Day 9 | San Francisco, Six Flags, Vallejo

Today was to be a trip to another theme park, this time in the town of Vallejo, 40 minutes north of San Francisco.

This started with a trip north similar to the Valley the other day so we travelled like we’d done it a million times.  On arrival at Six Flags it was quite cool so while in the carpark we kitted out in cool weather gear (maybe 10 degC). The weather mentioned rain but by the time the tram-train-trailer thing came it started to warm up. To get into the park you had to go through the security screening where we went through the arches, the arches beeped and then the guards said “prob’ly yo’ shoes, move along, move along” to everyone as we tried to shoe them our bag contents. I think you could have driven through in a tank and been told “prob’ly yo’ shoes, move along...move along”. We also got season passes so we might go to the other six flags in the LA area. Massive process with picture cards and putting Australian addresses into US templates, which is always fun.

We got to the park about 11.00am (relax, it only opens at, like, 10 or something) and were ready for our first ride, Kong. I don’t know what it is about modern roller coasters but this one you hung below the track and rocketed around the track. Outrageously fun. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kong_(Six_Flags_Discovery_Kingdom))

We then knocked off Medusa and Roar (also on Wikipedia). It was Easter Sunday so the park started quite empty, no doubt most families in the area had a few hours chocolate egg eating and roller coasters don’t immediately seem like a good idea. For those of us at the park it meant that all the rides were running very short queues.

We had a quick, incredibly expensive lunch. One of the hitches was these endless soft drink cups which were 11 bucks, which on the plus side entitled you to all-day access to endless soft drink on the negative side obliged you to carry these massive buckets in addition to all your other gear. I certainly had the feeling we had too much stuff but we weren’t going to be caught in the cold like in SF again. It was a pity in some ways that it was now a glorious day.

We saw a bit of the dolphin show, fed the seals and then saw seal show (basically trying to settle the stomach before taking off again).We did another couple of rides including the V2, which is an impulse drive roller coaster. This means there is some ridiculous induction drive system that takes the ride from 0-110 kph in about 2.5 sec on the flat and then you coast up a spiral, stop and slide backwards. O’Regan did this ride by himself and did a bit of a Casanova on some teenage girls in the line the way that he does. On the way out we got a funnel cake, a chocolate sauce drizzled crispy doughnut pastry with soft-serve and cream. Yum, but the size of a baseball cap.

Of the way back to Oakland we detoured to go over the Golden Gate Bridge which is one of the most amazing things regardless of its age. Such an elegant piece of engineering (yes, this is Angus writing). When we got to it the sun was just setting so we drove down to the waterline on the north side (Camp Baker, USCG) and took a few photos. Luckily for us traffic was slow so we could have a close look at the bridge going over it.

We drove through SF, maybe for the last time this trip, before crossing the Bay Bridge. It’s sad to think of leaving as we’ve liked this part of the trip. I should really call it the old Bay Bridge as they are building a new one to replace the poorly performing bits after the big earthquake. Nothing ruins your day like 50 tonnes of concrete deck falling on you. This area and the bay are all about bridges. They are everywhere.

We had dinner at Denny’s, quite near our current home of the Hilton Garden. It was quite cheap and the food was great, we even got some vegetables as a special.  Overheard from another table, a grandfather saying to the child with him “you caint have no pancake, no kin o’mine has no pancake fo’no dinner. You can have hash brown but caint have no pancake” Hilarious.

Highlights of the day:

O’Regan – the Vertical Velocity V2 ride, nice in a “heart attack” kind of way, a backwards and forwards spiraling free-fall roller coaster.
McKay – funnel cake at 6 Flags, a sort of squiggly doughnut covered in chocolate sauce and soft-serve, about 10 thousand calories and 300 g of fat, also nice in a “heart attack” kind of way.
Rosie – being told by the girl that served us lunch that she loved our accent and thought it was pretty and also all the rides.
Angus – having tea at the Denny’s Diner and being served by “Bridgette”, who giggled in place of all punctuation, got our meandering order right and kept my coffee filled.

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