While y’all are talking about Galaxy’s Edge, I want to talk about my trip so far seeing Europe. I started off flying into the land of tea, crumpets, and Iron Maiden....otherwise known as England. Spending two weeks in England (meeting up with a friend at Thorpe for one day) and two weeks in France and Italy with the fam. Before I get into that, a little backstory: this is my first time flying solo to another country and this is my first time in Europe. My parents and sister are visiting Europe and Italy for two weeks. I saw this as my big chance to check out the British parks that I’ve been curious to see. I decided to do this the two weeks before they left and meet them at Paris via the Chunnel. Planning this felt like a dive into cold water worrying about potential surprises. So there I was, planning everything out, thinking I figured everything out. Of course, as soon as I landed in Manchester, the airline I was with lost my bag. Flew with JetBlue, then Thomas Cook. Long story short, it was checked at the gate at LAX before flying to my connecting at JFK. Wasn’t in the system, so all I was left with was the stuff in my backpack. No extra clothes (but plenty of socks and some PJs) that really started off my trip with some frustration as my HHN 2018 shirt was in there as well as ALL of my good jeans and shirts and underwear for the trip. I’m getting by and had to buy a few extra clothes items, but I didn’t let that bad experience stop me. Not the kinda thing you want to happen to you when you’re traveling internationally for the first time solo. But enough of that. Let me talk about the good stuff. I want to talk about my first major park of the trip: Blackpool Pleasure Beach. I’ve always been fascinated by this park as it has much historical significance (I mean, Big Dipper has been there since WW2, how is that not cool!?) It felt like a Santa Cruz on steroids infused with tea and crumpets. The layout was a bit complicated and all over the place. It was also interesting just to see how so many structures and attractions were built on top of each other. So much so that I was amazed at how small the clearances were for most of their dark rides (Which I’ll address shortly). It also blew my mind how some of their flats or dark rides boat rides (River Caves and Valhalla) didn’t have any seatbelts or restraints. The train station didn’t even have an attendant! It’s amazing how much they rely on guests to use common sense at the park; it’s something you’ll hardly see at any US park, let alone Florida or Cali. This post is really getting long so I will as quickly as I can address the highlights. The Big One was my first International coaster credit. My first ride on it was fairly smooth as was a descent ride. The other two (front and back) were rough, and that’s because I ride on top of the wheels. Kinda sad that the most iconic coaster there was not great...and running one train. However, Icon was a really great ride. Got six rides out of it for my two days being there. Definitely the best ride there and probably my favorite coaster in the UK so far (Up against Smiler). Five of those rides were in the back and my last one was in the front (which was HOLY CRAP AWESOME). The other coasters were cool. Rode all of the wooden ones and Steeplechase was unique despite the rough turns. Infusion was awful. Hate those SLCs. That’s all on the coaster font. More coming in post 2.