Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Conquering the Magnum

This weekend Dave and I flew to Ohio to join Dave's family at Cedar Point, "The Roller Coaster Capital of the World!" Our mission? To experience the Magnum XL-200, a coaster that Dad, Dacia and David failed to ride (due to a now fabled--and somewhat debated--set of circumstances) on a visit to the park some 25 years ago.

I'm happy to report that our quest was successful. Though I have to say, one of my favorite moments of the day was when Dad, who had been very chatty as we stood in line, suddenly rounded a corner and caught sight of the Magnum's first big hill. And it was pretty big. "Is that it?" he asked, sounding shocked. We assured him that it was, and after that Dad waited out the rest of the line in near silence.

I should also mention that I was badly distracted during our ride. I mean, this ride was supposed to be it, the whole reason we came, the long-deferred denouement of a family legend spanning several decades. Dad, Jan, Dave, Dacia and I were together, we were lined up in our rows like an army poised to march. Our car approached; we were ready to board, to tackle and tame this beast as a team! But at the last moment, Dacia was unable to ride in the same car as the rest of us due to some kind of malfunction with the seats in her row. It felt like a bad joke as we glided off, casting backward glances at Dacia, unflappable, who waved and smiled cheerfully. She ended up in the car after ours, right behind a guy who rode with his arms up all the way. Blast and double blast.

I was also distracted with worry about Dad, who seemed grim as the ride took off. Were we all completely nuts even to attempt this?

But in the end, victory was ours.

Don't we look victorious?

After slaying Magnum, we set out to enjoy the rest of the day. And we did.

And now if you'll excuse me, my inner coaster-lover and critic needs out for a moment. We didn't fit in a ton of rides, but of those we hit, my husband loved the Millennium Force most. Though that first impossibly high hill is totally unforgettable, overall I found Millennium too fast to enjoy. All I could really think about was the fact that it was so fast it made my eyes water and my nose run. I guess I'm just not a speed fiend.

My favorite ride of the day by far was the Gatekeeper, a soaring "wing" coaster that dips and twists and rushes smoothly between sky and lake like a massive eagle. Man, I could have ridden that thing about 16 more times. Here's my beautiful sister-in-law, my handsome hubster and me waiting in line for Gatekeeper. (Ahhh, take me back!)
Cedar Point 1

Better than the rides was the time to talk and laugh in the car, over meals (Brick Oven Bistro two nights in a row, baby!), at night in our motel, and in line as we waited (and waited, and waited) for rides. It was the first time I've had a without-kids visit with Dad, Jan, or Dacia since we had kids.

Dad and Jan, thanks again for taking us along for a most memorable ride. Cross that one off the list, Dad, and onto the next! We love y'all so much.
Cedar Point 2

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