Posts Tagged ‘Travel’
September 29, 2014
Good morning!! How was your weekend?
Ours was pretty eventful, considering we spent half of it screaming bloody murder in Sandusky, Ohio. (Or, that might have just been me.)
Welcome to Cedar Point HalloWeekends!
Scott and I had only been to Cedar Point once before last summer.
When we got wind of the addition of a Halloween nights themed spectacle, I was intrigued and asked him if he wanted to make another trip. Of course he was down.
That same week, fellow blogger and Orlando friend Anna-Marie offered me four comp tickets she acquired at a conference at the park and I was thrilled to take her up on it. Thanks, Anna-Marie!
Around 8 a.m. Saturday, my best friend Alex and her boyfriend Alex (hehe… still think the same name coincidence is amazing) greeted us with Starbucks in hand, ready to hit the road for Ohio!
It’s just about a 2.5 hour drive from our house, which is totally doable for a day at an amusement park. We made decent time (after a pit-stop for breakfast) and arrived in line with a crowd of cars right after 11:30 a.m.
The park was packed, which we expected. It was a gorgeous fall day!
We almost gave in and purchased Fast Lane Passes (an additional $60 or $80, depending on which which coasters you wish to include) to skip the lines, but took our chances and everything ended up working out just fine.
We stayed until the park closed at midnight and were able to ride and do close to everything we hoped to.
Longtime HWG readers might recall my love/hate relationship with roller coasters. I love the thrill of riding them, but hate how I feel afterwards.
I am quick to get motion sickness, headaches, and extreme nausea after riding even one. My plan with theme parks is to balance it out with shows or something else in between the coasters, but Cedar Point is all about the rides!
My original plan was to join the group for every other ride. That’s what I usually do anyways. Somehow, I got talked into doing all of them (besides one that spun wayyy to much) and gave myself major kudos for putting my big girl pants on and hanging with the best of ‘em.
That was Millenium Force. It’s labeled a giga-coaster (giant roller coaster) and I couldn’t believe how tall it was with a 310 foot drop! Crawling up in our cart was probably the most scared I have ever been on a ride… it just kept going (which I made sure to verbalize to everyone) (!!!).
I wanted to sit the next one out, but waited in line with the group just in case I decided to change my mind.
What do you know, I got talked into riding it anyways. Since we didn’t have Fast Lane Passes, we had plenty of time for my stomach to get it’s act together and cooperate.
We also had plenty of time to take photos. I was glad I decided to stick it out on this one, since Mantis will no longer be open after October 19th.
It’s a standing roller coaster, and I still can’t decide how I feel about it. It will be interesting to see what they do with the next one on deck to arrive!
I was happy when everyone was on the same page of wanting lunch/dinner to rest our feet after three coasters. I’m not going to try and sugarcoat it… I was hurting pretty bad.
I felt all out of sorts and thought I had reached my roller coaster limit for the day. I always feel like a baby when this happens, so I try to push through and keep a smile. My stomach can be so high maintenance, ya’ll.
Lucky for me, the nausea died down by the time we walked across the park and sat down to order at Chickie’s & Pete’s. Those of you who are familiar with the Philly phenomenon might have been just as excited to see Crab Fries as I was!!
I have only had them once before, and that was when Scott and I went to a Philadelphia 76ers game in Philly. This time the table ordered the regular seasoned with their famous cheese dip and sweet potato fries with maple sauce. YUM!
Three out of four of us ordered the Buffalo Chicken and blue cheese cheesesteak which was delicious, but a tad overloaded with cheese. I grabbed a fork and ditched most of the bun, but certainly made up for it when I single-handedly ate half of the fries on the table.
(You’re welcome, friends.)
We took a walk out to the car to get our jackets right after, and spent about thirty minutes driving around trying to get a closer parking spot. Welp, that’s a sure fire way to waste time and get absolutely nowhere.
I don’t recommend it.
We did, however, get to witness Alex demonstrate the most dramatic way to hop a fence on the way back, so I guess it wasn’t a total loss.
The rest of us took a the sideways duck and slide approach. She’s hilarious.
I noticed some festive Halloween decorations on our second entrance. It was time for the haunted houses to open and HalloWeekends to begin!
Besides the real spider webs (and spiders… eek!) around the park, there were intentionally placed ghouls and creepy greeters.
There was even a Halloween themed street show!
A band of pirates playing “Monster Mash” with dancing headless people and aliens is something you just don’t get to see every day.
We spent the remainder of our day and night strategically planning out our wait times and must-hit destinations of rides and haunted houses.
As soon as the sun set, things started getting spooky! There were themed out scare zones filled with ghosts and zombies, just waiting to find the girls who would actually scream at a scare (us).
We had enough time for two haunted houses, both of which had me screaming and hurting Scott’s arm with my unforgiving grip.
My strategy has always been to laugh when I get scared, and it usually works to ward the crazies off of targeting me. For some reason, Alex got the brunt of the scares everywhere we went. Looks like I need to bring her to every haunted house experience from here on out!
We caught the tail end of a cirque-style acrobatic and dance show called Skeleton Crew, who were all very talented.
As we finished up our “last” ride, we started heading towards the exit and got word that Top Thrill Dragster was still open. Holy geez, you guys. I never thought I would be so scared for a 17 second ride. Zero to 120 MPH in less than 4 seconds, then you’re 420 feet in the air, twisting, and coming back down at the same speed… no big deal.
I almost got out of it (I needed a strong stomach for the car ride home, right?) and was two seconds from walking straight past the seats. Against my better judgement, I sat down and figured I could do anything in under 20 seconds. I’m glad I did because it was so fun!
My favorite roller coaster was Gatekeeper! It is the tallest, fastest and widest wing roller coaster in the world! Check out the video (part of the link above in pink) around the 1:10 mark as it takes you through the gates of the main entrance. I thought my head was going to get chopped off, it was so scary, but so awesome at the same time.
I love wing coasters. They feel so smooth and secure for some reason.
We finally got back to the car close to 1 a.m. and didn’t return home until the wee hours of the morning. It was a long, tiring, incredible day!
I can sum up the rest of the weekend in a handful of photos/phrases:
The best Moscato and pet snuggles.
Online service streaming with breakfast.
More pet snuggles.
Nine miles with Alex.
Jimmy John’s before volunteering at our Youth Ministry.
Well, I’m off bright and early to assist HOOPER at a Piston’s event. I am hoping to be back home by lunch time to be able to check in with you all again later this afternoon. Have a marvelous start to your Monday!
Question of the Day
• Roller coasters: love or hate them?
• Halloween night scares and haunted houses: love or hate them?
August 14, 2014
Good morning from Anaheim, CA! Man, do I miss the sight of those babies.
Palm trees, I love you!
The last time I was in California, I was about thirteen years old for a summer dance intensive at The Edge Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. Want me to date myself even more? I remember visiting a brand new, trendy, and extremely affordable women’s clothing store that only existed here and in New York. You might have heard of it before… Forever 21?
Ha! I totally remember being amazed by this store and buying all of my back-to-school clothes there before I came home. I also recall introducing a new pant style called “capris” to my friends and raving about this cool style concept and store to anyone who would listen. It was a great place to catch onto what was up and coming in the world of fashion I suppose!
Although we aren’t in Los Angeles or either of the San’s I am dying to visit, I am still very happy to be here in Anaheim. I took a leap out of my comfort zone and came out for my first IDEA World Fitness Convention and BlogFest that kicks off in just an hour or so.
I have four days with a jam packed schedule and will be sure to share all of the details on the workouts and sessions when I return!
But first, I glad to spend a day enjoying sunny California. And it’s just as beautiful and humidity-free as I remember. (Can we move here already?)
After a runaround in flight reservations, I made it to my hotel just after 12:30 p.m. yesterday. That is 3:30 p.m. E.S.T., which means I landed with a raging appetite after a breakfast at sunrise.
I grabbed the best thing at my hotel that I could find in a chef salad and side of kettle cooked salt ‘n vinegar chips.
I would be lying if I said that I ate all of the salad and didn’t eat all of the chips. The Pomegranate Blue Honestade was good too!
I was tired from the early wake up call, but chose to pass on a nap and joined Gina, Julie and Katy to check-in to the conference and spend the afternoon aimlessly roaming around the hotel while running into both old and new blogging buddies.
We had plans to check out the sights around Anaheim, but didn’t get too far at all. At one point, we sat right down in the middle of one of the hotel lobby floors and chatted for at least an hour before deciding it might be more socially acceptable to take the party into one of our rooms.
Our big outing for the night turned into a mile walk to Target and back to stock up in some last minute snacks to refuel with in-between workouts and lectures for the rest of the week.
We were also in search of a cool local spot for dinner, bad sadly were unsuccessful in finding something story-worthy. Staying right in the heart of Disneyland, it was franchise restaurants on all horizons.
They’re great and all, but when I travel I really prefer to check out something that also offers a bit of the city’s culture. Something less of a chain and more like a local hot spot.
Needless to say, we are still on the hunt for a fun and unique restaurant to visit later on this weekend. Any and all suggestions in the Anaheim area are welcome!
After dinner, we walked back over to the hotel and caught the tail end of the Disney fireworks. That brought me right back to Scott and I’s old condo right on Turkey Lake in Orlando. Every night, like clock work, we saw the fireworks from both Universal and Disney at 9 p.m from our balcony. New Years Eve finale’s were always the best!
Well friends, it’s time to get a move on. If you would like to see what we are up to, you can follow the official conference social media hashtags of #ideaworld and #sweatpink.
Considering we have about two seconds of down time later, I have a feeling that the next time you’ll hear from me will be in the morning for Friday Favorites. Don’t forget to stop back in and link yours up as well!
Have a great Thursday!