Sunday, September 22, 2019

Celebration Weekend Part The First: But Weight, There's More!

It's Eva's 50th birthday. Well, it was on Thursday, but it was celebrated this weekend. For once in her life, Eva asked for a celebration to be all about her.

This made me very happy, as she is the most selfless woman I have ever met. She'll go out of her way to make food I like or that Mark likes, and will actually apologize for making pork chops she loves--which both of us enjoy too!
Because Eva just can't do anything she views as selfish without giving back, she got me an incredible present: a day at Canada's Wonderland as a VIP. FastPasses to all rides, all you can eat, free souvenir glasses...the works. It's billed as an early anniversary present, but I can't help but see it as an "I did something just for me, so I must do something bigger for you" present.

Which makes me feel kinda bad. But I'm not turning sharing Wonderland with her down.

She left her mom's at stupid o'clock on Saturday and I met her at Square One in Mississauga. That was a fun trip, let me tell you. I was running on four hours of sleep thanks to adrenaline--no matter what I do, I  can't sleep before a day like the one I'm about to have.

I left here at ten to six and walked twenty minutes to the nearest light rail transit station. Grand River Transit calls them "portals", and when it's still dark they do feel that way.


If you had told me twenty years ago that I would carry a device in my pocket that could instantly pinpoint where I was on the planet and map how I could get from there to any other point on the planet with step-by-step precise directions and travel times and even traffic conditions...I wouldn't have believed you. If you'd told me this service was essentially free, I would have backed away slowly from the obvious crazy person telling me such things.

Google is amazing. Except when it's not. When it's not, it PISSES ME OFF.

I made it to downtown Kitchener in plenty of time to catch my bus at 126 Weber Street West, which is the address Google spits out when you type in "where do I catch a GO bus in Kitchener?" I had triple-checked this days before when I bought the ticket.

But when I got to 126 Weber Street West I found a train station.

Go to the GO transit website. Try to find the address of the place you catch GO busses in Kitchener. If it's on that site, I can't find it. Go to the Grand River Transit website. Look under intercity busses. "You can catch a GO bus at Central Station" -- which is five blocks back where I had just come from. Hop a convenient bus going by, and make to the  corner of King and Victoria with ten minutes to spare. Note a placard affixed to the streetpole that says 'GO'.
Three young women approach me. "Is this where we catch the bus to Square One?", they ask me.
"I bloody well hope so, because it's due any minute".
7:58. No GO.
Examine placard. It has a toll free number to call for customer service. Call the number. They're closed. Of course.
Back to the website I, uh, GO. "To get real-time transit information, first click here to get your stop or station number". Click there. Phone prompts me to "use my current location". Click that.
Nothing happens.
One of the young ladies starts to walk back towards the train station five blocks away. Then she yells that she sees a bus coming.


Eventually get to Square One in Mississauga. I've only been here once as an adult, with Eva something like seventeen years ago. Text the address of the place to Eva, who plugs it into Google Maps...which promptly directs her somewhere else.

If you're getting tired of this story, think how WE felt.

After another misadventure involving the 407 and what is sure to be a hellaciously large toll, we made it to Wonderland.

I haven't been here in at least a decade. CedarFair owns this place now, and they've done yeoman's work turning it from a quasi-kiddie park into a coaster-lover's paradise. The new coaster for this year is called the Yukon Striker, and for the first time in history, Canada actually has a roller coaster world record holder: it's the tallest 'dive' coaster in the world. I'm eager to ride this, and the other beefy coasters we can see long before we actually get to our parking spot.

I am excited.

We hit two small coasters and a swing ride in rapid succession. The second of the coasters is called "Flight Deck" and I can't believe Eva actually accompanied me on it! Here's the POV, for anyone (like Eva) who kept her eyes closed the whole way. Super proud of her, I never expected her to hit something this intense.

We then went on VORTEX, which both of us have ridden several times before. Very enjoyable, and I'm sufficiently warmed up for the Yukon Striker.

...Except it has what looks like at least a 90 minute wait. In the FASTPASS lane. We had been led to believe that the FastPass Plus Eva had purchased would grant us nearly instant access to rides all day long. This, sadly, was far from the case.

The weather didn't help much, granted. This late September day felt like mid-July, and the park was packed. The first place we went to get our free drinks turned out to have nothing but water, and we waiting at least fifteen minutes for a chicken burger that was dry as sawdust despite being literally the first people to order after the restaurant opened.

And then the embarrassment started. For me, I mean.

I have occasionally noted in this blog that I need to lose weight. I do, and I know I do, and...what can I say? I haven't bothered to even try because of two things, really. One, I like food. And when I say "food", I mean, you know, FOOD. A good balance of the four food groups: sugar, salt, fat, and carbs. Food with taste, is the key takeaway here.

And two, I hate exercise. I'm allergic to it: every time I do it, I get short of breath and sweat profusely and feel sick to my stomach.

The two things together have caused me to balloon. Add in a sedentary job and I've ballooned a bit too much. Still, until today I didn't think I was really THAT fat.

I wedged myself on to the Mighty Canadian Minebuster, but then, it was a tight fit the last time. After that, though? I went to ride Leviathan and they helpfully had a seatbelt you could do up before you got into the lengthy line. Uh, well, YOU could do it up, I couldn't.

By this point I am feeling a mix of emotions that ill befit what is supposed to be a celebratory weekend. I'm also overheating and dehydrated. Eva and I thus hit Timberwolf Falls and get absolutely, totally, completely, GLORIOUSLY drenched.  I could feel my body actually sucking the water in.

We're both aching, so I bring her to what turns out to be the last ride of the day, the Back Lot Stunt Coaster. And here is where I mortified myself.

We boarded from the 'driver's side'. Eva got on first. I sat down and pulled the lap bar down. It was tight, but it fit. it didn't. Eva had hers one notch lower, and apparently that's how far down it had to go. Mine wouldn't go that far down because my fucking gut was in the way. The bar was locked in place, and the ride crew tried to push it down in vain. I offered to get up and get out.

The bar wouldn't budge. Up OR down. The crew got their supervisor; the supervisor got the manager; the manager manually released my bar, which did the same for everyone else's on the train. Which then meant everyone had to disembark, the train had to be sent around the track empty, and meanwhile the whole ride is held up with scores of people staring and glaring at ol' Lard-Ass here.

I'm 47. I wasn't crying. Not on the outside.
This was the wake up call, the shot fired across my ample bow.
The diet starts Monday. 

Thank you, love, for this day. We did have fun. Thank you for telling me we'd do this again next year...when instead of BEING a Behemoth or a Leviathan, I will fit on them.  

I love you.


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