LICORICE ICE CREAM was an option in the ice cream bar, so shout out to Larry! Anyway, it turns out that Larry and Jean are Coaster Crew vets and when I say they went out of their way to make us feel included, I’m not joking. Such great people!!

Can you believe I was so nervous about this?! Not even the first full day and we already made some really great connections. I was so giddy when we went back to the room later and totally rearin’ to go the next morning! I can’t wait to tell you (and maybe you too) about our first park, Bakken!

This is going to take me at least a month to recap everything, buckle up buttercup.

Aug 212023

We left Pgh around 11am on Thursday, August 3rd, then went from JFK –> CDG / Paris –> Copenhagen by 10am Friday August 4th. It was not ideal, we were exhausted, Chooch had a stomachache, there were SCREAMING KIDS on both the long-haul flight* and the short flight from Paris to Copenhagen. I was so frazzled by the time we arrived and then of course Henry was peak annoying when it came time to get public transit figured out, a Danish train guy yelled at us because we weren’t sure if we were getting on the right train — we were struggling. I mean, who is really their best self on a travel day, anyway.

*(The banshee on this flight actually made me feel like I was about to snap – I have NEVER heard a toddler (I believe that’s what it was) SHRIEK as much as this fucking kid for NEARLY THE ENTIRE FLIGHT – I was so pissed; I kept hissing, “HOW IS THIS HUMANLY POSSIBLE??” to Henry, who just shrugged it off because no sound of any sort outside of the voices of Chooch and me bother him.)

I know this but it still really distorted my opinion of Copenhagen and most of the day was….meh. I won’t lie and act like we were living our best lives on that day, you guys. We were hot messes and I actually broke down and cried dramatically in the lobby of the hotel because Chooch jammed the revolving door with his luggage, which caused a ruckus and he tried to blame it on me and all I wanted to do was wash my stupid face and eat my first cinnamon roll of many.

In the airport shuttle before jet lag and TOO MUCH TIME TOGETHER in TOO MANY PLANES tore our family apart.

I did wash my wash my face in the hotel bathroom after we stored our luggage in the EARLY BIRD suitcase repository, but I was still HUMMING with EMOTION.

Then we set off to…nowhere because I was being a big crybaby still and yammering on about how we had “no time” since our flight came in an hour later but it was still only around noon at this point, we couldn’t check in until 3, and our Coaster Crew welcome dinner wasn’t until 8pm that night. I always go into panic mode when we travel because I’m afraid of running out of time, missing essential sights, not “doing” it right. All the travel vlogs I watched, all the notes I took, all the Top 10 Must Do lists I read – my brain ran it all through a shredder.  I know deep down that is impossible to see it all (we’ve been to Korea twice now and came back both times realizing that OH SHIT, WE FORGOT TO GO TO <xyz> or whatever. So I really try to remind myself that just being there, being in the moment, looking around, slowing down – these are the things that matter. But you think that stops me from throwing hyper-fits? Ha! I was a real hornet that day.

Tivoli Gardens!! This was the second part on our Day 1 Coaster Crew agenda but it’s located in the middle of the city, right near the train station, so we couldn’t help but walk near it and get a sneak peek from the street.

First, we just walked around aimlessly until Chooch stepped up and asked, “Tell me the place you wanted to go to and I will get us there.” I was still pouting and kept saying “Forget it” but he finally got me to say Nyhavn. I knew that by this point, it was going to be packed because it’s one of THE tourist spots of Copenhagen but I’m sorry, I’m just basic enough to really want to see the iconic colored buildings and canal, OK?? I am human after all! Chooch figured out how to get there but then we had to rely on Henry the Bumbling Transit Guy to figure out the rest.

Henry kept trying to get tickets from the thing for the trains even though I kept saying, “That is for the train” and then he would say, “It is the same thing” and then I would say, “The train and the metro are different my guy” and he would say, “No they are not.” And we went round and round like this to the point where the sight of a middle-aged man pressing a disheveled woman with her blouse unbuttoned and bra pulled down against a pillar in the middle of the train station did not make me as giddy as such a sight normally would. But I still had the light-hearted “Oh Europe” thought in my head.

Anyway, finally Henry listened to me, and we found the entrance to the metro, where he was then able to get our tickets and we set off to whatever stop Nyhavn could allegedly be found.

Taking a pause from trying to mansplain transit shit to me.

Anyway, we got off wherever Chooch said to, and we saw these glorious sights:


We just kept walking and walking and walking and the whole time, Chooch kept muttering something about how Google said that Nyhavn was permanently closed, and I spat, “Um, I don’t think an entire iconic section of town is permanently closed???”

Chooch led us to basically a large body of water and was like “OK we’re here” and I know my eyes are bad, but this looked nothing like the famous views of Nyhavn that I have seen for like, half of my life? I didn’t even take any picture, so I have nothing to show for it, but I was so confused. Chooch goes, “It’s a bar, right? I told you – it’s not here. It’s permanently closed.”

NO, IT’S NOT A BAR?? Apparently when he googled Nyhavn the first thing that came up was the address for a bar that no longer exists. I will leave off the part where I threw a fit and declared that I was just going home (like, home to Pgh, not the hotel) all because of one stupid misunderstanding. I’m telling you – I am not fun on travel days. I never have been.

Anyway, Chooch got the right address locked in and we started walking again – it was fine, Copenhagen is pretty walkable (as long as you’re being conscious of the millions of dinging bicycle bells around you ugh) and we got to see some more cool shit on the way to the correct locale.

I would live there.

Anyway, we finally made it and it was, as expected, a huge tourist trap, full of pushy people trying to get The Shot for the ‘gram. Sucks that we didn’t get in as early as we were supposed to because my initial plan was to hit this spot up ASAP to beat the crowds, but whatever. Veni vidi vici, etc.

It was still really surreal to see it in real life, crowds aside.

I think it actually wasn’t THAT crowded. I imagine weekends would be even worse.

Anyway, that was whatever. Cool to see!

And then we just walked around a bunch. Looked at all the old-ass shit. Contemplated buying a plate but then worried about traveling with it (spoiler alert: I ended up bringing so much glass home in the end anyway; shoulda bought the stupid plate.) Tried to not sprain our ankles on cobblestones or get knocked over by the droves of distracted tourists.

I will say though that the girl we talked to at the Reinh van Hauen bakery was super sweet! I asked her to choose her favorite pastry for me and she selected that chocolate icing thing on the left, which was filled with cinnamon and so good – a great choice and I thanked her for it before we left! Taking time to sit down at this bakery was exactly what I needed though. I really need to try to be a slower tourist! I’m also so harried and wanting to run run run.

I know this probably seemed like a super negative post but I really wanted to be real about how subpar the first part of arrival day was. It drastically improved once we went back to the hotel for check-in at 3pm, met Coaster Crew’s leader Tim (I saw him sitting in the lobby talking to some dudes and I said, “WE HAVE TO GO AND INTRODUCE OURSELVES, MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION” because I was dead set on not lurking in the shadows on this trip) which went very well, and then took an hour nap in our super cute Tivoli Garden hotel room.

Part 2 will be much more upbeat, I swear! And then pretty much every day after that will be a 10/10.


Aug 202023

5 countries 🇩🇰 🇸🇪 🇳🇴 🇫🇮 🇪🇪 (7 if you count layovers 🇫🇷 🇳🇱), 13 parks (+1 run-down carnival thing in the middle of Tallinn), 65 coasters, 4 pounds gained from a 2 week diet of licorice/rye bread/cinnamon rolls, 1 Depeche Mode bar, dozens of new friends made, getting caught in what was apparently the worst storm that Scandinavia had seen in over 20 years (Storm Hans, which derailed – or ‘deferried’ as it were – a portion of the Coaster Crew itinerary but managed to become the best memory), and now we’re home! Sad for it to end but so happy to see my cats (shout out to my mom for keeping them company!) and to give my body a rest and start stalking the channels of the coaster YouTubers on our trip so we can relive the chaos!

That may have been the wildest trip of my life (SO FAR!). I love Coaster Crew. I love roller coasters. And I love that this is something we do together as a family! (Even though we fight 80% more than usual while traveling – families tho, right?)

Our travel day yesterday was…fine. Taxi picked us up right before 4am (ugh), first flight was at 7am to Amsterdam, then to ATL, then home. The flight to ATL was pretty annoying. The flight attendants were so unfriendly and unprofessional. I was not a fan. But I’m also not a fan of flying, either.

I always hate the end of vacations but I can honestly say that I think even one extra day would have been too much. We were already pushing it by tacking on those extra 5 days at the end and while it was definitely worth it (Finland and Estonia were absolutely wonderful), it really took a toll on us especially considering that part of the trip we were on our own. LOTS OF PUBLIC TRANSIT, people. We got a lot of use out of our Helsinki pass, that’s for sure.

Now to start editing photos and shoving recaps at your eyeballs! STAY TUNED!

P.S. it took me forever to arrange all those park maps up there for one stupid picture and then like 3 minutes later Henry strides over and says, “I found this Linnanmaki park map, do you need it?”


Aug 182023

After packing, Henry and I went out for one last walk around Helsinki. As with most places, I wish we had more time to spend here and I would love to come back one day! I mean, there *is* another park here that we didn’t make it to, so….lol.

Here are some photos I took during our walk.

We stopped at Fazer’s Cafe (the original location, apparently!) and I had an ACTUALLY GOOD chai latte and my last salty licorice (salmiak) ice cream fix. :( I know I’m in the minority here but goddamn I love that shit. Henry and Chooch think it’s disgusting and won’t come anywhere near it, haha.


Anyway, we’re at the Helsinki airport now, Saturday morning, 5:18am, waiting for our 7am flight to start our long trek home. This trip was so exhausting but in the best way. I say this all the time but I really want to make a scrapbook!!

Oh and I tried to actually record some stuff and Chooch allegedly is going to help me edit everything so maybe someday I will have something that I can share here?!