Our family from Tennessee came to town for a visit for the weekend. On their agenda was 6 Flags and the Ft. Worth zoo. I took a half day at work and we met up with them at 6 Flags. Over the years, 6 Flags has changed ever so slightly, and every time I return, it loses a little bit more of that luster I remember it having 20 years ago (wow, 20 years...really?). From when I was 11 until 14 I had a season pass to fun in the sun for all summer long. My mom would drop off Anita and I at the park, where we would roam around for hours and hours. Through the years, we'd spend more time getting ready to go to the park and less time actually riding the rides. This was before cellphones, so we were fearful of separating from the day because they didn't have a central paging area. Always, though, we'd plan to meet at the carousel 10 minutes before our parents said they would pick us up, in the event we would get lost.
Friday, there were 9 of us, including Mari. It wasn't tough to meet up with the family, we just had to make a quick phone call. It was hot. No, really, it was scorching!! It was at 100 degrees and there wasn't nearly enough shade or misters to make you comfortable. Don and I both swore we each guzzled down more than a gallon of water. Little Mari drank plenty as well! Because she's too little to go on any water slides, I was grateful to see they had a little water park by Mr. Freeze and Batman. She had a ball there. I was mad at myself for not checking to see if my little red camera was charged. I did have my cell phone, so I grabbed the two shots you see in this post. First off, Mari in the Texas chair. I have a similar picture when I visited Universal Studios. I need to find that photo and scan it in. A little before I took this, I rode the stomping boots with Mari. This was her first ride that probably should go for kids who are at least 3. She was fine with it. Not scared at all, more frustrated when the ride was over. I was concerned that the seat was too hot (since there wasn't enough shade to cover the plastic seats), so I sat her on one of her diapers. I prayed that the bumpiness of the ride wouldn't jostle it loose. Luckily, she was sweating so much, the diaper pretty much stuck to her skin, so there was no way it was going to be loose.
Afterwards, Don and I had a ball riding the old rides. First up for us was Titan. As the roller coaster click-click-clicked higher up in the air, Don and I looked at each other very anxiously. This was the first coaster we'd ridden since becoming parents and all of a sudden we had a new fear: orphaning our child due to stupidity. My heart pounded louder and louder. Each beat booming as the coaster waned at the top. Pause, pause, then roaring hammer of propulsion downward!!! There's that feeling I wanted and I was reminded why we decided to throw caution to the wind and ride the ride. What a ride it was! I wanted more.
We shot over to Superman (which I yelled and hollered and loved feeling of release from all of my frustration!) and flew. Don easing me into the ride, reminding me that it is just like how Neo does his jump/flying in The Matrix (which I dream of doing often, random, huh?). I'm such a weenie on the ride, hollering and such, but I'm equally addicted to the rides. I am a verifiable thrill seeker and I'm unabashedly unafraid of yelling out blood curdling screams, which are actually sparks of delight. Seriously, try it!
Then, we saved the best for last: Mr. Freeze. I remembered we were there in 1998 when it made its debut. We stood in line for over an hour to experience the awesomeness that is Mr. Freeze (this time we walked right up, waited 1 interval and were to the front). I was a bit melancholy walking up to it. This ride was special. It was the epitome of coasters for me because it went super fast, twisted and turned, went really high up in the air, falling and giving that stomach-is-going-to-jump-out-of-my-mouth feeling, and then it does it all over again, but in reverse! I started riding roller coasters when I was 7. Judge Roy Scream was my first. When I turned 9, I rode the Shockwave (which is now the Rattler, I think) with the double loop. That same year, I braved The Texas Cliffhanger (first ever freefall ride, but was removed in 2007) and took everything in me to not wet myself. I was so scared at that time, that I didn't even scream. Anyway, when Mr. Freeze first opened, I rode it with Daddy, like I did most of the other coasters. (I rode the spinning rides with Mom and those scared me even worse, giving me a headache, and there was Mom, always hugging me and singing to me until the ride came to an end.) Anyway, Dad would raise his hands and all of that. I would be shaking in my seat, anxiety-ridden. He was well prepared to be deaf after the ride, from all of my screaming. But it was always a good time.
This time, though, I had my beloved near me. It was quite different to get reassurance instead of teasing and taunting. It was that egging on that would push me over the edge, building up the anticipation of the ride even more. After the ride, we'd give a play-by-play recap of who was the biggest fraidy cat and all of us finally agreeing that this drop was better than that turn and so on. I was with my in-law boys and when I went to comment about the ride and give a recap, they were already focused on the next thing. I missed my father. The ride was that much better because of him. I'll have to make it point to go on a roller coaster with Daddy again and soon!
Wouldn't you know it, with modern technology and all of the advancements we've made, you can still lose a person (or group of people) when you separate if you don't remember to have a cellphone! For 45 minutes we waited and waited at the point where we thought we were going to meet up. Don and I eventually gave in and called the other half of the group who'd broken out in search of them. We had to get home. Mari was fussing and needed sleep as much as I needed it.
Long after we'd polished off our pink thing (and after I snapped this killer photo of Mari with superheroes!), which by the way I discovered was made by Blue Bell, we headed home.
I was on auto-pilot when we walked to the car. I was passed out before we even pulled out of the parking lot. Half an hour later, I was horrified to discover we were mostly still in Arlington. All of 183 had been completely shut down. I don't know why, but we were totally stopped. When I awoke, Mari awoke, and so commenced the half hour of horrifying toddler screaming. I couldn't blame her, but being the end of the day, we were all hot, sweaty, hungry, and tired, we were all feeling the same, just not expressing our frustration quite like her. After a few slick moves, we were able to maneuver off the highway and discover some side streets to get to our destination. We actually drove over the highway and noticed the highway had been shut. Not sure what happened, but there were about 4 or 5 firetrucks and around a dozen police cars. C-R-A-Z-Y!
Indulgence - Pink Thing & Paneer Tikka Masala
Philanthropy - Giving my nephew the money I found
Health - Running 4.5 miles in the early morning and walking around all day at 6 Flags