Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Bryce had a birthday. Holy smokes!  He's eleven now!  And now that I think of it, that sparks a troubling thought that probably happens to everyone that realizes that they have a kid that's not a little kid anymore. 

Wait, when I have an older kid, that means that I'm....gasp!

For his birthday, we took everyone out to Busch Gardens in Tampa to ride some roller coasters until we were borderline ill and stumbling into stuff.  For some of us, this took fewer loops than others.  We rode the Cheetah first; which, instead of using a gravity based drop to achieve the speed for the ride, it uses a series of magnets to launch the cars forward in flat sections and then sends you up and over hills producing a nice negative G at the top. 

Bryce's first ride on a big roller coaster and you can see the "What the heck am I getting into" face in the photo.  Eek!

It turns out, that the Cheetah may not have been the best ride to open up the day with, because every major coaster thereafter was met with something like this...

Me:  Cool!  Another coaster to sling my brain out my ear!  Let'sGOLet'sGOLet'sGOLet'sGOLet'sGO!!! 

Ansley: Yeah!  Let'sGOLet'sGOLet'sGOLet'sGOLet'sGOLet'sGO!!!

Bryce:  Nah.  I'm good...

Me:  Seriously lets all go.  It'll be FUN!  Let'sGOLet'sGOLet'sGOLet'sGOLet'sGOLet'sGO!!!

Ansley: has already run into the coaster line without us...

Bryce:  Seriously Dad...  I'm good...

So, out of all this, I discovered my son, who has a cautious side, is not going to be a coaster fanatic, but my daughter...to say the least...is already one.  Since Aiden wasn't tall enough to ride the big coasters.  Brenna and I would do the kid swap thing where I would ride with Ansley, and Mom would wait with the non-riders and then we would swap.  Ansley would naturally then go and ride it again... with Mom. 

Ansley couldn't get enough of these coasters.  She rode every major coaster in the park and combined to ride them 17 times.  Even the ridiculous diving coaster "Shiekra" that I walked away with bruises from riding.  Ansley rode that thing 4-5 times. 

Who would have thought an 8 year old would be that fearless?  Of course the first time had its moments.  The ride takes you up 200 feet, then inches you over the lip to a straight down drop, and stops for a count of 3 before letting you go.  At that point Ansley looked like she was in over her head and was about to cry.  I told her that I was sorry, but we were in it now and there wasn't any way back.

The anticipation is worth the whole ride.  After that drop, it's a looping fighter jet kind of ride.  As soon as we dropped, Ansley was just fine and giggled/screamed the whole way down. Good stuff.

We also did some other fun stuff like take the safari ride around...which had it gone like this, it might have been more interesting!

The guide did make a note of Bryce's birthday and messed with him a little.  It was pretty funny.

We didn't see any Hippos that I can recall on that ride, and that's just fine with me considering they are the most dangerous animal in all of Africa and nastiest, grossest, poo-flingingest - is that even a word? - nevermind.  I'm not a fan needless to say.

See what I mean about dangerous!

Although, signs with warnings like the one below make me think that ignorant humans are by far and away worse than hippos.  Seriously, if a theme park has to write this down to reminded these idiots not to send their disgustingly ill children into the water to infect everyone elses' children, there is something very very wrong.  I'm a parent, so I understand that kids get ill at the worst times, but seriously, if you know your kid is sick...

Aiden had his share of fun stuff even though he wasn't quite tall enough to ride the big rides.  I'm curious to see if he is as cautious as Bryce or if he is a thrill seeker like Ansley...or if he is something completely different.

I think everyone had a good time, and I know I have a coaster buddy for life now.  I also know exactly what to get Ansley for her Birthday...

Tickets to ride.

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