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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Vacation in Joisey

So here I am, with my younger son, spending a month with my family on the east coast. I'm not sure which is worse - the oppressive humidity here, or the record-breaking heat they're expecting in Vegas this weekend.

I have to admit, that's my only complaint. I've missed trees and squirrels and water... okay, so I didn't need to get soaked to the skin trying to leave Six Flags Great Adventure when a t-storm decided to dump a sudden downpour on us. The parking lot flooded so fast there were puddles up to our ankles. It took two days for our shoes to dry out. But I digress.

Great Adventure (the Six Flags came later) opened in 1974. I remember the old entrance that ran straight into the Merry-Go-Round. I also remember working at that Merry-Go-Round one summer in the early 80s. That calliope music haunted me in my dreams for months after the season ended. The two summers I spent there, though, were some of the best of my life.

There was a diving show featuring the Acapulco Cliff Divers. One of them was Bruce Boccia. He and I played "Phoenix" in the employee break room a couple of times. Really nice guy. Another one of the divers was Dana Kunze, high dive world record holder at 172 ft. We had Lynn Fuchs, Jeff Kucera, and Doug Gandel. It was a great show, lots of fun. I wish I could remember the rest of the team's names, there were certainly more than five of them.

The show started with the "Aquamaniacs", a clown diving show. Doug Gandel would pretend to be an audience member interrupting a diving demonstration. For one summer, I spent every show I could sitting in the bleachers, saving a seat for Doug. He'd bum a cigarette, some soda, whatever. It made him look like more of an audience member and I had a blast. When he jumped up to run down to the pool, I'd sink down in my seat and try to look embarrassed. It never failed that there would be some sweet little old lady sitting in the row in front of me, who would invariably turn around and say to me "You poor thing! Is he your boyfriend?" By the end of the summer I was an unofficial member of the show.

Anyway... back to the present. My older son is now working there, and my sister, my younger son and I all went to spend a day at the park with him. We started with the revamped safari tour. It's now part of the amusement park, and you simply have to hop on a truck and enjoy the ride. Here's a quick pic from just before we got on the truck:


 
This is Sean, my younger (yet taller) son, at the "camp" they drop us off at in the middle of the safari tour. 
 
 
 
Finally, here's  my boys on the Ferris Wheel. Aren't they handsome?
 
Still on the agenda; a trip to DE to see my in-laws, a trip or two into NYC for "Phantom" on Broadway and the new World Trade Center site, and a trip to Pennsylvania to visit my favorite aunt (and maybe do a little genealogy research while I'm there). WOOT!