Sooooo here we are. Day Two of the Great Autumn Vacation Report!
Any idea what these photos represent? No? Really? No idea at all? It's Universal!!! Yay! Actually yes, we have been there before. But we also bought Florida resident Annual Passes which, this time around, granted us not 12 months of admission but 18 months! Woohoo! It's already paid for so of course we went back! And what's more, we knew we would have a great time.
Because we have been a number of times already in the past year, it's not an unknown quantity and we figured we would just hit the highlights, do the things highest on our lists and knock out both sides of the park in one day. That was the plan.
Unlike me, Tim likes roller coasters and thrill rides. And since he boards as a single rider, he cruises right through most lines quickquick. While I wait, I people watch, take photos, prowl through the little shops and have a really good Sam-time. See how that works out? Tim gets to go on the rides he enjoys and zooms through the lines in very short order, and I don't feel obligated to go on a puke-fest ride that I won't enjoy but instead do things that I like. Win/Win.
So while Tim is doing this:
I get to take photos of things like this:
AND I get to have accidental front row viewing for things like The Blues Brothers!!!!! Squeeeee!
We spent hours roaming around and having a blast! But eventually Tim had been on all of the rides on that side of the park that he wanted to do and we were about to take the Harry Potter train to the other side of the park when we noticed that the weather had radically changed.
The sky was growing darker, the wind was picking up and the temperature was definitely cooling off. Uhoh we said as we make haste to a goodly sized overhang to wait out what we assumed would be a typical passing Florida late afternoon shower.
It was not.
Once the rain began, it started to feel as if it was never going to end. And in fact, as we waited, it rained harder and harder. Dang. We abandoned our idea of going to the other side of the park and, noting that it was nearly dinner time anyway, decided to, instead, just slowly make our way to our chosen dinner restaurant, The Chocolate Emporium!! Which, of course, is at the very front of the park. We were, at that point, at the furthest possible point. Of course!
Initially we tried running from over-hang to over-hang in a desperate attempt to limit how very wet we got. But in short order, it became an excercise in futility and we ended up just casually walking through the pouring rain, which was, at least, not cold rain but instead rather refreshing.
Which is how we eventually ended up at our selected restaurant looking as if we had been recently dunked in buckets. To their credit the folks at the Chocolate Emporium didn't bat an eye at our thoroughly disreputable appearance and instead politely showed up to our table which was on the second floor.
If you have never been there let me try to describe it to you in just two words. "Steam Punk". That is the decor and it is delightful! All dark and layered with what appears to be old copper pipes and gears and, well, suffice it to say that the people in charge know how to commit to a concept. I loved it! Oh and of course another perfectly descriptive word, "Chocolate". They excel at chocolate and have a shop downstairs that is completely packed with everything chocolate, from plain and simple to fancy and creative. The fragrance alone can make me swoon.
Well, there we are, looking over the menu when my eye catches something on the appetizer page. Warm Chocolate Almond bread with Salted Caramel Butter. Oh My God. Once I saw that there was no further need to consider any other item on the menu. It was divoon.
So Tim had normal regular people food and I had Sam food and about three pots of piping hot water because in the air conditioning, that refreshing coolness from being caught in the rain had turned into a rather cold and clammy feeling and while the napkin in my lap served as a bit of a blanket, but hot water helped far more.
It was not a quick meal and in fact, we were there for nearly two hours during which we watched the rain continue to fall out the window. Even though the dessert menu beckoned, we were both too full to eat another bite (I kind of ate my dessert for dinner didn't I?) and so we squelched back too the car instead of moving on to the other side of the park which was our hope.
Back we went to our suite where we showered to warm up, changed clothes, watched one episode of a TV show neither of us had even heard of before (Houdini and Doyle) and then headed back out. The rain, by then, was a mere drizzle.
We had seen in the distance the day before while scoping out the area what seemed to be an enormous Ferris Wheel and a Spire and we wanted to know where and what it actually was. So we drove 'round and 'round the general area, spying our prey now and again and then losing it in the miasma of enormous buildings then finding it again , over and over and then, eventually, there it was. Or rather, there they were. Two crazy rides that seemed to be in the middle of the city.
So we found a place to park the car and made our way closer to learn that they are both in an area called, Icon Park. Hmmmm interesting. We walked around in the Vegas Strip lit area filled with restaurants, these two, ok lets' call them rides, a museum of skeletons (??) a Madame Tussauds and something called SeaLife. Curiouser and curiouser as Alice said. Neither of us had ever heard of any of this!!! Surprises! Awesome!
It was rather late and obviously they were trying to close up shop almost everywhere so we planned to return the next day. And this is why our plans are always flexible. New Plan! Woohoo!
And there you go, end of Day Two! Stay tuned for another day of vacation adventure!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.