Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Forbidden Journey Ride.

The pre-trip park reviews I read insisted we go on this ride.  It takes place in this huge Hogworts castle and the line winds through the floors of the castle, entertaining the waiting people with active magical classrooms, Dumbledore's office, talking portraits and more.  I had measured Georgia at home so I knew she just made the height limit. 

The line moved quickly.  It probably took us about 30-40 minutes to move through the castle and actually sit down in the ride.  It is not unusual to wait two hours! 

Someone's starting to get a bit frustrated with waiting in line, even an entertaining line.

The portraits were very chatty.

 For some reason I ignored this sign that repeated itself on the stone walls where we waiting in line.  it says: WARNING
Guests prone to motion sickness or dizziness should not ride.

 I'm not sure why I thought that didn't apply to me.  I think I was excited and a bit cocky from faring so well on the very turbulent plane ride down, but I had a scopalamine patch behind my ear and was totally drugged.  Here in the cool basement of the castle, I was not drugged.  But I walked cheerfully past the signs and sat myself in the four person moving bench seat where the employees placed a clear lid over each of our heads as we pulled of into the ride.

The ride is only 4 minutes long.
The bench moves up and down and at one point I was lying on my back in this contraption.  On my left I was holding Georgia's hand in the seat next to me. 
I quickly realized I was out of my league.  What was I thinking?  I had to close my eyes as Harry Potter on his broom, dragons, huge spiders and dementors whirled around me.
I was worried I would lose my flip flops because I didn't have a floor anymore.  I was completely disoriented.

I wanted it to end.
Then suddenly I was sweating and starting to drool.
Holy shit I was going to puke.
ON the ride.
I had imagined I might get a little queasy but I didn't think I'd throw up!
I tried to lean forward as the bench moved up and down while I tried to puke away from myself into a dark chasm of steam and dragons  moving around below.  But I didn't really know what was below.  I threw up twice, while trying to remember to keep my toes tight on my flip flops so I didn't lose my shoes. Then it was over and we pulled into the station.  Everyone at the great hall movie screen welcomed us back with cheers.

I felt hideous.
I did not feel like the same person I was 4 minutes before.
She was:
So naive.
So foolish.
So clean.
So steady on her feet.

Getting off the ride was like getting off a ski lift.  You had to step onto the moving band of floor and then step onto solid not-moving floor.  The girls were waiting for me as I lurched up I saw that there was someone next to me on my right.  A single rider.  A young boy with a fat little leg I could see from my seated position.  I could see that his tube sock was covered in clumps of vomit. 
My vomit.
 I had thrown up on a child. 
A child I didn't even know was sitting next to me. 
I had thought I threw up into the abyss.
I leaned toward him as he stood up and I said desperately, "I'm so sorry!"  He looked a little worried and then he looked to his own leg where I was  wildly staring and saying, "I'm so sorry I threw up on you!" He staggered quickly away from me.  Like I was a zombie. First he looked startled and then sad.
My older child was mortified when I stumbled over to her and her sister and told them the news.  Their mother had not only thrown up on the four minute ride but she had thrown up on someone

"What?  You threw up on a kid!?" Lily looked accusingly at me in shock and horror.
I stumbled out into the sunlight and saw the young boy being comforted by a grandmother-like person.  I felt ashamed and disgusting, but I tried to hold it together so we could push into the tightly packed locker area and retrieve out backpack (You can't bring anything on the ride, even prosthetic limbs are to be left behind.)  (That really should have been a red flag for me.)

 I glanced down at my arm as I tried to saunter carelessly through the souvenir store that you are deposited into after the ride but looked down to see that my arm was also covered in puke.  It had gathered in the details of my mermaid bracelet.  I had to wash off before I could enter a throng of people.  I summoned the girls and we walked in the heat to the bathroom.  Lily still embarrassed and Georgia very curious.  She had found the ride scary, but throwing up on a ride just hadn't occurred to her.   Lily had also thought she would lose her shoes, but she had enjoyed the ride.

In the bathroom stall I put my face in my hands and gave myself permission to cry.  But I didn't. I laughed actually.  It was so hot, crowded and overwhelming.  We had such high expectations of magic and wonder.  I did not imagine I would find myself alone in the bathroom stall silently laughing about my predicament, the vomit on my dress, the scarred stranger child, my lingering nausea, my unsympathetic children, my searing leg pain and the intense heat.  And I spent almost $300 to feel this way!

I pulled myself together.  We got the backpack.  We bought some souvenirs, Georgia really wanted to wait in the line for Ollivander's Wand Shop, so we did.  It was hot.  The sun beat down.  Neither of my children would hold my hand anymore after seeing it laden with vomit.  The line snaked around and I felt more and more sick.  We couldn't lose out place in line.  I couldn't go to the bathroom without the girls.  I started to sweat.  I didn't want to puke in the quiet seriousness of Ollivander's Wand Shop were he picks out a wand for a lucky guest every twenty minutes as groups of ten are let into the dim crowded shop.

As luck would have it, when we were next in line this vomit receptacle was waiting for me and I puked my guts out into it for a bit.  Georgia very gently put her hand on my lower back while I publicly threw up my lunch, which I thought was very very sweet.  Lily nudged herself ahead in line and looked away, like she hadn't come with us, which was understandable.  A tough looking biker chick behind us in line gently handed me a napkin and I was good to go.  The door to the shop opened.  We were whisked into the pleasingly cool room.

I'm shocked I thought to take this photo but I think it was an "after" so I must have had pretty good aim.

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