Friday, June 12, 2009

Sandusky Vacation, Day One

Last Thursday we packed up the car and hit the road for Sandusky, Ohio...a little town on the edge of Lake Erie that is home to my favorite amusement park (so far), Cedar Point! In the past, I've stayed at the Cedar Point resorts because they have awesome park perks (such as getting in an hour early before the crowds!)...but this year, we were staying at the new Kalahari. My friend Adam runs an anime convention (Colossal Con) every year, and this year it was at the Kalahari - I'd never met Adam in person, having only played WoW with him previously, but he's a good friend of my friends Sarah and Eric AND he's an awesome guild member. (Yes, I realize I just delved quite severely into the world of nerddom. Sorry.) Originally we were hoping some other Chicago-based members of our Guild would be able to join us, but that didn't work out this year. (However, the con is there again next year and we're hoping to make it an annual event!) We'd never stayed at a Kalahari and were quite excited about the waterpark, as it is reputed to be pretty awesome.

So a good five hours later, we found ourselves checking into a very busy Kalahari. I stayed in the car and took pictures while OJ checked in.

Check out this dude's outfit; it's silver-spangley with some kind of funky fur coat over it! I don't know if the green boots go with that shirt or with something else, lol.

We settled into our room, which was one-half of the suite we would eventually have the next night (when our friends Tina and Ringo and their girls would be joining us). I was dismayed to note that it was an hour ahead there; I should have known that but it's been several years since I made it out to Cedar Point, so I'd forgotten. We freshened up and immediately headed out to hit the park on some Starlight tickets (cheaper evening tickets you can purchase after a certain time each day).

The kids were both JUST tall enough to ride all the kiddie rides, as well as quite a few of the mid-level rides. I LOVE spinny rides and carnival rides, but often can't get other adults to go on with me (seems a lot of people start to get sick of spinning by the time they hit my age!), so I'm thrilled that my kids are not only big enough to go on these rides, but that they are incredibly excited about doing so. We may not get to hit many roller coasters yet, but by golly I can spin to my heart's content!

Drake and I on the main carousel (it's one of three in the park!).

Drake thinks the carousel is awesome!

OJ and Oksana on the carousel.

The sky ride, which takes you up on a cable and deposits you in the middle of the park. It also gives you a lovely view of the park and of surrounding Lake Erie.

The sky ride is NOT OJ's favorite ride, and he did his best to avoid having us ride it a second time for the rest of our vacation. ;) (That's the Demon Drop in the background.)

Drake and I are having a great time on the Matterhorn; Oksana was too short to ride this one, even with an adult.

Pretty much every ride we went on, the kids wanted to go again! (and again! and again!). So Drake took a turn with OJ next.

heh heh. heh heh. Mermaid boobies. (This was on the Ocean Motion, a big ship that swings back and forth; Drake and I took a ride on it.)

The kids in Planet Snoopy, one of FOUR themed kids' areas in the park. This was my first visit there with kids, and I have to say they do a great job being incredibly child-friendly and accommodating!

Drake taking a spin on one of the rides in Planet Snoopy.

Totally oblivious to the rest of us, lol.

The kids on one of those rides where they can control how high they fly with a lever in the plane (or spaceship, as the case may be). Cedar Point had several different incarnations of this ride, all of them a hit.

Oksana on the kiddie train.

See, here's another incarnation of the flying ride, this time in the Kiddy Kingdom.

The kids on the kiddie-style bumper cars. I sound like a HUGE dork, but I thought it was particularly funny that Drake stopped in the middle of the ride and tried to get Oksana to share her necklace with him.

One of the new features at the park this year is this water fountain; it was a little chilly that night so we didn't let the kids run through (though, as you can see, it's practically irresistible). It's pretty neat though, and I imagine it'll be PACKED on hot summer days. In the background, you can see the Raptor (the green coaster), which is their inverted coaster (and it's a pretty sweet ride, though we didn't manage to hit it on this trip), and in the VERY back, you can see the hill of the Blue Streak, a wooden coaster - the oldest operating coaster in the park.

We had to cut our evening short because the park closed at 8pm, instead of 9 like I'd thought. We were going to eat dinner IN the park but it was a no-go, sadly. We lost TWO HOURS because of the time change and because I remembered the closing time wrong. :( But we had fun anyway!

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