Pick a Park- Culture or Amusement?

Last weekend, Thad and I decided that this weekend we would take in some of Washington’s cultural magnificence.  Not far from the Rosslyn Metro station (which is just a few stops  up from us on the blue line) is the footbridge that leads to the Theodore Roosevelt Island National Memorial. We figured with the fall foliage out in full force, it would be a beautiful way to spend an afternoon.

But then option #2 came up: Six Flags with John and Erin!

Well, there was little debate to be had- if rides are an option, decision making is unnecessary.

The weather has definitely cooled off here lately, which created a bit of a conundrum in my mind.  I associate amusements parks with broiling summer days, finding a balance between comfortable yet cool clothing and the constant need for gallons of liquid refreshment. Pulling into a parking lot with brightly colored roller coasters on an overcast horizon and getting out of the car while pulling on a hoodie all felt a bit perplexing.

The day may not have been filled with a cacophony of fall colors, but it was filled with rainbow-hued roller coasters christened after super heroes.  (That, and one ridiculously dizzying spin on the teacups!)

John and Erin are well aware of my fear of heights. This became much glaringly obvious after they watched me crab-crawl, terrified,  across the glass floor of the 1,109 foot high Macau Tower a few years ago.  What they didn’t know is that my terror translates into a running scream/dialogue on rides.  It usually starts on the uphill climb with an announcement about the mistakes that have been made and then quickly morphs into a series of “Oh no!”’s and “I think I’m going to die”’s and a few “Oh my gosh!”’s.  The cries of fright are always G-rated, as I wouldn’t want to offend those eight year olds that are gleefully enjoying the ride of their lives. (Standing in line, waiting to willingly enter into these death defying situations, I always try to convince myself that it can’t be that bad when kids who only meet the height requirement by mere centimeters are blithely hopping on for a round of fear and fun.)

John, Erin, Thad and I spent the day, making the rounds to each of the roller coasters, making our way to a few spinning rides as well.  From Joker’s Jinx (terrifying start!) to Batwing (longest line ever!), rides were ridden and death was defied. (Disclaimer: I didn’t attempt all of them. I spent part of the day as a happy viewer, allowing the others to experience the terror without me.)

When the mercury hits sixty, I don’t normally think of amusement parks, but it turned out to be great, until the sun went down, when it quickly cooled off.  It wasn’t the rapidly chilling air that made me ready to call it a day though.  With Halloween just a week away, Six Flags is right in the middle of their Fright Night season, which means with the setting of the sun comes the appearance of costumed creatures, many of them wielding chainsaws!  I will nervously get on a speeding hunk of metal that shoots me into the air, turns upside down, twirls in corkscrews and then comes to a whiplash inducing, screeching halt, but I can’t handle the costumed creatures.  It was time to bid adieu to the park and head home and soothe the frazzled nerves created by perilous rides and creepy creatures.

Culture-smulture! Maybe next weekend we’ll make that trip to the Theodore Roosevelt Island Memorial and the lovely dancing leaves of fall!

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