Sunday, September 25, 2005

It's been a rough month, but once again the US demonstrates our incredible resilience and ability to overcome.

I almost feel guilty about having had a fun Saturday, but as the country moves like platelets to close the wounds, life goes on. I'd like to do a dozen or more things to pitch in, but at every turn I'm met with those who do it as a profession and don't welcome amateurs. Frustrating, but reassurance that no matter what, as a country we can deal with it.

Went to a place called Hershey Park. Hershey as in chocolate bars. Not the biggest park in the world, but not bad, either. Pound for pound, it's hard to beat them for roller coasters. They have so many that at times three tracks are intertwining with each other. At the advanced age of 45 I'm still a huge coaster buff and fortunately, my wife and kids are as well.

This time of year Hershey begins offering exclusive days to entities which can sell at least so many tickets. My wife's agency sold 10,000 tickets to a park that normally handles some 45,000 people per day at high season. We literally walked onto roller coasters that had waiting queues labeled “90 minutes wait from this point”. That's why I go this time of year-90 minutes in line for a ride?

What a great day. Rode all of the bestest, newest coasters, then watched the kids ride the Sooperdooperlooper eight times in a row—dashing down the exit slope, detouring past our bench on the run to shout “Can we do it again?”, and re-entering the ride for another turn.

It was fun, too, to watch 13-year old Snake Eater jr,. who is so concerned about “being cool”, and nine-year old Bear, who is as petite as Jr. is tall, but won't take second. To Jr's credit, he did a great job of taking care of Bear when she needed it. Next year, to be fair, we'll take along a friend for each and let them have fun with their peers. We had a great time, but I know a 13-year old sometimes wants to be with his peers, not his parents.

For the chocolate fans in the audience, I should mention that the wind blew strongly from the Hershey plant across the park for a good portion of the day. It was although they were piping the aroma in.

Afterwards we hit a local chain deli/restaurant. I like trying something different each time, but this place has worked well for us, so we go there because we know it works for the kids. They have interesting selections such as sandwiches made on “rainbow bread”. I had a sandwich of grilled apples, ham, onions and cheese on a pretzel roll. Absent a beer, can it possibly get better than that?

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