Cedar Point trip went off almost perfectly. Could hardly have been better.
We went on a Wednesday, when there were thunderstorms predicted all morning. It rained most of the trip there. By noon, it was sunny and cloudless; not a drop of rain fell on the park the entire time we were there. The threat of rain scared everyone away, though, and we had short lines. Short lines meant that I got to ride three brand-new roller coasters to me, a real triumph. It means that with the exception of the new (and buggy) Top Thrill Dragster and the Power Tower, which doesn't interest me at all, I've ridden every coaster at the Point.
Got to the park at 10 AM our time, leaving us two hours before we had to come back and get the coolers ready for feeding the kids. Stayed near the front of the park for time's sake. Three rides: The Raptor: still my favourite ride in the park. I have a real thing for inverted rollercoasters, I think, and the Raptor is my favourite of them all. Wish I'd had time to ride it about ten more times. The Wicked Twister (new for me this year): Too short. Way too short. I was really starting to get into being flung up a curvy spike backwards. Disaster Transport: When I was first going to the Point, this was a set of bobsleds on an outdoor bobsled run. Every time it looked like raining, the ride had to be closed because the sleds would go out of control on a wet track. So they built a giant box over it and called it Disaster Transport. First it had this Alaskan Transport theme, but this year everything was blacklit and alien-themed, and they did this neat starfield effect. Notably, the line is almost all inside in the blacklights and the neon paint, and it's like 50 degrees in the building - except for the ride, which is nice and warm. You could get pneumonia. Still runs on the bobsled track, though, and that's cool.
Lunch went over well. Angel was afraid the kids wouldn't want to eat ham/turkey and cheese. He forgot a knife for the peanut butter and jelly, too, but I provided with my light fingers and a nearby food stand's plasticware tray. Then they took off, because they had Fastlane stamps for getting into the Raptor.
We headed to the back of the park, passed over the Iron Dragon on our way to Frontier Town the long way, examined the line for the Mantis and declared it too long for a stand-up coaster that I probably wouldn' t like. Crossed the tracks toward the line for the Millennium Force, which stands where the Ferris Wheel used to be. Said to Angel: There'll be no way, the line'll be two or three hours. I hate waiting more than 1.5 hours for a ride.
The line was an hour. Forty minutes or so, really. So we got in line and were not disappointed. Was it worth the wait? Was it ever. This nearly ties with the Raptor as my favourite ride. The 310-foot first hill had me staring out over the lake, eyes getting wider and wider and wider as we kept going up and up and up and up...and then came the 300-foot drop at 80º. Angel: I had three whole thoughts going down that hill. With complete syntax. It was the greatest first hill I've ever been on. Mind: I rode the Magnum XL-2000 once, and vowed I'd never bother waiting in line for it again because it's just one big hill and a lot of suck. I was expecting the same. We came around the corner off the hill so fast and hard I started getting tunnel vision from the G's. And it just kept kicking ass. Not the spinning, sky-kicking kick-ass of the Raptor, but the high-speed hard-turning kick-ass that marks the other best kind of coaster.
And we got to the end, to hear the guy behind us say That was like sex on wheels. I could've used a cigarette.
We walked around the park for 15-20 minutes after that, letting the thrill linger, and then got on the Cedar Creek Mine Ride. I make a point of going on this little beast every time I go to the Point, because something about it just amuses the hell out of me. Maybe it's the people I meet in line. This time it was The Goth Girl.
She was somewhere in her high-school years, probably sixteen or seventeen, in black long-shorts, black hose, black Vans, black tank, heavy blue-and-black eye makeup. And one of those incredibly cute snub-nosed faces, shoulder-length dark brown straight hair, and I felt an instant kinship with her somehow. So we talked, about the water ride she'd just (obviously) come off of, and the roller coasters, and little things like that. The park. And when we got in our car for the Mine Ride, she waved to me. She's a story, if I can find it, something about her that still clings to me.
Got off the Mine Ride and followed the park around. Hopped on the Gemini with its 25-minute line. Another favourite, celebrating its 25th year, it has a vortex finish that always thrills me, and a dip with a bar that I can never keep my hands up going under. I know it's high enough, but I've never been able to control the reflex to duck them. I rode it seven times in a row once, when there was no line at all.
Got yummy lemony smoothie-type-ice cream and ate it as we walked. Skipped the Witches' Wheel, which is a real shame, because there's nothing like tucking myself into someone's lap and being spun around in circles upside down. But we had to make our way back to the checkpoint to check all the youth in for the 4:00 checkin. Along the way we stopped at the Corkscrew, an old favourite which has long since fallen out of favour and into the "well, it goes upside-down, sounds fun" category. Plus, it goes screaming down across the Midway. This is a Good Thing.
Got water from a nacho stand. Now, if you ask, they have to give you ice water for free. I got in line. I got up to the counter. As I'm waiting for him to finish getting the order together from the last person, a man comes up to the counter, bypassing the line. "Do you have waters?" --Yes. "Give me a big one." --We give 16-ounce cups of water, is that all right? "I want a 20-ounce." Note that they don't even have 20-ounce cups. --Just a moment, sir. He turns to me, asks if he can help me. Two waters, please, I say. He gets them. Asshole stalks off as soon as the guy behind the counter stops giving him his full attention. Is it just me, or was that a rude thing to do?
Checked in the kids. Bought sunscreen, as I was turning red. $14 a bottle. Highway robbery, but we'd left ours in the car, whoops. Headed back out toward the train (time to ride the train and take a break, oh yes.)
Well, the line for the Iron Dragon was only 15 minutes, so we did it. It used to be super-cool, but suspended coasters have to be more than just suspended any more to get a real thrill. The best part of it was flying through the mists over the lagoon. And then we got off, pondered the WildCat (newly painted in purple and yellow, a change from its old white tracking) but decided the line was too long for something we'd ridden before. The line moves incredibly slowly, too. Started for the train and decided to check the line for the Mantis again. Less than 45 minutes. We headed for it.
I don't like standing roller coasters, and the Mantis was no exception. Between my feet and the uncomfortable bicycle seats, physical discomfort takes precedence over cool rides. That's why I won't ever go on the Mean Streak again. It just rattles you around too much. But the coolness of the Mantis's ride did make up for the uncomfortable seats, and I think I might do it again. Unlike Kings' Island's King Cobra, which I couldn't be forced onto.
Saw the Goth Girl in line for the ride as we were getting off, yelled and waved. She waved back, asked how it was. Told her it was great. Moved on, thought about doing the Millennium Force again and I vetoed standing in line for an hour and a half in favour of going for some food and a sit-down show. Sit-down show was all done showing, except for bad country-western karaoke. Damn. Bought homestyle cheese fries somewhere in there, and hand-dipped fried cheese on a stick. That was an experience. It was a log of white processed cheese food wrapped in cornbread and deep-fried. It was good, as long as I didn't think about what I was eating.
Shopped some, overhearing the conversation between the counter-boy and the girl: We also have mood toe rings. Mood toe rings? Yes. I need a mood toe ring. Chatted with the hat-shop clerk about wages (shit when you start) and with the girl on the Iron Dragon about whether they work one ride all season (yes, and the crew who work the Raptor are all bitchy). Passed up the Magnum (for reasons previously stated), didn't get to the Demon Drop (damn), skipped the Power Tower (bleah) and the Top Thrill Dragster (looks like another Magnum - too much wait for one hill and a lot of suck, plus it was broken most of the day.
Took the train back through all the fun little skeletons doing silly little animatronic things, then took the skyride back to Johnny Rocket's. One hour left, half an hour wait. Saw the youth inside, said hi. They told us not to wait, it wasn't that good. We started back toward Coasters, but got distracted by a hamburger joint and just got food there. I spent quite some time feeding fries to birds to see how close they'd come in the shadow of the Raptor, until a herd of small elephants scared them away. Passed a little time watching some guys play DDR in the arcade, challenge mode. Must buy DDR to use with the pad I already have.
We had time for one more ride, and we made it the Blue Streak. This little beast is almost 40 years old, and it doesn't go all that fast (40 mph), but it makes the very best of its speed and I spent half the ride clinging to my safety bar to keep from flying away. Yay for the Blue Streak.
Polished off the day with Classic Cars for the hell of it, met up with the adults, and were home by midnight.
The kids were great, the park was great, and I managed to get up and going this morning in time to see Dr. H at 9 AM.
Got to the hospital, signed papers and got my badge, and then we got slammed. I mostly just ran around in the wake of doctors, fetched things and checked to see if labs were back, but we had a few Teachable Moments, including subcutaneous air, uvular angioedema, the value of doing a CBC on an 86-year-old patient with dizziness, and why it's a Bad Idea to put your excess hospital inpatients in the ED. We had 12 of 18 exam rooms full of hospital patients, were using all 6 extra rooms plus six hallway stations where patients got to sit on carts and watch the world go by. But it was fun.
Must work out scheduling with Iwona so we know when and how to come in. Was told fourteen to fifteen shifts makes up a 35-40 hour work week. Am confused.
Too sore today to go to Curves. Must go tomorrow, and again on Saturday, and every day after that. I could go in the mornings, before the hospital. That would be good.
And now it's time to go adore on my Angel for a bit. *vanishes*