Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I generally thought it was pretty fun until I started to black out. For my husband, blacking out was where the fun began!

Monday I mentioned that we went to Kings Dominion (an amusement park) as a belated birthday gift to my husband last week. Now the awesome thing about going to an amusement park on a random Friday in May is there are no lines. Paradoxically, the problem with going to an amusement park on a random Friday in May is – there are no lines.

Wait, bare with me!

I hate waiting on all those crazy lines in the blazing heat as well. But I’ve come to realize – I think that those lines possibly serve a purpose. They give me time to resettle my stomach and hold my lunch back down before I get on again. This was not an option last week. No… it wasn’t…

We got to the park about 10 (it opened at 9:30) and headed in to see what the day would bring us. I haven’t been to an amusement park in several years – the last time was when my friend’s company sponsored an amusement park day in November. So there were actually almost no lines then as well – and I already knew that no lines could be a problem… Before that… hmm… well, when my Mom and I went to Disney in 2004, we were using day 3 of our 4 days passes bought in 1989. So you get the basic idea.

We headed right for the grizzly – my husband’s favorite from his previous visit (senior class trip, 1996). We jumped into the front car and away we went. We got back – and hey, still no one waiting for the front car – let’s go again. The third time, we had to move back to another car. Then I said I needed to stop to walk to another ride before going again.

So we got to the next one – I believe it was called the hurler. Also, an old wooden coaster (like Grizzly), so rickety and load and bounces your head around, but no upside down parts. I think we did that one twice (?).

We were working our way around the park mostly sticking to the “big” rides. We did have a short stop on a less intense ride, but actually got kind of bored, so it was back to the big guns.

It all starts to get somewhat hazy… but I think we hit our first metal upside down roller coaster around this point – I think it was the anaconda. And suddenly my husband had a new favorite. Then there was the indoor in the dark coaster, Flight of fear – and we both had a new favorite. But now we were at the back of the park – at the newest coaster the park was unveiling for 2010 – The Intimidator.

Now I generally think these ride names are cheesy (the Dominator, I started calling the denominator – which let’s face it, a math test can be WAY scarier than a few loop-di-loops!), but this one may have intimidated me a little… We head in and this was the first ride where we actually had to wait a few minutes to ride (the injustice of it all!). But finally we get on and start heading up the first hill – pretty much a straight lift up about 300 feet (learned that later), then you fly down the hill at a bit over 90 mph (again, checked our stats later – you’ll see why in a sec) and immediately bank right (I think). This was about the point where I thought – why do I still have my eyes shut? Oh God, I don’t actually have my eyes shut. I think… I think I just blacked out a little…

We got off the ride while my husband crowed how that was the greatest coaster ever and I wondered exactly where the ground was. Still feeling dazed by it, I turned to him and said – I think I almost passed out on that… Once he established that I was OK (as we passed another woman throwing up on the pathway out), this only helped to confirm to him that this was, in fact, the greatest coaster EVER.

Beyond feeling a bit shaky, I was also feeling pretty lame. I mean how OLD am I getting now? What loser passes out on a roller coaster (or fine, almost passes out)? And this is where we turn to technology to save my self esteem. My husband checked the web on his phone and found that apparently you experience about 5 Gs on the ride and most people will start to black out at 4-5 Gs.

While that helped my ego, it didn’t quite help my “sea legs.” But I didn’t want to ruin his day! So we stopped to get lunch (and funnel cake!) and then headed for another coaster. Two coasters later, I was feeling all the shakier and my husband noticed that I was starting to look pale. So we stopped for awhile and just lay down on a bench and then listened to a show. And then we were off! (I may be lame on the wooziness, but I want points for the rally!) We did a few more rides and then… I gave in. I knew he REALLY wanted to ride the Intimidator again. So “intimidated” as I was… I started towards the ride. As we got to the line, one woman turned to me and said – go ahead! I am NOT riding that. I hear that you black out on the second hill.

Where was she when I needed her? Where was she to tell me that was “normal?” (I’m not sure it’s “normal” to go back and do it again, but that’s another point…)

We got to the front, all the while my husband coaching me to tense my leg muscles so that it shunts the blood flow and keeps it from all draining from my head (something he learned in flight school! Flight School! I need flight school to ride this roller coaster!). The second time through I only grayed out a bit (he did too this time).

But thank goodness we could call it a day then! Cause I really needed to lie down…

I wondered later if doing things like that was killing brain cells – you know, depriving them of oxygen and therefore killing them. My husband suggested that I probably would have been able to figure out that answer before I rode the ride.

What’s the craziest roller coaster you’ve been on? Or the stupidest thing you’ve done (twice!) for the one you love?

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