Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Universal Terror

Orlando vacation, Day 2! Universal Studios. As was the case yesterday at Disney World, this was a day filled with memories. We did it all from fighting off bad guys with Buzz Lightyear to racing through time in a DeLorean with Dr. Emmett Brown from Back to the Future to trying to rescue Princess Fiona with Shrek. A couple of things stand out and are worth mention.

First, I can hardly explain what a joy it was to hang out with my boys eating ice cream or watching a show or hearing them laugh. It was a tiring day and by the end nerves were on end, but that's part of the game and after the fact it's part of the good memory. They were way too much fun. We took pictures and Samuel explained everything to me while Wyatt asked me a million questions and Mason held my hand. Each one had a few dollars they had saved from various projects and gifts and were itching to spend it. Since it was their money, we let them buy whatever they wanted or could afford. It was an interesting lesson in economics for them. Suddenly they were faced with purchasing quality versus eye candy. And with limited resources they were forced to make some important decisions. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them make those decisions. I was very proud of them. This was a great day for me.

The second thing worth mentioning was Olivia on a couple of the rides. Jaws was great because I knew what to expect and she didn't so I put her on the end between me and the open sea! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what happened. When things started exploding and Jaws raked the side of the boat inches from her, she almost had a heart attack. Her screams were incredible. After that we headed for a ride that I thought would be a bit less frightening, Earthquake. On this ride they explain to you some of the secrets of movie special effects. They illustrate how rain is simulated and how a blue screen works. Then they load you on a mock up of the Bay Area Rapid Transit for a ride into San Francisco California. Here's where it got a little crazy. I knew it was about an earthquake, no one tried to hide that. Again, Olivia was between me and the effects so that she could get a good look at what was going on. When the earthquake hit we were underground, the train skipped off it's track, the roof began to cave in, a huge tanker truck from the street above came crashing through the roof and slid right toward us, gas pipes burst and flames shot every where and then the bay began to flood in threatening to drown us. With each new method of impending doom she screamed louder and louder and gripped me tighter and tighter until she was in my lap with her arms and legs wrapped around me screaming at the top of her lungs, "Daddy, are we gonna get dead?" I tried to console her as we were ushered ever closer to the pearly gates and the people around us looked at me as though I were the worst person on earth to subject my beautiful daughter to such terror. As we exited the ride, with her still wrapped around me, she said very sternly, "Daddy, I did not like that ride."

Never the less, the day ended with us alive and full of stories to relive for years to come.

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