After missing a year, we got back on track with our annual Red River Ex tradition last night. The crowds were smaller than we’ve ever seen them before (due to the cooler weather? A Tuesday night?), which meant no line-ups for rides (except Crazy Mouse – for reasons I can’t quite figure out, that ride always has long line-ups). The biggest surprise of the day was Chloe and Spencer coming out of their ride shells and saying yes to all kinds of craziness. They’ve always been cautious when it comes to scary rides, especially Chloe. In the past, we couldn’t even convince her to come on the ship or the Polar Express. But this year, not only did she do both of those rides, she also did Crazy Mouse and the Starship … and the Mega Drop! Tia and I did the Mega Drop first and then Dale and Chloe joined us the second time (in case my wording was too vague, let me clarify: yes, I did it TWICE. When you’re 45 you have to seize the opportunity to boast about things that make you seem young and adventurous). It took a while longer for Spencer to work up his nerve, so he and Dale did it a little later. It makes me happy that the kids are getting more into rides. Next year … the slingshot?! Neve still has a ways to go, but she’ll get there. The workers at the rides often didn’t take our tickets, so we ended up with way more rides than we paid for. I realized later that Spencer kept his ticket in his pocket and never held it out when he boarded a ride. Most ride attendants didn’t bother asking for it, so he averaged about five rides per ticket. The Ex is not known for its bargains, so that was a bonus. Except at the end we had lots of tickets left and of course we had to use every one before we could finally go home.
Besides the rides, we watched a Sinbad/high dive show. I believe there was some sort of story line because the divers were wearing costumes and had swords but the diving distracted me from any plot there may have been. It was actually pretty cool (literally – they must have been freezing) because they jumped from crazy heights and did all kinds of diving tricks. The divers came out afterward for a meet and greet, where we just stood and stared awkwardly at each other except when one of them pretended to steal my phone with his wet hands. Thankfully I had the foresight to put my phone in a plastic baggie. That actually also came in handy when my water bottle started leaking – pouring, actually – into my bag right when we arrived at the Ex. My bag was so wet that it had to be wrung out. Carrying a wet bag next to my skin for five hours did not make me warmer. And then we went on Niagara Falls and got even wetter. But the temperature really wasn’t too bad until later in the evening when we all wished we were wearing another layer. The people-watching wasn’t quite as interesting this year because the cooler weather made everyone cover up more than usual (or in some cases, put half of their sweater on in a skanky way. Too bad I didn't get a picture). Oh well, less skin showing is a good thing at the Ex.
New this year: my sister joined us for the first time. She hadn’t been to the Ex for over 20 years so that was fun. Unfortunately she’s had some back issues recently and any jolting or jarring rides were not recommended. Although maybe they would have jolted her vertebrae back into place. I’m pretty sure it works like that. She came on the big ferris wheel but they wouldn’t let all eight of us ride together in one car so I don’t have a picture. My niece Bailey’s boyfriend also came for a bit, so it was nice to have some new blood. Not that there’s anything wrong with the old blood.
Here's my annual picture of the slide guy (I don't actually know if it's always the same one, but he looks familiar). He is super vigilant about not letting anyone under a certain height ride without an adult. Yet again, Neve was not yet tall enough but he showed some flexibility by allowing her to ride with Tia instead of a parent.
|Chloe all proud of herself for going on the Mega Drop|
|"Do you wanna go faster?!"|
|Seriously, where are you going to put a giant Homer Simpson in an astronaut suit??|
And here's all of us, except Dale who took the picture (even though it looks like I'm taking a selfie). I didn't bring my good camera this year, so these are questionable cell phone pics. If you want better pictures, just look at past years (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) because I take the same pictures every year.