coaster buddies…again

In an effort to write the story of Cort and me for our children, I’m trying to put up a weekly (or whenever) post telling a new chapter in our story. I have added a new tab on the menu called Cort + Kate  if you want to follow our journey as a couple.

All of our friends were going to Woodstock ’99.

Ok, not all of them, but enough.  Enough that we were jealous of the road trip, but not of the camping on an old Air Force base with no shade.

Although, damn.  The bands playing?  Fricking awesome set.

We would show them.  We would have our own road trip that weekend.

Just the four of us.

A couple’s weekend.

We decided to drive to the other side of Chicago and spend two nights near Six Flag.  We even bought the “twickets” so we could come and go as week like over the course of two days.

That weekend it was about 104 degrees.

In the shade.

The four of us piled into his Buick Regal.  Yes, he was a 20-year old driving an old man’s car.  A smooth old man’s car that was roomy for a four-person road trip.

As soon as we got to the Holiday Inn, we brought out things in and walked over to the amusement park.

We all road The Iron Dragon since the line was short, and the boys, for whatever reason, thought they should IMMEDIATELY get on the ride that spins in a circle at the speed of light and the bottom drops out while you are plastered to the wall, defying gravity.  And all logical reason.

Trisha and I opted out.

No way were we putting ourselves on a spinning ride in 100 degree weather after riding a roller coaster.

We were not dumb.

Our boyfriends?

Totally dumb.

In fact, I think her boyfriend, a Mr. Cortney Sluiter, may have turned green.

Neither walked straight.

And both announced it was time to leave the park for awhile.


On our walk back, we made a detour to the Ponderosa adjacent to the hotel.  We delighted in the air conditioning and ordered only waters.  Then we sat there.  For what seems now like it was hours.

The rest of the weekend is a blur of roller coasters and laughter.  Sweat and amusement park food.  Walking and waiting in lines.

At some point it was decided to get on the newest, biggest ride in the park: The Raging Bull.

I love roller coasters, but that one seemed maybe too big to me.  I told them I would maybe sit this one out and have a snack on a bench somewhere.

This is when the term “Coaster Vagina” was born.

As in “don’t be one.”

I was yelled at convinced by my fellow Coaster Buddies that it was unacceptable to go along to an amusement park as part of an even numbered group and punk out on a coaster.  It would leave someone buddy-less.

And the Raging Bull is a FOUR person ride, which would mean they would get stuck with either an empty seat (best case scenario) or someone would have to sit by a total stranger who could be a crazy.

I was told to get over myself and get on the damn ride.

So I did.

And then we rode it about 50 billion more times even though the wait was NEVER less than 90 minutes.

In the evenings, we showered and relaxed in our lovely air-conditioned hotel room and watched the fools on MTV at Woodstock ’99 getting hot, sunburned, dehydrated, and riotous.

Our road trip was totally better.

Plus Cort and Trisha and my then-boyfriend cured me of being a Coaster Vagina that weekend.

So there was that.

And I got to listen to Cort giggle like a 2nd grade girl when he was nervous on the big hills.

That did not escape endless hours of mockery.

Cort and I haven’t been on a roller coaster together since that day almost 13 years ago.

We should maybe change that.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. I love this.

    And you may not have been on a literal roller coaster, but you guys know how to make it through the ups and downs.


    • this is totally true. we got off one roller coaster and got on a MUCH more unpredictable one: life together!

  2. Oh the joy of Coaster Buddies… yeah, we definitely need to plan a coaster trip… sans kiddos.

    • Cedar Point. It must happen since you’ve never been.

      • Trisha V. says

        Ahhh yeah, you need to go to Cedar Point for sure! And was it really 13 years ago?….. aye.

      • You live in MI and have never been to Cedar Point?!?! We used to LIVE there in the summers. That’s an exaggeration. But still. I had the Raptor memorized turn for turn.

        • I KNOW! I can’t believe he’s never been there either! It’s like a total abnormality!

  3. Hee hee…you said coaster vagina.

  4. It sounds wrong but I’m a Coaster Vagina.

    I can’t stand rides. You know, with the puking and all.

  5. I love this story.

    So glad you’re telling the whole thing…

    Coaster Vaginas and all.

    • sometimes you have to tell the stories with coaster vaginas in tact. how else will the world…and future generations of sluiters…know the awesome that is Cort + Kate? 🙂

  6. That is very sweet!

  7. Love this story. I used to love going to amusement parks and ride all the roller coasters. I leave that to the kids now!!!

  8. Funny how things that we enjoy make great memories but don’t fit in everyday live unless we make them. It’s a great story, and especially the last part. Go ride a rollercoaster! Seize the day with Cort again 🙂

  9. Ah! I love this! i read it earlier on my phone + couldn’t get comments to go through!! y’all are perfect.