Blair has Fridays off this summer and we kicked the season off with a day at Carowinds Amusement Park. (For my Ohio peeps -- think a smaller version of King's Island.)
It was the perfect day - sunny, 80's, light breeze, and since it was a Friday and the beginning of the season, the park was half empty. In our first two hours there, we breezed onto at least 7 rides, never waiting over 10-15 minutes for any one ride. That came back to bite us later when we waited for almost 2 hours to ride Nitehawk, a roller coaster that lies you on your back and fliesyou facedown through 8 inversions. They stopped the ride for testing or mechanics and we all baked in the sun. If we'd known it would be a 2+ hour wait, we may have come back, but after the first 90 minutes, you're kind of in it to win it, especially as we could see from where we stood the cue to board the ride.
Blair and I are roller coaster people. We mock people who go to Carowinds to see the shows. Do these people not see the Intimidator looming above them, beckoning?
The only thing that scares us are spinning rides. As we've aged, our inner ear balance has recalibrated and it doesn't take much spinning for either of us to feel sick. That witches brew ride with the spinning cauldrons? Not gonna happen.
Still, that didn't stop us from enjoying a spin on the carousel.
Our favorite ride of the day was the Shooting Star, a "giant looping Viking ship that swings backward and forward, then turns a series of two complete loops, suspending riders upside down 80 feet in the air." We got really lucky as we were back aways in line but everyone ahead of us were in groups of four. They needed 2 people to fill the end seats in the very top row so we got to move right on through.
"Perfect!" I said to Blair who, as I reflect on it now, looked suspiciously happy. "I love these swinging ships."
What I hadn't realized was that the ship did a full loop. I thought it just rocked back and forth. Not that having that info would have stopped me from riding it, but it's always nice to go in prepared.
So the ride starts and right away on the first swing, we're practically parallel to the ground at the top. On the next swing we edge even closer. As we approach the 3rd swing which will take us over the top I say to Blair, "Wait a minute. Does this thing go all the...?"
"YEAH BABY!," Blair yelled as I screamed as we loop-de-looped. It must be noted his "Yeah baby," was NOT a yell of pleasure at being on the ride but rather a "Yeah, baby, I pulled a fast one on the wife!" whoop of pure joy.
We came home sweaty, sunburned and stinky--all hallmarks of a successful day at the park. We ended the day with a water ride and so also drove home soaked.
The next morning Blair asked if I felt old at the park.
"No, why?" I asked.
He shrugged. "Most people our age had kids with them. Most of the couples only were teenagers or people in their twenties. Didn't know if that bothered you."
Nope. Didn't notice and don't care. I'll be 80 and still riding the coasters.
Assuming this inner ear thing doesn't get any worse.