Kennywood, Idlewild, and Family — Oh, My!

What a hectic long weekend it turned out to be. And – lucky you – I’m going to tell you about it.

Thursday was my community day at Kennywood, so I’d had long-standing plans to go and get the second use out of my season pass. I went with my aunt and uncle, my 16-year-old cousin (who just so happens to share my birthday), and my 2-year-old cousin. So, of course, the 16-year-old and I broke off to do our own thing.

Phantom’s Revenge – which I hadn’t ridden yet this year – was closed at the start of the day due to some technical problem, so we headed over to Exterminator. I was a bit wary of getting on this one, since the last time I rode it, I got fairly sick. This time, I’m happy to report, I was fine, so I’m going to blame the last time on the fact that I’d had Potato Patch fries beforehand. I’ve decided those fries, which used to be so delicious, now just aren’t the same. By not eating them, I avoided being sick the entire day.

Then we headed back around to Racer, another of my favorites. Since we were in the area, our next goal was Jack Rabbit. Unfortunately, this is when it started to rain – the first time. Riding Jack Rabbit in the rain was…interesting. I hate being wet, not to mention my cargo pockets were full of things that don’t respond well to moisture – cellphone, camera, et cetera.

Afterward, we waited out the brief rain and then headed to the now-open Phantom’s Revenge. Oh, how I love that ride. Of course, just as we were about to board, the rain started again. And rain, on a hypercoaster, feels more like bullets. Still really fun, though.

At this point, my cousin was starting to get discouraged, but I was still fine. But we sought out the rest of our group and hung with them for a bit before heading out again. We did Pirate – my personal favorite ride, even though it’s not the most fun – and headed to Thunderbolt. While in line for Thunderbolt, the rain started yet again, and they closed the coaster. So we didn’t ride anything else.

Despite the frequent rain (I think we counted six times, overall), it was still an enjoyable day, especially now that I appreciate Kennywood for reasons other than the rides.

Friday, I got up early again and headed to Idlewild. Some of my mother’s siblings have wanted to get together there for a few years now, and finally we did – me, my mom, an aunt and uncle, and an aunt and her boyfriend.

Idlewild is the number-two kids’ park in the world, apparently, but I gotta say, at 26, I still totally love the place. It’s considerably calmer than Kennywood, but now that I’m gettin’ older and all, I don’t mind that. It’s shadier, too, so that’s nice. And the weather, which I’d feared would be a repeat of Thursday, turned out to be fantastic. No rain, the humidity seemed pretty low, and there was a cool breeze.

Friday at Idlewild was Italian Day, so it was packed, which would normally bother me, but despite the huge crowd, lines for food and rides moved quickly. There was a huge pavilion full of Italian food vendors, and everything pretty much rocked. It’s only in the last few years that I’ve really started hanging out with my mom’s side of the family, and I’ve come to realize what a blast they are. Plus, it’s a rarity to see my mother get out and really have fun, so I was glad she got to do that.

The highlight of the day, for me, had to be meeting a really sweet English family who were here “on holiday” (I so geeked out when they said that) to attend the wedding of her sister to an American man. We were waiting to ride the train, and their young son was pretending it was the Hogwarts Express, singing some song he made up – “How do you get to Hogwarts? How do you get to Hogwarts?” I absolutely adore meeting English people, especially as kind as they were. We chatted for a bit about the weather – it’s considerably warmer here than they’re used to, and we explained it’s been uncharacteristically hot here this year – and told them we hoped they enjoy the rest of their vacation.

I also surprisingly liked Idlewild’s circus. I’ve never been a fan of circuses, in general, especially clowns. But the Royal Hanneford Circus puts on a good show. At 45 minutes, it’s the perfect length, and it features quick-change artists (my favorite), a Doberman act, and the Wheel of Doom, among others.

And there were concerts throughout the day, culminating with the Vogues. By then we’d already been there for almost 10 hours, so we only stayed for a few songs (including “Five O’Clock World,” my personal favorite). But that just happened to be my very first concert. Sad but true.

Anytime I get to have Dippin’ Dots, pizza, funnel cake, and potato wedges, it’s a great day, so Friday was – well, Friday was perfect, and that’s not something I say very often. Seems like the best I can usually say about my day is that it wasn’t bad, so to say something was good is rare, let alone perfect. I actually get choked up when I think about how great a day it was, because that’s just not common for me.

I spent Saturday recuperating, taking just enough time to run out for some food. We were all pretty much exhausted. And today, I spent time with Mom and Dad as well as another aunt and uncle from my dad’s side. (My parents each have a decent number of siblings, so I have a huge family.)

This week will be spent working, of course, and trying to figure out a way to make my biggest summer dream come true before time runs out. Granted, I’ve been trying to figure it out for over a month now, so I doubt my chances are very good, but I’m still going to try.

I wish more weekends could be spent like this. Truly a “grateful to God” weekend. I sincerely hope yours was just as good.


Nathan

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2 responses to “Kennywood, Idlewild, and Family — Oh, My!

  • Kaitlyn in Bookland

    Sounds like a great weekend! I’m officially in love with the little kid who was singing about Hogwarts. I probably would have been doing the same thing. Anytime I’m in the metro station in DC and one blows by really quick, I scream, “FOR NARNIA!” and then make myself laugh hysterically. I’m glad you had such a good weekend even if it was a bit rainy!

  • Briana

    Booo, rainy days at KW 😦
    But I love the Jack Rabbit. The new coaster is fun. It’s actually more fun than I expected, but entirely too short. Like OBSCENELY short.

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