Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Six Flags

I spent yesterday at Six Flags, Great America with my 10 year old. She had a free ticket for participating in a reading program during the school year, otherwise I would not even consider going to SFGA. We were a little concerned about the weather and, despite predictions of rain, we decided to carpe diem and just go.

It was a little chilly for my liking, but we started out at Hurricane Harbor, the water park that is part of SFGA now. Michelle wanted nothing more than to go to the wave pool. Unfortunately, the wave machine wasn't working. So we floated down the lazy river and tried a couple of the smaller slides. She refused to go on any slide that had even part of the slide completely enclosed. That didn't leave us with many options.

But after that, they did get the waves going again, thank goodness. We started to get both cold and hungry after a while and dried off and went in search of food. But first, we had to ride the Triple Play. I refer to this ride (as well as many other rides at SFGA) as the "spin and puke". Last year there were so many rides that made me nauseous. This year I took Dramamine before going, and I think that helped.

We spent the afternoon going on rides : the spin and puke, the whirl and hurl, the go around in circles and throw up, and the bumper cars. Michelle also refuses to go on any wooden roller coasters or any roller coasters that go upside down. That doesn't leave us with many options, either. At least she's old enough to ride alone when I can't handle the spinning anymore, and the park was not very crowded, so she never had to wait in line very long.

When we got too hot, we headed back to Hurricane Harbor for some more splashing in the water. About 6:30 pm we had had it. We dried off, rode the Triple Play one more time for good measure and headed home. After boldly proclaiming that she would not fall asleep on the ride home, it only took about 10 minutes for Michelle to fall asleep.

I was tired, but not that tired. The weird thing was that my feet were killing me! They hurt so bad, like I had pulled every muscle in them. I don't get it. I just walked around Disneyworld for a week -- much more walking than yesterday -- with no foot complaints. The only thing I can think of is all the walking we did in bare feet in the water park. But it didn't seem like it was that much walking.

We had a good trip despite my tendency to look down on SFGA after all the Disney visits. I think that SFGA has cleaned things up, though. There was not nearly as much garbage on the ground. The staff were generally much more friendly and helpful. The crowds even seemed to be more respectful of others, too. They have a long way to go in terms of food choices, though. You can't find a salad there to save your life. There were no fruit or vegetable options that I encountered. By the time we left, I was desperately hungry for something that wasn't going to clog my arteries.

SFGA will never, IMHO, be near the caliber of a Disney park. SFGA is about big thrill rides, high priced carnival games, and not much more. I felt a little sorry for the costumed characters. Nobody was stopping to take photos or even to say hello.

The highlight of the day was seeing Michelle's face light up every time the waves started up again in the wave pool. So it was worth it.

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