Another reminder I am getting old
I know, I am only 30 which in the grand scheme of things is relatively young. However, if you are older than 30, try to remember back when you where the landmark age. I think I have had more “senior” moments the last 8-months than I did the previous 29-years.
The most recent reminder of aging was my trip to Six Flags Great America (hence my absence the last few days, an anniversary trip with my wife). I spent a few days south of the border in Illinois, one of which was at one of my favorite places to go as a kid. Many a day from open to close I would race from ride to ride for the adrenaline rush of the the drops and the loops. Rarely would I even stop for bathroom, food or beverage. This was pretty much the case about 5-6 years ago also, the last time I was there, though without the youthful sprinting and hyper attitude.
Tuesday, I realized once again I was getting old. The day started with Ragging Bull, which was fine. I did feel a little light headed once I stepped off the coaster and onto the deck but I popped a pepto tablet and was on my way. The next stop was the Giant Drop…ya. I damn near had a nervous breakdown once I hit the pinnacle of the 227-foot drop after realizing that sometime the last few years I developed a fear of heights. Once I calmed down with my feet back on the ground, it was time for another pepto and a $15 collectable, refillable, thermos of pink lemonade. After that, we hit the Viper which re-confirmed my hate of wooden roller coasters. More beverage please!
The Demon was next. My first upside down roller coaster as an 11-year-old, B.J Stocks and I must have rode that thing 12-times that day. Yikes! I was nervous just standing in line for the kiddie coaster. Afterwards, I took a refill of pink lemonade and and a light head to a bench for a food sit. The next stop was the new X-Flight. I have to admit, this was definitely one of the highlights of the day. The ride was smooth and the wait was long enough for my stomach to settle down to the point where I felt like I could get right to the next ride without a wait and a brief sit on a bench!
Then it was time for the water rides, which turned out to be my most favorite part of the day. The log ride was classic, a nice float in the wind that ended with a welcome splash of water! With the plan in mind to head back to the hotel and change out of wet clothes (I sound like my dad), the next stop was the rapids. Never a dull moment on that ride! Oh, I took my socks off so they wouldn’t get wet…I forgot to mention that earlier. I do have to admit that I got refills between each stop…best $15 I spent in my life FYI!
Batman was next. The outside looping speed ride that apparently is like 20-years old. Ya…that one did not sit well. After almost blacking out, it was time for more pepto and a trip back to the hotel for lunch and A NAP! Yup, nap time!
After a cold-cut trio from Subway, a good 30-minute shut-eye session, and a good two hours of trying to catch my bearings, the first two rides were the double-decker carousel and the train. After easing my way back into the park, it was time for the Whizzer (use to be the Wizard). (Un)Fortunately it experienced an issue while I was about 2-people away from a seat. So we left and went to the Eagle. I mentioned before my hate for wooden coasters, this was my biggest fear. I was actually surprised with how well it went and thought my day was getting better! I rediscovered a tad of “coaster ambition” and was ready to face the final few hours head-on!
Unfortunately, the new found ambition was short lived. The Dark Night Coaster was just terrible. After that, we swung over to Superman where the wait was doubled because of a ride malfunction. Once we got on, the “flying position” of the ride got to my head and by the time the ride over, I needed more fluids and more pepto. Kurt Angle had me in the ankle lock, I tapped out!
After that, I lost money trying to win a giant gorilla by tossing rings onto the top of bottles…that was at least fun and did not make me nosious. On the way out the door (at 7:30), we hopped on the Six Flags Observatory which gave me my final panic attack moment of the day.
And FYI, they sold Iron Wolf to another park…thank god! That ride was the worse EVER!
Yup, I am not 18 any more. That guy would kick my old ass!
Justin Hull is the host of the “Home Stretch” heard 2p-5p on 95.3 FM, WSCO Radio n Green Bay/Appleton, Wisconsin and Sports Reporter for WHBY Radio in Appleton, WI. Follow him on twitter (@jh1570) or facebook.