Saturday, July 2nd:
I was VERY enthusiastic about getting away for the weekend since my last trip had been just a little over a month ago. I couldn't have got out of Charleston any faster. I looked forward to three days of small parks, chillin out, drinking Yuengling, and just having good times with friends. Idlewild and Fun Fore All were both new-to-me parks, so I took advantage of the extra time I had in the Pittsburgh area to finally check them out. I had heard only GREAT things about the park, mostly from locals. Actually, I knew a band in college (in Philly) called the Idlewilds that were pretty popular locally. I just wonder.........
Once I pulled into the parking lot (you pay for your all-day pass at the parking booth, er, ticket booth....whatever it is) and found my parking spot I was ready to explore. I was amazed at the numerous entrances. I don't believe it really HAS a main entrance? Anyway, it's very woodsy and VERY tranquil, shaded and laid back, with tons of picnic groves. Actually the park sorta reminded me of Knoebels in a roundabout sort of way.
Anyway, I found an "entrance" and passed by several groups having picnics before I found myself at the Ferris Wheel. I grabbed a map from a gift shop and slowly made my way back to Storybook Forest, taking it all in. I must of spent about an hour in Storybook Forest alone, getting a laugh out of all the nursery rhymes. Ahhh, memories. :-) It was a very pleasant walk, and I enjoyed every minute of it, taking tons of photos.
After Storybook Forest I passed by a building and noticed there was a line. I don't remember what
the name of the attraction was but it involved standing in a room with tons of autographed photos from actors and musicians, followed by a "spinning" room that was VERY cool. I am not sure what was going on but I liked it. :-)
After "spinning" I needed a coaster fix. On my way over to the Wild Mouse I took many more pictures, especially of the strange and interesting signage spread throughout the park......things like "Grass should be green and not hurt" among other signs. Funny!
I checked out the Whip, as well as the Paratrooper, and finally took 3 spins on the Mousey. It was a blast! Cute cars. I then walked around and took a spin on the Rollo Coaster, which was fun in it's own right. I heard many things about the Mr. Rogers Neighborhood thing, so I walked across the bridge only to find out that Mr. Rogers was an 1 1/2 wait. NOW I know where the crowds were other than the Soak Zone. Although I knew I MIGHT regret it later, I passed on Mr. Rogers and opted for the train. Sorry dude! I grew up watching the shows and felt an ounce of guilt for not waiting it out......NOT! :P Next time.
After the train ride I grabbed a chicken strip basket (which was EXCELLENT!) from a place called Ricky's Grill and checked out the gift shops. I walked around to the kids rides and noticed they had one of those hand cars, which reminded me of the one we have at Camden Park. Cute.
After taking a few more photos and checking out more gift shops I decided to hit the road and get to Fun Fore All. On the way I stopped by a distributor (for my Yuengling, which is STILL not sold in WV damnit) and contemplated taking the Rolling Rock tour. Maybe next time. ;-)
Soon I called my friend Katie and told her where I was and where I was headed. She was due to get off work at 6pm. Since we had a rather long trip ahead of us the next day I told her I probably wouldn't be at Fun Fore All too long. About this time I was on I-79 and noticed something was going on up ahead. It looked like a HUGE dust storm. When I got closer I saw a car that was literally airborne and had flipped several times before landing in the grassy median on it's top . It didn't look good. I told Katie I had JUST saw the accident and was a bit shaken up. It looked like something out of a Hollywood movie. I am not sure how it happened as traffic was light but it was nasty. A few minutes later I noticed the paramedics going southbound. Hopefully the accident wasn't fatal. :-/
Anyway, I finally got to Fun Fore All. I bought about $10 worth of credit on the "Fun Card" which you can use for ALL their attractions, including food and games. I was impressed with the arcade, but wanted to get Fiesta Express right away before getting lost in DDR. Once I walked outside I noticed it was DEAD, except for the mini-golf course and go-kart track. Nobody was riding the Fiesta, and I didn't see a ride op in sight.
After I took a few pics the ride op (or who I assume was the ride op) came over and asked if I wanted to ride the coaster. So I did. :-) I have been on a few Fiestas and they are probably one of my favorite type of "kiddy" coasters. Anyway, I decided to try out the go-karts with my free coupon (thanks Lori!) and spend the rest of my time playing games, mostly DDR. I had a great time even though there wasn't much there ride-wise. The bumper boats looked fun but there didn't really seem to be too much room to let loose and do doughnuts while terrorizing the others. ;-)
I finally got to Katie's about 8pm (actually making it there this time without any help.....damn these funky suburban Pittsburgh streets!) We chilled out, drank Yuengling, watched a movie, and crashed.
Sunday, July 3rd:
We got up pretty early, loaded up the car, and headed off to April's apartment near Dayton, OH. We took Katie's adorable 4-year old son, Matt, with us. Luckily he slept most of the way, and we promised he would get to see kitties (April's cats). The trip on I-70 was uneventful and rather boring, minus the funky signage and deer carcuses that we saw along the way. I decided to take I-71 down to PKI so Katie could get some photos before we headed to April's apartment. Once we met up with her (and let Mattie play with the cats) we headed off to a local Wendy's to grab some lunch and wait for some of Mattie's family to take him off Katie's hands for the night. I ordered a kid's meal (for myself of course) and gave Mattie the Six Flags toy bus that was included. I already have one. ;-)
After lunch we went next door to the Dayton Mall for even MORE DDR, skeeball, and air hockey (which I got my butt kicked!) We met up with our friend Brian who decided to stay GLUED to the Marvel -vs- Capcom game while us chicks tried to kick each other's butts on Rush 2049, a racing game. After about 2 hours of being mallrats Katie and Brian went to see a movie while April and I went back to her apartment to watch a movie (The Machinist), pig out on junk food, drink even MORE Yuengling, and just relax. Speaking of the movie, there is a part that was filmed in an amusement park which I could not recognize. I am thinking it's a Jersey shore park but I could be wrong. Does anyone happen to know? Inquiring geeky minds want to know. ;-)
Anyway, once Brian and Katie got back we decided to break out the Ghettopoly board, drink some MORE Yuengling (at least I did) and have a blast. WARNING: THIS is NOT a game for the easily offended or someone who takes life way too seriously (or who has no sense of humor). The game is absolutely RUDE, VERY wrong, but VERY hilarious. It's one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life. It plays just like Monopoly, but instead of buying Park Place or Railroads you are buying crack houses and chop shops. You make most of your money from your "ho's" and well, that's about all I will say. ;-) I HIGHLY recommend it. The four of use literally played the game until 3 or 3:30 in the morning. There were points where we were laughing so hard that I was sure April's neighbors would complain. Anyway, I can't wait to get Redneckopoly! I would suggest checking out their websites. TOO FUNNY!
Ghettopoly is about as rude and crude as Grand Theft Auto. Gotta LOVE it!
After a painfully hilarious game of Ghettopoly, we watched some TV including a disturbing show called Robot Chicken that caused my already hurting side to hurt even more. SICK, SICK show! I loved it! Soon Brian left and the rest of us crashed.
Monday: July 4th:
We got up rather late and headed off to Cincy Mills Mall to pick up Mattie and hit Wonderpark. We met up with the Cinci/Dayton boys..Rob, Chuck, Pat, Brian, as well as Pete who drove in from Pittsburgh. I had been to Wonderpark before several years ago and enjoyed it. I was eager to play more DDR so April and I played a few rounds. Katie was eager to get Mattie on his VERY first coaster, the Boa Squeeze. As we watched he seemed like he was neither freaked out nor enjoying it, but after he got off he was obviously mesmerized by the whole experience. Katie was SO proud of him, as we all were. The kid rocks! He also got quickly addicted to skeeball, as well as DDR (thanks to me....I think.) He didn't actually "play" but would play beside one of us. I can see Katie buying him the game and a dance pad in a few years. ;-) If she won't I will. lol.
April and Pete decided to get some food in the mall while the Cinci guys walked around. Katie and I decided to duel at Rush 2049 again. We then dueled at The Fast & Furious which actually measures how much "airtime" your souped-up hot rod or pimp-mobile actually sustains. I have always loved racing/driving games but this was absolutely NUTS!
It was about this time my cell phone rang but I couldn't answer it since I was TRYING to run Katie's car off the road. After we were done I noticed Gator Bill called. I immediately called him back to let us know what we were up to and when we were heading to Strickers. He was obviously envious. :P Next year Bill! Your Floridian butt is going to be up here next July 4th! After chatting with Bill for a few minutes I played a little more skeeball before meeting back up with the group. We then headed out.
We arrived at Stricker's soon after. This was also a new-to-me park that I had been meaning to get to for years. Once our group met up we picked out several picnic tables, set down the coolers and backpacks and headed for the Tornado and Teddy Bear. Katie didn't want Matt to go on so I watched him as she and Brian and the rest of the peeps went on. Next Brian watched Mattie as Katie and I went on the Tornado.
Tornado was a nice little coaster with a surprising KICK of airtime at the end. Nice!
Next we went to the Teddy Bear, which Katie decided that Mattie might like since it's VERY lightcore. He was fussing the whole way and I was worried he would freak out. It was obvious he was kind of scared at first but after his VERY first ride and 2nd coaster credit he was quickly becoming addicted. Throughout the day he kept wanting/begging us to ride the Teddy Bear, and eventually would yell "weeeee" on the very last dip. He LOVED it! It's good to start them out early I guess. :-)
The Flyers were probably the main highlight of the day (next to watching Mattie get all his first credits). We were snapping like crazy and skimming the hell out of the trees. Well, Rob was more like SMASHING into the leaves, and even caught a few which got entangled in the cables above his tub. SWEET!
There is nothing like witnessing/hearing a poor tree get SMACKED in the face. :P I must admit I am getting better, but I still need LOTS of practice at the art of snapping. The Flyers are quickly becoming my favorite flat of all time, next to PKI's Drop Zone of course. ;-)
I was impressed by Stricker's, and enjoyed the few flats that it had. It was also fun introducing Mattie to the Tilt-A-Whirl and Scrambler, which he loved. The kid was a trooper! He also LOVED the Flyers. ;-) It was fun watching this 4-year old kid in a "new" environment surrounded by all these noisy, strange contraptions that spin, flip, fly, and coast. He was just beside himself in awe. It just makes you wonder how you reacted to your first coaster, let alone your first visit to an amusement park. Nonetheless, I think between his mom and the rest of us nutsos we created a monster.
After walking around a bit we all decided to get some lunch. I had HEARD the corn on the cob was THEE best so I was eager to see for myself. The food was cheap and looked quite appealing. Sodas were $1. I opted for a cheeseburger and a cobb, which was around $3 total. I must admit I have never been to an amusement park (or anywhere for that matter) where I had to peel the husk off of my own cob, but it was fun. ;-) And they say West Virginians are redneck. :-)
It was also fun to brush, I mean DRENCH your cob in one of the two HUGE pans of melted butter. The burger was pretty good, the corn was OK. I have had better. :-) Still, everything was good. Gotta love park food!
The rest of the day consisted of more skeeball, more smashing into leaves on the Flyers, more coastering, and just hanging out. I was having a blast! The train was also fun, as well as the AMAZING fireworks show at the end of the night. I was impressed! GREAT little park! Too bad they are only open to the public twice a year. I took a TON of photos as well.
After the fireworks show we said our goodbyes to the Cinci/Dayton/Pittsburgh boys and headed back to April's. We made a pizza, drank more Yuengling (at least I did) gossiped/man-bashed (like all women do when they get together) and laughed even more. Soon we all passed out.
Tuesday, July 5:
Katie, Mattie and I said our goodbyes to April and headed back to Pittsburgh. I was going on about one hour of sleep at this point and wasn't feeling too well. The drive from Dayton to Pittsburgh was LONG but NOT boring in the least. We kept ourselves entertained by making fun of the wild signage along I-70, hearing Mattie serenade us with Hoobastank's "The Reason" (I just had to verify this with Katie to get it right....lol.) and laughing our asses off at just about everything. We were both EXHAUSTED and the craziness was coming out. You just had to be there.
Once we got to Katie's I was about ready to die. She suggested I take a nap before heading home to Charleston but I wanted to get home ASAP. Naps do not do me any good. In fact, if I take I nap I get even more tired and cranky. :-)
I said my goodbyes and started heading home. By the time I got to 376 it was congested, and stayed that way through I-279 until I hit 79. THEN the storms came, and kept coming on and off all the way home. By the time I got home I was beyond tired, but happy. It was a nice, relaxing weekend with friends the craziness that goes along with it.
Now I need another week-long adrenalthon. Can't wait till mid-August! I am going to Hades!
Thanks (again) for reading my ramblings......:-)
*** Edited 7/9/2005 9:01:51 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***
I played the DDR machine at Wonderpark and asked for my money back as it wasn't working right. The top arrow wasn't working and the whole pad felt very loose.
That sucks you had to see that accident. When we were on a autobahn in Germany during the ACE tour, we saw a couple of real nasty accidents just after they had taken place.
The DDR at Wonderpark seemed to be working fine when we were there so maybe they fixed it by now. :-)
I have toured the Yuengling factory and gift shop. It's a nice side visit on your way to Knoebels. :-P It's been several years so I may take the tour again this fall before Phunfest. Everytime I visit PA (which is often) I usually *smuggle* a case or two back into WV. ;-)
*** Edited 7/7/2005 11:31:33 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***
While, You'll never get a Knoebels snap out of them, They are snappable and seeing how hard we could hit the trees was awesome!
On one ride, Rob (My Brother)got two three foot branches caught in his cables. On one ride we had five people snapping, Brian Neil, Derick, Rob, Myself, Brian SWOHIOMAN and the other three were snapping a little.
Oh yeah, Good times!
Chuck, who thinks Tina was getting footage with Robs camera on that ride :)
Look for it in the Barnicles.
The few things we noticed about Strickers flyers were the cables seemed shorter and they had a piece of black electrical tape wrapping around them keeping them together.
We gave it our best shot! Then again, there is always August!
Of the 8 tub models that I've ridden, HW, Conneaut, Seabreeze, Only Holliday Worlds was better back in 2001 then they changed motors.
The cables are shorter because its a smaller model. The key to em is in the dive. Turn out way before you reach bottom.
I was using both hands swinging the wing completely sideways at bottom and arching accross the top UNLESS THE TREE WAS THERE then I'd keep my wing stright for impact :)
Im glad they moved em. We had that tree that used to be near the other one, Pretty trimmed back from the last 3 years. In 2001 the wouldnt' let us snap :)
You guys need to send me a copy sometime, going back to Memorial Day weekend. :-)
I had fun smacking the trees a few times myself, but you and Rob were maniacs! LOL!
*** Edited 7/9/2005 2:37:04 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***
"Mommy, can we go back to Stricker's?" ;)
That is THE park I've wanted to own ever since I first heard of it...and of course, once I do, every day is "Enthusiasts' Day"...LOL! Next year, Stricker's *will* be included in a trip...hopefully we can convince them to be open around the same time as the Beech Bend/HW events... :)
*** Edited 7/9/2005 6:10:16 PM UTC by rollergator***
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