2020 has been a trip, to be sure. I had tons of things I had planned to do this year that just never happened. Eventually I will get around to collecting my Covid-related posts from Facebook and dumping them here, but not today.
This past weekend, What’s-His-Name and I drove out to Cedar Point with The Teenager to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. Seemed appropriate, since the past twenty years have been quite the rollercoaster.
I’ve wanted to go back to Cedar Point for years now, but it hasn’t been in the plans because of one thing or another. Schedules don’t line up, or we have other plans, or we just don’t think of it when deciding on vacations. This year, we decided to do it, even with the pandemic, and it was fine. We stayed in the hotel on the Point and everything was clean and sanitized and people were wearing masks and doing distancing and all that jazz.
It was weird, going back there after so long. Twenty-six years ago, I spent the summer living and working at the park, and I was interested to see how much had changed. Turns out – LOTS of things had changed. All the old dorm buildings that we lived in were gone. Some rides were gone. Coasters were either taken down and replaced with something else or revamped into something new. It didn’t look the same at all, and I think I’m glad about that. My memories of “my” Cedar Point aren’t affected by the “new” Cedar Point where I spent the weekend.
I read somewhere that if someplace is truly “home” to you, you can see the layers. You can look at a building and you remember what used to be there and what was there before that and before that. That’s Cedar Point, for me. I grew up going there a bunch of times each summer, and then spent that summer working there – I could see the layers as we walked around, and it was a little bittersweet.
Midway Games (my section) was mostly closed due to the pandemic. That was a bummer, because I wanted to show The Teenager the games where I had worked and tell her the little secrets to winning them (hint: you usually can’t unless you’re very lucky. The only exceptions are things like the ones where you throw darts at a balloon or something. Everything else is not rigged, exactly, but definitely set up in favor of the house). She asked all weekend to hear stories of my time there and I told her as many could be decently told to a 14-year-old. Some stories will have to wait until she’s older.
We had a good time. We had to stand in line after line, but you always do, right? The weather was perfect, and the rides we did manage to get on were exactly what we wanted. The Raptor was still amazing after all these years (but showing its age, definitely). The GateKeeper (new in 2013) was outstanding, and I finally got to ride Millennium Force, which I have waited 20 years to do. I also rode the Gemini with The Teenager, and it was nice to do that because that’s the first “big coaster” I ever rode and it’s still awesome.
If this pandemic ever ends, we are planning to go back and not take 20 years to do it.