Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Evidentally, Fear Is Not a Factor For Some People

Our whirlwind trip to Orlando was quite productive. We left at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, arriving in Orlando at 2:00 Florida time. By the time we got to the hotel and got settled in, it was past 3:00 and Emily was at our door, asking us to join her on a walk.

We walked around the convention center area, stopping to enjoy the many bizarre displays at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not before meeting up with Oscar for dinner at Maggiano’s.

Friday morning, we were up early to hit the market. I estimate that we walked at least a hundred miles around the convention center. Ok, maybe not quite a hundred but, it certainly felt like it.

Emily and I managed to get all of our work done in one day because, unlike our husbands, we are efficient (and, you know, we kind of wanted to do some personal shopping on Saturday). By the time Oscar and Hugh were finished, we were all tired so, we hit the hay early.

Saturday morning, Hugh was up and gone before I even cracked open an eyelid. When I did get up, I met Emily for breakfast downstairs and then we headed for a nearby outdoor mall to window-shop. While we were window-shopping, I found a great deal on new yoga pants but, otherwise, I didn’t really spend much money which was a good thing because, on Sunday, Hugh surprised me with a trip to Universal Studios but, more on that later.

After browsing the shops, Emily and I grabbed a frapuccino at Starbucks and headed back to the hotel to lay out by the pool which, considering how loooong the winter has dragged on; felt pretty damn good. So good, in fact, that I completely neglected both the time and the rules of proper sunscreen application. I now have sunburn that is such an angry shade of red, it’s almost purple.

And, it hurts.

Emily didn’t exactly come out unscathed, either and she followed the rules of proper application of sunscreen.

No matter, we took our lobster-red selves to dinner that night with Oscar, Hugh and Hugh’s brother-in-law who was also attending the market as a sales rep for one of the tool companies. We went to a very nice martini bar and, while none of us actually drank a martini, it was nice.

Sunday, as I mentioned, Hugh and I ventured to Universal Studios. In a surprise turn of events, lightning did not strike us for visiting a theme park without our children (I fully expected it to but, nay).

We had not been to Universal since our honeymoon almost fifteen years ago and my, how things have changed. They now have a sister park-Island of Adventure-and the rides in Universal itself have been updated or replaced with new attractions.

One of these new attractions is the Fear Factor Live show which takes place four or five times a day. Hugh wanted to watch the show so, after riding the Mummy, Twister and a few other things, we headed over. It was about 10:30 at that time and the next show didn’t start until noon. They were, however, eliciting victims participants from the park attendees and, thinking it was just a joke, I suggested that Hugh step on up. He told me that he would never let me live it down if I didn’t join him suggested that we do it together and, um, I am an idiot so I agreed.

To make a long story short (yes, I know; too late!), I will give you the Cliff notes:

-Many waivers of liability were signed.

-Spandex outfits were procured (and, no, you will not see a picture of me in the spandex outfit).

-Stunts were explained.

-Cables, harnesses and other rigging were secured on our persons.

-Two-out-of-five people punked out before the first stunt (and I wasn’t one of them).

-The first stunt consisted of standing on a teeny-tiny platform thirty feet in the air and grabbing a bar above your head as the platform dropped from underneath you. Then, there was hanging. And, wind from a large fan. A minute and a half or so later, I fell. The fall was awesome. Standing on the platform, waiting to grab onto the handle while two hundred people stared at me from thirty feet below? Well, let’s just say that it is a good thing the show provides the contestants with disposable underwear to wear beneath their fancy spandex outfits.

-Hugh was the last to fall so, he and one other guy (I was the only woman dumb brave enough to compete, pssss....I'm so hot! Oh wait, that's just the sunburn) moved on to the final round which consisted of climbing a ladder fifty feet off the ground while grabbing flags at different intervals. At the top of the ladder, he had to grab a key from a fireman’s pole, slide down, jump into a car and start the engine. The car was then lifted thirty feet off the ground at which point he had to jump over the windshield, onto the hood and free three more flags before jumping back into the car and firing a bazooka at a target.

-He is a stud, so he won.

-His prize was a Fear Factor Champion tee-shirt, a certificate and four two-park passes that never expire which means we can take the kids back there next year when we go back to Disneyworld. Yay!

-Free tickets and the promise of a return visit take the sting out of explaining to your children that you went to an amusement park without them.

Despite the fact that I am now more terrified of heights than ever before, it was a good time.

The rest of the day in the parks was likewise fun, despite the fact that the Hulk roller-coaster made me hurl and I got drenched on a water ride, like Drenched with a capital D. I can’t wait to do it again. T
The fun we had almost made up for having to get up in the middle of the night to catch our plane home.



  1. The fear factor part of the trip sounds terrifying and fun at the same time. Good for you for doing it!

  2. Except for you missed out on dinner with me. :( Glad you had fun. :)