We were unable to do the TPR Midwest Trip this year (which would have been our third TPR trip in 2013!), but I've been talking about a "Deep in the Heart of Texas" trip for a couple of years, and we finally got to do it. Texas in August, you say? Actually, it wasn't too bad this year, and we tacked Oklahoma on to the beginning and Louisiana to the end. Hope you enjoy.
Our trip began with an evening flight to Oklahoma City.
First thing in the morning, we visited the most excellent Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. You should definitely make time for this if you are ever in this area. It's quite moving.
Oklahoma City is also home to Frontier City!
First, a big shout out to TPR's very own TheSchwitek for giving us a nice little tour of the credits. We could see that he's giving the park a lot of TLC. And he was a great host.
First credit was Wild Kitty!
Wild Kitty! I really like that name.
Other credits we hit included Wildcat, the very fun woodie...
...Steel Lasso, the Vekoma Suspended Family...
...and Silver Bullet, the Scharzkopf Looping Star.
We actually skipped Diamond Back, the Arrow Shuttle Loop that used to be half of Lightnin' Loops at our home park, Six Flags Great Adventure.
It was a very quiet day at the park. In fact it was the last day of daily operations. Animals come out when there are no people, like this beaver.
And this turtle.
Here is the new water play structure. They are building out the waterpark section nicely.
TheSchwitek gave us a backstage tour of his office. He has a lot of souvenir drink cups!
We enjoyed our visit to this pleasant park. Then we drove 4 hours to Texas.
But first we stopped for lunch at this Mongolian Barbecue place. Meh. Not as good as the one I used to go to in Minneapolis. I'm sure there are better ones out there.
Four hours later, we reached Wonderland in Amarillo! The park opened at 7pm, and we happened on a special: Free soda with admission!
First credit was Mouse Trap, a 1975 Pinfari Zyklon.
Here's another look. I asked the operator a question and the people in front of us turned around and said "You're not from around here, are you!"
Don't confuse Mouse Trap, the Pinfari Zyklon, with Cyclone, the Miler Wild Mouse. Besides Wild Chipmunk at Lakeside, this Miler Wild Mouse is the only other one still operating. Tree Top Racers at Adventure City is SBNO, and Mighty Mouse at Funtown Pier was a victim of Hurricane Sandy.
Texas Tornado was quite bizarre.
Weirdest loops we've ever seen. It's a Hopkins.
Hornet is a Vekoma that came to Wonderland via Boblo Island and Astroworld.
Fantastic Journey was a fun dark ride.
See what I mean?
You've been warned.
What else? Pirate ship, a Sizzler, carousel, lots of kiddie flats, Skee Ball, sky ride...
Ferris wheel, rainbow, oh, and that killer looking storm coming in! Amarillo is definitely inside Tornado Alley.
That just did not look good.
I did get this beautiful shot as we ran for our lives. We found shelter at a theater and saw Elysium.
The next day we had some time to kill and visited this very cool RV museum in Amarillo.
Yup, that's Jeff Daniels' RV from the movie RV.
Mr. Sisemore was really nice. He started with a gas station and now he's one of the biggest manufacturers and retailers of RVs in the world.
We then picked Lauren up at the airport (she was supposed to fly into OKC but was re-routed after multiple flight cancellations) and headed to the Cadillac Ranch, which I've always wanted to see. It was a bit of a let-down, due to a lake left by the previous night's storms, and all of the empty spray cans that people leave all over the place. But still fun.
Of course there's still something very cool about 10 Cadillacs buried in a row with their tail fins sticking up. I would have loved to have seen it when it was new.
We then had a decent lunch at a place called Dyer's Bar-B-Que and they had a sink like this.
Then we checked out Route 66 in Amarillo. There are a lot of antique places there. There was also a very cool haunted house place called 6th Street Massacre that's only open around Halloween, so check it out if you're there this month.
Then it was on to Lubbock, Texas, and Joyland, "Where the Fun Is!"
Joyland was fun. I did my first rock-o-plane.
Cheryl is always amazed any time I do a new flat.
Dipsy Doodle was this Miler kiddie oval.
They had a nice old carousel.
They had this Allan Herschell Mad Mouse, which is exactly the style preferred by the Chinese ripoffs.
They had a Sizzler, Tilt-a-Whirl, and this Spider.
They also had this Trabant.
A Musik Express and a Skyride.
Joyland Garbage Can for the collection!
Onto another plane! Texas is just too big.
To the Six Flags Mother Ship.
Since we had these from the TPR Mexico Trip...
Cheryl was able to get the Pandemonium credit. I had the credit from its Tony Hawk days.
Cheryl still doesn't have Shock Wave, but it was down.
And none of us were going to get this credit on this trip.
Wonder Woman Photo-Op
And the new Texas Sky Screamer was fun.
Then an incredibly long drive across Eastern Texas. If you drive across Texas, you will see Buc-ee's.
We made it to our next destination.
Fortunately we managed a ride on Iron Shark before it started to rain and things started shutting down.
It's a cute little park.
I surprised Cheryl by going on another flat ride.
When on Galveston Island, our advice is to skip the long waits at Bubba Gump's and Fish Tales. Landry's gets enough of your money when you go on the pier. Go down the beach to Gaido's. Really good.
Then another ridiculously long drive to San Antonio's very own Six Flags!
Look who's meeting us here! It's Jolie! We have so many good TPR friends all over!!!
And look what we're riding today! Just reopened with the seat belts.
This is a super fun ride! I thought it would be more intense, but it's incredibly fun.
Then a quick run over to SeaWorld!
So I can get my Steel Eel fix!
And my Azul fix. I always send the silks photos to Elissa!
We close down SeaWorld, and we bid adieu to Jolie, and we drive Lauren back to Austin. Cheryl and I have one more stop before heading home.
Welcome to Baton Rouge, Louisiana!
You park here, give your tickets at the gate and walk the bridge to park.
They were very concerned about undergarments.
Bridge over the highway.
The park was completely deserted, and we found out that the dry rides didn't get going until 2pm, so we left for lunch and came back.
The park has 4 credits: Loco Loco, a Miler Family;
Gilbeau's Galaxi, an SDC Galaxi;
Ragin' Cajun, a Vekoma Boomerang; and
Xtreme, a Maurer Sohne Xtended SC2000. A young woman was killed on this in 2010, you may recall. The family and the park happened to reach a settlement while we were in Baton Rouge. Now they only fill 2 seats per car and the ops have to be 18+. It really kills the already-limited capacity. UPDATE: I don't know if this is news, but according to an ad in the October issue of Amusement Today, Dixie Landin' has put this up for sale. Asking price is $2 million. Ironically, the ad photo shows four riders in a car, having lots of fun.
There are a few flats and such. We rode the train. We were turned away from the antique cars because we didn't have a kid!
Twas the end of the season, and the gift shops were bare.
Every time Cheryl tried to take her pants off, I was able to point to one of these conveniently available signs.
A couple of tiny culture credits before the end of our trip: We visited the Louisiana State Capitol, the tallest state capitol building in the USA.
It was built by then-Governor Huey Long, who did a lot to bring Louisiana into the modern era (e.g electrification, roads, bridges, education). He was a great populist, but became corrupted by his unmatched power. The rich hated his plan to cap wealth. He could have gone on to challenge FDR for the presidency.
But he was assassinated inside the lobby of his own statehouse. One of the bullets missed him and left this hole in the marble. He was shot by the son-in-law of a judge he had fired.
Both legislative chambers and the governor's office are in this building.
There are great views from the observation deck.
The building was named a National Historic Landmark in 1983.
That's it for this trip report...Thanks for joining us!!!
Last edited by milst1 on Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:39 am.
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