Weekly Recap: Searching for Unicorns and Mystic Timbers
Today is the last day to grab a Unicorn Frappuccino at your local Starbucks. For the unaware, this colorful frozen drink is a promotional product which has become an internet sensation. Starbuck unleashed this fruity, pixie-dusted, sweet-and-sour beverage on an unsuspecting public for less than a week. The resulting feeding frenzy lead to many locations selling out of the ingredients necessary to make the drink. On Friday night, I was informed that my oldest daughter just had to have one. So off we went in search of a unicorn. In this week’s recap, I’ll be covering all of the goings-on here at Le Blog as well as a few details about my week outside of the site.
The week has been a bit of a haze. Remember that puppy we adopted last weekend? Not surprisingly, she isn’t remotely house broken. This weekend, my wife was throwing a 40th birthday party for her brother. With all of her family coming, messes were to be avoided at all costs. The ground floor of our house has hardwood floors which are easier to clean than carpet, so for most of the week I slept on the couch. A couple of times every night, I was awoken by a playful puppy who thought my time would be better spent entertaining her rather than sleeping.
Friday night was when the real party preparation started. When my wife goes into “cleaning mode” I call her Hurricane Mindy. Things disappear forever when Mindy starts to clean. Once, she threw way all of my shoes. All of them. At any given time, I might have four or five pairs of shoes. After this fit of spring cleaning, I had only the shoes on my feet. Both Josie and I make it a practice to be out of the house whenever Hurricane Mindy hits. If you try to help, you will likely get yelled at for getting in the way. And if you’re not going to clean, you’d best be scarce. We opted for the latter.
Last weekend was opening day at Kings Island. We usually attend, but this year the park was opening a new roller coaster and the weather was perfect. That meant there would be big crowds, so I figured we would sit that one out. Friday nights are typically not very busy at the park, so we decided to check out the new ride while Mindy was scrubbing the house.
Unfortunately, Kara wouldn’t be able to join us. For about a week or so, she had been complaining about her ankle. I reached a point where out of frustration, I told her that she either needed to go to the doctor to get her ankle looked at or stop complaining about her ankle. Long story short, Mindy took her to Urgent Care one night and her ankle was fractured. For most of the week, Kara has been hobbling around on crutches.
Kings Island has a very large Starbucks in the park, but I was concerned they wouldn’t carry Josie’s specialty drink. We called around to see if any of the local Starbucks had the Unicorn Frappuccino in stock. The only store we found that was still serving them was in the Kenwood Mall – an upscale shopping mall which always has a packed parking lot. But with only a couple of days left before the sparkly beverage disappeared, we decided it was worth it to stop on our way out.
When we got to the Starbucks, we were relieved to find that they were still in stock. The barista was not at all shy about making his feelings known on the Unicorn Frappe. Apparently they were not fun to make. But a few minutes and $5 later and Josie had her drink.
With one of our two missions successfully completed, we hopped back in the car and headed for Kings Island. The weather was overcast, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Good weather makes for long lines. Ideally, the weather is foreboding enough for people to stay indoors without actually being uncomfortable. On the way there, a light rain started falling, but we carried on anyway.
When we arrived at the park, the rain had mostly stopped. The weather was cool, but tolerable. We made our way back to the Rivertown section of the park to ride Mystic Timbers.
Most readers outside of the region probably aren’t familiar with Kings Island’s new coaster. It’s a wooden coaster set in a timber yard in the woods. The ride vehicles are themed to look like beat-up old cars. The ride itself is fast and twisty with lots of air time.
Ever since the ride was announced last fall, Kings Island has been hyping the twist ending with the hashtag #WhatsIntheShed? After an hour-long wait in the cool night air, we finally got the answer to the mystery. If you want to avoid spoilers, skip the next paragraph.
The inside of the shed is pretty sparse. Colored lights come on to set the spooky mood. There’s an old radio which clicks on and plays an 80’s song with lyrics that relate to the ride’s theme. There are actually multiple songs which might play. We got “Cars” by Gary Numan. Once ride stops moving for a minute or so, but not a lot happens during that time aside from the lights and the song. Up ahead, there is a screen which shows the door to the shed. As the ride starts to pull forward, some kind of monster appears on the screen to menace riders. Once again, there are multiple possibilities potentially adding to the rides repeatability. We raced past a giant snake.
Some coaster junkies are complaining that Mystic Timbers isn’t big enough for a park already full of thrill rides. I thought it was a unique addition to the park even if the “shed” didn’t quite live up the hype.
The next day was a busy one as Mindy prepared for her party. Josie had a volunteer event first thing in the morning for Earth Day. She also had a friend who needed a lift. I was nominated for chauffeur duties. Once that was done, I ran back out to Kenwood Mall. Kara really wanted to try that Unicorn drink before it disappeared from stores. As you can see, she was a happy girl when I delivered her brightly colored drink.
Moving on to blog stuff, let’s look at the week in celebrity birthdays. The headliners for Jestak’s daily write-ups were:
- April 17: Rooney Mara and Sean Bean
- April 18: James Woods and Rick Moranis
- April 19: Tim Curry and James Franco
- April 20: Jessica Lange and Harold Lloyd
- April 21: James McAvoy and Patti LuPone
- April 22: Jack Nicholson and Aaron Spelling
- April 23: Judy Davis and Shirley Temple
KevtheWriter continued a string of weekly Why’d It Bomb articles with a look at the franchise-killing Amazing Spider-man 2. Then he looked forward to Cars 3 and wondered What’s the Big Deal? In response, Disney CEO Bob Iger rolled around in a pile of money and laughed. Pixar founder John Lasseter could not be reached for comment. He was too busy playing with his Cars toys.
While we’re on the subject, Daffy did Disney with three new videos from his recent Disney World getaway. First, he toured the World Showcase. Next Daffy milled around the increasingly ironically named Future World section of Epcot. After dinner at Nine Dragons, Daffy took a ride on Spaceship Earth before returning to his Little Mermaid room from the Art of Animation resort.
The Movieline archives included an interview with the late, great David Bowie from 1992, a look at some of the standout young actors from 2002, and interview with director Sam Raimi just before the release of the first Spider-man movie, and ten of the most famous actors who never won Academy Awards.
Finally, we had a look at the Harry Potter Team Pack from Lego Dimensions. We’re running out of new Lego Dimensions product to cover here, so I will probably take a few weeks off before the next Lego Dimensions write-up.
Next week: I’m hoping for a less eventful week, but that seems unlikely to happen. There will probably be fewer pink and blue, sparkly drinks.