Friday, August 3, 2012

6 Flags & White Water

A rare event happened the Benefield Household this summer.  We took trips to both 6 Flags and White Water (6 Flags White Water if you want to get technical).  I will point out that it might not totally  count as two trips financially because we had free tickets for 6 Flags due to the 600 Minute Reading Program.  It totally counts in Karmic Redemption Points though. 

So, I'm going to start at White Water. The Girls and I went to help celebrate one of R's friend's b'day.  Buying tickets for White Water = gouging your wallet. I won't tell you how much it cost me to get three tickets, three meals and two Sport Refillable Drink cups because I'm still in a little bit of denial about spending that much.

The parents of the Birthday Girl sprung for one of the Cabanas that White Water offers, and let me tell you something, if you can afford to get a Cabana at White Water you should definitely do this. If that means that you go with several families to split the cost then do that. It is expensive in addition to the tickets. Please understand I did not pay for it, and was very graciously included in the using of it.  I will say; however, that it made my day at White Water MUCH more pleasant than it would have been otherwise.

Not only did we have the Cabana, but we also had the Flash Pass.  White Water does a cool thing with these - they are little watches that sync up with a machine that tells you how much time you have before the ride you're Flash Passing.  We felt like Rock Stars going in the Flash Pass short lines.

So, seriously, this was a full-on, no holds barred White Water Super Trip. One of which I doubt the Benefield Girls will partake of again.  With me at least. If they're invited by friends then by all means I will send them off with plenty of sunscreen and goggles.

If you've ever been to White Water then you know it's no exaggeration to say that there's some  a good bit A LOT of flesh that is exposed that should not be.  

Besides the FLESH there were lots of tattoos. Scores of tattoos. Legions of tattoos. I bet at least 75% of the adults had tattoos there, including myself. Unlike the majority of other tattooed patrons mine are in discreet locations.  I am honestly a little afraid for my generation, the two prior and two after mine due to the number of heavily tattooed people there are.  When we're old, saggy and wrinkly it's not going to be an attractive site.

So, it was a good, fun time. The Little Chattahoochee, or "Lazy River" as Coco liked to call it was one of the biggest hit of the day. We found ourselves in it fairly often.

The week after White Water we decided to go to 6 Flags with a teacher friend and her daughter.  This was kind of a polar opposite experience to the White Water one.  The  tickets were free. To help keep in-park costs down we ate lunch before we left.  The big splurge I did spend on was the valet parking, and again, this is something that I encourage you to do if you're going to go to 6 Flags. You're going to pay $20 for parking anyway. Spending $15 more for the ability to get out of the car, walk in the gate right there, and then at the end of the day walk right out to the car, in my opinion is totally worth it.  Now, again, my tickets were free, so I had not just spent three weeks of grocery money on getting into the park, so I'll put the valet thing out there as something for your consideration.

It was the first day of August when we went, and people, let me tell you what, IT WAS HOT. Hot like you're standing in line and sweat is literally running down all parts of your body.  Who knew your eyelids could sweat? They can, and they keep up with the more well known sweaty parts like a champ. This is what the place where the Girls and I were standing in line looked like when we moved up - puddleOkay, that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but just a little bit.

I grew up here in Atlanta, so I have always gone to 6 Flags, and it's funny how some things do not change.  The names of some of the rides change.  Some rides are gone replaced by new ones, but the overall feel of the park is the same. I won't go as far as to say "dirty", but it's not completely clean either.  It's gotten MUCH better than it was when I was going there as a pre-teen, and even more recently pre-kids adult.  So, that's a good thing.

Despite me not really loving roller coasters that much we started off on the Mind Bender.  Coco was all in favor of that until we were strapped in and starting to move.  I'm sure she was flashing back to GQ and I taking her on Space Mountain at Disney World a couple of years ago.

"I don't know about this..." she said hesitantly. "Is this going to be scary?"

How do you answer that to a 7 year old?  I told her we were on it and just hang on tightly.

"When are we going to go down?"
"I don't think I like this."
"Is this going to be scary?"

That was while we were climbing the first hill.

Once we started down the hill and the ride was in full effect Coco decided that this was not for her.  She put her head down close to her lap and whimperscreamed for the remainder of the ride.  That is, until we approached the end of the ride.  The jolting part where they slow you down from SUPERFAST to entryway slow.

"That wasn't that bad," she said as a nervous grin crept across her face.

I didn't think so either.  But that's probably because I was busy looking after her and wondering if the rest of the day was going to be one long day of HORROR. She was all good the rest of the day.  Now, we didn't ride any more big rides, but we rode several other ones and had a blast.

The lines were long that day.  Very long.  No Flash Passes for this trip.  As I said, this was an opposite kind of trip from White Water. Besides, the Flash Pass for 6 Flags made the ones from White Water seem downright affordable.  So we waited in lines.  Waited and sweated.

R and her buddy, MW, were on a try-and-see-if-it-works leash of freedom.  They'd go to ride a ride and then have to meet back up with me.  They did every time. It helped tremendously that they were in line the majority of the time since a ride only takes 2 minutes at most from start to finish.

Have I mentioned that it was hot? But here's the thing. There were people there that didn't look like my friend and me.  We looked H.O.T. hot (not the good, attractive kind) and sweaty. Glistening would be a kind way to describe us. But those other people, we couldn't tell that they were hot.  We were dripping sweat. Our faces were probably flushed.  Our sunglasses were slipping down our noses because we were sweating so severely.

Not these people. They had a pleasant smile on their faces. We kind of hated them as much as we envied them.  We speculated all day as to what the difference was between them and us. We finally concluded that these must be ultra-wealthy people that have the kind of income that allows you to be dipped in a vat of antiperspirant instead of just applying it to your armpits like the rest of us.

A very pleasantly surprising thing I learned on this trip. 6 Flags will give you free cups of ice water at the concession stands. Not big cups, mind you, but mid-sized Solo cups of water with ice.  

Finally, after riding some more rides, sharing a basket of chicken fingers and fries with four people we decided to head to Skull Island. If you're not familiar with it, it is a giant, on-site water park that 6 Flags put in some years ago. It has several levels, multiple small water slides, water pumps and the obligatory enormous water bucket that periodically spills over releasing enough water to keep several acres of farmland irrigated.  Of course this water is mixed with enough chlorine that it could kill double the acreage of said farmland.

The chlorine is necessary because Skull Island invites EVERYONE regardless of age or ability to hold your waste inside you until you get to an appropriate location. Of course, when it's 18 steps away you can't expect for everyone to do the right thing.

Similar to White Water, Skull Island encourages its participants to shed their clothes and show their skin, and good Lord Almighty do the people show their skin.

The little ones had a blast for almost two hours. R & MW went back across the park to ride Batman.  We had chosen earlier not to ride that one due to the length of the line.  Apparently it had shortened by approximately half, but it still took them over an hour to get on the ride.

Another park closing day. Tired, soaked to the bone in sweat and ready to hit the air conditioning of the car we exit the park.  I do not regret for a second the extra $15 for the valet parking.

Good grief this was a long post. If you made it through the whole thing congratulate yourself.

1 comment:

Katie said...

They will not focus on the heat or the lines when they tell the story of this day but rather the freedom for R and the pride of accomplishment for C. And, of course, that you were there for all of it...