Driving in America Sucks Arse. Period.

Since leaving Australia on June 8th, I have travelled far, though perhaps not so wide really, across the US. And one thing that seems to drive most of Aussies absolutely nuts when travelling over here is, driving in the States.

Approximate kilometres driven…

Canada: 2,430 kms
Alaska: 1,280 kms
Nevada, Utah, Arizona and California: 3,260 kms
Pennsylvania: about 240 kms

Anyway, with that little summary, I think I can safely say I am able to comment with some vague authority (or at least with excessively biased opinion based on personal experience) on Aussies driving in the US. ūüôā There are so many things that make driving here difficult for someone coming from Australia – the big obvious ones of course, are that you are sitting on the opposite side of the vehicle from that which you are accustomed to, and you are driving on the wrong side of the road! In all honesty, it didn’t take me that long to get used to driving on the righthand side of the road, well no longer than learning the quirks of a different vehicle. And after a few days the only time I had to even think about which side of the road I should be on was when exiting car parks, and occasionally when turning left at large intersections.

No, there were far more annoying things about driving here than just being on the wrong side of the road and the wrong side of the car! For example there is the complete lack of indicator lights on most vehicles. For some reason they do not have orange/amber indicator, or signal lights, on their cars. Instead, they just have the red brake lights flash when the indicator is put on. It wouldn’t be so bad, but if someone has their indicators on while they are braking… it is often really fucking hard to tell that the person in front of you is actually indicating and is therefore intending to turn. It makes no sense to me. So many of the vehicles here are similar in make and model to those at home (monster trucks excepted) so either we are altering the design of them to make the indicators orange and more obvious, or they are altering them to be red on red with a red motif and therefore, less noticeable?! Dunno. But it totally sucks depending on the scenario and it makes no sense whatsoever. Such a tiny little thing like amber indicator lamps would probably save countless lives.

Another thing I severely dislike here was the lack of signs telling you how far it was to your destination. This was pretty much anywhere. In Australia I leave Brisbane and head to the Gold Coast, and some where along the way will be a big sign telling me which highway I am on and distances to extended destinations… so literally on the way to the coast there is a sign that says ‘SYDNEY… 978kms’ along with distances to smaller stops on the way. Here? You’re lucky to ever get a sign that tells you how far it is to the next town, let alone how far it is to the one after that or the next major metropolis on the road you’re on. Without the GPS telling us how far things were, we would have been all at sea and never knowing how far we had left on our trips.

And speaking of fucking signage… what is with the ‘Last fuel for 157 miles’ signs being placed on the road either AT the fuel station in question, or worse still, AFTER you’ve passed the fuel station! No shit, we kept seeing signs saying that there was x miles until the next opportunity for fuel AFTER we had passed said opportunity. Stupid bloody nonsensical lack of system if you asked me.

Another pet hate I have discovered over here is the 4-Way or All Way Stop sign. These are usually found at the sort of intersection that doesn’t have enough traffic to warrant a traffic light, but more than enough to just leave it with a couple of give way signs – the sort of place we would put a roundabout and all be giving way to the right as a rule. Now the problem with these intersections is that NO ONE seems to know who has right of way. I have asked at least a dozen different people from Canada, Alaska, California, Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin, Virginia, you fucking name it. None of them were entirely sure who has right of way at a 4-Way Stop sign. Some people told me that who ever arrived at the Stop signs first had right of way, some people told me it was people going straight on had right of way, followed by people turning right and then finally anyone turning left. One guy even told me who ever had the damn biggest truck had right of way at these intersections! Every single time I approached them I’d be entering the intersection with my hands metaphorically thrown in the air going ‘I dunno who gets to go!?!’, and that pretty much remained the way of it for traversing these particular traffic control cluster fucks for the entire duration of my trip.

But worse than non existent indicators and 4-Way Stop signs, were the speed limits. Up in Alaska, you could go 40 miles without seeing a speed limit sign, so if you were over taking a truck, taking in the scenery or just plain missed it… you never knew what the damn speed limit was! Not that it really mattered anyway, because NO ONE is EVER doing the speed limit – having NO SPEED CAMERAS will kinda do that. Whether there is one lane or eight moving in your direction, I don’t think I saw a single person actually moving at the speed limit through any of the states or provinces I drove – British Columbia and Alberta in Canada; Nevada, Arizona, Utah, California and Pennsylvania in the US. There would be the occasional truck doing the speed limit, but everyone else it seems to be doing a minimum of 5-10mph to a maximum of 20-30mph OVER the posted speed limits. No shit. Everyone speeds here and everyone is in a hurry. And if you are driving here, you sure as hell better keep up with the traffic or you’ll find someone doing 75mph tailgating you pretty darn quickly, and they think nothing of riding your arse until you find a way to get out of their path… that or start honking their horns at you. So impatient it’s unbelievable. The most discourteous drivers I’ve ever had the misfortune to encounter were in the South-West, primarily in California. In hindsight, I’m a little surprised we made it out of that area unscathed.

Another extra special fucking fun piece of shit traffic rules that no one tells you about is the turning right at red lights. It seems you may be able to turn right when the lights are red… I think… well most of the time you can sort of. Occasionally you would see a sign that says no turning right on red signals, but for the most part it seemed okay. But I was never quite sure as we went from state to state, so… erring on the side of caution, I got in the habit of stopping and waiting no matter what. Sometimes I was obviously doing the right thing as the people behind me were quite happy to wait too, but then there were times I was obviously supposed to go, at which point some impatient bastard behind me would start honking his horn and inching closer to my bumper to make me go right on the red anyway. But I could never tell the fucking difference. By the end of it, I just adopted a kinda ‘approach, stop and see if someone honks’ method that seemed to mostly work for us… mostly. :S

Oh and even more driving fun – in Alaska, there are many major roads that are pretty much closed for the vast majority of the year due to severe weather, and only opened back up in the summer with the tourist season. It seems to be a yearly ritual… the snow melts, the roads get trashed, the Powers That Be decide which bits need to be rebuilt, renovated, worked on or whatever. Anyway, they get fixed, tourists come, then winter comes and then repeat renovation of destroyed roads again every spring. Or at least that’s the theory. Driving along some of these hideously shoddy, almost makeshift, roads in Alaska was down right dangerous. The speed limits were mostly 55mph or 65mph, and the roads were not level or remotely even and shoulder-less and poorly banked, but the worst of it was the overtaking lane markings were dodgy as all hell. I think they kinda sorta remarked the overtaking lines each spring roughly where they might have been the year before rather than surveying the current state of the road. The result of which was, so many times I went to pull out to over take a truck or RV, when the line markings indicated it was safe to do so, only to discover that the line markings were full of shit! And that visibility towards the oncoming traffic was either very poor to non-existent! You’d pull out, realise you couldn’t see around the bloody obvious looming corner, or that there was a huge dip ahead and couldn’t see didley, and would have to swiftly pull back in behind the slow moving vehicle to avoid potentially making a very, very bad decision. If I had used and trusted the line markings on some on some of the roads in Alaska, I strongly believe they would have eventually gotten us killed. It was no surprise that people up there told us most motor vehicle accidents from Anchorage to Denali occur due to speeding and when people are overtaking slower vehicles… next most common cause of motor vehicle accidents – moose strike. ūüėČ

Oh and another thing I totally won’t miss is paying for your fuel BEFORE you can use the pump. Most of the servos we went to wouldn’t accept my international Visa card so I ended up having to go into the kiosk and either LEAVING my Visa with the questionable peoples behind the counter or telling them an arbitrary dollar amount to put in the car that would potentially be over or under what I needed, estimating the right amount being particularly tedious given the whole miles and gallons thing was doing my head it… so much harder than just ‘filling her up’. It was either that or they put a ‘hold’ on your account which they return the unused portion of, when they damn well feel like it, which could be literally days later. On the odd occasion the pump would take my card (PetroCanada in BC, Shell in Nevada and Arizona and 76 in California were okay), it all worked well and after weeks of this, I’m probably now far more likely to pay at the pump at home and skip going into the shop. You know, come to think about it, the little petrol station convenience stores are really shooting themselves in the foot by not forcing their customers to come in to pay for their petrol and impulse buy snacks and drinks….? Oh, in another major pain in the arse move of fucktardery, down in California, many petrol stations would get you to swipe your card and then ask for your zip code. No doubt people think this is some sort of verification process against their card akin to entering the CCV number to check that it matches – but several times I tried entering random zip codes to try and avoid going into the store. The zip code for my hotel worked fine once. My own postcode with a zero chucked on for good measure was also fine on occasion. The zip code of the guy at the next pumped worked fine for me too… so definitely not verifying against information held on file that relates to the card! Most of the time however, it just rejected my bogus zip code entries and I had to trudge into the shop anyway. Grrrr…

The first time I drove in the US, was a sort of baptism of fire – picking up a car at LAX after a long haul flight from London. Far out what a nightmare… no GPS back then. But this time was seriously, no fucking better at all.

UPDATE:
JeysusTittieFuckingKrist!!!! I’m home! Which is awesome because I’m looking and feeling as bad as the person in my passport photo, so it was well and truly time to come home. However, I jumped into my car this afternoon to pick up a parcel that I had sent myself and that was a complete disaster. Oh yeah, btw, USPS International Priority Post can go get fracked with a rake… I sent a 13lb flat rate box from Healy Alaska on July 5th and it was supposed to be here in 3-5 business days. Only arrived today: 30th July. Bastards… but I digress.

I drove to the post office after spending exactly 32 hours, 18 minutes and 34 seconds in transit (yeah chucked on the stopwatch on my phone for shits and giggles). I had trouble staying on the left side of the road. I switched the wipers on at least four times to indicate I was turning the corner. I jerked us all over the place as I seem to have forgotten how to drive a manual vehicle. I almost turned us out of the car park and into the oncoming traffic… Not to mention that every bastard on the road was pissing me off. I couldn’t figure out while everyone was going so slow! And then I realized that everyone was doing the speed limit.

So it seems I’ve spent the last two months in training for driving like a Californian and it might take a while to dial it down to drive all proper li again! ūüėÄ

PS – Roundabouts rock! No more 4Way Stop signs!

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Cirque Du Soleil… Zarkana!

We head out of San Diego from our hotel, which turned out to be spitting distance from the Mexican border, this morning towards Las Vegas. In a slight deviation to the plan we decided not to spend tonight in Phoenix after all where there was stuff all to do, but to head back to Vegas for our last night hanging out together to go see another Cirque du Soleil show! It was going to be another day of long boring drive either way so, Cirque = Squee!

As it turns out, Ka is up and running again but doesn’t run on Sunday nights. So I guess we just weren’t destined to see that one. Instead I got us great seats for Zarkana. Hint for new players – dont book online, there is no option to choose any other seats other than the ‘best available’ for each zone and also no option to select a kids ticket, which is 50% off. We didn’t want to be in the front row cranning our necks, so called and got seats in 103 Row K which were great.

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The show itself was fabulous. the Aria Hotel is relatively new and the Zarkana Theatre has obviously been purpose built to house this show. The stage is fairly traditional but you can see how much engineering and hardware is built into the place, particularly up above the stage, that would make it impossible to take this show on the road under a big top. It has various frames leafing into the rear if stage that are used to interesting effect with projected imagery.

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As for the rest, costumes, set design, acts etc., it feels much like it had Tim Burton smooshed a Cirque du Soleil show through a kaleidoscope. This is not a bad thing… it’s just a description of how slightly darker and how very busy the entire show looked most of the time. The ‘frames’ I mentioned earlier always had imagery projected onto them that was relevant/complimentary to the action going on which lead to an extremely busy visual experience where you didn’t know where to look half the time. It had a pretty contemporary steam punk feel going on that I imagine might date a bit, but the show would definitely have loads of appeal for gothy, steam punky, alternative type audiences.

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I still loved it and even saw some fancy tight rope walking, hoops stuff and the double barrel looping thing that I’ve never seen in a Cirque show before. Actually, there was a young dumb American chick beside me who saw the trapeze guys come out – 12 of them in a large spider web inspired set – who actually said ‘trapeze guys? Why do they keep doing this old shit?’, to her friend. Well, silly bint, they keep doing it because its really fucking hard and it takes world class athletes to do it this well. Oi!

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After this we took the Small Child for a walk along the strip to check out the lights and the Bellagio fountains (which played to Dean Martin last time we saw them but were to Elvis’ Viva Las Vegas this time), but he was more interested in all the cards littering the streets advertising the strip shows and prostitutes… it appears he heard Grandpa Doug say we should take a pile of them home for Dad!

So there ends my Cirque Tour of the US… I’ve seen Allegria, Saltimbanco, Dralion, Ovo, Mystere, ‘O’, Zumanity and now Zarkana.

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Mr K, you’re just going to have to bring me back to Vegas to see Ka, Love and One!!!

Seaworld: Are we there yet?

Righto. Another big day of theme park fun for the Small Child. 0730 Checklist:

  1. Drag very sore and sorry arse out of bed.
  2. Pack remainder of personal belongings get ready to check out.
  3. Put shoes on already blistered feet.
  4. Flounder around wondering where to print tickets purchased online.
  5. Pick up everything and get ready to go.
  6. Grab car keys and head down to parking garage…

Which is where our well oiled plan ground to a screeching halt. We had intended to be on the road by 0800 and hopefully beat some of the traffic from LA down to San Diego… at least that was the overarching concept. But, when we were all ready and geared to go – no keys!

And then the sad realization that the last time we had them was when we were in the carpark yesterday getting stuff out of the boot. ūüôĀ Keys locked in boot is not a happy way to start the day. First, try and hit the valets up to see if anyone would be prepared to break into our car for us – nope all to concerned about insurance and liability concerns (obviously not Australians). Second, call Avis roadside assistance: Welcome to Avis, your call may be monitored for quality assurance purposes. Press one for existing rentals. Press two for roadside assistance. Press two for vehicle lock outs. Enter the MVA (motor vehicle asset) number located on the top of your vehicles keytag… are they fucking serious? If I had the keytag I wouldn’t have pressed two!

Hang up and go through the selections again, this time to get the MVA number associated with our vehicle by digging up the rental agreement confirmation number (have I mentioned yet how much I love trippit.com!). Go through the motions again. Enter the stupid MVA number. Please wait while your call is transferred to an operator.. beep. beep… beeeeep. Fucking thing dropped out on me. Not once, not twice, but four times. (yes, I know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, but there seemed little option at this point). Went through the VER thing again and this time clicked through to new customers and new rental enquiries. Had a rather pointed discussion about the uselessness of their phone system, explained our situation and pleadingly requested to be put directly through to their roadside assistance people.

Eventually got the right people on the phone (well and truly 0840 by now), and the attempted to activate the GPS Starwhatever thing and unlock the vehicle remotely. Well, I could have told them that wasn’t going to work. The vehicle was in a parking garage 3 levels under the Universal City Hilton which itself was under 24 floors of concrete and holiday makers. Oh quelle surprise, it didn’t work. We will send someone out at approximately 0918. Sigh, so much for our early start and missing the traffic. FFS.

Little dude eventually turns up and takes about 15 minutes to break into the car and the trunk to thankfully find keys there – I was worried they were lost in places unknown and then we would have really been in a fucking tight spot. So, some two hours later we eventually hit the road with a two hour drive ahead of us, expected arrival time: approximately 1200… expected mood in the car: somewhat dour.

As we head on down the I5 something became quickly apparently, there was an inordinate amount of traffic, and subsequent delays, for a Saturday morning and there was no way we were going to make it there by lunch time. I don’t think we got up to the 65mph speed limit once the entire journey, and yet there was no road works, no accidents, no fucking problems whatsoever other than weekend drivers who couldn’t or wouldn’t merge politely and caused huge slow downs in traffic every time one highway was joining or leaving the I5. Finally got down to the Mile 21 turn off somewhere around 1400.

Already exhausted… we head into the park. :S

First things first, we head for the Shamu Killer Whale show. I noticed in Alaska, they were very careful to keep calling these whales ‘orca whales’, or ‘orcas’… here they were ‘killer whales’ all the way. No idea why, perhaps they think it is more sensationalist for the tourists, whereas up north where they have a lot of them, they have more of a conversationalist bent maybe? Who knows. Either way they were magnificent. Enormous sleek beautiful animals and obviously quite intelligent. We sat in the stupid soak zone and escaped most of the show without getting wet, but obviously that was never going to last and got splashed right before the show finished. There is five or six of them here, including one baby whale that was born in Seaworld in February, and as gorgeous as they are and as wonderful as it is to see them… I couldn’t help but think they needed much more space than they had in those large tanks.

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After that we wandered around a bit, the Small Child and the grandparents went on the Manta rollercoaster (no more rollercoasters for me!), and he loved it. So glad he’s over that whole rollercoaster aversion thing. We checked out some of the animals they had there, bat rays, sea lions, giant sea turtles (again with half a dozen of them in a tiny enclosure ūüôĀ ), flamingos and I must have taken a hundred otter pictures! All with my real camera though, not the iPhone.

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After that we went to a show called Cirque de la Mer, which as you can imagine is a bit of a Cirque du Soleil rip off… similar acrobatics, clown antics, bright costumes and fun stuff like that. Went for about 20 minutes and was well worth watching. I always enjoy that sort of thing, it blows my mind what some people are able to do.

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Then the Small Child wanted to go on the Shipwreck Rapids, which we were reliably informed by Aunty G back home was the best rapids ride ever. Hmmm… who wanted to get soaked that late in the afternoon? Not I said the fly. Luckily Aunty Mary came to the rescue and took him on the ride – twice! They got drenched of course but said it was awesome and if the grin on his face was anything to go by, the Kid thought it was pretty damn good too.

But, as evening fell, it was time to say goodbye to Grandpa Doug and Grandma Sue… I still can’t believe they drove all the way from Vancouver to 20 miles shy of the Mexican border to come and hang out with us. It sure was awesome to see them and the Small Child no doubt has some wonderful memories to take home with him of going to Disneyland and Universal Studios and Seaworld with them. But that is still one helluva drive to come do the theme parks!

After our soggy wet goodbye hugs were had, we were all getting a bit peckish and went hunting for some dinner. We found a place that served fish and chips, which seems both fitting and so wrong for Seaworld! Had to photograph their signage… not so sure that this would fly back home in Australia… if it’s not fried, it’s no good effectively? Oi!

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Then as we were wanting to leave, the Small Child wanted to go on the other large Atlantis rollercoaster that was in the park. Grandma was all wet, and I wasn’t keen to go, but offered to take him anyway (yes, stupid I know). We got all the way to the other end of the park and discovered that the rollercoaster in questions is in little boats and you get thrown down a flume ride at the end into the water. Oh no. Luckily, the Kid took one look at it, said ‘You don’t want to get all wet Mum, but I’m already wet, so I’ll go on it by myself.’ Wow… we’ve come a long way from ‘No, no way, I’m not riding that thing’… to ‘I’ll go it alone.’ So off he went!

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All up another huge day.

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

After three days completely over doing it in Disneyland, I found myself having to take the day off. And by off, I mean sitting in my hotel room on a heatpack, drugged off my brain and trying to figure out what I was going to do to ameliorate the anticipated ongoing flare ups that the rest of my itinerary had in store for me.

The Small Child was with the long suffering grandparents at¬†Universal Studios for the day so I sort of got to fall apart in¬†peace… I don’t like him thinking of me as a sick person, or an
incapable person or worse as disabled or an invalid. But the truth¬†of the matter is that all these things are fitting descriptions for¬†people like me with chronic pain conditions and the associate¬†limitations. ūüôĀ

I know exactly why I did it. We were at Disneyland,¬†15,000kms from home, this is likely to be the only time he ever¬†gets to do Disneyland as a child (I’m certainly not coming back any¬†time soon) and I wanted him to make the most of it. We had only¬†just managed to get him over his longstanding fear of¬†roller coasters and I thought between us four adults we’d be able to¬†keep up with him… but I wasn’t counting on being with two that¬†are scared of heights and one that doesn’t like roller coasters much¬†at all.

So next thing I knew, every time the Small Child said he¬†wanted to go again; there I was on the damn thing again knowing¬†full well how much pain it was causing. Sure it was fun at the¬†time, and I even managed to put on a creditable face of having a¬†good time. After all, I’ve had twenty-two years practice in¬†pretending like all is well with the world and you’d be surprised¬†what you can keep to yourself until you have time to fall into a¬†tearful puddle of painful jangling nerves in private later.

It¬†might have been ill advised, it might have been foolhardy even, but¬†my heart was in the right place. I really wanted to make sure my¬†son had a memorable time at the theme park with his Mum, and didn’t¬†want him going home disappointed or bored… so I did everything I¬†could to make sure that happened. But jesus titty fucking Christ I¬†am totally paying for it today. ūüôĀ
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Disneyland! Day 3

OMG. Here we go again. Alarm set for 6:30am to hit the¬†Disneyland Park this time at 7am before the crowds. It’s totally¬†worth doing but getting mighty hard to do, when it hurts to even¬†put my damn shoes on! Grandma makes a sensible decision to stay¬†back at the hotel for a few hours to sort all our luggage prior to¬†check out, and I get the unenviable honour of taking the Small¬†Child, with the over abundance of energy, back into the park to get¬†as much packed in as possible before the stampede begins.

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First up, he wants to hit Space Mountain (groan) but at least there was no queue! Still feels like we walked a mile through rope lines to get in though! After that, Star Tours which also had no queue Рsecond time through and got a totally different show which was a fun pod racing thing this time. Then back over to Buzz Lightyears Astro Blasters with no waiting and Mom kicked serious butt on the shooting scores again. Following that we whipped over to the Astro Orbiter jet ride thing. Then walked straight into Splash Mountain in Critter Country to get absolutely soaked to the bone and all before 8:30am!!!

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At which point we got a call from the amazing¬†Grandpa Doug and Grandma Sue, who had just spent the last TWO DAYS¬†straight driving directly from Canada to California to meet us.¬†They had arrived and we raced out into the plaza to meet them. ūüėÄ

Big hugs all round and I went ‘I’m exhausted. Tag. You’re it.’,¬†pushing the Small Child in their general direction. ūüôā Didn’t¬†really stick though and we all head into California Park for the¬†day. ūüėõ

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First up – get four Cars Fast Passes (Aunty Mary¬†wasn’t in the park yet), for later in the day and sent the Small¬†Child and Grandpa off to run through the singles queue to Cars to¬†kick off their day! Then we went off, at the Small Childs¬†insistence I might add, to the California Screamin’ roller coaster.¬†Turns out, the ride I had to drag him onto kicking and screaming in¬†the first place, is now his ‘favouritest ride ever!!!’ So we¬†collected Fast Passes for this ride every time we were able to, and¬†kept coming back at the allotted times. Now, as it happened we had¬†five people and that meant five roller coaster Fast Passes every¬†hour, and two people who chose not to ride the roller coaster…¬†which meant that he and I got to ride it twice every hour! (What¬†was I thinking?!?)

In between roller coaster binges we hit other¬†rides in the area… the Little Mermaid Undersea Adventure, Mickey’s¬†Fun Wheel (first Ferris wheel I’ve ever seen that comes equipped¬†with motion sickness bags!), the Golden Zephyr, the Bugs Life¬†cinema (which is so fun and which seems to be pitched at little¬†ones but might be kinda frightening). Grandpa and the kid went on¬†Goofy’s Sky School thing again (I totally stayed away from that¬†neck jerking thing). We had a pretty hectic day going to various¬†attractions and then back to the ‘favourite roller coaster’ (I’m¬†still rolling my eyes over that).

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A couple of times we eyed off the queue to the Toy¬†Story Midway Mania but the wait times were always well over 45¬†minutes. Eventually, I thought if try and pull a swifty and¬†presented my ‘golden ticket’ (that had written on it ‘valid for 3’) and told the Cast Member that we were a party of 5. And disco!¬†Literally two minutes later we were on the ride. This is another¬†one where you’re playing a computer game as you go around in little¬†booths and shooting at some big screens for points. Mom kicked butt¬†in the scores again, even though Uncle Jim did much better last¬†year when they were here (misspent youth responsible for his¬†skills, I think – video gaming and strong repetitive wrist actions¬†required!).

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More roller coasters, some lunch, some other¬†attractions and we found ourselves using the last ‘golden ticket’¬†to all get on the Midway Mania again… so much fun and lots of¬†laughs. The Small Child beat Mum in the scores this time with¬†accuracy completely out the window! ūüėÄ

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After that it was off to Cars with the four Fast¬†Passes that we had collected six hours earlier! Four passes and¬†five of us. Hmmm… Time for some fast talking. ūüôā I told the Cast¬†Member monitoring the line that I was our official ticket keeper¬†and we had been doing all the rides in a group all day, but that I¬†seemed to have lost one of our Cars Fast Passes… I’m pretty sure¬†it’s the Aussie accent, but the guy let us right on through. Yay!¬†All five of us got in the one race car and yahooed and screamed our¬†way around the track.

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Then guess what – back to the California Screamin’¬†again for the Small Child. He made it through that thing 8 times!¬†So much for not even being able to he bribed to go on it yesterday!¬†By this time I was grinning and bearing it. The pain levels way up¬†through the roof. Drugs not even making a dent! I had to bail and¬†quick.

We left the Small Child in Grandpa’s capable hands and¬†checked out to hit the road. Almost as soon as we were out of sight¬†I was losing it quick – holding back tears and incredible increases¬†in pain with every step we took towards the hotel. We arrived up at¬†Universal City about an hour later and I had trouble getting out of¬†the car. Couldn’t walk without limping to check in and sharp pains¬†all over the place as I waited to be served. Got up to our room and¬†just crashed.

My feet are covered in blisters in my oldest most¬†comfortable shoes (wtf?), my shoulders won’t move, my lower back is¬†stiff and sooo painful, I tilted my head to the right earlier, and¬†got sharp pains shooting down my left forearm into my thumb! My¬†nerves are just on razor blades and I just can’t move. So, tomorrow¬†is looking pretty bleak… and that’s if I can get enough drugs¬†into me to allow actual sleep tonight. We had fun alright, and I¬†knew I was going to pay for it… but I feel like I’ve been hit a¬†truck. ūüôĀ