Sunday, August 24, 2008

More Flags. MORE FUN!

Ladies and gentleman, meet my new girlfriend...Lola Bunny!

OK, maybe not.

It had been about 10 years since I was last at Great me...SIX FLAGS Great Adventure.

The Marketing department thanks me for the accuracy.

Anywho, GA (sorry, folks, it'll always be Great Adventure to me) has a special place in my heart, and as I visited there on Friday with Sean, Harold, Tracy, Cameron and Katie, I found myself waxing nostalgic at times. I first visited in May of '85 and have been back many times since - a lot during the days of dating. Lots of memories flooded my brain. Oh well, it's all good.

At least when my heart wasn't throbbing from one of the rides.

To be honest, I didn't know how many thrill rides I would experience. Thus I took the patented "Bull Durham" approach: "don't think." That seemed to work.

From the moment we walked into the park, it was extreme ride time. I walked onto Superman: Ultimate Flight and strapped in. A few minutes later, I had tightness in both hips from the shock of my first extreme coaster in a long time. Undaunted, I jumped right onto The Great American Scream Machine and I wasn't feeling quite as bold as I did when I was a wee lad in 1990 or so.

Then again, the line was much shorter than it was back then, when it was a top-of-the-line coaster.

Harold, Cameron and I did the thrill rides together, with me bowing out for just a couple. By the time we went to get on Nitro, I was experiencing some operating difficulties, no doubt a result of the...wait for it...ready, Sean?...chili dogs.

Quick aside - I'm getting a rep for talking about food a lot. Yet even when I was at my heaviest, I still honestly didn't eat a lot. I just ate a lot that was good for me. Yet even some of the Renegades players have taken to laughing about it. Most of the time, I do it for laughs.

OK then.

With my missing Nitro (not once, but twice), I also missed out on Batman: The Ride as well. I hated to do that, because now I feel weak. Totally wimpy. Oh, for the record, we also did not do Kingda Ka. Any ride that makes you wait over an hour just might not be worth the effort. We also didn't do The Dark Knight, and that bummed me out, but such is life.

We did, however, do El Toro. Although after riding that SOB, I think I might just call it El FREAKING Toro. Holy chihuahua, Batman! When we neared the top, I thought about just closing my eyes, but then thought of Sean Connery in "The Untouchables"
Oh, what the hell — you've gotta die of something!
Harold and Cameron rate the coasters that they've been on (something from my box of tricks - spreadsheet included!). They were quite high on El Toro, and I went to movie mode again, as in "These go to 11." It was the best coaster I had ever been on. The sheer feeling of coming out of my seat ("airtime", natch) was in-freaking-tense.

Oh, another aside here. You probably know that these theme parks take pictures of you on the rides for your to purchase (Merchandising!). So in every picture, there's me, looking like I want my mommy, while Cameron is smiling away. Then there was Harold. Now I know what it was like to go to a metal concert with him in the 80's. The only thing that was missing was the joint and the devil's horns.

Sadly, Rolling Thunder felt like a lame walk in the park. That was basically Cameron's review. He was bored. I enjoyed the ride. Again, it's nostalgia.

The theme of death carried onto Medusa. As we began our ascent, Harold began talking about dying on a coaster. It's his way to go, in case you're wondering. He furthered it by talking about heart attacks on roller coasters.

Let's pause here. This is me he's talking to. Son of a heart attack victim. Owner of a batting average cholesterol number. One who's doctor is begging him to visit. This might have not been the best time for this topic.

Oh, what the hell — you've gotta die of something!

For the record, I obviously survived.

I suppose I should brag for just a moment about my dumb luck. We walked past a game that involved sinking a 50-foot putt. It cost a dollar, and Harold implored me to do it. I lined up my first try, and left it way short - I might have hit it 25 feet. On the second try, I lined it all up, and whacked away...and it went in. I won this giant (aren't all prizes silly and oversized?) ball. I let Sean choose - and instead of going with one featuring the faces of the Looney Toons characters, he picked one with money on it.

There's something fitting about that. Because it's always about the money, right?

There was a a lot more. The younger kids enjoyed the various rides for their age. The Looney Tunes/American Idol-style show was a nice chance to sit down, and was cute (of course a certain rabbit won). There were plenty of character sightings. Sean enjoyed meeting Flash and Batman.

Sean even showed me his chivalry, when he defended Katie from a would-be bully. That's my boy!

Yes we had a blast. Sean worked up the nerve to go on the Saw Mill log Flume and the Runaway Mine Train and laughed (and talked) the whole time. That was a relief, considering that when we did the flight simulator Fly Me To The Moon 3D, he was the lone person in the theater NOT wearing the special glasses (at least until the very end). We had such a good time that not only were we there when the park opened, we were there when it closed. That was following their Glow in the Park parade, a somewhat cheesy affair featuring this song by a Celine Dion sound alike that got stuck in my head. Yet with Sean riding my shoulders as we watched the parade end, I felt my strongest emotions of the day. For here was my son - my life - watching this silly parade with Bugs Bunny closing it out (you were expecting Daffy Duck?) on a float that said - what else - "That's all Folks!"

It ended just as it should. With a dad, his son, and their great friends. And yes, to sound trite, some great memories.

Pictures are here.


Sean G. Kilkelly said...

On a scale of 1-10, how hot was the chili?

Rob Adams said...

One. A slight, very mild kick.