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Coastering in SoCal -- Part II

Author: USRoadTripper
Email: usroadtripper@yahoo.com (More Trip Reviews by USRoadTripper)
Date of Trip: September 2006

The only credits Kevin had left were Canyon Blaster, Ninja and Viper, so we stopped at Canyon Blaster first. We only had about an hour or less left in the park, so we pretty much just ran in, got him his credit and left. We did manage to pop our heads into the Bugs Bunny Burrow, which was just one random chair inside a tree stump hahaha. I also found an abandoned leopard print hat! Score!

We hiked it back over to Tatsu, passing the site of Kevin's upheaval, if you will. We then climbed up the stairs to Ninja and Superman, neither of which had lines. We had fun playing with the hat and Kevin said he enjoyed his ride on Ninja also. When we got in line for Superman, Kevin decided to pass on riding, though he did wait with us.

The car before ours ended up all the way in the maintenance bay since the brakes failed somehow and it was caught by the emergency brakes, which caused a breakdown. With only 8 minutes left until park closing, we assumed that it wouldn't reopen, but we were wrong! It reopened pretty much right at 8:00, though there were only two trains full of people waiting. The second train wasn't even full, so Mike and I rode twice in a row, for the last two rides of the night. They could have easily not bothered with bringing it back up, but they did, and I thought that was pretty cool.

With the park closed, we headed for the car so we could meet up with Jahan again at In-N-Out Burger. Of course it took longer to get there than we'd anticipated, but he was still waiting there patiently when we finally arrived. We all had burgers and fries, which is pretty much all that was on the menu! We'd meant to eat at an In-N-Out back in 2001 but were never able to find one near us. Even though the burger was pretty average, I was glad to say I'd been there!

When we got back out to the car, Kevin ended up being sick again, which now gives Mike the ability to joke that not only did Revolution make him sick, but my driving did as well!! I was gonna head off for a few more moments with Mike and Jahan, so I dropped off Kevin at the hotel and we all reconvened at a nearby Cold Stone Creamery. I had the cheesecake ice cream with a peanut butter cup mixed in...yummy!! Between the good ice cream and the good company, I had a blast.

After a while, I bid my boys farewell, with a promise that I'd get the TR online as soon as I could :-) Kevin was asleep when I got back to the hotel...so soundly asleep that I had to check and make sure he was breathing! Hahaha! I was pretty pooped too, so I hit the bed almost as soon as I got in as well.

Saturday, September 2nd

I woke up around 8:00am, and Kevin was already awake and watching TV. Having a had much better night's sleep that night, he said he felt much better than the previous day. I showered and got dressed and as we finished packing up our things. We headed for breakfast again, which was nice as always. They had hard boiled eggs that morning, and after Kevin made a comment about how no one was eating them, I had to eat a couple of them just to prove him wrong.

Finally, we packed up the car and headed south towards Santa Monica. There was pretty much no traffic, and we found where we needed to be quite easily thanks to my directions and Kevin's GPS. We parked the car in the first lot we found, which happened to be directly behind the Hot Dog on a Stick, which was one of our planned stops. The first order of business was for Kevin to do a bit of geocaching since there were three caches in the immediate Santa Monica Pier area. I'd never done anything like that before, but it was really quite fun!

The first one was up some stairs at the end of the pier and hidden under a plaque about sewage or drainage or something. Kevin took a little glass heart out of the box, and left a pink flamingo "travel bug" that was trying to get home to Colorado, and a coin with an octopus on it. The next one we found was a webcam cache at the main entrance to the pier. We had to stand on a street corner facing some random dentist's office, and hold our arms straight out! We must have looked truly strange, but hey, one of Kevin's friends got on the web and was able to save the picture of us!

With that done, we headed onto the pier. I'd never been to anything like that area before, so I really thought it was a lot of fun! It was such a beautiful day, and we had a lot of fun just wandering around checking out the beach, the people and the birds.

Soon we were at Pacific Park, which was the site of another "virtual cache" where you had to look around and answer a few questions. We both bought enough tickets to ride the Santa Monica West Coaster and the Pacific Wheel, then promptly got in line for the coaster. Everything was just so cute and picturesque that we had a great time taking pictures and video in the area.

We ended up riding in the front seat of the West Coaster, and this was a much better ride than I thought it would be! It looked pretty tame, but there were actually some pretty decent pops of airtime on the return leg, and the helix was much more forceful than I imagined! Kevin really ended up liking it as well, later saying that it was his favorite coaster of the whole weekend. Next we rode the Pacific Wheel, which was really great, and had such an awesome view.

The time on our parking space was running out (we'd only paid for one hour) so we headed back to the car. Since Kevin wanted to get a hot dog and I wanted to explore a little more, we put another dollar in the meter. When I found Kevin again, he'd purchased a Hot Dog on a Stick and a lemonade, both of which he said were great. I'm not too big on corn dogs (who am I kidding...I hate them) and am allergic to lemons, so I couldn't get anything They did have cheese on a stick, but it was covered in that horrible corn dog batter...yuck!

We wandered down the beach a bit and discovered that Muscle Beach was just a ways down, so we took a moment to people watch. My mom called to ask a question about my cats, so I talked to her for just a bit, and she thought it was really cool that I was at Muscle Beach for whatever reason. Must be a much cooler thing to southerners than to Californians, I guess! There was also some random middle aged dude in short shorts doing a hand stand...awesome.

When our second hour was up, we left and headed for a nearby Ralph's grocery store to pick up some tickets to Knotts Berry Farm later in the weekend. On the way, we passed the corner of Lincoln and Olympic, but no video store! Just a U-Haul and a Chevron! I was expecting to find an adult bookstore! Turns out that the Ralph's was out of Knotts tickets, but they called another one in the area and they said that they had some. Kevin bought a pound of Concord grapes, then we set out to find Ralph's #2.

We found it pretty easily, but all they had were Soak City tickets! Gah! And the lady there gave us the most insincere apology for making us go out of our way that I have ever heard. So we left empty handed and headed south again towards Anaheim.

Heading south, we ran into quite a bit of traffic on the way to Anaheim. It was never completely stopped, but was very congested and very slow. Godspeed to the locals who have to deal with it every day. We followed the directions in Kevin's GPS to our hotel, then quickly checked in. After dropping our stuff in the room, we headed out to find food before going to the park. We'd spotted a Subway and a Chinese restaurant on the way to the park, so we opted for the Chinese. I had sweet and sour chicken, sesame chicken and lo mien, and it was all great. It was too much to finish and still be able to walk out in the California sun.

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