September 2012
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Barnabas – Chocolate and Roller Coasters

On Saturday, for the first time in my life, I went to Hershey Park in Hershey, PA. Thanks to the Office of Student Engagement here at McDaniel, I was able (and 6 of my friends were also able) to go to Hershey Park for a full day for only $15! Friday night we all went to sleep early, so that Saturday morning, as we boarded the bus at 8:45 AM (after a quick trip to McDonald’s for some greasy breakfast), we were awake, excited, ready to ride some coasters and eat some chocolate.

My friends (Carleigh, Sommer, Robby, Kelli, Shannon, and Trevor) and I arrived just as the park was opening, so we quickly rushed to ride as many rides as possible before the big crowds arrived. We had a great time all morning, taking full advantage of nearly empty lines, running wild from coaster to coaster like a pack of pre-teens. Then the rain started.

Just after lunch, we headed for the newest and steepest ride in the whole park, Fahrenheit. While we were standing in line the rain began to fall, slowly at first, but soon turning into a full thunderstorm. We abandoned the ride and ran for shelter next to a nearby building. Standing there, huddled against the wall, cold and wet, we could easily have given in and written off the day. Instead, we started singing! The PA system was playing some terrific songs, so we added our not-so-terrific voices to the sound.

As always, the more we acted like idiots and made dramatic faces and gestures, the more fun we had. We sang some Taylor Swift, some Coldplay, and some Rihanna. Then, just as “Bless the Broken Road” by the Rascal Flatts began to play, the rain slowed. My friend Robby walked out into the open, ostensibly making sure the rain really was stopping. In a fit of inspiration I followed, still singing loudly, while gazing at Robby in what could only be called a Grand Romantic Gesture (Arrested Development anyone?).  As the song began to wind down and the final chorus played, I went down to my knees and held Robby’s hands in my own, staring into his eyes. I was having a ball, trying hard not to laugh, but Robby was so confused he didn’t know what to do.The song ended and I stood up, laughing; and suddenly I started hearing cheers from all around me: other people in the park had seen my performance and appreciated the entertainment while the rides were closed.

Soon the rain ceased, the rides opened, and we continued to have a great time, screaming as we rode and playing Follow the Leader when we moved from one ride to another. The day ended predictably: we all bought a lot of chocolate and fell asleep on the bus. All in all it was a great day and we had a fantastic time. The next big event the Office of Student Engagement is sponsoring is a free trip to the National Zoo. My friends and I are already planning on going.


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