Yesterday, Ann and I took the kids to Great America, along with their uncle Nick Kolinsky, who was down for a long weekend. The kids had each earned a free ticket to the park through a reading program at school, so it didn’t cost us much at all, and they always have a wonderful time there. Last year, Nick and Helen were just a bit too short to get on some of the bigger rides, but this time around they cleared that hurdle.
This year, we had some extra excitement. We got stuck on two of the rides.
The first was the Whizzer, which has been there since I was a kid. When we got near the top of the first drop, the coaster froze, and the clouds that had been mumbling about rain all morning finally started to make good on their implied threat. A staffer came up to reassure us and ask us to stay in our seats. About ten minutes later a woman with a tool belt and a man in a tie joined him. They explained the situation to us, then each grabbed on to the side of one of the coaster’s cars and gave us a push. The coaster’s motor finally kicked in then and brought us to the top and finally past the point of no return.
It was a great ride, and after we crawled out of the cars, the man in the tie gave each of us a coupon that would let us skip the line for any one ride. Pat was annoyed because he and his uncle Nick had been waiting to get on the first car, so they missed out on all the excitement.
Later in the day, we tried to ride the Giant Drop, a ride that hauls you up into the air on a pole and drops you into a second or so of freefall. This time, the ride got stuck before it even started going up. Unfortunately, the restraints were stuck too, and we had to wait ten minutes or so for someone to come let us out.
All we could do was laugh — and collect another line-jumping coupon.