As for August, it started off in the BEST POSSIBLE WAY EVER--with a trip to CEDAR POINT!! It is truly the greatest place on earth, and I just go all out when there: get into the park when it opens, no complaining about standing in lines for rides all day in the heat, eat junk food and stay in the park until midnight to see the gorgeous lights and feel the cooler breezes. I can't believe it had been four years since our last visit. UNACCEPTABLE.
Anyway, mom, dad and I drove from Rochester in one car and Erica, Gino and the boys drove separately. JC flew into Cleveland that is an hour away from Cedar Point, so we picked him up shortly after he landed, had lunch and finished the trek. This time, we stayed in the historic Hotel Breakers that is on the property, allowing us easy and early access to the park, plus access to their pools and beach. JC and I did not partake in those, but the boys loved taking breaks from the park to play in the water. Normally we don't stay here because it's crazy expensive, but it just might be worth it to be able to just come and go between the hotel and the park whenever you want, as opposed to having to park, find the car, and drive in and out from the peninsula.
SO--if you are not familiar with Cedar Point, SHAME ON YOU. I grew up going there on almost a yearly basis, as it's just a 5-hour drive from Buffalo. It is consistently ranked as the best amusement park in the world, and every time they build a new roller coaster, it breaks records for tallest, steepest, fastest, etc., for its kind. You can get stats on all the coaster at Roller Coaster Database, naturally. Oh--and they have 16 roller coasters. Enough said.
Here's the front entrance, at the very start of the peninsula. After this, you have a long, agonizing drive up to the park with the lake on both sides. The anticipation is worse than waiting for your birthday and Christmas all in one.
A fraction of the park visible from the parking lot. Oh but the noises...the churn of the roller coaster chains and the screams of the passengers are music to my ears.
I just loved seeing our nephews (ages 6 and 3) enjoy the park as well. Passing the obsession down to the next generation! Neither boy has any fear, and poor Leo was actually upset that he couldn't ride a lot of the big coasters (though also was scared of them when we walked right up to them and he saw how high they really are). Domenico loved the kiddie rides and here's a great shot of him and Gino that sums it all up.
Another ride they both loved: this one bounced them up and down.
And here they are with Grandpa playing on the beach at Lake Erie. We had the perfect weather (well, a tad too hot for me): it was in the high 80s the entire time.
Here they are in another kiddie area of the park (there are three). Erica and I used to ride these EXACT SAME RIDES when we were little. Brings back memories for sure!!
There is also a museum in Frontiertown, with all sorts of old Cedar Point souvenirs, a carousel horse, miniature models of some rides, old fortune telling and penny machines, and this was new to us: a car from the Gemini coaster! Of course it was a prime photo opportunity!
Domenico amused himself in the huge water fountain (that's him in the foreground shooting water up his crotch)...
...while JC and Gino were winning tickets like mad for Leonardo!
The whole gang (but me) at dinner.
Domenico with his new owl my mom found for him in Frontiertown. The kid LOVES owls.
Erica and Leonardo in front of Er's favorite ride, the Mine Ride. It's a pretty lame coaster from the 1960's and none of us can understand why it's Erica's favorite. But we were stoked that Leo could ride it with us!
A gorgeous view of a portion of the park from the cable cars that take you a bit of the way down the main causeway. Those are older than dirt but I love them.
A view of the front gate from the cable cars. That circular pavilion thing is a carousel and the tall white pillars with the blue tracks running through it is the Gatekeeper roller coaster. There was barely a line for that one so I rode it like 4 times. LOVE it.
This is Cedar Downs, the best carousel in the world. I say that because it's 4 horses across in a row, and when the ride speeds up, the horses move back and forth on tracks like they are racing each other. The audio is an announcer frantically calling the race. I've always loved this ride and always will.
Riding one of the carousels with mom!
Everyone but me on the Giant Wheel (I hate those things).
BUT I do love when it lights up at night!
Valravn is a coaster built in 2016 that is a 'suspention' type coaster, meaning the first drop doesn't just drop; it hangs for a few seconds on the edge, and then plummets straight down to the ground. Like the cars hanging in the top right of this photo:
The two coaster crazies on our throne!
And us dangling out of Windseeker, a wonderful, tall swing that gives a gorgeous view of the park. (We're the two with our arms sticking out.)
Right near Windseeker are two more of my favorite rides: Maxair is that awesome arm swinging thing, and that arm goes almost straight up. Wicked Twister is the yellow coaster behind it that shoots you out of the gate at top speed forward up one twist, then backwards up the other twist. Back and forth, baby.
Snoopy was walking around Hotel Breakers tucking everyone in for the night.
This is one of my favorite Bonesville scenes, which is a hidden skeleton town you can only see by riding the train in one direction.
This was the new ride for 2018--Steel Vengance. It's actually an old coaster from the 1990's called Mean Streak that was a very rough, wooden coaster, that they remodeled. They replaced the track with a steel one, changed out the cars and modified the track to go upside down. It's REALLY good. We only got to ride it once because the line was 2 hours on average, but totally worth it!
So, that was the best 2.5 days in a long time. I feel bad that Erica and Gino didn't get to ride much, though, between the kids not letting Erica out of their sight, Gino not feeling well, and the kids wanting to go to the water park, pool and beach rather than the park itself. JC and I just went into the park on our own, meeting up with people where we could. You gotta GO BIG AT CEDAR POINT and get to ride as much as possible!
Album - 2017