Six Flags Great America 2014

14SFGAmBanner.jpgSix Flag Great America | Photos | Videos

September 1, 2014
Gurnee IL

Arriving at the park around 9:30 AM we got in the line to the parking lot which opened around 9:50, then parked right near the entrance. We had printed our $15 off coupons to get in to the park and gotten our tickets so we headed over to the entrance, which opened promptly at 10:00 AM. Most rides were apparently going to open at 10:30, but just as we got back to get in line for Goliath, which started in the bridge near the entrance, the rain really started to pour. So that meant that rides were delayed.

We hoped that rain would let up just enough for us to at least get our credits as Goliath was going to be 700 for Jay, and I was going to hit 300 at some point, and radar backed our hopes up. Finally, the rain stopped and the coasters started testing. Then they let us in line for Goliath. It was close to 11:00 AM when we got on, so a total wait of less than 30 minutes not counting the rain delay. This would be my 3rd full RMC coaster, though my first with all topper track (note: I had ridden Georgia Cyclone which had some topper track, and I though it ran amazing with the topper track. I was excited.

GoliathWe rode in the front row. Goliath had a great first drop. Then it went up into the overbanked turn around that had pops of airtime in the entrance and exit of the element. Then there was the airtime hill with some major ejector air followed by the dive loop, which had some awesome and comfortable hang time. Then it goes into the zero G stall which, again, had amazing hang time. Next you hit the other turn around with airtime in the entrance and exit, then up with a shot of ejector airtime into the brake run. It was really amazing. It had a short ride time, but it packed a punch. It was not my new number one, but it was very good, like a mini Texas Giant.
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Chicago 2014 Day 2

14Chi2Banner.jpgChicago | Photos | Videos

August 31, 2014
Chicago IL

I slept in till about noon on Sunday. Jay left around 9 AM to get some random credits in the Chicagoland area. He made his way back to the hotel around 2 PM. We left and headed to Safariland since it wasn’t very far from the hotel on our way in for Jay to get his last credit of the day. It was a really nice, fun looking place, with a tiger themed coaster off to itself. I opted not to ride, but when the ride started, all of the music and lights came on, and you got 3 circuits, so I kind of wish I’d paid to ride. Oh well. It looked fun.

Leaving Safari Land and heading in to town we parked near Buckingham Fountain, close to the lake front. We first stopped by the fountain for pictures, then headed over to the waterfront, something I’d not done the last time I was in Chicago. I loved the waterfront in Chicago, much like the Riverwalk in San Antonio. As we walked down the waterfront I had told Jay how I’d like to find one of the city bike rentals as it was only $7 for a 24 hour pass and I hadn’t ridden a bike on the streets since the last time I was in Chicago.

I’ve been thinking of getting a bike but hadn’t been on one in years. So we kind of wandered around towards Navy Pier until we stumbled upon a Divvy station. It took a bit to get the rental going, but eventually we were on our way. Kind of. Jay rides his bike often, so he was fine, but I hadn’t ridden a bike in years and the area was busy with pedestrians and I really didn’t have the best shoes for riding a bike (I had Adidas’ version of the five finger shoes on, which I love for walking), so I didn’t do as well. Eventually we parked them at the station near Navy Pier.

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Wisconsin Parks 2014

14WisconsinBanner.jpgMt. Olympus | Timber Falls | Little A-Merrick-a | Bay Beach
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August 30, 2014

Boy, how early 7 AM came. But I made it up. Jay had set his alarm too, but his tablet was still on EST so he got up an hour before I did. We both went down for the decent breakfast the hotel offered before we set off. We got in a little construction delay just outside of the city, but just before 10 AM we had made our way to Wisconsin Dells and were pulling in to park at Mt. Olympus Theme Park.

I went in with really, REALLY low expectations, especially for Hades and it’s conversion to Hades 360. I’d heard mostly bad things about the current state of this park for many years and was looking at this as a quick credit stop. It was gloomy with the threat of rain. But as we arrived they were running a special on all day ride bands for $15 (it’s regularly $45). The good thing with the rain was that crowds weren’t horrible. We headed in and then down the hillside first as I needed a quick bathroom break. Then the first ride of the morning was Pegasus.

PegasusThe ride was short. We rode in the back, but it packed a punch. After heading out of the station and up the lift hill you drop down a small curved hill and then up, down, and up another hill, where you turn. Then its a couple of more small hills and turns that go around the infield before you finish with several good bunny hops. I loved the layout and the train was hauling thru the course with lots of pops of airtime. I really enjoyed it, especially because I didn’t know much about it. It reminded me of a tamer Raven, and that was good.

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Chicago 2014 Day 1

14Chi1Banner.jpgChicago | Photos | Videos

August 29, 2014
Chicago IL

Chicago. Fifteen years prior I’d spent 8 days in Chicago on a school trip just after I’d graduated and loved it. I’d wanted to go back ever since. And I had lots of plans, most of which didn’t realize on this trip, but there’s always next time. The trip, as usual, was different than I’d originally planned, but it all came out in the wash.

On Friday, August 29, 2014 I was graduating from 2 months of training at NC’s Justice Academy to be an actual Real Life Drivers License Examiner. It was a corny ceremony that I wasn’t in any way excited about and I just wanted it to be over so that I could leave, but I said goodbye to all the new friends I’d made and eventually made my way up to RDU, which was closer to fly out of than CLT based on where I’d been staying for the past 7 weeks.

That evening I arrived in Chicago and met up with Jay Miller at ORD, and we took off towards our hotel after picking up our rental car. It was actually pretty cheap to fly in and stay in the suburbs on Labor Day weekend, which was incentive for Jay to join me on the trip. Once we checked in we decided to head into the city for dinner and to explore. So we drove to the local train station in Lombard where we were staying, and hopped on. I love public transportation. There needs to be more of it.

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