Yes I know.
I’ll probably get all kinds of disappointed visitors to the blog, now that I've chosen a title like that, but I really had to start somewhere.
You see, I’ve got all ‘verbally bunged up’ at the prospect of writing this little ‘Wot I Did on My Holidays’ post.
I think it reminds me too much of coming back to school in September and being forced to write an essay about the summers holidays, “… I went to the beach. I swam. I got some sand in the crack of my ass...” You know the sort of thing.
Anyway, we went to Orlando, Florida for two weeks on a holiday which veered heavily towards Theme Parks, Popular Culture and Eating Out. This was an extravagant splash-out for us, as a family, and it was a great success. I was nervous that my guys would find the whole theme park experience a little overwhelming but they lapped it all up and still wanted more.
As for me, I’ve always wanted to see them and now I have and I feel very satisfied and more than a little bit wiser as a result. In my younger days, I drove past the place in Anaheim, turned up my nose at it and carried on down the road to Hearst’s Castle. I've since occasionally wished that I hadn’t.
Operating on a ‘day-on-day-off’ schedule, we saw six different theme parks – one of them three times – and there were loads more I would like to have seen. But the nature of this type of holiday is that people queue up to tell you how you picked all the wrong parks and all the wrong rides and the way they did it was so much better than yours.
So not too much detail for now, I’m too jet-lagged and emotionally fragile to deal with the angst.
I’ll probably return to this holiday, in future posts, to perhaps try to say a little about how I found America to be on this, my second visit (the previous one lasted four months).
I’d also like to try to write a little about Disney in particular. Incidentally, thanks and kudos here to Henson Ray who did a great post garnered from his own vast theme park experience which I caught just as I was setting off for the park. Thanks mate!
But, for today… The Hulk. I’m sure you know that it’s a roller coaster in Universal’s ‘Islands of Adventure’ park.
I had never been on a Coaster of this magnitude and I wanted to do it. I expected to be fearful and sick, disoriented and dizzy. Still I wanted to do it, it was something I hadn’t done and I wanted to see what it felt like. (I seem to think like that, more and more these days.)
Some stats: 'The Hulk' is a 2.4 minute ride which reaches a top speed of 67 miles per hour, completes seven inversions and 2 underground trenches and has a max drop of 105 feet.
None of my family would venture on to it, so I set off myself to do it. A pilgrimage of sorts…
Actually that reminds me – in a water park called ‘Wet n Wild’, on a water slide called ‘The Black Hole’ an attendant handed me an inflatable dinghy and told me to carry it to the top of the stairs behind me. I found this to be a genuine quasi-religious experience. I won’t go into any more detail lest I offend some quasi-religious visitors but I think you know where I’m coming from.
So I went on 'The Hulk'.
I had to wait for one hour and ten minutes in heat that made me desire the ride on account of the possibility of it being breezy. I queued alongside a charming lady from New York via Brazil. She told me I had a cute accent and nice blue eyes (which was appreciated) but her entire family were in front of us so I don’t think she was actually hitting on me too hard.
Unlike most roller coasters, where you get dragged painfully slowly to a pinnacle and then get chucked off, 'The Hulk' points you upwards for the expected plod to the top… and then it shoots you as if out of a gun-barrel at a speed that goes from 0 to 40 in two seconds flat.
You are then thrown straight into an amazing series of twists, pools, dips and radical changes of direction. It is tremendously exciting and wildly exhilarating.
I loved it - every second of it.
But allow me to let you in on a little secret of Roller-coasters. I’m probably breaking some unspoken club rule here but what the hell.
It’s simply this – they are not as scary as they look. If you’re bold enough to get your ass in the seat, you will be rewarded by a pretty unique experience but you won’t be as terrified as you expect to be, not even close.
So now, I’m hooked!
Bring ‘em on!! I went on to ‘do’; ‘The Kracken’ in Sea World and ‘The Mummy Returns’ in Universal, as well as some more. I couldn’t do as many as I wanted to because my family kept demanding my return but, like the fella said in the Terminator 3D show at Universal…
…well, you know what the fella said.