Z and I started out lying in bed for our traditional Saturday morning cartoon ‘n’ cuddlefest – currently featuring my favorite mild-mannered Janitor, Penrod Pooch, aka Henry the Janitor, aka Hong Kong Phooey. After that a quick trip to the Morgan Hill Mervyns was required for a bra shopping errand. A quick drive-thru McDonald’s breakfast and we were heading up 101 to attend the Santa Clara Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center.
This was Z’s first coin show and it’s a doozy. In fact it’s Northern California’s largest coin show and has been setting attendance records since 1978. Z headed off on the kid’s treasure hunt (gathering free coins and googaws from various dealers while following a treasure map and learning about numismatics) while I dug through “junk” boxes on a treasure hunt of my own. I’ve never really understood traditional coin collecting, myself, but I am a fan of exonumia. My current obsessions are Sambo’s Wooden Nickels (supposedly the most popular segment of wooden nickel collecting) and Metal Typer Tokens (those little self-punch medallions that can be found at tourist traps around North America). Unfortunately I was only able to pick up about a half-dozen samples of each. But we still had a great time.
Besides, the convention center is directly across the street from California’s Great America. So, despite their horrible opening day which we attended last month, we headed over in the early afternoon to cool off on the water rides. Things were looking up somewhat from their “grand” opening weekend, but FireFall is still nowhere near ready to operate, and the employees weren’t any friendlier or better trained. In fact, as we exited the upper level of the double decker carousel we got to witness the operator (who had been operating the ride solo while we rode) taking his verbal exam on which buttons controlled which features on the carousel. Wow, now I really feel safe.
We did get to ride Flight Deck (formerly Top Gun) a couple of times with little wait (thought the ride photo printer was broken so no souvenir roller coaster photo for us this time) and Z had both her first go kart experience and her first ride on the cross-park sky ride as well. Despite myattempts to feed Cedar Fair as little of my hard earned cash as possible, they still managed to get nearly $20 out of me – photo booth photos: $5, Logger’s Run (log run) souvenir photo: $10.81, frozen lemondae: $4.
By 7:00 both of us were feeling regular complaints from our feet, so we headed back to Rover, swung by KFC for some chow-to-go, and rolled into the drive-in a few short minutes before the screen lit up with Nim’s Island. With the sky darkening the weather was still perfect, so we could enjoy the film in comfort, chicken bones dropping out Rover’s open windows, and our casual film commentary not disturbing other viewers (while theirs didn’t bother us, either).
All in all, the model Saturday.