Sep 072022

As previously mentioned, we had a suspiciously* grand old time at Great Adventure but there were two big ass highlights which we will now discuss at length.

*(Any grand old time at a Six Flags park is suspicious. And curious.)


There’s this dark ride-ish / attraction at Great Adventure called Houdini’s Something or Other that we never got around to doing on our other visits, but this time, there appeared to be no line so we walked through the queue with the utmost confidence like we knew exactly what we were getting into. But as soon as we got to the end of the queue, a line attendant roped us off and said, “I’ll get you into the next cycle,” and we were like, “Oh, OK” all knowingly as though we were seasoned vets at this thing.

Meanwhile, more people had joined us in line, most notably, a family with a baby who was SUPER FUCKING BAD AND RUNNING AMOK AND SCREAMING.

Luckily, we only had to stand out there for about 5 or so minutes, before the doors to the building opened and we were all ushered into a “haunted library”-esque holding room, where a fairly lengthy pre-show played for us and I honestly am not too sure what was happening, but we reacted with over-the-top shock and let out super embellished gasps of surprise as Houdini’s ghost started making lights flicker, etc. This part alone was wildly entertaining for all the wrong reasons, but OH WAIT THERE’S MORE…

When the pre-show ended, a set of doors opened to a long room with three long, room-length benches on each side. It was set up like a haunted banquet hall, I guess? It’s been nearly a month & three amusement parks later at this point, I can’t remember! I just know that once everyone was seated, the ride attendant – a very bored and unenthused girl who was definitely sick of her job – kept repeating in an indoor voice that could barely be heard to please put all belongings in the bin on the other side of the doorway. A few people got up and did so, but most people continued to sit with giant stuffed animals and backpacks in their lap. She kept slowly cruising the room, eye-balling all of the benches, repeating her demands, so I hissed, “Put my bag out there!” to Chooch, who was like, “It’s a fanny pack, I don’t think she cares about that” and I was like, “JUST DO IT SHE’S MAKING ME NERVOUS” so he ripped it out of my hands with a huff and practically punted it onto the loose item shelf near the exit.

Meanwhile, Henry kept asking, “What does this ride do that no one can be holding anything??? Should That Baby be here?” and I kept brushing him off because I kind of knew what it was but not totally?!

That Baby was over there somewhere crying and screaming, so I whispered, “They should have to take that baby out, too” because NO ONE WANTED IT IN THERE, IT WAS SO FUCKING ANNOYING. There was a group of teenaged girls behind me who clearly felt the same, because one them cough-screamed, “SHUT YOUR BABY UP” and then “TAKE THE BABY OUT” and us COOL KIDS were fucking dying over this. Henry was frowning, but I could tell he wanted to laugh and join the Babyhaters Club because that baby was seriously the worst.

When I say that we sat in this room doing fuck all for a good ten minutes while the ride attendant slowly scanned the benches for loose articles, and then DISAPPEARED FOR LIKE 3 MINUTES, I am not even embellishing a little bit. It was the most surreal experience, sitting there, not knowing what the ride even was, while people walked back and forth to the loose article bin. One guy across from me left the room entirely and then some lady in his group went to go find him I guess and they both eventually came back and sat down, but why was this allowed to happen?? So much was going on and the ride hadn’t even begun!

Finally, the Loose Article Cop was satisfied and the ride started with no warning other than the lights shutting off. Basically, this was one of those “mystery house” type of rides where you’re essentially sitting on a giant swing, and while you’re slowly swinging, the room rotates around you so it appears that you’re going upside down but you’re not. It was actually super chaotic and kind of rough to be honest, so the girls behind us started screaming, “BUT THE BABY! WHAT ABOUT THE BABY!” and I was fucking losing my mind over this. I guess you could file this under HAD TO BE THERE but it was sincerely hurting my sides, I was in hysterics over this. Perhaps it was lack of sleep from all the traveling and action, but even Chooch and Henry could no longer stifle their mirth and actually appeared to also be sort of laughing a little maybe.

My laughs were more like JOYFUL BELLOWS though. I was into it. Bigly.

What a fucking weird experience.

Also – how did they manage to sneak That Baby on the ride?!!? It appeared to be maybe 2ish – able to walk/run as evidenced when it escaped its parents outside in line and ran into a cordoned-off area and the mom was frantically trying to capture it. I mean the ride didn’t actually go upside down and it was docile enough that there were no seatbelts or restraints on the benches, but was That Baby actually sitting on its own throughout that?! Because the rules say NO LAP CHILDREN. And That Baby seemed like a LAP CHILD to me.


Our first ride on El Toro earlier that day was good. I *thought* that I understood the hype. Maybe? It was a bit more painful than I anticipated, but there was no way I was leaving that night without a night ride.

It was around 8:30 by then, and the park was set to close at 9, so we were treated to a station wait which could have been a walk-on if we weren’t such back row sluts.

I will spare you the nitty gritty, but let’s just say that a night ride on El Toro felt borderline spiritual. First of all, 90% of the people riding it with us were psychopathic coaster enthusiasts. The ride ops were INSANELY hyper. People were screaming OLE each time a train left the station. The dispatches were PHENOMENAL.

This is one of the most aptly-named coasters I have ever had the pleasure (horror?) of being flung around on because you legit feel like you are clinging for dear life onto the back of a murderous bull. It’s the only way to describe it. The drops alone are heart-stopping, but there is a twister section near the end of the course that made my breath hitch every single time, it is so forceful and relentless, and it honest to god feels like you’re going to derail which isn’t really funny to say since it actually did partially derail last summer, but I digress.

Henry had gotten on the train before ours for some reason, I can’t remember why, so he was waiting for us at the entrance but little did he know that Chooch and I schmoozed the line attendant who was standing at the halfway point to check fast passes – there was a garbage can blocking an opening between the exit ramp and the queue line and NO ONE WAS IN LINE so we were like, “Can we please cut through??” rather than having to continue all the way through the exit and then get back in line. He granted us passage but made us walk like zombies as our penance, lol.

I love the El Toro crew!!

Chooch and I got back in line and decided to wait for the second to the last row because we would have a better chance of getting a reride if we weren’t in the back. While we were waiting, a girl screamed VOYAGE!!!!! to Chooch, who was wearing a Voyage shirt, and pointed to a Voyage tattoo on her arm. Then our favorite ride op ran past while checking restraints, stopped in front of us, and whined, “I WANT TO RIDE VOYAGE!” while stomping her feet in a fake-tantrum. It was so adorable and I really felt like I was with my people. Finally! Like, you have to be a crazy person to willingly get back in line for El Toro. When I say that it felt like my organs were shifted on our last go-around, I swear I’m not exaggerating!

Third ride on El Toro – excellent!

When our train came back to the station, we were like CAN WE STAY ON not realizing that someone was in line for our row, but NO ONE WAS IN LINE FOR THE BACK ROW and the people who were behind us on our ride had exited so the ride op was like, “Yeah, just grab an empty seat!” and we quickly slipped into the back row. Meanwhile, guess who had come crawling back into the station looking for us after we literally never left the El Toro area? HAHAHAHENRY. We waved to him from the back row and he shook his head and gave us the “You fuckers,” smirk.

Anyway, fourth ride was super memorable because as soon as we got to the top of the lift hill, it came to a complete stop. Everyone was like, “WTFFFFFF” and I was panicking because that lift hill is high AF and I was NOT trying to walk down it in the dark. Chooch made some dumb roll-back joke and I fucking swear to god right after he said that, the train WENT BACKWARDS for a click or two. We were all fucking screaming!

Then the main ride op who reminded me of Taylor from Coaster Studios because my eyes are bad came on over the speaker at the top of the lift hill and said, “Enjoy your 176 foot drop into total darkness” and the cable lift started back up and we were on our way but HOLY SHIT. What an experience. I think this was the ride where I whacked my elbow REALLY hard and literally thought I chipped the bone but then it turned out that the pain was from the bruise that instantly appeared. I sported that bitch like a badge of honor for days afterward.

OK this is where it got super chaotic. The train came back and the station was nearly empty so the ride ops were like IF YOU CAN FIND AN EMPTY ROW YOU CAN RIDE AGAIN. This was going to be the LAST RIDE OF THE NIGHT so people were ready to tackle each other for a seat. Chooch and I got split up – I ended up sitting with an older man enthusiast who Chooch saw later that night at our hotel, and Chooch got to sit with his Voyage girlfriend who I found afterward on Insta because she’s a huge El Toro groupie and is friends with a lot of the coaster vloggers I follow so you better believe I’m now following her as well, which Chooch thinks is cringey.


The stipulation was that since this was the last ride of the night, if anyone came into the station before the gates shut, whoever was sitting in that row would have to leave. So of course at the last minute, a few people came and out of all the rows, two of them picked the one that Chooch and the Voyage girl were sitting in which was just some random row toward the back. So they had to get out but the ride attendants were screaming, “EMPTY SEAT! EMPTY SEAT!” and Voyage girl ran and snatched it. Chooch ended up leaving and I was like NOOOOO because our Voyage-loving ride attendant girl friend found one more empty seat and was trying to call him back but he had already left and it was actually heart-breaking, you guys.

Like, he should have been on that train with me.


Then I remembered how he had the best fucking night rides of his life on FUCKING STEEL VENGEANCE at Cedar Point last May without me and I didn’t feel so bad anymore, lololol.

Holy shit, though. Ride #5 on this fucking demon, hoo boy. The shared adrenaline between everyone riding it was AMAZING. It was an enthusiast’s delight. Everyone was roaring LET’S GOOOOOO and it really felt like being a part of something insanely intense that is impossible to explain.

Then as our train was on the brake run, we watched them SEND ANOTHER TRAIN AFTER US, ARE YOU KIDDING? We were all crying, “You lied to us!” I guess the assholes that were on the train right before us cajoled them into sending them for one last cycle so THEY got to be the last ride of the night, which made Chooch feel better, lol. But he was still glowering at me when I finally left the El Toro station and returned to him and Henry, both standing outside of the El Toro entrance with their arms crossed, shaking their heads at me.

“It wasn’t even the last ride of the night, nice try,” Chooch said, clearly still jealous though lol.

And then a week later, several people got hurt on El Toro when it allegedly hit a pot hole at the bottom of one of the hills and now the ride is closed again, under investigation. Enthusiasts are coming out left and right talking about how they really felt like it had been running exceptionally rough over the last several weeks so um, that would explain my bruises (some of which were probably internal too!).

I’m glad that no one was seriously injured and I hope that Six Flags does everything and more to ensure that this ride can safely reopen at some point, because it is truly amazing and I’m sorry that it took me so long to get out to Great Adventure and ride it.


El Toro (Six Flags Great Adventure) - Wikipedia

(Got this picture from Wiki – would you just look at it.)

Aug 302022

I kept putting off recapping our Six Flags Great Adventure visit a few weeks ago and now the timing is super awkward because El Toro has recently been closed indefinitely by the park so that sucks. But we’ll get to that another time!

Our experience at Great Adventure has been sketchy. The first time we went, it was part of my roller coaster birthday extravaganza last summer, and the sole purpose of going was to finally ride El Toro  (OK and also the brand new at the time RMC raptor) but then a few weeks before the trip, one of the trains of El Toro had a partial derailment and the coaster was immediately closed for inspection, investigation, and repairs.

Luckily, no one was hurt!

But the coaster community was SHOOK because this coaster is beloved. It’s been on my bucket list ever since I rode T-Express at Everland in South Korea, because that’s El Toro’s sister coaster (they’re both Intamin pre-fab woodies) and T-Express is the coaster that turned me into an enthusiast. Before that, I leaned heavily toward dark rides when deciding which amusement park to travel to and I still am a huge dark ride dork! But T-Express opened my eyes to the world of these newer wooden coasters because I had no idea prior to that than anything this insane could be possible. It’s kind of backward that my intro to this would be in Korea and then El Toro would sit stagnant on my bucket list for like, 5 years, when it’s only 6 hours away from me!

Anyway, El Toro was retracked and deemed safe to open for the 2022 season (OR IS IT, dun dun dunnn). So, since the Coastin’ by the Ocean event ended at 2pm that Sunday, I suggested that we leave afterward and hit up Great Adventure, which is only about 90 minutes away. Henry mumbled a half-hearted agreement and it actually ended up being the best idea because THE PARK WAS NOT CROWDED. Were we finally going to have a fantastic time at Great Adventure?! Fine, I’ll just tell you – YES. We had a great effin’ time!

It was also the last day of their Summer Festival thing so there were some fun photo op areas set up like this valley of dancing air guys which was impossible to enjoy because parents were too busy letting their children abuse the things.

Our mission was to get our asses on El Toro ASAP but first we had to get lost in the park because even with three visits under our belts in less than a year, this park still renders us with no sense of direction. This pinwheel tunnel was cool to get lost in though.

You guys.

*heavy panting*

*wipes slobber off chin with back of Henry’s hand*

*slow hip gyra—-I MEAN WHAT OK*

OK I don’t even know where to start with this and you don’t care so I will try to keep this brief, but our first experience is AS FOLLOWS:

  • waited in line for around 20 minutes, maybe less;
  • entered the station, which was SIZZLIN’ with energy, and went straight to the back;
  • the ride ops were INSANE and SUPER HYPE, which only added to the experience;
  • they scream OLE! when they dispatch you!
  • the cable lift hill!!! T-Express vibes! I was like exploding with anticipation!

As we three staggered toward the exit after our inaugural ride on the bull, I had thoughts, the most reoccurring being HOW IS THAT SAFE.

And I mean that in the best, most complimentary way possible.

I did feel as though it was rough, maybe even excessively so, to the point where I was scared to put my hands up at times because I felt the need to hold on for dear life ESPECIALLY toward the end when the laterals (lol it took me forever to understand this) actually make you feel like the train is going to fly off the track.

While I agree that El Toro is deserving of the hype, I still – IN MY HEART OF HEARTS whatever the fuck  that even means – love T-Express more. Look, I only rode the thing twice and it was in 2018 when my basis of comparison was probably only, I dunno, the time I rode the Beast in 2005, but I just remember T-Express taking me by absolute surprise and tossing me around like a rag doll in the jaws of a German Shepherd, man.

I knew that I would need to get at least one more ride on El Toro before we left, preferably at night, but we had some other coaster creds to FINALLY get first.

Like Nitro! I really liked this B&M hyper! It was not my favorite hyper by a long shot, but I thought it was definitely worth the wait – it was closed on our first visit, and our second visit was during Fright Fest and the line for it snaked all the way out into the concourse. This time? It was practically a station wait both times we rode it!

The first time, we had just made it back to the brake run when Chooch was like, “OMG look!” and started waving to some people on the rapids ride. I didn’t understand what the big deal was at first, but then I realized that the raft had somehow entered an area that wasn’t part of the ride?! It was the big overflow pool thing, and it looked like the gate to that area had somehow opened and allowed a raft with people on it to cruise on in. Maintenance was there with a rope trying to get them out wtf?! I mean, it was harmless, no one was injured, but this happened RIGHT AFTER Chooch made some weird comment in line alluding to a rapid ride incident.

Oh, another redemption? JERSEY DEVIL. We rode it 4 or 5 times, I can’t remember, because it was an absolute walk-on and the ops were insanely efficient, and I realized that HOLY SHIT, this is actually a fun ride. I know it’s so annoying to hear enthusiasts say things like, “It hasn’t warmed up yet” or “it’s running really slow” because before I started learning about coasters, I never knew that ride experiences could vary! (I mean, aside from front vs back row.) But I really think that this was the case when Chooch and I rode it last October – it was a chilly fall day and clearly it wasn’t running to its full potential because this bitch was FLYING in August.

I also appreciated that one of the ride ops asked me, “How do you want it?” before pressing down on my restraints. “Just a little bit,” I answered, so he TAPPED IT and moved on. THAT IS GOOD SERVICE.

I realize that that whole last section sounds obnoxiously sexual.

Chooch got his Lil Devil cred:

And we also finally got the Superman Ultimate Flight cred after the line was like 2 hours long the first two times we visited. This time? 10 minutes, boy. The ride ops on this one too were cruising! They were definitely timing themselves / racing each other and it was really entertaining to watch.

Flying coasters aren’t my faves, but this one was actually pretty enjoyable. I still would say that Manta at Sea World Orlando is the best, but this one is up there. Probably wouldn’t feel the same if I had to wait 2 hours to ride it though!

Do you remember last October when I imprinted on Bizarro? Well, it was rethemed (themed back to?) to Medusa. This was the original name of the coaster so OG fans of Great Adventure were really stoked for this. All I cared about was if it was going to keep the flames and other effects. It did! However, the fire wasn’t happening the day we were there. I’m pretty sure it’s still there though because I feel like I saw it on some coaster vlogs (like I don’t even care that I’m a fucking nerd over this anymore, lol).

Anyway, even without the flames, it was still a fun-ass ride! The ride ops were super sarcastic, the first drop sent me on a giggle spree, the smoke effects made me scream YEAAAAAH like a frat boy, and then Chooch randomly started talking about how he wants to be a serial killer when he grows up and I was just like, “Why wait?”

It was delirious ride experience, and I loved every second.

This basically sums up our quick visit to Great Adventure, minus THE TWO BIGGEST HIGHLIGHTS which I will post about separately because this bitch is nearly 1500 words and I’m running out of stamina.

Aug 252022

[Sidenote: I’ve been stalking Morey’s to see if they ever posted our group picture and apparently the used a cropped version of it on their 2023 Coastin’ By the Ocean registration page – yes, you can already register for next year! They don’t waste any time. Anyway, I’m laughing being the annoying coaster ‘tuber got cut out of the picture. You can see me in the back!!]

Look, you’re tired of hearing/reading about it, I’m tired of writing about it (j/k I’m loving these recaps because it’s like I’m still there when I am actually just in dumbo Pittsburgh ugh), so I’m going to try and zip through the last installment of the Coastin’ By the Ocean 2022 series, OK?!

Sunday consisted of 11-12pm ERT on the rides at Morey’s Piers, and then we moved on over to the Adventure Pier where we got ERT on all of the extreme rides which are normally an upcharge of $20+ per person, but were all included with our pass! That didn’t delight me very much because some of these extreme thrill rides are a bit too much even for me. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

The guy in the patterned shirt is the one who called out my Gemini tshirt the day before – he was so cool! Anyway, you can kind of see Chooch and me on the Sea Serpent even though Henry always wants to stand as far away as possible so we’re just blurred smudges in a sea of strangers.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that the Sea Serpent sucks. It does not. It’s iconic and forceful!

Can we talk about Morey’s Music? Just like last summer, my aural experience was excelsior, literally the best summer soundtrack. I even opened my Notes to jot down some of the stuff we heard Saturday morning on Surfside Pier, which was playing most stuff from the late 1990s:

  • Sweetness – Jimmy Eat World
  • Shimmer – Fuel
  • Inside Out – Eve6

Of course, we heard some Cure and HOWARD JONES too, and “How Soon is Now” by the Smiths. I have noticed that the era of music varies depending on which pier you’re on – for example, Mariner’s Piers stays true to the pure 1980s nostalgic ear worms and I love them for that. Unlike most parks where you’re guaranteed to have, I dunno, Party in the USA or some Taylor Swift blah blah beat into your ‘drums, Morey’s puts THOUGHT into their playlists. I need to meet the person in charge of this at some point because they are truly doing the lord’s work.


OK moving on! Let’s just mostly look at some pictures, because Morey’s is a beautiful spot.

I feel like Flying Galleons was the longest line we waited in all weekend and it was only about 20 minutes and I will tell you why it took long – the ride op was letting in some PEASANTS who weren’t sporting the special Coastin’ By the Ocean wristband! He did turn some people away but we couldn’t figure out what his thought process was.

Looking for my birthday present to the right….

…to the left….


Look at Great White over there, creeping up along the beach!

Missing his Mexico Squad, boo hoo *in Spanish*.

Praying for me to stop asking about my birthday present. (For those following along at home, wondering if I ever got it, I’ll spare you the suspense: N-O. Maybe next year LOL.

That “LOL” was passive aggressive, in case you couldn’t tell.

In line for Whirlwind Whizzer lol.

I wanted to ride the balloons but then forgot that I wanted to ride them and am just now remembering as I look at this and now I’m sad.

Buncha thoosies.

Um, I have no idea what he was signaling to us here. “I JUST REMEMBER THERE’S NOTHING IN HERE, MY HEAD IS JUST AN EMPTY SHELL.”

Us in line for Whirlwind Whizzer, alternate angle.

The ride op was so fucking cheerful on this one. I mean, they all are and it’s really unique because Morey’s has some kind of international summer work exchange program or something where people from all over the world come here to work the piers and their name tags all tell their home country –  my favorite was the kid from Malaysia who was running IT on Saturday. You get to interact with friendly, cool people from all over the world and they really give you the best customer experience possible. It’s a stark contrast to some of the other parks where the ride operators look like they’d rather drink acid than smiling at riders.

Every single Morey’s ride operator waves to you too as your ride starts up, and it’s fucking adorable and so much fun to wave back.

On Saturday, I was like, “Oh yeah, I forgot they do this here,” while dusting off my best jazz hands.

Getting some dumb pineapple drink in between piers.

Over on Adventure Pier, I rode this piece of shit extreme ride with Chooch and it was an actual hellscape except hundreds of feet in the air instead of in the scorched earth.

It was similar to that asshole ride at Six Flags Great Escape, except only two people can sit on each end and it was somehow way worse / scarier than the other one. The ride op asked me if I was excited and I was like DO I LOOK LIKE IT and she was all, in her Russian accent, “Oh, this is the BEST ride on the WHOLE boardwalk! I ride it every morning! It’s fun you will LUFF it!” and I was like, “Mm we’ll see about th—–OMFG UGHHHHHHH CHOOCH I HATE YOU, I’M GOING TO DIE, THIS IS SO AWFUL!! CHOOCH *PAUSES TO CHOKE ON TONGUE* I’M GOING TO PEE MY PANTS CHOOCH *GAGS ON FEAR* NO SRSLY CHOO—-AHHHHHHHH OMG HOW IS THIS LEGAL???”

Yeah, it was an absolute fucking nightmare. Especially when it pauses you at the top while the people below are being let off and you can feel every single movement that they’re making down there, and it’s like, “Just look at the scenery, enjoy the scenery. Beautiful oce——OMFG IT’S GOING BACKWARD NOW?? OMG IT’S LIKE WE’RE CAREENING FACE FIRST INTO THE CONCRETE, CHOOCH!!! WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK THIS IS AWFUL!! LET ME OFF!”

And he’s just over there smiling like a derelict. Honest to god though I was laughing and crying at the same time, but then my laughs would get snagged in my throat as my body periodically did a full shut-down into preservation mode.

My heartrate is actually accelerating a little bit at the memory of this.

Anyway, once the ride was done, the girl asked how I liked it and I was like IT WAS SOMETHING and then slinked out of the seat.

“Could you hear me screaming?” I asked Henry, who was like, “Um, YES. EVERYONE could you hear you screaming.”

“Even the part about how I was going to pee my pants?”

“Yep, even that part,” he said with a frown.

Then Chooch and I rode Great White twice in a row because they let us stay on!

OMG see the guy in the pink outfit? He was part of the event and I was OB-SESSED with him ever since watching his video from, I think 2019 when he also attended this event as a guest of one of his friends who is an ACE member. He was just so cool in his video and on both days this year he was wearing really amazing summer rompers.

Henry said I should have just talked to him. He was too cool for me though :(

Since I rode that Skyscraper shit show with Chooch, Henry took one for the team and got in line for the Slingshot thing.


One of the ladies from the event came over and said to me, “You’re sitting this one out too, huh?” and I was like, “Look, I went on that stupid thing over there so I paid my dues!” She looked at the Skyscraper and said, “OMG I won’t get on that thing either!”

Smart woman.

Although…now I’m kind of craving another go on it?!

Did you guys know that Chooch and I are such avid smoothie bowl fans that we are currently open to any and all sponsorship opportunities? I WILL SELL MY SOUL FOR A SMOOTHIE BOWL HOOK-UP, TRUST.

Anyway, Henry stood too close to this smoothie shack and I said, “OMG ARE WE GETTING SMOOTHIE BOWLS??” and he was saying no, I was giving him my order, and then Chooch wanted one, so then Henry sighed and even got himself a smoothie too! (Not a smoothie bowl though, he’s not sophisticated enough for the things that go into and on top of a smoothie bowl.)

God yes, my body was like NOURISH ME, SEMPAI after the pizza blitz from Saturday.

Henry finally got his lime rickey. I didn’t like it. It had too much rickey to it.

Next time, I want to eat at Snow White! It has such an iconic sign and there’s a recording of some old guy reading off the specials that plays all day long. (Wait, I think that’s at Snow White! Do not quote me. #FakeJournalism)

Couldn’t leave without Curley’s!

Ugh, this was our final memory of Morey’s Piers 2022. I still can’t believe that last year was my first time back in nearly 30 years, and then we came back this year too! I suggested that we buy a beach house there and Henry was like “OK Fake Attorney.”

I am trying to push for an extended stay maybe next June, where we make Wildwood our home base for like 4 nights and then hit up all the neighboring boardwalk parks.

Right before we left, there was a brief moment when I thought Henry was proposing to me on the Wildwood boardwalk after 21 years but he was actually just kneeling down to tie his shoe. 🤷🏼‍♀️ A very Oh Honestly Erin ending to the weekend.

Also, I just realized that it would have been right next to a garbage can so I’m glad it wasn’t actually a proposal although it would have been so apropos. An aproposal, even. #noringforme #couldaputitinthelimerickey

Aug 242022

I woke up last Sunday morning feeling LIKE MYSELF again. Still a little tired, but we didn’t have to be back at the boardwalk for Day 2 of ERT until 11, so we got to take it easy. And by take it easy, I mean that I woke Henry up bright and early and made him walk with me to get coffee.

We picked this adorable cafe a few blocks from our hotel, called Goodness on the Go and arrived JUST AS AN ENTIRE VAN OF MORMON-esque broads came tumbling out with their vacant stares and ankle skirts. We managed to get through the door while they were still out doing roll call or bowing to the prophet, who even knows.

The two ladies working there were A DELIGHT. Super friendly and helpful. “Oh no, she’s looking at the flavors, you better tell her now!” the one lady said to the other, and I guess they were out of FRENCH TOAST syrup.

I mean, I was actually just planning on getting a hot coffee with no flavor but sucks about the French Toast syrup! When I asked for Splenda with my coffee, the one lady was like, “We have some SUGAR FREE SYRUPS, if you’d like to hear ’em?” and you know what? Yes, I did want to hear them. They had sugar free pumpkin. Fall flavor in the middle of summer at the beach? Let’s do it.

I really appreciated the suggestion, actually!

By now, the coven had entered the building, as well as some additional people, so we felt really blessed that we got there when we did. Was Sunday the Lord’s Day, or OUR Day?

Henry got an iced coffee or something, who cares. But we both agreed that it was some good coffee. I felt ready for the day. Thank you, Goodness on the Go! Your cookie was good too!

We woke up Son of the Year when we got back.

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He seemed to be in an OK mood because he had finished his book (Bullet Train) at some point during the night and was riding that high because I guess this is his current favorite book??

I had been jawing off since the day before about wanting to eat at Hot Spot for breakfast to the point where both Henry and Chooch were screaming in unison, “OK WE KNOW! WE GET IT! WE GOT IT! HOT SPOT. BREAKFAST. DONE.”

We sat outside so we could breathe in that ocean air  give scraps to the sea gulls lol.

I packed a bunch of Chooch’s coaster nerd shirts since we were doing a real life thoosie event and of course on the first day, he wore some random F21 shirt but I made him wear his Voyage shirt on Sunday and this would come into play later that night at a completely different park, which I will get to in another post so you will just have to believe me for now that it was an awesome moment.

Still no birthday present. It’s fine. I just wanted a waffle by this point.

Sunday’s breakfast was so much better than Saturday’s! I had been craving a waffle ever since I stupidly went the savory route at that other place. I appreciate that it came topped with FRESH blueberries and not a compote.

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So far, Sunday was off to a great start. My waffle was just what I needed, the view of the beach and Morey’s Pier was stellar, the company was so-so. But then two separate families arrived with kids who seemed to be competing over who could get their screams closest to DOG WHISTLE territory without crossing over into it. So effing loud and shrill, go away!!

We had some time before ERT was starting so Henry went back to pack and check out while Chooch and I cruised the boardwalk, looking for the place that had a particular Bad Bunny shirt design that he wanted to buy for one of the MEXICO SQUAD MEMBERS. We ended up going into the wrong one – they had some BB designs but not the one his friend liked, so we were about to leave but THE WORKER MAN accosted us and was like CAN I HELP YOU and Chooch is worst than me when it comes to declining a shop clerk’s assistance, so he said YES DO YOU HAVE THIS ONE and showed him the design on his phone, and the dude was like NO BUT I CAN GET IT and used his phone to find the image from Chooch’s phone and at first I was like IS THIS MAN GOING TO MAKE YOU A TSHIRT USING A PICTURE OF AN IMAGE TAKEN FROM YOUR PHONE but no, thank god, he was just using it to look it up on some BOARDWALK IRON-ON image repository, I don’t fucking know.

Meanwhile, Chooch’s friend (ANNA) was like, “I was just kidding please don’t buy me a shirt” as if he was even the one doing the buying, please Anna. But Chooch was like, “Look, we are in this deep now. You are getting a shirt” so then she was like fine and chose one of the other Bad Bunny designs that the guy already had on the wall!

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So now Chooch had to stop him from doing whatever he was doing on his computer, thinking he was going to make it easy by picking a design he already had in his inventory, but the guy was like, “OK that’s fine but I am still going to add this design to my store because I like it” lol give Chooch a finder’s fee discount then.

From here, it turned into “what kind of shirt / what color / what size” and thank god Anna was responding in real time because this was a stressful process.

There was a sweatshirt that I wanted to get but at this point I was like I WILL JUST GO TO THE STORE WHERE I ORIGINALLY SAW IT. Basically all these shops are the same – they all have similar iron-on designs and you just choose what kind of shirt or hoodie you want it on so I wasn’t exactly MARRIED to this place. But then he was like, “AND FOR YOU?” and there was just something about this man that was so earnest and nice, UGH I know he was basically just a boardwalk charlatan treating everyone like he only had eyes for them in order to make a sale but I still willingly fell into his web, OK? THE ATTENTION WAS NICE. Especially when he said mine would be 1/2 off. I mean, come on.

So I got a Wildwood sweatshirt, which you can see if you go back and read my MONDAY LIVE BLOG!

Um, I will say though that my debit card DECLINED here even though I had sufficient funds (don’t worry, I had backup) and then someone from the FRAUDULENT CHARGE DEPT of my bank called the next day and left a message, which I never returned, and then that same card was declined tonight too when I tried to pay for dinner at Mad Mex so um….maybe I should call them back lol.

What kind of business are you running, Boardwalk Charlatan?? Also, how long before Anna’s and my shirts disintegrate into sand.

Is it weird that I, a 43-year-old woman (with no present from my partner to commemorate this new older age) felt like Chooch and I really accomplished something big without Henry!? WE WALKED IN THAT SHOP, TOLD THE MAN WHAT WE WANTED EVEN THOUGH HE TRIED TO FORCE HIS OWN CHOICES ON US (like I appreciate that you think I can fit into a small crewneck, bro, but I would prefer to be able to move so when I ask for the MEDIUM let us PLEASE go with that), AND THEN WALKED OUT WITH A BAG CONTAINING TWO (2) PIECES OF APPAREL.

We made that happen. Snaps to us, if I could snap.

Wow that was a lot of words and none of the riding even happened yet.

Aug 232022

Hi babes – OK, that didn’t work. Let’s never do that again. I was trying something and it made me squirm in my uncomfiness.

Anyway! The second half of Coastin’ by the Ocean, day one was A MIXED BAG OF FEELINGS. It started when we went back to our hotel and I convinced Henry to walk to the Wildwood Historical Society with me because they were having a Castle Dracula comic book event where the the creator of the book was there doing a signing and some old cast members were making an appearance as well as I believe the guy who had created the old Castle Dracula attraction in Wildwood? If you don’t know the story, it was this IMPOSING STRUCTURE on the boardwalk that had two options: a walk-thru or a BOAT RIDE.

I don’t recall myself being a mega-wuss in general and I for sure grew up on a HEALTHY SERVING of horror movies, but there was something about this attraction that scared the crap out of me and I refused to go into it. I have a memory of my parents doing it one summer and actually fearing for their lives?! I went on like every single other darkride but this one! It had the most foreboding music that wafted out onto the pier like the smoke-version of Dracula himself waiting to penetrate your ears.

This shaped many of my nightmares back in the 80s but to this day, one of my greatest regrets is NOT EXPERIENCING THE INSIDE OF THIS. Greater even than dropping out of high school, etc etc.

And I’ll tell you why this is a regret: because some dumb asshole boys BURNT THE WHOLE THING DOWN in the early 2000s. IT NO LONGER EXISTS. But it is legendary, man. If you know you know.

I’m positive that I have written about this on here before because it is one of those things that is very much a part of my childhood.

So yeah, Henry was like, “Sure thing little lady, love of my life, recipient of an imaginary birthday gift, let us walk to this joint together and get you a copy of this relic.”

It actually took much longer to walk and we arrived RIGHT before the place was supposed to close, but they had a healthy crowd and the elderly woman in a black mourning dress who greeted us inside the door didn’t seem to balk at our late entry, but instead spent a good five minutes explaining to us what delights we could find inside the historical society, and I giddily told her that I bought vintage Wildwood postcards from their eBay shop several years ago.

She seemed super impressed.


Anyway, there were several people in line to have their book signed, and people were chatting away with an old man whom I assume was the aforementioned creator of the Castle, and for some reason, my social anxiety kicked in BIGLY. Like, I was in fight or flight mode and wanted to flee ASAP. Henry was like, “Why? We’re here. Get the book,” and I was like, “I CAN’T DO IT. I CAN’T GO OVER AND PICK IT UP. THE PEOPLE! THE TALKING PEOPLE!” I was just so worried that by getting too close to the action, someone would ask me to tell a memory of the Castle and I would have to say THAT I NEVER WENT INSIDE BECAUSE I WAS TOO SCARED?

So I was like, “Forget it I’m leaving” and tried to leave but more people had come in and now Mourning Gown was giving the new people the same spiel and blocking my escape, and in the meantime, I noticed that there was a display case with CASTLE DRACULA COFFEE CUPS and I figured I could at least get one of those without having to coversate so while I waited for some guy to get out of the way, Henry emerged from the SCARY ROOM with a copy of the comic for me and said, “I didn’t have to stand in line to have it signed or talk to anyone, I just picked it up and paid for it” and wow, ISN’T LIFE SO FUCKING EASY FOR HENRY THE HIM MAN.

I got my things and I am mourning the loss of this dark attraction all over again. :(

I got really cranky(ier) on the walk back. I was exhausted, clearly, but maybe also hungry, definitely slightly dehydrated, and also WHERE WAS MY BDAY PRESENT so all of these things were chipping away at my patience.

We stopped at a Mexican bakery though so that was nice. Got back to the hotel, Chooch ate his Mexican baked good and then he and Henry took a nap BUT I COULD NOT, AND NOT FOR LACK OF TRYING. Henry was snoring so hard and I was really wired.

This all must have been from around 4:30 to 5:30, because then Henry finally woke up and he and I went back to the boardwalk to ride some stuff before dinner, while Chooch continued to nap.

It was mostly a nice time! Henry rode the Sea Serpent for the first time and was like, “Cool but never again.”

Ugh all of this is so iconic.

This was on some revamped dark water ride themed after Wildwood.

It was cute but not the greatest. I wish they would bring back the oldies like Keystone Kops or Koppers, whatever it was called. I fucking loved that ride when I was little.

Then I had a MISTER SOFTEE while waiting for Chooch to join us because it was almost time for the catered event at 7pm.

Me getting mad again because where was my present. I dunno, ask Henry.

Looking for my present?

Chooch did eventually meet us but when we went to the pavilion where the catered picnic was happening, there was a long line of enthusiasts waiting and I dunno man, my nerves were HEIGHTENED. I had that “who will we sit with?!??!” middle school cafeteria concern and finally Henry was like, “We don’t have to eat here, you know” and so we didn’t but maybe we should have, I dunno! The Morey’s people were so awesome, but I didn’t get a real sense of inclusivity from many of the attendees. Cliques be impenetrable, you know?

So insert OLYMPIC FLAME dinner here.

I’ll tell you what, after eating, I could barely keep my eyes open. The last time I can remember being THAT tired in public was being JETLAGGED in Korea. I said that I wanted to go back to the room and sleep and it’s a good thing I did so because it was the only way I was able to go back later that night for midnight ERT on Great White!

While I was in the bathroom taking out my contacts, I couldn’t help but overhear the LOUD FAMILY on their porch in the hotel behind ours because our buildings were practically flush against each other and I would have been REALLY annoyed except that the convo was so scandalous because evidently, some guy affiliated with them, whether another family member or just a friend is to be determined, had told the woman who was clearly the Alpha of this group and did most of the talking, that he wanted to kill himself and this was SUPER INCONVENIENT AND ANNOYING to her, like AW COME ON, GET OVER IT, you know? So she’s droning on and on about how no one should really believe this and all of the guys on the porch are being really quiet but then another broad chimes in that someone should SLIP HIM SOME PILLS.

Like, roofie his Cheerios with some crushed up lithium?

Man, this was some real Jersey Shore shit. If I wasn’t so tired, I’d have continued sitting on the toilet with the lights out, filling my head with ripe gossip in the Key of JWOW.

But thankfully, I was actually able to go to sleep for a few hours because the a/c provided the perfect blanket of white noise.

Henry and Chooch came back around 10 I think and I was somehow STILL MISERABLE when I woke up??

We tried to get Chooch to go back to the boardwalk with us for the Great White ERT, but he was “reading his book” a/k/a on a group call with Mexico Squad whom he had been texting all day because they are all really into Bad Bunny and a lot of the boardwalk shops had Bad Bunny merch and some places were even playing Bad Bunny – we will talk about all of this in the “tomorrow post” though.

Anyway, once I got back on the boardwalk, Normal Erin started to come back and I was back to being excited about Wildwood Things.

Henry really wanted a Lime Ricky but it was after 11pm and he was afraid to order one because it looked like the girl was cleaning up the LIME RICKY counter, I dunno, I wasn’t paying attention.

Getting ready for that BABY BACK THERE, DO YOU SEE HER?!?

It wasn’t quite midnight yet so they were still letting general public ride and it was a walk-on. We shrugged and got on a train with all the commoners and man, I forgot from just last summer how great this baby is. I never rode it before it was retracked though and I heard it was a miserable and very forgettable experience back then. But Morey’s has really been putting in the work and TLC and it shows.

We were pretty much the LROTNOGW because right after that, they shut down the queue line while getting all the plebs the eff off the pier. So when we got off, there was already a little bit of a line of the event goers forming at the entrance. When I say that the air felt electric and charged, does that sound corny?! Because that’s kind of how it felt, I’m not gonna lie or try to be TOO COOL to admit something like that. My feelings of inadequacy and unbelonging while standing in the catering line just slipped away and I was way too stoked to think about anything other than that we were going to ride this beautiful wooden majesty, next to the ocean, at midnight, on a pier that was closed to everyone else.

AND THEN THEY SHUT THE LIGHTS OFF! You can’t even tell in that picture up there because the moonlight was so illuminating, but we were actually cruising over those tracks in PITCH BLACKNESS.

There was this kid in line behind us who I kept seeing all weekend long and I just thought he was so precious ESPECIALLY when he called his mom, who I guess bowed out of this portion of the event (she was clearly just there for him – I don’t think I saw her riding anything), and said, “Mom, they turned the lights off! I’m going to ride the ride in the pitch dark!”

The way his pureness regenerated some of the blackened crannies of my heart.

We were on the third train of the event. The first one actually got stopped on the lift hill and they had to temporarily turn the lights back on! I guess that what you get when half of the train is drunkenly scream-singing Backstreet Boys as the train left the station.

We had already ridden it in the back on the last ride before midnight, so this time we just went for a middle row, then got right back in line for front row. It was clear that not many people had come back out this late because most of the rows were a walk-on. We only had to wait for a few minutes for the front and it was excellent. There is something really special about riding a coaster on a boardwalk, ocean air whipping at your face, spinal column getting truncated – ahhh.

It was nearly 1am by that point and we surely didn’t need to stay for the whole duration, so after our three rides, we started our walk back to the hotel and, while there were still some boardwalk stragglers, it was eerily quiet and peaceful!

Ugh, Wildwood. I’m crying right now. I miss you lots like tater totsCurley’s Fries.

WAIT OMG I JUST REMEMBERED SOMETHING! Another huge reason why I was being a fucking shit that day was because MY BLOG QUIT WORKING. I know, you’re thinking, “wow erin rly get a fucking life no one reads it anymore?” but regardless of stats, comments, readers, views, this blog is my lifeline! I don’t use physical journals anymore so everything, my whole life, is H E R E. I had really wanted to be able to post little micro-blogs while we were away so it wouldn’t be over a week later and I’m here trying to catch up as usual, but Henry wasn’t able to get things fixed until the next night. Overall, not a complete disaster, but I genuinely love to blog so I was getting the SHAKES and couldn’t stop thinking the worst.

Sometimes I hate myself lol ugh.

Aug 202022

When we registered for the Morey’s Piers Coastin’ By the Ocean event last spring, we knew that we wanted to stay near the boardwalk but it was also extremely hard to find anything with reasonable rates since we were booking that close to the start of the summer season.

But then I (yes, t’was I, the one that Henry never lets anywhere near the booking process) found one that wasn’t too exorbitant (I mean, it wasn’t cheap either but you don’t go to Wildwood without expecting to pay those beach rates).

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And it just so happened that it was directly across from the pier where we needed to register at 9am Saturday morning.


I thought it was ok! I mean, it’s no Olympic but we went through this last year too. So, you know. Expectations were low.

But Henry immediately bonded with the owner, probably because he had tons of Pro-Police propaganda pasted up around the office, which caused Henry to nose-dive into his WHITE KNIGHT armor as soon as I pointed this out in a disparaging tone.

Honestly, we were only there to crash for a bit during the afternoon in between coaster schedules and to sleep.

I liked that there was a live DJ at the pool too. Not that I went anywhere near the pool with my body dysmorphia, but it was comforting to listen to all the people splashing around and having fun while we recharged in our room that afternoon.

Also, you can see the boardwalk from our door!

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Also, the proprietor let Henry stay parked in the lot before we checked in on Saturday and after we checked out on Sunday after Henry explained to him that we were still going to be on the boardwalk for the event.

What a nice guy (except for the BLUE LIVES bullshit)!

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Good job finding this place, me!

Aug 202022

You guys! Baby’s First Coaster Enthusiast Event! I was so giddy when we strode right past the “SURFSIDE PIER IS CLOSED FOR A PRIVATE EVENT” sign with the air of people who BELONG and went to the guest services counter to register. I couldn’t have imagined any place better to attend our first coaster event than at my beloved Morey’s Piers! I had watched some videos from coaster YouTubers who attended this event in the past and it just looked so cool and casual.

Immediately, one of the Morey’s guys called out to me from behind the counter, “Are you the reason I keep seeing those shirts all over the Internet?” and I was like, “I HAVE BEEN SEEN BY A MOREY’S PERSONNEL!!

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” He was so cool too!

Then I noticed right next to us was a coaster vlogger whom I follow on Instagram and sometimes watch his videos so I had to elbow Henry and he was like, “Ok. Cool.”

Anyway, here was the agenda!

So the reason why this is so cool is that the piers don’t officially open to the general public until noon (Adventure Pier opens at 2pm) so from 9:30 to noon on Saturday, we had free reign of the rides listed up there for special ERT (early ride time / exclusive ride time).

We were the first train of the day on the Great Nor’easter – a trainful of true thoosies! It was a really cool experience because, and I mean this in the best way possible since I’m talking about myself also, but to be a true coaster thoosie, you gotta be a little bit psycho! So imagine a trainful of us assholes, totally screaming our lungs out and just LIVING FOR IT.

And goddammit, this is STILL the best Vekoma SLC IN THE WHOLE WORLD. Literally the ONLY one worth re-riding. Morey’s Piers puts so much TLC into their rides and piers, and their ride operators are just TOP NOTCH – it really elevates the experience.

Oh I should mention that last year, Henry didn’t get a wrist band (we weren’t there for the event last year, this was just a regular day) so the only things he rode was the Great White once and the carousel once. This time, he got to ride everything!

I kept calling Dante’s Dungeon “Dante’s Inferno,” which IS a ride but just…not one at Wildwood. Chooch mocked me which is basically his sole purpose in life these days.

I love love love me a darkride.

Chooch was “not scared” at the real life person who comes after you at the end. They totally got me, though!

Runaway Tram is such a fun family coaster! You would never know it by Henry’s stoic stance.

Now, brace yourselves for a series I like to call Before the Tilt-a-Whirl Tilted and Whirled Our Breakfast.

Me, on the cusp of realizing that Chooch is taking bursts.

Me, starting to sense that something is wrong.

Me, desperately asking for my phone back.


Chooch and I went back for more Nor’easter rerides before ERT ran out.

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We walked right onto the front, and then they let us re-ride on any unoccupied row of our choosing and the backrow was open so we snagged it! I realized that the front is waaaay rougher/more intense than the back. The back is where you want to sit to get a nice, smooth ride where you can walk off without your brain feeling scrambled!

Gathering our bearings after a ride on It, which is like the Claw ride that is so ubiquitous in traveling carnivals. It’s fun but WHOOO BOY between that and the Tilt-a-Whirl all before 11am, it was a bit much for me and my baby stomach.

OK, that made me sound like I was alluding to pregnancy. That ain’t it.

Um, OK Boardwalk King.

This was before my WHERE IS MY BIRTHDAY PRESENT, YOU PROMISED ME THAT I WOULD GET MY BIRTHDAY PRESENT IN WILDWOOD / lack of sleep / probably a bit of dehydration breakdown that would happen later that evening. Who, me? Throw a temper tantrum? Pfft, never.

The last thing we did for this portion of the ERT was the Zoom Phloom which we didn’t ride last year and I can’t remember why now – either it wasn’t running or we just didn’t care?? But I am here to tell you that if you are a log flume aficionado, and even if you’re NOT, do not skip out on this. First of all, don’t worry about getting drenched. I mean, yeah, you’re gonna get a little wet but not like, excessively so. Plus, if you’re on the boardwalk in the summer, your ass is gonna dry up REAL QUICKLIKE.

But look, this log flume has an amazing layout where it weaves around and interacts with the waterpark slides and the Great Nor’easter. It’s REALLY cool in that way. And after one of the drops, it literally puts you through a tunnel under the boardwalk while UNDER THE BOARDWALK plays around you! It’s not the Bruce Willis version sadly (aka the BEST version) but it’s so wonderful, nevertheless.

I couldn’t stop gushing about this!

Then at noon, everyone gathered for a group picture.

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Numerous shots were taken and I have been OBSESSIVELY checking the Morey’s Piers socials but nothing has been posted yet. I am desperate for a copy of this picture because if you know me, you know that I love being a part of a group and even though I hate having my picture taken, I am ALL ABOUT THE GROUP PHOTOS.

We had a bunch of free time after that, which I loved because I would have been sad if we were back in Wildwood with no time to soak up all the boardwalk vibes.

I didn’t get any Polish Water Ice last year and it was on my agenda this time around because I had a vague memory of Kennywood possibly offering something like this back in the 80s, to the point where I could imagine how this was going to taste and it was 100% the same as in my taste buds’ imagination! Henry and I shared this because even though I always think that I can house something all on my own, chances are my belly will step up and remind me of my limits.

Random Henry Shot.

Chooch passed on the water ice and opted instead for boba.

We went to a really sad arcade inside the Boardwalk Mall. It was…really sad but also full of character. The elderly lady running the place seemed like a true Boardwalk installation. Someone came to visit her, presumably her daughter (?) and brought their dog, who the elderly lady later told us was named Boardwalk Bob. I LOVED THIS WHOLE PORTION OF THE DAY.



Well, I think I will end the first portion of day 1 here.

Aug 192022

Jumping out of order here, but on our way home from New Jersey, we stopped at Hershey Park for a do-over of our 2021 trip which was actual madness. This time, it wasn’t nearly as crowded (that is to say, we didn’t need to splurge on Fast Lane or whatever they call their fast pass) but I still walked away from the park with a not-so-sweet taste in my mouth. I can’t really put my finger on it, but it just feels so overrated to me?? Am I wrong?? Clearly, every other thoosie out there will excommunicate me from the club if they knew my opinion.

Anyway, I’ll just post some pictures and a few bulletpoints because we were only there from around 11:30 to 5:00 and nothing super memorable happened except for hating the family behind us on the walk to the gate, with a mom who kept gushing over her son toddler-ish Logan. “LOGAN, HOW ARE YOU SO CUTE??” she screamed at one point, to which Chooch tossed a disinterested glance over his shoulder and mumbled, “He’s really not, though.”

  • Chooch managed to get all of his missing coaster creds, except for COCOA CRUISER which we didn’t even know existed until several days later. It’s the kiddie coaster and I have no idea where it is in the park because Hershey is a clusterfuck to navigate. I am not going back for him to obtain this credit until they get an RMC, which RUMOR HAS IT will be happening next year. Literally the only way Hershey will ever get me to come back, unless I come across free passes. Then, maybe.

  • In line for Storm Runner, which was quite controversially closed when we were there last year and I had super high expectations for this Intamin, but after it cruised back into the brake run, all I could say was, “That was it?” AM I TOO PICKY NOW?? Am I a coaster hipster?! I felt the same way about Fahrenheit, which was also closed last year. These two were my most anticipated and I was really disappointed by both.

  • I will say though that the retheming of their standard, run-of-the-mill Vekoma boomerang is really fun though. It’s now themed after Jolly Ranchers and before each cycle, the lights in the station change and land on whichever flavor you’re gonna get. And by that, I mean that they built a tunnel that emits SCENTS when the coaster goes through it, so it’s supposed to stink like whatever color you get. Ours was green apple (ugh) and it didn’t really smell like it, but it was still a fun experience. Also, we waited in line for at least 45 minutes which I would never do for any old Boomerang.


  • Are you all Jolly Rancher’d out yet? BUT WAIT, THAT’S NOT ALL…
    • We got some Jolly Rancher sorbet. It was ok! Ironically, I liked the green apple best because the texture was like a sweet cloud lol.

  • We rode Skyrush and it was less painful for me this time. Henry didn’t ride it last year and thought I was exaggerating about the painful restraints (it has the nickname ThighCrush because of it!) but when we were standing in line, he started seeing girls getting off the ride with red welt across their thighs. MMHMM!!! I was so worried about self-stapling during the ride that I couldn’t enjoy myself. Rollercoasters should not be so painful that you have to watch How To Not Get Stapled on Skyrush videos on YouTube. Ridiculous.
  • The only ride there that I truly love and do not mind waiting in line for is the B&M invert, Great Bear. This ride is so great! But because it’s my favorite, Chooch was a big baby about getting into line because it was “too long.” It wasn’t any longer of a wait than that damn boomerang but OK SON. So then Henry was all, “I’ll ride it with you, please don’t throw a fit!” But by that time, Chooch had decided to be a martyr and also got in line so we ended up all riding it – yay, I win! In line, some kid had his hands up and out the entire time, waiting for someone to high five him but I watched him cough and sneeze into his hands and then wipe his nose with them too so NOPE. I’M GOOD. Also, a little girl got her legs stuck in the queue fence so that was exciting too. Really fun and entertaining line!

  • Fighting in line.
  • I just really love Great Bear so much. From the moment it started, I could feel the smile on my face and when I looked at the on-ride photo afterward, I looked SO CONTENT. Chooch and I actually had identical smiles on our precious faces and Henry just looked like Henry: unamused, having zero ounces of fun.

  • Then we had to spend an obnoxious amount of time at this stupid game, waiting for the ONE KID WORKING to NOTICE US, SEMPAI and give Chooch the fucking basket of balls that he paid for but instead, he kept getting snagged by all the bitchy soccer moms wanting to exchange the stuffed animals their kids won for OTHER COLORS. Oh my god, give me a break. And the lady next to us must have spent $100 on her three sons just in the amount of time we were there and Henry spat, “THOSE KIDS ARE SPOILED.” Sing it, Henry.
  • Finally got his basket of balls after I leaned across the counter and yelled, “EXCUSE ME” like a fucking no-good Karen but look, I was trying to LEAVE this park OK and the only thing standing between me and the exit was this dorky teenaged worker and his inability to multi-task.
    • All of that, and Chooch lost bigly.


  • Great Bear
  • Chooch getting his creds that he missed last year
  • The bucket of chocolate chip cookies Henry bought on the way out


  • That fucking game
  • Candymonium being down on our way out of the park


  • Everything else

Am I a hater?!!? I literally can’t tell. Hershey seems like the fucking DARLING PARK for all enthusiasts out there and maybe I need an official invitation to the Hershey circle jerk, but I just don’t get it? The coaster line-up isn’t *that* great, IMO. Am I being super unreasonable here?! Basically, in that amount of time, we rode 5 coasters. We didn’t even bother walking over to the side of the park where Wildcat (RIP) is even though I would have liked to have ridden Lightning Racer again because that was one of the coasters that I truly enjoyed when we visited in 2021, but at that point, I just wanted to complete the ERRANT COASTER CREDS mission and go the hell home.

Aug 162022

We had so much fun riding coasters all weekend but the thing living rent-free in my mind right now is all the glorious boardwalk pizza we devoured. Last year, we only had Mack’s pizza and I was totally sold on the hype. (Chooch went rogue that year and had Hot Spot though and loved it which doesn’t surprise me because Hot Spot is totally amazing, although when I used to eat there with my fam as a kid, I don’t think I ever had pizza – I feel like it was always a hot dog??)

Anyway, if you don’t know this about Wildwood, there is a long-running debate over who has the best pizza and the two that have garnered the most popular votes are Mack’s and Sam’s. I was determined to try a slice from each this time to see where my allegiance lies.

We stopped at Mack’s first on Saturday for a lunchtime slice. Last year, I had a slice of white pizza and still maintain that it was the best goddamn slice of white I’ve ever masticated in my whole entire life.

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But this year, I wanted to go the olive route because that is my go-to topping like, when I die, if you feel so inclined to visit my grave, forget the flowers just bring a fistful of black olives to sprinkle on my tombstone.

Hoo-boy, Mack’s did not let me down. I was scared that last years’ experience was a fluke, but Mack’s secured their spot in my pizza palate for the second year in a row. I can’t explain it, but it’s the thinness that I love, a sweet-ish sauce, and SUPER GREASY. I love a greasy slice, I can’t help it.

Chooch was like, “It’s ok,” about his plain piece, because he rarely gets stoked for anything anymore (at least, not when he’s with his PARENTS).

I dunno even know what Henry got. Sausage probably. He liked it.

Almost immediately, we walked down to Sam’s for slice #2 (I wish I could say we ate our way down the boardwalk, but I know my finicky digestive system and gave myself a two-slice limit, sigh). Sam’s is much bigger than Mack’s and feels less intense – it’s hard to explain but with Mack’s you have to kind of shoulder your way past the crowded counter to the very small dining area and then you have pay cash after you order and I always feel panicked like we’re going to mess it up or something??

But Sam’s is larger and has a huge dining area, and it just felt way more calm somehow. Mack’s is CHAOTIC but so worth it.

Right off the bat, Sam’s lost points because they don’t have black olives as a topping. I got a slice of plain which was fine. I think though that I expected it to be difficult to choose which place I liked better, but I knew without a doubt as soon as I took the first bite:

It’s Mack’s for me, fam.

Look, I’m not going to hate on Sam’s because that pizza was fine! If I hadn’t already experienced the sweet, greasy glory that is Mack’s, I would have been completely satisfied with Sam’s. It was like your standard quick lunch fare, comparable to pizza I’ve had at various amusement parks.

But because I’ve had Mack’s and know of the super serious age-old MACKS v. SAMS competition, I was actually floored that anyone would choose Sam’s. I said this to Henry in my fanatical UP IN ARMS manner and he hesitated, like maybe he wanted to choose Sam’s but was scared??

Chooch opted out of second lunch, making me feel like a glutton. But he did try a bite of Henry’s and was not impressed because he’s suddenly a pizza snob.

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However, he and Henry both had a slice much later that night at Olympic Flame, which was chosen on a whim. I noticed that they had a framed certificate in the front declaring them the 2022 winner of the best pizza award. Mu curiosity was piqued but I had too much cheese for one day and instead ordered a kalamata olive pita which was DELICIOUS, might I add. But don’t worry – that didn’t stop me from trying some of Henry’s green pepper slice and OK, Olympic Flame. I see you. That was a FINE SLICE, indeed, and in my opinion, worthy of that highest honor piece of paper.

It wasn’t as thin or as greasy as Mack’s, but still had a sweet-ish sauce, and the crust was sooooo soft and not the opposite of dry (M O I S T). I was a believer. Did I like it more than Mack’s? I DON’T KNOW! Probably not. I need to go back again next year and eat nothing but pizza. For science.

Chooch had been going on all weekend about the “corner piece” he saw but couldn’t remember where. We kepy saying, “You mean square slices?” and he would just say, “Corners.

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” Um, OK. He kept running up to every place we walked by in order to ogle the pizzas at the counter, until he finally found his coveted corners at Franconi’s.

The corners in question.

Here he is on the move with his piping hot corner which he declared the winner. I tried a bite, much to his infernal resistance and disgust, and it was pretty good! I think I would rank it right below Olympic Flame and much higher above Sam’s. I think now I just want to hate Sam’s on principal. Like, what kind of person actually thinks Sam’s is the best, I’m so confused about this!

“You like Sicilian pizza, then,” Henry said to Chooch.

“No, I like corners,” Chooch argued.

“Yes, Sicilian,” Henry pushed, and really, why do we set ourselves up for this frustration?? We should know by now that you literally cannot tell Chooch anything without him turning into Riley, Riley, Quite Contrary. Disagreeing with us is what gives him life, I’m convinced.

It’s now Tuesday and they’re still arguing about Sicilian pizza.

“I used to like Sicilian pizza a lot when I was a kid,” Henry mused on our nightly walk and I called him a cunt because I had no other response.

I gotta get back to Wildwood next summer because now I regret not also trying a slice at Hot Spot, ughhh. And if you’re wondering why I didn’t have any on Sunday, it’s because I had a boardwalk smoothie bowl for lunch (listen Linda, I love me a fucking smoothie bowl and I had to put a moratorium on the grease intake until an hour later when I had some Curley’s fries.

Vacation, amirite. Now I’m back on that oatmeal and exercise grind!


Aug 152022

Yo yo yo. Here I am, Erin-Not-Kelly, coming at you live with some updates from the road. It’s 6:12p currently and we are finally on our way back to Pittsburgh after a weekend full of coasters and cry-babying (I didn’t get enough sleep ok??).

We went to Six Flags Great Adventure yesterday after leaving Morey’s Piers and had our best visit yet – it was actually absurd how good it was. I’ll recap that in full later but just to show you how much of a blast we had marathonning El Toro at the end of the night, here’s what my elbow looked like this morning:

I’m glad it’s just a bruise because I was worried that I actually chipped my elbow bone lol ugh.

We stayed in a Hampton in Horsham (LOLOL) PA which is near Doylestown which is where Anthony Green from Circa Survive lives! I know, you’re really fascinated by that. Anyway though the hotel was actually quite decent.

I wanted to go for a walk while Chooch was showering because I’m in this Workweek Hustle FitBit challenge and since I got late start this morning, I was in last place (gasp!). So we told Chooch we were doing this and Henry also grabbed most of our bags while he was at it since we were going outside. The walk itself was uneventful, but when we got back to the hotel, we ran into Chooch in the lobby, holding a plate of breakfast in one hand, a yogurt stick in his mouth, and his carry-on in his other hand, looking utterly lost. He thought we checked out I guess because he wasn’t paying attention to us as usual. He said he got everything out of the room but Henry was like I WILL BE THE JUDGE OF THAT and went back up. He left his Holiday World Voyage shirt and a brush there, plus Henry said the shower wasn’t even turned all the way off.

“It was like he killed someone and ran,” Henry muttered when he came back down, tossing Chooch’s shirt at his face.

So surly.

The breakfast buffet had little cornbread bars which was a nice surprise. I love cornbread unless it’s bad cornbread. This wasn’t the best but it was MOIST and more like a cornbread cupcake tbh.

Then we left for Hershey Park and I will obviously write about that later DON’T YOU FRET, but I will give you a bigly spoiler and say that it was another U G H experience there – not as bad as last year but meh enough that I will not be going back unless the RMC rumor is true because at this point it will take a RMC to motivate me. I just don’t think the coaster lineup there is worth the hype. Is it just me?! Because it seems like it’s just me. I like ONE COASTER there enough to willingly stand in line for it and it’s not even one of the ones all the enthusiasts circle-jerk around (Great Bear, if you’re wondering).

We did go to the Hershey Chocolate Experience thing afterward though to get some gifts for Blake since he checked in on our cats three times in the last month-ish. Chooch and I did the Chocolate ride while Henry shopped. This ride has better ops than any ride in the actual park, IMO.

And now we’re on our way home. I am so tired!! I think being an Old Person is finally starting to affect me. I woke up with a headache Sunday and today.

(Lol Henry just turned up the radio because Saturday Drip – NCT Dream came on and that is his BOP.)

We just stopped at a rest area with a 7-Eleven and it was the most chaotic we’ve been as a family unit in quite some time. We kept slamming into each other and openly bickering and then I got hit with a wave of drowsiness so great that it made me crash into a display of sunglasses (only one fell off thank god) and then when the cashier asked Henry if he wanted a bag, he said NOOOOOOOoooooooo like she tried to hand him herpes and I appreciate his environmental love even if it was performative but the way he said that really bugged me so I spat, “Why did you say it like that??”

“I can say it however I want,” he shout back with a haughtiness that didn’t sit well with me AT ALL and the cashier CHUCKLED so now she can get fucked too.

Now Chooch, he is still pouting because Starbucks was closing right when we got there, is doubly-pouting because he wishes he had got a hoodie in Wildwood – this after just bitching because he can’t feel the a/c in the backseat – and it reminded me that I got a Wildwood sweatshirt so now I’m wearing it.

“Wow you’re so cool,” Chooch mumbled. Lololol.

Buying this yesterday was a whole ass experience. I don’t feel like getting into it right now though.

I don’t know why this trip feels so much more exhausting than others since we we’ve only been gone since Friday night but when I say I am wiped out, I truly mean it. Saturday and Sunday were both exceptionally long & action-packed days. Good god.

But now we only have 90 more minutes until hooooooome!

Aug 142022

Hello from Wildwood! We got in around 7a after a night of very little sleep – the hotel was fine but I kept waking up because I was straight freezing and CHOOCH was on a call with MEXICO SQUAD until the wee hours so that kept waking me up too.

Too early to check-in, so we parked near our hotel (Island Breeze) which is right across from Surfside Pier so super convenient since that’s where the Coastin’ By the Ocean event registration and ERT was happening from 9a-12p.

So we used our free time to get breakfast at Andy’s (we all got an omelette variation and I had immediately regertz because I had been heavily leaning toward a waffle but then Chooch ordered first and got a spinach and feta omelette so then I thought IS IT SAVORY FOR ME TOO? and changed my order to a mushroom omelette at the final hour and I shouldn’t have done that).

Then we just walked around until it was time to check in to the Coastin’ By the Ocean enthusiast event. More later!

Henry doing the bare minimum, FYI.

Aug 122022

Yo yo yo we’re currently en route to Wildwood and I’m not doing a TRADITIONAL LIVEBLOG but here are some PICTURES.

Chooch has been into reading again ever since Mexico (thank you to his new friends for inspiring him to read again! He’s currently reading Bullet Train (Bad Bunny is evidently in the movie and Chooch’s “Mexico Squad” are obsessed with him so I assume this is what instigated his desire to read the book?) and is having such a good time with it that’s he’s intermittently cracking up in the backseat and has already rated it 5 stars on Goodreads even though he’s only 1/3 done.

Meanwhile I’m reading this which is blah:

Stopped at the same rest area in Bedford where we ran into Bridget last fall!

There’s a cool wall of Turnpike artifacts that I never bothered to look at until today.

I thought they were CHEERSing their Starbucks but I dunno what was actually happening.

Also it annoys me that anytime Chooch GRUDGINGLY lets me have a sip of his drinks, he immediately gropes for a napkin to wipe off the lid. Dude, I’m your MOTHER?!

We are currently driving thru the stinkiest stretch of Pennsylvania, holy fucking shit.

At another rest stop. This guy is stocking the pastry shelf and HIS GIRLFRIEND JACKED HER FINGER UP TODAY REAL GOOD BUT SHE WON’T GO TO THE DOCTOR.

Omg another rest stop!

I dunno why this is so funny to me but Chooch obv. does not agree.

Trying to get a picture of the super moon that’s been evading him all night.

We’ll be at our hotel in Somewhere, NJ in about 20 minutes (11pm) and then tomorrow we’ll have another hour to drive before WILDWOOD so I am signing off now byeeee.