THE REVELATION: Well, it started when we first walked by the Coney Mall arcade, and I realized I was more excited about going in there and playing DDR than I was about riding roller coasters. Then, later on in the day, after sweating in yet another line, I began to think of other things I'd rather be doing. Things like playing with my dog. Or sitting at home in the A/C watching TV with my wife. Or doing a crossword puzzle. Almost anything.
So, the realization is, coasters aren't the center of my life anymore. In fact, based on the experience I had today, next year will probably be the first time since 1989 that I haven't gone to PKI each year. I probably won't visit more than one park next year, unless I have the opportunity to go to a new park, or there's a new coaster nearby. It's not that PKI was bad today, it's just that coasters don't ring my bell like they used to. Also, most of them make me nauseated anymore, which is just no fun...
Anyway, despite all that, I had a pretty decent day, though it wasn't the coasters that made it good. It was the time spent with people I love, and just the fact that I wasn't at work or otherwise working. We (my wife, brother and his girlfriend) arrived at 11 a.m. and were ready to leave at 4:30 p.m.
LINES: Very good. Longest was Face/Off at one hour, though a line of the same length would have taken less than 10 minutes on Vortex. We waited about 15 minutes or less for Vortex, the Beast and Flight of Fear. The Racer, Adventure Express and Top Gun were walk-ons. The only non-coaster we rode, Scooby Doo's Haunted Castle, was about a 30-minute wait.
RIDES: Common theme today: roughness. Every single coaster we rode today sans one seemed extra rough and bumpy. The irony is that the one that actually felt smooth is Vortex, which normally is rough as all get-out.
We rode Flight of Fear first. My wife's ankles somehow got twisted under the ankle bar, so she was in pain the whole ride, but mine wasn't bad - just seems to have gotten bumpier since last year.
Racer backwards was next. Big surprise - lots of air! The most fun I had on a coaster today.
We hit a *really* rough and jerky Adventure Express then, followed by a nausea-inducing (but great fun) Face/Off. I saw a fellow in line here wearing a shirt that said "Where's Robb Alvey?" and "Foghorn"... I didn't get it. Maybe he *was* Robb Alvey? He was an obvious enthusiast... he was by himself had about a dozen coaster keychains on his belt loop.
Lessee.. after lunch we hit Top Gun. It's the first time I've ever felt anything that I would call "rough" on this ride, but there was some *serious* bumpiness. But it was smooth as silk compared to Son of Beast, which is where my headache started. My brother lamented that the layout would be a blast if it were smooth. I agree.
Next was the Scooby ride. This was fun and long, but I really wish you could see the beam from your gun. I got a 2,220, narrowly beating my wife's 2,010. The Beast was next - I maintain my hatred for the trim brakes (vs. the old skids), but it still hauls through the tunnel. Rough as heck though.
Last we tried Vortex, which as I said was smooth as glass. Everytime I ride this, I see someone barf. Two people this time.
FOOD: Mmm, LaRosa's Pizza. I didn't know they had a third location in the park now, but there it was, at the entrance to the Action Zone, with a *huge* eating area, complete with video games and movies playing on big screens. Also had some of that awesome blueberry ice cream from kiddie-land. And it was so good to see Mello Yello in the soda fountains around the park.
DDR: One of the video games in the aforementioned LaRosa's is a DDR Extreme, which took me by surprise. And it would have been a *great* place to show off... it was turned up so loudly and the room was so echoey and large that you could hear the machine from anywhere.
Unfortunately, it would not take tokens or quarters. I tried it for a good two minutes but it must have been broken.
So, I ended up playing my one game of the day at the Beast arcade, where the Extreme machine said "3rd Mix" on it. It was hard to concentrate with the MTV Drumscape machine right there, but I ended up getting B's on Tsugaru, Burnin' the Floor Momo Mix and Sakura. My wife played along with me on Light until halfway through Sakura, then gave up...
That's it. Thanks for reading.
A day is a drop of water in the ocean of eternity. A week is seven drops.
Freedom that time off when the kids go back to school!
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