Catharsis and Roller Coasting
Being born a Floridian doesn't necessarily mean I'm genetically predisposed towards seeking refuge amongst large swarms of humanity wandering aimlessly around, taking touristy pictures while being jerked across the walkway by a 4 year old who's just seen the Grinch.
Lest you get the wrong impression of me, I'm not anti-social, demographically prejudiced or hermitic, but until recently I just simply didn't see the point of rounding up kids, cameras, extra clothing, food, more food and stuffing all in the car for a long, hot ride to a place where most of the time was spent trying to find empty lockers to stuff food, cameras, hot sweaty kids and extra clothing.
The logic arc of vacations in general is deceptively simple, I go elsewhere to get away from where I was, relax, rejuvenate then return to work twice as hard to make up for the days I was relaxing. Often, it's to the beach, woods or mountains as I find I can relax best away from computers, clients and colleagues. Occasionally we'll visit friends in other states, but nowhere in my short list of "things to do when you need a break" would one find - voluntarily go to Orlando -. It's not a slam on Orlando, pretty nice town once you're there and you mean to be, but Orlando is notorious for moving roads without telling traffic and, well, driving gets a bit like trying to cross a bed of glass, in a hurry, barefoot.
Being one of the very few Floridians left who's never been to any of the attractions in Orlando (except EPCOT, 25 years ago, and then I wasn't exactly lucid) I admit my curiosity had been piqued watching TV commercials showing flying, pistol packing soccer moms, large breasted women mammary slapping Captain America and half naked fathers and sons queuing up for roller coaster rides with names like "HULK" and "Dueling Dragons".
So it came as no little surprise when, give the opportunity, I eagerly agreed to a day trip to Universal Studios with my wife and her younger brother.
As a middle-aged, out of shape, discount card carrying member of Chiropractics-R-Us it wasn't my initial intention to ride every ride or bungee drop but, the dormant 12 year old in me woke up as soon as I saw the first Roller Coaster ... THE HULK ...
I wasn't sure whether the feeling in the pit of my stomach was one of anticipation or regret for not bringing my back brace, but by the time we got on deck I knew that it wasn't regret. Strapped in, locked down, pointed almost straight up and launched. I now know how a rock must feel as it hurtled away from my sling-shot as a child. To say the Hulk is a great roller-coaster would be like saying food is great, descriptive yes, but not fully illustrative.
The Hulk gave me the perspective I needed to understand what I'd missed all those years. That of being one of the large swarm of humanity wandering around aimlessly, taking touristy pictures.
When in Rome...
About the Author
Kevin Murray is a managing partner at visual web hosting Visual Web Hosting, a small Florida Web Design and Application development Company the focuses on content managagement solutions for the Arts and Non-Profit Organizations which, is uncomfortably situated in-line to Hurricane Alley.