stephanie and oren ride rides. and other vacation nonsense.

after years of not, i took a vacation and went to see a friend of mine who is stationed in norfolk VA. we went to busch gardens on friday. if you’ve never heard of this (i certainly hadn’t), there is a podcast called “mike and tom eat snacks” so being the cool, suave adults that we are, we decided the trip to busch gardens would be an adventure entitled “stephanie and oren ride rides.” original, i know. it was a good day, and yes, we rode rides. oh. and we rated them.

the scale for rating was a number, 1 – 10 which would be a combination of 3 factors. these factors were intensity, fear factor, and originality. below you will find my ratings

loch ness monster: 7 (this is one of my all time favorites, ever since i was a kid), alpengeist: 6, the griffon: 8, appolo’s chariot: 6, and finally the verbolten: 9.

i was surprised and delighted with the verbolten. seriously. while you’re standing in line the decor is a bit confusing. if you’ve ever seen the show lost, you’ll understand what a combination of research station and overgrown forest would look like. just to give you a visual. anyhoo. you get on the ride and it’s a seated two by two style coaster with lap bars. immediately, i thought ‘oh, this should be nice.’ the coaster plunges you immediately into darkness. as disorienting as this is, there are 3-d blacklighted effects that add to the illusions. and you’re like WOAH! so you go through this tunnel and feel like you’re falling out of the sky and guess what happens next? you stop. done. and everyone’s going “huh? the fu*%?” immediately the thought is that the ride is broken. then, with no warning, the bottom drops out from underneath you. literally. the entire train vertically drops a couple of stories. and immediately you are launched back into the daylight to finish the ride. i was speechless at the end. yes, you read that right… i. had. no. words.

more vacation nonsense later.

ok so later. i have one more interesting tidbit to add here (well it’s interesting to me so there’s your frame of reference). have you ever driven in a car by yourself for a long way. i mean a really long way. not a trip to another city but hundreds of miles and hours of boredom long way? yeah, i just did that. let me tell you, it gets… challenging.

to help myself pass the time i create things, scenarios, whatnot in my head. back to the issue at hand – my sheer boredom:

so for many many miles, i’ve been playing tag with another car. this car is a newer model cadillac, black, with very dark tinted windows and a dc license plate. i smell a story here. the democratic national convention is in charlotte this week and i just so happen to be on the very highway that runs from washington dc to charlotte. coincidence? i think not. i believe that inside this car is a gentleman by the name of jon q smith and that he is riding down to the dnc to protect our president. the reason he is so late in joining the party is that someone had to serve protective detail for the rest of the family while president Obama was getting where he needed to be. so now, jon, like me, is making a long ride on a long highway. i believe he and i would have bonded over this fact if we’d happened to stop and get coffee at the same place on a deserted exit.

little does mr. smith know that in my head, he is the perfect man for me. he has to be, i created my idea of his existence. in fact, i know nothing about the occupant of this car. i’m not even certain it’s a he. back to my imagination. throughout the course of our journey, a whole life unfolds. and it’s great. that’s the great thing about imagination. it can go wherever you take it. kids embrace imagination and run like fire. there is an appropriate song courtesy of sean watkins (just replace the shes with hes):

“She came up and said hello
my name is kate and i liked your show
and there was nothing i could say
but thanks come again
she didn’t know
that we got married in my head
there were christmases and dogs
and our kids’ hair was red
and as years flew by
i gazed into her eyes
and said goodbye”

later kids.


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