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[personal profile] mmcirvin
- We took a recent week-long vacation that was mostly in Maine. I wanted to go to Funtown Splashtown USA in Saco at some point and check out Excalibur, their large CCI wooden coaster. But the day we'd planned to do it was cool and overcast, and the Splashtown aspect that would have been the main attraction for Sam and the kid was a non-starter. Someday.

- We did make it to Water Country USA in Portsmouth, NH on the first day. Sam likes big water slides, I can take them or leave them, and our daughter definitely doesn't (she doesn't like the idea of splashing into a pool and maybe getting submerged at the end). So I ended up riding their lazy river a whole lot with her while Sam went on the slides. It's a good lazy river. It took us a little while to figure out that there are two sizes of tubes, and the bigger ones have a hole big enough that a kid will keep falling through it. They've got a nice wave pool too. We did all go on Wild Canyon, their family raft slide--unfortunately it was a bit too much for the kid; she likes the sort of theme-park rapids-raft ride where you're belted in, but going down on a glorified big inner tube while gripping the handles was apparently scarier. I liked it, though.

- We got back to Canobie Lake Park last weekend, and I took a ride on Untamed, one of my favorite coasters and one I hadn't gotten around to riding in a while. Also saw a nice acrobatics performance by what I suspect was the junior farm team of the New Shanghai Circus, with lots of jumping through hoops and hat juggling. During costume changes they filled in with "Asian"-themed dance routines by some of Canobie Lake's regular dancers, a couple of which were kind of cringeworthy, verging on yellowface. But it was nice actually seeing a show in the old dancehall, which used to be a major music venue during the big-band-swing era.

- I just heard that Lake Compounce recently permanently shut down their amazing up-the-mountain sky ride, no reason given. Many people suspect it was in response to an incident at Six Flags Great Escape in New York state, in which a teenage girl fell out of one of these ski-lift-style rides with non-locking lap bars (there were people on the ground who caught her, but at Compounce that would not have been possible). It's understandable--the ride freaks me out a little, especially when I'm riding with a kid. But it's also a pity, since that ride was one of the two things that really made Lake Compounce unique (along with Boulder Dash, their world-class mountainside roller coaster).

- There was a horrific fatal accident at the Ohio State Fair, in which a spinning-pendulum flat ride just seems to have come apart, flinging several riders through the air and killing one. The ride had passed a bunch of inspections and it may have just been metal fatigue. It's the kind of ride I don't go on--it'd probably make me sick under the best circumstances--but I imagine there's going to be a lot of attention paid to amusement-ride safety in the days to come. This is actually a pet cause of my Senator Ed Markey, and he gets ridiculed sometimes for grandstanding about it, but I think he's actually right--the lack of uniform standards here can be a problem. In this case, it's not yet clear what could have prevented the accident. X-raying for signs of fatigue, maybe.

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