Virginia Trip: Part II

We wake up on day two to a very chilly mountain air...oh let's be honest, it was downright cold outside! Like upper 30's to lower 40's with a breeze at high altitudes. We decide to motor along the Skyline Drive, hop out and look, then move on from a climate controlled Tyler. Our communing with nature only goes so far. Thankfully the views were worth it.

As we are leaving our room for the last time, the door right across from ours opens and there he is!! It's the guy we ran into twice the day before -- he was in the very next room! After a laugh and talk of stalking, we head out to our cars. He sees my U. of Illinois hoody and says he's from Illinois, too. Small world (and we didn't even need Kevin Bacon on this one).

Toward the end of our motoring, we did stop on a few short hikes (thanks to a warmer front). It was about this point I showcased my bear mating call. Ever since I went to the circus and was totally let down by not seeing a bear on a unicycle, I thought this was my chance at redemption. The black bears had repopulated the park and surely would show themselves. Not so much...but maybe with some incentive? The lure of a bear in heat? Or distress? I actually recorded my bear call on the computer, but it was so absolutely ridiculous, I dare not share it with my reading audience. To Janell, my apologies for listening to that hot mess I subjected you to...

Nevertheless, we did see a deer while traveling the Dickey Ridge and Fox Hollow Trails. Sadly, it staggered off before I could snap a shot with my camera. This was our last walk through the inviting Shenandoah National Park before leaving nature for some man-made roller coaster action!

Williamsburg, VA

We motored to Williamsburg that day and decided to walk the Colonial town by afternoon and eve. First off, the place is quite expansive. I didn't get any pictures, but it was worth the stroll. We stopped at a coffee house (not from the olden days) and had delicious seafood for dinner. Janell enjoyed the scallop salad and I savored the shrimp linguine. Quite good for a coffee house meal, so thanks to the woman in the Christmas store for the suggestion. Remember, ask the locals.

Busch Gardens

Step 1: Know someone who works for Anheuser-Busch so you can get free admission.

Step 2: Scout ahead, arrive early and push down children and old people to gain some ground.

Step 3: Ride best coaster first in the front seat!

Step 4: Try not to get kicked out of the park.

As you can see from my gallery of BG photos, I did not secure all my loose articles, which is a major no-no on the roller coasters. Whatevah! I got some hot action photos in the bends and falls of several coasters, and I regret nothing!! However, the 40-year-old nerd man-child who was way into his minimum wage job figuratively wagged his finger in my face and gave me a stern talking-to. I didn't restow my camera when we got back to the station, and he geekily informed me I'd be ejected from the park (with extreme prejudice (my words, not his)) if I was caught doing that again. And how would anyone know?? I said okay in a very off-handed way and left the ride.

Chris - 1; Busch Law Holding Me Down - 0.

It wasn't until after I returned home to look up some coaster information that I found out one of the coasters we rode, Apollo's Chariot, was the ride Fabio was on when he came face-to-face with a goose! One degree of separation with Fabio!!! Take that, Kevin Bacon!!

The park had an awesome smokehouse where we ate lunch. One grumble, though: this park has horrible walkways. Dead ends, crowded, narrow paths, and backtracking. So not cool. A very beautiful park, however, so if you have to needlessly hoof it, it's the place to be.

We leave Busch in the late afternoon to motor to Ashland, VA to stay the night before our trip to King's Dominion. In search of local cuisine, Janell asks the front desk attendant for some suggestions. She recommends we go to this mall where there are many choices. Now I don't know how many definitions folks have for a "mall" but I don't think it includes a strip mall with a Wal-Mart. Because that's where she led us! Curses, foiled! So we ate at the exotic far-flung Ruby Tuesdays. And it wasn't even on a Tuesday, so that was chancy.

King's Dominion

For those of you who've been to King's Island, the similarity of these parks is a bit Twilight Zone-esque. They have duplicate coasters, the Eiffel Tower, similar theming, with one glaring omission...this park did NOT have my most favorite Skyline Chili!!! Scam!!

This park does benefit from one of the best coasters I've ridden -- Volcano! I got a shot of it from another coaster, which you can see in the gallery, but I had to include an overhead picture because, well, this ride rocks! It launches you out of the volcano : )

We loved it so much, we waited over an hour for a second ride before we left. So this group of punk bastards push through the line, claiming their party was ahead and they had to step out of line for the restroom. You know, total bullshit. Because they stop in front of the group ahead of us. And folks are pissed!! This old guy gets into the thug leader's face and is talking down on him...things got a bit heated! The worst part is there were no park officials around to boot these suckahs out of the line! And then the line jumped AGAIN (assholes) and so we couldn't do anything at that point. I was so hoping to reach the station and then rat them out, so they waited over an hour for nothing. Oh well, trust that karma will serve itself. They tried to get this other group to cut in with them but we pushed past them again, so I think they got the picture. A few girls left in shame. The part that ticked me off was the guy who thought he was the shit and didn't care what everyone thought. Freakin' mofo.

Go West!

Damn this post is long. Well, too late for a part III. We must forge on, and that's exactly what we did -- forging back to Ohio. Highlights on the way back included a sweet drive though some twisty mountainous roads in Virginia. How I missed taking Tyler on the bends in the straight gridlines of Illinois farm country! Then we dash past a sideroad tourist trap and cannot turn back! I feel guilt! We missed -- drum roll -- Mystery Hole! Thank god for the internet, so I could glimpse what I missed, but it's not the same, my friends. Not the same.

We went through a Psychodelic Car Wash! First off, this was a touchless wash that literally took almost 10 minutes per car. But then -- Tangerine Dream soapy foam!! Check out the photos, man, they're trippy! And then we had lunch at Arby's by the not-so-Nuclear-Nuclear Power Plant. Apparently, it never went nuke, but it had the big ol' signature cooling towers. I dared to drink the water. But the weirder thing was that each table at Arby's either had a phone (not a pay phone, just a regular hand held) or a phone to puzzle that one out?

One last scenic stop was made in New River Gorge State Park because it isn't nice to. It had something to do with British people. As usual, the photos do no justice, nor does the retelling of how I told Janell I was going to fake a British accent the whole time we were there. Why? Well, why not? So I did this whole routine I've well forgotten now, and she laughed at it, unlike other people I know who get hostile at my British accent, but I'm not pointing fingers. It had to do with the Brits coming to America to silently take over the country in a second invasion with their sexy accents and reality TV...I don't know, it was hilarious at the time! So then I kept talking that way because once you start, it's so hard to stop.

Well, that about wraps it up, and just in time for dinner. Adventures were had, lessons were learned, money was saved, and mysteries were left unsolved. Tomorrow will be yet another day to experience. Army out.


Allie D. said...

So was it more of a "You Limey bahstad!" British accent, or was it more of a "Chance Worthington"? :)

Your trip sounded like a blast. I MUST ride the Volcano!!

Army said...

Actually, it was more of a David Brent from BBC's The Office. Although I love the two accents you've mentioned, dahling! There's also the Dick Van Dyke from Mary Poppins, which is a true classic. "Step in time!"

You'd love Volcano very much! It's no Millenium Force, but they are both made by Intamin, and those folks can put together some sweet rides.

Allie D. said...

Intamin makes some good coffee cakes too. Har-huh!

BB said...

Dude, I need some road trippin! Thanks for reminding me how much I love to cruise the fine interstate system, enjoying our national treasures and trying not to spend money on crap like The Mystery Hole.