09/05/04 - Six Flags; Ten Tired Feet - My high school buddies (Ann, George, and Russell) dropped in for the Labor day weekend!  We enjoyed dinner at Texas de Brazil on Saturday night and a tour of downtown Fort Worth; however, the main event was a trip to Six Flags on Sunday. 

The Parachute

The Titan

If there was a death defying coaster to be tackled, George, Russell, and Susan were all over it!  They rode the Titan, Mr. Freeze, and the Superman Tower of Power.  Ann and I, not being coaster fanatics, enjoyed Raging Rapids and Parachutes.  The park was packed, but we were able to hit all the desired rides before closing (except for one with technical difficulties).

The Boys

The Girls

Next year the plan will be to visit Hurricane Harbor.

I received an email from Ann this morning.  Here is her humorous and thoughtful take on the weekend's events:

Fort Worth was a blast! For some reason, I'm having such a hard time writing this 'annieupdate', (as it now seems to be coined,) but let's see if I can get the jist of it all down:

Russ and I drove down Saturday to Nathan and Susan's house and met up there with George. Back in high school, Nathan, George, Russ and I along with some other people hung out at the skating rink. This weekend we spent a lot of time talking, joking around, playing pool, learning backgammon (at least, I was learning, they were playing), and harassing their four cats. Susan is a vet at a cats-only clinic, so she politely let me jabber on about Lucky. She's designed their website, which has a bunch of Good Stuff To Know on it.

Saturday night we all went to Texas de Brazil and stuffed ourselves silly. I can't even remember what all I tried, but it was all wonderful! Out of the salads, I enjoyed the asparagus with strawberry sauce, these little onions that I think were caramelized and pickled somehow, the fresh mozzarella, the homemade bleu cheese dressing drizzled over greens, the hearts of palm, um... this other kind of cheese that I've forgotten the name of... Hm... Well, after that, they brought out some mashed potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, and fried bananas (to cleanse the palate). Then, you had a little card next to you that you could turn over if you wanted any meat and 'gauchos' would wander around with skewers full of roasted meats and carve little bits off for you. I think I tried a bit of all of those - lamb chops, leg of lamb, Brazilian sausages, filet mignon, chicken parmesan, pork tenderloin, some sort of garlicky meat, smoked ribs... drawing a blank again. Seemed like more. They also had three sauces that they brought out to go with the meats: horseradish cream, mint and apple jelly, and a wonderful sauce with a Spanish sounding name that I've forgotten that had garlic, herbs, salt and some sort of oil.

Needless to say, we all waddled out of there and strolled around a bit before going home. The restaurant was around a part of Fort Worth that had bunches of cool restaurants and movie theatres and there was an impressive looking performing arts theatre with heraldic angels carved on the front of it. I gathered that wandering around these couple of blocks at night was kind of a happening for some Fort Worthians. So much so that there were musicians on some of the corners busking. A guy with a double bass like Craig has was belting something out and another guy on electric guitar was doing a rendition of "Along the Watchtower", which I almost didn't pick out for a bit. There were some high dollar cars looping around too. Russ could tell you all what they were, but I'd mess it up. We saw a bunch of cool looking choppers buzzing by too.

Sunday morning, we went for a late breakfast and arrived at Six Flags shortly after it opened. Now, I must say that sometime Friday or so, it sort of hit me that one of the main reasons for going to Six Flags was to ride the roller coasters. Which sort of made me a bit anxious as heights are not exactly my thing. So, I decided after I got there that I had to ride at least one roller coaster. I picked the Titan because, for some reason or another, I couldn't see all of it. I figured that it didn't look too bad and maybe since I couldn't see it towering over the trees that it should be a bit tamer. This is *not* good reasoning. Turns out that the Titan is 4th fastest, 4th highest, and 9th longest coaster in the country. Here tis, if you want to see: The Titan. Did you know that they also take your picture as you start down the huge hill? Yeah, that's a picture that I didn't need to get. As someone said "it looked like either I was going to hurl or someone had shot my dog". Glad that's behind me and I at least didn't lose control of my lunch or faint from excess adrenaline. Other than that, I went on a couple other rides like the rapids one and these tame little parachutes, which still rose entirely too high for me.

Nathan is also into something called geocaching, which is like treasure hunting with a GPS. The idea of geocaching is that someone sets up a site by hiding a box including a log and some other stuff and gives out the coordinates of the place along with a hint. You can get within, I dunno, maybe within 15 feet of something and from there, you have to look for the box. When you find it, you sign the log inside it and you can also log it online somehow (I didn't get to see that part of it.) Anyways, someone set up a site in Six Flags, except just giving out the coordinates, they made it into a math puzzle. It went something like "find the number of ice cream cones on the Mr. Freeze ride times the elevation on the water tower divided by the number of seats on the merry go round..." etc... I think there were like twenty numbers you had to find, which was what Nathan and I did when the others were riding some of the rides.

After that, we went home and we all took showers and headed out to this mom and pop Greek restaurant, which was also very cool. We had dolma and fried cheese for appetizers. They brought the cheese out with a touch of drama as it was served on a sizzling platter, flamed, and everyone shouted "OPA!!!". For the main course I had mousaka (which I've never had - a layered casserole with ground beef, tomatoes, and I'm kind of thinking polenta) with sides of fried potatoes and green beans and a Greek salad. Russ shared his spanakopita (spinach and feta cheese pie) and avgolemono (lemon and egg) soup, which were also things that I wanted to try. Then, I believe we went home and played some more pool and eventually crashed because we were so footsore and tired. Monday, we stuck around the house for most of the morning. Ate some of Nathan's homemade waffles and played some more pool. I think I had worn them down by this time, as they let me win two games finally. On the way home, Russ and I played some comedy CDs which included Chris Rock and Bill Engevall and we laughed the whole trip home.

It's Tuesday evening now, and I still don't think I've settled down. Much, much needed vacation. (Thank you George, Nathan, Susan and Russ!) Evidently I've overcome my writer's block and better start before I have to edit in chapters! Oh, well. Take care, everyone!

Thanks Ann! We're glad everyone had a great time!

- Nathan