Tuesday, we spent the day at our local amusement park. We got passes this year and we plan to make the most of them, but we got off to a slow start. So now that we have broken them in, they will definitely get a lot of use.
There's a new rollercoaster this year called the Diamondback. As in snake. The ride features a 230 ft lift hill with a 215 ft drop at a 74 degree angle. The ride features 10 drops and a top speed of about 80 mph. You can read more about it here. Or you can just look at these pictures and ENJOY!
This is a picture from the top of the first hill.
Or even better, watch this live video of a local DJ riding in the front seat. What you can't see in any of these pictures is that you don't ride in a traditional rollercoaster "car". You sit on a chair and have a t-bar that goes between your legs. There are no sides to where you sit. It is literally like you pulled up a chair.
And actually, this post is not so much about this coaster, but more about how hard it is for me to go here. I do love it. I have lived in Ohio most of my life and I have been going to this amusement park since it opened in 1972. I now live within minutes of this place. We can even hear their fireworks at night if we have our windows open. Over the years of living with a Chiari Malformation and eventually having two brain surgeries (do you people ever get sick of hearing about this?), I am not supposed to do anything that is high impact. I definitely don't want my brain slipping out of my skull again and I certainly don't want to loosen that shunt that is so snuggly attached to my skull to stop CSF from building up on my brain. So that elminates rollercoasters. Which I love. I am probably the only person in the park who has to wipe away a tear as my kids and husband go pulling out of the station on one of these awesome coasters. I smile and wave and am excited for them. I love to hear all of the details when they return to the station, even though they've ridden these coasters what seems like a 1,000 times. But the reality is, I WANT TO BE ON THOSE COASTERS. And it kills me to stand there and smile and wave.
Everytime I walk into this park, I experience moments and symptoms of grief and joy at the same time. Grief for what I can't do and JOY FOR WHAT I CAN DO. Because I know I feel SO MUCH BETTER now than I did twelve years ago. But dammit, I want to ride those coasters and hear my kids giggling and screaming. Not to mention I totally love rollercoasters and do a lot of giggling and screaming myself. Oddly enough, it was my last rollercoaster ride at Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL in 1997 that seemed to be the onset of my more serious symptoms that eventually worsened over four years resulting in surgery #1. Kind of ironic, eh?
But today I said "SCREW IT!" And I rode this. All 26 MPH of it! This one is a hanging coaster and we had to take off our flip flops so we wouldn't lose them.
And this, all 35 MPH of it. This coaster has been at this park since the beginning and I remember the very first time I rode it. I would have been almost five years old.