26 in Paradise

Thursday, August 30, 2007

My birthday gift (and what a gift!) from Kirsty, aside from the fact that she came up to keep me company on it, was a three-park pass to Sea World, Movie World, and Wet 'n' Wild. Since Dreamworld was her favourite, we made it our first stop that Wednesday morning. The date, Aug 29 - and three days from my birthday. The sun was shining and it was quite a warm day, perfect for being out at a theme park - especially one with rapids and log flumes! We rocked up, as the Aussies say, around 11:00 and met with one of Kirsty's friends from Melbourne, Anthony. And then the madness began.

I won't go through every ride and fun thing we did, but suffice it to say that we went on the tower of terror (where you're basically catapulted straight up a 20-storey building) about three times. The real winner, though, was the giant drop, a less rickety but very scary drop-of-doom. You get vaulted up... way up... and look around and down and aruond some more and wonder when you're going to plunge down to earth. Man the people are small. And why did they have to make this tower so high? You can look straight down past your feet, dangling in the breeze. You're going to go crashing down any second. It's coming. You hear the hydraulics start to make noise and build pressure. Someone screams (probably Kirsty). Someone else starts counting down from five. 4... 3... 2... 1... and nothing. As if they'd know when it was going to drop, but your stomach is in knots and you want off. You grip the headrest and hope that it's locked shut properly. You think about grabbing another one just to be safe. Someone at the other end is starting to hyperventilate and panic. Terror crawls its spidery legs up your spine and you clench your jaw. That same idiot starts counting again and you wonder why you've voluntarily put yourself in this position. The hydraulics are getting louder. Five. Clank-clank. Four. hummmMMMMM. Three. Hiss. TwwwooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! The car is released, everyone is screaming, swearing, or, in most cases, both. There's plenty of time for it, the freefall goes on forever. And then, you open your eyes, wipe the water away, and realize you're stopped and slowly dropping towards the ground. You watch your nail marks slowly disappear as the headrest foam expands and look at everyone else. Frazzled. Nobody is saying anything. The would-be executioner releases the headrests and Dan, Matt, Kirsty and I stand on our wobbly legs and really look at each other for the first time since dropping. Our expressions of shock turn into smiles as we see that we weren't the only one to get a little scared. "Again?" I ask with a broad smile as we make our way towards the exit.

We left Dreamworld and the boys wanted to stick around the hostel for $5 Dominoes pizza (no thanks), so Kirsty and I went out and shared some dinner and stumbled on the beach night markets. There were lots of really cool photography stalls and Kirsty wound up buying a few prints. I resolved to make up a scrapbook of my very best photos that maybe I could sell prints from. I also stopped at a tarot card reader since it was only $20 and I had three fortunes (mom, sister, Kathy) none of which (thankfully) came true. My mom and sister had been to see psychics for fun and they both were told something very similar about me being over here. I admit to extreme skepticism, but even so, I was surprised how accurate and relevant this parlor trick was. Lots of stuff on change and some stuff about my character, I guess. We also got a massage which was sort of weird with all the people walking by, and grabbed some full moon photos of the moon over the beach. All in all a great night, capped by meeting up with the boys again and some of the Irish from our Whitsundays boat.

The next day, Kirsty and I went to Sea World and the boys, bound for home in a few days, went and had a surf lesson. Sea World was better than I expected, with a lot of rides to complement the dolphin and seal shows. If we had planned a bit mor ein advance there were some cool things we could've done there, but the rides and shows and giant aquarium were great. We met up with Matt that afternoon and went for a bike ride up to Burleigh Heads to get some nice photos of Surfers and then came back and got some pretty sunset shots on the beach. Then we went out for dinner at a nice Thai restaurant, though the peanut quotient was probably three orders of magnitude too high.

We woke up early on our final day together and went for pancakes. Yumm! Then Kirsty and I went to Movie World, which was probably my favourite of the theme parks. The rides had stories to them like in Disney. They had one of those mousetrap type rollercoasters called the Scooby Doo Haunted House that's totally in the dark and lots of fun - it reminded me of a little Space Mountain. Also great was the Superman coaster, which accelerates you instantly and magically straight up and then into a huge drop giving 4.2 gs and -1 g. And the Police Academy show was good fun, too, though the clown at the very beginning was arguably the best part. Unfortunately, the Lethal Weapon rollercoaster was closed. Leave it to a girl, but Kirsty had noticed a big sale at the mall, so we met the boys there and I picked up a couple Rip Curl shirts for $15 each, which was a steal. Also, Brad got me hooked on Ben Folds' landed, so I picked up that disc and gave it to Kirsty. Then we picked up their bags, went for a beer and chips on Cavill Ave and finally dropped them off at the airport. Back alone again, I drove back to the hostel, did some work on my laptop, and went to sleep. Tomorrow is September 1st and, weather permitting, I'm meeting up with a friend from Scandi who happens to be in town to go to the waterpark.

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