Explorations of mind, paths, and life

The Masses

Posted on June 9, 2008 - Filed Under self reflect

There is nothing like taking a trip to a major theme park. Acclimating to a blend of languages, Orlando humidity, and stupendous lines of sweaty tired bodies moving along like rehydrated mummies, smothered onto long concourses whose climactic termination is rarely visible from the start of the end of the line. $7.50 for a refillable bottle of soda ($.74 a refill), just to avoid paying for a $2.50 disposable cup every few hours, and $8.25 for a burger, absent of tomatoes, that is no better than the BK outside the theme park. Today was a “Universal” day, exploring “Islands of Adventures” with exuberant energy at 9am and a well worn tortoise’s pace at Universal by 7pm.

Justin and I accompanied my charismatic cousins from Colombia to the theme parks with my Costco coupon in tow, allowing us entrance at $40/head. How could I pass up another day at the parks, waiting in lines with cranky 3 year olds, sweaty teenagers, water-soaked 12-year olds, and tired parents?

I enjoyed the day – and had plenty of practice in Spanish. Actually, I think I am starting to slur my words, like I have a pound of cotton in my mouth. Not sure if it is laziness of the brain, or simply exhaustion, but I hoped to God that my bad “Spanish” was understood as I used inappropriate words ALL DAY to try to describe things I had not words for. I must sound like a 2nd grader when I speak. The day was really all about them. I let them choose, and although I keep a pretty hurried pace, I kept it slow enough to keep the clan within reach. I went on more rides today than in all my visits to Universal/Islands of Adventure put together. I even went on two kiddie-coasters (imagine that) and screamed my head off with each turn. I must have sounded like a psycho, or a loose chinchilla whose tail had been eaten by a stroller wheel on one of those massive theme-park child-pusher rentals. How could I deny myself such fun? I love terrifying all the 4 year olds awaiting a turn in the mile-long line behind me! It makes for more entertainment for the parents already struggling with sugar-doped children munching on “dippin’ dots” and drinking Vault soda refills.

We drank enough diet coke today to keep us busy the next two nights. My lower back hurts more from standing in line than it does from walking, and my ankles keep twitching as if they have been programmed to move every 3.27 minutes. Not unlike the cruise trip, I feel a bit like I am still moving – not unlike the sensation I have after roller skating for an hour. Once you take off those skates you feel like you are still on them. I am sure my dreams will be fascinating tonight!

Around 2pm we traded parks and immediately headed to the Men In Black ride. We got stormed on just as we packed our bags into a “locker station” and went running for cover. It was quite interesting, standing in a long line, smashed between metal bars anchored in the cement as huge, loud, bolts of lightening smash around us. Somewhere along the way I figured that Edgar didn’t need another jump start to his already recuperating heart, so I took his hands off the railings as we moved along in the rain. Finally the staff decided to crowd as many people into the building as possible, skipping all the “intro” rooms and granting us safety from the torrents outside. I actually got the best score (94,750) in the Men In Black interactive ride (I think that is my favorite) – compared to a measly 28,000 last time I rode with a slew of slick 7th graders.

Despite the rain, we had plenty of other opportunities to get soaked, and I walked the park like a bow-legged cowboy for at least an hour after the rapids ride. My ass was so wet you would have needed to change me twice to get me dry! (Actually, that ride was before we switched parks, and I was so pleased that I was close to feeling dry when mother nature decided to fix that!)

The thing I like about Universal is that every ride has an effect that is stunning. I am not sure if standing in a line for 50 minutes is always worth a 10 minute ride (or less), however, I never cease to be amazed. Twister is one of those, as well as Disaster, and the Poseidon Adventure. Effects that plant some interesting sub-conscious seeds for dreams.

Anyhow, adventure pics are HERE <-- In the end, there is exhaustion. We drag, our eye-lids puff up, our energy level drains, and we mosey along like slugs in mud.


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