I've come to the end of my vacation! It certainly doesn't feel like I've been away from home for nine days, or worse, that I've been without the use of my phone for nine days, but as I look at its useless self on the table before me I feel like I've been able to breathe now free of my constant dependency on it. I've found my new permanent spot in the armchair to the left of the TV and I feel uncomfortable now not sitting in it; the third shelf down hasn't yet failed me in providing me my double stuffed Oreos; in short, I've adjusted to this home away from home, but I'm just about ready to return to the Canadian heat late tomorrow night to reconnect with my dearly missed friends, the Telus network, and HBO. HBO most. I miss True Blood.
I look down at my arms and am pleased with the tan I managed. I look to the bruises and swelling at my foot and frown at my stupidity. I can feel the fridge behind me looking at me, pleading for me to help finish eat all the leftover food and beer even though I've, uh, been not-so-sober every night this week. Aside from my general exhaustion - we did four theme parks and two outlet malls, consecutively - I've been very pleased with my vacation! The only thing that worries me about returning home is the very real fact that I move into residence on the 17th to start with my don training, and I'm not quite ready to let go of my summer vacation.
So I don't have to now! Instead I'll live in the past - yesterday - and then launch into complaining about rude bastards.
Yesterday brought the grand tour of amusement parks to a close with the other side of Universal, Universal Studios Florida, which, like Disney's Hollywood Studios, was (duh) geared toward the movie angle of things, except Universal has (duh) a lot less smiling and fairydust and stupid, stupid children. Again I was a fan of the New York City and San Francisco street facades that made up the themed atmosphere of the park. Luckily for me, the park was a lot more compact than the others we'd visited, so the whole mobility issue was moreso tolerable. It was like torture seeing Hogwarts Castle towering over me all day though in the adjacent park; while atop the roller coaster I tried my best to scope out a route for me to escape our side and re-enter the Wizarding World, but it was tough to do considering, oh I dunno, this roller coaster (called Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket) involved a 90 degree slope and an almost-as-violent drop. Awesome ride made all the better by the option to choose a song to play throughout it, and No Doubt's Hella Good did not disappoint. Given that only the three kids rode it I was stuck alone beside a single rider, some little girl by herself, and I swear to god I thought she was unconscious the entire time because she looked sickly and didn't open her eyes once. She ruined my ride photo, the corpse did.
With respect to the other rides in the park - and luckily, we managed all but two, thanks to brisk line waits and a complimentary express pass for the aforementioned roller coaster (we were next to ride and then it was shut down; walked on and off within five minutes two hours later) - I was impressed. The Mummy themed Revenge of the Mummy roller coaster was fantastic, indoors and pitch black complete with fire and corpses and scarabs blasting at you; Twister, an up-close special effects demonstration with a tornado and later a tornado of fire and - goddamnit - rain, which was largely what felt like a thrown bucket of water that hit me and only me directly; The Simpsons motion simulator and an E.T. ride which made me feel like weeping for the return of my childhood and an alien-blasting Men in Black laser game, it was all very good. We sat in at a horror make-up effects show which was more comedy than intrigue but it was really enjoyable nonetheless, and our luck found us dead in the middle of a parade barreling toward us down the main street that was nothing more than kids' characters on floats. That Dora the Explorer needs to pull down her shirt, the slut, I could see her midriff.
Honestly, even writing this has been a struggle - not because I don't care, but because I feel so exhausted, no doubt from hitting a massive halt today from the fast pace of everything we've done and instead just doing nothing. Drinking beer is even a challenge, I feel like my body is trying to repel it because I've had so much this week. But oh, I really must comment on the rude, rude people I've encountered this week - false advertising otherwise, considering I picked it as my subtitle. Laziness.
It might be easy to go "Americans are rude!" but I can say that the Americans I encountered this week (largely restricted to any store clerks or waitresses for certain, because I don't always know where people are from) have been far nicer than some of the traveling visitors. Actually, any store workers at the outlet malls specifically were so nice, it was almost annoying, but being a cashier who has been accused of being not genuine I can say that their helpfulness wasn't just restricted to their job. No, the horrible characters I'll touch upon come in the form of park-goers, and I need to preface this by saying my inclusion of their nationality is not stemmed from a malicious place; how else might you describe a group of people speaking French who are horrid without saying that they were, in fact, French.
AND culprits number one: this horrible group of French people who attempted to cut us off in Disney on Pirates of the Caribbean. The queue was slightly wider than normal leaving extra space for riders to fill. So as the seven of us slowly advanced forward, this man with four or five I suppose youths began to run around us nonchalantly to get in front of us. When we confronted them, they looked at us and shook their heads. We quickly spread out across the width to hold the line from any other passers, so these people's response was to literally stand on our heels and obnoxiously sing on our necks. People - we are all riding this ride, so what that we're gasp on one car ahead of you? I don't understand why the idea of boarding a ride turns into a bloodbath; again, we will all get on the ride, so I don't really stand for this cutting business because if I'm to wait in line (which isn't a task to begin with), you should too. Almost in a similar vein, a man got under my skin by, when passing me in the express line for Tower of Terror, whispered-but-really-did-not-whisper to his son "look at all these people who we pass" before looking me in the eye and adding "but we mustn't gloat in front of them. That's rude." Congrats, but my wallet has seventy more dollars in it than yours, for the cost of waiting fifteen minutes longer than your bought pass does. Or the man in the Wizarding World - seriously, what is it about advancing in lines that makes people so intoxicated and horny with power and satisfaction - who quite literally stepped around my sister and stood in front of her in the gift shop line. She confronted him with "you aren't allowed to do that, you were behind me" and he actually fought it as if he had an argument. My least favourite, though, might've been this Spanish family who had two very small children who ran around like monkeys during a stunt performance, and the little boy was crawling around on our feet and all but sat and jumped on my cast. We told the parents to stop them from doing that, but all they did was literally smile and shrug. Put your rascal in a cage before I kick him.
The honest truth is that these situations seemed like a bigger deal when they happened considering these heat of the moment things really get you riled up. (and it's not like I have a big fuse or anything) I just don't understand what makes people so inconsiderate of others, especially in a big chaotic setting such as an amusement park. I always comment on how I'm never the one to walk straight in a line and have others move to avoid me; I'm always the one who needs to jump away from an oncoming stroller or hoard of people, and nothing changed even with my obvious limp and foot cast - half of my vacation was spent retracting my foot away from people who were absolutely oblivious to it. Not that I expect this paved way or red carpet put in front of me: but seriously, if you even let yourself see that I have an injury, don't charge at me like a blind bull and make me shift all of my weight onto it in a jump away from your fat ass and fat children. (okay, I'm sorry, but the kids down here are rotund)
Gah. Anyways. Really awesome trip; so concludes my coverage which I'd say far beats out the American-bias coverage of the Olympics I've been forced to sit through. (really, they cut away from anything without an American and only show events with American gold winners - at least in Canada it's more rounded) I'm somewhat eager to return home!