Last summer, I flew into Newark Airport ready to start on my biggest travel adventure so far. I’ve been over before a fair few times (New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Boston, Las Vegas and Orlando) but six weeks is the first time I had traveled anywhere for such a significant amount of time. My main goal was simple: Roller coasters. As many as I could. My zigzagging route took me from the Northeast for 2 weeks, down to Orlando for 10 days then over to do a tour around Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois, moving down to Kansas City for a short while and back up to finish in Chicago.
It wasn’t all roller coasters either. There was food, fireflies, museums, driving, meeting new people, visiting family, awesome comments on my accent and so much stuff I probably can’t even remember.
But as I mentioned before I landed in EWR at the end of June after a flight of 7 hours and 40 minutes on Virgin Atlantic. My journey was filled with dread, I had landed at JFK before and the lines were horrendous at passport control. After the long haul flight the last thing you want to do is queue up somewhere for 2 hours with no water. I needn’t have worried as I was through in a flash and WHAT A VIEW! Looking out of the window of the plane I could see the entire Manhattan skyline. You can continue to see the view out of the windows of the airport on your walk to immigration.
Next hurdle was picking up my rental car. It was all incredibly easy and I chose a VW Golf to take on the first leg of my journey. After figuring out what all the buttons did I plugged my phone into the car and started one of my many road trip playlists. There were printed maps spread on the passenger seat that would take me to a nearby BestBuy to purchase a SatNav or GPS or whatever you call them. Everything went off without a hitch and I began making my way to my first hotel. Almost all of the hotels I had booked were through Priceline and I seemed to get some pretty amazing deals, I would highly recommend that site along with betterbidding.com to make sure you are getting a good deal.
My first stop was the Holiday Inn Express Princeton South, I only had one night here and really liked the hotel. The room was big and comfy, the breakfast was good and the grounds were lovely and woody.
I got to the hotel earlier than I expected and was not feeling the effects of jetlag too acutely. So I decided to take this opportunity to see the nearby Princeton University as it was the only day I would be able to. It was nice to wander around aimlessly but I didn’t stay too long as my heart was pushing me towards my first theme park. I justified sneaking over to Six Flags Great Adventure so that I could process my season pass rather than do it tomorrow morning. It ended up being a great idea and I got my first glimpse at Kingda Ka, the tallest and second fastest roller coaster in the world. I also got the first downer of the trip as Kingda Ka was closed and possibly would be tomorrow too. I rode the mine train as my first credit of the trip, took a selfie with El Toro and Kingda Ka in the background and headed back to base. I went to bed anxious that the State would give the all clear for Kingda Ka to re-open after the drop tower was added to the structure.
Coaster count: 1