Sunday got started with our protests against the alarm clock. But it had an indisputable logic. We didn't leave enough time to eat at the hotel before heading to Holiday World, because we figured to get there at opening and spend as much time with family and park as possible. Also this time not just bunny_hugger's but also my coffee cup lid came off in our hands. So it wasn't just the one bad lot of lids interacting badly with the height of my car's cupholders.
If it were just meeting family, we could've stayed in. My sister texted to report that they had got off to a late start, which is fair enough since they were coming from the outskirts of Saint Louis and would have to get up crazily early, probably before dawn. We wouldn't pull a crazy stunt like that. She wasn't sure but estimated it was most likely they'd arrive about an hour after the park opened, which proved to be almost dead on.
We parked in the lot not separated by the tunnel under the highway and had one of those strokes of good luck that sometimes hits people who didn't buy tickets ahead. There was a school group which had, as they will, bought too many tickets for their needs and so were passing out free admissions to folks like us. And so for the second year in a row, our second amusement park trip was paid for by someone else. (When we went to Chessington World of Adventure we picked up an expiring newspaper-sponsored promotional ticket from someone who had too many.) They had plenty of further tickets, although asking if they might have a pair for my sister and her husband felt a little bit too kiasu. Also I guess their son would've needed one? If parks charge for five-month-olds. Not sure.
Since our last visit to Holiday World, two years back, they'd put in a new roller coaster. It's a steel, winged roller coaster, like GateKeeper at Cedar Point. This was a controversial addition: their three astounding, world-best roller coasters were all wooden ones and there was at least a commonly held supposition that wooden roller coasters kept to the park's family-friendly, not-too-intense flair. But the park's owners swore that the beloved Will Koch, before his unexpected death, had plans for a steel coaster like this, and that it would fit well into the Thanksgiving section of the park.
Our question: do we ride it without my sister and her husband? Part of the fun of going to a park in a group is going to stuff like this in groups. And we had waited a year to ride this; couldn't we wait an hour more? On the other hand, it was a bright, sunny day, nice and warm. A Sunday. Could be packed. Could be crazily packed. The opening hour might be our best chance to get a ride at all in. If the ride would have three-hour queues, well, my family could make that hard decision about whether to skip it or to make another day trip without worrying about us.
I explain this so you don't think we were heels that we went and rode the new roller coaster, Thunderbird, without them. It made sense at the time.
Trivia: Mesopotamian records, in cuneiform, indicate that low-ranking members of the Sumerian temple workforce were rationed one sila (about a liter) of beer per day. Junior officials were given two; higher officials and ladies of the court three; and the highest officers, five. Source: A History of the World in Six Glasses, Tom Standage.
Currently Reading: Wings of Madness: Alberto Santos-Dumont and the Invention of Flight, Paul Hoffman.