Monday 8th October 12 – Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens! Get up, breakfast, leg it to the crab house, get on 1 hour coach ride. There was a cute video about the life of a turtle, where they use some creative ways to describe things. ‘this baby turtle is born the size of a newborn babies palm’ ‘she swims into the ocean with flippers the size of butterfly wings’. That was cool. Unfortunately I was mega tired and fell asleep for a large portion of it. So I woke up and she was giving birth at the same beach she hatched 7 years ago. Man that flew by!

We got to Busch Gardens, and there was a vibrantly coloured guy on stilts! We carefully avoided him and made our way into the shop where Oli finally found a hat he liked! Hooray! It’s cheap, but really does look awesome with a tiger on it. We did find a pirate one with ‘the beatings will continue ’till the moral increases’ but it didn’t fit on his head too well. We got another one of those souvenir cups so that you can get cheap refills (why don’t Disney do these everyone else does) and walking in we saw gators! All of them lined up at the edge of the water, eyes and noses only showing, and glaring at the public. What was scarier, were the 2 people in there with them! They simply paid no mind to these sharp toothed guys, and frequently turned their backs to them! In fact we saw a bird swoop down really close to the gators for a drink of water, and not one of them made a move to eat it. Very bizarre, but they definitely weren’t Disneymatronic.

Then it was on to the chimp enclosure, where one lady explained how they all have their own personalities. There is one called Sally who always ushers the others outside in the morning like ‘come on, we’re all getting some fresh air’ and she always stands in the doorway on the way back, making sure that everyone is in. She said that Sally will try to make some kind of mental count but if she’s not sure, she looks to the park owners to reassure her that everyone is in before she lets them close the gate. Fascinating, and watching them they really are very human like in their movements. Shame the Chinese guy on the right of me kept banging on the glass. Just leave him alone!

Eventually we moved onto the gorilla enclosure where you saw one guy in the front having a good scratch, and then it was onwards.

Next up, Cheetah run! Something like from 0 to 70 mph in 2 seconds! They even had little signs up with cheetah facts like that one could run the length of a football field in 3 seconds? Wow. I also used this to ponder about that whole debated animal splicing thing. Cheetah hybrids would definitely be going for the running sports in the Olympics! Then again they would have to do repeatedly do drug checks after everyone kept calling them ‘cheeters’! They’d definitely get ‘spotted’ for that one….. Anyone….no? Ahem. The ride was awesome, only went upside down once, and was the first ride that Oli wanted to do again! Yaaaaaay! So we did.

Next up we saw the giraffes, lots and lots of various birds, the meerkats with one taking watch in the middle ‘oh, looks like its time to buy insurance’ and dodging all the bird poo on the floor, we moved on past the vultures, the hyenas, and into the lion cave. Now this was hilarious. You could see the females up and in the distance, and some fluff on the other side of a tunnel thing. You walk to the other side, and he’s on his back, bottom towards the glass, balls on proud display. Not moving. It was great when I heard a kid come in and go ‘oo there’s one! I wonder if its male or female…. Woah! Definitely male!’ maybe he just got fed up of everyone asking.

After some cheesy bacon chips/fries, it was on to SandStorm! Unlike my thrill seeking tummy, Oli insisted no scary rides after food, so we decided to go on the kiddy one. Hoo boy! It didn’t go upside down, but it definitely shook you about! It also kept making very sharp U turns which flung you to the side like a rag doll and, unfortunately for Oli, flung me in his direction more than him mine. After him getting on and threatening to go to sleep though, I think the beating woke him up.

After this it was onto something again a little more tame, the Congo river rapids. Pretty much everything it promised to be. Very rapid, very wet! Absolutely soaked arse by the end of it, which wasn’t helped by the high powered jet of water at the very end. We then squelched ourselves over to Kumba. This one, I think, was the one ride where I took a bit of a funny turn and got a bit scared of when I was younger. I think it’s because you’re constantly flung in unexpected directions which of course, I loved.

Leaving our stuff in the lockers, we went to the see the tigers (some gorgeous white ones there too) and we got to see a typical couple. The male was lying there, the female licked him, the male continued to lie there, the female came over to climb on him, it started raining, the male went under cover, the female followed him, licked him, then cuddled up to him. But they did look awesome.

We also go to see the Busch Gardens version of a kids playground! Adult friendly too! Although I admit I took things slowly, as I really didn’t want to hurt myself half way through the holiday. Or at all really. One exciting prospect, was a sign as you walked in instructing you to look out for the clues, and find the treasure which you could take to the service desk for a reward! Oo! After running and climbing around. Seeing more animals from cool little peepholes and even flying through the sky on a bouncy glider ride thing, we couldn’t find it! After asking a member of staff, it turns out that that only ran for about a year and a half after the park opened. Rubbish! It’s been over a decade since then! And I want treasure!

Now its time to face Sheikra! Yeah! ‘All rides are closed due to inclement weather’ what? The sky is clear! It’s not even raining anymore! But by asking a member of staff, I found out that on the horizon you could see the hint of lightning. For every indication of lightning within 10 miles, they close all rides for about 10 minutes. Well that makes sense.

So we went back to get our stuff out of our locker, and went to have some food at the smokehouse. You can get a sampler platter which had brisket, 2 ribs, chicken, chips/fries, and a bread roll for a very reasonable price! It was actually really good too! Although it did feel a bit weird to be eating it on and with very flimsy black plastic plates and cutlery.

Then it was time to head back to the coach. (you miss it, it’s expensive taxi time for you). And we did come across one big problem. For a park with lots of awesome rides and pictures of you on those rides, they sure aren’t up to date with the times. You can’t buy digital copies unless you buy a CD for $40 which is only for 1 day, and you can’t get them all at the end of the day, you have to buy them from each individual ride station. Are you sure you want my money?

Then it was back on the coach to watch the new 3 stooges movie, and relax in the room. Or so we thought! We’re adventurous! We will ignore our achy feet and explore that mighty being known as Walmart! We will brave the rubbish American roads which make you wait for ages when the roads are clear and then give you a stupidly short countdown so you have to leg it in front of the cars instead. We will brave the possibility of ticks (shudder) we will hear a rustle in the bushes and see a possums arse disappear into them, and we will see a couple of cute frogs oblivious on the path and ta dah! Walmart!

Massive! Absolutely frikkin massive! Which aisles did we explore? Sweets! Cereals! Crisps! Dairy! Shoes! Toys! Fish! Yes they sell fish! Medical stuff with machines to test your well being! And clothes! We ended up trying to restrain ourselves, as not only would buying a lot strain our wallet, but we knew we old have to carry it back too! I won’t go into everything that we did get, but I will mention a few eye openers. Endless fat foods, then fat free milk at the end of the aisle. A camping aisle with knives, axes, machetes! Everything you could use to not pay. Tons of knives and guns and pellets oh my. They sell fish too! Although the Chinese fighters were all in separate little tubs no air stones, and no movement. Wasn’t very happy there. The other fish all seemed okay, lots of plecs, and surprisingly enough hardly any guppies at all! And the few they did have we’re male! Interesting.

They also had a thing where you stand on it in your socks and it tells you about your feet. It turns out I have standard arches which can bend as I walk, but this can also put strain on them, and heavy pressure on key points of my feet (I think it means I’ve got adult weight on child’s feet). And right next to that was a pressure cuff to check your blood pressure! All on the opposite corner to the endless ice creams and hungry man dinners.

The funny tops were great too (T-Rexy and I know it), and they had some tops with great fabric for as cheap as $3! (before tax, I’ll never get used to that the price isn’t what we say it is thing) they also had a carrier bag on a rotating thing making the packing at the end so much easier! We really should install those! But after all of this on the walk back, we were discussing how you can buy almost everything there, except for porn. Seriously, they’ve got guns and machetes there for very cheap, but naked people is a strict no. Bizarre.

We are now very pleased with our haul, and might visit SeaWorld tomorrow as its easier to get to.

Some final things to mention. When we got back on Sunday, we saw a lizard and moth on the ceiling outside the room. The moth kept teasing the lizard by flitting around, and the little lizard was going nuts!

Also, we’ve made a comparison between the Busch Gardens and Jurassic Park playgrounds. Jurassic park has more places for you to go and explore, cool water jets for you to have battles, and cave bits for you to get briefly lost in. Busch Gardens has a slightly more exciting water fountain bit for you to soak yourself in, cool animal enclosures to look down or across to, and if the clues and treasure were still there, that would definitely count towards it.

Also just lastly, here’s a snippet from Monsters Inc:
‘How do you make a tissue dance?’
‘Put a little boogie in it.’

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