Sunday, May 4, 2014

Celebration Time: Grad Bash 2014

     Wow! Grad Bash was an interesting experience if I have ever had one. It was a great time, mixed in with some not so great times I have to say. Our school left bright and early hat 9:15 in the morning, actually fifteen minutes ahead of schedule, and arrived at our resort (I say resort because was most definitely not a hotel but it was quite clean. Maingate Lakeside Resort if you're interested; it's for people just needing a place to rest their heads, not much more). Then it was time to go to Universal for Grad Bash (proper). We arrived around 5:15, just the Blastoff Party was getting started. We were ushered into the night club area for two hours to eat, listen to music, dance, and just hang out before being let into the actual theme park side of things. My friends and I went into all the clubs, including the Bob Marley one, and just kind of hung out for a while. Then all the seniors there (including us) were ready to go into the theme parks; by that I mean we all congregated outside in the walkway, contained by security, and started all manner of chanting to get the rope dropped so we could move on (unsuccessfully).

     The theme park was awesome, especially since we had the park to ourselves. I myself am not much one for roller coasters, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy myself. Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios look pretty cool at night. The only downside to this part of the weekend? The fact that it was raining off and on all night. We walked all around the entire park twice, I rode Flight of the Hippogriff (yes it is a kid's ride, but that didn't stop almost every senior there from riding it), drank Butterbeer, and then we all went to Universal by way of the (quite sketchy) pathway between the two parks that's open during special events. They rode the Mummy, the Transformers ride, and the MIB ride; I didn't, again I don't like roller coasters or simulators. Then we all decided to go back to Seuss Landing to ride the train. It was pretty cool; the theme of the decor is the book about the Sneetches (you know, with the beach and the con man and the green stars; spoiler alert: by the end they don't care about the stars). It was super fun, and a great way to rest our feet while not having to sit on wet park benches. Then, it was time to go congregate at the exit so we could leave. When I got back to my room, ten minutes later I was in my cot and asleep. I slept like a corpse in a cheap coffin on my cot: dead to the world, but not resting in peace; it was uncomfortable. 

     Five hours later, it was time to get up, get on our swimsuits, and go to Typhoon Lagoon! Do you remember the first time you walked into Magic Kingdom, or Epcot, or any other Disney park? I had one of those experiences where it's like "whoa." My thought process basically went, "Wow! So this is what a water park should look like!" It was fantastic.
We started our day in the wave pool, waiting on the huge waves to come. I have to say, I'm a strong swimmer but not strong enough to handle that. I was sitting in the shallows when the first wave came, and it carried me five feet away from where I was sitting; that was not a wave, that was a tiny tsunami. Then it was time to catch Castaway Creek (their lazy river) around to the first slides. We didn't know where the landing where you could get floats was, so we just kind of floated along swimming in it until we got to the first slides, the ones where you go down either individually or as a "family", aka Keelhaul Falls, Mayday Falls, and Gangplank Falls. These were awesome!! They also weren't as intense as I expected them to be. Then we made our way to the two body slides: Humunga Kowabunga and Storm Slides. I didn't go on HK because a five story almost-vertical drop doesn't really enthuse me. My friends rode it and thought was not as fun, because of the water rushing up at the very end. Then it was Storm Slide time! This was my favorite sliding experience of the day! There are three different slides you can pick from, and we went on all of them. I can't tell you which was my favorite, because they were all fantastic. We were wandering around, trying to figure out where to put in to the Creek at, and stumbled across the Shark Reef. This was where they have little leopard sharks and fish swimming around in ten feet of (cold) salt water, just cruising around and hanging out while the people snorkel across, not disturbing the surface above. It was pretty awesome but I have to say if I'm not allowed to kick my feet I need a flotation device (oops).

Then, it was time to cruise around the Creek (twice) to get to lunch. We were all pretty hungry, and we all enjoyed our lunch greatly, in a way that people who have spent all day in/on the water understand. As luck would have it, we still hadn't gone on the Crush 'n' Gusher. This was my second favorite experience of the day. It was so much fun! Of course it was terrifying the first time through because I wasn't expecting so many drops, but it was a great time. Warning: if you're going in a three person float, beware the grating on the drops. It will hurt your lower back if you don't do a half bridge while going down the drops. Of course then you have to worry about lifting off the float during said drops, but that just adds to the fun! Then it was time to hit the slides one more time, get dried off, and make our way back to the buses.

     This was one of the greatest experiences, but it was mixed in with some not so fun times. I took a nose dive off my float into the Creek and got a nose full of chlorinated water. It immediately gave me a massive headache, but it was okay. Then we were on the way home and I still had a headache, but honestly it didn't get me down too badly. What did was the wreck we saw on I-75 going home. It was a horrible one, and is the reason why I-75 scares me so much. If you're on this interstate, please drive safely and don't get in a hurry. At highway speeds, getting in a hurry leads to a medical examiner being called to the scene of crashes. Anyway, I got home, I said hi to my mom and dad, and I went to sleep. That was Grad Bash, and honestly I will never attempt to walk around a theme park for nine hours again, but it was still fun. If you get a chance to go to Typhoon Lagoon, go! It is an amazing water park! Until my next adventure,

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