On a more upbeat note, Ben and Tosha took us to Fiesta Texas in San Antonio yesterday. We rode an incredible assortment of roller coasters. It was a marvelous day. Let's see...

I was about to say, "All coasters are steel, except where noted," except that they were *all* steel. Is the wooden coaster a thing of the past? That would be sad. But perhaps they just can't compete for the affections of today's thrill-a-minute audiences.

We started with the Boomerang, which pulls you backwards up the hill and then drops (back through the station), where you then zip off through a loop and an inverted turn and some other confusing things, until you climb up a hill that matches the initial one. And then... kwa-ping! Off you go, backwards through the whole thing again. Tee hee hee! Backwards was definitely better.

Next, we were disappointed by the Warner Brothers coaster, partly because we walked about a mile through the maze, built to accomodate crowds that would never be there again. It had the look and feel of a wooden coaster, yet it was steel. It just never managed to be particularly thrilling. There were some cute cartoon references scattered through the maze and along the coaster track, but, well, ho-hum. And then when we disembarked, we were funnelled through a Warner Brothers logo store. Tacky.

Not to worry, because (bum-ba-da-Daaah-dum) Superman was next! *repressed chortle of glee* This may well be one of my new favorite coasters. It's "floorless" (so, neither upright, nor suspended. Just chairs without floors.), and because I was wearing sandals, I had to ride barefoot. Woo hoo hoo! The loops and turns were wonderfully enhanced by the misty wind rushing between my toes. Somewhere through the track there was a corkscrew turn that caught me totally by surprise and elicited a real scream. Genius!

The order of events gets a little fuzzy for me here, but we went on the bumper cars, to Jon's great delight, and the carousel, at my request. And then we went on the Wave Swinger (Dorney Park name)/Die Fliedermaus (Fiesta Texas name), the big swing thingy. You know what I mean. Once again, I was "required" to ride barefoot. Oh, this was a true delight. I took off my hat, held my arms out to the sides, closed my eyes, and let my shoeless feet hang free in the wind. "I'm flying, Jack." Jon replied, "I still haven't seen that movie." Hmph, boys.

Then, with questionable wisdom, we had lunch. The less said, the better.

Ooh! Go Carts! Ah, but no sandals allowed--and this time, no bare feet, either. So Tosha and I sat and watched as our boys raced around the track. Very earnest, they were. Maybe this is the way to get Jon jazzed about learning to drive... (Better that than the bumper cars.)

Okay, so there's this huge pillar into the sky, this Masochist's Tower of Babel, where you can willingly get flung into the heavens and then unceremoniously dropped back out of them. And Tosha just had to go. And, therefore, so did I. Because it holds 12 people at a time and this was the first attraction that we actually had to wait for (it was after noon by now), I got to watch this so called "Scream" quite a few times. Folks sit on little chairs, their toes free in the breeze (moreso, for the sandal wearers), they get strapped in, and then Pow!, they're gone. Then they drop back down, seemingly in free fall, bounce back up like a bungee cord, get a few seconds to contemplate their fate at the top, and then Zing!, back towards the ground. Whooptee. But I wasn't going to be stopped by some irrational thing like fear. And, I got to take my shoes off again. Turns out, it was wonderful. I sat on the side away from the park, and I could see for miles--red, desert-y rocks, patches of greenery, flat land stretching away forever. And the drop really wasn't quite free-fall, so I didn't get that tingly feeling in my tummy. If the line weren't so long, I think I would have pushed to do it again, so I could get a different view.

Oooh, the Poltergeist. Now here is an impressive coaster. The train fills up in the station and then--kwa-ping, it's gone. No chain, no laborious climb up a hill, just instant speed. It was so surreal looking from the station. Even more so from the train. So we're fired out of the station like a rail gun and catapulted into a dense tangle of turns and loops. As the ride started to wind down, with momentum running out, we then start to go faster and faster, unbelievably so. The sense of speed was probably augmented by the fact that reason says we should have been slowing down. More swoops, more screams, and then, rest, and rolling into the station. Wild! We figure it must use electromagnets, which made Jon realize the pun in the name: A poltergeist throws things around without touching them. It is a masterpiece of technology.

Was that all? I think so. It was a very full day, and we all realized that we are, in fact, aging. We finished up with a funnel cake, for old times' sake. Then back to Ben and Tosha's for water, pasta, and recovery.

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