Thursday, June 21, 2001 10:39 AM
Does anyone sleep in during a Cedar Point vacation? I sure don't. While some folks would rather relax, kick back and do nothing, I like to spend vacations on the go. Maybe that explains the quote after my sig, no?
That's why the alarm on Sunday morning was ringing at 7:45. We had a little trouble getting the kids to wake up, but opening the window shade and pointing out the 200 foot lift hill on the other side of the glass got them up and moving. By 8:30, we were on our way out to the front of the Breakers. Since yesterday's MF Dash saw the folks at the Marina beat us to the queue, we decided to take the shuttle over and begin the run from the Marina gate this morning.
At promptly 9:30, the National Anthem began, and before the last strains of "the home of the brave" had wafted away, the ticket handler was processing passes. We jogged over to MF, getting ahead of everyone but the fastest Oceana runners, and we found ourselves among the first 50 or so people in line.
Instead of waiting for the front seat for the second straight day, we decided to grab the first available, hoping to grab a second ride before the lines got too long. Unfortunately, by the time we exited, two queues had already filled and the line was halfway to the tunnels. Maybe another time.
I'm sure that I'm not the only one on these boards whose significant other humors his adrenaline addiction. Since Kathey was a trooper yesterday and hit every coaster, it was only fair that we allowed her to get some primo sun time on the beach. Back to the Breakers for the afternoon. For her, anyway. I went back for about a half hour.
The nice thing about having a block of rooms and going with a large crowd is that somebody from your group is always around. This particular morning, my sister-in-law was still back at the hotel with my 3-year old nephew, Jimmy. I've been waiting for Jimmy to get big enough for the kiddie coasters so that I could add them to my track record, and this was the trip.
While Christie (his mom) stayed back at the pool, I went with Jimmy and my mom to Camp Snoopy. First, we'd do the Jr. Gemini, then we'd hit Woodstock Express. Jr. Gemini was the one that Jimmy was excited about, having already told my brother on the phone this morning that he'd ridden it with me (a premonition?). We waited in the adult line, and after about 20 minutes, walked onto the platform.
Did I mention yesterday that the Mine Ride cars are small? Even the adult cars on the Jr. Gemini are ridiculously small. Sitting straight, my knees were higher than the lap bar. So, I crossed my legs, but my knees now extended beyond the width beyond the bar and the side of the car.
Finally, I figured out a solution. I was sitting on the right side, so I wrapped my left leg around the vertical bar and was able to pull the lapbar shut. The ride op then told me that both legs had to be on the same side of the vertical bar. (Why? The thing only goes SIX miles an hour?) But, I'm not a guy to argue with the ops unless they're completely out of line, so realizing that I was holding up the show, I made one last ditch effort. I pulled my left knee inside the bar, and picked up my left foot so that it rested on the step to the car. No dice, I had to be completely inside.
"Jimmy, can you ride by yourself?"
So, with the op's permission, Grandma came bounding up the exit stairs to ride with him. Looks like Jr. Gemini won't ever be on my track record. Bummer.
Once they were finished, we were headed over to WE, when Jimmy spotted the Peanuts 500 and wanted to ride it NOW. Peanuts 500? C'mon kid! But he's three, so we stopped. 10 minutes in line for a 2 minute ride. Sounds ridiculous until I remember what I do for coasters...
Now, we were heading over to Woodstock. The line was only 10 minutes or so, but now Jimmy didn't want to ride. UNTIL I showed him that it's really a train. He loves trains. That kept him quiet for a couple minutes, but then he didn't want to ride unless he could "drive". As fate would have it, we were the first in line when the previous train was filled, so we had our pick of seats. We took the front seat, Jimmy drove, I added a coaster to my track record.
Having used the poor kid for my own gain , I now left him in Grandma's care and did some shopping before returning to the hotel. When I got back, Lexi had a surprise for me. She had bought me a "Top Ten Signs of a Coaster Fanatic" t-shirt for Father's Day. Very cool, but only an XL and one trip through the dryer would render it unwearable (except maybe for Kathey), so as I was shopping for the rest of the weekend I kept an eye out for an XXL. No luck. I eventually settled (sorry Jo) for a Raptor t-shirt, since I bought my old one back in '94 and it was on its last legs.
I spent an hour or two back at poolside before getting ready to hit the park for the evening. Today was "beer day" at the Red Garter. No, they weren't giving away anything free, but a group of GTTP regulars had planned to get together for a brew (or two) at 6:00 PM.
It was just about 6:00 when Kathey and I walked onto the porch. I recognized Old Timer Tim from a brief meeting last year. Dan was with him, and we talked and waited about five minutes before the barley and hops were calling us from inside.
We sat down and were soon joined by Red Garter Rob, who brought a beer (yes, ONE beer) over from the bar. Within minutes, Pete and Gemini had joined us, and I ordered a round for the group (except Rob, who didn't need one, LOL). By the second round, RolloCoast came and joined the group, but sat silently awhile before Rob thought to ask if he knew everyone. (Rob and Dan knew him, but some of us didn't).
Pete bought a round, and we had a great time discussing the park, the boards, and the rumors. (Apparently, we are getting the same info on CP's next big project, and we don't all share the same source(s). So in comparing notes, we're pretty sure that we're right on the money on this one).
By now, we're boring Kathey to tears, so she takes off to ride MF while we stick around. Unfortunately, Gemini had some other obligations at this point, so he took off as well.
Tim noticed a gal wearing a CoasterBuzz shirt coming in with her family, and called her over to find out who she was. Turned out it was Loriu, who figured that we'd be long gone by now. She and her husband Steve joined us for a bit, and we talked a little Steelers football (they're from Pittsburgh) amongst the Browns fans...
Rehearsals started for the Rock, Pop and Soul show and we watched between conversation, or conversed between watching -- it was a 50/50 split. Tim was ready to leave to meet the wife and kids, but Pete (divorced twice, mind you) convinced him that the smart thing to do would be to stick around for one more round!
Finally, we decided to get a ride on Gemini before splitting up. As we headed down the Frontier Trail, along came Tim's wife with his kids. While she wasn't thrilled to tears with Tim at the time, from what I understand, they still share the same residence . Dan, Rob, Pete, RolloCoast (Corey) and I took a couple of spins on Gemini before parting ways. I was scheduled to meet Kathey at MF at 9:00, and Pete and Corey joined me for the walk back up the trail. I parted ways with them and Kathey and I finished out the night in the park and headed back to the Breakers. Great day!
Next up -- Monday = lots of park time again and no crowds. Stay tuned!
I need a vacation to recuperate from my vacation!