Friday, March 09, 2007


One highlight of our girlie weekend was hitting the Boardwalk. This is the best place to people watch next to Disneyland. Every color, size and age are represented here. I love Santa Cruz, and I'm glad to raise my kids in such a marvelous melting pot.

We approach our intended destination with a mixture of fear, excitement and anticipation. There is no greater wooden roller coaster on earth than the Giant Dipper.

Oh sure, there's some steel holding it together up there...but upon a close inspection one can easily be convinced that it's mostly painted wood. The perfect combination of vintage weathered and modern drama. Let's go!

And I do mean vintage. It's been thrilling seekers since 1924. It's survived wars and earthquakes, and it still rocks. Of course Horsey Girl won't go near it. The one time she tried she threw up. So it was all about me and Princess #1. We tossed our tickets at the gate and ran to the front of the line.....we scored the first car!

The first nine seconds of the ride is in the pitch black...neck wrenching turns at lightening speed but you have no clue where you are headed. Then, the proverbial light and the end of the tunnel. It's a breakthrough moment, and there's no going back now.

We begin our ascent to the rhythm of the clickety - clack, clack, clack, clack...everybody knows what's coming, and they are breathless. The weather today calls for mostly sunny skies with a touch of palm trees, highs in the mid 70's, and no lows in sight. Until we reach the top, that is.

And here's the view form the top. You can see all the way to Monterey from up here! Notice the lighthouse on your left. At this point I must stop to breathe...stay in the moment...chastise my oldest child for spitting (she's a real spitter, that one.) I'm suspended in air, and time. But just a moment to catch your breath - ready?

An explosion of speed! A rush of wind! And we're off....the ride is barely three minutes long, but it's so much more. We twist, wind, lift and separate...we throw up our hands and scream like banshees. What a release! What a ride!

Back on solid ground, tears streaming, we laugh like crazy as we relive it again. We check out the picture that a machine on drop number two takes of us (for purchase) and crack up again (it's always awful.) Then we are pulling out another wad of tickets as we run for the entrance, it was so terrible, so wonderful, let's do it again, and again.

I love my beautiful big girls. There's no place like home.


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