An Amusement Park Interlude

July 21, 2012

I know why I decided to spend the day at an amusement park. I just figured someone would have talked me out of my plan before it actually happened. People tried. They looked at me and cocked their heads like a dog when you say his name. "You're doing what??" But my blind optimism wasn't going to be punched in the face. It was a glorious day for a road trip!!

4am - So Very Early

Elias and I knew it would be a long day. I was set to pick him up at 4a. Sure, I was a few minutes late, but what was 5 minutes when we had a whole day to spend in an adventure?? We started on our way to Cedar Point "The World's Best Amusement Park" (tm). The plan started two weeks ago. The idea sprouted in my brain and wouldn't get out. I had done enough work for Cedar Point in the last several months, it was about time to go to see what all of the fuss was about.

Actually, getting to the park from Chicago was surprisingly easy. I80 East. Then, turn left. The only issue was it took 6 hours to get there (I may have made it in 5.5 hours). There wasn't much to see as we passed through the Midwestern landscape. We hollered as we drove into Indiana. Then again as we entered Ohio. Soon enough, we made it to Cedar Point.

11am - A Few Hiccups

Driving up to Cedar Point was easy. A long stretch of road (causeway??) connected the mainland to the island that held the actual park. There was a bit of a backup at that point, but the line moved. That's what counted for us. We were getting antsy to do something other than be in the car.

As we walked up, I wasn't entirely sure how to utilize my ticket. After asking a few people (some of who didn't have any idea what my ticket was), we moved into the Guest Services office. They knew what my ticket was and got ready to take my picture for the pass. Scan. Error. Scan. Error. Scan. Error. Sigh.

We don't entirely know what happened. The ticket was obviously valid, but we couldn't access anything. Luckily, we didn't wait for a huge amount of time. They shooed us through and we went on our way.

Elias and I knew we were going to do both Cedar Point and their water park (Soak City). We left our water park items in the car (along with the iPad, which made me very wary) and we said we'd walk around for a bit, get our bearings and decide when to go to Soak City.

The rules of the day were simple - no one would be forced to go on any ride. I knew Elias was not keen on upside down rides (which was good for me as well as it would have caused me more problems the day after). I thought I might get him going on the wooden roller coasters. And Cedar Point had plenty of those.

The first ride we found was Troika Troika Troika. It was some kind of octopus-style ride that just twirled. It was so similar to the first ride I ever rode at Six Flags (where I may still be bitter because I had to ride it by myself...just because I was the oldest of the cousins). It raised you up and twirled you around. Something to get a feel for the day. And the line wasn't long. So that was good.

Every so often Elias or I would look at each other and say, "Would you ride this??". More often than not, the answer was "No. Way.". We did decide to go on the Windseeker.

I knew of the Windseeker from my visit to Kings Dominion in March. This was their big new ride and I thought it sounded cool. We saw the ride at Knott's Berry Farm, but we didn't have enough time when we were there last month. This time...it's on. Elias was giving crap because of my slight freak out on the swinging gondola of the ferris wheel at California Adventure. I reminded him that I wasn't mocking his meltdown at Tower of Terror. Meh...he didn't seem to care. The Windseeker puts you into a swing chair and slowly rotates you around a giant pole while you're raising up to the sky. 301 feet tall. It wasn't scary. It was just really high. And no, I didn't freak out.

As we walked around, we saw a wooden roller coaster. Gemini. I thought this would be a good one to do for Elias. Well...couldn't have been more wrong. He is not a wooden roller coaster kid. And now I think he is completely adverse to going on a roller coaster again. Whoops. A little later, we saw a roller coaster that was very Big Thunder Mountain-y. That would have been the one to go on with him. Dang it.

1pm - We Always Wait too Long

After the wooden roller coaster debacle, we both felt a bit woozy. Why?? We've been jostled around for a while and we hadn't eaten. This is normal for us. And we're dumb every time. We know we want to eat in a certain place, but when we are starving, we could not be further away from the place where food lived. We did have a Funnel Cake Fries starter before walking back to the front of the park (verdict - awesome, but needed more powdered sugar).

We decided to stop at Pink's Hot Dogs for lunch, because we had gone to the "Real" Pink's in LA. Elias got a hot dog topped with onion rings and BBQ sauce. I ended up with a tofu dog topped with guacamole and tomatoes. I really wanted just the guac on something. It would have been better on a full-on dog, but the tofu dog was pretty tasty too.

3pm - Waterparking!!

It took a while to figure out how to get to Soak City (not to mention a problem with the ticket again...still hasn't been figured out. Oh well.), but when we got there, we wasted no time changing into suits and getting into the water.

We ended up doing three rides. One was a big slide where we both got in the tube. One was the wave pool (love wave pools!!). And one was the lazy river. The best part of the lazy river is that midway through, it turned into the river rapids. Fantastic!! Why doesn't every water park have river rapids?? They all should.

We took a few twirls around the river rapids (three, actually) and decided it was time for a snack. What?? We thought we'd learned our lesson from last time!! We apparently go from one extreme to another. Once we were done with our "snack" we wished we were starving.

A loop of the park for snacks lead us to one place. The shake shack. Elias and I tried had shakes a few weeks ago when we went to Los Angeles. It was...fine. So we thought it was time to have a better shake. For the price we were going to pay, it had better be one fabulous shake. To get an idea...pricier than Oberweis. Yeah. I know. I asked Elias if he wanted to share. Nope. He was having none of that. Oh, he regretted that statement later. We also figured it would be a good idea to get a cheeseburger and fries to go with the shake. Why not?? It's a vacation day!! 15 minutes later, we were both groaning and quite pregnant with a food baby.

6pm - Homeward Bound

We hit a point and knew it was time to head back home. A six hour trip awaited us and we were already tired. We had made the decision in the morning that if we needed to stop on the way back, we'd find a hotel room. We'd scoped out a few of the Holiday Inn Express locations in Indiana. There was one near the outlet mall. There was one near Notre Dame. I just had to figure out how I felt about the drive. As we pulled up towards South Bend, I looked at Elias and said, "Two hours. We got this." Granted, an hour later, I was struggling. But we both were going to sleep at home tonight. No matter what, it was a win.

11pm - And...Scene...

Elias got dropped off at home. I made it home without falling asleep (yeah, I was concerned around the IL/IN border) and an amusement park day was officially in the record books. Until next time!!

Epilogue - Well, That's Not Good.

I slept until almost 11a on Sunday. Perfect. But the day was about to take a turn very quickly. It was about 2pm and I started feeling funky. I figured it was because I was hungry. I hadn't eaten anything since the shake shack the night before. So a quick sandwich and some grapes and I figured that was what I needed. About an hour later, I was really tired. I had planned to work on media buys all day on Sunday. But I just needed to sleep. A two hour nap should have been enough to make me feel better, but around 5p I realized the awful truth. It was migraine time. So not cool. I went to bed after 5p and prayed I would be fine in the morning.

On Monday morning, I woke up and thought I was ok. I had a residual headache, but I got ready like always and began the commute into the city. As I got to the office, I started feeling worse and worse. When I sat down at my desk, I came to the horrible realization that I was not going to last long. The migraine was still there and the nausea was worse. I hopped on the first train to the burbs that I could and ended up in bed right around noon. And I stayed there until 5a the next morning. Even two days after my sick day, I'm barely functioning. No appetite. Tired all the time. Generally lethargic. Well, that last one is just kind of normal anyway. So what happened??

I'm prone to migraines. Normally, I can keep them at bay. A few Aleves and I'm fine. If I catch them in time. But on days where I don't get enough sleep and I have a big day of running...I'm hosed. A migraine should last until I fall asleep. The next day, I should be fine. This time, not so much. Apparently, I'm not in my 20's anymore. I can't run as hard as I did back then. Ugh. Well, lesson learned. The next amusement park interlude will include a stop at a hotel. What?? Like I'm not going to an amusement park again?? Fat chance. It just might take a bit of time. I kind of need to heal my brain first.

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