As I’m officially becoming a Theme Park junkie, so the Theme Park meets seemed too good an opportunity to miss. Plus there were also a few nights drinking time to be had and the chance to catch up and meet new people. Of course any ciao meet would not be complete for me personally with me not doing something silly on the way there for the first night. As if I’m not nervous enough.Having planned to originally head straight to the Hotel in Slough from work. That plan had been foiled by lunchtime as I had forgotten half the stuff I actually needed, so a trip home was required. I thought this would be my only bad fortune that night, I couldn’t get lost I knew exactly where the hotel was. However I could forget my wallet and not realise till I was at the hotel. This meant I had to drive the half hour home and then back again, eventually arriving an hour after I had intended. Of course I had been in the car park once already by then.
Having met with Jo (Jo1l) and her daughter Niamh, it was off into the bar to meet up with Sarah (Trampus), Mel (Member formally known as Cheekychicken) and a mystery Ciao member. We had to wait for Dave (Spike) and so had a few, incredibly expensive drinks while we waited before heading off across the road to the pub for some food. That’s where we had our next problem; they stopped serving food by the time we go there. However a few cheaper rounds until closing time then back into the hotel for a bit more catching up and drinking. Oh and a plate of the most overpriced Sandwiches you’ll ever see, £6.25 for One Sandwich cut into 4.The Saturday morning saw the visit to Thorpe Park and we arrived about 10 minutes before the park opened. There to meet us were Kate (Mattygroves), her daughter Sarah (Jimjamgroves) and Maya (Cazz). Not too long after that Tina (Minitee) joined us just before the park opened. From there we headed in and went straight for Vortex, which unfortunately Niamh was too small to ride, even though she was very keen. While we queued Emma (Emma1973) and Chris (Eve6KicksAss) turned up and joined us on the ride.
It seemed for the next few rides we had the Kiss of death with both the Magic Carpet and Colossus closed for maintenance. So it was onto one of my favourite rides in the park, Samurai. While we were queuing Offy (Offy) arrived to join the group watching from the sidelines. There were still a few people missing but they were on their way. Grabbing fast track tickets for Colossus, we headed off onto the Log Flume and Banana Boat for a couple of rides while we waited.After a quick spin on Colossus it was time for lunch and everyone headed in various directions for KFC, Burger King or what ever else they fancied. Personally it was a KFC and the chance for the first time to sit and chat outside of the queue’s At this point Luci (elkiedee) and her husband Mike arrived to join us for the afternoon. After everyone was fed and watered it was time for more rides and Nemesis was calling.
After that it was time for a go on Detonator, another favourite of mine. I do work myself a little worried before I go on it though, which a lot of people found quite funny. Then it was time for a good soaking on Tidal Wave. My full respect to Mel, who stood on the bridge after the ride with me and got soaked a second time, while everyone else ran away. After drying out a little the Tea Cups called before a Trip to Pirates 4D.There wasn’t much of the day left, but we did have time to go on at least another 4 rides. After the Magic carpet and Enterprise a quick food stop was required. Having shared Mel’s Cheesy Nacho’s it was on to Vortex before one final go on the Magic Carpet. Everyone had had a great day, but it was time to head back to the hotel for a few drinks and dinner.
The Toby Carvery across the road seemed to be a much better bet than attempting the hotel bar for another night. One of Mel’s mates, Mark (Not a Ciaoer) had joined us by this point and walked into the restaurant declaring we had a table for 11 booked. I think the poor waitress nearly had a heart attack. But we did get our table an hour or so later just as Steve (Badger_Boy) and Rachel (Kappaslappa) turned up. They’d already eaten and were left drinking in the bar with Luci and Mike for a bit.After a rather tasty dinner I returned to find Steve and Kappa on their own as Luci and Mike had gone home for the night. It was from here that serious drinking began. It started in the Toby with Steve introducing us all to Cheeky Vimto. After a few of those it was back to the hotel and everyone was off to bed. Everyone but Rach, Steve, Mel and myself that is, we decided the bar was far more appealing.
So one long conversation, which didn’t seem to take the 6 hours it did and a lot of different drinks, including absinthe, later we decided it was time for bed. We’d had a really good laugh and covered quite a variety of topics I seem to remember. At 5am though it seemed time we should really be getting to bed, it was light outside after all.After only 2 and a half hours sleep I woke up for some reason and that was me for the rest of the Day. I’m still not sure now if I was still drunk, but assume I probably was. Luckily Jo was kind enough to give me a lift to Chessie. Although Sarah did remark that I didn’t look like I’d been up till 5am drinking so that a relief.
We left for Chessington about 9.15, with the intention of Dave and Sarah following behind Jo so they didn’t get lost. We didn’t even make it out of the Hotel car park before we got separated. Then an accident on the M25 meant that 2 lanes in the roadworks were blocked up. Dave and Sarah had taken that side; we went the other, so all in all a bit of a disaster drive to the park.Once there we met up with the few that had already gathered, Kate, her husband Pete (non Ciaoer), Sarah (JimJamGroves), Tina and Angie (Slayerette). Emma, Chris and Offy weren’t going to be back for the day but there were a couple of new faces to take their place. It was decided that Hocus Pocus Hall would be the first stop of the day. Both Angie and myself were feeling the effects of the night before whilst in there as the 3D effects really don’t work well after a heavy nights drinking. I think I felt drunker walking through that than I did at 5am.
The Pirate ship was up next and another ride that’s not ideal after a big night but it did clear my head a bit. I’m sure the Tequila (Angie) and Absinthe (me) moans as we got to the top each time were a little worrying for a few people around us. We came off unscathed though and in-fact I went for a repeat go once everyone else turned up. Then it was over to Dragon’s Fury the new spin roller coaster and probably the longest queue of the weekend.We then made our way to Tomb Blaster where I seemed to get stuck with the gun that wasn’t charged. Everyone else on our part of the ride had about 14 – 15000 and I had 1200, so that looked good on the ride photo. Although not quite as good as Angie’s Lara Croftesque pose. The group then split for a short time with a couple of people going on Remises Revenge and a couple of us going to Rodeo. I didn’t fancy getting as soaked as people looked to be getting that early in the day. After our spin on rodeo we returned just in time to see Dave, Sarah and Mel get totally soaked, to the point where Dave had to buy some new clothes.
Lunchtime came about and as everyone headed for Pizza Hut and the like, Kate, Angie and myself a b line for the pub instead. What was intended to be a quick drink and a chat resulted in everyone turning up about an hour later to drag us out. After lunch it was onto the Bubble works, which will go down as ride of the day. The three of us from the pub were joined by Mel to share a boat on the Bubble works. Having sat chatting all the way round, we finally arrived at the fountains part of the ride, then managed to get the wettest we had on any ride all day. We were splashing each other out of the fountains, from the ride itself, I’d imagine the others were thinking who let the kids in. We enjoyed it though, so much so we went back for more later.To give us a time to dry out the next ride was the vampire ride before going for our second turn on Dragon Fury. There wasn’t much of the day/weekend left but we still managed another few rides before the park closed. A go on the Dodgems and the swings followed by the log Flume passed fairly quickly. Again though Mel, Angie and myself along with Sarah (JimJamGroves) were messing about only to be told to behave by 6-year-old Niamh. She was probably the most sensible in the boat at the time.
We managed a few more rides on the Pirate Ship before the park closed. At the last minute the four of us from earlier decided we needed to have another go on the Bubble works. Yes you guessed it the exact same thing happened and we were made to climb over boats to get into the station as they wouldn’t run the ride far enough for us to get back in. It was almost like being chucked off.The day ended and the weekend with it as people started to head off back to their own parts of the country. For once I didn’t have far to go so decided to go back to the hotel and have a quick drink. It was great to meet and I’ll hopefully see you all at a meet sometime soon or even for a drink in a pub somewhere. All in all it was a top weekend with a lot of highlights. Special mentions go to:
Mel (ex Cheekychicken): Had such a blast from Saturday early afternoon right through, the Saturday night drinking was loads of fun too. I’ve added you to MSN, so no more complaining about that eh ;o)Rachel (Kappaslappa): I’ve been speaking to Rachel for ages and meeting her on Friday night confirmed what I already knew, she’s totally mad. Nah only joking mate, Rach is lovely and exactly like her online self.
Steve (Badger_Boy): I’ve met Steve a couple of times before and every time we meet up seems to spawn a mass drinking session. Great as ever to see you again mate.Kate (Mattygroves) Although we chatted a bit on the Saturday, it wasn’t really until the Sunday in the pub that we really got a chance to chat. Of course the pub visit spawned the terrible foursome for the Bubble works.
Angie (Slayerette) Started talking to Angie on the Sunday morning when we arrived and we got on really well. Although she’s quite new to ciao she’d decided to come along to her first meet, hopefully it wont be the last she’s seen at.If I carried on listing people I’d have written a bit about everyone but also a special thanks to Sarah (Trampus) for arranging the whole thing and see you all in Blackpool.
Just a shame that Angus and Torr couldn't make it. Angus we shall have to meet in a pub for a bevvy sometime.
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