Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Vacation April 2011

Laurie and I took a vacation in April. We went to Fla for 3 weeks. Flew into Orlando and drove to Ft. Lauderdale where we caught a Princess cruise. 7 days in the east Carribean on our first cruise. Princess Cays, St. Martin, St. Thomas, and Grand Turks. We had a great time. Kayaking, snorkeling, helmet diving. laying in the sun, playing in the water, drinking some beers we've never tasted, shopping and just being tourists.

I could talk for a week about the cruise itself. Such service and all the food is free. Incredible dinners, constant buffets 24/7, swimming pools, dancing, movies under the stars. Took a couple of basic dancing lessions, saw the big musical shows. caught a couple of stand up comedians (DELTA stands for Don't Expect Luggage To Arrive). Lots of water and relaxation.

On our return to shore, we drove back to Orlando. We spent a day at Disney World. We didn't do Epcot or anything else, just the main park. We wanted to compare it with Disneyland. Disneyland is better run and it just wasn't the same. Pirates of the Carribean is missing parts and there is no Blue Bayou restaurant where you watch the people go through the ride. It was okay, though, just not as good.

Now, you may know I hate roller coasters. Never liked the big fall and the only major coater I was ever on was Belmont. Then we spent 3 days at Universal studios. Whoa. Two parks. One is based on movies like Jurassic Park and one is based on cities like LA, NY, NO. The first one we started early in the morning with the newest major area, Harry Potter. There is a set of twin roller coasters. They wind around each other going at the same time. Dueling Dragons. I was forced to ride one. I sat in the middle of four people in the middle of the car. I didn't get to see much, ,just felt the motion. This is one of those hanging coasters so there is no car under you. I loved it. the ride was smooth and incredible. I was hooked. Later that day, We rode the Hulk. a huge green coaster where it starts by accelerating you into the first drop which is also a nasty right loop. Awesome. dips under the main park walkway twice. The second day, we went back to the dueling dragons and rode in the front and tried both of them. I loved it. You see yourself "barely" missing the other one. Rode the Hulk again. There is another coaster, the Hippogrif, that we rode, and it only compares to Big Thunder Railroad. Tame after the Dragons. At the other part, there is the rocket. It lifts you vertically 165 feet before dropping you. long, winding insane coaster. three times you come to a level spot before dropping again. At one point you descend into a channel below the street level. At another point you go through this hole in a building and come out the other side. It was all good and we had a great time.

There are a set of other rides, where they aren't reallt coasters but more like Star Tours. But these move around a lot more than that. Simpsons, Spiderman, The enchanted school bench, and the Mummy. We rode the mummy 4 or 5 times.

The park has three different water rides. Jurassic Park gets you a bit wet and drops you at the end where it splashes people outside more than you. But the drop is like Splash Mountain. Dudley Dooright's ride will get you wet and is pretty fun. When you see people walking around looking like they wet their pants, that was where they were. when you see people totally soaked, there were on the Popeye ride. This is a large, round barge. it rotates as it moves down the sluice and water is splashed and poured into it as you go. No one gets out dry.

We had so much fun there. Lots of exhibits and shows. Then, outside the park is City Walk where the world's biggest Hard Rock Cafe and Hotel is. Also a huge Margaritaville and a bunch of other clubs.