Thursday, August 26, 2004

Six Flags, Courtesy of Angela

I have been so wiped our from our trip to Six Flags this weekend that I haven't really been able to write about it. But I found this on Angela's blog today, so I stole it ('cause she went with us and wrote about it better than I could).

Yesterday I rode Sha-zam w/ Jen’s son Sam. He knows what he can take and this ride is totally up his alley. We got in and buckled up and as we started swinging to and fro, front to back and side to side I kept slamming into him. It was unavoidable and the nature of the ride. I kept trying to move over but every time I did I’d just slam into him again. Sam must giggled which made me laugh and my laughter made him laugh more. What fun!

The water park known as Hurricane Harbor was where we actually started out day. But not for sore feet walking on bare concrete I had a perfect time there. I think of water slides as being pretty tame as things go. So I went up and up and up without reservation to the first slide. It wound around so I thought this indicated a slower slide and a good place to start as it had also been many years since Wet Willies and the like.

Well Karl went first and slid down and out of sight. I heard a shout from inside the covered slide and didn’t think much of it. I read the rules because I couldn’t hear a word the life guard said. Sit down with your legs out in front of you, cross your feet and keep your arms in and lay back as you go down. Simple enough. I get in and do just that. The first bit is a nice pace. Okay, I can handle this. But I around the first curve and suddenly I am propelling at a break neck pace and all I can do is think “I don’t like this. I’ll close my eyes and wait till it’s over.”

And I do and it’s over. I open my eyes and I can hear Karl laughing at the sight of me. I open my eyes and I am not sitting in a large pool like I expected. I am merely sitting up in a slide that is about half filled with water up to my waist. I take a second to get my bearings and I’m back up the steps to the next slide. None of the other slides were nearly as scary to me but were all infinitely fun. I’d like to do more of that w/ the remaining sweltering days of August in St. Louis. Thanks to Jen and Derrick and company for taking us along. It was great fun and will be remembered for years to come. Doing something so out of the norm for me was just what the doctor ordered.

I just realized I hadn’t mentioned other defining moments in Sunday’s adventure at Six Flags. Karl and I were meandering about thru various and disappointing gift shops when Jen advised us to “Save ourselves” and skip the Scooby Doo Haunted house she was taking all the kiddies to.We didn’t know exactly how long Scooby Doo would take so we opted for Mr. Freeze whose entrance was adjacent to the haunted house. We went in knowing absolutely nothing about what we were about to encounter.

After what seemed like miles of walking to actually reach the lines end and were corralled by a Six Flags worker to get on the ride more quickly and get in his shorter line.We waited and watched patiently for a total of about 7 minutes. The ride was only a full 30 seconds from start to finish and I could see that there was but one exit door for the coaster and that when it returned it did so in reverse. So at that moment all I knew for sure was that whatever I was about to do I was going to do forwards and backwards. No problem.The 2 people in front of us loaded on and then the track holding the cars moved from our side into the center (which we had not noticed before). “Yikes” I thought…how very…futuristic or Mission Impossible or something that I can’t’ think of.

Our turn came around and we got on after placing things like hats, sunglasses and bottled water in bin on the opposite side so as not to lose them “in flight.” We were instructed to keep our heads pressed against the head rest, a police siren sounded and ….POW….like the Road Runner taking off we were out of the starting gate. There was no building up of speed or anything like that. Just….POW!

As we sped thru the tunnel into the day light I heard from next to “Ooohhh……fffffuuuuccckkk!!!!!!!!” I was screaming as well owing to my sheer terror rather than exhilaration. I turned my head to look to my right and “whap!” My neck was flung in a hard snap to my shoulder and all I could think was “whiplash!” I grunted and quick “SNAP!” snapped my head and neck back up against the head rest. After that we went over and over head over feet, swirling around and then suddenly we were speeding straight up at a 90 degree angle w/ known gravity. I could see nothing but sky. The ride is only half over. 15 seconds have passed. How will I survive? 15 more seconds to go….I gave up. I gave in or I gave out. I’m not sure which. I have no recollection of the last half of the ride. I closed my eyes and waited for it to be over; heart pounding out of my chest and into my head, breath short and quick and then…I just cried.We screeched backwards into our original starting position.

Karl was laughing his deep guttural and mischievous laugh. “That was intense” he said happily. We made our way out of our seats and he turned to me mid-sentence of more accolades for Mr. Freeze and saw my face, tear stained, sad, unstable and scared. “Oh honey!” he said w/ heartfelt sympathy. He rubbed my back gently to console me.We returned to our meeting place and found Derrick who described having seen my reaction from the other side of the line before he rode Mr. Freeze himself. I somehow didn’t quite understand that until Karl re-explained it to me about 5 minutes later. The blood in my head had not completely recirculated yet.I felt like a bit of a tool, or really more of a stick in the mud for having been so frightened so easily. But I did think it best with hind sight NOT to know what I’d gotten myself into rather than chickening out without even trying.

Feeling I must triumph at something today we headed later to Batman –a roller coaster where your feet dangle about as you hurtle through space at 60 miles per hour. Again, I avoided additional information about the ride and opted to keep my eyes closed completely as we rose towards the first drop. I sat quietly and endured the ride w/ my sight no longer an option. It was okay that way. But when I told Karl what I’d done he asked “but was it fun?” I couldn’t answer. And again I felt like more of a tool. I must somehow fix this. Hmmmm…..

Jen and Karl went on this gyroscope thingy that I can’t explain. It went 90 miles an hour and sent them 270 feet in the air. That was how I found out that Mr. Freeze moves at a mere 70 miles per hour and that that’s just too fucking fast for me.To close the day we ended up riding Batman 2 times in a row w/ J & D. The final time I actually kept my eyes open for 90% of the time; only closing them when I felt the earth too close to my head.I had ice cream to reward myself for being a brave girl; a double scoop of Cookie dough and Mint Chocolate Chip. It made it all better. :) Ice cream can fix just about anything that’s ailing me. :)

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