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Photo TR: The Ray's do the TPR Europe 2010 trip!


jray21
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Finally! After two years of doing trips with TPR, and 4 official trips, I am finally getting around to doing an actual trip report for an actual trip, and not just for an event!

 

Amy and I had a blast on the TPR Europe 2010 trip. We flew from Reno to Chicago, Chicago to Dublin, Dublin to London, London to Milan, took a bus all over Europe, train from Amsterdam to Paris, Paris to Dublin, Dublin to Chicago, Chicago to Reno. That was a lot of traveling, and we were absolutely dead when we returned. In fact, just last week and over 14 weeks later, I finally unpacked the final item of the trip! We had a great time meeting up with some old friends, and made a lot of new friends. We now have more friends that live in the UK, than friends we have here in Reno! (Yes, we are loosers with not too many firends ). I gained approximately 8 pounds over the two weeks, which was really good considering how much I ate. I really wish Gelato would take off in the US, especially the soft serve kind! It was incredible! Anyway, on to day one!

 

Pre-Trip Day One/Two/I have no idea what day it is: Flying to Jolly old England and a cultural visit of the land of London!

Day Two: Thorpe Park add-on, and Wagamama's!

Day Three: Gardaland, a UFO, and sleeping/laying everywhere!

Day Four: Mirabilandia! iSpeed, how the dinosaurs got extinct, an epic splash battle, and a money shot VIDEO!!!

Day Five: Movieland Studios, the Tunnel of Death, and Drunk Piers!

VIDEO of Day Five! Movieland Studios log ride, Magma 2, Stalker Edward, Octopus rat balls clip, Toy Story 3 discussion with KidTums, and a night at the bar with Piers! *WARNING - Bar Scene Contains A Few Offensive Words*

Day Six: Part 1 of 2. Blue Fire, E Coli ride, and Bull Sacks!

Day Six Video! Euro Mir, Euro Sat, Mariachi Band, and Ciao Bambino!

Day Six: Part 2 of 2! Europa Park: Warped dark rides, Foosball Soccer Bumper Cars, Murdering Clowns, and the best of Derek!

Day Seven: Leaving Europa Park, and on to Olympia Looping and the Wurzberg Fair. Awesome food, rides, and drunkenness!

VIDEO of Day Seven! The most un-epic POV's of all time, Morgan's TPR rap, Polka, Men Rubbing and climbing poles, Piers Karaoke, and Elissa dominating a massive pole!

Day Eight: Phantasialand, What's in Derek's lap, Haircuts by Piers, and more Disney Copies!

Day Nine: Efteling, naked people, George and the Dragon, and of course some Piers!

Day Nine B: At the bar with Piers!

Day Ten: Culture Day at Paris! The Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triumphe, Louvre, and Notre Dame!

Day Eleven and Twelve: Disneyland Paris Resort Part 1!

THE FINAL PHOTO UPDATE!!! Part 2 of Paris Disneyland! (There might be a few videos to add)

 

To make sure we didn't miss the trip, we started out two days early. We flew to Chicago on June 24th, and was able to stay at our friend Drew's apartment (Screen name: ChicagoAG, but AG does not stand for Attorney General. He's much too ethical and honest to be Chicago's AG.). We met him on last years Deep South trip, and had a great time. So, it's alway a crap shoot when staying at someones house at the first time. Sometimes it's not nearly as nice as you've been told. However, in this case, we were totally blown away. I had no clue what to expect. We arrived by subway and are walking our luggage through an area that looks like a business district. I finally see the building that has the address and go, no way this is it, this is way to nice (for an apartment building, and yes, too nice for Andrew as well ). Anyway, he has one of the nicest apartments I have ever seen, and it has the most spectacular view of the Sears Tower and Soldier Field! He also has a cool model train business he runs, so Amy and I were having fun looking at all the minatures. His store is at www.blackforesthobby.com (shameless plug ), but I know there are some model builders here, one was on our trip, so he's got a bunch of cool stuff to spruce up those models. Anyway, not to intrude on their privacy, I have only included one picture with the Sears Tower, but it was incredible! Thanks Drew! We also met his girlfriend/fiance Kristen/Kiki/Keeks/Loves to yell at stupid drivers, and we all hit it off really well. She didn't do the trip with us, but we did meet up with her in Paris at the end of the trip so you will 'meet' her later. We also met up with Alfredo( smells_like_team_disney_) also from Deep South, and had a really fun night catching up! So Amy, Alfredo, Andrew, and I were off to Europe! This day is all about culture, so many of you may just want to wait until we post Day 2, Thorpe Park.

 

A HUGE THANK YOU TO ELISSA FOR HELPING US PLAN OUR TOUR THROUGH LONDON!!!!!! SHE IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AT WHAT SHE DOES, AND SHE IS ABSOLUTELY THE MOST KNOWLEDGEABLE TRAVEL AGENT THERE IS!

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Amy with a great view of the Sears Tower.

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Drew made the mistake of sleeping on his face all the way to Dublin and it stuck like that for hours.

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Amy and I are food and soda junkies. You will be seeing a lot of these types of photos. This energy drink was not near strong enough to wake us up.

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Yah! New candy to try! Their selection was not nearly as good as in places like Japan, but it was still much better candy than what we find in the US! We really really liked Mars Planets. Hint. Hint.

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Here we are in Dublin about to head to London on Aer Lingus. Such a foul sounding airlines, but it was really nice. And very inexpensive compared to the others. We flew from Chicago to London for about $900.

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Top of the morning to you Dublin, see you in a few days. Our layover in Dublin was only about three hours, so we didn't get any culture in.

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Yeah! We have arrived in London and are waiting for the Hotel Hoppa. You can't say that without sounding Englandian.

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Wow, their taxis really do look like that!

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I'm waiting for Onslow from Keeping up Appearances (one of the stupidest and funny shows ever) to walk out.

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On our way to downtown London! We were glad it was empty so we were able to sleep.

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Unfortunately, it got a little busier closer to downtown, so us rude americans gave our seats up and tried to sleep standing up. Once again, the Transderm-Scop patch saved my entire trip from ever getting motion sickness!

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Yeah! We have arrive in the motherland! The dude in the blue shirt, lower right, looked like Mathis from Quantum of Solace.

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The coolest part of arriving early was to meet up with my cousin Sachie! She is from Japan, we are the same age, and I only get to see her every few years. Kinda odd that we ended up meeting in London, but that is where she now lives. She hung out with us for the day.

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Fish and Chips. The Hamburger and Fries of the Englandites.

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The Fook Kin rice was Fook Kin good!

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We tried the Chicken Feet, I have no clue why, and they were as disgusting as they looked!

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I look like a complete tool.

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Heading for a ride on the Underground!

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We popped up near this massive sundial. How they got the seconds hand to move was amazing.

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This was some extremely old wall whose name escapes me. Help anyone? Anyway, it was amazing that it was still standing after all these years. According to Prince Desmond, Dipper was built with the same quality engineering and will last a lifetime.

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The famous Tower of London! Next time we will take an extra day just to tour it.

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You can imagine how nearly impossible it would be to defeat this place with the moat filled up.

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The details on little things like signs and lamp posts throughout the city was amazing.

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Another view. I would not want to charge that place with arrows flying out of those windows.

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A quick picture to prove we were there!

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Tower Bridge, not to be confused with the London Bridge that some stupid American got duped into buying and is now located in Arizona!

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One Japanese person with a big huge camera....

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Two Japanese person with a big huge camera. It is not a generalization, it is Fact!

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Walking across the bridge. The bridge was very impressive.

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The River Thames. This city really does like cranes for some reason!

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Nice shot of the bridge.

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Amy took a picture of Sachie and I, while Sachie took a picture of Amy and I, while I took a picture of Sachie and Amy. Amazing. And utterly stupid.

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Another picture of the bridge.

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This was Berkeley Homes. There were a ton of these really cool historic buildings throughout the city.

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We headed over the London Dungeon, but it was closed. Oh well, another reason to come back for another 'holiday!'

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The buildings in London were amazing. Alfredo works in the architecture field, so he was having an awesome time!

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I stopped at almost any place that had food. These Pasty's, pronounced pass-tea, were really good. I wish we had them here.

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I didn't know London had a red light district.

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Oh I get it, DCA was going for the River Thames water look/color in their lagoon!

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No, not the chick, it's the Feed the Birds place!

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Us Japanese people were going crazy with the picture taking! The bag I am carrying weighed a ton, and my cousin was trying to carry that bag, another bag, and her camera so I thought I would play rude American and carry it for her.

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Another view of the River Thames and Tower Bridge.

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The weather was perfect, but it was incredibly bright.

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Aw, how nice.

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Getting ready to head over to Buckingham Palace and visit Her Royal Highness! You can see Andrews face is slowly getting back to normal.

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This was a memorial for the London Fire of 1666. Hmm, any significance with the number in the year?

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Again, the detail in this place is incredible.

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Here's your education for the year. And who says TPR is mindless?

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Is all I heard in my head for the next hour was the "Rule Britannia" song over and over again.

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The flag was out, so I guess that means she is home.

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Nice statue of a lion for the wife.

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Must. Not. Move.

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The Victoria Memorial, for Queen Victoria.

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Standing outside of the palace gates we looked like little people.

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Alfredo was out doing architecture stuff.

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The Queens front door.

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Much nicer than the White House.

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The Metro Police cars we very un-intimidating, and their sirens sounded like someone making a siren noise through their nose, upturned in English fashion of course! (Really though, the Londanians were extremely nice and friendly.)

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Another nice view of the memorial.

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Medusa, or, an ex-girlfriend.

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Their 'gardens' are really nice looking, and this one can barely even be considered one.

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We were going to take some pictures in the phone booth that they copied from Epcot, but Sachie said it smelled like urine.

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Nice artsy shot.

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Hey look kids, there's Big Ben.

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Again, the details!

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You forgot to look up!

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The Palace of Westminster.

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A really incredible looking building.

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Amy slyly taking pictures with some guys named Bobby.

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Incredible details throughout the building.

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One of these days I will learn some history about this place, but I did go to public school.

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Another view.

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I could have used the iPhone 4 HDR function here.

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This place was huge.

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That must have taken a ton of time to carve/create.

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Holy flying buttresses Batman!

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Some cool Gargoyles.

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They totally stole the idea of Iago from Aladdin! Disney should sue.

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No, this is Westminster Abbey, Notre Dame will be later.

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Wait a minute. Why is Epcot's Germany here?

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Of course we had to hit up the London Eye!

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The Palace of Westminster.

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We didn't have reservations, but luckily the line was not long at all.

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She did the obligatory Japanese person "V" picture for me.

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Much better Andrew. Almost there.

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Did I tell you they love cranes or what!

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I could almost see Mary Poppins walking up the smoke stairs.

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We had a great view of the city from up here.

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Nice shot of the 'bubbles' and Big Ben.

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I'm not the biggest fan of heights, and being able to see straight down was a little creepy, but it really wasn't bad at all after a while.

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I remember seeing the people walk across here on "The Amazing Race." That is pretty darn high.

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The was the aquarium/museum next to the London Eye. You could easily get lost in there.

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After being married for 8 years, and knowing each other for 14 years, this trip marked the first time Amy and Sachie ever met!

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Hey look kids, there's Big Ben!

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Everything looked much better lit up.

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Later that night, Mr. Six entertained the kids! Up next, Thorpe Park!!!

Edited by jray21
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Awesome photos! I was wondering if you were going to do a TR for the trip. I knew something good had to come from all those bags you were lugging around, haha. I would seriously look through the forums every day in hopes of spotting something, and then tonight, BAM! Here it is! What a great beginning. I can't wait to see the rest.

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^Thanks Larry! Yeah, I learned my lesson with the Halloween report! Also, my next post will only have about 75 pictures! Can you believe it! But being Japanese, I think I will dishonor my ancestors if I post any less than that.

 

^^Those bags got extra heavy at the end and on the really hot days!

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Great Start. Looking forward to the next installment.

 

I always find it fascinating to see trip reports about London sights.

I work in London just along the South Bank of the Thames and see some of the sights most days.

Example: I walk past the London eye to get to McDonald's for lunch.

 

Familiarity does lead to contempt.

 

- James.

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^Thanks Larry! Yeah, I learned my lesson with the Halloween report! Also, my next post will only have about 75 pictures! Can you believe it! But being Japanese, I think I will dishonor my ancestors if I post any less than that.

 

I didn't even realize you were Japanese until I met your camera.

 

http://wavs.unclebubby.com/wav/MOVIES/Caddyshack/parkinglot.wav

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ELISSA IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AT WHAT SHE DOES, AND SHE IS ABSOLUTELY THE MOST KNOWLEDGEABLE TRAVEL AGENT THERE IS!

 

Quoted for truth! If Elissa ever decided to go into business for herself, I suspect she could make a very comfortable living with her own travel agency (and based on her post-trip thread, probably score a reality show, too).

 

Two observations:

 

Pasties are the bomb.com! I think I may have purchased mine from the same stand in your photo--was it near Leicester Square?

 

Thank you for pointing out that was the "Feed the Birds" building! I took a picture of it and didn't make the connection. That makes it 10 times more awesome!

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I live where they filmed that series and that house is far too nice to be onslow's

 

That is really cool! I really did love that show and wish it was still on!

 

Was the night after this when I got my gift of wine straws?

 

Yes! We had been waiting for months to get those to you! We already have another 'quality' gift for you!

 

I think I may have purchased mine from the same stand in your photo--was it near Leicester Square?

 

The stand was right near London Dungeon so if that near Leicester Square, then yes, if not, then no! I think I purchased three, and really liked them all.

 

What is taking so long for the next installment?

 

I am still trying to figure out the proper time to wait before posting an update. It's like trying to figure out how long to wait to call a chick after the first date. I think I will have it finished later today, and then will let it cook over the weekend.

 

Thanks for all the comments so I don't have to post on a page that already has one! And Piers, I promise no more mentioning Japanese..., but I am also part English and part German!

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Thanks for the kind words. I love London, I love Travel, and I absolutely ADORED getting to show everyone in my group around for the day (and passing those detailed notes and plans onto the Ray's!)

 

I seriously am looking into becoming a 'real' travel agent once KT is in full time school. I'm already better than 99% of the ones I've had to deal with!!!

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DayTwoEuropeB1.thumb.jpg.a2803dd7cb66de8b95ce2fbd72fbd29f.jpgI forgot to post this picture (as if 99 pictures wasn't enough)! This was on our flight from Chicago. This lady kept on putting her nasty bare feet on my wife's armrest. I didn't want to cause a scene, but when she did it to me, and touched my arm with her nasty feet I smashed her foot pretty hard. On accident of course .
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Now it's time for the England add-on portion of the Europe trip! We did a day at Thorpe Park, which was the last day for the England trip people. It was cool to be able to see some familiar faces, even if for only one day. Many people said that Thorpe Park was the Six Flags of Europe, and I could understand the comparison, but it was in England, so who cares! It was still tons better than Six Flags, but compared to the other parks in Europe it didn't have near the theming of other European parks. But we had an awesome time, and I would come back in a heartbeat! Of course, with TPR you could be in the worst place in the world and still have the greatest time! It was very hot, but it was an awesome way to start out the trip. The rides were a lot of fun, and the dead squirting body on Saw was awesome! Saw was also my first EVER official Europe credit! Colossus was a unique ride, but quite painful, and Nemesis Inferno ERT was a great way to end the day!

 

Later that day we had the farewell to England/Welcome to Europe dinner at Wagamama! It really is one of the best restaurants there is. Everyone was completely exhausted/wasted because either they were finishing up a whole week of TPR madness, or had major jet lag from traveling.

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Yay for Rob(b), Elissa, KidTums, and TPR!

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This was the first of many park vehicles throughout the trip that tried to run us over. We were all standing in a big group, but he just drove right through us so he didn't have to miss a spot.

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Piers was looking very smart (Both the Queen's English and Americanian English translation) ;)

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I can't find it on the F-ing map, but I know it's here. At least I think it is.

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On our way to Saw ERT!

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King Rob(b)ert of TPR address the crowd before another awesome ERT session!

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Saw getting some last test runs in before the TPR takeover.

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Waiting for the line to open. Once it does, it's like the running of the bulls.

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Saw was pretty smooth for a Euro-Fighter. Where you sat was a big factor on it being smooth or not, but it was a lot of fun.

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Nice bloody theming in the queue.

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Oh, L-O-O, not L-O-U!

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I see TPR member kenshinmac in the front!

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Waiting in line for Saw I thought Drew's frozen face came back, but....

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it was just his "stare into the darkness before he sneezes" stare!

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There was a lot of greenage around Colossus.

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She was trying to catch some bugs.

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Heading through the corkscrew.

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1.4m. Oh crap, were on the metric system now. I am going to have no clue what the temperature or any other measurements are!

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Somehow, the thought of eating at Burger King is not appetizing to me.

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The character on the right is showing the proper way to go to the bathroom in the UK.

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It was so hot!

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Going to the Saw Maze!

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The log ride was pretty fun. Of course Amy took the Dan exit.

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Drew's a little nervous about being that close to Alfredo.

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I never did find out what Whelks and Winkles were.

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There were a lot of half naked nasty people at the park, and not enough like the girl in the back.

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That chick was doing the funky chicken down the entire drop.

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Stealth was fun, but way too short.

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Yay! It's got an American theme so I know how tall and how fast.

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Tidal Wave had one of the biggest splashes I have ever seen.

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I don't think I want to go in there.

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Andrew is slightly embarrassed about the powered coaster non-credit credit.

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Nice family shot.

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I do not know where this has been.

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World cup was going on during the trip and this place got so busy and wild later on.

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The Slippery Serpent goes in here.

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Hey kids, how about some meth earnings?

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Subtle differences between the UK and the US. We call them Nerds, they call them Weirds.

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Nice spiral.

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Piers looks way too serious.

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That's more like it.

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I think that dude just had a stroke!

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Getting ready for dispatch!

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Lou's hair makes for some great photos.

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Yay drop!

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It's from the pain, not being scared.

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Amy had to ruin a shot of Piers' seduction pose.

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Getting ready for evening ERT! TPR trips are the only way to go!

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kenshinmac just realized that this is the last coaster of the trip

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Next, we headed over to the Queen's 'normal' residence, and Wagamama's!

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Some dog took a huge dump on the Queen's lawn! I guess there are some things we all have in common..

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Here is a restaurant for Nando!

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We've arrived!

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When food is involved, TPR listens.

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A shot from the farewell dinner.

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Hi Miles!

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Katherine enjoyed her meal, but Piers was not sure what was in it.

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Many people gave me the who the hell are you pose.

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More people.

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Quite a few glasses of alcohol were consumed this night.

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Waiting for food.

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More good food.

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Elissa is very content.

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It is so f-ing hot down here!

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Some Europe Trip people saying their goodbyes. That will be us in about 10 days.

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Robb has the "I just finished one trip and still have four more to go" look.

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Katherine and KidTums were running from...

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Nando's man-eating chicken!

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The area around Wagamama's was really nice.

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Back at the hotel updating TPR.

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I've heard of steamers, but I guess Englandites have really steamy steamers when they go.

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The next morning we flew Lou Airlines to Milan. I included the morning stuff in this update to save room for the awesomeness of Gardaland!

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In the London airport we found some American sized Cadbury bars!

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Only a couple thousand calories worth of chocolate.

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We also got just a few small snacks before the flight. I also had my first taste of porridge!

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This was just like Minute Maid. No real tangoing at all.

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Next up will be the Gardaland update!

Edited by jray21
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Great trip report but did you have to include the topless guy? Yikes that was the worst part of that day... Plus all the stores started running out of drinks by the end of the day and any slushee type stand had long since melted.

 

Oh and I did get a couple of Saw rides in after that Inferno ride but yeah kinda a bummer at that point. I'm really looking forward to seeing more of what you got up to in Europe.

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^Her feet touching me was so gross, then she'd wiggle her toes. But then I didn't want to bang her with my elbow because that would mean me having to touch her toes again... Ahhg, gives me the chills

 

Pen. You stab the sole of her foot with a pen.

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