Friday, April 24, 2009

Sunshine and Coasters

2009 Youth Group LA Trip!

Over the years it has been my pleasure to accompany your sons and daughters on about 8 trips to California. Sometimes we go on buses, sometimes planes, yet while the mode of travel changes each time I am always impressed with how totally wonderful the kids in our life truly are. They are bright, articulate, and pretty darned considerate.

This year's spring All Saint's Youth trip to Magic Mountain and Universal Studio's Hollywood was especially nice. Travel plans went flawlessly and once again we enjoyed spectacular Southern California weather.

Day One:
After gathering at the crack-o-dawn we flew from Phoenix to LAX. The air was clear and the plane was on time. Once we arrived we all climbed aboard our big van for the drive up to Magic Mountain.

For those that may not know it, Magic Mountain is California's thrill ride central. It is home to 15 of the worlds highest, fastest, and loopiest roller coasters.

Once there we slathered on sunscreen and crossed into the park. Some went straight to ride "Tatsu" the tallest (17 stories), fastest (62 MPH), and longest "flying" coaster in the World. With its unique overhead support it literally holds passengers (victims) in a manner that simulates flying.

Others ran off to ride the perennial favorite X2 (which features a straight 90° plunge to the earth with passengers facing straight at the ground).

Still others went to (my favorite) Goliath. Goliath is the coaster you see from miles and miles away. It is wicked tall (26 stories) and holds the records as the fastest coaster in the park roaring along at speeds of 85 MPH.

Aboard Our Big Enterprise Van

In Front of Goliath
A milestone - This year no one from our group got stuck on Goliath!

Traveling Up the 26 Story Goliath
This is the place where second thoughts are born

Just Before the Initial Drop
Look at how puny the colossus coaster looks from the top of Goliath!

A Great Year for Water Rides

Trophy Time
Admiring a temporary henna tattoo

The gorgeous weather did have a drawback, as it resulted in big crowds and long lines. But we stayed and played till the park closed and then poured into big comfy beds at the LAX Hilton.

Day Two:
On the morning of day two we assembled in the hotel lobby and drove toward the "Hollywood" sign and Universal Studios. Once there many started their day with a big crepe breakfast on the Universal Citywalk. The weather was beautiful again, but luckily, the crowds from Magic Mountain did not reappear for a Sunday at Universal. This made for short lines and access to any and all of its rides and shows.

At The Gates to Universal Studios Hollywood

A Group Shot with Bart and Homer
Doh Doh Doh

A Welcome from Universal's Big NY Cop

Once inside Universal nearly everyone started by riding the new Simpson's ride. It is a hurky jerky ride through Krustyland. We then followed that with a spin on the (cell phone eating) Curse of the Mummy, and then a cruise on our old favorite Jurassic Park. The group then went their own separate ways, but many went on the backlot tour.

The backlot tour was very different this year as a result of the huge 2008 fire. Sadly, the original King Kong with his banana breath and Marty McFly's Back-to-the-future courthouse square are gone forever. But, like everything else in the movies, Universal is rebuilding (updating) both and, newer and better versions will be soon appear.

Construction on The New Backlot was in Full Force
Work crews were everywhere despite it being a Sunday

We reassembled at 3:30 on Sunday afternoon and made our way back to LAX. Everyone simultaneously jammed I-pod earphones in their ears and then slept all the flight home.

It was another great trip where everyone came away with new, or even better, friends.

Roadboy's Travels © 2009


IniquitousFish said...

How on earth did you get those pictures on Goliath!?

Sandi Sue said...

Thanks so much for posting the pics and writing about the trip!