I got into the whole "coaster enthusiast" thing a bit late. I was never a member of ACE, or any other coaster-related group before 2005; hell, I didn't even have a BGW season pass, and I'd been living in Williamsburg since 1984. And I'd never enjoyed a coaster ERT session until 2006--when I joined Theme Park Review for its first "official" trip in the UK.
I had no idea what to really expect. Although this was the second time I'd visited the UK, I'd never met any of the people I'd be traveling with face-to-face. All I knew I picked up online in the UK Trip board.
The result?: I met a lot of great people and had an excellent time! And I've been traveling with TPR ever since: Japan, Europe, Scandinavia, Mid-America, Australia, and China.
I never posted a "proper" UK trip report. I was pretty new to the site then, and so many were posting great photos and TRs, that I decided to do something a bit different. So, I wrote two TR's focusing on some of the "details" of the trip: the "Dark Rides of Blackpool"
and the "Guilty Pleasures of the UK Tour"
But being as I'm not taking an international TPR trip this year (I'm doing Mini New Hotness, instead), I was feeling a bit nostalgic. So, I went through my old UK Trip photos, and decided, what the hell. Maybe I can put together a look back at TPR's first big tour.
So, let's set the Wayback Machine for the summer of 2006--a jolly, jolly, jolly time, indeed! But a few caveats:
1. My memory is probably a bit faulty over what exactly happened and when. If this bothers you, well, that's unfortunate.
2. I didn't take as many photos back then as I do now, which may not necessarily be a bad thing.
3. I'm going to look at least 8 years younger in these photos, as will others.
Let's start with the day zero (the first such day in TPR history, I believe) and day one: Legoland Windsor and Chessington World of Adventures.
As I recall, the whole Legoland visit came about by accident. Word got out that Robb, Elissa, and few others were planning to hit the park a day before the trip officially started, and others became interested. So, Robb and Elissa arranged for a bus, and most of the group descended on an unsuspecting Legoland Windsor. (No word on whether the Royal Family was in attendance at the nearby castle.) This was my first visit to a Legoland park anywhere, and it was a great day.
Chessington was where the trip actually began, and TPR kicked it off in high style with ERT on Vampire and Dragon's Fury. Then we had the rest of the day to explore this nice, quirky theme park. It was the home of my 50th coaster (a rather painful wild mouse called Rattlesnake).
Let's have a look at how it all started--at least for me.