I've been back for about half a week now, but only now did I choose to make a journal about it. Sorry!
FTW, commissions are still closed for now until I can settle back into my routine again.
I dunno how many of you would be interested in knowing the details of my vacation, but if you are, read on! Otherwise just ignore this XD
So I'd say my vacation officially started on the 5th of this month (August). Because on that day, I went to the airport to pick up a very special person to me.
! He managed to not only save up enough to come visit me for two weeks, but he came all the way from California! The meeting was quite hilarious too...most people would just arrive, say their greetings and then be on their way. Not him though. XD Once we hugged and were about to leave, he fell right flat on his face, startled me and all the others coming off the plane! I think he actually convinced them all that he actually genuinely fell down. Not me though. I knew he was acting
The rest of the day was spent talking, meeting my family, and gathering up a few things before we made the trip to Orlando to our hotel.
Day two. Since we figured we needed a day to situate ourselves and account for possible jet lag, we chose this day to just relax and take it easy, maybe watch a movie or two. Having lived close to Orlando before, I decided for us to go explore Disney Marketplace later that day, a sorta outdoor strip mall with numerous stores and a couple restaurants and activities to do. This place is also home to Disney Quest, a 5 story building filled to the brim with arcade games, virtual reality 'rides', and other digital activities and simulators. Let's just say arcade junkie Alucard loved the place
Maybe if he makes his own journal about the trip, you'll see the videos and pictures we took.
Day three comes around. This was the first day I assigned us to go to a major theme park. Which one? Why Epcot of course! One of Disney's 4 major theme parks in the area, themed around culture, progress, and the possibilities of tomorrow. We had much fun enjoying what the place had to offer, some of which including watching the night fireworks, going to Mars, flying all the way back to his home-state (ahha ironic), and even building a really freaky futuristic car that could do near everything perfect, except maybe crossing a puddle (it had terrible environmental handling). A very full-filling day indeed.
Day 4: The day to unwind from the previous day. More exploring of nearby locations were done this day along with more movie watching (Airplane is such a silly movie btw). I believe we went back to Disney Marketplace to see what we weren't able to see earlier. I indulged in my first virgin Piña Colada here at the Rainforest Cafe' bar, so that was neat getting to try it. Later in the day, I took him to Old Town, another outdoor strip mall that was old-style 50's themed. We walked around here at night, looking at all the carnival rides, trying Gator for the first time (it tastes like chewy chicken), and then going to the nearby Funspot park, a place that had a lot more carnival rides and go-karts. We didn't go on anything, but we still had fun! Alucard flipped out when he saw he could buy a cherry-flavored candy apple for only 4 bucks there (in Cali apparently they are like 6 bucks). I've never seen someone so overly excited and happy at getting a candy apple before lol...also we somehow saw some fireworks in the distance from one of the nearby Disney parks. Dunno which one, but they were pretty!
Day 5 started us back on the road to return to my hometown, since sadly I couldn't get all the time he would be here off work. Once we got back, we settled into another new hotel, where we'd be staying up until the trip ended. 10 nights in this new one we would stay, and boy was it a nice one! It had a kitchen bar and it's own bedroom! It was well worth the money
I had to work that night, but it was still a really nice day.
The next few days were not all that noteworthy outside of a few things. I worked for most of them, but whenever I didn't have work or we had free time, we either went out to eat, went to the beach (saw some dolphins there too!), swam at the hotel pool, and went to one of the nearby malls to just walk around and hang out at.
When the 15th came around, we prepared for the second and final theme-park visit we planned to do during the trip. A visit to Busch Gardens in Tampa, half animal safari park, half thrill-rides and roller coasters. We planed to make a whole day out of this place, and we began with immediately going on the newest coaster there. Cheetah Hunt, a triple-launch coaster that was of course cheetah themed. Alucard was super giddy, and that's putting it VERY mildly. But unfortunately, once we got off that ride and got in line for the next big coaster...lightning strikes. Most of Busch Garden's rides are outdoors, which means once lightning gets too close, they shut everything down. Even the safari we paid extra for got cancelled (but they did give us a refund at least). At first things seemed a bit bleak, since the weather wasn't getting any better and wasn't going to for the rest of the day...
But thankfully, they gave us a raincheck ticket, which would let us get back into the park for free on another day. So we decided to try coming back the next day, and left back for home. On the way back, we made the most of the small disappointment and went to a different mall on the way back, ate at the Costco there (holy smokes guys, $1.50 for a huge slice of pizza!! OM NOM), and then played miniature golf in a black-light room. Wasn't no theme-park, but it was still nice to spend more time together regardless.
The next day rolls around, along with renewed anticipation. The weather channel was showing near similar conditions as the day before. Scattered showers and thunderstorms...we hoped with eager hearts during the drive there that we wouldn't get rained out again.
As we arrive, the weather seemed well enough, so we immediately bolted in line for Sheikra, the world's first ever 'dive' coaster which has a dramatic 90 angle drop twice during it's run. We had a blast, and the weather stayed nice enough for us to also go on Kumba, a normal but very fast coaster, and then take the skyride gondola's back across the park to go on Montu, an inverted floorless coaster. But as we got close to Montu, the weather started going bad again. So we chilled out near the cheetah exhibit to wait and kill time until the rides came back up or our safari check in time came upon us. Lucky we did, because the cheetah's were awake and active, allowing Alucard to take some very wanted close-up pictures. We also got to see them chase each other! It was super cool and adorable.
Since the rides still weren't back online yet, we headed instead for our safari check-in. We waited...but no matter how much wishing we did, the safari was cancelled yet again due to the weather. We got it refunded again, but it was a shame we didn't get to view the lions and cheetah's up close. Maybe next time though! But did the weather let up? Were we gonna have to call it a day once more?
Nope! An hour later, the weather cleared up, and it stayed like that for the rest of the day! But it gets better!
For a while now, there has been a new ride due to open up at Busch Garden's soon, called Falcon's Fury. This ride is basically a 395 foot tower, with seats built into a separate mechanism that hugs the outer shell of the tower. The seats face outward, and the ride is it basically pulls you slowly to the top of the tower, and then drops you back down! But not before your seats fold inward and you get a face-down view of the ground your about to be dropped back down towards. I've seen the ride be tested with dummies in the seats on previous visits, but the ride wasn't due to open until 'late summer'.
Anyway, after we did near every ride at least twice by now, we started eating dinner at one of the restaurants. But right when we were done eating, we overheard some people talking to an employee that they went on Falcon's Fury! How could this be?! Me and Alucard immediately finished our food and rushed to the ride. Thank goodness he could use the restroom faster than me, because he managed to snag us a spot in line.
40 minutes later, we were seated and being lifted up into the air...and then dropped back down at about 60 mph. That's about how fast you drive on a highway folks. And I forgot to mention that your seats flip back upright suddenly just as it slows down. Talk about a head rush!
It was a delightful surprise to get to go on a ride that wasn't even open to the public yet technically. Alucard now has bragging rights to people back home that he got to go on a major ride at a major theme park in Florida. The ride itself was awesome to boot. The highlight of the day for sure. The remaining hours in the park were spent sitting in on a special bank playing happening that night. Some group named All American Rejects. We didn't really care much for their music, but afterwards there were fireworks at least. We were at Busch Gardens from 9:30am to 10pm. A fulfilling day despite the setback we had.
The remaining few days I either worked or we spent lounging at the hotel and playing games or watching more movies. On the 19th super early in the morning, we had to say our farewells. And thus ended our vacation.
I'll be honest with those who actually read up to this point (state your favorite videogame if you did!). I needed a vacation like that. Not so much the fact that we got to go to a lot of different and interesting places (heck I've been to all of them before this). It was getting the chance to meet someone 'new', enjoying time with someone special to me, and sharing moments that make one feel alive...together...that is what made this trip worth it. This isn't the first trip I've had in which I met DA'ers that I deemed friend to me. Who knows. It might not be the last, and maybe my next trip will have new faces to meet. Until then, I've felt my spark return, and now I don't dread my future as much knowing I'm not alone.
Special EventART COMMISSIONS
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