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Tag Archives: California

Dad & Daughter Roller Coaster Trip Day 3: Magic Mountain

X2 roller coaster - Flickr photo

X2 roller coaster – Flickr photo

You knew I’d milk this roller coaster trip on forever in my blog posts didn’t you?  On our third day of our adventure, we bid farewell to the City of Sacramento and flew on Southwest Airlines to Burbank Airport in the Los Angeles area.  I do like flying into the smaller airports because it is easier to get in and out in a timely manner.  Both Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines flew into Burbank Airport so this worked out well for us since our return flight back to Seattle was departing from Burbank.When I was planning this trip, I wanted to fly in as close as I could to Six Flag’s Magic Mountain Park and Burbank was the closest major airport for me.  My original plan was to fly into Sacramento, rent a car, visit friends in the Sacramento area, do the Six Flag’s Discovery Park, and then drive to Magic Mountain.  That plan fell apart when the cheapest rate I could find on any rental car website or kayak or hotwire or anything was close to $800 for a short five or six day rental.  It was expensive due to the fact I was picking the rental car up in one city and returning it in another.  My original plan also produced a lot more driving and car time that we wanted to do.  We are vacation for the rides not to be taken for a ride by the rental car companies.

We used Fox Rent a Car which had some terrible reviews online but we fine for us.  It was a short ride from the airport to the rental car company base.  We got a sporty little four door Mazda 2 with only 500 miles on it.  Not a bad little car for the two of us.  I thought about having my daughter drive it but considering she is only 11 years old and it would be her first time in LA traffic, I decided against it.Aww! Sunshine!

Now, when you are visiting amusement parks in February Six Flag’s system of parks might not be open seven days a week.  So our only window to visit Magic Mountain was on Monday February 17 (President’s Day).  The park hours are limited as well from 10:30 am to 6 pm and the water rides are usually shut down.

Since we had purchased season passes at Discovery Kingdom the day before, we merely had to park our car for the outrageous sum of $20 and walk though the main gates of Magic Mountain without purchasing new tickets.  I remember passing by Magic Mountain 20 years ago thinking I’d get to it one day.  Finally, this day had come.  Finally, I had a kid who wanted to ride the big scary rides.  Finally, I had a roller coaster ride partner that wouldn’t wimp out on me.  I was finally here.

To be honest, I like coming on the off season because the lines are much shorter.  The newer rides had the longest rides which ate up a lot of our time.  X2 is the latest redesigned ride and it was awesome but the line took forever.  When a sign says the wait will be 45 minutes, that is OK.  When it turns into 75 minutes, then I get a little pissed off.  We didn’t make it to the Full Throttle ride because we ran out of time and the ride looked scary long.  In fact, we had to skip some rides due to running out of time and having to ration our time for the rides that we heard were awesome.  However, on others we rode it three times just because we could.  Goliath, Tatsu, and X2 were my favorites.  I tried to look up my daughter’s favorite ride but the Magic Mountain website is down (sorry folks!).

Waiting for X2 - almost there!

Waiting for X2 – almost there!

Definitely need to have two days at Magic Mountain (even in the off season) to get to all the rides into your schedule.  I can’t imagine how it is on a busy summer day with more people wandering the park, trying to get in as much as possible.  The lines have to be almost impossible.  We didn’t even get to the wooden roller coasters since they aren’t my favorites because we ran out of time.  Personally, I like the speed and loops of steel roller coasters so skipping the wooden ones wasn’t an issue for me.

As anyways, your comments and sarcastic witty comments are welcome.

 

Roller Coaster Adventure Trip Part 2

The other day I started to write about my recent Roller Coaster Adventure Trip to California and the first stop on our tour was Six Flag’s Discovery Kingdom. However, besides roller coasters and thrill rides, I also wanted to visit with some of my friends.  With Facebook, it was been nice to see what they are doing but a face to face visit is much more fun!Yummmy! Jelly Belly Store!

I honestly thought the goal of this exhibit was to kill as many butterflies as I could.  Imagine how embarrassed I was to find out you weren't suppose to do that.

I honestly thought the goal of this exhibit was to kill as many butterflies as I could. Imagine how embarrassed I was to find out you weren’t suppose to do that.

Our first stop was beautiful Sacramento, California. Most people from Seattle know Sacramento as the city of the Sacramento Kings basketball team. And that we tried to take the Sacramento Kings away from this fair city and bring them to Seattle. We had hoped to turn them into the new Seattle Sonics. Needless to say, this didn’t happen. I didn’t wear my Seattle Sonics gear just in case there were any hard feelings from the citizens about this whole basketball team purchase.
We flew down from Seattle to Sacramento and stayed with our good friends Joe and Gavan and their two daughters. You know they are good friends when they let you crash at your house without a hesitation (or a moment’s notice)Zdx5. They have encouraged us to come and visit for the past several years and I was looking forward to this leg of the trip. Our friendship was built upon our years at Benson Hill Coop Preschool together as preschool parents. On a side note, we have a lot of friends from being coop preschool parents together that we still see and hang out with. I’m a big fan of the coop preschool system.
Of course, our daughters don’t remember each other but we (the parents) certainly do! It honestly seems like yesterday but it has been roughly eight years since Joe and Gavan moved back to California from Washington State. We picked up right where we left off.
I could ramble on about how time flies but we pretty much all know that already. Time does fly so you might as well enjoy life the best you can. Hmm, that really isn’t worthless advice so perhaps you should disregard that good advice. I don’t want you to think you could learn something from me.
I have to thank Joe and Gavan for opening up their home to us and allowing us to stay with them. They also picked us up from the airport, drove us to and from the Discovery Kingdom Park, showed us the Jelly Belly Factory Store, and then drove us to the airport on Monday for our flight to Burbank. You have to appreciate friends that will do that.

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Sugar Rush Time!

I want to say that on the way back from Vallejo, we stopped at the Jelly Belly Factory to load up on Jelly Belly and it was a great choice for a tourist stop. Joe kept telling me about “Jelly Belly Flops”. “Flops” are the mistakes from the Jelly Belly bean process. They still taste like Jelly Belly beans but they are the rejects. You might have two or three Jelly Belly beans merged into one or a jelly belly bean might have a funny flatness to it. Most of the jelly belly beans in the “Flops” bag look and taste awesome to me. I love them! I can’t wait to drop into a deep diabetic coma caused from my massive sugar intake from eating as many Jelly Belly beans as I can fit into my mouth.
Since we only had 15 minutes at the Jelly Belly store before it closed, we grabbed a bunch of “Flops”, ate some ice cream, sampled numerous different flavors, and started the journey back to Elk Grove.

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I have my snacks for the car ride!

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Nothing is better than instilling unhealthy snack habits into future generations!

Now, that would be the end of a prefect day of roller coasters and candy, right? Nope! We topped it off with some excellent tri-tip steak, homemade mash potatoes, wine, beer, Caesar salad, and some delicious (onolicious) Hawaiian style Macaroni salad. Then we topped it off with a nice relaxing soak in the hot tub under the stars. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Again, a big “thanks” to Gavan and Joe for being fantastic hosts for our first leg of our Daughter-Dad Roller Coaster Trip!
On tomorrow’s blog, we talk about our next leg of the trip: Six Flag’s Magic Mountain!

Sleeping Pills: Not Just For Overworked Mommies Anymore!

I was reading the Miami Herald today and they had an article about a teacher named Debbie Gratz at Northern California preschool that is accused of doping her students.  She was just released from jail after being charged with Child Endangerment.  According to court records a colleague reported seeing her drop an unknown substance into the children’s juice cups.

I’m sure she is just an overworked employee that just needed her kids to have a little down time.  Those toddlers are always on the go and it takes a lot of energy to keep up with them.  Why should you do your job that you are being paid to do?  Isn’t watching the children sleep the same thing as teaching them?

Sure everyone needs a break once in a while.  And to her defense, it was only an Over-The-Counter (OTC) sleeping medication called “Sominex”.  Just because that stuff knocks my butt to sleep and I weigh 220 lbs, I’m sure a little 20-40 lb toddler will do fine with it.

That classroom must be a sleeping paradise during afternoon nap time.  I bet all the teachers were envious of her amazing ability to keep the children asleep for 6 hours straight.

I can hear her fellow teachers now….

‘I don’t know you do it, Debbie, but you are amazing with those children.  They sleep so quietly and never seem to wake up for anything: Lunch time, fire drills, recess, afternoon snack.  You are truly a miracle worker.”

Perhaps it might be a good idea for Debbie to step away from the preschool classroom and explore other career paths.  May I suggest dealing with the homeless?  They are usually self medicated saving you the trouble of slipping them a sleeping pill.  Or if she really wants a challenge she could buy beer and liquor for underaged drinkers outside of the local grocery stores.  Or maybe take up a chemistry career and start a meth lab out in the pine forest behind her house.  Now that is some great career

Of course, everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

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