Summer 2011 - Chapter 5: Family Reunion!

3 Weeks after saying Goodbye to Turtle, I flew to Ohio for my Family's First Ever Reunion! AWESOME!

(AUTHOR NOTE: Pictures *may* be forthcoming for this trip, but right now they are lost on my sister's camera somewhere :/)

When I landed, I was met by the fabulous and uber-missed Mrs. Potts. She was kind enough to let me stay at her house, thought somehow the dates I was coming had gotten mixed up and so she wasn't ready. I guess I'm a bad communicator. Still. It was a place to sleep, for which I was grateful, even if it was the floor. My West Valley Studio days with Turtle had prepped me for just such sleeping and I insisted to her that it would be just fine. She was so sweet and felt way more remorseful than was necessary. Her kids are getting so big! It was so great to see her and she even made me a little breakfast the next morning before returning me to the airport where I met up with my parents, R, A, & K. Soon after G & J showed up. FAMILY!!!

After We rented vehicles, we headed into the Burg for a good ol' family breakfast at the Waffle House. On our way there, something pretty funny happened. My car with my dad arrived at the Waffle House, but the rest of the crew was nowhere to be found for some time. When they arrived some time later, the hilarious story unfolded that J (or whoever was driving) had been SURE that he was following us, and then the car pulled off into a parking lot, so naturally they followed. But when they pulled up alongside "us" to their surprise, it was some guy talking on his cell phone. Haha. Classic case of mistaken rental vehicle.

Shopping was next on the list, to prepare for our trip. While that was going on, my bros and I tossed a Disc in the Meijer parking lot. Fun times, especially making wild grabs to keep the Frisbee from striking parked vehicles. We also had this super bounce ball that we tried to bounce over numerous parked truck trailers. I think the most we ever made was 4, maybe 4 and a half.

Then some of the family wanted to tour the Burg since they hadn't been there in forevs. I didn't take this trip to putz around the Burg, so I opted to leave early. I came to ride Roller Coasters! Yeah, you heard me. Roller Coasters.

Just like last summer, we were hitting up the #1 Amusement Park in the World. Hands down.



Yeah, *that* Cedar Point. K, A, and R all came with. The drive was uneventful. Since we were there for a few days, the cheapest option was the Season Pass. We had to get our photos taken and such nonsense, but then we were in. Time for ROLLER COASTER ACTION!

Official Ride Count - Day 1: Magnum 3, Swings 1, Monster 1, Dodgem 1, Raptor 1, Mean Streak 1, Wicked Twister 1, Maverick 1

R hadn't been to CP since he was like 5, and K and A hadn't ever been, so they were all newbies! We opted to start with Raptor! RAWR! Everything was fine until we were strapping in and waiting to be launched in the front seat. Poor K had a freakout breakdown and screamed to be let off. She didn't want to ride :/

Don't remember many other details of the day. Just had fun riding.

That night at the hotel we tried to go swimming, but the locale wasn't nearly as cool as the Maples Motel, where Turtle and I stayed the previous summer. We thought about jumping the fence and swimming in secret, but the risk to the rest of my family getting the boot wasn't worth it. We ended up playing Race for the Galaxy instead.

Next day we headed in early, though some people opted to sleep in.

Official Ride Count - Day 2: Millennium 2, Magnum 2, Gemini 1, Cedar Downs 1, Matterhorn 1, Super Himalaya 1, Maverick 1

Again, some of the details are lost. But I definitely remember that the middle of the day consisted going around with my mom and sis to ride things. She loves crazy spinny rides like Matterhorn and Super Himalaya. This was the day my mom agreed to ride coasters! MY MOM ON A ROLLER COASTER!!! She claims that she loves coasters, just not getting beat up by then. So we rode coasters with her. FUN FUN

Official Ride Count - Day 3: Millennium 2, Power Tower 1, Maxair 2, Paddlewheel 1, Thunder Canyon 1, Snake River Falls 1, Shoot the Rapids 1, Maverick 1, Raptor 1

Again at the park when it opened. We wanted to get on Millennium first, so we dashed there as the gates opened. But it ended up being a false start to the day. We got all the way to the platform and it broke! The cars got stuck halfway up the first hill! SCARY!!! Turned out though that 1/3 of the park was out of power! Oops. J had never ridden coasters and wasn't sure he liked them, and he had been such a sport riding; even Stas had gone on stuff she didn't want to.

So I decided to step up and go along with my siblings good spirit. I broke down and agreed to ride the Power tower. O.M.H! SO SCARY!! Put me on a roller coaster that goes 410 feet in the air and drops me down just as much and I will have the time of my life. Strap me in a little chair, raise me up like 200 ft and then drop me or bounce me up and down? I will SCREAM MY LUNGS OUT. I screamed so loud I'm pretty sure people in the parking lot could hear me. Then, as if that weren't enough, they wanted to ride the Maxair. This was just as scary as Power Tower, if not a little more so because the ride spins while it twirls you so sometimes you are facing backward as you kick the sky, then others you are facing straight down at the ground.



More screaming ensued, to which I know many people were looking at the ride like someone was dying. And I mean SCREAMING. lol After that we had to go to the front and get lunch. While we were eating, two of my mom's friends arrived, whom she hadn't seen since High School, Chris and Curt (hereafter "C&C") Fun! They decided to hang out with us and ride rides.

So next we stopped by the Paddlewheel where the little brother of my one of my best friends from High School was working. As people were filing onto the boat, he would ask, "Where are you from?" "Boston." "Oh, hey, me too!" "And you?" "Texas. "Me too!" He was unprepared for our response. "Reynoldsburg." "Yeah, me-- wait!" Because he really *is* from there. Ha, ha, ruined your joke! The paddlewheel was sort of anti-climactic and not something I would do on my own. But we did it to see him and that made it worth it.

Next we opted for water rides. First we tackled Thunder Canyon where we completely filled out our own raft with the addition of C&C. I taught everyone how to turn the boat and we managed to soak almost everyone with me only getting half wet. We totally soaked C&C though. Ooops. Next we conquered Snake River Falls, followed by the adventure of the new ride from 2010, Shoot the Rapids. It was alright. Prolly not one I'd ride again considering the wait time. To dry off we got in line for Maverick again along with C&C. Mom and Dad opted not to ride, but hung out in line to chat while we waited. Then it was dinnertime.

After, Mom headed off to ride Disaster Transport with C&C, I opted to ride Maxair again. Okay, so scaring the piss out of myself can be exhilarating a little, alright? To round out the evening we got in line for Millennium with C&C, who had never ridden it before, neither had J, who came with us. My parents waited in line with us, but didn't ride. As we were going to the platform, R got rid of his shoes and gave them to my parents. When we were loading, he got kicked out for no footwear. This crushed him, and he would not ride anything else, nor go back on and ride even though they said he could. While G tried to deal with that mess, I ran (literally) with J over to the Raptor. We made it just before they closed the lines for the night. He'd never ridden it, and I thought it would be fitting to ride last what I rode first.

Back at the hotel we packed up and tried to go right to sleep, knowing we had to be on the road super, super early. We got up at like 5am to head back to the Burg; I had an early flight to catch. G & J came too, since they had to fly out of Columbus the next day and no one else was going back that direction. We stopped at a McD's and I waited while J went to get a key from someone, then I drove myself back to the airport, returned the car, and headed back to Salt Lake. It was a super fun trip and hopefully the first of many family reunions (now we just need to get my older bro to come from Seattle). I mean, we're totally old enough for that sort of thing now.

Let's have the next one in Key West or the Bahamas, yeah? I like the sound of that. Though I'd be just as excited if it was at Cedar Point. There's no place better!

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