Saturday, August 11, 2012

Niagara Trip - Day 15 - On our way home!


August 3, 2012

Well, it took me a while to get this last day written.  It turns out that being home really is busier than being on vacation.  So, we spent the first part of the day at Cedar Point.  I finally got to go on Millenium Force, which was even taller than I had imagined.  Even though the climb up the hill was really fast, it felt like forever.  At 300 feet tall, it was much higher than any coaster I had been on previously, but I kind of figured that at those kind of heights it wouldn't matter.  I was wrong.  That was really high!  The quick ascent was a blessing though so that I didn't have much time to ponder the ridiculous height and the impossibly narrow bits of steel that were holding up the tracks.  The ride down was much more fun and, of course, very fast.  It was a great ride and I look forward to trying it again someday. 

Hmmm.  But he told me not to ride it. 

After that, Zoe and I went back to unhook the RV and move it into the temporary parking, while Kyrie took the kids on some rides.  By the time I got back to the park it was getting very hot again.  There are quite a few trees in the park, but we couldn't seem to ever stay in the shade for very long.  By lunchtime we were already dragging, especially after wearing ourselves out yesterday.  After lunch, we went to the Peanuts Ice Show, which was a welcome break from the heat.  The show was pretty good and the kids liked getting balloons.  After that we were ready to hit the road.  Our trip home was very uneventful.  We stopped for dinner as soon as we got to Indiana.  I can't remember the name of the place, but it was pretty good.  Then, we got the kids in their pajamas and turned the dinnette into a bed so the kids could sleep.  We still made them wear their seatbelts, but they didn't seem too uncomfortable.  In Indiana, we passed by a future stop of ours - the RV museum.  By the time we got to Illinois I think everyone was sleeping.  Driving through Chicago at 10pm during Lalapallooza was a little challenging, but not too bad.  We made it home by 11pm and everyone slept well being in their own beds for a change. 

Overall, it was a great trip.  We learned some lessons on the way - primarily that ducking while going under a bridge does not lower your clearance.  We also learned that switching to a hotel for a couple of nights is not worth the hassle.  Bringing everything we need out of the RV was too much trouble.  Next time we'll be camping every night - it's more fun that way anyway!  Can't wait until our next trip!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Niagara Trip - Day 14 - Cedar Point

August 2, 2012

Since we've been to the "Best Kid's Park in the World", now it's time to go to the "Best Amusement Park" (not sure if it's in the world, or just the United States).  We walked over to the resort gate at the back of the park in time for the early entry at 9:00am and spent most of the day there, except for a pool break in the afternoon.  Somehow this is our first trip to Cedar Point.  Kyrie and I both like theme parks a lot and this one is supposed to be the best, but even though it's only 6 hours from our house we've never made it there.  Well, now we're here and we'll see if it lives up to the hype.  Kyrie went on the Maverick coaster first and really liked it.  Then we headed over to the Mantis coaster which I went on.  This is a stand up coaster and it bangs your head around a lot.  I told Kyrie not to bother going on it.  Then we took the boys on the Iron Dragon, which they loved.  I think this ended up being their favorite.  By this time it was time for the main gates to open, so we headed over to one of the several car rides that they have and the kids went on that.  The boys also went on their first upside down coaster today.  I think it was called the Corkscrew.  Max liked it and went on in it a couple times.  Jacob wasn't as sure about it; he only went on it once.  They also really liked the Mine Train coaster.

Our "deal" was that the adults got the first hour for coaster riding, and the kids get the rest of the day for their rides.  This helped the kids to be patient during that first early entry hour where you can ride coasters with relatively little wait time.  In an hour, we could only manage to get on three (one for me, one for Marc, and one that I took Max on and then Marc took Jacob on.) 

The surprise here was that Max was the adventurous coaster rider.  That's usually Jake's role.  Jake did okay too, but was a little more hesitant than Max to ride the coasters that they are tall enough to ride.  Max unknowingly agreed to go on the Corkscrew.  True to it's name it twists a lot and goes upside down three times.  He didn't notice that it goes upside down from where we entered the line.  I figured he would like it `(but wouldn't ride it if he knew) so I didn't feel badly about neglecting to tell him about the upside down parts.  After the first loop, I said, "Do you know that you just went upside down?"  He said, "No" and admitted he wasn't scared.  Afterward, he bragged to Jacob and Daddy about his feat and claimed to be King of the Coasters.  I'm sure that's why Jacob decided to give it a try later.
It was intensely hot today.  I never saw an actual temperature, but it was brutal at times (especially walking around on the hot asphalt).  Ella has changed from the little girl who sits in the stroller patiently, to the girl who wants it to be her turn to go on a ride.  We took Ella over to Camp Snoopy where she went on many rides.  She likes everything and so far would go on any ride she sees.

We couldn't wait to get back to the pool in the afternoon.  I've never felt more hot than I did while walking around Cedar Point.  We were so tired and hot that the boys and I just floated around at first relaxing instead of them making me play their usual pool games. 

Ella has made friends with a 4 year old camping next to us.  They met last night while playing outside, and they were thrilled to see each other at the pool today.  Ella isn't as shy as her brothers.  She went right up to her friend to hang out.

We went back to the park for dinner and a few more kiddie rides.  It was very nice that there was never a wait for the kids rides and not much of a wait for the smaller coasters.
At night they have some kind of a show and dance party.  It's kind of a singing show with some lasers and fire, but it's more than that.  I don't know exactly how to describe it.  I didn't like it, but most people probably would.   Before the show the boys got to be in a dancing competition on the stage.  They had fun.  Jacob has never seen a stage that he doesn't want to be on.  Their team won which made them happy, but they wanted a prize. 

So, overall I would say that Cedar Point has mostly lived up to my expectations.  They definitely have more coasters than I've ever seen in one place.  They have quite a few other rides as well, but I think that having a few dark rides would be nice.  If nothing else, it would get people out of the sun for a little while.  I haven't hit some of the rides yet, tomorrow we'll be back there for at least some of the day.  I'll have to get on Millenium Force.

Niagara Trip - Day 13 - A day at the pool.

August 1, 2012

Today we drove from Ligonier, PA to Sandusky, OH.  It was an uneventful day.  The four hour drive took about six hours, but that’s pretty typical for us.  It included a lunch and grocery store stop, so that wasn’t too bad.  The kids are pretty used to the long drives now and even Zoe doesn’t seem to mind it too much.  For these last couple days we are camping at Campers Village at Cedar Point.  We have a great location right next to the pool and we can see one of the roller coasters from our campsite.  The campground is nice enough.  Other than the pool, it doesn’t have much to do in the campground and it doesn’t have any scheduled activities, but with Cedar Point right here there is plenty to do within walking distance.  Besides the park itself, there is also a water park, a go-cart track, miniature golf, a beach on Lake Erie and a few other things.  The one thing missing from this campground is campfires.  I can understand why they don’t want them since we’re right next to the theme park, but it’s not really camping if you don’t have a campfire.

After we arrived we spent the whole day at the pool. 

It was such a hot, hot day that the pool felt especially good.  There is also a splash area with tubes and buckets and stuff spraying the kids without having to be in the pool.  Jacob and Max hit the splash area right away while we were setting up camp.  It was great that we were right by the pool.   Playing with the kids in the pool now is very fun since Jake and Max are independent swimmers.  Ella grabbed a life vest that they had there and became an independent swimmer too (with the vest) so now we can play fun games in the pool.

Even after dinner Kyrie and the kids went back to the pool. Zoe and I took a walk around the peninsula. It was a longer walk than I expected, but it was nice. 

Jacob took out the park map and a pen to plan our day at Cedar Point tomorrow,  He circled the rides/coasters he thought he wanted to ride.  Someday he'll make a good ride designer and theme park tour guide!