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Everything posted by Louise

  1. Great stuff Mike! That last mammoth run of photos was strangely emotional to look at, I really wish I had a picture of me with everybody! But I didn't even use my camera after day four, so I suppose it's my own fault I don't. LOL. Thanks for posting the reports. Watching you remove that annoying Frenchman from my line of view at the Disney parade shall go down in history!!! You're awesome.
  2. I agree. Don't get me wrong, my personal opinion is that it's ridiculous to be frightened by that scene, but at the same time I'm completely hypocritical because the aeroplane scenes in the first Final Destination scared the crap out of me, and I was terrified when I had to get on a plane the following week! It's all about what you know and how capable your brain is of getting reality to override the irrational fear. Gentle mocking is fine, but let's keep it nice too! Everyone has silly fears that make no sense to others.
  3. And by "stupid," I'm assuming you mean how frustratingly time consuming they can be? If so, from someone who knows and appreciates the effort put into them, I thank you for yours! I, myself, may retire from TRs. To be honest, it wasn't so much that doing the report was so bad, but this one was particularly time-consuming. I nearly did a report after Spain and then decided to save it... *That* was the bad idea, seeing as my second trip was almost six weeks long. This report was just way too long and took far too much time and energy to do!! I don't know how the Alveys do it, or anybody else who does huge-ass reports on a regular basis!! I probably will do a Europe trip one at some point, that would be a manageable size!!!! Thanks so much for all the feedback guys, glad some of you enjoyed reading it! It's been fun reminiscing!
  4. There will be no 2008 installment! This report was the stupidest idea I ever had and I have no intention of repeating it! LOL!! Though having said that, "Lou's 2008 in review" will be the Europe trip alone, so that wouldn't be so bad.
  5. God, I totally forgot THE MOST IMPORTANT THING from this night: That I got to see Fantasmic, and I freaking LOVED it. Seriously one of my favourite things ever. I cried. Because I'm pathetic. But I really did love it, and it was the perfect ending to the trip, even though the trip technically didn't end for another 30 hours or so. Just wanted to add that in there. Oh, and Jon? No accidental burst shooting with this camera, you're fine!
  6. Return to California - The Final Phase!! So, after five weeks of travelling, I was finally homeward bound... Homeward bound the wrong way round the world, admittedly, but homeward bound all the same! We flew from Seoul to Tokyo, then had a few hours to kill at Narita airport (souvenir shopping for me, getting rid of the remains of my yen!) before flying back to LA, where I had two (originally one, but that's a long story) nights before flying back home to the UK. While in Japan, Jahan and I had been emailing back and forth as I had decided he should Lou-sit for a while in order to let Robb, Elissa and Kristen settle back in at home after the trips. Disneyland seemed like the perfect plan! Of course, we hadn't counted on LAX trying to screw me over.... After almost 20 hours of travelling, I ended up spending more than three hours waiting in line upon landing. Within a one-hour period, there were four major flights landing, including hours, and there were TWO desks open at immigration. I was pissed off, had spent eleven hours on a flight without a cigarette or much food (which admittedly was my own fault but whatever), was stuck on my own in the line as the only non-American in our group, and I wanted to go to Disney, damn it! God I was annoyed. I actually got lucky though, the wait was estimated at about five hours at one point, but after a little under three hours they open a third desk and tried to split the line fairly... I got lucky with where they split it and didn't have to wait much longer. If I'd been stuck there for another two hours I likely would have killed the French guy behind me. Anyway, rant over. So poor Jahan had waited in Arrivals for me for well over three hours, everybody else had already left (never did get to say goodbye to a couple of you, sorry!!), and I was a wreck. Got calmed down, went to an ATM, and we were off. Yay, I'm back at Disneyland! This was after us standing in line to get in for five minutes before I realised I didn't even have a fudging ticket yet. After changing, washing, and cleaning my teeth in the ladies' (getting quite a few funny looks too I might add!), I realised I had never taken a picture of the castle! Done. And now commences *some* of our horrible attempts to fit both of us and the castle into a self-taken photograph. Surprisingly difficult! Cut off the castle. Cut off most of myself, AND the castle. Shoved Jahan out of the frame. LOL. This one KINDA worked! Yeah, eventually I just gave up and let some tourist take it. Jahan in front of the Dumbo which HAS A CLIMAX!!!!!!! Around this time, we wandered around the park for literally a good 90 minutes, doing NOTHING. It was actually really nice! Had lunch (and Jahan totally succeeded at chatting up the counter girl... then insulting her and pissing her off 20 seconds later), had a snack, had a smoke, had a wander, rode Big Thunder.... Nice to just chill after being on the go for so long. I pretty much died of shock at a store (was this the one near Roger Rabbit??) when they had both of my names on keyrings!! Anybody else think this is probably supposed to say "CHEER"? Jahan spots the Matterhorn. LOVE this picture!! To be unconventional, this time we rode with Jahan in front of me. Later on, after meeting up with Jeff, Chuck, Chris and Dane, we stopped for food, where I decided a mile-high piece of chocolate cake was a good idea. It would have been a good idea, if I hadn't already eaten a late lunch, a snack or two, half of the enormous mozzarella sticks (which by the way are orgasms in food form), and a giant plate of jetlag and stress on the way back. Even with the boys helping, we managed about a third of it. LOL. It was yummy though, so it's all worth it! We'd done "Lou's last ride on Mansion" so now it was "Lou's last ride on Space" time. Excited!! (Where'd Jeff go?!?!) This picture is fabulous but for three things: Dane's face absorbing 90% of the flash, Jeff HIDING (WTF!!), and Chris looking like he can't decide whether he's in the shot or not. Apart from that though it's great! Love you boys!!! Final portraits after stopping for me to buy clothes, and saying goodbye to Jeff ... I have no idea what this is. Chris is smug. Dane is ever so slightly creepy! Chuck is adorable! And I'm so sad to be leaving!!! In the parking lot, we sat around for a couple of hours, talking, laughing, and in their case, dancing around to the Fantasmic soundtrack... Yeah, I'm totally serious. At the time it was actually quite endearing, but looking back, SERIOUSLY geeky!! Then we went our separate ways, myself and Jahan staying at Chuck's. Could I wake up the next morning?? Could I buggery! There really isn't much more to tell from this trip! The next morning, we went out for breakfast before heading back up to Robb and Elissa's, where I packed up some stuff, realised I'd messed up and missed my flight, bought a new one (LOL at me glossing over this), so we all figured "Meh, may as well go out for lunch!", which we did. Spend most of the rest of the afternoon and evening (and all night actually) just chilling out, wandering for coffee, frozen cokes, whatever, then Robb drove me to the airport at 6am. I don't think I've ever been so sad for a trip to end! But I won't dwell on that too much, I still have one more mini-teeny-tiny installment to post, and I'll get all soppy in that one, probably. I'll post that one after Europe, I at least feel proud that I managed to get this far before leaving for the next trip!
  7. LOL!! Most people tell me I have a knack of catching them at their best! So I guess it's just you two! Actually though that was my old camera. This new one... Yeah, I think it's a crapshoot. Final instalment coming up!
  8. ^ That film scared the crap out of me when I was younger. Did you catch your monorail picture? I was like "oh wow, apparently I took a picture of the monorail, must post it for Scott!" It's your niche.
  9. Damn it, I'd forgotten about your phobia or I would have mentioned something about it in the caption instead of making a Tippi Hedren reference!! I remember that being in a trivia contest in Spain!! I love birds, though I'll admit to being intimidated by birds of prey with big claws! Budgies, canaries, stuff like that though, I want to keep! When I'm rich and famous I'll have a massive aviary. I'll just have to keep it hidden when Kyle comes to visit.
  10. The rest of South Korea... This update will probably be absolutely massive, so I apologise for how long this page might take to load!! The next morning, outside Everland, Brian and I had a can of much-needed Confidence!! The description on the can was classic. Apparently it's an energy drink, though it didn't taste much like the ones I'm used to. Was pretty good though! Eagle's Fortress. When I was told there was an Arrow suspended coaster here... I was pretty much expecting it to be crap. Or at least very "meh". But it was amazing! There was even a decent amount of airtime, which I find rather baffling! Great ride, I loved it! Fantastic setting too, swinging through the trees. I love pictures within pictures. This was on the long walk around the zoo area of the park to the woodie construction site. I'll admit that although I was grateful for the opportunity, construction tours aren't really my thing. My general rule is that until I can ride it, I'm not really interested. Having said that, I do enjoy seeing how things are put together, and was fascinated by the process. Mostly though I was happy watching the group crowd around the entrance. What later became T-Express. Wheeeee!! Behind the scenes of a TPR video! Robb was excited to touch Intamin wood. I thought of Balder. And then I missed Sweden. I very much like this shot, but for some reason although I rotated it, it uploaded sideways. It's 2.30am so I'm not rotating it, you'll all have to just tilt your heads ninety degrees. Myself, Jeff, Mike, and Brian (who I accidentally cut off, sorry Brian!) on the ski-lift up to the upper level of the park. I don't think Jeff liked this part, which surprised me somewhat... Up at the top, we rode some kind of Arrow looper which was extremely intense! Everything went grey for me, and I know a few people came close to blacking out on it. Apart from the intensity, I actually don't remember whether I liked this coaster or not, though I'm assuming it was neither horribly rough nor incredibly smooth, as either one would probably stick in my mind! Advice for life from the kids' storybook land! I like cows. I'm special!!! I got 2nd prize, yay!! (Not that you can tell, as Jeff somehow cut the bottom of the stand off... Grrrr!! ) Yay! This was taken in the entry for a Korean Small World type boat ride, which was hilarious for soooo many reasons. I took a ton of pictures of a horrendous Queen Elizabeth doll amongst other things, but they all came out as blurs so I won't waste the space. Rest assured that this ride is pure unadulterated amazingness though! Everland was really a beautiful park. Pretty fountain areas. Bunnies!! Awwwww!!! So, Jeff and I decided to do the park's Safari ride, but it upset me (I won't dwell on it, but I'm not a fan of performing animals, put it that way), so we had to go to the petting zoo and aviary to cheer me up, yay! For a small amount of Won, you could get some seed to attract the budgies. I love budgies!! This is what happens when you add double the seed! Suddenly I started feeling like Tippi Hedren!! I think there are about 7 on my hand at this point... When the 9th one landed, they all started leaving!! Proof that space and animals really DO go together. The park was setting stuff up for Halloween. The photo doesn't do this backdrop justice, it was really well done. Leaving Everland, we headed back to Lotteworld, to try and get that elusive Aquatrax credit we'd missed on our first day there. Oh, and to ride the most fantastic copyright infringing ride EVER. Horrible example of photography of the Aquatrax. And it's line. I actually don't remember now how long we waited for this... I wanna say a little under two hours?? Then less the second time, in the evening? Not too bad anyway, considering. It was good fun, I really liked it a lot! Good theming, speedy little thing too, and trying to stick my hand in the water was fun, even though I ended up with a HORRIBLE bruise under my arm from the side of the train. I didn't succeed in sticking my hand in, though I think some kid who rode near Elissa might have done a better job of it. I enjoy food resting on top of drink. Mmmmm, mozzarella balls. If only it had been Coke instead of Pepsi!! There was something about Lotteworld's castle that reminded me of something, but I'm really not sure what.... On a totally unrelated note, I was amused that the theater next door to the park had a Disney's The Lion King performance going on that night. Just for you, BeemerBoy!! Their logo is kinda familiar too.... What does it remind me of?? Weird!! Speeding through to the next day... Seoul Land! Dinosaurs. IN SPACE. I seem to remember this movie was awful, by the way. And didn't one of us leave something in the theatre and have to go back?!?! I need a new memory, I swear. Are Miles and Steve horrendously hungover, or still drunk from the night before? You decide. "Lou, wake me when we're going in..." Showoff here had to go and win a prize, didn't he. Then when I ask him to play for me and win one for me, suddenly he's all "oh no, I can't shoot, I'm crap, I keep missing!" Another park with gorgeous scenery. And a Dunkin' Donuts, where myself and the two Jeffs all ended up going for brunch! What is that I see?! More imitation Disney icons?! NEVER!! I love these geospheres, I think they're stunning. Funhouse!! Teehee. My dad has explained to me how this works. But I still don't get it. I just like to think it's magic. Hey, there has to be magic, we're at a park with a Disney icon!! This made me sad. Have I mentioned that I miss Japan? Hi Ryan! Cool random gold skyscraper on the way to the next park. Children's Grand Park was totally not what I was expecting, but was okay. They had either two or three coasters there, but only one running, which was fine, but there wasn't much else there that interested me, so I ended up tagging along with Brian and Chris and going to explore a little bit before heading back to the coach. The park wasn't in a great area, but it was quite charming really! I thought the statues and the flowers were very pretty. There were lots of office buildings and the like around, and a lot of these structures at the entrances. I like tradition blended with modernity. Here's another. And another traditional building, with nice surrounding fountain and gardens. And rock. The doggie Jeff won on his shooting game! We also stopped at Marine World this afternoon, VERY quickly, though I didn't take any pictures. Basically, we all rode this terrifying looping coaster they had that I was convinced was gonna fall apart and kill us all at any moment, we rode their Bouncy Bouncy (with Chris and I sitting backwards so I got crushed for extra fun, though this Bouncy Bouncy did not deliver when compared with Zaragoza's, I seem to remember it played amazing music though!), then left! For the goodbye dinner, we had Korean barbecue again (MMMMMMMMM!!), this time on tables and chairs for those in our group with bad knees! I don't know what I like best in this photo: The lady's face as she clearly wonders what the hell she did to deserve such a rowdy group of annoying patrons, Robb's face just being Robb's face, or Kristen holding the spoon. We likey the BBQ! And it seems apt to finish with a picture of our fantastic Korean tour guide, Emily, who was there with us every step of the way! For those of you who haven't read anything about her, Emily had never ridden a coaster and was basically terrified of everything, but we got her started slowly, and she ended up loving it, riding a lot of stuff actually, and even doing a skycoaster!! She was great fun and really patient, answered so many questions and taught us loads of stuff. She wrote a lovely card and had it printed for all of us at the end of the trip too, thanking us for "giving her courage". The journey back to the US was hellish for me, as I recieved some bad news on the way, but I at least had something to look forward to: A final day at DLR, which will be the next (and penultimate!) installment. Sorry this post was so huge!!!
  11. ^ I know, I just realised "WOW, I started this in 2007"..... This is why I don't do trip reports, I totally 100% FAIL at keeping up with them. Ah well, nearly done, and I *WILL* finish it before going to Europe, I have three updates left, and three days including today... Another tonight, one tomorrow, and one Friday. So there.
  12. Thanks guys! I'm really determined to finish this this week, but I feel bad that my Korea reports won't be as good or as full as my earlier ones. I had fun on that trip, but I was just so sick of the sight of my camera, and so tired! Anyhow, more South Korean goodness! The following day, we headed off to Woobang Towerland in the morning. Where I didn't take any pictures, sorry!! The park is named for its huge 400-foot-ish tall tower, which you can "freefall" (except it's not really freefalling because you're on a wire... still damn cool though) from. Unfortunately, the tower didn't open until ages after we arrived at the park, and because of time constraints we had in order to fit in both the parks that day, there wouldn't be time for many of us to do it. Elissa and I had both expressed interest, but somehow we never ended up bothering going up there. I think once we had sat around for 90 minutes waiting for the Boomerang to open (LOL), we had lost all interest in walking up the hill. I seem to remember the cable cars were working intermittently if at all. Don, being the highly exercise oriented runner that he is, and Marc, who had sheer willpower I reckon, headed up there though, and got some great pictures and certificates from the experience. Definitely something I'd love to do if I ever go back to South Korea, or anywhere else. Other things at Towerland.... Powered kiddie coaster that I didn't ride, just pointed and laughed, and two other coasters... Did both of them open in the end??? My memory has failed me again with this one. I think we got on Camel Back (rcdb helped out with this one, I seem to remember yellow track) but not Hurricane?? Or do I just not remember Hurricane?? Anyways, my general view on this park is that it could actually have been a really fun morning, except it was really fudging humid, the park was full of enormous hills which somehow managed to be uphill both ways, most things weren't open, there was nobody there, and most of us were too hot to bother moving much. LOL. After Towerland, we headed over to the Taejon area to go to Kumdori Land. Like many of the Korean parks, this was a strange place, but very cool in a lot of ways. I've just done a bit of research on this and I *think* (at least it was implied) that the park itself was built for Expo '93 (World's Fair) that was held in Daejeon that year. However, it's also possible that the park was there first, and the World's Fair stuff was built next to it... I dunno. Regardless, the theme of that Expo was something to do with a Road To New Development, with some emphasis on "green" ways of living, which explains a lot of the stuff they had, thinking back. Pretty gate near the park entrance. All these stunning structures, yet I seem to remember we actually entered through some kind of warehouse structure. LOL. First coaster we rode was Horror Express, which was surprisingly not so horrible! Conveniently located at the exit was an air-conditioned cafe, which made myself and a few others mucho happy! But first, there are credits to be had... Steve and I seem surprisingly excited to be on the lifthill of a Vekoma family coaster... Incidentally I adore this photo, it's on the privileged "to be collaged" list. Bahahahaha, Chris and Miles are fat and made the train overshoot the station. They had to go round again. I was amused. When the heat gets too much, the girls congregate in the A/C. And yes, we were *ALL* the girls on the Korean portion of the trip: Elissa, KT, myself, and our lovely tour guide. And 25 blokes. Talk about a sausage fest. Falafel and Ginny let us down and deserted us after Japan!! This was the moment Kristen decided she was angry at me for some reason and started throwing things in my direction. Beware the wrath of an angry baby Alvey, seriously!!!! Or perhaps she was just hungry? (I feel the need to point out that that's Robb's hand and not Elissa's.... ) After Jeff and I rode the log flume (kinda fun but crap I think), and Robb and I managed to cram both of us into a TINY seat of some totally random indoor-outdoor-death-inducing-random-Vekoma(?)-hell-coaster, myself, Jeff, Chris and Brian headed over to the Expo part of the park to check out the science stuff! Chris and Brian had already explored a little, and had said there was what was basically "a Universe of Energy walkthrough". I was excited about this. Gratuitous shot of Chris drinking out of a paper cone. Because paper cones are useless and cool. Holograms never photograph very well. But these tiny ones were pretty cool. I amused myself by adding my own commentary to their Korean. Most of it involved them being a sperm, a leprechaun, and a blue power ranger I think. Horrendous shot of the holograms in context! They jumped around the room, it was pretty cool! As there always is in these educational exhibits, there was one of these rooms where you turn handles to light bulbs, push buttons to move trains, etc etc. This was some kind of "use your weight to do cool shiz" area. I stepped on the scales and it told me my weight. Jeff, Chris and Brian each stood on it (not all at once, I should add), and it told them "OVERLOAD". *smug* Wow, I actually DID take a picture of Horror Express, just much later in the day! I took a coaster shot! I feel like I just destroyed my whole anti-geek image! Did Jeff borrow my camera?? EPCOT much? Spaceship Earth, and a somewhat similar design to the Imagination pavilion there. (Though Imagination is more pyramid-like, right?) This picture has no purpose in the context of the report. It's all quite cool looking, and a lovely place to wander around and kill time. Strange to see the building sites and stuff so nearby though, and it's actually sad that all these gorgeous buildings are there and there's NO patrons there at all. Apart from us, obviously. This was seriously another park where I don't think I saw more than two non-TPR people there the whole afternoon. I like the reflection of the clouds on the building. Another "Spaceship Earth" picture. Obviously this picture shows much better that it isn't a true copy or anything close to one, the panels are totally and utterly different, this one is a smooth surface, pretty much. Haha, bug and robot section. Grasshopper. This whole robot courtyard was somewhat creepy. I think Jeff has a really funny picture somewhere of me being, erm, defecated by some kind of creature. Is this your dino? And Wes, can we set it on fire? One of my better photographic efforts, I feel. FACEBOOK SHOT!!! (Hi Ed!) What is that behind me?! It looks like a hoover! That evening we had what I deem to be the best food I had in Korea. Bibimbap is a dish of rice, beansprouts, vegetables, etc, served in a RED HOT ("Bowl hot!") stoneware bowl, with a raw egg dumped on top of it right before they bring it to you. You mix in the egg with your chopsticks and obviously it quickly cooks in the hot rice and bowl. It's an awesome way to eat, with risk of burning! Miles, Tom, Young Jeff and I seem to be enjoying! The meal is served with kimchi, some kind of cabbage soup, chili paste, and all kinds of other goodness. There's an obvious over-used joke here that I refuse to use... Ahhh, sod it: It's Steve. THROUGH THE TREES. Brian and Chris had eaten all their chilli paste and were actually requesting more. I believe the chef was so shocked he had a heart attack. Okay, I have no idea whether tonight was stalker shot night or something, but I have all kinds of random pictures here! I'm only including this one because I want to remember whether this was the night Kristen was "kidnapped" or not?!?! Because the Korean restaurant staff wanted Elissa to be able to eat?? I'm amused by how terrifying it is that people think it's acceptable to walk off with a baby. Anyway. Outside the restaurant getting ready to get back on the bus. This picture wins the award for "Most unintentionally funny shot Lou took on this whole trip". If you can guess why (hint, look where Chris's hand is and what it's scratching/readjusting), then... I dunno, email Dan or post your answer or something. I wasn't going to include this next series of photos, but in the end I decided "what the hell". So the journey back to the hotel was planned to take around 50 minutes, maybe an hour. At some point, we basically hit a standstill, and then began CRAWLING along in Seoul traffic. I don't remember exactly how long it ended up taking us to do the journey, which was maybe 50 miles?? But I'd guess at around two-and-a-half/three hours? Guys? At some point, boredom kicked in, and Jeff and I had to find a way to entertain ourselves. I apologise profusely to anybody I woke up on this journey when Jeff and/or George tickled me, and I screamed in laughter. I just remember ten angry faces turning and glaring at me. I'm so loud, I'm sorry!!! I'll let you guys guess what this thing is. I mean the thing on my head, not me. So Jeff is now Bambi. And I'm... God only knows. Jeff, you've never looked better, honey. Neither has George!!! I missed my ears, and stole them back. Ahhhh, finally, back at the hotel. I found the signage incredibly funny. Don't get me wrong, the hotel was very nice and all, but "romanticism, happiness, fantasy" might be a bit much. I hurt my neck taking this. The only thing this hotel really lacked was... A BAR. Standing outside chatting in the middle of the night just isn't the same! Ah well. Good times all the same. And there was a random 7-11 type store a few doors down, so it's all good. Next up, the last few Korean parks, then the final two updates: Back To California, then Back Home At Alton! And then my report shall be finished. *sniffle* Thanks for reading!
  13. More South Korea!! I really need to get this finished before the Europe trip next week!!! This one will just be a mini-update I'm afraid! As I've said before, I'm quite fuzzy on the chronology and stuff on Korea, at this point I'm giving up somewhat and just posting pictures and giving random thoughts and memories! I'll probably skip some parks entirely. Continuing... Later that day, we headed off to Gyeongju World. My headache was getting worse and worse. I managed to enjoy a few rides on Phaethon (mmmm, B&M invert), really enjoy actually, it was awesome, but then I felt dead. Still posed with the entrance though! Later, over by another (I think brutal... perhaps a corkscrew??) coaster, I ran into a spider the size of my hand... Kristen didn't seem bothered by all the heat and noise. This was the day there was a Korean tv crew in the park with us (the presenter's reaction to Phaethon was priceless), and there was so much noise in this one area... KT just sleeps right through! So jealous of babies! The park also had a pretty great flume which Chris and I were endlessly amused by, and some messed up indoor space-themed mouse coaster which lost some of the effect by having doors open letting in light! LOL! I forget why, but I remember Elissa and I giggling a LOT getting off that coaster.... Over at the exit, after riding the TAGODA OF DEATH (which by the by, was the best ride ever built, with the best operator ever born), I headed to the first aid office. Speaking no Korean, I walked in, smiled, said "annyong haseyo (sp?!)", and made the universal gesture for "headache". The lady smiled and handed me a packet of eight painkillers, and held up two fingers. I had no clue whether she meant only take two, or how far apart I could take them... But I didn't die, so it was fine. I love this picture. Especially the fly on Elissa's head! Sorry Elissa, I have really bad timing!!! This evening, we ate at a little buffet restaurant. The hot rice, noodles, and soup were lovely, but I decided to avoid the fish and stuff. I'm always wary of seafood at buffets. We missed you, Bob! Babygirl Kristen at dinner!! Oh, and Dave's chopsticks. My camera turned Venus, visible in the night sky when we left the restaurant, into a sperm. On the drive to the hotel, I spotted a Young Chang piano store, and was thrilled!!! My piano is a Chang, and I adore it. Chris and I had got absolutely soaked on the flume that afternoon. Eight hours later, I sit down in the hotel room to check my email, and leave an imprint of my jeans. Drenched, we were! That evening, Jeff and I took a wander around the area.... We got about 200 yards down the road before we decided to turn back. I didn't feel unsafe as such, there just really wasn't the same level of comfort as in Japan, which made me sad. A better update will follow this week, I promise!!
  14. I went to the pub tonight and read the papers and was actually surprised at how much coverage the fire got, especially considering how most of our papers are fairly Florida-centric when it comes to US amusement parks. I mean, had patrons been injured or killed, it would have been front-page sensationalism at its best, but... It got quite a bit of coverage in a couple of the tabloids. Was still shocked to see some of the pics here though, although I did the tour when I was out there in August, I wasn't aware quite how big an area the fire had devastated. I was a huge fan of Kong in Florida as a kid, and loved the brief nostalgia I got at USH. Really sad that that was lost.
  15. My original "Ugh, that sucks" post actually went on about how the video vault was the biggest tragedy as it's irreplaceable stuff, then I decided that "video" indicated duplicates, so I deleted it.... I like it when my brain ends up telling me something correct, for once!!
  16. I'm so upset about Kong!!!!!!! Thank God nobody got hurt, or worse. Good for them for opening the park today and only closing what they need to. If there had been loss of life, it would probably have been respectful to stay shut, but opening today is good PR and good for morale, keep going through the bad times. Hopefully there won't be *too* much damage, though it does sound pretty bad. At least the flames were contained fairly quickly and didn't spread too far.
  17. OMG that picture is amazing, Paul!!! Saved!! Nope, I'd completely forgotten that ride!! How funny. "Homesick" isn't really the right word, I wasn't *sad* to be away from home... I think 30 days is just my tolerance level for being away, I'll likely stick with four weeks or less in future. There just came a point where I was like "hmm, still having fun but quite fancy heading home rather soon!" Furry Gloria was amazing. I want one of those costumes. I don't know what I'd do with it, but seriously.
  18. South Korea!!! I've been putting off doing these updates, because I know how crap they're going to be. LOL. I was not particularly impressed to be there. I don't really get homesick, but after five weeks away, I wanted a good night's sleep in my own bed, and within hours of arriving in Seoul, I didn't miss home as such, but I missed Japan!!! Korea was great, I met some lovely new people, our tour guide was fantastic, and there were a couple of parks that I really liked. Ooh, and a few damn good meals too! But the culture and the atmosphere... I missed Japan, and after two or three days in Korea I was beginning to look forward to getting back to California and then heading home. I feel the need to emphasise, I did not dislike South Korea. It's a beautiful country and I'm glad I had the opportunity to go there. But going there directly after three weeks in Japan was a bad idea. Walt Disey World one day and Uncle Bernie's the next. I couldn't help but compare, and nothing is ever gonna beat Japan for me. All that said, and this is possibly related, I didn't take too many pictures in Korea. I don't know whether it was lack of enthusiasm but there aren't as many, and I only seem to have retained random factoids and opinions on various parks, coasters and events, so this whole section of the report is going to be vague. After mooching around at the airport for a few hours and trying to decide whether to do souvenir shopping there and then or whether to wait until we were on the way back to the US, we headed off to our plane, via an HSBC tunnel: Bye Bill!!! This is a terrible shot, but he's actually waving a white handkerchief in farewell, to give you the context. We got into Seoul quite late, and pretty much just crashed. The next day we went to Lotteworld, but I remember very little from this day other than being really surprised by Le Coaster, riding the balloons with Chris and trying for literally like ten minutes to get the attention of Dave, the Alveys, Joey, and whoever else was on the ground beneath the ride, and wandering around and around with Chris (theme!) trying to find the entrance to Imitation Indy. Which by the way is like the most awesome rip-off of anything. Ever. That night we drove to a hotel near the park for the next morning, Tongdo Fantasia, and a group of us headed down to the bar as usual. Most of us (*ahem* not Miles and Steve *ahem*) headed to bed pretty early, but it was cool to chat (albeit briefly) with Brian, Richard and Paul, as well as the usual randomness of the Japan crew. Next morning, we spent half an hour at the park entrance selecting weird random drinks from the vending machines. Emily, our tour guide, had told us about various drinks that were hangover cures and the like, so we were experimenting. I found a chocolate soft drink (which was disgusting), and people had drinks cans which were like soup with rice and stuff in them. South Korea is stunning, such gorgeous backdrops everywhere. I took this picture specifically to use the caption "Hey Jahan". Bahahahaha. The triple corkscrew actually really wasn't bad! I actually *liked* it! It was one of those rides where you just keep waiting for the pain to arrive, and when it doesn't, you're confused. There was also a family coaster that even rcdb doesn't have details of. I remember almost nothing of it except for squeezing onto it with Jeff Waters and us laughing at people. I wasn't feeling too great this day, so a bunch of us ended up sitting out near the station whilst people were finishing up on the Fantasia Special. I think George wanted an ice cream. But unfortunately we couldn't find any food places open. I was dying of starvation for some reason this day, but it was worth the wait for food for what I was about to witness when we did eventually eat!! Every park in South Korea must have a Disney style castle. It's a rule. So, after wandering with Jeff for a while... Jeff, seriously, did we do ANYTHING at this park?!?! I don't remember anything except discussing the haunted walkthrough or whatever with people and it being closed when we went to do it... And yes I was relieved about that. We rode something... Was it a flatride??? I keep thinking maybe a Condor.... Alright, I need to stop thinking out loud in my trip report. You see my point about my memory though! So eventually we grab food from a Lotteburger near the park entrance. While we're ordering, music starts up just outside the restaurant.... Cue the beginning to the Best. Show. Ever. It's up there with anything Disney have done. Bahaha. It's very amusing, anyway. First of all, a Michael Jackson impersonator. This guy didn't sing I don't think, just lipsynching and excellent dancing! Next up... What IS this?! A furry Gloria Gaynor!???! Gloria was accompanied by a fantastically talented singer with the best fake afro I've ever seen, and some other completely random dancing characters. They actually danced REALLY well considering those costumes! I was severely confused by the whole thing. Changeover time! Gloria is back with a new costume, there's another singer, and more backup dancers! I don't remember now what they were singing, but it was stuff that I knew, and I think a mixture of older and newer songs. It was very entertaining, we were all enthralled! Finale time. It made me sad that they seemed so thrilled to have an audience of a dozen or so. I wonder if they perform this day in and day out, sometimes only to one or two people. After the show, the performers go behind a screen (you can see their feet from the back, haha) to change, and then the costumes are driven away on a little truck, in full view of the audience. Disney it ain't, but it amused me endlessly! I LOVE mountains!! Notice the KidTums clock on the right! And what is Joey doing?! Emulating the dance moves from the show? I'm also somewhat interesting by the couple slightly left of centre.... :shock: Later this day we moved onto Gyeongju World, where I was really ill, but I actually remember a bunch of stuff from there so I'll save that for the next update.
  19. I've always been much more of a steel girl, and I rarely get all that excited to ride a new woodie, but this one has actually piqued my interest! Not sure why, because although Hades is high up on the list of must-rides, Voyage and Bullet haven't ever really mattered too much... Don't get me wrong, I'd love to get on them both, but wouldn't necessarily prioritise things around them. Anyway, having said all that, I loved this video, which I think was just because it was totally hilarious to me in so many ways. Thanks Robb. Oh, and Cameron's belly?
  20. My random thoughts, finally got around to posting here: 1. Liking the thread archiving stuff that's already been covered. 2. Multiple quoting would be an absolute joy to me if that comes with phpbb3! Worth the update for that alone in my opinion, I deliberately avoid multiple quoting because for some reason, simple as it is, I always find it irritating and a challenge! 3. I'm in total agreement with the others who said that TPR doesn't need to be a social networking site. Having said that, I do think it would be nice to have just one small aspect of Facebookness, if it were possible: There are a bunch of people on here who are my "TPR friends", meaning at some point one or the other of us has clicked that little heart icon. But this doesn't seem to do anything. I think it'd be nice if you could view a list somewhere in your profile, and maybe have a Facebook style newsfeed that shows you (maybe in the same sort of format as when you use the search function) all the recent posts by the people on your friends list. For those of us whose reading time is intermittently limited, it would be nice to be able to log in and go to the posts by the people we particularly enjoy reading about. That would certainly encourage me to actually *use* the Friends feature, as there are many posters here I haven't ever met but whose posts I greatly enjoy and would like to keep track of. I know you can go to "see all posts by this user" but it would be nice to put ALL of my favourite users' recent posts in one list. 4. I'm a HUGE fan of statistics, and I despise talking to people and not knowing how old they are, where they're from, blah blah blah. I understand that people are always gonna lie (I seriously doubt we have a 2 year old and an 80 year old (who is blatantly a young person according to his posts) as members), but I would love to have drop down menus for people to choose from for their location... Maybe have them select the country, and also the state or providence for the North Americans, then an option to type in the town??? I'd love for us to have a bigger and better statistics page that tells us we have 41 male members from North Dakota (lol) or that 0.005% of our membership are Swedish females. If we could just get statistics on location, age, and gender, I'd be happy. I know it doesn't make a huge difference to the site overall, it's just something I've always appreciated having! 5. I'm hating myself for mentioning Facebook so much, but as much as they're a completely different site to us, I think in the profile sense they get a lot of stuff so right. Some of this has been touched upon, but I'd like to see the ability to put more info into our profiles, though it sounds like Robb has been considering this already. Like on Facebook how you have a work info/educational info, and a space for movies, music, books, then a general "About Me" section... Maybe have it so just the first couple of lines show up and you have to click "read more" to see the rest, meaning peoples' profiles won't involve endless scrolling up and down. Again, just lets us know people that little bit better. Overall though I'd be happy without any of the changes. It's cool to see the site improve, but I'd hate to see it change too much. If it ain't broke don't fix it. Thanks for letting us input ideas, Robb!
  21. ^ I completely agree, though I'm extremely sentimentally attached to Big Girls Don't Cry, annoyingly. There are *always* exceptions with me. I'll listen to pretty much any genre, except any rock that involves SHOUTING INSTEAD OF SINGING, and reggae. But occasionally, a bit of metal is just what I need, and despite whining on about my dislike of reggae pretty frequently, I adore Bob Marley and own a whole bunch of UB40. For every artist I despise, there is almost always one single song of theirs that I'll love, and no matter how fanatical I am about somebody, I judge their music on a song by song basis. Robbie Williams is a good example of this: I've adored him since I was about 9 years old and have loved 90% of his stuff. There are a couple of albums I never even skip a single track, which is rare for me. But did I buy his last album? No. Because I didn't hear anything I liked on it. *shrug* Notable exceptions to the above rule, ie artists who I have yet to find a single redeeming track, or people I feel should just end their careers IMMEDIATELY. * The Arctic Monkeys: I just don't fudging get it. My friends and I do terrible mocking impressions of them. It just baffles me why they're so popular. * Mariah Carey. I love vintage Mariah, back in the late eighties into the nineties, but ever since Rainbow I've just wanted her to retire. She's irritating in every way, and so is her new music. * Anybody who takes a wonderful country song and turns it into some awful pop or dance incarnation that makes country fans want to shoot themselves. Ronan Keating, I'm looking at you. * Ronan Keating. An abomination against music. * U2... See Mariah Carey.
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