Current Location: Sandusky, OH

How much would you pay for the luxury of spending a day standing around in a moshpit of strangers, some of whom look like they’re one bad decision away from Cops, if you’re promised that for each hour spent doing absolutely nothing, you’ll be rewarded with two to three minutes of entertainment?  Today, for me, the answer to this question turned out to be $47.99.  That’s the amount that I paid to enter Cedar Point.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved roller coasters.  While some kids have trepidation over going on big rides, my only concern was whether or not I would be tall enough for them.  Not that I have any lasting memories of being too young to ride or anything, (1989 – Storyland, 1991 – King’s Island and Typhoon Lagoon) and not that I have any doubt that I took this news in stride and simply picked a different ride without any tears, complaining, or argument – I was a dream child.  But I do remember that the more daunting an attraction appeared, the more I wanted to go on it. Sure, Disneyland is fun, but to continue with the theme of Clark Griswold, “enough with this kid’s stuff.  Where are the big rides?”

Luckily, thanks to my videotape of the top ten best coasters in the country that I watched repeatedly as a child, I knew exactly where to find the big rides.  The big rides are in Sandusky, Ohio.  The big rides are at Cedar Point.  I wanted to come here to experience the thrills that I have heard tales of, but more importantly, I wanted to make the trek to Cedar Point so that the next time I remark that I enjoy roller coasters and on cue, someone asks me whether or not I have ever been to Cedar Point, I can avoid the speech that unfailingly follows my response and begins with, “Dude!  You gotta go to Cedar Point!”

Sure enough, I now know that Cedar Point has some great rides.  I loved Milennium, Gemini, and Top Thrill Dragster especially, but there were several others that I enjoyed too.  Even the random Space Mountain rip off that takes place in a warehouse on the park’s edge turned out to be a good time.  Of course, based on the rickety nature of this particular ride, I’m guessing the warehouse obstructs it from view for a reason.  Overall though, I would say that Cedar Point is certainly a park for roller coaster enthusiasts.  I wouldn’t necessarily suggest traveling great distances to experience it, but hey, you guys probably weren’t in danger of doing that anyway.

As much fun as Cedar Point turned out to be, it did point out some ways to me in which it appears I might have changed a bit.  For instance, I found myself ready to leave the park at about 5:00.  5:00?!  Isn’t that when the lame putzes are just starting to leave?  Am I a lame putz?!  Secondly, some of the rides felt to me like what I would imagine it feels like to be in a literal train wreck.  Now, I’ve been “a train wreck” before, but I’ve never actually been in a train wreck, so I can’t say for sure, but I think that Cedar Point’s wooden coaster, Mean Streak, is a pretty standard virtualization. Before I got onto that particular ride, I had read that it’s the longest coaster at Cedar Point.  “Sweet!” the ten year-old voice inside me thought, “the longest ride!”  Moments into the experience however, my current voice took hold and yelled, “holy shit,  I’m one of the dice in the Yahtzee can, and this is the longest ride…!”

Even though I love roller coasters, being at a theme park can still be draining for me.  Typically, I try to engage in as little physical activity as possible, so having the opportunity to walk and stand for ten straight hours isn’t something that I would ordinarily offer to exchange money for.  I also prefer to spend the majority of my time indoors and am not one to mess with the elements of heat, rain, humidity, sleeveless shirts… etc. so spending an entire day outside doesn’t usually interest me either. Furthermore, I don’t necessarily strive for virtue, so though “patience” is listed as one, I don’t gravitate towards it.  Despite all of these negative factors though, I do love roller coasters, so every once in a while, I’ll put up with these drawbacks in order to ride them.  If you want to know why someone would pay this money to walk around, wait, and read all day though, you’ll have to ask my mother.

My mom doesn’t go on roller coasters, or any rides for that matter.  Actually, that’s unfair, she did ride both the train and the cable car that took us from one side of the park to the other.  She said she preferred the cable car.  After all, there is more of a daring element to that one.  The good news about having her join me at Cedar Point though was that I had someone to walk from one ride to the next with, and she was there to hold my stuff.  Major bonus on that one.  She also took pictures, even of a group of people in Amish dress riding the Mantis, but she took them on her camera, the one we don’t have the computer cord for.  When I suggested to my mother that she had never been on a roller coaster before and might want to try one, she got very defensive and corrected the record. “I went on Thunder Mountain Railroad!”  Well, that’s true, so I’ll let you all be the judges on that one.

Overall, we had a good time at Cedar Point, and I think we are both glad that we came here.  Tomorrow, we are off to experience the thing that I’ve been anticipating the most about my trip, so I am very excited, and I will tell you all about it once we arrive in Knoxville, TN tomorrow night.  And If I didn’t have my fill of theme parks for the week, Dollywood is scheduled for Monday!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!