I just got back from my annual trip to Cedar Point.
My brother and I have been going there every year since 1979 (I've only missed a couple times).
We are both roller coaster fans.
Not over the top kind of roller coaster fans~ otherwise we'd probably be going to other parks just to ride different coasters.
Both of us have been to other parks, but there is something that keeps us going back to Cedar Point each year.
For me, other than number of great coasters, it's the sentimental feelings I get from going there (another aspect of my warped sentimentality?...).
Jason and I always have fun reminiscing as we walk around the park.
Remembering the year the Gemini opened. The thrill of that huge wooden coaster. Racing friends in the other car and reaching out over the tracks to slap hands. Laughing at how everyone ducks their raised hands when you go under that one set of tracks that you would never really touch anyways. How we had to wait in line for 3 hours for a coaster that you can now walk right on.
Or the year the Top Thrill Dragster opened.
If you don't know about this coaster, it's called a "Strata Coaster" because it is the first coaster to top 400 feet (420 ft actually), and it has a hydraulic cable launch system that launches riders from 0-120 mph in less than four seconds. It takes you into a 90 degree climb up a hill, twists you 270 degrees and drops you down the other side to hit 120ish miles a hour again. The whole ride last a whopping 17 seconds. Here's a little video of it.
Anyhoo, my brother and I had just entered the park and we were at the base of the ride watching it (it's even fun to watch). The coaster launched and went into it's climb up the hill. As the car climbed the hill you could tell it wasn't going fast enough. It didn't make it to the top of the hill it just hung the on there for a second and started falling backwards. My brother and I both started screaming thinking that we were witnessing some horrific death scene you see in the movies.
We didn't realize the coaster did this sometimes (actually quite a bit the first couple of years that the coaster was getting it's bugs worked out).
But we laugh about the terror we felt that day.
We also like talking about the rides that aren't there anymore. Like that round ride that you stood against the wall and it spun and the floor dropped down and you just hung there.
It had a metal floor and a hose nearby...I have never seen so many people throw up on a ride as that one.
Ah, the memories.
Every year we wonder if the park splurged and bought new uniforms for the kids working there. And every year the answer is 'no'. I think they have had the same hideous blue and red jumpers since 1979. I have never seen an employee that actually looks good in it.
Maybe they make them wear them to cut down on the kids fraternizing with each other.
People watching is always fun at Cedar Point. Every year I think that I have now seen it all, only to be shocked by something new the next year.
Kinda like going to Walmart or the county fair but because of the water rides inside the park there's even less clothes.
A couple other things....the roar of the coaster as it goes by....my once a year treat of an elephant ear....
But my biggest reason for going every year is spending time with my brother.
I can honestly say the thing I look most forward to is hearing him giggle as we go down that first big hill of a coaster.
It's the same giggle as when we were kids.
I actually close my eyes and take it all in and suddenly I'm a preteen again and life is simple and carefree.
Upon my return from Africa and following several phone conversations with close friends inquiring about my experience, it became apparent to me I would be ...