Amusement Park Ride Breaks Seven World Records, Inverted

As amusement park rides go, there are roller coasters and then there is the Gatekeeper, where riders sit as if on the wings of a plane 170 feet above ground. Experiencing sharp turns, inversions and rolls, Gatekeeper creates the feeling of weightlessness, sending riders turning and twisting at speeds of nearly 70 miles per hour.

Gatekeeper is the latest ride at Ohio’s Cedar Point amusement park, voted the Best Amusement Park in the World for 15 consecutive years by the readers of Amusement Today. Taking more than 12 million pounds of concrete to build, the Gatekeeper is the park’s premiere attraction but not the only coaster making up nearly 10 miles of track. Cedar Point boasts a whopping 16 different roller coasters with names like Wicked Twister, Raptor, Magnum XL-200 and the Corkscrew. But Gatekeeper is unique.

“GateKeeper is unlike anything our guests have experienced before,” said John Hildebrandt, Cedar Point’s Vice President and General Manager in a article.

Manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard of Switzerland, GateKeeper breaks seven world records, including the longest track (4,164 feet), tallest drop (164 feet) and most inversions of any wing roller coaster in the world.

Bring a travel corkscrew – Packing tip

While you’re on vacation abroad, few things compare to an impromptu picnic in the open air. It is the perfect opportunity for sampling the local foodstuffs, wine, and scenery.

Depending on where you are in the world, tracking down a corkscrew can often turn an uncomplicated experience into a bit of an ordeal. On your next trip, save yourself some time and always pack a handy travel corkscrew.

[Photo: Flickr | YannGar Photography]

Five Travel products for the wine lover

Traveling with (or for) wine is not as simple as it used to be. I’m by no means a wine expert, but before 9/11, even I traveled with a pocket corkscrew and foil cutting knife. For a brief period, the TSA banned any and all corkscrews. Nowadays the rules have been relaxed a little – corkscrews are once again permitted, as long as they don’t have a blade.

Of course, wine is a different matter altogether, and unless you are able to pour your bottle into small containers, and store them in a Ziploc bag, you are going to have to check those bottles in your luggage.

In this lineup, I’ve listed five wine related products that can help travelers transport, open, enjoy and learn about their wine.

Packable plastic wine glasses

If you have ever been unlucky enough to have to drink a $100 bottle of wine from a plastic bathroom cup, you’ll learn to appreciate portable plastic wine glasses.

Sure, they may not be as charming as a good set of crystal glasses, but they sure beat the alternative. These glasses are BPA free (which is all the rage nowadays).

Price: $14.85 (for a set of two, with travel pouch)


TSA approved corkscrew

I’ll admit right away that “TSA Approved” isn’t really something granted to a corkscrew. But the Oxo Good Grips corkscrew is one of the better rated corkscrews that doesn’t violate any of the rules laid out by airport security.

That said – when traveling with a corkscrew, it does make sense to keep the product in an outside pocket, because sooner or later, one of the screeners is going to confuse it for a lethal weapon.

This corkscrew is simple to use, and comes with a built in bladeless foil cutter.

Price: $24.99

Where: and most Oxo retailers

BottleWise Duo wine travel bags

Wine travel bags don’t get more sophisticated than this – the Bottlewise Duo holds two bottles of wine (or other bottles).

Bottles are double-protected, from breakage and leakage. Because lets be honest – the only thing worse than losing your wine, is losing it all over your clothes and toiletries.

Price: from $48.95 (for the black version)


Tide Stain remover pen

Bet you didn’t see this one coming in a lineup of wine accessories?

Anyone who has enjoyed (a little too much) wine on the road will know what a hassle it can be when you spill. Even the smallest drop can ruin a shirt, and possibly screw up your entire wardrobe if you traveled very light.

The Tide To Go mini stain remover pen is brilliant. Unlike a lot of other fabric product promises, this thing really works. I’ve used it on red wine stains on a white shirt, and after applying, and letting it dry, the stain was nowhere to be seen.

Price: about $4.50 at your local store, or $33.06 for a pack of twelve through

Mobile Phone wine applications

When it comes to wine, there are three kinds of people – those that know their wine, those that pretend they know their wine, and those that don’t know and don’t care. I’m in the middle. I like to pretend I know what I’m talking about, and I’ll swirl my glass making it appear like I know what I’m smelling.

For those of you like me, you may want to look into some of the fantastic applications that are available for your mobile phone. One I can highly recommend is “Hello Vino” (for the iPhone/iPod Touch). This free application lets you search for wine pairings based on meal, occasion, taste/style and country/region.

Its database covers thousands of wines, and shows the year, label, star rating, winery, region and flavor description.

Never again will you be at a loss for words when you are asked to describe a wine!

Price: free

Where: iPhone/iPod Touch App store