Atlanta 2021

Atlanta | Photos | Videos


The pandemic has obviously been hard. Or, it’s been hard for some people.  Other people decided to go about their lives as if nothing was going on. Which is why the pandemic was going into its second year and people were still getting sick and dying. When it initially hit that we were heading into a full blown pandemic without a vaccine, I prepared myself mentally to be inactive for about a year, as I figured that would be the earliest that we would have a vaccine and start to get back to normal. But around the beginning of the year with revelations that vaccine commitments to the US were far short of what had been stated by the government at the time, I started to worry that it would be far into the summer, possibly the end of summer before I could even begin to think about travel.

Then vaccinations started to roll out quicker and quicker. Then before I knew it, I was eligible. So I was fortunate enough to schedule a shot on the first day I became eligible, then schedule my second shot a month later. In between, I realized that I would be fully vaccinated by my scheduled vacation in June. And then I realized that I’d be vaccinated by Good Friday, a holiday that we get off at work. So I decided to plan a small trip. My first trip since an overnite at the beach in the summer of 2020. My first trip out of the state since February 2020. My first trip to a theme park since December of 2019. To say I was excited was a bit of an understatement.

I’m going to be completely open and honest. At that point, I knew that recommendations were for people to not start traveling yet. The reasoning behind that recommendation by the CDC was that fully vaccinated people can still carry the virus and transmit it to people that aren’t yet vaccinated. And I’m going to be open about my selfishness here in stating that because I had done what was requested of me, because I had stayed home and given up most of the past year of my life to stay safe and keep others safe. Because I had made the right decisions, I was no longer interested in whether or not other people were being safe. If they hadn’t made the decision at this point to not be reckless with their health, its no longer my responsibility. I was vaccinated and ready to go. Then the CDC, just days before my trip, changed their recommendation for vaccinated people and travel. And travel I did.

There are people that were able to safely travel during the previous year, but because of my health issues, I chose not to, for both myself and others. I had a couple of ideas on where I wanted to go; I decided that I would spend the weekend in Atlanta, one of my favorite cities. I knew I could visit Six Flags. I knew I could get some good food. It’s a place I’m familiar with. So I chose Atlanta. The trip didn’t go exactly as I’d wanted or planned, but I had fun nonetheless.

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Outer Banks 2020

ObxOuter Banks | Photos | Videos


As we all have had to adjust and navigate a very different summer, travel and vacation has been put on hold for many. I had several large scale trips planned for this year that have all been cancelled. So instead, I decided to do a couple of quick localized (in state) road trips on vacation in 2020. The second road trip was a return to the Outer Banks after over 30 years since my first (and last) visit. Here are the photos.

Outer Banks 2020

Outer Banks 2020

Outer Banks 2020

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Blue Ridge Parkway 2020

Blue RidgeBlue Ridge Parkway | Photos | Videos


As we all have had to adjust and navigate a very different summer, travel and vacation has been put on hold for many. I had several large scale trips planned for this year that have all been cancelled. So instead, I decided to do a couple of quick localized (in state) road trips on vacation in 2020. The first road trip was a drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway, from Asheville, NC to Blowing Rock, NC, an absolutely beautiful drive. Here are the photos.

Blue Ridge Parkway 2020

Blue Ridge Parkway 2020

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Copperhead Strike Debut 2019

Copperhead.pngCarowinds | Photos | Videos


March 22-23, 2019
Charlotte NC
Copperhead Strike Debut

I’ve lived in NC for nearly a decade now.In that time, my home park of Carowinds has added 3 major steel coasters, 4 new thrill rides, a slew of new kiddie rides, and have renovated and refurbished nearly the whole park. And they don’t seem to be finished yet. But in 2019 the park followed up their 2015 addition of Fury with Copperhead Strike, a Mack dual launched inverting coaster. I’ve been excited for months to check it out, and finally it was time.

I hate Season Passholder nite. I wanted to get off work early, but that didn’t happen. I knew it would take me at least 90 minutes in Friday evening Charlotte traffic to get from work to Carowinds. Its like that every year. I had flashback to Fury, though, and even though the line was super long, the capacity on a 3 train B&M Giga is pretty good, so the line lasted about 90 minutes or so. That was not to be the case this time.

I arrived at the park around 7 PM. The parking lot was packed. There is a strong Season Pass base in Charlotte. Once I finally got parked in the nearly full parking lot I made my way to the front gate since South Gate wasn’t open. Then I waited in line again to get through security. THEN I finally got into the park and ran to the restroom before heading towards the newly added Blueridge Junction. Coming around the corner I could hear the entertainment and see the entrance to the new area. It flows so nicely from the recent addition of County Fair.

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Paramount’s Carowinds 2004

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Paramount’s Carowinds | Photos | Videos


May 14, 2004
Charlotte, NC

I’d known for months that I would be visiting Carowinds in May as I would be in NC for the weekend of the 14 so I made plans with my good friend (and then roommate) Jon to go again as we had the year before. It had been announced that the park would be adding the world’s first Star Trek themed ride, which would be opening in May and as a Star Trek fan, I was excited. That I had ridden a near clone of the ride already and had enjoyed it made me even more excited to ride.The original plan called for Jon to head out to NC and spend the week with friends, and he and his friends would meet up with me on Friday at the park, after which he’d head back to Salisbury with me for the weekend.

As the beginning of May rolled around, though, Jon realized that he lacked the funding to travel to NC for a  day, much less a week, so I was without a riding partner as all my other friends weren’t going to be able to make it till Friday evening. That same week Andy Wong messaged me on CoasterBuzz to let me know that he too would be at Carowinds on the 14th, and wanted to know if I wanted to meet up to meet in person and hang out, and of course I said yes. We spent the 2 weeks before making plans over instant messenger and phone. Finally it was the day before the trip. I called and made final plans to meet Andy at the front gate. We were to meet at the park, but if one of us got there signifigantly early, that person was to get in line for BORG, and we’d meet up after we both rode.

That morning at 4 AM I woke up, got ready, went in to town to gas up, and at 5 AN headed out from the tiny town in WV where I reluctantly called home for the North Carolina sun. I had planned to stop around 6 AM for breakfast in WV, but the place I had wanted to get breakfast at hadn’t opened yet. I put off breakfast for a while, and decided to head for the interstate.

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Kennywood 2003

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Kennywood | Photos | Videos


For a 6 month period in 2003 I picked up a new home park. But alas, due to work and cash restraints I wasn’t able to visit during the regular season. That is why I’m glad Kennywood had Phantom Fright Nights as an option in October or I wouldn’t have had a chance to go to the park for the first time, and have a final coaster trip for 2003. I’d had a rough day. Prior to Kennywood, I had spent a few days with my parents, but got a late start from their house to where I was living, a 3 hour trip. Then I got stuck in traffic because of Bridge Day, a large festival in WV.  It took an extra hour to get home, so I was really late picking my roommate Jon up.

I had to get directions to Kennywood from their web site, because I hadn’t been to Pittsburgh in over 20 years and don’t remember a thing about it as I was a toddler. But the trip from Fairmont, WV to Kennywood was an easy and fairly quick drive . Though we got a bit lost between Pittsburgh and West Mifflin, we stopped for directions, and easily found the park once we were pointed in the right direction.

After parking we paid for our ticket and headed in. The park (what I could see of it in such darkness) looked really nice. I do wish it had been light up a bit more, though, as I didn’t know my way around. The first thing we headed to was Phantom’s Revenge.

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