Islands of Adventure has several themes, and one of them is Jurassic World. The ambiance they create is really cool. Jurassic is a rain forest with cool music from the movies. The ride is called Jurassic Park: The Ride. Clever. It is a river ride with the biggest plunge at the end I’ve ever seen, and of course there are thrills and spills along the way. I knew something coming into it. At some point a T-Rex would try to eat me, but at what point I did not know. I won’t say any more other than my response to the approaching terror was “This is not real! This is not real! It’s just a ride!”
In the hot, humid, sweaty line, there were videos talking about the dinosaurs we would see, but people were too loud and excited for me to hear anything. I wondered if Universal tested the volume on the monitors with a thousand crazy people or with only Jeff Goldblum walking through muttering to himself.
There were two things of note.
- A boy of 9 or so said “And you know what they said about Iowa!” But I couldn’t hear the rest. I’ve wracked my brain over what they would say about Iowa, but I don’t know anything about the state at all. So, if you know how to finish the sentence, please leave a comment!
- There was a young couple, maybe 19 or 20; a tall skinny guy and a short squat girl. I noticed them first because the girl gave the most demonstrative eye roll I’d ever seen in real life. I wanted to know a little bit more about it, so I watched them for a few minutes as they came in and out of view through the zigzag line. I could not hear what the guy was saying, but he was trying to love on her and kiss her and every time he did, she brushed him off and rolled her enormous eyes, not at him because he was mainly behind or beside her, but straight forward for anyone to see. I wondered how often this scene had played itself out with these two. It wasn’t a flattering moment for either of them.
Kindness at the Burger Place
After the ride, Alli, Jenny, and I decided to get some lunch. Meanwhile, at the Villa, Chris had reached his park limit.
It was starting to rain, so we found an indoor burger place which was totally packed. We couldn’t find a table. Then we saw a table with people around it and I thought maybe they were leaving so I darted over and asked.
“No, we are staying, but I’ll take you to a table.”
I followed her, paying attention to her clothes, wondering if she worked there. She did not. She took us to a table where a family of 8 or 9 were crowded around happily chattering away. She shooed them away to the other table. I could barely get her attention to thank her because she was trying to get the little ones moving.
Kindness is rare enough that it is worth telling about
After a good, greasy meal, Alli led us to a Jurassic gift shop. I generally don’t like gift shops, but the Elder Wand encounter had loosened my purse strings a little. I intended to buy one on the way out of the park. And so when I found a Panama Jack hat that I liked, I gave it a try and decided to buy it. Alli saw it and called it a dad hat, then she decided to would buy one, too! It was perfect for the rain.
The Elder Wand Part 2: The Purchase and the Obsession
On the way out of the park, we made our final stop at the gift shop. I was there for one reason: The Elder Wand. You must understand that this wand is of the utmost importance in the Harry Potter story. I will not give you any spoilers about what it is and who possesses it, but it is an object which wizards have been killing and dying for for centuries. I don’t remember the last gift I bought myself was, honestly, and so I refused to feel guilty over this. I said aloud, “There will never be a time in my life when I will look at this wand and say, ‘Hmmm. I really wish I didn’t spend the dough for this wand. I could have used it for cleaning supplies for the house.”
And so I walked straight over to the wand stand where there was a large, hairy nerd examining a wand. I said, “Hey, which one is that?” He didn’t say a word to me, so the lady helping him said, “That’s Fleur Delacour’s”.
He took it. And I’m thinking either this guy is a collector and this is the one wand he hadn’t gotten, or he’s just a little weird. Fleur is the My Little Pony of the Harry Potter characters. Maybe there’s a whole all-male Fleur cult following out there. I started to google it, but decided that that was an onion best left unpeeled. Alli informs me that he was a “neckbeard”.
Urban Dictionary – neckbeard – (n) Derogatory term for slovenly nerdy people who have no sense of hygene or grooming. Often related to hobbies such as card gaming, video gaming, anime, et. al.
Since I bought the wand, I have take it out 4 or 5 times to study it and swish it about.
Wrapping it Up
On the way out we also hit Margheritaville for a drink and a snack. Conch fritters were really good.
We came home around dinner time. I will not detail the absolute fuss I went through to feed Domino’s Pizza to my family, except that on my way back, Google put me into an infinite loop of u-turns over a half-mile stretch road. It was round 3 before I realized that my unintended navigational instructions were leading me astray….or around.
After dinner, we started watching The Big Short when Alli decided she wanted to take a bath. She wanted us to continue, but I knew if we did, we would lose her for the rest of the film. So I decide to take a quick shower and get into my pajamas. Alli generally luxuriates in the bathtub for much longer than I shower, so I was surprised to see her in the living room when I was done.
I said, “Wow, Alli, I thought you were taking the slow boat to China.”
To which Chris said, “Stop it with your folksy idioms!”
I guess there’s only so much a kid can take.