Friday, August 12, 2011

California Vacation, Day 3

The third day was meant to begin early, as my friends wanted to reach Magic Mountain before the crowds became too heavy. I was dubious about my ability to ride any roller coasters, considering I had been diagnosed with Meniere's syndrome  about three years ago. I was fully aware that sudden changes in elevation as well as significant inertial forces would mess me up big time. Still, I hoped to hold out for a bit while my friends had fun on some rides.

Unfortunately, they are the sort of people who want their friends to have a good time too, or the outing is pointless. They fully intended to get me to ride a coaster, even going so far as to suggest taking the OTC drug Dramamine in order to combat my tendency to get dizzy from certain motions. I put off going directly to any roller coaster, instead exploring the gift shops in the DC Universe area of the park while my friends rode the new Green Lantern ride and the Batman one. Everything was gloriously tacky, as tourist gift shops usually are. I was almost tempted to buy a Batman themed t-shirt, but alas, nothing was available in my size.

Unable to avoid the inevitable, my friends dragged me in line for The Riddler's Revenge, thinking the smoothness of the ride would not affect me as much. I am much too nice for my own good, I realized too late. See some of these pictures of the ride and wonder at my brief moment of insanity.

The Coaster
More of the Coaster

Needless to say, I was not happy after this ride. I think I was hyperventilating and in a full out panic attack from the onset of vertigo. Anyone who has not experienced the sensation of vertigo is incredibly lucky, it is such a horrible thing. The world starts to spin, and it's like I'm free-falling through the supercycle of an industrial dryer. The lack of control freaks me out, and if I don't find an immediate means of grounding myself, the resulting nausea and dizziness makes me vomit and/or pass out. Valium usually helps calm me down enough to remain conscious and breathing, but I had stupidly left the prescription bottle in my bag back in my friend's car. After I was able to walk, we headed for the first aid station, thinking maybe they had nausea medicine. They didn't, the pricks. So since I was unable to ride anything without severe damage to myself, my friends didn't see any point in staying at the park. I felt really guilty about cutting the trip short, but they had season passes they could still use at a later date. Besides, I did repeatedly warn them about my condition and the potential consequences of riding roller coasters. We ate at a nearby Wendy's before heading out. I felt it necessary to comment that the value menu being $2 just because of the establishment's proximity to the Six Flags park was both atrocious and admirable business sense.

The evening dinner my friend made was amazing, and more than made up for the disaster at the theme park. It was a chickpea patty with caramelized onions and a smoky, melty cheese sauce on toasted whole grain bread, all completely vegan! I am going to replicate it as best I can once I get back to my kitchen.