Monday, June 8, 2009

Kennywood's Open (and I don't mean your fly is down)

My parents took Bobby away to the beach a few weekends ago. He was gone 5 days--the longest I've been away from him his entire life. He had a wonderful time and as any smart parents would do, we decided to fill our weekend with things that we cannot (or do not) do when Bobby is around. For me, this included a Saturday filled with beauty treatments: haircut/style, manicure and pedicure. (Thank God I was finally able to catch up on all the Jon & Kate drama covered in all the celebrity rags).

However, in a more curious decision, on Sunday, we decided to go to Kennywood. Now, most parents probably don't run to an amusement park without their kids, but then I remembered this:and I thought this might not be the summer for Bobby to explore the rides at Kennywood!

So, Rob and I went and rode the bumper cars and The Whip and we enjoyed all the roller coasters: Phantom's Revenge, The Thunderbolt, The Racer and The Jackrabbit. We didn't go on any "wet" rides (although I need to go back for the LogJammer), and I don't do any "puke machines"(i.e. any ride that just goes in a circle, upside down- or both -and will just lead to nausea).

We enjoyed a sampling of the food fare: Potato Patch Fries and a corn dog for me. Turkey dinner at the Cafeteria* and an ice cream for Rob, and a shared funnel cake for both of us.

*Due to my insider knowledge of Kennywood cafeteria workers and the inner workings of what goes on there, I cannot really enjoy eating a meal in the Cafe as I was privy to the "Mutant Parade" of Cafe workers every year during the Health Department seminar on food safety.

Anyway, I got to relive my 3 summers working at the Park. It was THE BEST summer job in College--it kept me motivated to finish school (I had my fill of flipping burgers and cleaning up the condiment/seating area), I got to work with and get to know people from other schools, we got to ride the coasters early in the morning during the "test runs" and it was a fun, hijinks-filled summer job, in spite of the motto, "If there's time to lean, there's time to clean."

So, that brings me to the greatest revelation of the afternoon. I may just bypass Kiddieland altogether*. At 2 years old, Bobby is more than tall enough to ride my favorite coaster, The Jackrabbit. The Jackrabbit was the first coaster I ever went on. I think I was about 4, maybe 5 years old.

It is a wooden coaster built in 1921. The only safety device is a strap (I can't even call it a seatbelt) that goes around both riders in the car. Now, when I was little and I would go on with my dad, when we sat down and fastened the strap around us, it was so loose around me because he was so much bigger that it really was useless. The Jackrabbit is famous for a "double dip" hill. I can still remember the panic thrill of feeling like I was going to fly out of the coaster--the force of the ride made me fly up to an almost standing position...I was definitely airborne by the 2nd dip! (check out the dips at 1:22 in this video):

How many years of therapy do you think he would he have to endure if I strapped him into this ride at 2 years old?

*DISCLAIMER: I am a responsible, educated, worrisome, somewhat overly-protective parent and in no way do I intend to put my 2 year old child on a roller coaster, even if he is big enough.

Now, this is the scene from the front car of the Phantom's Revenge:

I feel like the coaster is going to go right off the track and plummet to the Earth when it crests the first hill. It's fantastically scary. I can only hope that Bobby will progress to someday enjoy roller coasters like Rob and I do, even though they scare the bejesus out of me.

1 comment:

IrishBelle1996 said...

I got the "willies" in my stomach watching these videos!!!!!! Looks like a great place!