America 2018: Day Twelve (3 September)

It’s two tickets to a concert
It’s a Daytona airbrush T-shirt
Wondering who’s gonna kiss you first
You know what I’m talking about

Hey, baby, what you doing tonight?
It’s butterflies and Bud Lights
Under the stars and on the stripes
Of a beach towel in a Spring Break town

It’s playing in the night air
Through the speakers all night long
Couple kids just livin’
That American country love song
– Jake Owen

Monday 3 September

It’s not what you know but who you know. I have a buddy who has been able, for the last few years he’s been able to get us Flash Passes for Six Flags Great America, a mammoth theme park about an hour north of Chicago towards the Wisconsin border.

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Not the best weather we’ve ever had for a Six Flags visit.

The beauty of the Flash Pass is that you don’t line up. Well, maybe for a minute or two, but with this little gadget, you can basically enter the ride through the ‘out’ line and get straight on. It allows you to skip what, at times, are really long lines, so you can get on more rides than you might otherwise be able to. I refuse to stand in a line for half an hour or more for a ride that’s over in forty five to sixty seconds. So this is great.

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Matt and Paige on the Krazy Kups

What wasn’t so great was the end-of-the-world clouds that seemed to hang around all day. We drove through a storm on our way up, and with lightning in the area, the big rides didn’t start up until about an hour after they were supposed to. Which gave me time to go on the Crazy Cups, which is your basic teacup-type ride that Disney has made famous, moving around in a circle at moderate speed, which can then be made worse by someone in your cup spinning it around and around. Miles was very keen to spin us as fast as he could, and I was pretty well jammed in there (and uncomfortably so) which wasn’t great for Brooke or I. We both agreed it was the worst ride of the day. Funny thing, the ride stopped and my world kept spinning.

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The not-so-Giant Giant Drop

Eventually, the big roller coasters opened and we went straight to Goliath because it closed last year before we could get on it. No lie, Goliath has the biggest drop of any coaster I’ve ever been on. You’re almost vertical at one point, and it an amazing rush. Did I scream? Absolutely I did. They were mostly drowned out by Matt’s yells of “Crikey”. Lucky we went 1on early, because a train going up the hill was actually stuck for a couple minutes. Not a good day out.

We rode Batman in the front row, which was insane with two loops and a couple of triple corkscrews in the forty-five second ride. At the front, it’s a particularly intense experience. So was the Joker coaster, which is a free-moving pod that spins back and forth and does entire revolutions as you go along a track. It was agreed between Matt and I that once was more than enough. Brooke and Miles wanted to go twice but I honestly think I would’ve vomited if I had ridden a second time.

The Log Ride was much more placid, one for the entire crew of seven. We separated into two logs and enjoyed the pleasant cruise around before going up a big hill and splashing down. Miles sat in the front of the log with Nathan and I, and of course the water went right over him and got me – straight into my mouth, which I had open for the perfect photo. Still, a lot of fun. We got drenched and with the humidity, it was very nice.

Unfortunately, just after we went in for a late lunch, the weather turned nasty again and the rides were put on hold. Apparently lightning within fifty miles of the park means the rides get closed. Well, most of them: we were still able to ride the double-decker carousel. It’s an insane distance, that lightning rule, because fifty miles is basically the distance from Wheaton to Gurnee.

The rain came in pretty hard, too, and we made the difficult decision to head home because it really didn’t look like the weather was going to get much better, and the kids have school tomorrow. It was a bit of a downer because we’d all been really looking forward to a full day, and we hadn’t gotten on all the rides we really wanted to – X-Flight and Raging Bull, particularly. There’s always next year, and we already have a tentative date worked out for next spring. Hopefully the weather is much better!

Dinner at Arrowhead tonight. $5 burgers and half-price beer. Two Bud Lights cost $4. Insane. Sad that our days are running out here, but three more big days to come before we fly home via Los Angeles on Friday.

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Definitely a big sleep tonight!


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