emspace thoughts

What's floating around in Em's brain today?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Making the Most of Summer - Part 2
(and how to make Em swear uncontrollably...)

As you can see from the cloudless blue sky in the pictures above, Uncle Sunshine was out and about again yesterday and as we'd booked our tickets in advance, we made our second trip of the summer to a theme park. This time it was Alton Towers (where the magic never ends - except it does at the end of the season on 11th Nov - but hey, marketing is allowed a little flexibility).

Once again, I was testing my theory that it is always quiet on a bank holiday weekend because everyone thinks it will be busy and once again, I was right. It was the quietest that I had seen Alton Towers in the last few visits and we hardly had to queue for the rides we decided to go on. Even for Rita (which I will come to later), the queue was not the hour and a half that we saw on our last visit.

As it was just hubby and me (bro and sis decided not to join us because of partner disapproval), we skipped the nasty scary rides (Kumali was quite enough - see last post). The only big ride that we wanted to go on was Rita-Queen of Speed and what an experience that turned out to be!

After a good 40 minutes in the queue, we were just about to reach the steps to the ride when the music stopped and everything just seemed to grind to a halt. We heard a few muffled announcements that the ride needed resetting and thanking everyone for their patience, so we just hung around and waited.... and waited... and waited... about half an hour later, they finally reset the ride and there was a big cheer when they finally heard that everything was done and checked and safe and ready to go again. By that time, any feelings of fear or trepidation had disappeared and I was ready for anything.

So we waited our turn and climbed onto the ride, 0-100 kph in 2.5 seconds, 4.6 g - it didn't sound that bad, so why were people screaming so much? The red lights turned to green lights and then......

(My husband found this so funny that we bought the picture. That and his pic made him look really tanned and 'ripped'.)

90 seconds later, it was all over. It was like nothing I'd ever experienced before! I was really light headed, like I'd just had an introvenous vodka shot and when I stepped off the ride, I just could not stop swearing. My hubby had to tell me off because there were so many kids around, but I couldn't help it. I don't think I have said the F-word so many times in public before! It was mad.... but I really loved it. If it wasn't for the hour queue and my growling stomach, I'd have gone on it again. Even at the risk of having another swearing fit! Amazing!!

If you ever go to Alton Towers, you have to try this!!

The rest of the day was relatively sane and the lack of queues meant that we managed to fit in The Flume, Runaway Mine Train, Duel and Hex in without hanging around too long. It was a shame that the River Rapids were closed, but I still managed to get a soaking going down the log flume. Fortunately, it was the first ride we went on and I dried off quite quickly!

The next adventure of the day came when we were driving home and TomTom decided to send us down a narrow country road on the way down the hill where the park sits. Luckily for me, my husband is quite an experienced driver and negotiated it very well, but I couldn't help wondering what would have happened if a car came in the opposite direction down this single file track!

The final adventure was when we got back to the motorway, an accident had closed off our junction and we were sent on a 20 mile diversion in the opposite direction towards Stafford. Thanks to my husband at the wheel, TomTom with some reassuring instructions, an AA roadmap and my (often questioned) map-reading skills, we managed to work out our own diversion and avoid joining the 7-mile tailbacks, getting home before it got dark!

I think that's enough theme parks for one year (okay, there's Phuket Fantasea to go - but I can't see that being too white-knuckle). Next trip will be to something a bit more sedate - maybe a musical or concert... or even a ballet? Okay... maybe not!


Monday, August 13, 2007

Making the Most of Summer...

The sun came out on Saturday! Great timing for a day out to Flamingoland. In case you're wondering it's not a new member state of the EU, it's actually a small scale theme park tucked away in the North Yorkshire countryside, somewhere between York and Scarborough.

I don't usually do rollercoasters and the like, but pretty much as soon as we'd arrived, my hubby decided it would be a great idea to go on this:

If you squint, you might just see me on there. My friend who took this clip was wise and decided against being chucked around against the resilient forces of gravity. We on the other hand were left a little worse for wear. That's why there should be warning signs on these rides: "NOT SUITABLE FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE PREGNANT, HAVE HEART CONDITIONS AND BACK PROBLEMS, OVER THIRTIES OR THOSE WHO VALUE THEIR BRAIN CELLS."

After lunch we went on the other big ride of the day, that was a water ride with a huge wide berth slide at the end. In the queue, we watched everyone who emerged at the other end coming out totally soaked to the bone. The splash into the pool at the end is such that you may as well jump in and swim around. Stil we went on and yes, we all got soaked. Fortunately, Mr Sunshine was out and about and we quickly dried off. I even managed to get myself a bit of a Yorkshire tan! Not bad considering the appalling weather we've had this summer.

Oh, and before you ask... yes, there are flamingoes at Flamingoland!