The Great Adventure

Kristin approached me a week ago.

“How do you feel about Six Flags?”

I could sense the doe-eyed child-like innocence that took over my face, “Like we would go there?”

I can scarecely remember the last park I went to, but I know it was in Montreal on a family vacation gone awry. I felt like a child who had just been told they were being given a pony for their birthday, “I would love that! Yes! Let’s go!”

Emily & I

We’ve been working to the bone, if you’d seen the cut Padraig managed to give himself you’d understand the legitimacy of that statement. The girls have been in heels for these 8 hour days, nevermind that Emily and I worked six-day work weeks. Fernando had scooped up a handful of buy-one-get-one-free coupons for entrance to Six Flags in New Jersey and Justin swore he’d handle the transportation.

“Rest your pretty heads,” he said to us, “I’m on it.”

You didn’t have to ask us twice.

At 9 o’clock this morning, after several wake-up phone calls from Emily ensuring that we were conscious, 6 of us piled into a brick red Buick SUV and Justin, donning a “Joy-zee” t-shirt, chauffeured us to the Garden State.

The sun faded in an out of a cloud covered sky. The temperature dipped into the 50s and seemed to beckon rain on.

It was perfect weather; for a great adventure.

We hit no traffic on the road or in the park. Lines? Nonexistent. When rain began to sprinkle the grounds they closed down only one coaster – Kunda Ka, the tallest, fastest roller coaster in the world.

In 3.5 seconds the Kunda Ka goes from 0 to 128 mph catapulting you 45 stories into the sky.

We saved this coaster for last. People streamed from the entrance, “it’s closed,” they kept telling us.

Fernando looked at us, “Do you want to just go up there, and wait until the rain stops?”

“You know it’s closed right now, right?” the employees said.

“We figured we’d just wait…are all the rollercoaster closed when it starts to rain?”

The others all stay open, it’s only the Kunda Ka that closes.


“Because if we put you on it when it’s raining, you’ll get off the ride with a new face. It goes so fast that the rain would pierce your skin.”

We waited for the weather center to call with a thumbs up. Gradually the others left and we moved to the front seats.

I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face all day. I laughed through every ride out of pure enjoyment. When we shot from 0 to 128 mph I thought my face was going to come clear off my skull. I threw my hands in the air as we whipped up into the sky and spun back down towards the ground.

For 59 seconds, with my eyes watering, heart racing, and the wind tangling my hair, I flew.

We pulled into the gate at the end, “Let’s do that again!”

Fernando just laughed.


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