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Photo TR: Middle America Tour Up Now - Starts on Page 3

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It's quite something, before finishing up 2009, primarily Scandi, here comes 2010! The 'now' is more exciting I suppose. Up first is an awesome Canada Day & 4th of July weekend in Virginia. Kerry, Chuck and Dave helped make it a memorable one! Right after, stay tuned for TPR's Middle America trip: The C-Jay Perspective!


Kerry & Jason in....A Virginian 4th of July!

Day 1 - Kings Dominion (Below)

Day 2 - Virginia Beach

Day 3 - Busch Gardens with Chuck, Dave & Ice Bat

Day 4 - Water Country USA, Pulled Pork and such!

Day 5 - Kings Dominion, day 2


TPR's Middle America: The C-Jay Perspective!


Middle America Video - Random Clips


Day 1 & 2 - Iowa & Adventureland

Day 3 - Worlds of Fun, Lambert's & Branson

Day 4 - Silver Dollar City

Day 5 - St. Louis Downtown (Arch and City Museum)

Day 6 - Six Flags St. Louis

Day 7 - Holiday World Up Close and Personal

Day 8 - Indiana Beach


Up First: Kerry & Jason in....A Virginian 4th of July!


It's been almost a year since that awesome spontaneous adventure that saw Kerry and I crash Deep South 09! Time for another adventure! Luckily, Intimidator 305 was just too much of a pulling force that got us into Virginia for an incredible weekend.


Chuck, thanks for all the advice and awesome hospitality! It was great hanging out last weekend! I hope Angus didn't mind that we took your attention away for what I"m sure to him was an unacceptable amount of time. Also, a huge shout out to Dave who drove down in long weekend traffic to hang out at Busch Gardens last Saturday. It definitely was a great day.


Hopefully this will add to Chuck's very cool TR and tell of what really happened during those other few days.


Although exhausted from getting up early that morning, we had to go and check out Kings Dominion knowing that it was only a five minute drive away. Here's Day 1 in Doswell/ Richmond after arriving in Richmond around noon. The weather was amazing and the park was in good shape. The only thing that really spoils it are the huge swaths of asphalt and all their heat absorbing tendencies. But overall, operations were great, the park was clean and the rides were all running. Couldn't ask for anything more. Oh, did I mention how incredible i305 is? It's incredible.


On to the pics..


The hotel. From this tranquil courtyard, you'd never know that the front of the hotel was buzzing with excitement! Now, I know what you're thinking: There MUST be a Waffle House in the parking lot. Why yes. Yes, there was!


Who loves walk out patios to the pool and courtyard?


We were both suffering from some directional challenges and completely didn't see this sign. We ended up in staff parking......


Lots of time left! Hopefully it won't be too busy so we can a lot of stuff in.


Ah, the sites of KD.


Wow, it really does get busier as the day goes by?? It was about 1pm at this point.


So far, so good. The weather is phenomenal and the people, well, there were hardly any! We hopped on Dominator first.


Oooh now what is that?


This is really quite impressive in person.


Seriously, this was the extent of any crowding anywhere. We got in quite a few rides, including front and back. Had to take only very short breaks because of those grey-out/ black-out moments though. It didn't matter, this ride rocks! It is even better in the dark!


Although running earlier, this train went to sleep for the rest of the day. Even so, the line moved fairly quick, with the exception of the front seat.


That start on the hill is a decent angle. Still can't get over how fast the train makes it to the top.


..and queue happy riders arriving back, finally able to catch a breath. BTW, those straps are very comfortable.




"I bet you can't get a geekier shot". Try me.


Geeky enough? Kinda sorta.


There we go.


The front seat was fantastic.


Just an awesome ride. KD really is a very well rounded park now. Oh. We did ride Anaconda . That hurt.


Lest we forgot...Volcano. Still love this ride, especially with the short wait.


Oh look. I didn't know I made this stuff.


This along with Flight of Fear were running well and still a ton of fun. Oli, again?


Ah, time to get a bit patriotic.


It looks innocent enough. Back in 2008, it went at a decent speed but stopping completely at the mid-course really putting a damper on the excitement.


I can safely report that this thing was haulin'. It was to the point of hurting a bit and it barely slowed down at the mid course.


USA. A-Ok!


Yep, just kick back an relax.


We were in the same line and it worked out that I got this one. Very convenient.


Now,I again know what you're thinking. What would be a visit to KD without some pain? Well, ever since 2008, Hurler was still very fresh in our minds to we skipped it. We opted instead for the credit we couldn't get back then. The Togo Death Machine. Kerry is kinda ready.


Why?? It wasn't so bad. Actually never mind. It did hurt, especially in the helix.


Right across the way, we had none other than Rebel Yell! A ton of fun, especially at night.


With this ride, a new credit. The left side wasn't open during our 2008 TPR trip.


So, how about those water rides? Luckily it was still fairly warm out. The flume wasn't so bad. We thought, you can't possibly get that wet on these things. In fact, most I've been on have been a splash or two at most.


Again, absolutely no line. Kerry is dry. Shall we begin?


This, this was pure insanity. I don't remember ever getting that wet on a water ride that wasn't a shoot the chutes.


How? Why?


Ok, never mind. A bit of water...


So yah, perfect way to end the day. Thankfully, I305 helped dry us out.


For no reason, I'll end this section with the ultimate mechanical claw prizes - Brian in a banana. Bizarre.

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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^haha pretty much! Although the office can have its rewards.....wasn't it two-times ice cream day?


Yes, we did score ice cream twice that day. (Sort of a tradition here.)

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Thanks Kim! Sorry it didn’t work out with you swinging by the area. I can understand family overrules any side trips.


Dave, I hope I can deliver. But just in case, please feel free to send me a pic or two of Ice Bat to feature. I didn’t see him/ her/ it as much this time around.


Jon, I don’t think it’s changed that much, those rapids are one of the best I’ve been on, definitely a lot of fun. They do exactly what they’re supposed to do. The one at Busch was pretty good too. I think I was just lucky in Scandi not to get water falls in such. Those were definitely the best themed though.

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  • 1 month later...

Well, after a very hectic few months at work and of course with some amazing TPR trip goodness in the middle, time to get back on track.


After an awesome day at Kings Dominion, we took off for the beach to see what the long weekend would be like there. The weather was awesome and the water was choppy enough to give some terrific waves. You know, to frolic in. A lot of interesting people and interesting sites. Overall, a fantastic day!


We knew we were off to a great start when we found a church parking lot offering parking in the form of a donation that was at minimum, half the price of the main lots.


A very brief sites and sounds tour of Virginia Beach Amusement Park, and Kerry singing! Really, it is that small



On to the pics!


I guess the old saying rings true. You know you're in Virginia when...


Arriving! Now parking...


Oooh...a park! But alas, no credits here folks!


Just a fantastic day.


You know we're TPR types when....the first thing we run to isn't the beach and ocean but the haunted attraction. We fought the urge though and eventually headed to the beach.




It was starting to pick up for sure.


An awesome public entrance.


Derry Queen! I know where I'm going for snack time.


Yes, it's a beach!


....with people!


The boardwalk was really nice but why use that when you can walk in the water?


Just starting off with pockets of people.


Obligatory in water shot 1


Obligatory in water shot 2


Cabanas, bikinis and sunshine, oh my!


It's very difficult to tell from the pics but the waves were insanely large and rough...if you like 'em like that, you were in luck during the 4th of July weekend!


Well, when there's a profit to be had, charge for it! Walking the pier costs $2.00. But, you get to see some interesting people and above all, bizarre ''nick nack" type shops.


Now these lovely unforgettable items were found in a shop, kept open and welcoming by one of the most enthusiastic and friendliest women I've ever met. She was right, no one can source this awesome stuff like her boss can. I think the mermaid flush handle will be awesome for the condo. I'm afraid that the HOA may send me a nasty letter though :)


Here we are at a Virginia Beach institution of sorts, as is the pier. Ocean Eddie's.


Now, this restaurant was to be torn down with the entire pier and re-develeped. The downturn put those plans on hold so Ocean Eddie's, along with the entire pier, are around for another season.


Ok, back to important things...beer!


Ah, but not just any beer, Land Shark!


Won't you join us for a walk on the beach? To bad, you're coming.


It's definitely starting to get busier!


I know, I know. I shouldn't have stepped there. Sorry.


Waves are still roaring in. The water was awesome! I think Kerry and I were bashed in by waves for a good 30 minutes before we decided to get out of the water. That and a sudden fear of sharks? Even Mr. Trying to Find Metal is having a good day. I think.


After drying off, it was time to head for a snack and the amusement park.


On our way, we found some awesome Kohr's Bros frozen custard. It was f@*#ing awesome!


Oops! S#*t! I'm sorry! Almost forget we were in Virginia :)


Here we are at the amusement park. Very small and the type of park where one ride op ran two or three rides. Our second ride was a "Please wait". He got the keys, started her up and we were on. A bit sketchy but a ton of fun!


Some cost saving measure I guess. Some Skyscrapers operate with only one side. This one does so permanently.


the Kohr's, it really was awesome!


Skyscraper alive!


You know it's a great little park because it has three of the all time greatest park plush toys! Obviously! :)


Another look around before we take off the Williamsburg.


See ya Virginia Beach! It was an awesome day! Time to head out and meet Chuck for dinner at one of the Burg's hot spots.


After a great drive in to Williamsburg, Chuck met us at the hotel and we were off to a great start in Williamsburg. Wood oven pizza! Stay tuned for our awesome day at Busch Gardens.

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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Great TR so far! My family used to go to Viriginia Beach almost every summer when I was a kid. A lot of good memories of that place. Also, Captain George's is like the greatest restaurant ever (albeit expensive) and everyone should go there. Not the Williamsburg version though. It's not shaped like a boat.

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Awsome trip report so far, Jason... as usual ! As for the top spin, I think we have made some much worse this summer ! Chaos, Swings, Max Air, Screaming Swings... But I have to admit you also rode quite a few towers too ! and not necessarily the shortest ! Can't wait to read the sequels. Kerry, I'm sooo sad I couldn't see you this summer...

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Thanks for the comments all.


Ok, so I can blame the direction issues on the GPS, I'm cleared! We thought it was accurate since it wasn't telling us to drive into a lake or a dead end. But yes, it definitely was an amazing day at KD. It was a huge contrast from July 5th with sweltering heat and much heavier crowds.


Coming from a mighty potato, I'll definitely have to check out Captain George's one day if the budget allows. Thanks for the comments!


Project, you've got something great in your back yard!


Oli, thanks as always! Did I mention I did an insane portable drop tower at the CNE this past weekend? It was a lot taller than it seemed and made all these strange noises before finally dropping. It literally didn't stop until your feet touched the ground...very disconcerting.

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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Virginia Beach is one big tourist trap.


There are a good four to five haunted attractions. Last year they had a special around... what must have been September for buy one get one on all the "Haunted Attractions" at the beach. One of them was REALLY good, the others just... were awful.

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^Ya, we clued in. Still not as bad as Niagara Falls, my current benchmark.


The only thing we did other than the beach was a few tickets for the amusement park. That insane green ride that flips you forever, the flume and the hurricane/ tornado. If you ever remember which haunted attraction was the best, would love to know.




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Coming from a mighty potato, I'll definitely have to check out Captain George's one day if the budget allows. Thanks for the comments!



I've never liked the Capt. George's in Williamsburg, but I also believe that "seafood" and "buffet" do not belong in the same sentence--unless that sentence reads, "Seafood should not be served in a buffet."


I've always been tempted to check out a haunt or two in Va. Beach, but the people I've been with have always vetoed the idea (probably with good reason).


Looking forward to the truly epic BGW and Water Country days! Again, it was great showing you and Kerry around.

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Thanks Chuck! I must have misunderstood. I thought being that Captain George's was expensive meant that a buffet wasn't an option. Seafood is something that screams 'must be fresh' or 'made to order'. However, if it's all fried, a buffet wouldn't bother me as much.


I'll have that next update coming in a day or two along with a multi-media cuckoo & parade extravaganza that fans of the truly obscure and bizarre will not want to miss!

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Wow, I haven't been to Virginia Beach since I was a wee lad. I don't really remember anything about it, so it's interesting to see it now. Looks like you were having a lot of fun there, and I'm looking forward to seeing your next update. Thanks for these great pics Jason!

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Thanks Mark and Jason! Looking forward to seeing you both soon. 2012, wow, that seems really far but considering 2011 trips were announced before going on 2010 trips, it could be here before you know it.


This day was a bittersweet day. Busch Gardens with no opportunity to try and re-live what was one of the most amazing ERT sessions ever back in 2008 -- Big Bad Wolf in the dark. Nevertheless, a new credit was had! Grover let us experience his wrath.


It was an awesome day checking out the new Sesame Street section and riding some awesome coasters. We were lucky given a few B&M hiccups over the past two weeks. Chuck mentioned that Apollo's Chariot was down the weekend before. Today, Griffon was down until mid-afternoon. Although disappointed, we were resigned to the fact that Griffon probably wouldn't open. When we saw it testing nearing mid-afternoon, I can't even explain how great that felt! Love that ride!


The beginning of the day we kept walking by Griffin with only two park staff telling us in an awesome Virginian twang that they didnt' know if it would open and that, I kid you not, "they were down there turnin' things and bangin' things". Good to know! There's that horrible B&M reliability again


Other highlights of the day:

-Front of the Line Pass = magical!

-You must laugh in an evil villainous way after each sentence spoken while riding Curse of Dark Castle.

-New France = BBQ and banjo music. Yes, we all bought the soundtrack and Dave played it in his car all the way home apparently at Ice Bat's request.

-Our collective behaviour on the train was such that the conductor threatened to send to entire train to the engineer's office....errr...or making the engineer stop the train on a sketchy bridge pretty high up.

-Grover hates men. Have you ridden his coaster and seen that hump on the seat that you have to sit on?

-Cheap Margaritas and ample availability of Bud Lite Lime!

-Iluminights was one of the most creative programs I"ve seen at a theme park that is not Disney. A lot of fun!


For those of you who didn't know, Dave loves parades, shows and other such productions. He runs to these first thing. In fact, I think he's attending a performance of Sha-Kon-Oh-Hey! as we speak.That is of course the reason why he ran to his car to start the long drive home conveniently before the Iluminights festivities started. All kidding aside, thanks for driving down in long weekend traffic to hang out Dave! Really great seeing you!


Now, for his and everyone's benefit, these clips feature two creative, interesting and bizarre programs from the France and Germany lands.



Anyways, enough chit chat, here are some pics!


Chuck was on time to pick us up. Right then and there, you now it was going to be an incredible day...Chuck found a kazoo!


It wasn't just Dave, my fingers were apparently corrupt enough to not scan me on the first few tries.


Patiently waiting for Dave and I


Kerry made a new bestest friend!


How could you not feel like a kid again?


Grover said go that way. Ok!


Oh map of wonders! Be saved from the goat!


This area was really well done!


Chuck wagon?


Nooooo!! I think is the new collector's shot that everyone has.


After a little flume action! We'd make up for the lack of wetness later on Escape from Pompeii.


Front row for Nessy!


I hope they never take this one out.


Ya, she shakes you up a bit and is kinda rough but it's part of the charm. It was a challenge climbing out after....


Kerry made a new friend...


"Take me, I'm yours!"


One of the new Clydesdales.


Still a great ride and Ice Bat approved!


After a bit of panic, Griffin finally opened later in afternoon. I was honestly looking forward to this ride most, it really is spectacular. Can't wait to try Sheikra one day.


A little pause to check out the animals. This porcupine is well cared for.




The loudest talking bird ever.


Oh, look what it's time for!


Now this is a great start here in Ireland. What's that Dave, you're heading home? No interest in leprechauns? :)


Our last group shot before Dave started the long drive home. Thanks for driving down to hang out, it was a blast!


Iluminights featured a special program in each land on the half hour. Because of the 4th of July weekend, we saw double the fire works! The Iluminights finale followed by 4th of July fireworks. We started off here in France.


A great spot to catch the parade. Even if it wasn't, we had Bud LIte Lime. All was good in Williamsburg.


The Fraaansh parade has started! Get out of this dude's way.


Yep, Hulk Hogan made it down to perform.


Bon soir!




You give me a loaf of that bread and I'll laugh along. :)


Why hello!


Nope, not out of order...we had to jump on again while on the way to Germany to see the truly bizarre...


The Fest Haus has changed into the Living Cuckoo clock!


Looks like it' well alive, just before the big moment (Check out the video above for more)! Definitely a fantastic day! We finished off with the acrobats in Italy followed by the fireworks show.

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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Day 4 was the 4th of July! Cool coincidence I say!


This will be short since we spent the majority of the day in the water, an amazing thing!


It was starting to get very hot again in Virginia so what a perfect day to head to Water Country USA! Now, this water park may not have all the latest and greatest in attractions, but what it did have was just aweosme! The park has shade, is well laid out, very nicely landscaped and well themed over all. HIghlights included Hubba hubba highway (the lazy river on steroids), the 'skim across the pool kneeling on a raft after dropping down a cliff' ride, Big Daddy Falls and a personal favourite, Aquazoid!


After the park, we headed to the best BBQ place I've ever been to, partially because I've never been to a BBQ place before and also because it was just awesome. After eating, it was down to Colonial Williamsburg to check out the 4th of July festivities. Definitely a cool experience.


Thanks again for everything Chuck! Truly a first-class Williamsburg experience!


On to some pics..


Hellooo Water Country!


Overflow lots were open and prepared for the 4th of July crows. We were early enough to grab a few chairs.


The park is so well laid out and managed that the crowds didn't seem that bad all day. You'd never know it by looking at the parking lot though.


Y'all ready to get wet?


Wave pool awesomeness!


Crowds were definitely starting. You'll note that all pics are around our chairs because let's face it, the camera was not going any closer to water.


But, to take you around a bit, here's one of Chuck's pics of his favourite water ride. I loved this thing!


Sure, it may look innocent, but Aquazoid will swallow you whole, shake you through its belly while literrly being underground and spit you out...here.


Post-Zoid and ready for lunch!


It's hot! Being wet is good! A great day at Water Country!

Edited by rollin_n_coastin
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Ok, off to the BBQ place, the best in the 'burg, perhaps the best in the East? The one, the only....


Pierce's Pitt!


Pulled pork on a bun never tasted so awesome!


"They're gonna love it."


"Hey Pierce's!"


I'm getting hungry...plus I see Kerry's fingers.


All bow and genuflect. This comes close to Prowler.


Yes, we are here. It is Prowler-like.


Pulled pork anyone?


The regulars always look this relaxed.


Obligatory restaurant sign shot!


Ah, Colonial Williamburg. Since my camera is really horrid at taking nighttime shots, this is the last I could get before complete darkness. The pipers were awesome and the fireworks as well. Couldn't think of a better place than here, with all the history around, to catch 4th of July fireworks.

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