Canada 2019 Day 7

SFDL.PNGSix Flags Darien Lake | Photos | Videos


May 10, 2019
Darien Lake NY

Okay, so this one doesn’t have much Canada in it, but thats where I started out for the day. Friday morning I woke up, packed up, checked out, and headed to the Rainbow Bridge to cross the border back into the US for good on this trip. Crossing the border into the US was always quicker than crossing over in to Canada. I was on my way pretty quick, with a couple of quick stops for pictures, and off through Buffalo and on to Darien Lake for my first visit. The day was cold and rainy, which was fine as I only wanted to spend a short amount of time at SFDL to ride the coasters. This being the first year back fully under the Six Flags Umbrella, my Diamond Elite Membership got me in, with free parking, and lots of other perks I ended up not using or needing on this visit.

The drive to SFDL was quick and easy. I stopped at yet another (the last of the trip) Tim Hortons for breakfast, and before long, I was pulling in, showing my pass, and parking near the gate at Darien Lake. Apparently there was some band competition there, but the park was still very dead. And as I’d never been before, that made me very happy. I had seen Superman running as I drove by the park to the parking lot, so I knew it was up and running, and it would be a milestone coaster for me. So I headed in with my pass and made my way over to the left, walking to my first coaster of the day.

Ride of Steel (400)-FINALLY! I finally hit 400 credits. I’ve ridden the sister clone at Six Flags America, which was my 2nd hyper coaster ever. I’ve loved it for many years. I was glad to see that this ride had updated their trains to the newer restraints. For my first ride I sat in the last row. Before long we were speeding on our way up the lift hill. Getting pulled over the top, the first drop I was very used to from it’s sister in MD. The rest of the ride, though, was very mediocre. It’s cold, early in the season (opening day), and early in the morning. So even though there was airtime, the ride had not warmed up. It was good, mind you. The turn into the first hill, up and over had major floater air. The last 3 hills gave airtime as well. But it wasn’t what this ride is capable of, and that’s okay.

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Canada 2019 Day 5

19Niagara2BannerJourney Behind the Falls | Photos | Videos


May 7, 2019
Niagara Falls NY & ON

I woke up Wednesday morning to absolutely beautiful weather. The temperature was around 60 degrees, the sky was blue with fluffy white clouds, and I decided to head back down to the falls for some pictures in better weather. The previous afternoon I was looking at the revolving restaurant and the buffet restaurant at the Skylon tower and tried to make reservations online, but it kept timing out, so I called and made reservations for 1pm.

So I headed to the welcome center by the falls and purchased tickets for the Behind the Falls experience at 11am. This was a chance to get up close and personal with the falls, taking an elevator down and first going behind the falls to 2 different shafts that are directly behind, and then to an observation area just beside the falls so that you can get an up close and personal view of them. It was definitely worth the $24 CAD to do, and I was able to get some more fantastic photos of the falls and the gorge.

Around noon I headed back up and walked to the Skylon tower, just up the hill from the welcome center. I found the ticketing office and informed them I had reservations for the buffet, but they informed me that the buffet isn’t open in the off season, and my reservation was for the revolving restaurant instead. So I was sent with my ticket to the elevator and up I headed.

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Canada 2019 Day 1

19FIBanner.jpgFantasy Island | Photos | Videos


May 4, 2019
Grand Island NY

Over the last several years many people, for many different reasons, have talked up Toronto as being an amazing city to visit. I’d never been to Canada, and Canada’s Wonderland had finally started to add some better coasters to go along with their great collection of flat rides in the last few years. I’d wanted to go to Toronto in 2018 but unfortunately some issues with my old car prevented that. In the meantime, I’d gotten a new car and taken care of some finances so I decided to finally visit the country up north.

I should have planned my trip a couple of weeks later because Canada’s Wonderland & Fantasy Island, 2 of the parks I would be hitting, didn’t start daily operations until a few weeks later. I wasn’t used to this living in the south, where parks open in March. And sadly, Marineland wouldn’t be open at all during this trip. But the dates were set and, ultimately, this wasn’t a coaster-centric trip. I needed some vacation time off with some sleeping in every morning and not having to worry about stuff. On Friday, May 3 I headed north after work to Pittsburg where I’d be staying for the evening.

Then Saturday morning I woke up early and headed in to New York towards the Niagara Falls area to Martin’s. The day was gloomy but after parking I noticed that the main reason I was there was definitely up and running so, after paying to get in, I made my way the long way around to Silver Comet. Fantasy Island was quaint. It was definitely a family park with a few decent flat rides and 3 coasters. The first ride for me was the park’s signature wooden coaster, a 1999 Custom Coasters International installation.

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Janet Jackson Up Close & Personal Tour New York City 2011

UCAPBanner.jpgJanet Jackson | Photos | Videos


March 11, 2011
New York NY
Number 1s Up Close & Personal Tour
Radio City Music Hall

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New York City & Coney Island 2009

09NYCBannerNew York City | Photos | Videos


June 20, 2009
New York NY

Though I had wanted to wake up early and get into the city early, that didn’t happen. But Matt and I did wake up and head out around 9:00 AM to be greeted by gloom, clouds, and precipitation. The drive from Pottstown to Trenton was just over an hour. I was trying to pay attention as I would be driving most of the same roads to Jackson, NJ for Six Flags a few days later, but the roads were very confusing. And expensive with all of the tolls.

We finally arrived at the train stop in Trenton and met up with Bubba and Steff. Once we got our tickets we headed out to the already waiting train, which left at 11:40 AM. I had this totally stereotypical vision of what riding on a train into the city would be like. For some reason, maybe because my last real exposure to NYC was in the early 80’s, I always imagine transportation and such into the city as being straight out of the 80’s. Surprisingly, what I had envisioned in my mind was SO close to what it was actually like. It was scary how close the interior of the train matched what I’d imagined.

But the train ride in was a lot of fun. I hadn’t been on a real train in a long time, and don’t remember the conductor actually coming and collecting tickets the last time I was on Amtrak. After a little more than an hour we arrived at Penn Station. Our first stop was the closest restroom. It was old and run down, and very typical of what I imagined NYC’s public restrooms to be like. I also had my first weird New York moment. I was waiting for a stall to open, and eventually a door opened to a stall beside me and a short middle aged woman came running out and hurried out of the restrooms. There was a line for the Women’s room, but I’m not sure I’d have done that if I were her…

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