There Were No Surfing Turtles

See how they make it look like some sort of underwater adventure?!

My throat started hurting a few days ago. I treated it with red wine, gooey cheese and limited sleep. To help things along I walked roughly 30 kilometres a day in the cold.

Today when I woke up, I thought for a moment that my throat may have actually closed over.

As we walked in the rain and the cold towards Disneyland I was dreaming of baths, lemon drinks and sleep. Instead, I went on a roller coaster.

I’m not a big fan of roller coasters, but G is and he had it in his head that we were all going. He’d decided that certain members of our family (namely myself and our eldest and youngest child) were just going to have to harden up. “It’s just like how you were scared of dogs, and look at what happens now, the dog sleeps on the bed every night”.

The eldest traveller was not convinced. The theme was wild west and she wasn’t enjoying the view of the canyon.

As we made our way through the pitch black tunnel with the sound of guns randomly firing in our direction and the backs of our heads resting on our shoulder blades in whiplash position, I felt the need to punch my husband in the back of his grinning head. Unfortunately he was two seats in front of me and by this stage we were hurtling down a rapid shit your pants drop.

The eldest traveller was sobbing into my shoulder. Her sobbing was loud enough that travellers two and three took time out from their busy I’m going to die roller coaster schedule to turn and look at what was going on. It’s not often that they get to see their eldest sibling fall apart – this is not her routine, her routine is calm, confident and in charge.

I’m sure the people at Disney have seen a lot, but I’m not sure how many times they’ve heard a woman scream at her husband before the roller coaster has arrived at a standstill “Get me out of here and apologise to your daughter! Apologise NOW!”

I was a little irrational.

So you can imagine G’s surprise when an hour later it was me suggesting that we go on “Crush’s Adventure”.

I’d become a little confused. I was sure that I’d read that it was a peaceful cruise through the great Australian Eastern Current. I’d seen that the ride took place in a huge shed which to me meant screens and digital images. I had visions of surfing turtles and jellyfish swimming along side of us while we giggled at Dory, Merlin and Nemo.


Thankfully, it was just the four of us. G and the third and myself and the second all boarded our shell and cluelessly headed into the darkness, while the first and fourth stood at the entrance and waved. Smile and wave. Smile and wave.

Initially there were jellyfish. Nemo also made an appearance as the ride made it’s way through a tunnel – and then it all went terribly wrong. As we came around a bend it dawned on me that we were climbing, in the dark – darker and darker, higher and higher. I clutched the second little traveller’s knee and said “Hmm, this is……” and then everything went pear shaped. It wasn’t just the speed, it was the spinning, and the darkness, and the spinning and the plunging into darkness, topped by more spinning. Without thinking of the absurdity of my remark I screamed in one long slow motion sentence “HOLY SHIT THIS IS A ROLLER COASTER” which immediately had the second traveller giggling. Mum said shit. Mum’s just worked out this is a roller coaster.

The next minute or two are a bit of a blur, because when you’re travelling in the dark at one hundred miles an hour everything is a blur, but there was an enormous sense of relief at the end. As me and my jelly legs made our way out of the darkness I enjoyed the camaraderie that came with surviving the ride together. The giggling over “could you hear Mum screaming” along with the knowledge that I could do it (particularly if I closed my eyes and gripped my child’s leg) again.

“That was awesome Mum” said the second little traveller with eyes like saucers.

“It was” I agreed, while looking for the nearest toilet.

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