I spent last weekend south of the border indulging in my penchant for adrenaline on the (admittedly somewhat tame compared to some) roller coasters at valley fair. Much as we’re tempted these days to think that culturally Canada is quite similiar to the states I always get a reminder that that isn’t totally the case when I visit a decent sized yank city.
There is such a fundamental culture of excess down there. Every single possible niche of consumer goods is filled, overfilled in fact. Giant Big Box retail stores (some the size of minor league hockey arenas) that cater to one incredibly specific product. Back when Weird Al made U.H.F we all though Spatula City was funny but ridiculous, but honestly how far away from that are we?
Driving down the 494 to our hotel (a distance of perhaps a 5th of the total ring road surrounding the twin cities) I saw no less than five Big Boxes devoted to entirely to golf (no doubt at the same ridiculous prices as Golf Town in Canada), two stores the size of a home depot that sold nothing but tile and no less than four Piano stores. That’s just pianos, not music stores…
Last I checked the twin cities were only about 4 times the size of Winnipeg, I’m not sure they have what would have to be somewhere around 75x the Piano needs.
Cultural commentary aside Valleyfair was a blast. Yet again I found myself wishing I’d been able to schedule it so visiting the waterpark was a solid option. That’ll have to wait for one day when I have a few days to kill and stay dawn til dusk. For anyone who hasn’t been there lately they have a pretty fantastic new fast wooden coaster called the “Renegade.” Unfortunately as with any newer ride it got quite a lineup later in the day so we didn’t ride it too many times, highly recommended though, probably the most intense ride of anything there once you get past the impulse part of the Steel Venom.
While in the states we saw an advert for the newish superman ride at Six Flags Great America , a park I visited once and loved to death. Hanging rollercoaster that basically tucks you back up into a superman flying pose (holding you up by your belly with your back against the track above you) and I absolutely have to go soon. Apparently they have them at a couple of the Six Flags parks, but Guerney Mills is by far the closest one to me.
If I ever somehow find myself with mega millions you won’t find me buying some south pacific island. I’ll be the one building an incredibly unprofitable super amusement park in Winnipeg that will only be able to be open 3 months and will suffer incredible maintenance costs from the cold winters. Impractical? Sure, but by god I’d be riding the coasters every day.