#HappinessUnites, #HappinessUnitesTour
Author’s Note: I’ve made a list of 100+ events, places and experiences that happily unite people.  I’m taking a tour to see and experience as many of them as possible, and also meet up with Society members and friends. Of course, I’ll be sharing these #HappinessUnites moments with you. Find out more of the why’s of the #HappinessUnites Tour in my blog: 3 Reasons I’m Hittin’ the Road. Or find out where my #HappinessUnites Tour has taken me so far — and what I’ve had time to write about. If you want to meet up with me, check out my #HappinessUnites Tour schedule.

Six Flags Over Texas, an adventure park full of rides designed to make your stomach drop, was about three hours away from my hometown, Abilene, Texas. During the summers, it was a must-do day trip.

Here’s the video of the Shock Wave 

The first family vacation we took to Six Flags was in 1978, when the Shockwave roller coaster “shocked” riders for the first time. I always had a sneaking suspicion that we went that year because my dad wanted to ride it, although he didn’t say that. I was 12, but still too short to ride the double-loop roller coaster, which was one of the scariest of its time. I remember my dad giving my mom his cap so he wouldn’t lose it, then she, my brother and I waited while my dad got to ride the thriller. I was disappointed that I didn’t get to ride it with my dad, because riding tall ferris wheels and roller coasters was one of my favorite things that we did together. Once my brother and I were tall enough to ride the scary rides, my mom — who didn’t like thrill rides — would patiently wait while we rode them. Later on, she’d join us for the less stomach dropping rides.

Six Flags is where I fell in love with roller coasters. In hindsight, I’m not sure if I loved the thrill of the rides, or the fact that I got to ride them with my dad. Whatever the reason for first riding them, I still enjoy them to this day.

Keyrings with my Six Flags pics from trips with Robin and Karen

My next Six Flags phase happened when I was a little older, and my friend Robin’s parents dropped us off for the day. We got to spend the whole day roaming the park without parents. During that time, there were also trips with church groups and my senior class trip. I remember boy watching on those parentless trips, but I never made a Six Flags love match.

The days we went were always exhausting because you’d leave Abilene at the crack of dawn and get home late. The next day you were most likely sunburnt and dehydrated because you’d have just spent eight or more hours outside in the heat. The log ride and other water rides were favorites just so you could cool off. Even though you got soaked on the ride, it didn’t take long for the searing Texas sun to dry you off.

After high school, I didn’t go to Six Flags until I came home to visit from Florida one summer. My brother and I enjoyed a day full of nostalgia and new roller coasters. Then, once I returned to Dallas, I only went to Six Flags a couple of times years ago — until the #HappinessUnites Tour.

#HappinessUnites Tour, #HappinessUnites, SOHP.com, Pamela Gail Johnson

Pamela Gail @ The Entrance To Six Flags Park

My friend, Victoria, joined me on this adventure. From the moment we drove through the gates, my heart filled with feelings of nostalgia. Although some of the rides had changed, the paths through the park were basically the same as the first time I went. Most of my memories were happy, but some were a little sad because I kept remembering those early Six Flags trips with my parents who are no longer here.

Victoria said she liked roller coasters, but it didn’t take me too long to realize that her passion for scary rides was not as strong as mine. However, she was a good sport and matched me ride for ride. To be honest, some of the rides that would never faze me as a teen did make me a bit squeamish. Apparently age taints thrill seeking. Also, I was still getting rid of my cold, so screaming on the rides didn’t make my throat too happy.

We started out on the Sombrero ride to get our stomachs rolling, which is the first ride I always rode to prepare for the adventure. Our first big adventure ride was Runaway Mountain – the roller coaster in the dark. Of course we had to have some park BBQ and ice cream before heading off to a roller coaster first for me: The Batman ride. In all my years of roller coaster-ing I never got to ride one where my feet dangled.

Six Flags Gotham Park Entrance

#HappinessUnites Tour, Happiness Unites, SOHP.com, Pamela Gail Johnson

Batman Car @ Six Flags Gotham Park

Victoria and I friended, Dan (gentlemen_or_die) and Deon (godxhild) our ride companions before we got on this thriller, and, I’ll let you watch the video for yourself to decide how much fun we had.

Six Flags Batman Ride Companions – Dan & Deon

Batman Ride Video with Dan, Deon, Victoria and Pamela Gail
After that thriller, we slowed down a bit and rode the Model T cars. I remember being so excited to drive them as a kid, but today I let Victoria chauffuer me.

#HappinessUnites Tour, #HappinessUnites, SOHP.com, Pamela Gail Johnson

Six Flags Model T Car Ride

We called it a day shortly after that, and spent the next hour trying to get to the highway to head home. Some things, like adventure park traffic, never change.

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