Sunday, May 1, 2011

Only two weeks and counting. . .

.  .  . until Cedar Point opens for the season! 

As a kid Cedar Point meant summer.  No matter what, we'd make it out there each and every summer.  My parents loved the place.  From the time they started dating, they went every year, missing only one, the summer when mom was pregnant with me. 

Dad, Mome & C
Me and my sister, C -
check out the big 80's hair
My parents would plan the day carefully as to maximize every minute the park was open.  My dad knew just how long it would take to drive there and we would be up early in order to arrive at the front gate in time for the national anthem, which was played just before the gates opened.
One year, the unthinkable happened - we got stopped by a slow train on the drive out and the schedule was thrown off!  So, to make up time, once we got on the highway, dad did something he normally never did - speed.  And the local police just loved people like that.  Dad got his first ticket ever!  So much for the schedule that day.  I can't kid him too much about that since 20+ years later, I was the one getting the speeding ticket on the way out there.  Huron's finest nailed me too!

No ride is too high or too fast.  Bring it on baby!  We've seen rides come and go.  We've stood in line for hours to get on the latest and greatest.  We've gotten scoarched by the sun, pooped on by seagulls, stuck on the hill of a stopped coaster, run away from water spouts from Lake Erie that came ashore during a storm - and we still go back for more.
View from top of Gemeni

My favorite is Millenium Force.  It's high, fast and incredibly smooth for a coaster.  As you go up the first hill, there's time to look out over the park and over the bay.  Riding at night is even better.  When you look straight up, you see such a vast, beautiful sky dotted with stars.  It's really lovely.  And it's the calm before the storm.  Hang on!
Dad & Mom waiting for Top Thrill Dragster

Even being diagnosed with cancer didn't stop my mom from going out there and riding everything.  One summer, when she was wearing a wig to cover her bald head, she attached a long string onto it and tied it around her neck so she her hair wouldn't fly off on the roller coasters!  She was there just three weeks before she died.  She couldn't ride a lot, but she certainly enjoyed her favorites - Max Air and Skyhawk - rides that let you fly through the air and perhaps glimpse a little bit of heaven.

The week after mom died, dad, my sister and I needed to do something to let loose a little.  So, of course, where did we go?  Dad had an interesting experience when he we were there.  On Top Thrill Dragster they needed a single rider to fill the front seat on one of the trains, so he volunteered.  He got to talking with the woman he was sitting next to and found out her name was Rose, just like mom, and that she was fighting cancer too.  She told my dad that "this Rose would be riding for your Rose."  It gave him some peace, mom was there with him.

DH on ferris wheel
What's funny is that both my sister and I married men that don't appreciate our need to scream.  They don't like rollar coasters or even the tamer "spin and barf" rides.  But when I've gone out there with DH, I see a different part of the park than I do with the rest of my "coaster freak" family.  We ride the giant ferris wheel, the train, the cable cars, and the boat where the "captain" tells the same corny jokes year after year.  We lay on the beach and watch the waves roll in.  We'll feed the goats in the Frontier Trail petting zoo.  Amid all the noice and chaos of ther park, there can be quiet and peace too.
me on ferris wheel

View of Midway from cable car

Cedar Point beach

So, in a little over two weeks, I'll be heading out there with dad. 
Feel free to join us!

No comments:

Post a Comment