Wednesday, 18 April 2012

'Bless the Rain...'

It's raining, which the television currently informs me is a good thing so who am I to complain?

This past weekend we went on a road trip up to Alton Towers. Having frequented Thorpe Park at least once a year for a long time now, this was my first visit to the Northern member of the Merlin family. We set off early having gathered on the Friday evening to map out our strategy... which just kind of brought about the obvious decision to get up ridiculously early on a Saturday morning to get to the park for a full day.

Up at 5am, I showered and woke myself up with the tingly mint shower gel that makes my bits feel special - thanks Original Source! Once Stacey, Me and Jason (who stayed the night and tried out the epic shower gel) were ready, off we set. Stacey was behind the wheel, while Pete drove with Nat and Birthday Boy Chris as his passengers. On the M25, Pete caught up to us and briskly overtook. He zoomed off into the distance, taking the lead in what wasn't really a race, but deep down felt like one to those of us that hate to lose. In Tortoise vs. The Hare fashion though, we won as Peterville stopped on his journey for a rip-off coffee break, while Steacy ploughed on. When we were only a few miles away from the park, the sat-nav told us to turn left down a very narrow country road. It went on for miles and if we had come across any traffic coming the opposite way, we would have been in a bit of trouble. Stacey kept moaning that it must have taken us the wrong way, but eventually we came out the other side and our first view of the grand Alton Towers entrance came when we looked behind us. We had come out from right next to the park's entrance!

We all met up outside the hotel's reception and went in to leave our bags as it was still too early to check in. The friendly northern chap who took our bags then very kindly offered to let us into the park - despite us not having purchased our tickets! We had to walk a couple of miles, but that sure beat having to pay an extra £40 each. The first ride we all got on was Air and it was absolutely awesome! I wish I could fly for real, but that's probably the closest I'll ever come. Other highlights of the day included Oblivion, Nemesis, Sonic Spinball (actually a pretty intense 'coaster) Burger King and TH13TEEN. One attraction that was really different was Hex. Stacey thought nothing of it, but the rest of us thought it was ace. Sitting in a room after watching a story about a cursed log, the whole room starts to move, spinning round so that you actually get the sensation of flipping round to the ceiling. Genius! I'd love to try it after a few drinks!

As the day wore on and the weather deteriorated, we headed back to the hotel at around 4:30pm feeling drained from our early start that morning. Some of us had showers and Wall-E came on the telly to keep us amused. I also got through a little more Hunger Games which I'm still really enjoying.

We then had a nice meal despite what has to be the worst service imaginable. It was pretty entertaining though and as always was funny watch Chris and listen to the words that spilled out of his mouth. We also teased the birthday lad at the fact that he was ordering a burger again, even though we all had BK for luncheon. According to our pal Chris, Pete should have gone over and spoken to the very butch lesbians that came into the bar after dinner as they had something in common.... I suppose if we all did things like that it would be a somewhat friendlier world - although things could become rather segregated.

After a night's sleep broken by Jason's snores we had our buffet breakfast and set off for home. It was a great weekend and was very entertaining sharing a room with my favourite odd couple: Jason and Pete. The song of the weekend was Africa, the 80s hit from Toto. This had been downloaded to Stacey's iPod after Jeffster sang a rendition of it in our current obsession: Chuck.

Stacey has a weird crush on Lester... the one singing. I also got my second ever message from a celebrity on Twitter. Nearly a year to the day that I got a thanks from Mick Foley on the social network, I started following many of the stars of Chuck, only for Mark Christopher Lawrence a.k.a. 'Big Mike' to send me a thank you for following him!

It was back to work on Monday and without my Saturday and Sunday morning lie-ins I was feeling tired and ratty. As soon as 5:30 came though, I was out of there and off we set back on the road again. This time with Alex joining Stacey and me instead of Jason as we travelled to the entertainment mecca that is The O2 Arena for Monday Night Raw! We joined my relatively new friend Dave and his buddies up in the nosebleed seats. Despite the height and distance we were away from the ring, we still had an absolute blast. The show kicked off with a World title match and continued to thoroughly entertain. I joined in with the 'YES! YES! YES!' chants all night for the hero that is Daniel Bryan. I don't think Alex and Stacey were too convinced though...

Other highlights included a 'Fish and Chips' chant and a couple of fans jumping the fence after the show only to get owned by the ring announcer!

Before I go though, I just want to make it known that it doesn't mean "we're alive", it means "I'm alive" which also means I'm Right! Take that Stacey!


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