Will turns 8 on September 1, and both Annette and I (okay, mostly me) completely endorse the idea of at least a of week or two on either side of the actual birthday date as the “birthday month.” As part of that celebration, we took Will and a friend of his to the Cedar Point theme park (instead of a birthday party, and now instead of next week, because school starts for him.)
I am not much of a fan of such places for a variety of different reasons, not the least of which is that this particular theme park is known for its many roller coasters. Everywhere at the park, I was constantly reminded that Cedar Point is known as “The roller coast,” because it’s right there on Lake Erie. Get it? And it’s a pretty accurate slogan. For example, they have one called “drag racer” something. It hits a 120 MPH in about 100 yards, goes straight up about 20 stories high, and then comes straight down again. They have about about a half-dozen or more coasters that go close to that fast and/or that require you to stand up and/or that twist and turn and turn you over a half-dozen times. And then they also have a fair number of rides which just drop you from some bizarre height. Ick.
I have never enjoyed such rides. For years, people have tried to convince me that I should enjoy such things, but I never have. To me, riding a roller coaster at a theme park is like compressing and magnifying all the worst things about flying, and then, just to add to the insult, you have to pay a lot of money and wait in line a long time. “How do you know you wouldn’t like it if you don’t try?” people used to ask me. So I tried riding roller coasters and it turns out I was right. Then I would go to other theme parks with other roller coasters and people would try to talk me into riding again. “Oh, ride this roller coaster,” people would say, “this one is different.” I tried it, and it was not. So now I simply refuse. I think you reach a certain age– I’ve decided that that age for me was 35– at which point you no longer have to try things if you don’t want to. Therefore, no more roller coasters– or at least big ones– for me.
Fortunately, Will and his friend are both too young to go on the crazy coasters and Will, taking after his father I suppose, was paricularly keen on not going on anything too scary. This made for some tensions with his slightly more adventurous friend, but all was well because we convinced Will to take at least a chance on a few of the less than baby rides.
Highlights for me? Well, I liked the bumper cars and the ferris wheel okay, but most of my fun was watching Will and his friend. Will and friend rode just about everything in their age group at the place: kiddie bumper cars, those cars you drive around yourself on a track, various swing things that go around, etc. I rode with Will and his friend on the “Gemini Junior,” which is a kiddie roller coaster about my speed.
We all went on a log flume ride that was pretty fun, but then I decided to “opt out” of the “Thunder Canyon” water rapids ride. This is one of those things where you sit in a boat that goes through a “rapids” that is pretty tame but that tends to get you kind of wet. At Cedar Point, their version gets you REALLY wet, which we figured out as we saw patrons exiting the ride looking like they had taken a shower fully dressed. I decided I didn’t want to be soaking wet, so I took the bags and headed toward the observation area. I managed to get this picture:
You’ll notice that Annette doesn’t really see what’s coming, but Will and friend do. Right after this, the boats pass under waterfalls that soak riders to the bone. So, at the end of the ride, I was able to get this picture:
I’m not sure you can tell with this shot, but they were all dang wet, and all of them pretty much stayed wet until we got home and they got changed about 5 hours later. I have never been happier to miss out on an experience.
Anyway, a good time for one and all, and probably easier and more fun than having an actual birthday party. If you want to see all of the decent digital pictures from the day, check out my Cedar Point set on Flickr.