Archive for June, 2008

Gimme Gimme Gimme!
 


Xena and Spiders
 

I brought back all my Xena action figures and dollies and stuff to add to the Wonder Woman room, because I thought she’d be a good compliment to WW, but I didn’t realize I had so many Xena toys! I got them home and looked at the walls in the room and realized, I’m running out of space to hang these things up. I’m going to have to do some re-arranging. At some point I’ll get some photos up of all these toys and this room too.

Tonight we watched “The Spiderwick Chronicles,” which was really good. A lot cuter than I was expecting. It’s based on a series of children’s books, which I have not read. I just remember seeing the trailer and marked it in the back of my head as something to eventually checked out. The movie is about a boy who finds a book in his family’s house that allows him to see the world of magical creatures. To say much more would spoil it. If you like fantasy movies, check it out. Very cute, two thumbs up. My BF even enjoyed it a lot, and stayed awake to watch it all. That’s saying something! Because he enjoyed it so I’ve added “The Last Mimzy” to my rental queue. I watched this a year ago when it came out and fell in love with it, but never got him to see it. We’ve also had “The Golden Compass” sitting here for a month for him to watch too. I’ll pop that in tomorrow night perhaps.

Vacation Photos!
 


The above is the only photo I have of me, and it’s not the best. It was at the end of the day, I was hot and tired . . . and really hungry! :)

Below is a slideshow of the photos, with a link to the photo album below.


Williamsburg-Jamestown

Home Sweet Home
 

So after almost 8 hours of driving, I’m home in New Jersey. I drove to my mom’s to get my dogs and then just decided I needed to go home. I have stuff to do and I didn’t want two days wasted with driving.

The ghost tour in Williamsburg was a disappointment. It wasn’t bad, it just hadn’t been updated. I will admit the guide I had didn’t do much for me either, he was far too young in my opinion and didn’t have the experience. I did this same tour (with the same company) 14-15 years ago, and what bothered me is that they told the same stories again! The stories are good, and all based on a book called “The Ghosts of Williamsburg.” The problem is the book was put together in the 60s and a lot of the accounts were from people back then. They haven’t added anything new in, which is what I would have liked to have heard.

The other issue was it ran late, which I wouldn’t normally complain about, but I had parked in the visitors center as to not have to hunt for parking downtown. So rather than enjoy the tour I started near the end looking at the time and realizing I might be doing a long walk. I missed the last bus, which I tried hard to catch, even leaving the tour early. Thus I had to walk back . . . . alone . . . . in the dark . . . . the very pitch black dark. It’s colonial Williamsburg, they don’t have much street lighting! The walk back was scarier than the ghost tour, and I ended up running part of the way as I did not enjoy the whole “path through the woods and the croaking frogs in the nearby swamp.” I kept imagine someone waiting for a stupid tourist like me to come along so they could mug.

Next time I’m going to take a competing company’s ghost tour, as I heard some of their tour earlier in the day and they gave what I wanted to hear, recent accounts from building curators and reenactors of the ghosts.

This morning I did Jamestown, which I loved. So much has been done there and gone up since I was last there because of the 400th anniversary of the settlement and the discovery of the original settlement. There is an entirely new archaeology museum there, which unfortunately I only breezed through as I was running overtime and needed to get on the road. They also had a field school there excavating and I talked to some of them about the stuff they were finding and whatnot.

I’ll upload all my Williamsburg and Jamestown photos this weekend. I have a lot, so I’ll stick them in my webshots photo album rather than on the blog itself.

Hot and Sticky
 

I just got in, and really am only here to shower, cool down and rest before I go back out. I did Williamsburg with Zan and her girls today. We got a late start so I figured this was the bigger and probably more interesting thing to do (for kids) than Jamestown, which I can do on my own in 2 hours tomorrow morning before heading home. They live here and like I suggested, could do it early one morning right before they hit Busch Gardens again.

We toured the streets of Colonial Williamsburg, saw the houses, etc etc. It was fun and it seems they have a lot more to do than I remember from the last time I was here. Definitely a lot more for kids to do than when I was a kid. I took a bunch of pictures, but not too many. I didn’t want to be too dorky tourist. I’m going back soon for the ghost tour tonight. I’m going to head over early to try and just walk the streets and take pictures at dusk then get some dinner before my tour. They seem to have a lot of night programs there now too, I only remember a few before (the ghost tour being one).

The fun is soon to come to an end. Then it’s back home and back to writing. After seeing all this history I feel re-energized and motivated to get done :)

Come Fly With Me . . .
 

Zan and I hit Busch Gardens today, again no lines. Well not true, we waited the longest for the movie ride and Loch Ness of all things, their first and oldest coaster. I did take my camera, but early this morning I realized “Why didn’t I just look that coaster from yesterday up on YouTube?” Of course there were tons of vids, so I didn’t bother making my own. This one sums up the first drop of The Griffon the best. Note the hang time for the front seats. I did it 4 times, all in the front.


Sadly I really didn’t stop to take too many photos in the park honestly. I tried to get some good ones of the coasters, but I was too impatient to stand there waiting for them to come into shot to get the “action shots.” I didn’t think much to take photos of the other parts of the park, which are very pretty. It’s probably the most green amusment park I’ve ever been to, which you can see in a few shots.





1) The streets of “Italy” 2) Gardens in Italy
3) Alpengiest (hanging coaster) 4) The Big Bad Wolf (first ever hanging/inverted coaster)
5) Loch Ness (the yellow), Alpengiest and Griffon (the tallest) 6) The interlocking loops of Loch Ness (which they didn’t have the coasters time on today)
7) and 8 ) The Griffon!

I realized I didn’t get a shot of Apollo’s Chariot, their fifth coaster. Oops! Also, I promise I will do better tomorrow, as we will be in Jamestown and Williamsburg and I will be a snapaholic there. Plus we’ll be in nicer clothes so I’ll take some of us.

The final coaster/ride tally for this trip is as follows . . . .

The Griffon 4 (all in front)
Loch Ness 4 (2 front and 2 back)
Big Bad Wolf 3 (1 front and 2 back)
Alpengeist 2 (1 front and 1 middle)
Apollo’s Chariot 2 (both in back)
Curse of Dark Castle 2 (4D movie ride)
Corkscrew Hill 2 (4D movie ride)
Escape from Pompei 2 (shoot the chute water ride)
Roman Rapids 1 (super soaker round raft ride)
Log Flume 1 (flume ride)



Oh on a final note, the above are the metallic gnomes. I bought two small ones, red and silver, for displaying at Christmas. I took this on my cell phone, so the photo isn’t top quality. They wrapped the gnomes in bubble wrap, so I don’t want to unwrap them till I get them home.

France Rocked, So Did Scotland, Italy Got Me Wet!
 

So I got into Williamsburg around 2:30 pm, dropped my stuff off in my hotel room and headed to the park. I got there around three, had 6 hours to kill before they closed at 9pm. I did not expect it to be so dead that I would have done every coaster in 3 1/2 hours! That includes 2 water rides too and 2 of those 4-D movie rides (which made me a bit ill, that combined with a lack of food).

I did not take my camera today, I figured I’d do that tomorrow, which I will. That way Zan and I can have photos together and take them of each other. The problem is my camera is bigger than the norm micro digital camera’s, but it should fit okay into my side short pockets. I will have to locker it for any water rides though.

I browsed shops and perused for souvenir and gift ideas. One thing I saw that I wanted were this funny garden gnome statues, but these are shiny metallic and just uber-gay. But I didn’t want to lug them around with me or be bothered to locker them up. I thought I’d get them tomorrow near the end of the day. Then I found out I could by them and have them held for me at the front gate. Doh! I saw a pink shirt with glitter that just screamed at me to get the BF, but i only saw one in an xtra-large size. I’ll have to look in other shops for it tomorrow.

Honestly I kinda would rather spend my money at Jamestown at the glass house or in Williamsburg, but I can’t remember what you can buy there aside from kitchy historic crap like books aimed at kids and tin whistles to drive adults batty. I might have to just splurge and get some things at Busch Gardens, which has nice stuff in a lot of their gift stores. Then if i see something at Jamestown, just get it too. Birthday’s and Christmas will be here before I know it!

If you’ve never been, the park in Williamsburg is modeled after Europe, well kinda. That’s the meaning behind the title of this and the previous post. Just as Disney divides its parks up into worlds, Busch Gardens divides theirs into countries. I’ve been going to Busch Gardens for a loooong time, I remember when they only had England, Scotland and Ireland actually. They’ve since added Germany, France and Italy. France I think might have actually been original come to think of it, because of the log flume there.

Scotland has the classic Loch Ness Monster coaster, which I still love. It turned 30 this year, I can’t believe I’m older than it! I rode it 3 times today, the third a fluke as we pulled into the station and 2 people were left waiting to ride before the park closed; so we all got to go again. One thing I was disappointed with, okay two . . . . first they took the lights off the side of the coaster, which looked really neat at night. There are of course now two new coasters behind it, which don’t have lights, so maybe this is why they did it. Second, they took the projection of the Loch Ness Monster off the wall in his cave you go through near the end of the ride. It was cartoonish and silly, but it has always been there. Why? Maybe it was a fluke and he’ll be there tomorrow, otherwise I’m asking :P

France’s new coaster, the only one added since I had been there last, was The Griffin. Holy hell is this one monster of a coaster! It really puts almost all the other ones in the park to shame, except maybe Apollo’s Chariot, which is a close second. I’ll have to take a movie of this sucker tomorrow for you all to see as word’s can’t really describe the insane vertical drop it does, after it dangles you at the top before letting you go.

Other changes have been made since I’ve been too. For example Germany got a 4-D movie ride called Dark Castle, which in fact works exactly like the Spiderman 4-D ride at Universal if you’ve ever done it. This replaced the old Draken Fire coaster, which I think was set up where this new ride is. That coaster was great, but gave them so much trouble because it was a rough ride and you got jerked around, some people were actually hurt on it (neck injuries and stuff). After a few years of tinkering, adding pads, even taking one loop area out; they just closed it. In England the old simulator ride Questor (which was like Droid Wars at Disney), got a complete upgrade to 4-D as well and isn’t confined to a small enclosed box, it’s in a large area and has more movement.

The classic Big Bad Wolf is still there, but this one is really showing it’s age. It was one of, if not the first, suspended coasters. Compared to the new relatively new Alpengeist, it doesn’t compare. However if you are at the park when it hits dark, it’s still one of the best coasters to do in the dark because it’s set back in the woods and you can’t see a think except when you get to the final drop.

Okay, I’m tired, I’m going to bed. Pictures will follow tomorrow, since I should be taking some. i’ll definitely have photos on Thursday when we hit the historic stuff.

Off To Europe . . . Kind Of . . . Okay Not Really
 

So I drove to my mom’s in Virginia today, and am driving down to Williamsburg tomorrow. I really hope I do not run into (not literally) anymore people driving with those attached trailers to the back’s of their cars, cause the ones I met today couldn’t drive fer shiat! I was afraid I was going to get smacked by one, as was everyone else on the road. Everyone was afraid to pass this one car, and later a second felt the need to drive down the middle of two lanes . . . on the interstate! Where were the cops when they were needed?

I’m officially not meeting up with my friend till Wednesday, but I did not want to get up at 6am to drive 3 hours Wednesday morning, then be dead tired by afternoon and possibly end up with a migraine with my luck after being at an amusement park all day. The extra money for an extra night at the hotel was worth it to me :)

So tomorrow I will get up not too early, get ready and make my way down to Williamsburg. I’m hoping the hotel will have a room ready since I expect to arrive before official 3pm check in time (aiming for 1-2 pm). Then I think I will actually spend a few hours at Busch Gardens on my own. I haven’t been in years, as I’ve said before, and it’s one of those parks there is so much to do. I could spend all day in the stores there alone. You could also spend a day just taking photographs because the park is so beautiful.

On Wednesday I’m meeting Zan (and her family) and we are spending the day at the park. I figured I’d get my shopping and other stuff done on Tuesday so I don’t bore them, though they have season passes and can also come back at any time. Pictures I’ll do on Wednesday obviously, plus I’ll have people to hold the camera while Zan and I do the rides (we will be the only ones doing the big coasters).

On Thursday we are doing Jamestown and Williamsburg. Two more beautiful places, and I can’t wait to see what’s been dug up since my last trip there. I am planning to do the Williamsburg ghost tour on Thursday night.

Friday the fun ends and it’s back home . . .

Changing topics completely . . . the hair issue. I’ve actually gotten used to the blond, and am starting to like it. That’s frightening, because this isn’t something I can keep up. The comments from those who said it takes a lot of upkeep weren’t kidding. I did it Saturday night, this morning I noticed I could see my dark roots coming in. Are you serious? I’ve always had fast growing hair, but that’s ridiculous! I also got to thinking, if I ever do this again then I’m grabbing a red highlight kit and doing some red highlights for the top. I’ll look like Firestorm from the “Superfriends!”

Oops I Did It Again!
 

Shocking I know! Not what you probably expected to see when you opened up the blog :) Yes, not having learned my lesson from the last attempt to go bleach blond, I tried it again! Fortunately it wasn’t the total disaster my last try was (I think there might be photos in this blog somewhere, unless I removed them).

This took two fricken kits to achieve, the main problem was the old blue-black dye. I got my hair cut yesterday and the sides and back got cut out, but half the top still had that old dye in it. When I used the first kit the old dye was stubborn and was a very brassy dark yellow, compared to the sides and back which took great. So I had to do a second kit.

I had planned to put a poll up in this post on what to do with my hair. The choices were going to be A) Keep it and rock the blond B) Buzz cut the top, it might look a bit better or C) Break out the brown dye!

Of course a problem has risen. Double-processing my hair has left my scalp, shall we say, a bit tender. I am afraid what another dye job at this point will do to it! It would have to be a temporary dye for sure. I’ve also been warned that in a few days when my hair begins to grow back in, I could end up with all this falling out. Just great! Pray for me :)

Girls Who Do Boys
 

Okay so I have been blogging about my love for the game “Singstar” for the PS3 for some time now. I do however have a beef with Sony over it. It’s about their “singstore” and the videos they make availabe.

Now to be clear, this franchise is way more popular in Europe than it is in America so far, which has been dominated by “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero.” Also Europe is more open minded than we are here in the States, especially when it comes to sex. Nevertheless, they have several “Blur” songs for sale in their “Singstore,” but not the one I want.

I grew up in Northern Virgina where during the 90’s the great “WHFS” was broadcast. This was a DC area based station pioneering the “alternative” sound and even played on MTV at that period for its “HFStiville.” This was a summer festival concert featuring all the “it” bands of the time.

They introduced me, and most likely many others, to “Blur” through the song “Girls and Boys,” which if you can figure out who is having sex with who then you are a mathematical genius.

Needless to say, Sony has yet to add this song to their “Singstore,” and it’s ticking me off. So I now present to you the video for “Girls and Boys.”