Tuesday, Sept. 14: I don’t feel at all well: runny nose, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, possibly some fever. SOTD: Champagne de Bois.
Wednesday, Sept. 15: I can’t smell anything. No scent today. Bookworm is home sick from school, and The CEO stayed home in bed all day too. (Alert the media and Guinness Book – he never takes a day off, except if he thinks he’s dying.)
Thursday, Sept. 16: Sniffer still busted, Bookworm still sick. CEO somewhat better. No scent today. Fed our new orphaned calf, who’s named Jonathan. Andy and Jean, the ones we were bottle-feeding over the summer, have left the small lot and moved into the adjacent lot near the equipment shed, where they seem happy eating grass. They are intensely curious about the new calf and keep coming to that part of the lot to investigate, especially when the new one’s getting his bottle of milk.
Friday, Sept. 17: Sniffer marginally better, but no SOTD yet. Maybe tomorrow. Since we had had to cut our vacation short a day, we had promised the kids we’d take them to an amusement park “in the fall.” Well, turns out that this is the only weekend that Bookworm does not have a football game that she has to attend as a band member (it’s a bye week), a band competition, or a cross-country meet. There’s another Saturday without either a meet or a competition in October, but that day she happens to have PSAT testing, so that’s not going to work.
Then we found out that Kings Dominion had tickets for $25 per person, 9/18 only. Snapped up those tickets right away, and headed out this evening, so we could get halfway there.
Saturday, Sept. 18: I can smell! SOTD: Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur. (Why does this smell so different from the original Black Orchid? It’s supposed to be the edt version of the original – which smells like cucumber and dirt to me, which is fine if you’re actually in the garden, but not so good as an intentional perfume IMHO. Whereas VdF is just a shimmering veil of loveliness.
Kings Dominion isn’t nearly as good a park as, say, Carowinds or Busch Gardens Williamsburg, two other parks we’ve visited within the last five years, but they do have at least a couple of really great rides. The way our usual amusement park day works is that we’ll ride a few rides all together as a family – Scrambler, Spider, possibly a carousel or around-the-park train, a small suitable-for-kids roller coaster, and then Bookworm and I will head off for the roller coasters you have to be strapped into, while The CEO takes Gaze and Taz on gentler stuff like the big swings or bumper cars. I can’t do a straight round-and-round ride, either, it makes me sick.
I have a moderate fear of heights, and cannot stand close to the edge of anything that I might fall off of without getting the willies. The CEO likes to pick on me a bit – we went up to the observation deck of the “Eiffel Towel” scale model that Kings Dominion has, and I had to stay close to the inner platform, while he pretended to lean over the railing. I suppose, though, that it’s not so much a fear of heights, but a fear of falling: I love roller coasters. If I’ve got a shoulder harness, I feel secure. Wooden coasters don’t need shoulder harnesses, but I think anything else does.
Those Da Vinci’s Cradle-type rides? The CEO loves them. I hate them. Big steel coasters with those thigh-bracer harnesses, like Busch Gardens’ Apollo’s Chariot? I hate them. I don’t feel safe in them.
But turn me upside down, take me on loops and barrel rolls and inversions and long drops – as long as I’ve got a shoulder harness, I’m happy. I’m not much of a coaster aficionado; bigger/badder/faster/thrillier doesn’t do all that much for me. Especially since I also hate the chain lift on traditional coasters. Besides the aforementioned Apollo’s Chariot, I hate and despise and fear Carowinds’ Carolina Cobra, with its double lift chains. Argh. Rode that one with Bookworm last year, and hated every second of it. TWO lifts? Kill me now.
Favorites of mine: The Shooting Star, my first coaster ever, and a terrific wooden coaster it was. This was at the now-defunct Lakeside Amusement Park, and while the Shooting Star is no more, it’s still my gold standard. The Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens, which was my first steel coaster, and still a terrific ride. Afterburn (formerly Top Gun) at Carowinds is pure exhilaration. And the new one, Volcano Blast Coaster at Kings Dominion, my first LIM (launch) coaster, really is a blast. Seats are suspended from the train as in Afterburn but instead of the teeth-grinding stress of the lift chain, you get shot straight up into the air, then go through multiple barrel rolls, corkscrews, and complete inversions in which your upside-down weight is all on the harness. I love it.
Philosophical question: Why do people wear Angel to amusement parks? For that matter, why do people wear heavy hoop earrings and tight jeans and thin strappy sandals, all uncomfortable sexy-date attire to my mind, to amusement parks? I don’t geddit. Is the amusement park hot date material? I’ve only visited amusement parks with my family, or in a group of high schoolers…
Sunday, Sept. 19: After the park yesterday, we drove to my parents’ house and spent the night. I’d been invited to sing at their church, the one I grew up in, in a service honoring a former minister – he’s now 81 but doesn’t look or sound it. SOTD: Voile de Fleur again, since it was the only thing I took with me. I’m still very fond of that church, but I don’t think I’d be happy there now; I like the contemporary service at the church we belong to. I don’t mind dressing up on Sunday (attire at our current church ranges from jeans, tee shirts and thong sandals to dresses and heels), and I sometimes miss the old hymns, but I love it that church services are not just something to be checked off on your “good deeds” list – more a celebration of the God we try to follow all week. Our pastor has a motto: “Don’t just go to church; be the church.”
After church services, we had lunch with Mom and Dad, and my sister and her son, whom I call Doodlebug. (A’s husband is in Afghanistan right now, and if you’d like to send up a prayer for his safety, it wouldn’t go amiss.)
It was nice to come home and be greeted enthusiastically by the pets, but the house is a wreck.