Smile and say “cheese pizza”

Those who stop by the park this afternoon to get their Season Pass photos taken will probably chuckle when they look at their photos all season long.

It's quite chilly out again today, so no doubt we'll have photos of folks in turtlenecks, sweaters and hoodies.

Let's try to draw the line at fur-trimmed parkas, though.

My mother-in-law, Rita (rest her soul), used to call this late-spring cold snap The Ice Man. And she was right. Once you get out the shorts and the sunscreen, there is always a nasty cold front to remind us who is really in charge.

Two days ago, I saw an Icee truck in the park.

It gave me a chill.

But I guess The Ice Man has to get around somehow…

Blogging with an international flair

Here's a new website for you: BlooLoop.com.

What the heck kind of a name is that?

I asked Charlie at BlooLoop for an explanation, but I still don't really understand (and I don't think it was the English accent, but it did make it hard to concentrate).

He told me they were trying to come up with a truly original name and when Blue Loop was already taken (go figure) they opted for BlooLoop.

It's an industry site, so if you're really into learning everything there is to know about parks worldwide, you might enjoy taking a look.

They even have a blog.

Charlie and his mates (remember they're in England) were brilliant (ditto) in assembling a group of industry stars to blog for them.

Including Will.

Here's his first post.

I'll be sure to post a link here whenever Will posts there (he's committed to once a month).

Mea gulpa

Have you ever made a teeny, tiny error — and gotten clobbered for it?

Happened the other day.

Around here, we take our hard hats seriously.

When construction is ongoing, the hats are on. And the swath is wide.

Heck, even the Big Guy wears one.

Holidog's hard hat

(You thought I meant Will, didn't you? Well, he wears one, too.)

The other day Lisa and Rachel took a walk down to Kima Bay to take some photos of Kima Bay's final construction days.

When they delivered the memory card to me, I remember thinking that all the shots were taken from very far away.

But not quite far enough, apparently.

When they got to the construction site, they suddenly remembered that they'd forgotten to bring hard hats.

So they stayed very far away.

But not quite far enough.

Out came the shout: "Hey! Where are your hard hats?!"

Apparently the "hard hat area" had just been breached.

The photo session was over.

Our Safety Director (you remember Craig) came for a visit the next day.

Wanting to support his efforts, I blurted out, "We should make cookies for your crew … and deliver them in hard hats!"

And so a batch of chocolate chip cookies was baked and delivered a few days later.

I tried to get everyone to pose holding a cookie, but by the time I'd retrieved the left-behind camera battery, it was too late. Nary a crumb remained.

Who you callin’ cheap?!

Cheap is not usually meant as a compliment.

No wonder your shoes wore out fast — they're cheap.

That cheap so-and-so made me pay for half the gas money on our date last night. (Which will be, by the way, our last date!)

Oh, she's so cheap.

Okay, you know what I mean.

But when USA Today calls you "cheap," it's a good thing.

If you read this today (Friday, Christmas in April), you can head over to their website and scroll down a bit to see a picture of The Raven.

You can call me a lot more than "cheap" if you put a Raven photo on the front page of USA Today's website.

If you are one of the 2.3 million people who have a copy of the actual paper, turn to page 2 of section D for a gander. To see the article online, click here.

The budget-minded travel expert who mentioned us is Tim Leffel. He and his family visited us last summer on assignment with a national magazine.

We emailed each other a month or so ago and he broke the news that the magazine had cut way back on the article and several parks ended up on the cutting-room floor.

Including us.

So when he got another chance to mention us, he did.

But we won't mention that particular magazine here … or the name of the woman whose face and name are on the cover.

… but I bet she's cheap.

Just one question

Sounds like the title of the next Mitch Albom book, doesn't it?

Anyway … if you had the opportunity to ask Will Koch just one question about our coasters, what would it be?

We're starting something new in the next few weeks and your questions will come in handy.

Simply click on the "Comments" link just below this post and type away.

Oh, and coaster geeks? Kindly use words a "commoner" will understand.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire … and Bill

Three years ago — almost to the day, we blogged about our fire extinguisher training.

Included a shot of Bill putting out a fire.

During this year's training, Craig (our Safety Director) took a photo for me.

Same guy.

Putting out fires

There's Bill again.

What are the chances?

We've got 80 full-time employees and we all took the training.

I embarrassed myself this time around. The trainer called out "good job!" as I attacked my fire. Assuming that meant the fire was completely out, I stopped squeezing the extinguisher and stepped back.

Poof!

Just like those rotten candles I always get for my boys' birthday cakes–the ones that blow out easily but then puff back into flame over and over.

Serves me right, I guess.

Shaken, but some weren’t stirred

I've been wanting to post for the past hour, but keep getting derailed by all the emails asking about The Earthquake.

Thanks for caring. The coasters are fine. (Oh, and we are, too.)

It was 4:36 this morning. The rattling began.

Later, I thought of the ratty motels featured in movies and sitcoms — those with the "Magic Fingers" on the beds? For 50 cents? Well, let's just say the magic was in overdrive.

Gary, my husband, woke up for about a minute. I told him I thought we were in the middle of an earthquake.

Ohhh… yeah…

He rolled over and went back to sleep.

When I teased him a few hours later about how safe I felt that my big strong man was on top of the emergency, he was ready with an answer:

Well, if we were going to have a crisis, I should be well-rested, right?

Our 16-year-old son John says the earthquake didn't awaken him.

But the call at 4:37 am from his buddy Philip did.

"Dude, we just had an earthquake!"

Huhhhh? Whaaaa?

Apparently John takes after his dad in all the important ways.

I just talked to Will. He's deeply disappointed in his foo-foo doggy.

"Aren't dogs supposed to know ahead of time and warn the family? We have to have a serious talk this evening…"

Apparently Will watched too many Lassie reruns growing up.

Also heard from Korey of The Gravity Group (they're in Cincinnati). He says two of them awakened and three didn't.

I want names.

Meanwhile, we do have a set emergency procedure for earthquakes. Our crews are carefully inspecting the rides and buildings. So far, so good.

As I prepare to push the "publish post" button, I feel the rumble of an aftershock. And thank God that all are safe.

Walk this way

I'm not going to write much in this post, as this slide show says it all. (It also makes me cry.)

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari will host the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes again this year.

Last year, our Walk raised $225,000. On May 17, Logan, his family and friends will be here to Walk along with so many other caring people. He'd sure like you to come Walk with him.

Grumble, grumble, grumble…

Bahari tikiGrumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble, grumble.

Growl.

It is tax day, after all.

Got pretty loud down here at Bahari, what with all the grumbling.

Bahari Wave

But isn't the water pretty?