I tended to go to Holiwood Nites about ever other year. I’d went in 2008 for Timberliners debut, but that obviously never happened. But that’s okay. In fact, it was really okay in 2012. This was the best Holiwood Nites ever! For the 2008 and 2010 events weather was an issue. It was so hot. Miserably hot. In fact so hot that I spent most of the day on Saturday both years in the water park and then taking a nap before dinner. None of that this time, though!
With my job I wasn’t sure if I would be able to go so I never made rooming or flying arrangements since the skilled nursing facility I worked at was in the window for it’s yearly state survey, and I am not allowed to be off during that time. Instead I decided that if I go I would drive, and come up with sleeping arrangements later. The week before the event I messaged Bryan Bird to ask if I could potentially sleep in my car at his cabin and use the shower there, which he was fine with since I knew mostly everyone in the cabin already.
Since there was no survey the week of the event I left from my job on Thursday evening to my parent’s house for the nite. I left later than I had wanted to on Friday morning because I stopped by my old job and was there for quite a bit talking, but when I did leave it was raining outside and I had hoped that this wouldn’t cause me any major delays.
We arrived at the hotel just before 6 PM. Matt Scott, Matt Shoebridge, and Bill were already at the park an hour early and had started riding things but the rest of us went to Joe’s room and settled just a bit before heading over. It was still EXTREMELY hot and uncomfortable. Even though it was so muggy out we eventually pulled together, got in the car, and drove over to the park. The line to pay to get in for Holiwood Nites was rather long, but went swiftly. Thankfully Wade was my ‘sponsor’ since he had a coaster enthusiast club affiliation and I did not.
Once we got in the park we traipsed around and down to the picnic pavilion where everyone else was. We were there probably 30 to 45 minutes and I was able to meet up with a lot of people I’d not seen in a while and some new people I’d not met before. I saw Andy Wong for the first time in 7 years. He’s all growed up now, married, and with a kid (actually, he’s my age, but that’s besides the point).
After a while we were all let loose to go in to the park to get food and ride the coasters and rides. I suggested to Ken & Wade that they ride Raven, then Legend, then Voyage, so we headed to Raven first. I’d never been too impressed with Raven, save for the 5th hill, so I kind of felt like getting it out of the way for the evening so that I could concentrate on Legend and Voyage.
The original plans for Saturday called for Me, Matt, and Dan to get up and head to Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom for a few hours. We’d made plans to meet Eric and his crew there that morning before we coming back to Holiday World for the waterpark. None of us, however, woke up that morning. Everyone was exhausted from the day before so instead of going to Kentucky Kingdom we all got up and got ready to head to the water park. We made plans for breakfast though, technically, we’d already missed breakfast and then headed to the car…only to find my tire completely flat. No biggie, I have a full sized spare, right?
Right? Well, I do. But the special tool used to lower it wasn’t where it was supposed to be. Neither was my tire iron or jack. You see, a few weeks prior, my father was driving my Xterra with a pull trailer hooked up to it. The trailer had a flat (2 actually) and he had to fix it with my tools. I told him to make sure he put them back, but he put them in the trailer instead, so they were inconveniently located in our garage in WV. Seven plus hours from me. And not helping.
Thankfully Rob had AAA, so he called and explained that we didn’t have tools to fix our flat. They said someone would be there in 45 minutes or less. Rob and Melissa made an ATM run and then went to Subway across the street to eat while we waited. The guy that got the call to come showed up, but AAA didn’t explain to him that not only were we missing a jack and tire iron, we didn’t have the tool to lower the tire either. So he took the tire and said he’d either fix it or bring another one back. After he left with the tire, Rob and Melissa came back and we headed to Subway to eat while they sat with the Xterra. After we sat down to eat at Subway I saw Rob pull up in my Xterra. The guy fixed the tire for $17 and Rob and Melissa headed over to meet us.
May 23 & 24, 2008
Santa Claus IN
After arriving at Holiday World we pulled into the parking lot. I was getting excited at seeing the park for the first time. It was different than I expected, but still familiar in some ways having seen numerous pictures. We needed to enter the park before 5:30 or we would have to wait until the park cleared before we could go in. Thankfully we made it. At the front gate we headed over to the window where we all picked up our event packets with tickets, a schedule, and name card, and stuff. I met Martha for the first time in person. She commented “Oh, you’re the guy that always ends up not making it”, to which I said “Yep, and you got to meet me first!” Then we headed into the park.
Walking along the front part of the park, the second coaster geek we ran into was Nicole. I got a huge hug because she didn’t know I’d actually be there, due to my reputation of never showing up after planning to go to an event or park. We made our way thru the park to the picnic grove where all of the event participants were to meet. After we arrived I was greeted by a couple dozen people I hadn’t seen in a while, and met some people for the first time who didn’t think I actually existed.
The park’s owners and PR lady welcomed us, instructed us, and went over safety protocol. Then, once the park was cleared we were given the go ahead to leave the picnic shelters and head to the coasters. The plan was originally to ride Raven first, then Legend, and then finally Voyage. My crew was going to go with me but Dan, who had been before and really wanted to ride Voyage decided to change plans and head straight there. Continue reading →