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Photo TR: Coaster Palooza 2008 - UPDATE P. 23


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I need to post a couple of TR before we head to London. The following one was from Gyendolynne going out on a boat in Santa Cruz. She took some photos of the boardwalk while she was out there.

 

Onto the pics!

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That's all, next stop San Francisco's Pier 39 and Hard Rock Cafe...

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The sails looked so great.

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More sailing.

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Hey, isn't that the Dipper?

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It was a massive fire.

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Another shot of the boardwalk.

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This is the pier. I ate at one of the restaurants on the pier once. Gyendolynne has gone many times.

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A lot of people were sailing that day.

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There's the boardwalk...

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There have been a lot of fires up here in Norcal lately. This was actually one of the first ones in early June.

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Leaving the dock...

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We finally made it to the closest Hard Rock Cafe located near us. San Francisco's Pier 39. With gas at an all time high, we decided to take the train up to SF and a bus to Pier 39. It was a blast.

 

Next stop....LONDON and PARIS!!!

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A nice relaxing trip that didn't cost too much. :) See you in LONDON and PARIS!

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Time to go back home.

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SBC, err, PAC BELL, err, AT&T park, where the Giants play, is right down the street from Cal Train station.

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Back on the bus. We actually had the same bus driver that picked us up from the Cal Train station...go figure?

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Leaving HRC, mission accomplished. Man it was windy!

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It's somebody's B-Day too, isn't it always someone's B-Day?

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Pilsner and a Hurricane, does it get any better than this?

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The Grateful Dead wall.

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Love the HRC's theming...

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This HRC was actually relocated to Pier 39. It was in the city further before.

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We made it!

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I can't remember why I took this photo.

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There was really no one on the bus.

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Waiting patiently for the bus...

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We took the 10 bus to Pier 39.

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Cal Train to the city. The best way to get there now...

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Hey guys! Cool pics. Makes me really miss being on the water everyday though. What I wouldn't do to crank up the engines on a yacht again.

 

Anyway, have a great time across the pond! And I'm still calling it PacBell, Rick.

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Hi Everyone,

 

Coaster Palooza 2008 made its first international trip over the Fourth of July holiday. The schedule we have is below followed by the first day of the trip. The trip is a combination of sight seeing and amusement park hopping. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed being on the trip.

 

July 4th – Arrive in London, Abbey Road, London Eye, Hard Rock Café (London)

July 5th – Tower London, Tower Bridge, Hop on Hop off tour, Cruise the Thames

July 6th – Chessington World of Adventures

July 7th – Thorpe Park

July 8th – Bullet train to Paris, Mini bus tour, Hard Rock Café (Paris)

July 9th – Euro Disney

July 10th – Hop on Hop off tour – sight seeing, Bullet train back to London

July 11th – West end of London tour – Buckingham Palace, etc.

July 12th – Windsor Castle, Oxford University, and Stonehenge

July 13th – Fly home…

 

July 4th

 

Day one of our trip would have us arriving in London around noon. We went to our hotel, but check-in wasn’t until 2:30. Our decision was to head to Abbey road since the Baker Street tube was just down the street. This whole trip we used public transportation. It was great not driving anywhere. We took the usual photos at Abbey road and then headed back to the hotel after eating some lunch.

 

After checking into the hotel, we took the tube to Waterloo station for the London Eye. The full rotation takes around 30 minutes and the wait for it was around 20 minutes. It really wasn’t that bad! There are some great views from up there.

 

Our next and final stop of the day was Hard Rock Café for dinner. We have an All Access card which came in handy because the wait for a table was 1 hour. We were seated immediately! Since it was Independence Day, HRC had a deal for us Americans. A free beer with proof of being an American (which was our passport). No problem!

 

Time for the photos!

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Gyendolynne loves the band!

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It's never a complete trip to HRC unless you go to the gift shop, which is across the street.

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The beer was actually warm and we asked for an ice bucket. Typical Americans! You can yell at me now...

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HRC was actually celebrating Independence Day! They gave away a free beer to anyone that had an American passport. Here is our free Budweiser. Maybe next year it won't be the free "American" beer...wonder why?

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Our usual photo. Not looking too bad for an international flight (17+hours) and no sleep!

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Hey, it's Hard Rock Cafe! The original. :) What are all the red-white-and blue balloons for?

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We headed to Hyde Park after all the fun around the London Eye.

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Last shot of the London Eye, maybe...

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Here's the story behind the flagpole...

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Flagpole

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I wonder if this is one of the oldest carousels in the world???

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and then he decides to juggle!!!

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This guy was laying on a bed of nails...

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Like I said, you can never have enough pictures with Big Ben and Parliament!

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The next few photos are from the London Eye. It is a great view and highly recommended!

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I don't think you can ever get enough pictures of Big Ben and Parliament.

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Wow! That's high...

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Man this seems like a long wait, but it was only around 20 minutes.

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That's us! LONDON!!!

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We're at the London Eye. WOOHOO!!!

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Next, we went to the Marylebone station to Waterloo.

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Yep, now I'm going the right way.

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aaahhhh, that's better.

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We made it to Abbey Road Studios!

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Why am I walking the wrong way?

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Because we are near something that has to do with the Beatles.

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this exit, why you ask?

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We took the tube to....

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This is our hotel for the first 4 days. It wasn't ready yet, so what do you do?

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and drink!

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Plenty of food...

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Very happy and comfortable.

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Since Gyendolynne is Gold, we were able to wait in the Envoy lounge for our flight from Philadelphia to London.

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Yep, JUNO!!! We could see why Diablo got the Oscar for the screenplay. Nice Job!

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We had 3 Netflix movies to choose from on our trip out to London...which one did we choose?

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July 5th

 

Day two is all about sight seeing. We had a tour set up through AAA for the Tower of London. The tip we received was to arrive there by 9am because the first tour doesn’t start until 10am. Once you get there, head straight for the crown jewels because this will be very crowded after the first tour. That was a great tip!

 

We took the 10am tour and then walked around the Tower for a little while longer. We jumped on the Hop on Hop off tour next. They have a few different tours to choose from depending on which bus you get on. The one we were on took us over to Trafalgar Square where we had lunch at Sherlock Holmes pub. After lunch we hopped back on the rest of the tour around Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, etc. you get the picture, right?

 

The Hop on Hop off tour also came with a cruise on the Thames River. That was our last stop of the day before heading back to our hotel and across the street to the pub for dinner.

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I had a cheeseburger...typical American. I will get something different later on.

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Gyendolynne had shepherd's pie.

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One of the pubs we try to get to...

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This is a photo from our cruise on the Thames.

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There's that bridge again.

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This is Trafalgar Square. So many people.

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There was a gay pride parade happening that affected our tour.

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This is the church at Westminster Abbey.

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We hopped back on the tour to take a few photos from the upper deck.

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They had a museum of the set upstairs.

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mmmm Sherlock Holmes Ale...

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We jumped on our Hop on Hop off tour and took it to Trafalgar Square. That is where Sherlock Holmes pub is!

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Here we are with that cool bridge behind us.

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In case you forgot what Gyendolynne looked like, as a guard!

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Now that looks familiar!

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There were guards "patrolling" around the castle in full uniform.

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Another tower to go through...

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There's part of the wall.

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What???

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They also had some neat skits/shows throughout the area.

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Is this where Walt Disney got the idea of the name?

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Oh, time to tour the museum...

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Woohoo! Mission accomplished. Now what's all this about history?

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Yep, they have a smashed peny machine!

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I was quite surprised by something that I had to get change for...

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We went through the museum at the Tower also.

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Quote the raven...

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Winding tower stairs.

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This is the book of History of the World, Part...I mean Volume 1.

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Where's Mel Brooks when you need him?

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He was pretty amusing.

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It was finally time for our tour. This is our beefeater.

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Oh no!!! Traitor's gate...

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It's the Bloody Tower!!!

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I'm a little scared!!!

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They had ravens there because of some scary superstition...

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Random photos around the tower before the first tour at 10am.

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We had some good advice about arriving at 9am and heading straight to the crown jewels. There is no photo and video allowed inside.

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Entrance...

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There it is, the Tower of London.

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In a way I wish we would have done the dungeon. You could actually hear the screams from across the Thames!

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We took the tube to the Tower of London!

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July 6th

 

Thanks for being patient with the sight seeing photos. Now we will have the serious pictures. Ones of Amusement Parks!

 

One thing that was constant with us throughout our trip was rain. I think it rained every day of our trip in London except the first day. Today would be no different.

 

We took the train from Waterloo to Chessington South for Chessington World of Adventures amusement park. This is a fantastic park. It is a little small, but easily manageable.

 

They have a Sea Life area that is new for 2008. Their roller coasters, flat rides, and dark rides were great too! We especially liked Dragon’s Fury and Tomb Blaster.

 

It was a great time!

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We also watched the Wimbledon final while we were there. It was a great final! We are off to Thorpe Park next!

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and a Guiness to wash it down.

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mmm, Sunday roast dinner!

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We arrived at our pub across the street from the hotel.

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Back down the tube...

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This is what the station looked like.

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Train back to Waterloo...

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Heading out...

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The flags were blowing pretty bad all day.

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The dragon is out now. We decided to take one more ride on Dragon's Fury before we headed out.

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I was chasing the guy with balloons.

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The following photos are from Gyendolynne.

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More of the sea lion show.

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That's what the "king" wanted to do...

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They put on a sea lion show too. I think there is only one a day.

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We took the monorail around for a little bit, maybe to stay dry!

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They have sea lions also.

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King of the jungle.

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He also wanted to play with mom quite a bit!

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the other was antagonizing.

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It was feeding time. One of the babies was eating...

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First stop, gorillas.

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We went over to the other side of the zoo because we heard they have baby tigers!

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This is their new for 2008 attraction.

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Hocus Pocus???

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We headed over to the zoo area.

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The rain was getting worse.

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Sometimes I don't know why I do the things I do.

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We were given the front row, but we saw the disappointment in the kids faces that were in the second row. They were with their dad. We asked him if it would be okay to let them sit in the front. Little did we know these people have ridden this ride a lot! I think the dad had 30,000 points to my 15,000. His son had 8,000, and Gyendolynne had around 10,000.

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This has to be one of the neatest dark rides.

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We walked right on...

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Now it started to get interesting because the rain started!

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More photos of Vampire.

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We waited for the front row, so I think our wait was 10 minutes, maybe...

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The theming of the ride was great, but wish the ride itself was different.

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I think the wait time said 5 minutes...

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90 degrees!

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On-ride photo!

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Just a short wait, and we're on!

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Once again, I don't know if anyone mentioned we were coming, but the queues were great!

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This was a fantastic ride! We had so much fun on it.

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We found Beanoland quite funny.

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Up the lift hill. It was really a different kind of a mouse ride for me. I had to slink down low in order to fit. Is it because I am fat, or tall? I know, I'm not tall...:)

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I don't remember letting anyone know that Coaster Palooza would be there, but that wait is typical for us!

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The grounds there were decorated nicely with all the flowers.

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Woohoo!!! We made it!

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almost there...

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getting closer...

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We walked from the train station to Chessington. I think it took about 10 minutes.

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Very happy on our way to Chessington.

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Please mind the gap!

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I mentioned earlier that we took public transit for everything on this trip. We are at the Waterloo station. Gyendolynne heard very good things about Upper Crust and had to try a sandwich.

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First things first, we had to walk to the Baker Street station to get Gyendolynne coffee. It was unfortunate that they didn't open until later on Sunday though. We were able to get this picture of Gyendolynne with Sherlock Holmes statue!.

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^^^^Hey Joe, we decided to make this trip happen along with the July 4th weekend. I agree about the warm Budweiser. How can they serve it that way?

 

^^We booked everything through AAA. My suggestion on cost savings would be to book the hotels through Expedia, Hotwire, etc. I think they have better rates. They also might put you in a better hotel. I haven't complained about them, but our last hotel was so small and the bathroom...well I will just let the picture show it later. If you want anymore advice on the cost savings, you can PM me anytime. Gyendolynne and I talked last night about some of the things we would do differently had we only known.

 

Thanks for reading!

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July 7th

 

We took the train from Waterloo to Staines and then a shuttle bus to Thorpe Park. I didn’t get what was so great about this park. It might have been the constant on and off rain throughout the day, but the park just didn’t do it for us. Another reason might be the fact that Collosus was closed for construction work.

 

The best part about the rain, though, was that the park kept running their coasters. I don’t know if it was good or bad, but getting pelted with rain at 80mph+ on Stealth really does hurt a little bit. Their collection of flat rides is really great too. X:\ No Way Out was really different. I don’t know what else to say.

 

The lines got really bad in the afternoon, after the storms went away. We took this time to walk around the park and relax a little bit since we road everything in the morning…in the RAIN!!!

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Oooops, did I put the right postage on them?

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Time to send postcards. Scott, did you get this one from London? I will post the one from Paris later. You should see where I sent that one from!

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Mom wins!!! I am sorry for the lack of photos at Thorpe Park. It was raining for most of the day.

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Mom is in the lead...

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A mom and her 3 boys. I wonder who will win?

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I guess not.

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I was wondering if people weren't wet enough?

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Is that the best you got...You pansies!!!

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Hungry, Hungry Hippos....

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They do have some of the most intense flat rides.

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These are the improvements for Collosus. It looks like they're having a covered queue line.

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This is what dirt looks like with machines on top of it.

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We're in the construction area.

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Hi Collosus

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Oh my! A carousel.

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I found another smashed peny machine.

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Hey, what are you guys building over there?

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Time to cry. A very upsetting missed credit!

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Gyendolynne photos...

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There were some great views of Nemesis in the Detonator queue.

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Time for our drop!

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No waite, I wonder why?

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Kiddie ride...

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I got yelled at for wanting to take a picture of the train. I was told to put my camera away. It was the only time on the trip that this happened.

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The waits were great. Might have been the rain though.

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After Stealth, we headed to Nemesis Inferno.

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Another Palooza wait.

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I was just happy that they were running the rides with it raining.

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This was the first train of the day. We rode the third one.

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No birds died in the making of these photos.

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Looks alot like XLR8R.

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First stop, rain at 80+mph!

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We entered anyway.

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We were greeted with some sad news when we were getting our tickets.

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We're here, but look at how wet the ground is.

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We made it to Thorpe Park, after a train ride and a shuttle bus. This is where the bus dropped us off.

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Nice photos Rick! Looks like you guys had a great time. I haven't been to London since, 2004, and I think your photos convinced me I need to go back.

 

Hit me up next time your at CGA. Maybe one of these times we can actually catch up.

-RD

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Coaster Palooza 2008 is awesome!!!

 

I am glad it looks like you two had such a great time!

 

I loved London when I was there 2 years ago, and you hit all the sights I did, brings back great memories. Thanks for posting them!

 

I give Gyendolynne props for liking Judas Priest!!! Me too

 

I bet I can guess where you mailed the postcard from, but I don't want to spoil the surprise!

 

I cant wait to be part of Coaster Palooza 2008 again, seems so long ago that we hung out

 

I will keep an eye on my mailbox for my postcard

 

 

Peace, Big Mike

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OK Time for a really stupid question from somebody that has never left the states...

 

On the 'Stealth' pictures, I noticed it quoting the height and speed in Ft and Mph. On the Chessington segment, you took a picture that had a sign saying the park was 1/2 a mile away.

 

I thought everything was in Kilometers out there? Was this just different at the parks to please the American tourists?...not seeing ANYTHING in Kilometers was kind of confusing me...anyway...just wondering...

 

Chris.

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^^^Thanks Ryan, I will have to get to CGA soon.

 

^^Big Mike, I wish I had your address. We'll have to talk.

 

^I was thinking the same thing about the miles, etc. I don't have an answer, maybe someone that lives there would have an answer.

 

Thanks for reading! Paris is coming up next!

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July 8th

 

We went to Paris via a Euro Star’s bullet train. The trip only took 2 hours and 15 minutes. We had a mini bus tour already booked for the afternoon. The morning was free for us to explore Paris.

 

The mini bus tour took us all around Paris with a few stops along the way. The last stop would be at Montmartre.

 

We had dinner at Hard Rock Café and picked up our souvenirs.

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I'm a mess...look away. That's all for day 1 in Paris. We head to Euro Disney next!

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mmm wings! They got nothing on Robb's wings though. Looking forward to the next party down in SoCal to get the "real" wings...

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Our typical photo...

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Being who we are, we had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe in Paris.

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Einstein as Elvis! I found this funny.

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I don't even mind the view.

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I didn't let you know how terrible our hotel was in London, but the hotel in Paris was a much welcomed change!

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We actually drove through the red-light district on the way back to the hotel from Montmartre. Here is Moulin Rouge.

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Incredible views...

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Well here we are!

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Our last stop on the tour was at Montmartre. This has to be one of the most incredible views of Paris from up here...aside from Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower!

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Just like Big Ben, you can never get enough photographs of this.

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If you look through here, it is perfectly in-line with Arc de Triomphe.

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This is a better picture. Unfortunately they are closed on Tuesdays, this was Tuesday.

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We are entering the Louvre.

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Going across the River Seine.

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We took a picture of this building because it looks like a canon blast hit it. These buildings date back to before WWI, I believe.

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This is a better picture. I am not in it...teehee.

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At least I know this place. It is Notre Dame!

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I don't know, so many buildings, museums, and statues to see an photograph. I will post what I can remember...

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Arc de Triomphe, we will stop by there in a couple of days.

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Just a little exhausted while we waited to get back in the mini-bus (van).

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I took a few photos around the area where we took the picture of the Eiffel Tower.

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We had 3 stops along the way. This was the first one. Where are we again?

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Hi George!

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We dropped our bags at the hotel and went on our mini bus tour.

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Once in Paris, we had to wait in this line for a taxi to our hotel. It felt like Vegas.

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that didn't last long.

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We're very excited...

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The bullet train!

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Morning breakfast at the train station.

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July 9th

 

Euro Disney Baby!!! Today we took the rail/tube/subway/whatever you want to call it to Euro Disney or Disneyland Paris. What can I say? Disneyland Paris is a beautiful Disney. The castle is incredible and so colorful.

 

The best coaster there is Big Thunder Mountain, IMHO. Space Mountain and Indiana Jones just didn’t do it for us. We like Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Studios also. We didn’t get on Crush’s ride because it was too long of a wait. Tower of Terror was good as well, but I still like Florida’s version the best.

 

The day was really busy there. We park hopped quite a bit to keep ahead of the Fast Passes.

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That's it for today. The next day has a hop on hop off tour of Paris, mailing the postcards, and bullet train back to London!

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Almost all the patrons sat outside.

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This was Gyendolynne's dinner. I think I had a cheeseburger. :)

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Gyendolynne working hard at filling out the postcards for the big send off tomorrow!

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We went to the No Stress Cafe, which was just down the street from our hotel.

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It was time to leave Disney and head back to Paris.

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I think my hat is the wrong color!

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It was well worth it!

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We went back over to Disney one final time to get souvenirs and walk through the castle.

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I wish I would have bought this. It is the best Mickey Mouse.

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Very similar entrance, but the rest is a lot like Disney's California Adventure.

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We headed back over to Studios for our Tower of Terror fast pass.

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Is that the parade again???

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I'm scared...

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Here we are!

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Haunted Manor!!!

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Mirror, mirror on the wall...

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Hello Big Thunder!

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There are some good views from Haunted Manor.

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Yep, it's the parade, again...

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time to enter...but wait, what's that?

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of course, never enough photos of the castle.

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We're heading over to the other side for Haunted Manor...

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Star Tours was a little different and I liked it better here. It had more Star Wars in it than in the states.

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We saw many people grabbing their heads after the ride. Just like Indy.

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we wish it didn't beat us up so much.

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It was really neat, but...

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Space Mountain time, with our fast passes.

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We headed out to Disneyland while we waited for the Tower of Terror fast pass time.

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On-ride photo.

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Rock 'n Roller Coaster!

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We headed back to Tower of Terror and got fast passes. At the moment we have fast passes for R'nRC, Space Mountain, and Tower of Terror.

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so why not take in another parade?

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We had some time to kill...

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Then we fast passed Rock 'n Roller Coaster.

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A little run by the Armageddon affects...

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Similar tower, but I like the Orlando version the best.

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First stop, looonnnnggg wait! I wish I would have fast passed it, but I didn't yet.

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Hey, there's that guy with the mouse that I saw in LA and Orlando!

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You walk through the main food area to get in. I think they should have thought this through a lot better.

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Next stop, Studios!

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Picked up the fast passes and took a picture with the smoke coming out. Neat affect, but that is all.

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It was neat the first time...More about this later!

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On our way over to get fast passes for Space Mountain, they had their 15th anniversary parade.

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Time for our Indy fast pass. There was a line that wasn't moving. We went up to the front and some of the people were like, "hey, where do you think you're going?" I asked what time they had on their fast passes and it was still 20 minutes away! We used our fast passes and got through pretty quick.

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The skull head.

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Aaarghh! A pirate ship.

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We fast passed this and went over to...

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I really wish this ride was a little better.

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We ran back over to Indy next.

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Gyendolynne actually had a pretty good score.

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I recorded it in french.

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Space Mountain wasn't running...STILL!!! We used our Buzz fast passes.

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there's Woody!

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Hi Tigger...

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Our on-ride photo.

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Up the lift hill.

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Great view of Haunted Manor.

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Big Thunder Mountain! We both felt that this was the best coaster at Euro Disney.

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This iritates me. Why isn't Space Mountain open? We fast passed Buzz Lightyear since SM wasn't running and then headed over to...

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Take photos with the castle.

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Since the rope hasn't dropped yet, we had a couple minutes to do what everyone does...

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except, of course, the Castle!

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Everything was so similar to America's Disneys...

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or get in line and wait!

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Time to enter...

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Thank you for thanking me!

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after breakfast, a couple of photos and then off to Disney!

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We had to have breakfast though.

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Why not explore a little?

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We went up and bought tickets, but we were too early to go in.

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and right next door is the Studio

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Here it is! The mouse's house.

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We're off to Disney! We took the train/rail/tube...

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^Andy, yes the bus picks you up outside the train station. It will cost 3 pounds for the round trip. They have a schedule to leave Thorpe Park back to the train station also. It starts around 3:30pm, I believe.

 

The bus driver has change too. Have fun!

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I'm glad they made a feature out of this on the front page because otherwise I would have missed it! No wonder you haven't been posting around in the beer thread lately... You've been doing all this! I especially enjoyed the architecture pictures.

 

How much does the London Eye cost to ride?

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Going back to Paris now, that increases my chance of guessing where the postcards are mailed from

 

 

Peace, Big Mike

 

 

I mailed mine from there too

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^Andy, yes the bus picks you up outside the train station. It will cost 3 pounds for the round trip. They have a schedule to leave Thorpe Park back to the train station also. It starts around 3:30pm, I believe.

 

The bus driver has change too. Have fun!

 

Thanks alot for your help

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