Yesterday, Bri, J, and I went to Kennywood to celebrate J's excellent grades this year. The last time I was at Kennywood was in 2000, when the Aero 360 first opened. I won a contest on the now-defunct B94 and was one of the first few people to try out that new ride. Even though my body started rejecting spinning/turning movements back in the late 1990s, I managed to employ mind over matter for that experience. The last time I had spent an entire day at Kennywood was back in 1994 or 1995, when Bri and I were just dating and had gone with one of my friends from high school and her boyfriend. Back then, I could ride all things that spin, twist, turn, or loop. The good ole days!
We started off our morning on the Phantom's Revenge, which is a super-fast coaster (85 mph) with some twists, but fortunately no loops. In hindsight, it was probably not the best way to begin a day at Kennywood for someone like J since this was her first "real" coaster ride ever. I did not fare much better considering I had not been on a roller coaster since my honeymoon in 1999. Oddly, the worry I felt outweighed any ill feelings; I found myself picturing the coaster coming off the rails and plunging us to our death, a thought that never crossed my mind before I had a kid. Sheesh!
The good news is that I got over that somewhat irrational (but not completely far-fetched; people, particularly kids, have died on amusement park rides) fear rather quickly. We went on to enjoy other rides including the much-needed train ride.
The first picture above is just before the train ride started. The picture directly above is a kind of cool view of the Mon River. Considering the last time I was at Kennywood I was not only childless but also not even married, I am pretty sure we did not waste our time on a train ride. With a kid and just after a twisty coaster, a train ride is just what you need.
J liked the Turtle, and the circular motion was not too bad for me. I took this picture during the ride, so obviously I held my own. I cannot say the same for my experience on the Paratroopers, but what can you do?!
Here I am, immensely enjoying Potato Patch fries with gravy. Mmmmmmmm. I am kind of regretting not getting the cheese to go along with it, but I did follow up those potato pieces of heaven with a funnel cake, so I was trying to show some restraint! :-)
I think we (and by we, I mean J and I) had the most fun on the water rides. We were completely drenched on the Raging Rapids, but it was much appreciated with the almost 90-degree temps and high humidity. J really like the Log Jammer, which was a favorite ride of mine when I was a teen/young adult.
Here she is just before we got on. At that point, we were pretty much dry from the Raging Rapids. We eventually made our way to the Jack Rabbit, which was a much better coaster choice for J. I am disappointed we did not ride the Thunder Bolt, which is a favorite, but J missed the height requirement by just under a half inch. Since you need a partner for that ride, and someone would need to stay with J, the Thunder Bolt was, sadly, out. The Racer was closed when we were near it, so we missed that as well.
We rode a few other rides, including the Auto Race; Ghostwood Estate, a ride where you shoot lasers at spirits; and The Exterminator, an indoor coaster that spun a little too much. We also walked through Noah's Ark, which was less exciting than I remembered it, but still kind of fun.
We ended our day with the Pittsburg ("h" is missing on purpose) Plunge, which is a water ride with only one giant downhill (50' drop) that ends in a wall of water. I am convinced I have been less wet while taking a shower. But with the heat, it was well worth it. In fact, once you get off the ride, most people wait in the area that overlooks the plunge, allowing you to get drenched with about as much water as you did while on the actual ride. Wish I had snapped a pic of that, but too much water.
All in all, it was a good if not very hot day. J said next year she is willing to go back on the Phantom's Revenge, and she will be tall enough for the Thunder Bolt. Here's to next time.
Yeah, Kennywood! I sure missed ya!