Saturday, April 14, 2012

Amusement Park Fairy Tale

There once was a little girl who loved amusement parks.  The love affair started when she was six years old, going to Kings Dominion in Virginia with her swim team at the end of the season.  The highlight of that trip was on the White Water Canyon ride, her coach brought an umbrella and avoided all waterfalls while the rest of the riders got soaked.  From that day on, her love affair with amusement parks blossomed.  Every summer she would go to different parks- going with her family, her church, her friends, and even going on senior skip day and dragging her summer school friends at Duke away for the weekend to the amusement parks instead of studying.  She loved the water rides and the rollercoasters, and couldn't get enough of them.  The little girl got older and had a daughter of her own- and of course her love for amusement parks was passed down to her daughter.  Together they would travel between states, going to parks and riding each rollercoaster.  The old wooden ones, the new steel ones, the ones where you stand up, lay down, hang down, ride didn't matter.  The girl and her daughter conquered them all.  But slowly  over time, things changed.  The girl had grown up, had been in school working towards a job/career....and somewhere along the way, started worrying about all grown ups do.  And while she still loved amusement parks, they scared her now too.  She worried about the rides breaking....she while she admitted it was ridiculous, she even worried about dying on the rides.

ok- i am done with my story.  obviously it was about me...hehe.
Taylor is on spring break and i took vacation- and while we didn't do much, we did pack ourselves and her BFF Cali, and took a trip up I-77 and spent some time in Charlotte. 

Here are the girls....

We shopped at Southpark Mall- which was A-mazing.  So many stores (which i of course couldn't afford)....but it was so fun and a bit overwhelming to walk around and take it all in.  There were also 10-15 large restaurants located around the mall perimeter.  We chose to eat at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar.
Interesting concept- so we had to try it out.

 The girls looked thrilled to have their picture taken will see a trend here, i promise.

This is what i got for dinner- the "Bento box."  Had edamame, fries, a specialty mini-burger, and a spicy cucumber salad.  It is a strange combo but it worked- i devoured it all.  Even the fries!

The next day- CAROWINDS!!

Here is one of the "newer" rides, the Intimidator.

And thank goodness the girls are tall enough to ride the rides....hehe.

The Intimidator- our 1st rollercoaster of the day.  It is the tallest and longest rollercoaster in the Southeast- and lasts 3 minutes and 33 seconds.  213 seconds of pure hell for me- as i feared for my life. And i swear to goodness, it was going to be my last of the day after it was over.....there are no loops, just plenty of TALL hills and  sharp twists and turns that made me worry that it would be my last twist and turn.

The newest ride- The WindSeeker.  Nope.  Didn't go on it.  Neither did Cali.  But Taylor did.  :)

Oh- and randomly we ran into their friend, Astrid, and her family.  Here is Cali, Taylor and Astrid.

And me and Tay!  Proof that i was there!

This ride is the Southern Star- otherwise known as the "upside down pirate ship."
Didn't ride that one either.
If you look closely at the middle of the ship- Taylor and her friends (Cali and Astrid) and then Astrid's dad and sister are in the 1st row after the middle of the ship.  (Astrid's dad is on the outside- has a long sleeve white shirt on and his hands are up in the air.)

Here are Tay and Cali going on the Carolina Cyclone.  It was one of my favorite when i was growing up but now it gives me such a headache with all the head jostling, that i didn't ride today.  The ride opened in March 1980, and it was the first rollercoaster in the world to turn riders upside down four times!  It turned 30 in 2010!  Holy cow- it is younger than me!

Tay and Cali are in the 2nd cart, 1st row.  Love action shots!!

Oh and i saved the best for last.  And i say this because it is a PRICELESS picture.  And while i am totally embarrassed by it, if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at????
This rollercoaster is the Cobra- it is a rollercoaster basically cut in half.  From the gate, you get pulled up a hill and then shot back down, through three loops and then pulled up another hill, and then you go backwards through the previous three loops.

Here are the four girls.
Astrid (L front) and Cali (R front).  Doesn't Cali look like she is crying???
Taylor (L back) and me (R back).  Ok, Tay is laughing hysterically.  And my face is pure "wtf am i doing on this ride because i could die?!?!"  Hahaha.

After 7 hours at the park and the girls riding every rollercoaster there- we piled back in the car and drove home.  By the way, i did ride more rollercoasters.  I prayed going up the hills and saw my life flash before my eyes at every loops, twist and turn.  I think i have watched Final Destination 3 too many times.

We did make it back to Charleston safe and sound.  And look who was waiting to snuggle with me!!!

Have a good weekend y'all!

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