Thrills and chills

Poncho. Tropical Storm. Roller Coasters. Now I know what you’re thinking, “what do roller coasters have to do with tropical storms and ponchos?” Here’s your answer:

It is necessary to don a poncho whilst riding roller coasters at Universal’s Islands of Adventure during a Tropical Storm (Debby).

Now why would I want to do the aforementioned? I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to, at all. But now that I have, I’m going to be a little crazy and recommend that you all try it out sometime.

A few weeks ago, one of John’s friends mentioned he could get us day passes to Universal for free. Since they run about $70 a pop for Florida residents, we jumped at the opportunity to go at no charge. Fast forward to Saturday night, the night before our big (and free) adventure, and Tropical Storm Debby had officially arrived in Florida. I was instantly second-guessing going to the park the next day. The thought of riding a roller coaster in the rain made my face hurt, but John insisted we give it a try, so I agreed.

Sunday morning arrived and we were Universal bound. All it took was a trip to Walgreens and the purchase of a blue poncho with a dolphin on it to get me amped about
the day (seriously, I might as well be 5 years old). I put on the poncho, flipped up the hood and was ready to take the storm head on from the front row seat of the Hulk roller coaster. Apparently the fact that the line was indoors had erased everyone’s memory of the tropical storm occurring outside, so we were taken aback when the coaster launched us head first into some malicious rain. But nonetheless, we soldiered on.

Throughout the day we adapted to our environment (ex: eating churros from under our ponchos), and it even heightened the experience in some cases. While in the Jurassic Park
area I really felt as if I was in the movie, especially when I saw the T-Rex charging out of the jungle-like scenery, because of the weather. I was transported to the scene where the T-Rex comes roaring out of his tattered cage unsatisfied with the goat he just ate and ready to chow down on some people. Can you guys tell that I love dinosaur things yet?? (Refer to my post here on the T-Rex Café restaurant). See the amazing photo below of John offering me up as lunch:

By mid-afternoon there was nothing left for us to do except water rides. We figured hey, we’re already wet so why not go get on an 8-person inner tube and barrel down some rapids? Totally a good idea right? Yes, we were right. Theme park rapid ride water = warm. Rain = cold. We had so much fun the first time that when the ride came to an end we refused to move and went for another whirl.

At the end of our adventure, I couldn’t believe how excellent the day had been. I had very low expectations and figured I’d be miserable by noon, but instead I was pleasantly surprised. We made the best of the situation, and felt totally bad-ass for staying in a theme park all day during Tropical Storm Debby of all things! Here’s a little recap of what this adventure in the rain taught me:

1. Ponchos can be kind of cute (extra cute if they have a dolphin on them).
2. Always try to make the best of every situation, no matter how bad it might be.
3. Don’t wear makeup in the rain unless you want to look like a raccoon (oops).
4. Have fun, always. 🙂

How did you get your thrills this weekend?

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