My silly trip with Peabody - Day 1 (EPIC LONG)

Associated parks:
None

Wednesday, June 4, 2003 8:16 PM
The possibility of actually making it through this Trip Report ought to say a lot about the reader, as the writer is quite mad, and can't stop typing, as evidenced by the lengthy, and wordy intro you are reading now.

That said, let's begin....

DAY ONE

I flew out of Seattle on a very nice Monday morning. Memorial Day to be exact. My wife and I typically celebrate our anniversary on this date, regardless of the date not being the same year after year, but this year was reserved for something different. This year, "daddy" was going coaster riding, and this would be a test of his mettle. 7 parks over 8 days. I had never done quite so grueling a trip before. Yes, I had coaster-vacationed, but this was a lot different. This trip was ALL about the coasters. This trip was all about selfish coaster gratification, and it was going to be sweet. It was about me, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Well, not yet, anyway.

I arrived at Midway airport in Chicago. The lesser of the Chicago airports, and in the seedier part of town, but hey, the flight was inexpensive, and Southwest only seems to fly there, so........... After picking up my luggage, I sped off to Budget to get my rental. I must say that this was a very nice transaction, and I highly suggest Budget, as they upgraded me for free, and I received a mid-sized for the price of an economy rental. More fuel spent on the trip, but a much more comfortable ride. Well worth the price of asking! After I picked up the car, I awaited Jeff (Peabody) Rogers arrival, as he was to spend the entire trip with me. Poor fellow... ;) Instantly recognizable, we greeted each other, and hit the rental to speed off on our way to coaster dreams, and credits yet realized. First a stop off at Popeye's Chicken, though! Nasty, hot, spicy, greasy, ridiculous food, and worth every stinking penny. Yes, my stomach hurt something fierce, but this trip was all about my wants, and desires, and if Rob wants chicken, Rob stops for chicken, damn it! .... And off we go!

On to the toll (should I say tool?) road through Indiana and Ohio. Actually, it wasn't nearly as expensive as I had imagined it to be, and it was maintained well. There were stops along the way that included rest areas, and happily for Jeff, ice cream stands that served up tempting milk shakes, which Jeff apparently cannot get enough of. Good Mint Chocolate Chip as well. Finally, we arrived in Sandusky (after a missed exit), and took a premature jaunt down to the peninsula to see Dragster (among other rides) in all its glory. We didn't see it launching, but we figured we had arrived late in the day, and perhaps it was down, or given its size, we just couldn't see the trains go over the tophat. They wouldn't let us in without paying the $8 parking price, although Jeff assured me that saying we were going to TGIFridays at Breakers would do the trick. We hung a quick U-turn and drove back to Breakers Express to get our room, settle down, drop off the luggage, and head off the grab a bite at the other TGIFridays at the turn of the causeway.
Dinner was yummy, overpriced, and gut busting, but well deserved after the long jaunt from Chitown (the place, not the man!;)) We left, hoping that a drop onto our beds might cause us to drift off into bliss ever so quickly, but sadly I (only I, that is) was denied. As Jeff sawed logs (buzzcut style), and I remained awake (due to jetlag and his snoring), I pondered what it would be like to fly over something 420 feet tall. Well, we'd see, maybe......

We awoke with a bang at 7am to a sunny, slightly cool morning. The day was calling, there were coasters to be had, a credit or two to gather, and people to meet. Because Breakers Express is so damn cool, we were able to buy our daily tix (I am not a Cedar Fair pass guy because I don't have anything near Seattle), and get our early entry into the park, so off to the races!!!! I don't think I have ever arrived at a park so early, but we figured it was better to arrive early for the potential line at Dragster's queue, than to sit it out after the park was opened. If Dragster was down, well, we could hit Millennium Force for a morning shot of glory. We arrived to find NOBODY at the gate. Well, duh... it was 7:30 am. Hilariously, within a few minutes, though, there were other riders arriving with the same thought in mind. Hit the gate before everyone else!!!! Well, we were here first.

As I turned to look at Magnum (we were entering the Soak City gate), I saw someone familiar, if you count looking at Coasterbuzz info pages as familiarity. It was Linda (CP lady), and she was ready to go. I noticed Robb Alvey and Elissa standing in the line behind us with some other enthusiasts. We had never met, and I admit I was feeling a bit timid to actually say hello. I didn't want to seem like so many other enthusiasses, especially the stalker creeps, so I kept to myself. Soon, Kristin and Rob arrived, and they were getting ready to open the gates. Wow! Early entry was at 9am, not 9:30, so the Breakers got us in a whole hour ahead. Killer!

We took off only to find Dragster down (you know the story by now) from a broken cable, so we took a leisurely stroll to hit MF. We arrived to find that many others had apparently taken the Marina entrance to get to MF faster, and there was a small line. I had never ridden the front, so today was the day to change things. As we neared our turn, Linda asked to ride MF with me. Jeff stepped in front, as he was odd man out, and rode with a young boy with tons of MF experience... lucky SOB. ;) Now, it was our turn. I had ridden this puppy right after it was opened in 2000, but couldn't pick my spot. Today, with the sun shining, and the front row beckoning, I was one nervous dude. You don't get 310 feet tall coasters where I live. We sat down, pulled the "restraint" down, and took the quick ascent. My God, I don't remember being so aware of the possibility of falling out. Those Intamin train designs are just plain wrong. We reached the top, and before I could scream, I launched my hands up and to the bottom we went. Speeding through the turns, twists, and dives, I smiled and laughed in delight, until we reached the brakerun, and I realized I hadn't taken a breath the entire circuit. I allowed a big sigh to escape, and as we jumped off the train, I realized how sad I was that I lived nowhere near this wonderful coaster. Truly a work of art, and not overrated. Thank you Intamin.

Next, to Mantis. Virtually a walk-on, and a darn good reason why it is. God, I hate this ride. Cedar Point, please oh please convert this into a sitdown or floorless. Just too many tight, tight turns for a standup. I don't see the ride being designed around your heartline at all. Then again, Iron Cobra is like that too, and I like that one... hmmmm.... Maybe it's just B&M? Earlier models don't exactly all rock. Hmmm... then again, it isn't that old. Oh well.

Wicked Twister was the next one, and man, was it great. Jeff Putz was right. The 2nd to last seat is indeed the money seat. I am surprised they don't have a camera on the tower to catch rider reactions in that seat! ;) Great impulse, and just a fun, fun ride. Man, I love these things!!! They never cease to amaze me. "Halt, cyst and decease" should be the catch phrase that CP uses for this ride, as it certainly has moments of the "fear of God."

Disaster Transport is a disaster. I used to like it, but man, does it stink now. Those cars just don't do the layout justice, and where was the theming??? Gone, that's where. Too bad. The robots are gone too. Lame! The one inviting moment was Rob and Kristin shouting the old theming out at the top of their lungs. That, and all the "rowing."

Kristin and Rob decided to DDR so off we went, and damn if they aren't really good. Rob is definitely the sick one. I know he will read this TR, and smile, but damn dude. You are good indeed. Kristin blows me out of the water too. I can't do that crazy dance crap. Not since Electric Light Orchestra did "Don't bring me down" anyways... Give me a drumset. At least I have years of pointless practice on that. :)

Off to Cedar Downs, the horse racing carousel. It was a blast, and way more intense than I imagined. I think my horse beat Rob's but he was cheating, so we'll never know. ;) Silly Willi.

The Corkscrew was running efficiently, so we tackled that quickly. What to say? It was smooth, as always, with only a bit of bottoming out on the drop into the loop. Overall, quite intense, and a fun, short ride. I don't recall a better Arrow cork, though. Can you guys trade me for Wild Thing at SFEV?

Blue Streak was next, and has seen better days. I don't recall it being as rough as it was this particular day, but it sure wasn't a happy ride. It needs maintenance, and it could return to its former glory. We rode 1-3 just because, and it had moments of air, but not the killer air that it should have given its design.

Woodstock Express was a new one for me. I had always thought this ride was a kiddie, and I couldn't ride it, so I had never pursued it. Well, they made me feel completely ignorant, as we just walked right up and hit the fun. As Jeff said many, many times over the week, "Vekoma should just build kiddie rides." I agree. (although I still love Blackout at Suzuka)

Rob and Kristin had to leave, so we decided to catch one more ride prior to that and our lunch. We hit CCMR, and man, it's fun. Good laterals, and a great family ride. It's a shame it's so well hidden, and at the same time, that's what makes it so darn good. Rob and Kristin continued to "row" the cars uphill, but the darn joke never got old. We finished our ride in time to hit the pizza down near the museum. We hugged Kristin and Rob, and took off only to decide that it might be better to get Mean Streak out of the way BEFORE we ate. Good call, as you can imagine.

Mean Streak is just so darn sad. So truly beautiful, and yet the worse example of an overgrown ride tearing itself apart. It's all physical beauty with a nasty personality. It's like that hot girlfriend that used to screw you over all the time, but you hung out because she was a great bit of arm candy. Linda said it was better than last year, as it has picked up speed. Well, I guess I am glad I didn't ride it last year, because holy crap it was brutal. SOB has nothing on this monster. Regardless, Linda obviously loves the thing, as she bragged that her son basically broke into the coaster world on it. Silly CPlady!!!!

After the chiropractic adjustment MS gave us, we hit the pizza stand. Man, is the cheese that old glue stuff you used to get in drive in movie theaters? It just slid right off the plate, half melted. Hilarious. It was like that bad scene with the frogs in the Brady Bunch episode with Greg, his girlfriend, and Bobby. Sheesh!

On the way to our meeting with the rest of what remained at the park, we noticed Gemini's queue had drifted down to nothing. Now, we all know that the big G has "people eater" written all over it, but we just didn't want to wait for anything earlier. This is the kind of day where we needed to hit everything as quickly as possible. Well, now that the queue was virtually non-existent line-wise, we thought now was ideal. In we went, and immediately hit the red train. Ah, Gemini. Smooth, consistent, but what's this??? Bumps in the bottom of the drops? What's that all about? Jeff and I grimaced, but ultimately laughed at how good this ride still is. ... and wouldn't you know it? Linda's train beat ours.... AUGH!

Just prior to going off to Mean Streak, we had gotten our freeway pass to hit Magnum, so off we went to ride the notorious 1-3 seat, and destroy our thighs in the process. Going into the freeway entrance, there isn't that much of a jump ahead of the group waiting, so that's a bit of a letdown, but hey, it shaved 30 minutes off our wait. Jeff got his ride, then Linda and I hit 1-3. Remembering what the webmaster (and a few others) of Coasterbuzz said, I pulled my belt as tight as possible, and put my lapbar all the way to the top of my thighs. We made the circuit to the turnaround, where I swear I was gonna fall to my death from the left seat. It just barely chugs around the corner. Awesome. Then, as we approached the bunnies, I clenched my teeth in anticipation of the trauma that was to beset my thighs. Wham! The belt and bar held, and although I felt as though I was continually thrust from my seat, I never suffered the actual effects of the strong negative Gs on that particular section. Man, do those bunnies have diagonal hills or what? Wow. Linda just smiled, and said, "see?" Yeah, yeah, yeah.... ;)

The next order of business remains cloudy to this moment, so I am guessing what we did next. Wildcat was a quickie on the agenda. Schwartzkopf + steel = good time. Clean, and fast, with a very annoying, but cool new paint job. Ooooo, how CP of them.

Iron Dragon beckoned me to the gate. The smoke effect was off, but who cares about the theming? This is a fun ride. It's slow, it drags ass, and it's a family ride, but damn if it isn't a blast. Especially after the 2nd lift. I just love that last section of twisty, turny track. Good eating there, from the land of Arrow.

Don't give me crap for not hitting Jr. Gemini. I am 6'1", had no children with me, and didn't want to fiddle with finding a kid or a family to loan me one. This lesson was learned later in the trip, so keep yourself awake to read that bit of fun info, or feel free to scroll down to DAY 3 at PKI. :) If you see it on my track record, it's a mistake, I assure you.

Well, with the lines picking up speed, and the kids in all their school busses heading for the exits, we figured it might finally be time to hit Raptor. We had heard it was running balls out, and no trims. Riiiiiiiight. Never have I seen that. As we took the journey southeast on the peninsula (which I swear to this day we covered 10 times), we decided to take a temporary pee break, let Jeff make some cell calls, and Linda and I would hit up the "up" side of Power Tower. I am an S&S junkie. I just love the silly concepts, and the insanity that goes with them. Stan has the right idea in my book. As we waited, we noticed that the blue side, or "down" side was only running one tower. Is this standard at CP? I can't imagine that with the lines, but whatever. We waited approximately 30 minutes, and on we were. Facing south, looking towards Raptor, I awaited, slightly nervous, with baited breath to rise over the tops of the trees, get that glorious air, and drop back down. Linda snickered at how nervous I got. I love these things, but damn if I don't get totally freaked out by them. After the takeoff, as the world seemed to never stop falling away from me, we finally hit top, got that nice little pop of air, and laughed all the way to the bottom. Man, that is a long ways up, and not as tall as Top Thrill Dragster. Am I sure I want to ride that thing?

We disembarked, and made the short walk to Raptor's front entrance. We bought a Pepsi (because freaking Cedar Fair doesn't like Coke, apparently) and hit the line. While we were in line, we noticed that indeed the little beast known as Raptor was running trimless. Can you believe that? As we stood in awe, admiring what was to come, a young fellow standing in front of us turned around, and quietly said "is your name Rob?" Caught off-guard, I said yes, and he said his name was Dan. Dan the Man, to be exact. Well, Dan the Man was very quiet, but a gentle soul who wanted to spend a ride with us, and we were pleasured to oblige. We took the front seat (I demanded the front right, my fave), and moved out of the station. Raptor has green stanchions, some of which are greener than others, given that CP has yet to completely finish the paintjob. ALA Mantis, apparently. As we dropped down the hill, the whole world seemed to melt around me, and I remembered how great this ride truly was. Having ridden Orochi in Osaka a million and two times, I can attest that now I can tell the differences. Orochi has a longer straightaway after the inline twist prior to the cobra roll. Raptor just nails you right after the twist, and it makes for a much more intense ride. At the midcourse (brake, yeah right), we flew right by, and the ride just got nasty as hell. Never had I experienced such a brutal, and wonderful helix. That last set is just psychotic, and made my feet hurt, but worth every moment of pain. Jeff and I stumbled off the train, as Linda and Dan snickered at our "weak enthusiast" approach to coaster riding. At this time, we and Dan parted ways, as he was with a group of friends. It was really wonderful to know that somebody out there wanted to actually meet with us. Especially, when you realize that they don't even really know us. How cool is that? Heck, now I want stalkers!!!! ;)
Thanks Dan for the fun!

We stayed away from all water rides this day, and I guess it was worth it, because the day was about to change. Linda had to leave to beat the traffic back towards Detroit, and Jeff and I wanted to check out the progress on TTD. We gave that sweet lady (you really do have to meet her) a big hug, wiped the tears from her eyes (yeah, right), and said our goodbyes. Then, Jeff and I took a look at TTD. They were unspooling cable for the launch mechanisms, but hadn't even gotten near completion. It appeared they were making back-up cables, so this would never happen again. Let's hope that when somebody makes the dream-trip to CP, they never have to suffer the wonder of what TTD is like, because they were nowhere near done, and my day was unraveling with a quickened resolve. Yes, it had been a hugely wonderful day, but the idea of an empty credit (especially one as huge as TTD) at CP was killing me, and destroying Jeff all the more. As we walked around the tower of TTD, it occurred to us to consider coming back the next day, even if for a few hours, to try and ride Top Thrill Dragster.

After mulling if over, we thought we'd take a jaunt over to Millennium Force again, and ride that beast in the back. The very back. I had never sat in the upper tier before, so this ought to be a new experience, and I could feel the pull over that hill in back car. We stepped into line near the Pepsi machines, and waited. Then waited some more. Then, as suddenly as it was beautiful, and lovely in the morning, the skies opened into a drizzle. We were in the queue, under the sun tarps, so we weren't really getting hit with any major wetness, but occasionally, we'd get a slap of rain off the tarp roof, or we'd have to journey out into the uncovered areas. As Jeff stood clutching his arms to try and stay warm, I covered my selfish head with my rain bonnet, and said over and over again how sorry I was he didn't bring a coat with him. Jeff kept his mettle, and survived the deluge (it really was pouring down now) until we moved into the station. Still choosing the back seat, we pulled the restraints down, and realized as we climbed the first hill that the rain was now coming down in buckets. We shook our heads as we cleared the summit, and in a flash we were down at the first turnaround, laughing mightily as we couldn't look forward, nor open our eyes, as the rain pounded little BB-sized rouge marks into our skin. As we rode the course, we would, in the tunnels, raise our arms up in defiance, only to drop them into a protective circle around our faces as we emerged into the fray. It was a tough ride to make, but one, after the fact, that we were glad we partook. It was an awesome experience to basically ride MF in complete blindness, and feel completely disoriented during the traverse. I wish I could do it again.

By now, the park was shutting rides down, and people were thinning out. We knew we had an entire week in front of us, and a day to consider for Wednesday (what to do? Go to SFWoa? Come back to CP? Try and do both? Are we nuts?), so we ran out to the car, took off our wet clothes in the lot, threw them in the trunk, and drove away from Cedar Point, sticky and confused. I just realized I hadn't taken any pictures. Damn. We drove off to our hotel in Twinsburg, OH. for our next night of sleeping (make that no sleeping because of Jeff's damn snoring), a hot-tub soak, and dinner at Denny's. What made this night particularly bizarre was that as we arrived at Denny's for a very, very late dinner, we noticed Robb and Elissa in the parking lot, just leaving. How weird was that to have seen him twice in the same day 100 miles apart from the first "sighting?" Still, I didn't say hello. Count me weird.

Sleep. Please God, bring sleep.

Stay tuned for DAY TWO

*edit for Moosh!* ... the kitchen sink.
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I have been arrested more than you
*** This post was edited by nasai 6/5/2003 2:05:56 PM ***

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Wednesday, June 4, 2003 8:59 PM
If anyone is worthy of stalkers, it's Rob. This guy is the straight illness. :)

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I'm not an enthusiast. I just play one on message boards.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2003 9:11 PM
.....Jeff get's out his mini disc player to tape himself tonight to see what the *****ing is all about....... ;)

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- "I used to be in the audio/visual club, but I was kicked out because of my views on Vietnam........and I was stealing projectors" - Homer Simpson

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Thursday, June 5, 2003 8:45 AM
Excellent TR, Rob! Can't wait for the rest. It seems to be a rite of passage that everybody from the Left Coast gets rained on while riding MF at least once.

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Mike Miller - Soaked in the front seat, 5/15/01

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Thursday, June 5, 2003 9:26 AM
Man, guys, I so wish I could have made the trip, but because of memorial day and family coming up and all, I had to cancel out. Glad you had a great day at CP, I hope I get to hit it in August. BTW, Rob, I'm planning a trip to the West coast hopefully in Nov. to hit SFMM and do some stuff, would love to hit the EMP in Seattle and meet up with ya!

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Kiss me, I'm stylish!! :)

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Thursday, June 5, 2003 10:03 AM
Great TR, Rob. I think the only thing you left out was the kitchen sink ;)

mOOSH

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Vegas -- June 7-9
ACE Con-Quest -- June 11-22

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Thursday, June 5, 2003 10:09 AM
Thanks for the comments. It was tough, and took 2 days to write, and I haven't even considered what I'll say for the remainder of the trip. I might have to let you all down, and write much more concisely. ;)
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I have been arrested more than you
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Thursday, June 5, 2003 10:19 AM
Dont stop a good thing now drummer boy. :)

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Arena football has arrived in the Windy City. Go "Chicago Rush"

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Thursday, June 5, 2003 11:02 AM
I don't know if I have anymore in me. With some of the other threads gathering steam, and my attention, I don't know "how" I will complete said TR.

Besides, you just want me to talk about you. ;)
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I have been arrested more than you

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Thursday, June 5, 2003 11:04 AM
I am at the end of the story, so you rapping about me will be an afterthought. ;)

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Arena football has arrived in the Windy City. Go "Chicago Rush"

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Thursday, June 5, 2003 11:43 AM
Why be concise? rambling works and is a fun read. *snickers again*

And yes, I DO still have a soft spot for Mean Streak. Anyone who rode it the first year knows what it can be. I'm still hopeful it will someday be brought back to it's former, body thrashing, ferocious self.

Looking forward to the rest of the chapters

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I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead
http://www.webtechnik.com/ebony/CPLady.htm

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Thursday, June 5, 2003 11:58 AM
See, this is why I created BulletPoint!

BTW, did I ever mention that Popeye's was the official hot, stinky, spicy, greasy, stomache-aching, cheap fried chicken of the CPlaya 100? I always pick up a bucket in Sawyer, MI on the way to CP and one just before Rockford, IL on the way home. Yes, you heard correctly--I know exactly where the first and last locations are en route. It's just that sad.

-'Playa

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The CPlaya 100--6 days, 9 parks, 47 coasters, 2037 miles and a winner.....LoCoSuMo.

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Thursday, June 5, 2003 12:03 PM
Ramble away, drummer boy. This was very entertaining to read. I had a GREAT time at PKI with you, and I can't wait to see what kind of spin you put in the kiddie credit. :)

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--Greg, aka Oat Boy
My page
"Mary Jane, don't you cry, you can give it a try, Again when the sequel comes out" -- Weird Al, Ode to a Superhero

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Thursday, June 5, 2003 12:08 PM
I just want to clarify, Midway is not in a "seedy" part of town...admittedly, if you head a few blocks either way on Cicero you'll hit a string of motels with "afternoon specials," but if anyone really wants to see "Seedy Chicago" let me know and I'll draw you up a little map. ;) Otherwise Robbio, fun, if not rediculously long, TR!

-Dawn, Chicago native stuck downstate.

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Thursday, June 5, 2003 12:29 PM
And how, perchance, does a lady like you know the seedy parts of Chicago? ;)

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--George H
---Currency tracking experiment... http://www.wheresgeorge.com (Referring to The "George" on the $1 bill - Not Me)

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Thursday, June 5, 2003 12:37 PM
I know I will be in a seedy part of Chicago this coming Tuesday when I have to show up for Jury Duty on 26th and California.

Ooooooooooooooh, lucky me. :)

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Arena football has arrived in the Windy City. Go "Chicago Rush"

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Thursday, June 5, 2003 12:50 PM
I heard Dawnmarie was taking hourly reservations at her RV during SRM, but that might only be a rumor ;)

mOOSH - jus' kidding, hon!

PS - Nasai...I wasn't complaining about the length of your TR. Remember, I like 'em long! [Expecting Putz to chime in with "Ugh...let's not go there." any second now]

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Vegas -- June 7-9
ACE Con-Quest -- June 11-22

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Thursday, June 5, 2003 12:51 PM
Dawn, I didn't have a hotel for the last night, because the offer of a hardwood floor wasn't my idea of a good way to end my trip, nor was sleeping in the same bed with David Hamburger! ;) j/k, David....

I did, after a very late dinner, find a hotel, "just south" of Midway, that indeed did offer me a room for 5 hours. It was inexpensive, relatively, and had no phone service or a tub that drained (from God know's what). Good eating, there.

Playa, Popeye's r0x0rs! Have you have Ezell's yet? Oprah has.... I have the only two in the US right here in Hooterville.
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I have been arrested more than you

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Thursday, June 5, 2003 12:54 PM

Mamoosh said:
I heard Dawnmarie was taking hourly reservations at her RV during SRM

Gotta pay for Con-Quest somehow ;)

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Thursday, June 5, 2003 1:41 PM
Wow Rob, you were so right! All those words and there's still not a damn thing I find quotable. ;)
Great TR dood! Keep them hardcore and I won't mind if they're not looong... But please do keep it UP!

-Danny
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Space Open to Interpretation

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