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For one last summer blast, we went to Paramount's Kings Dominion the day before Labor Day. Boy, what a blast we had! The day started off warm and sunny with scattered clouds, but ended with clouds, cool breezes, and finally a steady, soaking rain that sent us home soaked to the bone.

We arrived just as the park was opening and hoped to make it to several of the bigger rides before the crowd got too big. We knocked out a couple of good old-fashioned wooden roller coasters first.

We were able to ride Grizzly, Hurler, and Rebel Yell before the lines started to build to appreciable sizes. We even rode the Ricochet, which I didn't like one bit because there's nothing along the sides of the tracks and the car rides flat (no banked turns), so it seems like it could tip off the track at any moment!

We stopped for a quick lunch (38 bucks for chili dogs (Melissa has chicken strips), fries and sodas for four!) and continued wandering the park. By now, the crowd was building and most of the attractions and rides could have used more people and cars to reduce the lines. I was fascinated by the Eiffel Tower replica (I'll notice I tried to include some artsy-fartsy pictures of it). I remember seeing it from the freeway many years ago when traveling I-95 corridor.

I gave up riding the rides that get you wet a LONG time ago, but Melissa and Matthew just love them! Mari and I enjoyed some great people-watching while we waited for Melissa and Matthew to get soaked on White Water Canyon. Then, we all took a brief rest in the Days of Thunder virtual ride before heading over to the BIG rides in the Congo section.

Melissa said that she "wasn't ready" to ride something that goes upside-down, so she rode the Wave Swinger and then waited for Mari, Matthew and me to ride Volcano, The Blast Coaster. Even though the wait in the line was an hour, it was TOO cool! Next, we all rode Avalanche before having a funnel cake and trying to convince Melissa to ride a bigger thrill ride (she still "wasn't ready"). Mari and Matthew got in line for Anaconda and we expected the wait in line to be as long as Volcano. Melissa and I wandered off to look through a few shops and then got in the line for the bumper cars. While waiting in that line, I got a message from Mari saying that the line for their ride was really short and quick, so they were going to go again!

When Melissa and I finished the bumper cars, we went back over to the Congo section just in time to see Mari and Matthew on the ride in the front of the car! Yahoo!!! By now the cloudy skies had given way to a light drizzle as we made our way back to a ride that Melissa had said earlier in the day that she would try. While Melissa waited again, Mari, Matthew and I rode Shockwave - a ride that you stand up in and go through a quick loop and other normal roller coaster ups-n-downs - cool ride, but too short.

We all finally made it to Hypersonic XLC where Melissa was going to try an extreme ride, once and for all. Unfortunately, by this time the rain had gone from drizzle to sprinkle to shower. We were soaked through and through when they closed the ride due to the rain. We decided that it was a good time to bail out of there and get something to eat before our hour drive home. As luck would have it, we were in the very back of the park - about as far from our truck as we could get and the rain was not subsiding. By the time we got near the front gate, we needed dry clothes, so Mari and Melissa went into a shop to buy some T-shirts while Matthew and I went out to get the truck. Once we got on dry shirts, got a bite to eat at Wendy's, and out on the road, we all agree that we'll be getting season passes for Kings Dominion for next year!

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