world of dreams…

Well, my dreams certainly don’t include roller coasters, log rides, laser shows, and a water park. Is that what dreams are made of? I’m glad my mind is more original than that, even if I don’t always understand my dreams when I wake up.   : )

If you’d asked me which amusement park was the one to make dreams come true, I’d have said Disney World. My memories are certainly tangled up in that particular one, having been there several times as a child or a teenager. Then again, my family left me behind there, once, so nightmares could be there, too. Memories of Disney and EPCOT, Figment, the monorail, Christmas parades, Brer Rabbit, throwing up by the race car ride, and much more, all mixed up in my head. I’d love to go back, now that I’m grown up (well, I think I am, at least). Never mind. I did enjoy Dreamworld, even if I don’t understand where it got it’s name from. And despite the fact that their theater was showing Kung Fu Panda, I don’t think it has any relation to DreamWorks, as Dreamworld was created around thirty years ago.

On Tuesday morning, after a serious discussion over whether to go to the main park or to White Water World, we opted to save the water park for another day. You see, we got a great deal for a pass that’s good until September, so during the week we were there, we could go back multiple times. And if I happen to make it to Brisbane again in the next two months, then I can get in again. Ok, I don’t think that’s likely, but it was nice to be able to do the dry stuff on one day, and save the wet rides for another.

However, the kids wore their swimsuits (swimmers, bathers, or togs, depending on what Aussie state you’re in) under their clothes, but Amelia and I didn’t. The plan was to NOT get wet, unless it was the very end of the day, because who wants to wander around in wet jean shorts? That is NOT a recipe for comfort, in my book.

We started off with the Giant Drop, a free fall ride. That tower that it’s attached to goes so high that you can see the ocean, in the distance. Of course, it would’ve been fun to crane my neck around to see everything in the distance, but we had no idea when they would drop us, and I didn’t want to get whiplash. Nary a scream came from me, though plenty of others did, however, the upshot of that is that all the ride pictures of me had me looking blank-faced (some people think I’m frowning, but it’s the blank face, so get over it).

From there, we went to the Tower of Terror II, not to be confused with the Tower of Terror that I went to at… Universal Studios (?) when I was a teenager. I had to go on that one by myself, because my relatives wouldn’t come. I think there were five of us going on all of these. The Tower of Terror II, rather than being a free fall ride (like the one at Universal) is one where they do everything to make you uncomfortable while you’re in line (for an hour), by showing you optical illusions and running numerous messages telling you about freak accidents where people survived falling great distances and getting electrocuted. When you finally get on the ride, some people don’t realize that they’re going to shoot you down the tunnel BACKWARDS, with confusing lights blinking at you (reminiscent of that optical illusion), while you’re going so fast that you can’t even yell anything intelligible to your seatmates. You go backwards up the same tower that the Giant Drop is on, and then when you’re up all the way, they drop you back down. I’m not sure if that was free fall or what, but it went just as fast as before.

The Motocross ride was fun, with everybody getting on a “motorcycle” and riding those around the track. I don’t know if it was because it was such a different style of ride, or if they just designed it better than the others, but that one was FUN. Wished my brothers could’ve been there, they’d have enjoyed it.

We met up with the others over at Tiger Island, where the tigers were snoozing in the sun, from across the great ditch that separated us. I enjoyed my baguette for lunch, was shocked at the idea of paying $3.50 for a Krispy Kreme donut (no, I didn’t get one, I just noticed the price), and then headed elsewhere. Having seen tigers before, I wanted to visit the Australian Wildlife Experience, so I could get my first glimpse of Aussie fauna. Yes, I’ve been here for two months and I still hadn’t seen a kangaroo (unless roadkill counts).

So, around the park I went, to where I got to see the kangaroos chatting up all the visitors, while the koalas ignored the tourists completely. One koala even had a baby, if you looked really closely (look in the bottom right of the above picture!). I got to see a wombat, some dingos, and some huge crocodiles. Plenty of other critters, too, but I’ve forgotten the rest. My next goal in life will be to see one of the safer ones (definitely not the crocs) in the wild.

Hungry again, I had a Pluto Pup (also known as a Dagwood Dog, see my comments from the Emerald Show), with chips, and though excited to see that they sold Ben & Jerry’s ice cream over here, $14 per pint was WAY beyond my means. Or anybody’s, for that matter.

After a few more rides on my own, I got up with some of the others at the Cyclone, the only loop-de-loop roller coaster at Dreamworld. I don’t think I’m a fan. My head got knocked around quite a bit on this one, or maybe I was just tired after a long day. And then, once you got up, they sent you down a path through the building where you went around and around and around… for about five or six levels. I don’t think you can get motion sick from walking in a circle, but after going on the ride, it almost felt like a possibility. I wanted to have a talk with the designers of that exit “ramp”.

With the day nearly over, we decided to go to the log ride and the thunder rapids ride. This may have been a mistake, as the sun was getting low, the temperature was dropping, and while in line, we got an idea of how wet the riders actually got. We didn’t get completely soaked on the log ride, but it was wet enough to be shivering with the cold. And then, on the thunder rapids ride, where your boat bumps around and some people might get wet and some people might not, I got “lucky” and got completely drenched. So, off we went, shivering with cold, to catch up with the rest of our group.

But we were staying for the laser show, and we just kept getting colder. Even trying my first churro (cinnamon stick) didn’t help for long, though I quickly followed that up with some Bavarian roasted cashews, cooked in cinnamon and sugar, which were warm, too. My friends had never had them, but for me, it was like being at home. I got them a lot of the time, back home, when I was out in PA, and probably sometimes in SC, too.

Us wet ones, we ended up borrowing jackets and shivering our way through the laser show, which I don’t recommend, as the show even had words showing up in the lights, and they hadn’t changed the date from 2010 to 2011. Come on, seriously? It wasn’t that great of a light show, anyway, but can’t you even get it up to date, or don’t you even care?

We finally got home, and between soaking in a hot shower (I didn’t ever want to get out again, ever), having some delicious stir fry for dinner, and trying to figure out how to dry my sneakers out before morning, our evening was pretty well tied up. I did end up stuffing my sneaks with newspaper, for the night.

Oh, I almost forgot. The lady of the house had a large plasticky/ceramic-ish dog (about knee-height) that had been broken, so I volunteered to glue it together… if she had super glue. Yes, my friends at home, I know. You’re stunned. [If you don’t know me very well, then you won’t know that I’m the Super Glue Queen of my family, and actually LIKE gluing things back together]  AND, for the record, despite being a ceramic engineer’s daughter, the break in the fake dog’s leg made it look and feel flimsy like plastic, but it was actually porous, so don’t ask me what it was actually made of. If it hadn’t been porous, I couldn’t have glued it. But it sure wasn’t china. Go figure. I’ve got ceramics in my genes, but I still don’t know much beyond words like porous, viscosity, and flocculation.   : )   Happily, I was able to fix the dog’s leg, which made me feel right at home, after doing so. Unhappily, a chunk of his leg was missing, so he’ll always have a “war wound” from his owner accidentally kicking him.

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