March 27 – Loopberry Splash

You Will Get Wet

I usually try to theme each day’s post in relation to the featured drink. Today’s subject may be a bit of a stretch, but given the word “loop” and “splash” are there, I wanted to discuss my favourite amusement park rides from around the world. So, let’s secure our personal belongings in the seat front pouch and hold on for dear life!

Crush’s Coaster – Disneyland: Paris

When you combine a kid’s movie with a turbulent rollercoaster, you satisfy all of my needs! This attraction takes guests through the East Australian Current, riding on Crush the surfing turtle’s shell. What starts out as a normal coaster turns (literally) into a very memorable one, when your vehicle begins spinning with the gravity and speed created by the ride track, at one point going into a dark room that gives space mountain a run for its money. Mrs. Sip and I are continually surprised the ride hasn’t been picked up by any of the other Disney parks.

Crush's Coaster

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – Universal Studios: Islands of Adventure

This is one of those classic 3-D movie attractions, but with the twist that you move from scene-to-scene in your ride vehicle. You speed, web sling, and plunge through the streets of New York, watching Spidey battle the Sinister Syndicate. Spider-Man rules, so this attraction gets bonus points on that fact alone.

Riddler’s Revenge – Six Flags

I’m not sure why so many attractions are trying to gain revenge on their riders (Montezuma’s Revenge also comes to mind), but this stand-up coaster is a wonderful salute to the Batman franchise and the insanity of Edward Nigma. Highlights of the actions include the pumping techno soundtrack and the vertical loops that wraps around the launch lift.

Jurassic Park – Universal Studios: Hollywood

I never really got the obsession with Jurassic Park until I rode this water ride. Everything starts off all nice and normal as you take a relaxing trip through pens belonging to many herbivore dinos. That all takes a drastic twist when your boat goes off course and you enter raptor cages, with the looming threat of an accidentally released T-Rex. Before you know it, the only route to safety is a dramatic plunge into the cold waters below.

Jurassic Park The Ride

The Four Mountains – Disney Parks

Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and Matterhorn Mountain are some of the original amazing E-ticket attractions to exist and are must hit rides for any visit to the Disney Parks that house them. Without these tracks, so many other advancements in theme park technology would not have been possible.

Ghost Rider – Knott’s Berry Farm

When they warn you not to go on rides if you have back or neck problems, they were probably thinking of this attraction. It’s a classic wooden rollercoaster that spans the parks and even crosses over into the parking lot. The wildest part about it is that you’re constantly ducking your head, thinking that it’s going to get sliced off by the beams above.

Toy Story Mania – Disneyland: California Adventure

The rapid advancements in ride technology are amazing. This attraction brings out the competitive spirit in riders as you compete with your mate and all other guests, in fact, to record the highest score possible. Throw on some 3-D glasses, and shoot at as many targets as possible on the screen in front of you before moving on to the next Midway challenge. Each ride experience is different, providing you don’t mind waiting 40 minutes to an hour in line for this popular attraction!

Toy Story Mania

Valhalla – Blackpool Pleasure Beach

I refuse to buy ponchos for water rides… that totally defeats the purpose. But in this case, as we watched ride attendants vacuum water out of each boat that arrived at the loading zone, we were happy we’d taken the advice to grab a couple. I’ve never been so drenched, in my life… even with the damn poncho. Had it not been a dreary English spring day, we would have rode the ride – which featured a ton of special effects, as well as going backwards in a log flume – again, but as it was, we were already chilled to the bone.

Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit – Universal Studios: Florida

Rides that have their own soundtrack are amazing… but how about a ride where you get to pick the song of your choice, which is perfectly edited for the duration of the track. You can pick from rock, rap, country, dance and just about everything else. There are even hidden songs that you can access. That will keep the guests coming back for more, looking for the perfect jam to their experience.

Drink #86: Loopberry Splash

Loopberry Splash Cocktail

While there are many theme parks we have yet to visit, this is a list of some of our favourites thus far. Sadly, I had to leave so many rides I love with all my being off this list. Hopefully I can squeeze them into a future post.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
The final drink in my trilogy of Loopy Vodka recipes was pretty decent. The mix of half Cranberry Juice and half Ginger Ale was good and worked well with the spirit. I should have done more with the garnish, but I guess I got a little lazy.

January 24 – Paloma

Lost in Translation

Today’s cocktail is the Paloma, which is Spanish, means “dove”. Now, that might not be bookmarked in most people’s Spanish-to-English dictionary, but after visiting Mexico three times in the last year, I feel I now have the highly trained professional expertise to share some terms you’ll want to have saved in your hard drive (your frontal lobe, ese). I assure you that they are all translated 100% correct:

Baño – Emergency Relief Unit

This is the most important word in the Spanish language. Given Mexico’s reputation for rumbly tummies and the ever-present threat of [in scary voice] Montezuma’s Revenge (which by the way, used to be an awesome ride at Knott’s Berry Farm… in retrospect, why would you name a rollercoaster after getting the runs, though!?), this is a term all travelers should keep close to their hearts, or at the very least stomachs when in need of some emergency relief. And I find that with the amount I usually drink on vacation, it’s always beneficial to know where you can get ready for the next round.

mexican_drinking_water

El Bar – Hydration Station

Much like the baño, I find it imperative to know where the nearest place to quench my thirst is. While this term shouldn’t trip up too many travelers, I thought it was worth sharing with Sip Nation.

Cerveza – Drinkable Mexican Drinking Water

Be Smart. Keep Hydrated. Drink lots of Cerveza. You can often find it at El Bar.

Cuánto cuesta? – How much does it cost?

This is the term you want to use once you have become a victim of a common and unavoidable threat in Mexico – the Mexican vendor. After you have fallen prey to the words “almost free” or “free tequila” and have realized your mistake (and let’s hope it’s not fatal), try pointing to something bright (which is most likely everything in the store) and throwing the term, “Cuánto cuesta” at the vendor to show how “in the know” you actually are in a desperate attempt to regain some of your lost pride.

Of course, if you are anything like me, as soon as the vendor answers in Spanish and you look at them blankly, then you come crashing down hard with your gringo status firmly re-established. Then there’s the whole bartering process, which I find about as much as having my chest waxed. Oh hell, just buy the flipping blanket and get out of there!

When I recently tried to pick up a Lucha Libre wrestling mask, the seller wouldn’t move off his price unless I bought two masks. But who needs two La Parka wrestling masks? Maybe Two-Bad from He-Man, I suppose.

La Parka 2

Amigo – Person I want a favour (read: money) from

Pretty much every Mexican male I’ve ever encountered has called me their amigo. I must be special, but upon further thought I wonder if this actually true? Will my new found amigo send me birthday gifts, preferably in $100 denominations? Probably not. Maybe that’s what they’re expecting of me. Oh man, don’t tell my wife. Things are about to get loco with the Sip Advisor budget.

Pollo, carne asada, carnitas – food with wings, food with hooves, smaller food with hooves

Essential to any person’s understanding of Spanish is how to order food – or if you’re enjoying the buffet at an all-inclusive resort, what the hell you’re putting on your plate. Of course, if things are tasting bueno (good), you might want mucho (more)!

Pendejo – um, I’ll tell you when you’re a little older

Or you can click here.

Now that your linguistic lesson is complete, let’s get back to Tequila Week with this great drink!

Drink #24: Paloma

Paloma Drink

  • 1.5 oz Tequila (I used El Jimador Reposado)
  • Grapefruit Soda or combo of grapefruit juice and lemon-lime soda
  • Rim glass with salt
  • Garnish with lime wheel

In closing, I should let you all know that el mono means monkey. This may not be important to most, but it’s a complete necessary for me and bookmarked in my Spanish-English dictionary. I don’t want to see any doves, I just want to drink them (see above), but if there’s a monkey to be seen, damnit, I want to see it!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I wish I had tried this drink with a Grapefruit Soda, such as Fresca, but I didn’t have that on hand and went with a combo of Graprefruit Juice and Lemon-Lime Soda. It tasted pretty good, but I’d love to try the legit recipe. The salted rim is a touch I enjoy on most drinks.