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I'm actually getting around to posting everything! Whoo hoo. And posting once a day again. I'm glad I"m doing so. All right, more posting about my secret trip, so keep your voices down! This should be the last of these posts.

Dylan drove me to the Convent station outside of Morristown, New Jersey -- where my hotel was, and about a five minute walk from his theater. (Five minute drive from his dorm, so it was all there together. I had gotten mad about no hotel in Madison until I realized just how damn close Morristown was.)

I shook from Morristown to Penn Station. From there, I had to walk from Penn Station to the Q line. It was probably the scariest thing I've ever done, not because it was scary...but because I always told myself that going through a city by myself was a bad idea, at any time of day. Over the past year, though, I've had to go places by myself. I've been to Columbus, walked around malls, even driven to the Point by myself. And I was nervous when I went to Kennywood and Dorney, when I had to stay in the hotel by myself. I guess I'm only an introvert when I'm comfortable with it, otherwise, I want to be with people. But going to NYC was something I was super nervous about, since it's such a huge city. I did know my way around for the most part, but still...

Walking to the Q, it felt like somebody was holding my hand, like God himself was leading me to where I needed to go. I held tight to that hand, focusing on it and not where I was headed. Even though it was an illusion, it kept me going. (TTR readers, I'll update you later.) Coney Island was busy, but not any busies than the Point is on a busy day. I think it had that advantage -- acting and feeling like an amusement park. I took everything in, then headed to the one place I was intent on going -- the Cyclone. The coaster itself is probably the most famous in the entire world...and it costs eight dollars to ride.

But it is a wonderful, amazing eight dollar ride.

I went back to Manhattan, and Kinokuniya wasn't that hard to find. I'd like to rant about why Nakayoshi isn't covered more in America, but I suppose I should save that for another day.

Perhaps the rest I can talk about in a public entry.
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This trip report goes under the New Years trip that I took, skipping work to do so. Therefore, don't mention it anywhere else yet!

So I'm totally aware that this is a little LATE, considering I've been spending the majority of the last 72 hours traveling either by rail or by road. Yes, I really did go to New York City all by myself. Do not freak out. I am here. I am alive. I am writing this. That should PROVE something.

Getting to Allentown was fun -- I got stuck in Harrisburg for TWO HOURS because they shut the main interstate down. I plugged some alternate routes into my GPS and listened to FM97 the entire way -- great Top 40 station to listen to, if you're ever in the area! It gets great coverage from Blue Mountain all the way to Allentown. (Although, these days, I think "Top 40" radio should be renamed "Songs with Pitbull in them.") My pass got me into the gate just fine.

When you first walk out into Dorney, from the front gate all the way back to the log flume ride, it feels like you're in some alternate dimension of the Point. You've got your Beemer right in the front (Talon, as opposed to Raptor), the Coasters dine in, and the bathrooms look like they got ripped right out of the area between Magnum and Dragster. (Trust me, I would know. Those are my favorite bathrooms at the Point, mostly because they're not automatic.) The park itself is very cute; it also has a GoodTime Theater that I would recommend to just about anybody.

As far as coasters go, I started my day off with the Wild Mouse; the ride ops didn't even know what Cedar Point was, and I told them they should go. (wink wink) I'm allowed to say that at a Cedar Fair park, nee? It's not like they're losing business. Wild Mouse was good, then I went over to Hydra, their floorless coaster. The interesting thing about this coaster is that it actually turns you in a corkscrew ONCE you leave the station. I wasn't completely thrilled by it, but I thought it was fun. (The Dorney Beemers are filled with sand to make them quieter; I think that threw me off.)

From there, I wandered over to Steel Force, their Morgan hyper. (Morgan kind of took over from Arrow when the shit was hitting the fan with them -- they're not the same company, but they look pretty darn similar. Morgan was the company that was called in to revamp Phantom's Revenge at Kennywood, which was originally an Arrow; take that as you may.) What I found when I went to Steel Force was very surprising; a quiet little area of the park where the Steel Force and the oldest coaster, the wooden Thunderhawk, stood together. There are some cute little areas, including a place to feed ducks and fish, and the entire place is very relaxing. It's old Dorney, I suppose, but if you're looking for a place to kill some time, go over there and just VEG OUT.

Steel Force looks like Magnum from the Point if you don't look too hard; you might even think that the paint job is the same (I don't know if it is or not, but Steel Force looks VERY moly orange). And they have the same scream tunnels! Dejavu, if I've ever seen it. But Morgan is surprisingly not as rough as an older Arrow, which was a lot of fun. It has some of the same characteristics of an Arrow and how it operates, but instead of forcing you to go one direction and then another, Morgan takes a couple of extra steps to go from point A to point B. If you're a fan of Magnum, ride Steel Force and you'll see what I mean. Remember the bunny hills coming back from Magnum, how they rock you in fours? Steel Force only gets like that VERY slightly toward the end. Highly recommended for anybody, even fans of Arrow.

I went back and rode Talon, which was better than Hydra in my opinion. Then I ran around and did some more stuff, saw the ice show, rode the kid coaster (don't ride it unless you've someone young!) and then rode Thunderhawk. Not too rough, not too smooth, a really good little woodie.

Overall, I would highly recommend Dorney Park! If you don't have a lot of time, do it Starlight, you can easily cover all of the coasters. Take your time, though, and make sure to visit the back of the park. I'll be back either later on tonight or tomorrow with the rest of my trip, and my thoughts.
memorialrainbow: (Default)
Because I am technically still supposed to be in Zanesville, this entry will be friendslocked until I move. Although I have been moderately honest with what I am doing this week/weekend, I still want to keep it on the down-low. Your cooperation is appreciated.

So today is Day 1 of my great New Years' adventure, and I am comfortably sitting in the Pittsburgh Best Western. It's small for the price I paid, but I get a view of Pittsburgh, Friends is on, the internet works, and I got free Bath & Body Works stuff! Not complaining. Though I do hope I don't get a canker sore because I was MAJORLY STRESSING OUT yesterday though I did calm myself down.

Kennywood is amazing in itself; I contacted my friend and we're gonna try to go back this summer, so I was okay with not doing some things. Being alone meant that getting on Thunderbolt was next to IMPOSSIBLE, which kind of bummed me out, and then a couple of other things threw me off. But I finally got lunch and they had Code Red there, and I was SO HAPPY that I shelled out the three dollars for the bottle.

Regardless of that, I had a good few hours. Phantom's Revenge was good, although the lift hill was much longer and higher than I remember it being. O.o I rode Racer twice to get both sides, and also the Jack Rabbit. Skipped Thunderbolt but I'll hopefully be heading back, and I did ride the Sky Rocket, which is their newest coaster and one I haven't gotten to ride yet. It's really cute! It reminds me of a cross between HyperSonic XLC and Maverick. I also rode the Whip and the Kangaroo, which I feel like are required for me each trip now. Oh, and also the fried Oreos.

Tomorrow is a five hour drive and Dorney. I'm going to watch some TV and try to work on this book, then hit the hay probably super-early. I want to be out of here by eight.

Remember: keep this on the down-low!
memorialrainbow: (trip reports)
I'mma gonna try to write this and then find something else to do with the little bit of time I've got left before I go to work.

I got a couple of days off in a row because I day-traded someone, so I called up my really good friend Jake and went to go visit him. On my list of things to do was going to Kings Island to see the fireworks, and I invited Jake to go with me. Now, don't get me wrong. I did hit up some coaster while I was there. But the coasters weren't what was special about this Kings Island trip at all.

We got to the ticket counter right at five, so we went in Starlight, which was great because the ticket for Jake was uber-cheap. From there, we checked out the park map, because it and every ride sign was required reading. We figured out we could do any 1 or 2 on the map, so we took advantage of that. We rode the Boo Blasters ride twice (but not in a row) and then went to see Snoopy On Ice. The entire time, I wondered if figure skating was a sport or not. We also rode the carousel and the train, which I believe was shorter than it normally is because it was actually running as a function and not just a ride. I went on both Adventure Express and Racer, which had short lines so Jake didn't have to wait forever.

We finally rode the Eiffel Tower, going up to the 275-foot deck. It was not as busy as I thought it was going to be, which was good because I had a great view of the fireworks. Once we got to the top, Jake wandered around and got to see the park he hasn't seen in three years from a distance. I'm glad he did, that he was able to see what has changed. Meanwhile, I stayed in my place, waiting for the fireworks. Of course, the firework show at KI is never as long as you think it is going to be, but at least I knew it would be shot off behind Racer, so I probably had a better view than others.

While I was standing up there, my ears (sensitive as always) picked up on some music that was playing. I remembered that Spirit Song was probably still going on, and I listened to see if I could identify the song, considering I know a lot of Christian artists. It could have been any number of artists, maybe even one I didn't know. But as I listened, I knew that I had heard the song before. And I started to sing along.

"And there's always scars...when you fall that far!"

It suddenly occurred to me that I was worshipping, with everybody else, and singing along to TobyMac! One of my favorite artists ever was playing live at Kings Island, and it was only here on top of the Eiffel Tower that I could hear him. He continued to play as the fireworks went off -- Get Back Up, Funky Jesus Music, and Burn For You, and then he played City On Our Knees, which Jake also recognized and sang along a bit with. Then, another song started playing -- not a TobyMac song, but something else, and I could tell his band was playing it. It had to be a worship song, but I couldn't recognize it. I kept trying to put my finger on it, but I couldn't get it.

Then, I finally heard, right as it ended. "There is no one like our God!" And in that moment, listening to one of my favorite worship songs, I could practically feel everybody's voices rising higher and higher to God, and I was letting my voice join them. It was truly a special moment that I will not forget anytime soon.
memorialrainbow: (trip reports)
I stumbled into my apartment at 1:45 in the morning. I was radiating heat from getting some nice sun -- probably burned, but not crispy except for my shoulders. The sense of vertigo keeps me going. Sleeping is going to be fun tonight, as I will be remembering everything good that happened today.

Welcome home...sorta.

This morning started way early, as I didn't get a lot of sleep -- I wanted to take advantage of everything. I parked in the front row of the parking lot and was in the park by 8:55 AM. That's, like, three in the morning for me. Since I missed both Millennium and Top Thrill Dragster yesterday, I really wanted to hit those two up today.

Oh, how I did.

I ran around and rode Millie three times in a row in forty five minutes, which has to be a new record, and then I ran over to Dragster before the queue opened. That was fifteen minutes, and then the line was short enough that I ran around and rode it again. So it's 11:45AM, and I've ridden Millie three times and Dragster twice.

I headed toward the ferris wheel and rode Wicked Twister -- I hoped Disaster Transport would be open, but it was super-busy. No rides to Alaska this trip. I headed back up north and rode Magnum and Gemini again, then waited in line for Maverick, which was awesome. When the rain started to hit, I ducked into a show, missing about 98% of it.

After the rain left, I kind of wandered about a bit aimless for a while until I decided what I was going to do with the rest of my day: ride Millennium Force (LOL) and Top Thrill Dragster. This meant a fair bit of walking, among other things, but I seriously rode those two coasters pretty much nonstop. (Take that as you may, TTR readers.) I did stop by Corkscrew first, because the same guy was there before. (If you ever go to the Point late, go to Corkscrew. His nametag says 'Devan' -- I want to file a compliment but don't know how.)

On my way to trip 4 on TTD, I ran into a girl and her brother and her fiance waiting in line behind me. The fiance was very tall; he had to check his height, but he was good. We ended up pairing off, and I rode with the girl. We got to talking and I figured out she was a Christian. How awesome! I'm really glad I ran into her, although to be quite honest, I know it wasn't me. We swapped stories of what God's been doing in our lives, and then we waited for her fiance and brother because they rode in the front row. Nikki, I will eventually tag you in this on Facebook, and I want to thank you for letting God use you today! :) And God, you never cease to surprise me.

Got dinner at Joe Cool (the old Macaronis) which was really cool; I thought it was amusing that the waitress said that 'you guys' should have a fun night (TTR readers will get the joke!). I also talked with Dylan about what I would want to do after I die. I forget how the conversation came up, but I'd like for myself to somehow find my way back to the Point. You know, scatter my ashes over Lake Erie or something. It's moderately soon to be thinking about it -- God controls my future, not me -- but if I died tomorrow, I would want to be dressed in my Cedar Point outfit -- the original one, the one I always draw myself in. The more I think about it, though, the idea of my body sitting and rotting for ages and ages just disturbs me. I'd like to be at the Point. If Top Thrill is still running, I'd wish for my ashes to be scattered over the Point from that 420-foot vantage point, although I'm pretty sure the State of Ohio prohibits that. But that way I could be with everybody who ever stepped foot onto the Point, in the air, in the sea, in every roller coaster there. I know my spirit will not be there, but I can remain there and my dream can stay alive until Jesus returns.

(On that note, when I get to heaven...I remember thinking about this in FIRRA, shortly after the summer of 2005. When asked what God would tell me when I got to heaven, I thought something along the lines of "Ready for the ride?" If God makes my portion of heaven to look exactly like the Dragster midway, I can continue to worship and praise Him for the loop of eternity. (I feel a wonderfulness in my heart when I think of that...oh, servants and watchers BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH))

So, all in all, I rode Top Thrill Dragster seven times and Millennium Force six. It was a lot of fun to be at the Point again. I probably won't get a chance to go back this summer, so I'm glad I went...and I'm even glad I went alone. But the fun thing about the Point and me is that it never leaves. It comes with me, wherever I go.
memorialrainbow: (trip reports)
It took me forever to get out of Zanesville today, but I felt a lot better when I realized I really do know how to get to the Point from Zanesville. It's not a straight shot like KI, or even a moderate shot like the Point from Oxford. What's required is a jog in just the right places -- 586 to 13 to 250. The good thing is that I know Sandusky enough that even if I get lost, I can find my way back, at least around the Cedar Point area.

I got into the park around 5 and went to the beach first thing. I was hoping I could check it out. My fam is going on vacation to the beach, and I can't go when they're going, so this was my only chance to really go to the beach this summer. There were signs up, though, saying that it was the Hotel Breakers beach...meaning that the beach was only for people from the hotel. You can walk along the boardwalk, but I wasn't sure about the beach.

I wanted to follow the rules and just watch the beach from the boardwalk. But I decided not to. I wanted the beach, and I wasn't hurting anything. So I took my beach towel to the beach. Normally, when I am out at the beach, I do relax and take things in, but I never empty my head. I think about other things I have to do, and I'm glad that I'm on vacation but it never fully leaves my mind. I put on headphones and drown out the world and lose myself in the music. Today, I tried to relax and not think about anything. I didn't want to think about anything. Home isn't exactly the most pleasant thing right now. (Tuesday night sucked.)

So I let my brain relax and didn't think about anything. I focused on the sounds around me and the patterns they made. Sounds themselves don't really have pitches to them -- although this one bird did, because it was singing -- but they do have black and white patterns in my field of vision. To my right I could hear the waves, and to my left I could hear Magnum's lift hill. Instead of letting my brain run, I focused on the sounds and let them flood my mind, like white noise. I wasn't out too long -- it was warm, but it got colder, and I got chilly. But it was really nice to relax.

It was so nice relaxing that I went to Dragster's stands and sat there for a while, still relaxing. (Top Thrill Dragster, per the name, is themed after a fuel dragster, and it has stands like a racetrack where you can watch the coaster take off. They are often quite busy with people either too scared to go on the coaster or waiting for family members.) I had mentioned before to Dylan that Kingda Ka (same model as Dragster) didn't have the same feel as Dragster did, and I figured out why -- it's because of Dragster's sound effects. They add a synesthetic to the experience that the silent Kingda Ka cannot help. It's something that only I notice, something that's only important to me. Sitting there, listening to the coaster sounds and watching it launch...that was also very soothing for me. I don't know if I'll make it back to the beach tomorrow, but if I want to relax, I'll go to Dragster.

I then went to go ride some coasters. I had my bag with me, so Mill, Dragster, and any of the newer coasters were out because of no carry ons/no bins, but I was okay with that. (Platinum means I'll be on Mill first thing in the morning anyway.) I went to Magnum, then Gemini, where someone recognized me from Dragster's stands. We ended up talking and hanging out -- it was her and her son, and they kept looking for the food stand in Frontiertown that sold turkey legs. When we got there, they were all sold out. Even so, it was a lot of fun to hang out. After they left, it started to spit, so I went and browsed some shops. Then I went on the up Power Tower, Corkscrew (the guy running the station did an AWESOME job!), then Iron Dragon, Raptor, and Blue.

I make friends wherever I go, so being alone wasn't too much of a problem. Since I got to the park late, I parked far out, so I went to security and got someone to walk me to my car. I'm glad I did it. That won't be a problem tomorrow, as I'll be right in front.

I had such a fun time today! I'm looking forward to going back. I have sand in places I don't even remember having.
memorialrainbow: (trip reports)
A quick shoutout -- happy birthday to my dad!

So I made my way down to KI today to meet up with the fam minus my dad, because my brother was playing in the band this morning in the park. I went later, because I needed to sleep. I pulled on a longer-sleeved shirt that was sheer over a tank top, and my khaki coaster pants. They were fine all day; it was cloudy with high 70's weather. I also wore my tennis shoes after the sandals did not go over well at SFGA-NJ. The fam rode Racer and Delirium before going to Firehawk, where I met them at the end of the line.

I actually started my day with them, jumping into Flight of Fear. This coaster is one of my favorites, probably only because the launch at the beginning reminds me of Dragster. Then it just goes crazy all over the place like insanity. I like the way this Premier ride is aging...the roughness just adds to the insanity in the pseudo-dark atmosphere.

From there we walked to Diamondback, which we tried to get my mother on twice (and failed each time -- Mother, YOU ARE RIDING THIS RIDE at one point or another). The ride was great, as always -- and that's not coming off of my Diamondback bias at all. There IS something I thought about a couple weeks ago, after hanging out with Nitro in SFGA-NJ. How do Beemers age? I've been on a mix of them now, but the older ones I've been on have all been inverted. I think of Raptor, and the Batman ride at SFGA-NJ. It wasn't something that bothered me at Busch Tampa, but somehow Afterburner at Carowinds made me think of it (although, I swear, that coaster is still kicking). Obviously it is a bit soon to be thinking about the age of Bollinger and Mabilliard -- I haven't heard any complaints, though I do know that Arrows do NOT age well (and neither do Vekomas -- I still love Arrows, but Vekomas just annoy me when they age). I do love Diamondback to pieces for absurd reasons, and I know she'll age eventually. I just hope it's gracefully.

Hokay, where was I. Mom and Steph left after that, because they had important stuff to do, so it was just my brother and me. We hit up the Beast, which apparently he had never been on. Running quite nicely today, and I was quite surprised to hear that the surprise of the second lift hill hadn't been spoiled for my brother. Yay. Someone in front of me was clearly enjoying herself, which was great. Love it when that happens.

We also hit up Firehawk again -- which hurt a lot less than I remembered it hurting -- and Woodstock Express Beastie, which is always good, though my brother teased me all the way through it, as well as the Italian Job and Diamondback again. It seems like just a smidge of what I normally conquer, but the park was busy, I was tired, and I was going at my brother's pace, not mine. (We also rode The Crypt, which I always forget because it's not a coaster.)

On our last ride on Diamondback there was a discussion in the station about Kings Island versus Cedar Point. Someone mentioned Geauga Lake, LOL, and I cheered for it. KI and CP are *different,* that's all. I wonder, when I move, if I move to Charlotte, will Carowinds eventually hold a similar spot in my heart? I need a place to call home. I want to be able to wander down the boardwalk like I wander down Coney Mall or the Dragster Midway now. I know it's not the same, but what can I do?

I will write that SFGA-NJ review. Perhaps I'll write it now and post it tonight.

Seriously, why am I watching America's Got Talent right now. This show has me more on edge than Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

February 2017



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