“Yes, we’re in, finally! Hey David, you wanna head over to the water park or the rest of the park first? Uh, David? David? Yoohoo!” David blinked as a hand was waved in front of his face, causing him to pause and grin sheepishly at his blond friend.
“Sorry, Matt, it’s my first time here. I just want to take it all in.”
“So do I, it’s my first time too! But we only have a few hours, not exactly enough time to walk through slowly like we’re at a museum or something.”
David glanced down, “Sorry.”
Matt sighed, “Stop saying sorry and just tell me if you want to see the water park, or the rest of the park first.”
“David, Matt, come take a picture!” David’s mother waved at them.
“What? And just when I was about to get an answer from you. Ugh, I can’t stand the suspense!”
David smirked, “Oh don’t be such a drama queen.”
Matt scoffed, “What are you talking about? That’s my sister Natalie.”
“Come on you old slowpokes!” shouted David’s sister.
“And your sister too, obviously. Come on, let’s hurry up and get this over with,” sighed Matt. The two boys dashed over to where David’s mother and sister were standing and cooperated long enough to take a picture.
“Sarah, were you trying to do the bunny ears on me again?” moaned David when they got the picture a few minutes later. The ten-year-old stuck out her tongue at her older brother.
“Sarah, be nice, or no ice cream for you, young lady.”
“Oh, fine,” muttered Sarah, crossing her arms.
“Now, where do you want to go first?”
“Water park!” squealed Sarah. David and Matt glanced at the entrance to the water park.
“Um, can Matt and I go check out the rest of Elitch Gardens by ourselves?”
Matt glanced at David, “Good idea.”
David’s mother slowly nodded, “OK, but keep an eye on the time, we’re coming back here for lunch around noon, alright?”
Matt saluted, “Yes ma’am. We’ll be seeing you soon Mrs. Franklin!” Matt steered the waving David towards the other side of Elitch Gardens. The boys found a map of the place and looked over the rides. “Hey, the Twister 2, the Mind Eraser, and the Brain Drain sounds pretty cool. And so does the Tower of Doom.”
“So long as we aren’t doomed,” muttered David.
Matt chuckled as he placed an arm around the redhead, “Don’t worry, just a figure of speech. Don’t think a lot of people have died on that thing. Come on, let’s just get in line at one of these, please.”
David sighed, “Alright, alright, um . . . let’s do Twister 2 first, then we’ll erase our minds and drain our brains before going to the Tower of Doom.”
Matt laughed, “You’re getting the hang of it. Come on, I’ll race you!”
“But we don’t know the park!” shouted David as he took off after Matt. The two had to pause every now and then to check their map. After a few minutes of wandering, they finally found the Twister 2.
“Wow, look at this line!” exclaimed Matt as the two got in behind a group of teenagers.
“Didn’t you see the lines for the other rides? They’re just as long!”
“I know, I know, it’s a theme park, there’s going to be a lot of people. But still, if the line is this long, it must be a lot of fun,” grinned Matt.
One of the teens turned to him, “You are so right, man, this ride is one of the best! At least, here at Elitch’s.”
“Have you ever been on the Tower of Doom?” asked David.
The teen nodded, “Yeah, well, it only goes up slowly and goes down fast. It’s too quick of a ride for me.”
“Totally go on it one time, just to try it out,” piped up another teen.
Matt flashed a grin, “Totally, thanks.”
“No problem, man,” grinned the first teen. The teens went back to chatting with their group as the line meandered on closer to the roller coaster. Matt and David stayed quiet, the rackety sounds of the coaster as it sped through its course above them and the screams of enjoyment only made them even more eager to ride. They got a chance to look at several old pictures detailing the history of the Twister II while people on either side of them in the line chatted about other things.
“Man, this line was really long!” blurted Matt as they finally reached a staircase. The teens standing in front of them burst out laughing.
“Dude, if you really wanted to, you could have just said this is your first time here!” chuckled the brown-haired teen who first spoke with them.
“How about we show them the best rides?” grinned the second teen.
“You’d do that, really?” asked Matt, his brown eyes sparkling.
“Sure! It can be easy to get lost here. You can ask Ricky here, he got lost on his first day with us.”
“Oh man, don’t remind me. I almost didn’t come back I was so freaked out,” moaned Ricky.
“Don’t worry, man, we’ve got your back. Besides, come here often enough, and you’ll get the layout of the land pretty quick. Like Jonny here, his parents got the season pass on their time here, so they were coming here almost every day.”
Jonny raised his hand, “Guess that means I’m the expert.”
“Well, duh, you did lead us throughout the park on our first time! You don’t even need a map anymore!”
“Well since you’re being so gracious as to be our guide, allow me to introduce ourselves. I’m Matt, and this is David.”
“Nice to meet ya, but where did you come up with an introduction like that?” asked Jonny as he shook hands with Matt.
Matt sighed, “Do ya really wanna know?”
Ricky laughed, “That bad, eh? Probably nowhere near as bad as having three younger brothers.”
Matt scoffed, “Might be worse, I’ve got two older sisters and three younger sisters.”
“Whoa, that must be worse. Jonny’s the only one of us four who has a younger sister.”
“You’ve got younger brothers, um . . . what’s your name?” David asked.
“Oh, right, I’m Jimmy. Actually I’m the youngest in my family. Ricky has three younger brothers, Jonny has a younger sister, and Tommy here only has one younger brother.”
Tommy shrugged, “I don’t think it matters if you have brothers or sisters, all younger siblings are annoying.”
“Yeah, except that I think having more than one younger sibling is better, they’re not always annoying me,” pointed out David.
“What makes ya say that, Davie?” asked Jimmy.
David winced, “I don’t like being called Davie.”
“Oh, OK, why not?”
“I don’t want to talk about it.” The teens glanced at each other before shrugging.
“OK, fine . . . so, what makes you say having more than one sibling is better, David?”
“Well, I’ve noticed whenever I went to Matt’s house that they annoyed each other as much as they did Matt. It’s just me and Sarah, and she annoys me a lot more, trying to see what I’m doing constantly, trying to hear what I’m saying. Matt doesn’t have to worry about it all the time, his older sisters get annoyed quite a bit.”
“In other words, the more people there is around to annoy, the less annoying it is?” asked Matt as they moved up a few steps.
David shrugged, “I guess.”
“Sh!” The boys all glanced at Jimmy. “Don’t give away our secrets!” They burst out laughing.
“So David’s on to something, huh?” Jonny turned to David with a grin, “Mind sharing some more observances?”
Matt held up his hand, “Only if you show us the best rides!”
Jonny grinned, “Deal. As a matter of fact, did you guys know that some of the rides that are slower now get faster closer to closing time?”
Ricky blinked, “Which ones?”
“Well, the Tilt-a-Whirl is one, and since it’s right next door, we’ll hop on real quick. Then we’ll get back on later in the afternoon and you can compare.”
“Why didn’t you tell us this before?” asked Jimmy as he eyed his friend.
“Jessie, why else?” Ricky, Jimmy, and Tommy glanced up the stairs.
“Uh, who’s Jessie?” asked David.
Jonny pointed at a girl, “See that girl in the yellow tank?” David and Matt nodded. “That’s my sister, Jessie.”
“Really? She’s kinda cute,” quipped Matt. The other five glanced at him like he was crazy.
Jonny’s eyebrow had risen, “She certainly doesn’t act cute.”
“Jonny Richards! What did Mom say about saying mean stuff about me?” shouted Jessie.
Jonny winced, but quickly righted himself before turning towards his sister with a smile, “I didn’t say anything mean about you, honest!” She glanced at the other boys before her eyes alighted on David and Matt.
“You two, is he speaking the truth?”
“What’s so mean about finding out we both have sisters named Jessie?” shrugged Matt. Jessie eyed him for a second before having to turn and move up a couple of steps.
Jonny turned to Matt, “We both have sisters named Jessie?”
“What? No! I had to think of something quick,” whispered Matt.
Jimmy grinned, “That was smooth, Mattie, my man.” He high-fived Matt.
“Thanks, I owe you one.”
“Well, you are guiding us through Elitch’s, you kinda earned it,” shrugged Matt.
“Oh, speaking of, when we get to the top of the stairs, we’re going to have to split up. There’s technically eleven lines, one for each row of seats, two people per row. We might not end up on the same ride, so we might have to just meet up at the Tilt-a-Whirl once we’re finished.”
“What about exchanging numbers?” asked Matt. Jonny glanced up, they were about five steps away from the top platform now.
“Maybe just one, I’ll give you mine to start with.” David and Matt nodded as they whipped out their phones. Jonny quickly gave them his number, with enough time for Jimmy and Ricky to give theirs as well.
“OK, a couple other things, you’re going to have to put your phones, and anything else that could fall out of your pockets in the cubby holes they provide. It’s apparently happened more than once. And secondly, I suggest you guys ride in the back.” David and Matt glanced at Jonny.
Jonny shrugged, “It’s best to ride in the back first before riding in the front. Riding in the front should be the second time, you’ll have a better feel for it.”
David glanced at Matt before glancing back at Jonny, “OK, if you say so.” He and Matt started walking towards the back when Jimmy shouted at them.
“Text us while you’re waiting!” Matt and David got to the back line, noticing there were ten others in front of them. Pulling out their phones, they sent each of their new contacts a quick message. Jonny replied with Tommy’s phone number. They quickly added his number and shot him a quick message. It was finally their turn, their heart all a flutter with excitement as the female attendant explained the rules of the Twister II as well as the cubby holes. As soon as they could, they dashed to the other side of the track and placed their phones in a cubby hole, the only things they had that would go flying. They jumped into the coaster and strapped themselves in, the attendants checking each one to make sure it was secure. A couple of seconds later, the coaster jumped to life and creaked out of the canopy.
“Uh, this is kinda slow, don’t you think?” asked Matt as the coaster slugged along.
“Matt, this is just the beginning, maybe it speeds . . . up.” David stopped as he realized they were going up a steep rail. A few shrieks of anticipation met their ears.
“Oh, this is where the fun really begins,” stated Matt as the first car reached the top. The next instant, they were zipping down the tracks, screams and whoops coming from the ten cars in front of them. David soon found himself yelling with ecstasy, he and Matt throwing up their arms whenever they went down. The two were still whooping when the coaster came to a stop in the canopy.
The female attendant chuckled as she helped them out, “You two having fun?”
“That was awesome!” shouted Matt.
“Good, cuz I’m expecting to see you back in line!”
“Oh don’t worry, we’ll be back!” grinned Matt before he and David grabbed their phones and took off. Jonny and Tommy were already waiting for them at the Tilt-a-Whirl, Jimmy and Ricky showing up a few minutes later.
“Ugh, do we really have to go on this slowpoke?” asked Jimmy.
“You don’t have to, I just wanted David and Matt to see the difference. Besides, it’s not going to be long, there’s not much of a line here.”
Jimmy shrugged, “Fine, if you guys want to go ahead, I’ll wait here.”
“I want to go!” stated Ricky.
“I’ll wait with Jimmy,” volunteered Tommy.
Jonny nodded, “Alright, let’s go.” As Jonny foretold, it didn’t take long for them to get seated in the Tilt-a-Whirl. After the attendant made sure everyone and everything was ready, he began the ride. They went ahead slowly, then went backwards slowly. The attendant announced that he was going to speed them up twice during the ride, but as Jonny pointed out later, it could go faster. After the Tilt-a-Whirl, they rode the Sidewinder, Half Pipe, Brain Drain, Hollywood & Vine, and Mind Eraser, twice. The boys and their families ended up eating together for lunch at the Rustler’s Food Court before heading back out to finish up their day. The boy decided to hit Disaster Canyon and Shipwreck Falls to cool off after a couple of warm rides on the Boomerang and the Tower of Doom. The rest of the time was spent riding the Mind Eraser, the Twister II, the Spider, the Tilt-a-Whirl (once it got faster), Dragonwing (they each wanted to be Hiccup) and Hollywood & Vine. Before they knew it, it was time to leave. After many groans and goodbyes, they finally separated and went to their vehicles. After David and Matt were in the car, Sarah began to talk almost nonstop about what she and Mrs. Franklin had done. But she fell asleep long before they hit the highway. Not much later, the boys’ heads nodded and they drifted off to sleep. Mrs. Franklin smiled at them through the rearview mirror as she drove back to the hotel, it had been a pretty good day.