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Photo TR: Coaster Palooza 2008 - UPDATE P. 23


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I decided to take the following from the beginning of our Spring Fling TR:

 

Dollywood is a great park. My wife really liked it and we look forward to going back there soon. I’m sorry to say that I am with Rich about Thunderhead. It is a good ride, but it just didn’t do it for us. We rode in the front and in the back. We haven’t been on El Toro yet, but we have ridden a lot of good woodies. This just didn’t beat them out. It is one of the smoothest wood coasters we have been on though. We also have the same opinion on Mystery Mine. It is neat, but the ride beat us up a little bit. I went on it about 3 times because I wanted to see everything, but it wasn’t comfortable at all.

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There are so many great areas in the park. If you go, take your time, or go twice like we did!

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Here's the backside.

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Dolly's home is replicated here...

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Weeeee.....

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Gyendolynne wanted to take some photos of their flowers and other things.

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Awww....

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We had our concerns about the rain, but after yesterday I think we're all rained out. Until tomorrow!!!

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Yeah, funny...

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First attempt at photoshop. I know Gyendolynne is smaller than I am. I will include the other two pics after this one.

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Back for some more ERT on Thunderhead. We figured, why not. We're here.

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Beware of the Bear!!!

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Great theming at the Timber Tower.

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Do we have ERT here too? Yes we do!

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Alright, you're next.

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Look at the big rock!

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You can pan for gems here.

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Here I am saying my neck will never feel the same.

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He was awake and being a real jabber-jaw when we went by this time.

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The only reason I went on it three times was to try to see everything.

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I'm in the back row for my third ride on Mystery Mine. You can probably see my bald head.

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If you want to "light up," there are designated places througout the park. We're so happy about this rule.

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Yep, here is the station.

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Didn't I say everything had ERT this weekend for us?

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We heard this ride might be smoother than it looks.

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Next on our list.

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There are some neat shops here at Dollywood too.

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Plus the fact that it was pretty cold outside. I was wearing long pants!

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We're not too much into the water rides, so we just took some photos.

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Now for the new part of Dollywood.

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Gyendolynne asked, "how did you like your second ride?" I said, "about the same as the first, but I was ready for the beating on this one."

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I'm actually on this train.

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I liked coming back inside after this.

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This was a pretty neat part of the ride.

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Theming...

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The ride ops had time to take our picture too.

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Yes we do! Look at the station. It is an ERT weekend, first SFOG and now Dollywood. I guess they knew Coaster Palooza was showing up.

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Wow do we get ERT on Mystery Mine too?

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The vulture was sleeping as we went by.

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We're here to ride you.

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Dollywood always has good entertainment throughout the park.

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Sorry about the blurry picture. This is our shot of Thunderhead though.

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Did you think I would miss the smashed penny machine outside of Thunderhead?

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I don't know what to say about Thunderhead. It is smooth, it has airtime, but it isn't the best wood coaster in our opinion. We did ride in the front and the back, since we had ERT...

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The fly by. I do like this part.

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We'll get to you in a minute.

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Wow! Do we have ERT on Thunderhead too?

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We're here!

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This sign made us even happier.

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Heading to Thunderhead. We were so excited.

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Who doesn't take this photo?

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There weren't any smashed penny machines at SFOG. I was glad to get my quota at Dollywood.

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Day 1 at Dollywood! Processing the season pass. Yes, it was busy today...

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I am continuing with Day 1 at Dollywood and the beginning of Day 2.

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No one has ever taken this photo before. I will finish up day 2 soon.

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I will upload the video when I get a chance.

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We decided to ride the cars first today.

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Those photos were brought to you by....

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Gyendolynne got a hold of the camera again. :)

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Had to finish up some smashed pennies.

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Day 2 started with our tram ride in. I can't believe how sleepy I look in this photo. Maybe it's because I usually wear sunglasses. You'll find out soon enough why I am not wearing sunglasses today.

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Just in case you lose them, hopefully someone will find them. This is in the elevator at the hotel.

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It sure was a neat one. The patrons really get into the music.

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We made it to Hard Rock Cafe in Gatlinburg.

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Hi Gyendolynne!

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We rode these the next day.

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The finishing touches on the Trip Report. Where will we go next?

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First class upgrade for the flight home. At least this time I was able to keep my seat. Until next time...

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Gyendolynne had a shrimp salad.

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Applebee's for dinner. Does the steak look like Italy? Maybe if I flip it on the other side?

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I rode the Tornado one more time, but I had the credit from the day before. There was no wait for the ride.

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Final credit before the rains came.

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WOW! That's a big nest.

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If you like bald eagles, this is the section for you. There is a big area at Dollywood to help these endangered birds.

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They had a place where you could by carriages and carriage parts.

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Gyendolynne must have the camera at this point.

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More history of the area.

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More cool gems and stuff coming up.

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TARNATION! He's "picking" my nose!

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They make some great food at Dollywood.

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Yes, I got the next photo on my list...CHECK.

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The controls did nothing. This ride looks better than what it is.

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This girl got in trouble because she tried to cut in front of me to ride the flyers. I am just kidding.

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Weeeeee

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I chose the zebra. See any similarities?

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Gyendolynne chose the cat.

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Next stop is the Carousel. I knew Rich had to have ridden this when Big Mike and him were her earlier, right?

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I'm on the ride, in the front row. It took a little elbowing of some kids, but I'm in the front!

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We did get all the credits at Dollywood.

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Nice job Rick!

 

We sped through the park and looking at your trip report, we missed a ton of stuff.

 

I did not see Dolly Partons house at all.

 

 

Always nice to see what you guys are up to, plus it was cool seeing you at places I was at days before.

 

 

Peace, Big Mike

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Nice work, Rick!

 

Glad to see you and Gyendolynne enjoyed Dollywood....and got the Hard Rock credit. I think the only reason you didn't enjoy Mystery Mine as much is because Spring Fling completely gave away all the surprises to you the day before.

 

Also, I guess Shan and I are still in the minority concerning Thunderhead. For whatever reason, to me, a front seat TH ride is still slightly better than some of the other GCIs. But hey, for those that don't like TH as much, one whiff of the food there should make up for it.

 

I need to stop reading Dollywood TRs around lunch.

 

EDIT:

Shannon sings the Monster Plantation song. Beemer Boy claims he doesn't know the words!

He really doesn't.

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^^^Glad you're back from Florida! I hope you both had a great time.

 

I don't know what it was about Thunderhead, but it just didn't do it for us. We liked the ride, but we couldn't figure out what was so great about it though. We rode in the front and back.

 

We have ridden many good woodies - in no particular order: Hades, Rumbler, Voyage, Raven, Legend, Boulder Dash, Phoenix @ Knoebel's, Cornball Express, Avalanche, and others that slip my mind. We haven't ridden El Toro or Balder. I believe that those 2 will be really great. I wish we would have had the same rides that other people had.

 

In a similar way, we actually like Shivering Timbers and the Beast, even though a lot of people poo-poo the rides.

 

BTW - Even Gyendolynne and I know the words to the Monster Plantation song after making the video....

 

^^The Tennessee Tornado was surprisingly smooth to us. We weren't expecting it. Big Mike, Rich, Scott, and Shannon all told us it would be smooth though. Thanks for that! I think it is the main reason why Gyendolynne rode it.

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I know the following photos don't have coasters in them, but be patient. It was a long weekend from Thursday through Sunday.

 

The following photos were from the Sharks' play-off game on Thursday night. Unfortunately they are down 2 games to 1 against the Flames as I type this.

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Sharks ended up winning 2-0. Now they are down 2-1 because they lost last night... :(((

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Up 2-0 now with less than 5 minutes to go...

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Hey, it's Sharkie. I haven't seen him in this area for a long time.

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That changed within 5 minutes though...

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Yep, it must be 0-0...:(

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0-0 face off for period 2...

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then they had them ride the tricycles back to the other end.

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Still trying to gain some traction...

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They are doing push-ups here.

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First intermission. No score. I love it when they bring fans on the ice to try to run.

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Opening face-off...

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Jim's son JJ has the other seat.

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This was probably the loudest game I have ever been to.

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That's my other friend Jim. These are his seats.

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We're getting comfortable in our seats.

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Through the Sharks mouth. Now, let's play hockey!!!

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Coming out of the locker rooms.

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Almost all the way down...

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The give-away was white pom-poms. The picture doesn't do it justice, but it looked great there.

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They lower the Shark head and have the Sharks come through it.

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The place was rockin'.

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Here is the view looking back down. Man that's a lot of people and a sea of teal!

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Up the escalator...

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I like it that they scan your ticket so it stays in tact instead of tearing it.

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Pretty good crowd going into the tank.

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This is my friend Hopper. Best bartender in town. You should always know a good bartender.

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They have police on horses outside the Shark tank. I hope we're not expecting any trouble.

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It was Gyendolynne's birthday on Saturday. We had a good dinner at Henry's Hi-Life, just down the street from Arena, and then went to the Sabercats game.

 

Don't worry, there will be roller coaster pics soon enough. Enjoy another non-coaster update!

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I will leave with this...

 

Sabercats lost 58-57. The kicker missed two extra points and a last second 48 yard field goal. Philly scored with 10 seconds to go and got the two-point conversion.

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It was very entertaining.

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They had this dog show for half-time.

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Touchdown!!!

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Penalty!!!

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Back to the game. They almost ran back the kick-off for a touchdown here.

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These photos are for my pal, Big Mike...

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She needs some face time too. The TV Time-out girl...

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He needs some face time.

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My friend Chris, carrying the down box.

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Here come the Sabercats.

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Woohoo! Cheerleaders, already have more women than Big Mike's updates.

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This guy is Saber, the mascot. Sorry for the darkness.

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How about some in-door fireworks!

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By the way, it gets pretty loud in here. A lot of people bring ear-plugs. She put headphones on her baby.

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Fans really get into the game, at any age...

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The guy on the right is the one that gave us the seats.

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This is the chain group. Sorry for the blurry photo. I was very far away.

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Sabercats warming up...

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This is the head coach.

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Here are some random photos.

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They won the Arena Bowl 3 times, including last year.

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Sabercats have won the west 7 times.

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My friend works the chains at the game. These seats were from him.

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Dave's seat was behind us.

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The Sabercats are a really good Arena football team.

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Hi, please scan my ticket.

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The Shark Tank looks a little different today.

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Happy Birthday Gyendolynne!!!

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I went with the New York. Hey, this time I took the picture early enough.

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Dave had prime-rib...

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They have some great food here. Gyendolynne had ribs...

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There's Gyendolynne! We usually go with my friend, Dave, to the Sabercats games.

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After a few hours, we head out to dinner at Henry's Hi-Life!

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ooops! I should have taken the picture sooner, again.

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They have great margaritas here.

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Next stop, Sinaloa's for lunch. Yep, it is Gyendolynne's birthday. My gift to her was some sleep and alone time!

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This is the beer menu. I had the Jasper Hoppy, El Toro IPA, Wheat (terrible!!), and a couple more that I forget. I like the Jasper Hoppy and El Toro IPA. That's all for my report.

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I ended up having the sampler. Maybe I should have taken the photo a few moments earlier...

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Derek does a much better review of the place then I could ever do.

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I was actually going to Sinaloa's mexican restaurant. El Toro was next door...who knew???

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Derek, Heath and Kim made it to El Toro last year. I unfortunately didn't meet them there.

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Awesome reports!!

 

I like sports reports too!

 

Brings back memories of playoff games at the Joe that I went to every year.

 

No one will beat the Wings this year anyway.

 

Thanks for the cheerleaders pictures! I was scrolling through wondering if you would have any.

 

Happy Birthday to Gyendolynne!!!!

 

 

Peace, Big Mike

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We went to Gilroy Gardens on 4/13. It has been a couple of years since we have been there. They have done a terrific job here. The place is clean, well themed, and maintained. It was extremely hot today also.

 

They have a kiddie coaster and another one that turned out to be pretty decent.

 

Here are the photos...of coasters and amusement parks, this time!!!

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This is one of the many falls throughout the Gardens.

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Don't you want some artichoke hearts?

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This duck wanted our food.

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No one got lost in here today.

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Sorry folks, the falls are closed. Shouldn't this say "Gilroy Gardens" ??

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They have a great train that goes around the whole park.

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Some more random park photos coming up.

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It was so friggin' hot in here!

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Nope, definitely not the same one. This monorail goes inside a greenhouse.

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It just doesn't seem like the same one you like so much though.

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Scott, they have a monorail!!!

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A couple more photos of Quicksilver Express.

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Sorry, if you buy it here, you gotta drink it here.

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This tree was transplanted from Scotts Valley.

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Up the second lift hill. Yes, a second lift hill.

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Up the lift hill...

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Back of the train.

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Like I said, the crowds were un-bearable yesterday.

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Time for some more ERT.

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The park is educational too...

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They look like they are a little off course.

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Swan paddle boat rides...

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Some neat rides and theming photos coming. I don't think captions are needed.

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Did I mention that we had ERT at Gilroy Gardens too?

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We're on it...

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Lift-hill

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Beware of the tail...

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Hey snake, you look awfully familiar. Didn't I see you at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom? Rich, does this count as a credit?

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A neat thing about the area is the soundtrack. They have chainsaws and trees being cut down.

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Why would anyone want to take the long way around???

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The theming for the walk-way and for the ride are really cool.

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Ooooh, first credit. I am sure Big Mike will see this soon enough.

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I think he is saying, "hey fatty, get off!!!"

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Here's my horse.

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Hi Gyendolynne. Are you enjoying your birthday weekend?

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First stop....

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Funny, they have a Spring Fling event going on too.

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You walk across this bridge to enter the park. They had a guy taking a survey that walked with us.

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This guy with the back-pack was claiming all he had was food for his kids. The bottom of the bag was filled with waters! There is a sign that says not outside food or drink. Why do people even try?

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The entrance...

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Hooray! We're here

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Hey Garlic dude!!!

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I visited Bonfante--er, Gilroy Gardens in July 2004. Nice park...I want to go back sometime and bring Diana.

 

Interesting monorail they have...I'm not sure why they have lap bars on it. It's not like it has any inversions or anything.

 

One of my favorite rides there was the big swinging banana. Did you guys ride that?

 

Eric

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Continuing with Gyendolynne’s birthday weekend:

 

We went to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk after Gilroy Gardens. The place was packed! I guess it would have to be, since it was the hottest day of the year. What were we thinking?

 

We walked around a little bit and rode the Giant Dipper. We also rode the sky ride back to the where we entered, but that was it.

 

Onto the pics!

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Good-bye Dipper, we'll see you soon. :) That's it for now. Where to next???

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Dipper...

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Dipper...

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The Classic sign

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More Dipper...

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We didn't do the Haunted Castle either.

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The Dipper!!!

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Another shot of the crowd.

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Riding the sky ride back.

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This is what the crowd looked like from the Hurricane.

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We went up to Hurricane, but it isn't worth the wait.

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I know that this is one of the oldest and one of the few left with the brass ring pull. I think I read that it is celebrating its 95th year.

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We went by the Carousel...Hi Scott and Rich!

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We're finally ready to ride.

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Manual brake #2...or is it #1?

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I found it peculiar that they don't use the manual brakes anymore.

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No one has ever taking this pic before.

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Coming into the station.

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The originial fly-by the station.

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Darnit! Are we there yet?

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More facts that we all probably know.

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This was interesting. They had a lot of cool coaster facts in the queue and a TV with some video.

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Too bad they didn't know we were coming. No ERT for us here.

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Man, it was crowded!

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We're almost to you...

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It has a nice splash, and on such a hot day, it was needed!

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We went by the log ride as we headed to the Giant Dipper.

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Train enthusiast photo.

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They re-did this ride with more glow in the dark parts inside. We didn't ride this either. I think it was out of fear of the guy without his shirt on.

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I will tease Big Mike with a couple of Kiddie coaster photos.

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The line was too long. We decided not to ride it.

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We headed into the Boardwalk by the log ride. The Sea Serpent ride is back there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know this isn’t a theme park update, but I went to Game 7 of the Sharks v. Flames at the Shark Tank on Tuesday night. The place was rockin’!!!

 

I should have a new update tomorrow after a new ride is ridden….WHERE???

 

I hope you enjoy these pics.

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Sorry for the blurryness of the picture. This place was rockin' though. Where to next?

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This Calgary fan told me I was Number 1!!!! :)

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They only shake hands when the season is over.

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This is the best part of hockey.

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Sharks Win! Sharks Win! Bring on Dallas...

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At least some Calgary fans stuck around until the end.

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The fans really got into the game.

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Buh-Bye!!!

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They had to be escorted out of the Tank.

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These Calgary fans got in a little trouble.

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Sharks up 5-2!!!

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Sharks up 4-2, with a review....

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Sharks up 3-2

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First intermission, she won the $1,000

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Sharkie was having fun with some Calgary fans. I don't think they appreciated it though.

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This was the loudest I have ever heard it at the Tank.

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Sharks up 1-0

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Some hockey action.

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This was the give-away tonight.

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Here come your Sharks

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You know where you are!

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Now we wait...

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Shark's head coming down.

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JJ is excited.

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WOOOHOOOOO!!!!!

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Time to get the crowd fired up!

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There were some Calgary fans there.

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We're here in our comfy seats.

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Warming up before the game.

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Enter into the see of teal.

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Hello...

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Welcome! You have made it.

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I told you it was a big game. Look at all the TV crews there.

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Coming up on the Shark Tank.

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JJ went with a Blue Moon as well. Hey, it's his house, he can have what he wants! Yes, that is a Buffalo shirt he is wearing.

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Jim had a Corona, and Mark (Jim's son-in-law) had a blue moon too.

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First stop was Jim's son's house for a pre-lubrication. I had a Blue Moon.

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Wooohooo! Game 7 ticket.

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This is my friend Jim, the one with the Sharks' tickets! He had the plate.

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First thing I had to do before the Sharks game was umpire a High School baseball game. Unfortunately I would have an ejection too. I can't believe how wrinkled my jacket is.

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I received an email from CGA a week ago saying that Firefall would be running for the first time today (4/25). I decided to take my "lunch" break over there to ride it and see it run. Unfortunately it still isn't operational. They are waiting on a part and it won't be running today, or this weekend. Sorry for the bad news.

 

I did take some pics though.

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Just not today. That is all for now...where to next?

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I'm actually looking forward to riding this.

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Good theming all around.

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The place is shaping up nicely.

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This is why I came here today though.

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Not a bad wait, 1 train. They were only running 1 train though.

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One of the new signs in the queue area. I didn't get to ride it last time I was here because they had a problem with it.

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Well here I am doing my best Big Mike impersonation. By the way, I think Big Mike will get this photo in October. ;)

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Hi doubledecker carousel.

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There were maybe 2 bus loads of kids.

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It really wasn't crowded at all today.

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I was greeted with this as I pulled into CGA.

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