Saturday, June 30, 2018

June 5, 2018 Just Us Kids Having Fun at Cedar Point

"Just us kids in the parking lot
Out here givin' it all we got
We don't want to get old and die
And there ain't nothing we wouldn't try

Ya know we could really have it all 
Our kid's gonna graduate next fall
I could take retirement in 10 years
It's a damn short movie
How'd we ever get here?

Just us kids hangin' out today
Watchin' our long hair turnin' gray
Not so skinny maybe not so free
Not so many as we used to be"

- Just Us Kids by James McMurtry

Today is Chrissy's birthday and we plan on spending it riding roller coasters all day long. Why? Because we both love roller coasters. Another reason for me is I enjoy being a kid every chance I can. I may have grown old but I really haven't ever grown up. I still have a child like fascination about doing fun things...playing sports...going to concerts...walking my dogs...hiking and exploring in national parks and on city streets...relaxing in my yard and watering my plants while watching the setting sun...hanging out with my friends...riding my bike...taking photographs...enjoying beaches and amusement parks. These activities don't make me feel young but they do remind me of simpler times. So I choose to hang onto to these fun things for as long as I am able to do them. 

That said I am glad the doctor is available because today's world is making me crazy, I need some old school cartoons to cheer me up...

...with this giant head I must be Charlie Brown to Chrissy's Lucy. 

I do love all the Peanuts characters here at Cedar Point but I am here for all this twisted steel.

I haven't been here in at least 10 years. There are so many roller coasters here in every direction you look. It is insane. 

This is Valravn...223 feet high, 90 degree angle drop, 75 mph, a 270 degree roll and smooth as silk.  

Hey Ma, Chrissy made me pose here just for you. For those that don't know why, most of my comments on my mom's Facebook posts get a simple reply from my mom...BRAT!!

Millennium Force is amazing...310 feet high, 93 mph

I have never ridden anything like the Top Thrill Dragster. It rolls to a stop after leaving the station. Then it launches at 120 mph and ... rockets straight up on a twisted track to 420 feet high and drops back straight down on a twisted track. The entire ride last 17 glorious seconds.

Every where you look, there are multiple coasters in that view.

The sky got dark and rain was in the forecast but it never happened. Lucky for us, it kept the crowd small and the sun came back out after noon.

Me and my childhood friend.

This Steeplechase high speed Merry Go Round is one of two non coaster rides I went on...

...I do love carousels too. This goes back to spending summers at Coney Island with my grandfather. 

This is Raptor another pretty smooth ride with all types of inversions.

An old school carousel with beautiful horses.

We might have been the only people on this ride.

This doo-wop band was playing in front of LA's famous hot dog stand, Pink's.

The Wicked Twister is another coaster that launches you at 72 mph from the station up a twisted track, then you hang there...

and shoot back through the station and up the other side. you go back and forth a few times.
The coaster in the background is the Gatekeeper.
This is the newest coaster Steel Vengeance. It reused the framework of the old wooden coaster Mean Streak into a steel track coaster that has been down all day so I haven't been able to check it out yet.

I did check out some bluegrass music in the old west section of the park.

Maverick was a surprisingly better coaster than I remember it being.

Taking pictures while in line.

I was amused by how many coasters I could fit into one photo.

Rougarou was another fun coaster.

I ended up riding this coaster four times. It is an amazing ride...relentless for the entire ride and so much air time. Steel Vengeance is my new favorite roller coaster to ride. My hometown bias will have the Cyclone in Coney Island as my favorite coaster. 

But this is an amazing ride. I fell more in love with it after each ride. 

Yes, it hangs over the edge, then drops straight down. And I believe that is not the best part of this is the amazing amount of time you spend flying out of your seat over the more than a mile long track.

Steel Vengeance from our dinner table.

We rode the Gemini once and one of our old favorites, the Magnum XL-200 at least 6 times.

The late afternoon sun was lighting up the park beautifully.

The Magnum XL-200 was the first 200 foot roller coaster when it was built in 1989.

We cleaned up in our room at the Hotel Breakers on the beach...

...and then we walked around to the west side of the peninsula to watch the sun set.

The huge slides at the water park.

The great first hill of the Magnum in the background.

Just like Coney Island, Cedar Point combines two of my favorite places...a beach and an amusement park.

The birthday girl relaxing in an Adirondack chair...

...watching the sun let across Lake Erie.

Our day spent as kids didn't end here. We walked back along the beach, grabbed some adult beverages at a bar on the beach and found a couple of seats near the hotel's fire pits on the outdoor patio. Most of the people around us were young parents with their hour later as I got up to leave it seemed obvious to me that I related more to those kids who were so excited to be here than their parents who seemed to be wishing they were somewhere else.

"Oh maturity's a wrapped up package deal so it seems
And ditching teenage fantasy means ditching all your dreams
All your friends and peers and family solemnly tell you you will
Have to grow up be an adult yeah be bored and unfulfilled
Oh when no ones yet explained to me exactly what's so great
About slaving 50 years away on something that you hate
Look I'm meekly shuffling down the path of mediocrity
Well if that's your road then take it but it's not the road for me

And I won't sit down
And I won't shut up
And most of all I will not grow up
And I won't sit down
And I won't shut up
And most of all I yeah I won't grow up
And I won't sit down
And I won't shut up
And most of all I will not grow up

And if all you ever do with your life
Is photosynthesize
Then you deserve every hour of these sleepless nights
That you waste wondering when you're gonna die" 

- Photosynthesis by Frank Turner