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Re: Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

Mon May 21, 2018 9:18 pm

Well, I know you had fun at the parks, Phil. But what about Michael? How's his thrill tolerance these days?

Re: Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

Tue May 22, 2018 3:35 pm

Canobie Coaster wrote:Glad to hear American Thunder is still smooth! Some of the GCIs I've ridden haven't aged too well like Thunderhead (still rideable but not exactly smooth). As for the Boss, I'll come prepared. Was the new turn at the end smooth at least?

I was totally shocked that AT was as smooth as it was. I was preparing for something worse than The Boss or Wildcat and walked away feeling totally impressed with that coaster!

As for the new turn, yes that was smooth - that and the first lift/drop were fun, but everything else in between was tortuous.

Well, I know you had fun at the parks, Phil. But what about Michael? How's his thrill tolerance these days?

Awww...thank you for asking! :)

Michael rode the train with me, but he watched while I rode the thrill rides. While I know that might initially seem cruel for him to have to wait while I ride, he assured me that he is 110% fine with it. He will grab an an ice cream, cold lemonade, or a cold beer while I ride - and he LOVES to people-watch!

When we visited BGT in December, SfStl and SDC on this trip, we kept our day in the park relatively short (about 5-6 hours). I would either push him in his wheelchair (SfStL) or we rented an electric scooter (BGT and SDC) so he could bomb around the park without getting too tired.

Not that we didn't love theme parks before, but getting to go to one now gives us a new-found appreciation for just being able to go live life and have fun again - or even just being able to watch others have fun.

We agreed that it's therapeutic for both of us because we're doing what we liked to do before he got sick. Michael has accepted not being able to ride and even admitted that several of the bigger, faster thrill rides were too much for him even before he got sick.

Given that his surgery to remove the cancer in his bile duct resulted in them doing a Whipple Procedure where they end up taking part of the pancreas in what is a very risky (we didn't know this until after the fact) procedure, we are now very reluctant for him to ride anything that moves too fast (that could potentially jostle open his mended organs). They didn't know until they got him open that the cancer had spread into part of his pancreas and liver, so it was a last second decision that I needed to make during what turned into a 13 hour surgery.

After the surgery, he had three bleeds where one was a lanced aortic artery as a result of the Whipple, another bleed happened at one of the ports in his chest and then he had a hepatic (major) aneurysm about three weeks after that. Then at least three clots and A-fib from a heart attack (after they nicked the aortic artery).

So as painful as it is, we both understand that he is never going to be able to ride a coaster or high speed thrill ride ever again, unfortunately. :cry:

Our plan for our Saturday at CP a couple of weeks ago was for him to be able to ride the train, antique cars, ferris wheel and Sky Ride with me, but unfortunately that didn't come to fruition on this trip. We do plan on getting back there this summer, if all goes well. Hopefully we'll get warmer weather, Michael will be feeling much better and we can get the scooter and FL+ to make the day enjoyable for both of us.

The best news is that he survived all of the horrific setbacks, kicked cancer's ass and is here to tell the story. Granted he (nor I) are the same person that we used to be, but we do have a new lease on life where it proves that you need to enjoy everything on this earth that you can while you have your health, because what you take for granted can change in a heartbeat!

That is why it is disheartening to see people complain about things like the Hangtime event at Knotts. Here you have all the fun that you could handle, ERT, free food...and people came on here to complain about it. While Michael and I are people that rarely complained before (unless it was 110% warranted), we certainly have nothing to complain about now because he is here, versus the alternative.

And we're going to enjoy every last second of it.

Re: Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

Sun May 27, 2018 10:51 am

Hey folks - had time for a little update after trying to get my yard up to par and attending family events.

Back to SfStL...
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Unfortunately Colossus was closed during our visit. Was hoping to get Michael on this, but I guess that it's waiting on a new part from the manufacturer.
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A bit of the rapids ride from the train...looked fun, but I didn't do this one.
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More rapids ride as well as a shot of the best coaster at the park.
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Someone photobombing my shot of Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast from the Skycoaster - in an awesome sort of way!

Mr. Freeze...what can I say about it, but Holy Shit!

From the quirkiest loading platform that I have ever seen to the first reverse launch that I have ever ridden....WOW, this literally took my breath away!

I love the part when you are going up the tower backwards and when you think that you are at the top, Mr. Freeze says, "Oh no, I'm not done with you just yet" and then proceeds to pull you up high enough to where you question if your going to come completely off the track - and then it just drops you and you free fall and fly through the course facing forwards.

This ride was worth the stop alone.

And with absolutely no wait (really?), I got to ride in the front, back and 2nd from back without having to walk back through the queue...yay for no wait re-rides!
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Also got a spin on Pandemonium - this one had a funky layout that I had not experienced on a spinner - a great family ride and a lot of fun!
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What have we here? A smokehouse and a bar?

Yes please!
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More parks need places like this that have good draft beer AND a fully stocked bar!

I had one of the local IPA's (can't recall the name) and Michael got this funky mixed drink that had like ten kinds of booze in it...both yummy!

Of course, it wouldn't be a Six Flags day unless you have some sort of really bizarre customer service, so here goes...

Earlier in the day, Michael asks if I could get him a lemonade, so I walked into one of the pizza restaurants to get him his drink.

There was a women and her two kids waiting on a pizza where you order the food. The two employees were chatting and just ignoring everyone in line. Clearly the women with the two kids was waiting for their food, but one would think that the employees would have helped the next person in line? Nope.

So after trying to capture their attention to see if I could continue to the fountain drink area, I said excuse me to the family waiting for their pizza and went to the woman at the cash register and asked if it was okay if I just ordered and paid for a lemonade.

She said okay, hands me a cup to fill and asks me if I am a season pass holder? I said "Nope, what do I owe you, Ma'am?" She says "Nothing Sir, have a great day!"

So if I were a season pass holder, she would have charged me? I just walked out shaking my head laughing thinking that was the most bizarre thing to ever have happened in a theme part restaurant. I thought that maybe she saw me in line waiting my turn and she felt bad because her co-workers were ignorant slackers? Dunno, but it was certainly an interesting experience to say the least! LOL
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And we'll wrap up Six Flags Mid America (Sorry, I do prefer that name) with a shot of the park's flume.

While a teeny drop, this flume was loooong and wound its way through the woods. And yes, the entire left side of me got soaked after the drop!

While this Six Flags is one of the smaller and less recognized in the chain, it still has some great rides and coasters in a beautiful setting in the woods on a hillside.

An RMC, hyper or giga would be great for this park, but it still has enough charm and thrills to stand head to toe with some of the other parks in the chain - we're glad that we visited!

Up next - onto Branson and Silver Dollar City...thanks for reading!
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Re: Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

Mon May 28, 2018 7:39 am

Ooops...I got out of sequence and forgot a food update.

For shame! LOL
After we left Springfield, we stayed at a Hampton in Rolla, MO which is about an hour or so from St. Louis.

This place was within walking distance, so we decided to check it out.

Anyone ever been to one of these before?
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While I am sure that there are tons of Chicago deep dish places where you could probably get better in Chi-Town, Michael and I were both very pleased with Nancy's pizza!
Believe it or not, Michael had never had Chicago deep-dish pizza before and while he was apprehensive (he's a thin crust guy), he ended up loving it!

This had pepperoni, mushroom and green olives...soooo good!
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Re: Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

Mon May 28, 2018 7:48 am

Great update! I wish I had seen that pizza place since I'm a huge fan of Chicago deep dish and just passed it yesterday.

Re: Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

Mon May 28, 2018 7:50 am

Finally just getting caught up here, great report so far, as usual!

Re: Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

Mon May 28, 2018 7:56 am

Thanks for the comments, guys...appreciate them!

Re: Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

Wed May 30, 2018 5:00 pm

Great report, great pics of SFStL, and a nice shout out to Rolla. My wife grew up just a few miles from there, so we're up there pretty often (just this past weekend, in fact). I've never heard of Nancy's. Their website doesn't list a Rolla location, and Google Maps hasn't heard of it either. You mentioned it's in walking distance of the Hampton; is it on 63?

Re: Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

Wed May 30, 2018 5:12 pm

^ Nice catch, Andrew...thank you for keeping me on my toes! ;)

The Hampton that has the Nancy's pizza next to it was actually in Litchfield, Ill off of I-55 just south of Springfield. Rolla was the next Hampton that we stayed at the evening after we left SfStL.

We ended up having dinner at B-Dubs that night as I didn't see a lot of local offerings and we just wanted something light and a cold beer. While the food was not photo-worthy, we did have a neat time sitting out on their patio drinking beer, eating and watching a really cool lightning storm over the hills.

We made it out of there just in time to get into the car before all hell broke loose. We ended up waiting it out in the Hampton parking lot for the torrential rain and wind to stop before we went up to our room...it certainly was an interesting evening!

Re: Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

Wed May 30, 2018 6:01 pm

^ Yeah, Rolla doesn't really have a whole lot, just some chain restaurants. When we're up there we usually just eat at Panera. :lol:
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