Daily Prompt: Riding the rails at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens, August 10, 2012.

Loch Ness Monster roller coaster at Busch Gard...

Loch Ness Monster roller coaster at Busch Gardens Europe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was early. We don’t get up so early these days. It’s one of the few privileges of getting older, but in August, southern Virginia is hot. If we were going to do anything, we needed to get moving before the full heat of the day closed in. We rented a pair of mobility scooters, one for each of us. Not cheap, but fun is much more fun when you aren’t too tired to do anything.

By ten in the morning, it was well above 90 degrees. Busch Gardens is a big park, which means a lot of walking … too much for us. The scooters turned out to be a great investment. While they didn’t change the weather, they made it less of an issue.

I pretended to be the Road Runner, speeding around calling “beep beep” as we navigated the park, dodging kids, their grownups, and all kinds of inanimate obstacles.

I was very focused. I was there for the big roller coasters. I wanted that burst of adrenaline. There are not, at our age, a lot of ways to get an excitement buzz. Stress is easy, but excitement is hard.

First stop Loch Ness. Why Loch Ness? It was the first stop on the park’s railroad. After a relatively short wait, we were locked into our seats and on our way.

Loch Ness is a long coaster. Loops, inside out and upside down barrel rolling loop-the-loops … and nobody warned me about the tunnel. Heart pounding, we were tossed this way and that, spinning, yelping and screaming. And laughing. As the coaster drew to a close, it was time to tally our injuries. I’m pretty sure I had a separated shoulder, bruised patella, and messed up left hip. Garry needed a neck brace.

The video of the Loch Ness coaster does not do it justice. It’s a lot more intense than it looks.Just saying.

We broke for lunch and did a few of the tamer rides. Apollo’s Chariot was up next. It has a heart-stopping first drop crazy twists, turns and barrel rolls that do a pretty good job tossing you around. It is kind of short ride … maybe 3 or 4 minutes.

So what was it like?

Holy……AHHHHHHHHHH…..oooh …. ouch, there goes my right knee. Ow, ooh, damn, I think I just dislocated my left shoulder.

Where are we? Yeow, oh my GOD … upside down and twist and ahhhhhhhh…. ouch, ooh, other knee … did I just break my knee?

Like that.

That pretty much finished us for the day. I would have done one more, but Garry felt strongly that he preferred to be able to leave under his own power. So we did a little tee-shirt shopping, a few rides of a gentler kind, then called it a day.

The excitement does end, I fear. But the videos help us remember!

Weekly Photo Challenge: A lowly point of view

Portraits of Sandy

Sandy, after years of battling weight, yo-yo-ing up and down … eventually also battling diabetes, asthma and other breathing issues, decided to have bariatric surgery. It was a hard decision for her and not taken lightly or quickly. She was more than well-aware of the dangers, but in the end, not getting the weight off was more life-threatening than the perils of surgery.

It’s some months post surgery. She’s lost just under 50 pounds. She looks 10 years younger. This is a little milestone celebration for her … a little “Atta girl! You’re looking good!” from me to her.

The Porcelain Unicorn – A Miniature Movie

unicornThe back story (thanks to Sharla  at catnipoflife). Usually I reblog such posts, but posts with embedded video don’t reblog or scoop properly.

British film director Sir Ridley Scott created an international film making contest titled “Tell It Your Way.” More than 600 aspiring directors entered.

Release Date – August 2010
Genre – Historical / Drama
Awards – Grand prize winner of the Philips Parallel Lines ‘Tell It Your Way’ international competition.

Starring – Trevor Teichmann, Fiona Perry
Directed By – Keegan Wilcox
Screenplay By  – Keegan Wilcox
Produced By – Anselm Clinard

The requirements were that the  film could be a maximum 3 minutes long, contain no more than six lines of dialogue or narrative, and present a compelling story. The winner was  “Porcelain Unicorn” from American director Keegan Wilcox.

It presents a lyrical, touching story of an act of conscience and kindness of a boy  to a girl in a time a great peril … and their reunion many years later.

To me, it’s the story of how a single act of conscience can change the course of lives. If this little movie doesn’t touch your heart, I don’t know what will.