Thirty Before Thirty

I’ve wanted to start this series for a while now and since 30 is coming up next year I figured it would be a fun time to start it. These posts are going to be based on all the fun things I’ve done before turning 30 that will culminate in actually turning 30. Some may seem silly, some are things I’ve had on my bucket list, others are things I didn’t even know I wanted to do until the opportunity arose. This will be a sort of look back on experiences and things I’ve done as well as things I am currently doing and more of a feel-good series. Similar to my trip talks, I’ll be talking about past opportunities as well as planning ahead, I suppose. There’s really not much of an outline aside from it just being thirty things I wanted to do or have already done.

I’m going to do this post on Thursdays because I’m attracted to alliteration and I can’t help myself with Thirty Thursday. I’ll start next week with my first post and try to post each week unless I can’t. I’ve got plenty of Thursdays from here to my birthday to skip one or two here or there but my goal is to finish the series by my birthday (which happens to fall on a Thursday).

Enjoy! ❤ Juli

MK Attractions in Pictures

Yesterday I discussed all the Magic Kingdom attractions and what I want to do on my next trip so today I thought I’d follow it up with some of my favorite MK attractions in pictures.

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

Toy Story

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Mickey’s PhilharMagic

Prince Charming Regal Carrousel

Walt Disney World Railroad

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Pirates of the Caribbean

“it’s a small world”

Splash Mountain

Peter Pan’s Flight

Thanks for visiting! ºoº Juli ºöº

Trip Talk: Magic Kingdom Attractions

Last week I posted that I will be going through the different rides and attractions for our trip in November. This week we’ll start at the very beginning…The Magic Kingdom.

During our trip in November, we will be visiting the Magic Kingdom on three different occasions – once for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, once for Dapper Day, and then quickly for our Four Parks in One Day challenge. During the Christmas Party we want to experience the most that we can that is party-exclusive which may limit what we do attraction-wise. On Dapper Day, there are specific attractions I definitely want to go on that either go with our theme or are easier to go on while dressed all fancy. During the Four Parks in One Day we will have limited time and specific attractions I want to visit.

Since this is the case, I’ve been looking closely at the attractions in Magic Kingdom and what is absolutely necessary and what maybe isn’t as important. I am mindful, however, that something I may not deem important may be important to Reenie or Dom and that would sway our decisions on whether to go or not.

For the Christmas Party, my plan is not to plan our rides since we will want to experience the parades and special events for the party and not have to go on all the rides. We will still do rides if we want, but it’s going to be a more laid back night.

On Dapper Day in Magic Kingdom I want to mainly focus on Fantasyland and then move to the other lands as well. Fantasyland has the best rides, in my opinion, for being all dressed up and that will provide the best photo ops.

From there we will go to Liberty Square and then Adventureland and Frontierland. We can take the railroad from Frontierland to Main Street and then head to Tomorrowland. I put together a path for us to take and starred the attractions I don’t want to miss. The bigger stars are “musts” for Dapper Day, the smaller stars are my “hopefullys”.

MK Dapper Day

You’ll see that I left out Splash Mountain, the Jungle Cruise, and the Enchanted Tiki Room. This is because as much as I love Splash Mountain, I really don’t want to get my dapper outfit wet. The Jungle Cruise and Enchanted Tiki Room are on my list of musts for the 4 Parks day so if we don’t get to them on Dapper Day, we’ll definitely be doing them during the trip.

Here are my thoughts on Magic Kingdom rides and attractions:

Fantasyland

  • 259“it’s a small world” – this is a definite must for me. I absolutely love “it’s a small world”. It always makes me think of my grandma because she loves this ride and I don’t even care if that song gets stuck in my head all day, it’s adorable! I have added this to my list of potential FastPass+ reservations for Dapper Day since the line can get LONG.
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant – so I don’t think I’ve been on Dumbo since probably my first trip to Disney, if at all, and lately I’ve been thinking it would be really fun to go, especially all dressed up for Dapper Day. This is on my list of hopefuls.
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle – I’ve heard this is adorable but I’ve never actually done it myself. It could be fun to do but I’m not going to go out of my way to go on this trip.
  • Mad Tea Party – this one is a must because we are doing an Alice in Wonderland theme. I plan on making this our first stop of the day to get awesome pictures and just for all-around fun. Not sure how all the spinning will be, but if we’re not feeling up to it, it would at least make for a fun photo op.
  • 285Mickey’s PhilharMagic – I went to PhilharMagic for the first time with Reenie two years ago and fell in love. I always passed it by and I don’t know why. It is adorable and fun and I would do it again if we’re passing by!
  • Peter Pan’s Flight – MUST. It’s no secret Peter Pan is my favorite ever, so this ride always tops the charts in my book. I’ve added it to my potential FastPass+ list as well since this line is always long (unless you run right to it at park opening, then it’s a more manageable line)
  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel – I absolutely love carousels. I haven’t been on this carousel the past few times I was at Disney but for Dapper Day it doesn’t make sense not to. This is absolutely on my list.
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – another great one! Reenie and I first rode this in 2015 and loved it. I love the line for it also. This is a hopeful but I get the feeling it might be on either Dom or Reenie’s FastPass+ list.
  • The Barnstormer – I’m not sure I’ve ever been on this and I don’t know much about it except that it reminds me a little of Goofy’s Sky School at Disneyland and I didn’t really enjoy that too much. I know it’s a different ride, but I won’t be sad if we miss this one.
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – So I don’t remember the last time I rode this but it always has a long line and I always feel like people say it isn’t worth the wait. If the line is short, maybe we’ll stop since I love Winnie the Pooh, but if not…well, I’ve heard it’s not worth it.
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid – This is a good ride that usually goes pretty quickly because of the constantly moving shells. I’d say yes if we’re over that way. It could be fun but not a definite on my list.

Liberty Square

  • Haunted Mansion – 100% must ride. I love the Haunted Mansion and I know Reenie does too and probably Dom. This one is a ride that everyone should ride. I remember being a little frightened when I was little and then being told that my great-grandmother rode it so it wasn’t that bad. I’m still not sure why that made it not bad but to my little self, it made sense. This is on my possible FastPass+ list.
  • Liberty Square Riverboat – normally I might pass this by but I think it would be beautiful for Dapper Day so if it’s open (it’s closed now but will probably be open in November) this would be a great ride to enjoy.
  • The Hall of Presidents – there is no guarantee that this will be open by November, I’m starting to think it may not open by the end of this presidential term, but if it is, I would go. It’s a great place to cool off and sometimes I learn things. Jenn and I went last year and before the show started they were doing some presidential trivia 🙂

Adventureland

  • Jungle Cruise – the jungle cruise is definitely a favorite and we will definitely be taking it during our trip. I know it’s one of Reenie’s favorite and I have come to add it as a favorite as well in the past two years. My plan was to add this to our 4 parks in one day schedule but if we have time during Dapper Day we could do it then as well. I’m open to taking the cruise more than once!
  • 1928841_505925359668_5376_nPirates of the Caribbean – yes, yes, and even more yes! Funnily enough, this ride terrified me as a child but now it is one of my absolute favorites. I have great memories of riding with my entire cheer squad, Reenie and I riding in our pirate costumes at MNSSHP, and I’ve heard rumor that they’ve added a photo op to this ride. Is that true? I wish it were a photo ride two years ago but if it is now, that’s also great! We will definitely be stopping here.
  • Swiss Family Treehouse – the tree house is one of my all-time favorites. It was closed last time I was in the park and I was so disappointed. I really hope it’s open this time because I always imagined how cool it would be to live in that tree house, especially after reading Swiss Family Robinson. It’s so cool!
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin – this sounds very similar to Dumbo and I know I never rode this one before. Not sure if I will this trip either, it doesn’t really pull me in as much as the others do.
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room – I’m ashamed to admit it, but I don’t think I’ve ever been here unless it was the very first year I was in the park and I don’t remember. I am most looking forward to it and enjoying a Dole Whip as well. I’ve added this to our 4 park day because it deserves a spot of its own and I just cannot wait. I’ve never had a Dole Whip either and I feel like a total fake Disney fan saying it. I most definitely need to try one this trip. It can’t go on any longer.

Frontierland

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – this is a great ride and worth enjoying as we go through Frontierland. I will say I wouldn’t be overly disappointed to miss it, however, since it’s not my most favorite of the mountains.
  • 1996 MK 12Country Bear Jamboree – this I haven’t done since I was a kid but I love it so much! It is one of those attractions that sticks in your mind forever and I really want to go on it this trip. I realize I didn’t put a star on it but I meant to. This needs to happen.
  • Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade – I’ve never done this one, probably because it’s an additional cost when you’re inside the park. Who knows? Maybe Dom will want to shoot things but I’ll probably be fine without it.
  • IMG_20170501_214802Splash Mountain – this is one of my favorite rides in the whole park and it kills me to take it off of my Dapper Day list but I just don’t know if I’ll be happy in wet dapper attire. Of course, if it’s super hot out I may change my mind about that. I may still add it to the 4 parks day if I get too upset about not doing it.
  • Tom Sawyer Island – I love running around Tom Sawyer Island and I think it would be fun to do on Dapper Day for pictures and things.
  • Walt Disney World Railroad – the railroad runs from Main Street, to Fantasyland, to Frontierland, and back to Main Street. Since you can get on or off at any of the stops, I added this to Frontierland because that is where I anticipate getting on it. We will definitely need to ride the railroad (1) because Dom loves trains and (2) for the great dapper photo ops. This is a must on my list.

Tomorrowland

  • Astro Orbiter – I’ve never done this ride so I’d be open to it but it’s not one of those that is a necessity. We’ll see if we have time for it.
  • Toy StoryBuzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – so Reenie and I did this one back in 2015 but it wasn’t memorable enough for me to actually remember. I would say maybe to this one though because this is probably one that Dom would like. It could be fun but he’d probably beat me.
  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor – I’ve never done this but it looks like fun. I enjoy comedy and love Monsters, Inc so it is something I would be interested in if we have the time and the line is not too long.
  • Space Mountain – another favorite, this is always fun. This is on my list of hopefuls but we’ll probably do it. It’s always fun to ride this coaster in the dark and Jenn and I had a blast last time we were on it. It’s usually quite a long line, but at least the line is inside.
  • Stitch’s Great Escape! – not really interested in this one but if someone else wants to go it would be okay. It doesn’t get rave reviews and doesn’t seem like it would be worth it to me.
  • Tomorrowland Speedway – Dom may want to do the speedway, I probably wouldn’t recommend it but he likes cars so this might be a stop. I haven’t done this one since I was little.
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover – this is on my list for sure. It’s gained a lot of popularity lately I feel like but I love just sitting back and relaxing as we view Tomorrowland.
  • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress – I don’t remember the last time I’ve done the Carousel of Progress so that makes me want to do it this trip. Hopefully the line isn’t bad and we will get to it!

Well, that’s basically it for Magic Kingdom. As you can see, I’ve got my days pretty mapped out. I’m really looking forward to this trip and hopefully we can do everything we want to. We’ll possibly be able to do some things before or during the party so I’m not super worried about the maybes on my list.

What isn’t on my “must do” list that should be? What are your favorite Magic Kingdom attractions? What is not worth the time to do?

Thanks for visiting! ºoº Juli ºöº

Trip Talk: WDW Rides & Attractions

Good morning!

Since I had so much fun planning my food for my upcoming trip on here, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to talk about the rides and attractions as well. In the next few weeks I am going to talk about the rides at each park at Disney World and what I’ve been on, what I’m looking forward to the most, and what I hope to get fast passes for. Before I get into all of that, however, I’m going to talk this week about my greatest disappointments in what I won’t be able to ride this year.

Much conversation has circled lately on the rides that are closing their doors. While the rumors have been circulating for a while, I really expected to get one more chance to ride both The Great Movie Ride, and Ellen’s Energy Adventure before they closed for good. When Disney officially announced their closing dates in August, I was so sad to have missed my chance for one more ride.

The Great Movie Ride

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I knew The Great Movie Ride was coming to a close back when I took my last trip. It was unconfirmed, but a safe bet based on Disney trying to get rid of any attractions featuring movies they did not own. With the additions of Star Wars and Marvel (and even Pixar), it was only a matter of time before they got rid of the TCM ride and any classic movies that Disney was not the sole owner of.

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I cannot express how saddened I am that this ride is leaving. This is still one of my favorite rides at Hollywood Studios and just another that we lost (ahem, Backlot Tour). Knowing it was on it’s way out, I decided to take more than my share of pictures last September with my sister.

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As a child, the Alien scene scared me as well as the snakes. As I grew older I really began to appreciate all the classic movies this ride features. I watched Casablanca for the first time two years ago and absolutely love the airplane that finally connected me to the movie when I experienced it on the ride.

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I love being smack dab in the middle of The Wizard of Oz and watching Tarzan swing through the forest. Disney already did away with the Singin In The Rain umbrella in the “Streets”, and now the movie will be completely wiped from the park. It just hurts to see it all go so soon and only three months before my trip (It’s worse than Tower of Terror closing in DCA and being there a few months before closing only to find that it’s closed for redecorating).

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This ride will officially close on August 13, 2017 and farewell merchandise will be on sale soon. I’m not sure that makes up for it at all, but at least I still have memories of the ride (and lots of pictures).

Ellen’s Energy Adventure

Epcot is home to Ellen’s Energy Adventure, a similar style ride to The Great Movie Ride in its execution. It moves in long rows of seats through different scenes.

As a child, I loved Bill Nye and his addition to the ride was so much fun. I didn’t really know who Ellen was except through the ride but her humor makes this attraction so great. The pre-show introduces the plot of Ellen’s old college roommate appearing on Jeopardy. Ellen has a dream that she is competing in Jeopardy with her but doesn’t know any of the answers. When a question comes up about energy, Ellen finally takes control of her dream, freezes it, and asks for help from her neighbor, Bill Nye. Bill Nye’s enthusiasm about all things science draws in the crowd to learn all about energy and Ellen’s humor and wit keeps us engaged.

We travel back in time to the dinosaurs and to the beginning of time itself through an adventure that is truly unique. Once I grew up and started watching the Ellen Show (I used to get off work at 3 and was able to watch in real time) I realized how awesome Ellen is and that makes the ride so much better. This was always a fun ride, even though it was way too long at an hour and my sister claims it was always her napping ride. I always loved it and I’m sad to see it go.

This attraction will also close on August 13, 2017 and all the farewell merchandise will be available at the online Disney Store on Thursday August 10.

With the closing of both rides at the same time coupled with the closing of Maelstrom a few years back and the Backlot Tour a few years before that, there just seems to be too much change going on for me anymore. While some things are a bit outdated, they hold a lot of meaning and memories to those of us who thrive on nostalgia of our childhood. I suppose part of me wanted to someday enjoy the same things with my children as I did with my parents. While some attractions at Disney are destined to remain the same or just feature updates from time to time, I will miss the attractions that I enjoyed growing up with.

A few other favorites that are no longer:

What are some attractions that you miss? Are you sad to see The Great Movie Ride and Ellen’s Energy Adventure go? 

Reliving Our First Date

Thursday July 27th marked the 5th anniversary of my first date with my husband. For years he denied it was a date but eventually admitted it right before our wedding.

We had been texting back and forth and he asked if I wanted to do something Friday like go to the boardwalk or something. I told him I had a season pass to six flags and he said we should go there then (later he would insist that he invited other people and it was not meant to be a date but does that sound like he would have invited other people to you? His story made no sense. Besides, he wanted to date me so why would he need to pretend he didn’t?).

I got out of work at 3pm and he had off on Fridays so I told him to pick me up at 3:15. He was late. I should have known then that he would never be on time. We went to Six Flags and I had a bring a friend ticket so I essentially bought his ticket for him. He didn’t even buy my dinner but for some reason I kept him around 😉

The swings were brand new and we both wanted to ride them. They were advertised like crazy because they went super high so we stood on line hoping for a thrill and were disappointed. They were exactly like regular swings. We also decided to try to ride every roller coaster in the park and succeeded. We went on the log flume twice and that’s when he says he knew I liked him.

07-27 Log Flume

this was our first ride on the log flume – the second one, the woman cropped the picture so much it was only me…very weird.

My normal theme park attire consists of a bathing suit, tank top, shorts that dry easily, and my “amusement park shoes” (water sandals that I’ve had forever). Since it was a date, I decided to wear sandals instead. While we were in the park, Dom accidentally stepped on one and it broke. I learned my lesson about trying to dress up 😀

I had to get flip flops at a store in the park and they were the most uncomfortable flip-flops I’ve ever owned. I wore them the rest of the night and never again (I actually converted one of them into a picture frame).

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We rode the Skyway and while on line noticed some oddly long leg hair 😀 (We joked about it a lot afterwards) and when the park closed we went back to Dom’s parents’ house to swim in their pool because the night was still so warm.

This year is the first year I’ve had a Six Flags season pass since then because Dom had been living by the beach and we would get a beach badge or ride on pass for Island Beach instead. The pass was worth it for us this year because of my work discount and now that we live in PA we’re closer to Six Flags than the beach. I suggested celebrating 5 years since our first date by going back and “reliving it”.

We didn’t have as much time because I got out of work a little after 5 and we needed to move some cars around for Dom’s work, but we got there at 7 giving us 3 hours to run around a fairly empty park (it was an overcast Thursday night).

We went straight to get dinner at Granny’s, where we ate five years before (Dom picked up the tab this time). Then we got on Nitro before dark.

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first row of our first roller coaster of the night

We then rode Batman, Joker, and the Skyway, making our way to the other side of the park. It got dark in time for Bizzaro and then we made our way to Superman and Green Lantern with only 20 minutes to park close. We chose to ride the parachutes as a nice cool down to all the coasters and then stopped for ice cream as we exited the park.

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last row of our last roller coaster of the night

Even though we had less time and did a bit less than back on our first date, we had a blast! We wished the log flume had been open but it was our second time at the park this year and both times it was closed. I hope it was because of the weather and that it won’t be closed for good.

We decided we’d have to go back every five years just for a fun date night 😉

Takeaway: There used to be so many more photo ops on the rides. I’m a bit disappointed that they got rid of so many of them.

Trip Talk: Lake Living

Dom’s favorite vacation is a houseboat on a lake. We went a few years ago with friends and then Dom went again last year for his Bachelor party. When we were planning a vacation with some of our other friends for this summer it came up because it is inexpensive and so much fun. Since the vacation we were originally planning was way too costly, we opted for this instead and it did not disappoint!

Us ladies, of course, over-planned everything. We spent hours putting together a long packing list and brought so much more food than we needed. We wanted every night to have a theme though and food that went right along with it.

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we did not run out of food OR beer…

The plan was for Dom and I to leave early Friday morning, pick up Arielle and James at Arielle’s mom’s house, and then be on our way. Of course, when you have a plan it never quite works out the way you want it to.

Dom re-packed the car in the morning because he changed his mind as to how it was while he was sleeping and that got us to a later start than we had anticipated. Then, the jeep started overheating. In order to have enough room, we had a back hitch and a front hitch and we were figuring out that the front hitch would not allow any airflow. We stopped a few times to readjust, but it became pretty obvious that we would have to ditch the front hitch when we got to Arielle’s mom’s and put the coolers in the car. This meant we couldn’t fit Arielle and James which pretty much defeated the purpose of going out there. When we arrived we threw all their stuff in our car so it’d be easier to unpack at the lake and then took two cars the rest of the way.

Cell service was spotty at best but we were able to talk with Gabby and Billy and meet them at the dock not too late. All of us except for Dom took the boat driving course (since Dom has his boating license) and he started unpacking the car and loading the boat. We were boat #7, The Seaweed. After we got everything unloaded and ready to go, off we went!

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We found a spot to tie up and enjoyed the afternoon and evening on the lake. The first night’s theme was Pirates and we made skewers. I wanted shrimp skewers because I figured pirates ate whatever seafood they could find. We also made chicken skewers (pre-marinated from Costco and they were delicious!) and vegetable skewers with peppers, onions, and cherry tomatoes. Everything was delicious and we ate every bit of it!

After dinner was a pirate ship rum cake that Gabby made and it was amazing! We also decided to go exploring after dinner. Our goal was to find a rope that had been there on Dom’s Bachelor weekend but broke, in hopes that someone had fixed it up. We took the two paddle boards and canoe and eventually found the right spot.

Pirate night was a blast!

 

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ARR!

Saturday morning we woke and decided to move the boat to where the rope swing was. We went over there and spent the day hanging out in the water and enjoying the rope. In the afternoon we decided there were too many other people around and we wanted to go somewhere more private so we took out the map and chose a spot with access to a trail and close to some cliff jumping. We set sail.

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ALL the pineapples

We tied up right at a patch of red clay and when we walked further up the hill we discovered that the path was right there! We found the exact spot I was hoping for! Dom and I took a short stroll through the woods but came back quickly because he didn’t wear the right shoes and I figured we’d all go exploring later.
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That night was luau night and we had some amazing pork shoulder in the crock pot with pineapple and made pulled pork sliders on Hawaiian rolls. It was, again, so delicious! We enjoyed our luau and ended our night with a card game Arielle had bought which was a blast.

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I look more like I’m trying out karate than hula…

Sunday morning Billy left on a run and Arielle and I decided to take a two-mile run. It was tough terrain and we felt accomplished by the end of it. We slowed our pace because of the constant up and down and trip hazards but it felt really good to get a run in when I didn’t anticipate have very much room even to walk. When we got back Arielle took the paddle board out to do her stretching / gymnastics and Gabby and I tried to get pictures.

By the time Billy got back from his run, we were all ready for our big Sunday brunch! Gabby was starting to not feel too well from the heat, the exhaust fumes, and probably combinations of things so she rested for a bit. We made French toast in the crock pot, James made eggs, and Arielle chopped up a fruit salad and we feasted.

We then decided that where we were didn’t have enough air-flow so we decided to find a spot that had more wind. Dom and I remembered an island we liked from our first trip so we went in search of that. We landed on one side, but the air was still not the best. Dom and James went around to the other side of the island on the paddle boards and discovered that the opposite side had way more air flow so we untied and went there.

The breezes on that shore felt so much better so we enjoyed the water and the breeze. Dom and I decided to take the canoe out after lunch and had a nice time just the two of us. By the time we got back and spent a little more time in the water we were ready to bring out the mystery cheese! We cut some up and enjoyed the snack.

Dinner for Sunday was burgers made from fresh meat from the meat market by Arielle’s mom’s house. It was so tasty and we enjoyed them immensely! After dinner Billy told us that he had found a geocache on the island so we all followed him to see it. We brought a few things to put inside – a lei from Hawaiian night, a bug bracelet, and a close-pin – so that we could take something with us. We ended up with Mr. Krabs who was the perfect mascot for our pirate ship 😉

By that time everyone was feeling better so we decided to commence our Survivor Night!

We started with an individual immunity challenge where each of us needed to stand on a noodle for the longest time. After a certain amount of time passed, it was no arms and one leg, then spinning in circles, then spinning and singing…it was all very intense and Gabby ended up the winner.

After that we did two team challenges. The first had one thrower, one catcher, and one swimmer. The thrower stood on the top deck and threw two water balls to the catcher who was standing on the stand-up paddle board. If the catcher missed, the swimmer needed to retrieve the ball and bring it back to the thrower. It was a great plan in theory, but we didn’t make it hard enough, or maybe the paddle boards were too close because James caught both balls immediately and then Dom slid down the slide and he and Billy swam to James winning it for the boys before we could retrieve the one ball that I threw too far away from Arielle.

The second team challenge was more of a relay. Each team had one life jacket and everyone started in the water. The first person had to put on the life jacket, swim to the boat, stand on the ladder so everyone could see it was correct and then swim back, take it off, and hand it to the next person. The ladies ended up winning that one by a hair since the guys couldn’t get the life jacket off quicker.

After that we were getting cold in the water so we went inside and played the game Arielle brought again.

Monday morning meant breakfast and clean-up and packing. We got everything together and Dom steered us back to the dock. We didn’t want to leave each other and it had been a fun weekend but we needed to get back home.

In all, it was a great time and we may just do it again one day – but with a bit less food.

Trip Talk: “The Cape”

Last week put us right in the middle of the first of our much anticipated vacations this summer. I’ve been absent from social media lately because of the vacations as well as my phone’s recent WiFi issues which I am still upset have yet to be resolved. But I don’t want to get into that much, I’m more interested in discussing Summer Vacation #1: Cape Cod.

Back in March we vacationed in Puerto Rico for my cousin’s wedding and it was a blast! We spent time by the pool and beach with my family and you can read about it here. That was technically our second 2017 vacation since we spent a long weekend in January in Green Bay, WI with Dom’s family which I talked about here. That would make Cape Cod our third vacation of the year, but the first (and probably only) that was not a long weekend (meaning we went Sunday – Thursday instead).

Planning for this trip was minimal – our friend’s aunt has a house in Cape Cod and she invited us for the week. Since we had a pre-planned vacation already Friday-Monday of that week (I’ll get to that in another post), we planned to leave early Thursday instead of staying to Sunday with them. We really only had to worry about packing clothes since we would buy food together when we all arrived.

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we really love the Roadmaster

Sunday we drove up and went to the food store then hung out at the house. After the babies went to sleep some of us adults walked down to the beach. We saw a shooting star and talked about the Northern Lights (they were supposed to possibly be visible later that night). We also found the Big and Little Dipper and the North Star. After hurting our necks from looking up that high, we decided to head back to the house. We all hung out well into the night and then went to bed.

Monday morning was beach day. I woke up early (or my regular time, really) and got ready for a run. The babies were already up and running around and Renee planned to come running/walking with me so we got ready and off we went. Since she was recovering from an injury, Renee was only allowed to run for a minute at a time. That was fine with me since she knew the area and I was trying to get a lay of the land. We had a nice light exercise and then headed back to shower and get ready for the beach.

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the men doing all the work 😉

Renee’s aunt’s house was on the bay side in a private community so we walked down to the bay beach with all our stuff. The beach itself was rocky, but it was beautiful out and the water was cool and refreshing. We spent the day enjoying the beach and then went back to the house to barbecue for dinner. After dinner the babies went to sleep and us adults made s’mores. We had a blast hanging around the fire pit and talking about everything and anything.

Tuesday morning I got up and went for a two mile run. It was beautiful and I pushed myself to get at least one two mile run in while on vacation. The Thunell’s were going visiting for the morning and we talked about going to the Heritage Museums and Gardens with the Leonardo’s. Mike and Renee seemed to want to come though so we hung back and decided to wait for them and go after lunch. We spent the morning chasing the kids around and enjoying the beach house. When the Thunell’s got back they were a little tired and opted to stay home. Since Raf and Anna had to get the kids ready, I suggested Dom and I go on ahead and they could meet us there since I figured we would probably want to take more time at the Antique cars than they would.

IMG_20170718_143530Dom and I explored the grounds, which were beautiful! We saw all the antique cars, visited an old wind mill, walked a labyrinth, ran around like kids in the garden maze, and climbed a tree house. At long last we headed to the carousel, still not having heard from the Leonardo’s. When we got there we sat down in the air conditioning and I texted them to see if they were still coming. The lady running the carousel wanted to know if we wanted to ride and since no one else was there, we got our own private ride. By the time we got off we learned that the girls had fallen asleep in the car and they were waiting in the parking lot for them to wake up. Since the museum was closing soon, they decided to go back to the house and try again in the morning. After Dom and I explored all there was in the Carousel museum, we headed back as well. It ended up being a beautiful date.

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this is the lead horse for this carousel!

Dom and I planned to go to the Cape Cod Chip Factory in the morning while the Leonardo’s went to the museum and when we mentioned it, the Thunell’s decided to come as well. We decided we could all meet up for lunch (so Raf could finally get his lobster and we could eat amazing clam chowder) but then the Leonardo’s decided to do the chip factory as well.

Wednesday morning I ran about a mile and a half. I decided to go without my phone so I could just enjoy being near the beach and the beautiful houses. The factory tour opened at 9 AM and we wanted to go early so we planned to leave the house around 8:30. We were so impressed that six adults and three children left the house by 8:45 and we got to the factory pretty early (with only a slight detour to the corporate office because someone put the wrong location in the GPS…) By the time we got there we were down one sleeping baby so Renee stayed in the car with him while the rest of us checked out how they make potato chips. It was really cool but really quick so we finished way too early for lunch.

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enjoying our free samples after the factory tour

IMG_20170719_101811We decided that since we were already in Hyannis that we should do a little shopping so we headed to the more touristy scene. Raf wanted to visit the Kennedy Compound but we wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere near it so he got his fix at the JFK museum. We then bought a few souvenirs (and post cards) and headed to lunch.

Lunch was at Captain Parker’s Pub for the best clam chowder there is. I had mine in a bread bowl and it was DELICIOUS! Raf finally got his lobster and was happy as a clam!

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When we got back, Dom and I headed to the beach with the Thunell’s right behind us. The Leonardo’s made another attempt at the Heritage Museums. IMG_20170719_151129The beach was wonderful but it got pretty windy pretty quickly. So much so that it almost knocked down a one-year-old. We decided to pack it up and go back to the house. The Leonardo’s came back after not making it to the museum (they stopped selling tickets before they got there) and having to appease the three-year-old by going for ice cream. Since we had a big lunch we all decided to forego dinner and get ice cream later. Instead, we had an epic gymnastics challenge (and by epic, I mean a bunch of out-of-shape-almost-thirty-year-olds trying to teach a three-year-old a cartwheel and a bridge).

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wow did I feel sore afterwards!

After the kids were being put to sleep, a few of us went to get ice cream for all the adults at Ice Cream Sandwich, an ice cream shop in Sandwich, MA where they have homemade ice cream that is delicious! I tried ginger ice cream and also cranberry ice cream before choosing a chocolate brownie something or other that was just fabulous. IMG_20170719_205223Apparently lobster for lunch was not enough for Raf, so he had to get a lobster roll as well to go with his ice cream sundae and ice cream sandwich. By the end of the night, he finally admitted to being full – something none of us ever thought possible!IMG_20170719_205524

Thursday morning yielded another 1.5 mile run before packing up and getting on the road in the late morning. The Leonardo’s left around the same time as us and we all waved goodbye to the Thunell’s to enjoy the rest of their vacation.

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Cape Cod, 2017

Six Flags Challenge

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Ever since I found out about the new Justice League ride opening and the different things other Six Flags locations were doing to celebrate I’ve been trying to think of something fun to do in the parks. When Dom and I were there on the 4th of July, I just kept thinking how the theming is so much more DC than it used to be and how fun it would be to run around as superheroes going on the rides and whatnot.

I feel like this blog, along with my outside life, have come full-circle a bit lately. With talking about Wonder Woman and how my blog started because of random game nights and referring to my friends as superheroes to actually going to a Con or two and thinking about doing some serious in-park cosplay/casual cosplay and my recent finding of my Wonder Woman shorts from back in the day at Six Flags and now I’m rambling but I feel I’ve circled back to my roots almost.

So anyway, as I was in the park again after so long away I started to develop an idea of a challenge. It would involve teams, preferably of four people per team, and we would compete for points by taking pictures of various things. Sort of like a hunt, but in the park.

First I looked at the DC rides we have at our park (Great Adventure):

  • BATMAN: The Ride
  • SUPERMAN: Ultimate Flight
  • GREEN LANTERN
  • BIZARRO
  • THE DARK KNIGHT Coaster
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis
  • THE JOKER
  • HARLEY QUINN Crazy Train

Then I spent some time developing the rules for the little contest. Each team will get a card with the rules and the point values of each photo:

It encourages dressing up (which hopefully everyone will do) and riding the rides (which if you don’t do, is probably a waste of money).

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wouldn’t it be awesome to get a photo of cosplay Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman in front of them in the same poses?

In-ride photos are my favorite. When we were there last, we didn’t get enough of them. I’m not sure if they closed some of the ride photos for good or just for the day, but it was disappointing. When I (hopefully) go back at the end of the month I’ll have to check out the photo situation again.

Also, if you go on rides that have a photo but are not on the list you can still get points for it (hence the silly ride photo one) and all of the 5 point photos can be done more than once at different rides or different poses/people, etc.

And then we end the night with drinks. So I really think everyone’s a winner here. Who’s in?

#SixFlagsSuperheroChallenge

 

I was browsing the Six Flags website also and decided to add that if you have a different home location, check out the DC rides there. You could use this challenge at any of the parks, really. It makes me want to go to ALL THE PARKS!!

Six Flags New England:

  • BATMAN THE DARK KNIGHT
  • CATWOMAN Whip
  • GOTHAM CITY Crime Wave
  • GOTHAM CITY GAUNTLET ESCAPE FROM ARKHAM ASYLUM
  • Kryptonite Kollider
  • SUPERMAN The Ride
  • THE JOKER 4D Free Fly Coaster

Six Flags America:

  • BATWING Coaster
  • Riddle Me This
  • SUPERMAN: Ride of Steel
  • THE JOKER’s Jinx
  • THE PENGUIN’s Blizzard River
  • WONDER WOMAN Lasso of Truth

Six Flags Over Georgia:

  • BATMAN: The Ride
  • GOTHAM CITY Crime Wave
  • Harley Quinn Spinsanity
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis
  • SUPERMAN Tower of Power
  • SUPERMAN: Ultimate Flight
  • The Batcopters
  • THE JOKER Chaos Coaster
  • THE JOKER Funhouse Coaster
  • WONDER WOMAN Flight School

Six Flags Great America:

  • BATMAN The Ride
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis
  • SUPERMAN: Ultimate Flight
  • THE JOKER Free Fly Coaster
  • THE DARK KNIGHT Coaster

Six Flags St. Louis:

  • BATMAN The Ride
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis
  • MR. FREEZE: Reverse Blast
  • SUPERMAN Tower of Power
  • THE JOKER Inc.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom:

  • SUPERMAN Ultimate Flight
  • THE JOKER
  • THE PENGUIN
  • Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth

Six Flags Magic Mountain:

  • BATMAN The Ride
  • GREEN LANTERN: First Flight
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis
  • LEX LUTHOR: Drop of Doom
  • SUPERMAN: Escape from Krypton
  • THE FLASH Speed Force
  • THE RIDDLER’S Revenge
  • WONDER WOMAN Lasso of Truth

Six Flags Fiesta Texas:

  • BATMAN: The Ride
  • SUPERMAN: Krypton Coaster

Six Flags Over Texas:

  • AQUAMAN Splashdown
  • BATMAN The Ride
  • BATWING
  • CATWOMAN Whip
  • HARLEY QUINN Spinsanity
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis
  • MR. FREEZE: Reverse Blast
  • SUPERMAN: Tower of Power
  • THE JOKER
  • The RIDDLER Revenge

Six Flags Mexico:

  • Batman The Ride
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis
  • Superman El Último Escape
  • The Dark Knight Coaster
  • The Joker

 

Restless Days!

I’m finding myself overly restless this week, most likely due to the fact that I have a double vacation coming up next week and I have a lot to do in terms of packing but I already feel pretty prepared.

I’m trying to get all I can get done at work so my vacation won’t put me too behind but I’m restless when I’m there because I want to be home packing and making decisions on what comes where, etc. Then I’m restless at home because I’m trying to pinpoint what to do first and get too much done in too little time.

On Sunday, Dom and I spent a few hours on the phone with the Ways and Kaminskis planning out what everyone is bringing for the houseboat. It was a LOOONNGG conversation about a long list of stuff but it, thankfully, made my normal packing list way easier to make. I already knew I’d be packing quite minimally for this trip since I plan on being in my bathing suit the majority of the time and then just a t-shirt and shorts or sweats for the evenings. We also set themes for each day so there’s that. It means a bit more packing on our end but since we’re not really going out and buying anything it’s not an expense. The biggest thing is food. We split up the who is buying what down to the smallest details and now it’s just going to be up to Dom and myself to decide what can be bought when. Since this is the second of our two vacations in a row, we need to wait on bread and stuff for the day in-between. Other than that we plan on a Costco run for Saturday.

The first of our two vacations in a row starts on Sunday when we drive up to Cape Cod. I’m actually way less prepared for this vacation because (1) I’ve never been to Cape Cod, (2) I don’t know what we are going to do once we get there since there is probably a ton of fun stuff around, and (3) we haven’t really talked about it with the group we are going with at all except to figure out that we will need way less in terms of stuff so my main packing priority is clothes and toiletries. Now that I’ve started to look online to see what is in the area that we may want to check out though, I’ve realized there’s more than just the beach and there’s SO MUCH to do there. I’m also now thinking we may want to bring bikes. We probably wont, but I was looking at bike trails, etc that makes me want to. I’ll have to talk to Dom tonight. So anyway, this fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants sort of outlook to vacation is making it insanely difficult to pack. I hate over-packing and I feel like that is what I’m going to end up doing.

My other struggle is deciding how to designate what is going on both trips and figuring out an easy way to pack so I can do that. Luckily, we have Saturday to really get the bulk of our shopping and packing done and I can probably get things set then that I wont have to worry about later. Next Thursday is going to be the crazy day, coming back to Dom’s parent’s house, finishing last minute food shopping, prepping two meals for the boat, and packing the car, but I know we’ll be able to get it done. Then it’s bright and early Friday morning, pick up the Kaminskis and we’re on our way (to meet the Ways :’,D).

We are also attending a wedding on Friday that I hadn’t really thought about and thank goodness I hung out with Laureen last week and we went shopping because I wouldn’t have even thought about what I was wearing before that. Now I have two options – one I just bought, and one is a bridesmaid dress I had shortened and wore to my cousin’s wedding but there aren’t a ton of pictures so no one’s seen it (shortened, anyway). I also have to do my nails which I’ll probably designate Friday morning to after a run, shower, and possibly a bath.

That’s all for now, I’m busy doing laundry and packing tonight and then we’re going out with Dom’s co-workers!

Trip Talk: Six Flags Great Adventure

Dom and I were planning a historical 4th of July this year but I was feeling a little down that we were missing the fireworks as none in the surrounding areas fit into our schedule. As we were heading home on Sunday, Dom came up with the idea that we should go to Six Flags on the 4th to see their nighttime fireworks for 4th of July weekend.

Monday I researched prices and found that the discount I get through work for season passes is basically the same as a regularly priced ticket for the day. Since we’ve been wanting to go back, I told him it’s really worth it if we go more than once. We discussed it and decided on Season Passes for 2017.

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We woke up at 6:00 am Tuesday morning for my Revolutionary Run and then came back to town to eat breakfast and for me to shower. The park opened at 10:30 and by the time we got ready and headed down, we arrived at 11:30. The Season Pass covers parking so that was one less expense. We put on our sunscreen and then walked to the park. About halfway through the parking lot I realized my shoes weren’t going to cut it, so it was back to the car for my sneakers (I had a feeling the shoes I had worn weren’t going to work for lots of walking and came prepared). We activated our Season Passes and made our way into the park.

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Since the last time we had visited Six Flags was on our first date almost 5 years ago, there were a few new rides we wanted to check out. We headed straight back to The Joker. The Joker is a roller coaster where you also get swung around upside-down a few times. It was really a cool concept but when we got up to the line, we were told we would need to put anything we had with us in a locker. This is where things started going downhill. I had looked the policies up online beforehand and most said lanyards and fanny pack type accessories were allowed as long as they were secure. I also made Dom wear cargo shorts since I knew we could put stuff in his pockets. It turned out, that was not the case for The Joker, El Toro, and Kingda Ka. There was apparently a new policy in place that was not online (though how this surprised me after trying to visit their instagram is beyond me) and only for the rides that were, shall we say, more intense? We waited in the long line to rent a locker expecting an exorbitant price because they can. It was actually pretty reasonable at $1 for 1 hour. When we finally got our stuff in our locker we got on the ride line. Afterward, Dom remarked that he understood why we needed to put everything in a locker.

From there we decided to check out the Congo Rapids since we were already sweating. There was a small group gathered around the opening and the girl working there said she didn’t know when it would open. Since we were in the area, we decided to hop on the line for Nitro. I wore my lanyard around my neck but under my shirt while Dom didn’t listen to me and left his outside his shirt. He was told he had to put it in his pocket and this is where the struggle truly began.

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By the time we got off Nitro the Congo Rapids were running again so we hopped on the line since it was such a hot day and we wanted to cool off. We had our phones in the water tight cases around our necks and again they said they had to be put in our pockets. I can say I understand having them a bit more secure on a roller coaster, but a river rapids ride? It didn’t make sense. Dom and I reminisced back when they let you just throw your bags in the middle of the raft and not have to put everything into your pockets. Needless to say, the struggle with stuff continued.

We went from there to The Dark Knight Coaster – an indoor cat and mouse type ride – where they also made us put everything in our pockets, something that seems utterly ridiculous being that it is hardly a coaster and doesn’t even go upside down. Dom was getting extremely frustrated with the policy and I was longing for the Disney policies where anything can be packed into the compartment in front of you.

Anyway, we enjoyed the ride for what it was, though I was disappointed that the mirror that used to grab your face and make it a clown was no longer working. Dom remarked that rides like that seem to work well the first year or two but then something breaks and they never fix it. I had to agree. I’ve seen a lot of rides now that were so much better when they first came out.

When we exited The Dark Knight, Dom wanted to bring everything to his car and be left only with his keys. I agreed that we could do that but wanted to try the brand new Justice League: Battle For Metropolis that was right around the corner first. He agreed and we went. This new ride is a dark ride that from what I understand was designed by the same group that designed the Men in Black ride at Universal. I was really excited to try it because Dom and I had so much fun riding Toy Story Midway Mania at California Adventure and I knew shooting games were right up his alley.

I was right. The theming is great, we are new recruits for the Justice League because half of the Justice League (Green Lantern, Super Girl, Flash, and now Wonder Woman) has been captured by Joker and Lex Luthor and because they haven’t had time to study our weaknesses as they have for the Justice League members already in existence, it will be more difficult for them to capture us. Basically.

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There is a video of Batman, Superman, Joker, and Lex Luthor communicating with us and Cyborg (who is with us) that plays on a loop. It’s a long loop so I really only saw the whole thing one and a half times but I wish I had known that it would be the same playing in the second room the line went through as it was in the first room because then I wouldn’t have tried so hard to pay attention right away. We then needed to pick up 3-D goggles before being ushered into cars on a track where we had our guns and our score. You can seat up to 6 in a car (two rows of three) and Dom and I were seated behind a woman with two small and adorable children. That being said, Dom scored the highest and I was second highest with the mom only about 1,000 points behind me.

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I really enjoyed the new ride but the photo op was weird – as we exited it showed what was supposed to be only our faces with our score next to it but none of the boxes actually lined up to faces – Dom’s half a face was actually in the box that should have been me.

Once we were done, I asked if we could get food after we went to the car. Since we were passing a hot dog stand right next to a margarita stand though, I talked about stopping and Dom said “why not?” since we were there anyway. I got a hot dog and Dom got a buffalo chicken cheese steak with a sprite. We then went across to get me a strawberry daiquiri. This was where things started going wrong again. The people who worked there definitely did not know how to enunciate and we couldn’t understand a thing they were saying. We finally communicated that I wanted a strawberry daiquiri and they (I guess) asked us to wait at the bar and the bartender would come outside (this is after I asked if it was open and they told me “no” and when I asked if it would be open today they said “what do you need?” I was already very confused). When the bartender came out to the bar I asked for a strawberry daiquiri and he told me it wasn’t frozen so I asked if the margarita was frozen (since that was the other frozen drink on the menu) and he told me it wasn’t a margarita, it was mango. So I just told him to give me that since it was already making me agitated and I was starting to understand Dom’s frustrations with the day so far. When I finally got my drink it was only half frozen and I didn’t really love the mango. We ate and drank and then went on our way.

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I ate most of my fries during the drink confusion

We had talked about going to the car but I guess food and caffeine helped Dom out because he decided he could deal with having things in his pocket and we decided to walk to the other side of the park. We were going to try to get on Skull Mountain, but the people in front of us said it was an hour wait and that was definitely not worth it. I originally had intended to skip the Sky Ride in favor of walking but I changed my mind because I got sentimental thinking about going on it on our first date and I also felt like sitting down for a bit.

When we got across the park we discovered that the Runaway Mine Train and the Log Flume were both closed and we were bummed about that. Instead we went to Bizarro (formerly Medusa and my first upside-down coaster ever). I usually enjoy Bizarro, but it’s better when it gets dark and you can see all the lights. I was also starting to notice that my head was getting bounced around so much on the roller coasters it was giving me headaches.

From there, we went to El Toro, which we already knew we would need a locker for. When we went to rent the locker this time, it was $1 for 2 hours! The wait times were extremely short (we think because everyone was at Hurricane Harbor since it was so hot) so we hit El Toro, El Diablo, Kingda Ka, and Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom and still had locker time available!

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El Toro is a big wooden coaster and while I normally like wooden roller coasters, this, too, knocked my head around so much I wanted to cry. From there we went next door to El Diablo which I actually enjoyed. It’s like a pirate ship ride but actually goes upside down. It was a good one. I didn’t really want to do Kingda Ka but Dom talked me into it and at that point we were reliving our first date by attempting to get to all the roller coasters in one day so it was okay. It was, again, really shaky and my head was killing me but at least we had that one done.

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Next was Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom. We had never been on Zumanjaro before as it is also fairly new. It is a free-fall ride built into the highest point of Kingda Ka. The line for this ride starts next to Kingda Ka and is just straight back as far as you can walk to the ride. Dom said it reminded him of when you ran out of room in Roller Coaster Tycoon and had to place a ride way far away. We then thought of what our thought bubbles would say and how satisfied we were with the ride all while hoping it would even be running by the time we got there. It was. I actually thought it was a lot of fun even though free-fall freaks me out but it was over very quickly.

At that point we were craving icees so we went back to the locker and got money to buy them. We sat by Macho Nacho to drink them and realized this would have been a way better bar to sit at with lunch. It would definitely be worth coming back there to eat.

We decided to go on some calmer rides after that and Dom chose the Tea Cups and the Parachute Training Center. The tea cups were fun but weird. The kid in front of us in line was alone, so he asked if he could ride with us. As we got into the tea cup, however, two of his friends showed up and also got into the tea cup with us. That was the weird part. They really wanted to be the fastest spinning so we spun like crazy but the girl running the ride announced a different cup as the winner and we didn’t come in second either. The kids were pretty distraught so our new friend went and asked the girl what place we were in and she told him 3rd. He came back to tell us that.

The parachutes were much calmer and we really enjoyed them and trying to see as far as we could from the top. It was the perfect way to get back into ride mode and from there we went to Green Lantern.

Dom could have sworn we didn’t ride Green Lantern last time we were there (we did, I found proof) because he didn’t remember standing while riding and since it is one of my favorites we were both excited. It did not disappoint. While it was still shook my head around a little, it was much smoother than some of the others. The only thing is that I think I remember there used to be a recording that stated Green Lantern’s oath as you took off on this ride but now there was nothing. It added to my disappointment that the rides were not better themed – I love the comic scenes throughout the lines but the newer rides didn’t seem to have that and now a lot of the theming was either gone or not working.

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We then went to Superman which I love and remember riding it the summer it came out but I was still nervous about my new issues with headaches on the rides. It turned out I had nothing to worry about with Superman. Because of the way we hang down, it was so much easier on my head and I loved it. I told Dom it was my new favorite coaster in the park.

Hungry for dinner, Dom suggested we head back to Macho Nacho for – what else? – nachos. We ordered nachos and finally decided that a souvenir cup is worth the money since we could refill it a good amount of times so we also got one and filled it with Sprite (Dom’s choice). When we went to look for a place to sit every single table was taken. Dom started asking people if we could sit with them but people were “waiting for their entire family” so there was no room. I scouted out some seats at the bar and made a beeline. By the time our food came out there were a few tables opening up but we really liked sitting at the bar so we stayed. We refilled the cup twice during dinner.

The only coaster we had left was Batman so we decided to head in that direction. On the way, we passed Houdini and decided to stop there but as we were getting in line we were informed it was not running so we turned around and went straight to Batman.

Since Batman is older I knew I’d get tossed around a bit so Dom told me to try and hold my head forward more. It seemed to work but I hit my ears a few times which sort of hurt but it was much better than before.

After that it was 9:00 and the first “warning” firework went off. I assumed they’d set it off to get people to start making their way to the seating area, but since they didn’t officially start until 10:00, we decided to take another look at the wait for Skull Mountain.

Skull Mountain was down to about 5 minutes so we went on that and it was still only 9:15 when we exited. Another “warning” firework went off and we decided to go find a place to sit. It was already extremely crowded but we pulled up some gravel and sat down with our half empty coke (Dom’s choice. I chose Powerade which was what we had for our second refill) to wait. At 9:30 and 9:45 they set off a firework as well and at 9:50 an announcement was made that the fireworks would begin in 10 minutes.

I have to admit, I was happily impressed with the firework show Six Flags put on for the 4th of July weekend. I loved all the patriotic music and the way the fireworks complimented the music was just awe-inspiring. Fireworks are one of my favorite things and I especially love them lighting up the sky on the 4th of July. This show went above and beyond what I expected from a 4th of July show – it wasn’t quite the caliber of larger theme parks, but it was way better than the local town show! I think the songs were what made it so special to me. Proud To Be An American and All-American Girl are some of my favorites and I just loved the way it made me feel so proud of my country.

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Dom put it best in that we saw such a spectrum of people practicing all different religions all enjoying their day at Six Flags and coming together at the end of the night for a beautiful show to support the country where we are free to be whomever we want to be and practice whatever religion we want to practice.

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Some brief reviews based on our experience:

  1. Be prepared to get a locker for Kingda Ka, El Toro, and The Joker rides. You will not be allowed to have anything in your pockets even so just put everything in there.
  2. For other coasters, make sure to have either zip or button pockets for a phone or possibly a fanny pack (I made my cross-body into a fanny pack and wore it under my shirt for some rides)
  3. Season Pass – a season pass is usually worth it to me if I use it more than once in a season but check out costs and discounts offered. I bought mine through my work for only $75 but I saw discounts online for around $100 or you can upgrade a daily ticket in the park.
  4. Refillable Souvenir Cup – this is something I usually forego if I don’t have anyone with me to hold it while I go on rides since I have an irrational (or maybe it’s rational) fear that it will be stolen while we are on the ride if we leave it in those cup holders. It is about $15 and you receive free refills on the day of purchase. Refills on days other than that purchased are $0.99 or you could buy refills for the day for $6. Soda is normally about $5 so Dom figured it was worth it if we got 3 refills on the day we purchased. I guess we should have purchased sooner but that was my fault not wanting the responsibility since we couldn’t take it on rides or whatever. There is also a season-long free refill cup you could purchase for $29. In all you would have to make at least 3 additional trips to make that purchase worth the extra money.
  5. Season Meal Plan – I’m not sure much about the season meal plans but they come with the season long free refills as well so my thoughts are if you have kids and plan on making frequent visits to the park over the course of the summer and are maybe not taking a regular vacation this might be worth your money. The key here is balancing what it would normally cost you.
  6. Theming – I know this is not Disney but I wish the theming were better. I enjoyed the newer rides but after the past few years of visiting Disney more often I just kept seeing things that I would do differently that in my opinion are better. I do love that they have made the park more superhero centered and the addition of Wonder Woman (even such a small addition) gives me hope that there is more to come with this.
  7. Battle For Metropolis – I really wish this weren’t in 3-D. I do not do well with 3-D, possibly because of my eyesight being what it is but regardless, I think the 3-D made it way more difficult to aim at the targets. Other than that, I wish Wonder Woman was in it more and that both of the females of the Justice League weren’t captured. It would be way more fun if the girls were rescuing everyone else but it was probably created by a man or whatever. Supergirl could totally take the place of Superman and vice versa and Batman and Wonder Woman could definitely switch places and the ride would be much the same with the exception of it being way more girl-powered.