Thursday, January 21, 2016

Melbourne Star

The Melbourne Star is a 120 meter high observation ferris wheel. It has 21 pods that are completely enclosed. Henry has been wanting to ride in it for awhile. It is normally about $39 per person, but I scored a coupon for $15 per person.

We were waiting for Jordan to arrive before we rode the Star. Henry was asking constantly. He kept saying he wanted to go on the "star spinning wheel." Every time he said it he would spin his pointer finger in a circle. Jordan arrived and Henry was so excited to see her, partly because he knew that meant the "star spinning wheel" could happen now. He was so disappointed when we didn't drive there immediately. I figured she'd want a day to rest. Evening came and she felt decent, Allen was free, Maddie was home from work, so I decided we'd get it done right away so Henry could stop asking. YAY!

He was sleeping at the time. I went to wake up and said, "Henry! We're going to go somewhere!" He was bleary-eyed and mumbled, "Where?" I said, "Where do you want to go?" He thought for a minute and said, "The star spinning wheel?" I said, "Yes! We're going!" He said, "Right now?" I said, "YES!" He sat there for a moment and then said, "You're gonna make me laugh." And then he did. He put his hands on his stomach and belly laughed for a full minute while gleefully kicking his feet. He was still laying down in his bed.

The Star is next to Costco, so we know where to park! That's always an issue.

It feels like a Star Trek deck because you can see in all directions and walk around in it. It's moves pretty slow. It's all about the view, and not about the ride.

So. In 2008, the wheel first opened almost 2 years behind schedule and about $60 million over the original $40 million budget. It was expected to be a major tourist attraction, comparable to the London Eye. And just 40 days after opening, it was shut down again because it cracked in 14 places. Kind of a bad thing when you are wanting people to pay money to ride it. And it was a public embarrassment

It didn't reopen until December of 2013. And it hasn't exactly gotten the ridership it was hoping for. Not bringing in the crowds. Maybe it's the $39 tickets. Maybe it's the 14 crack repairs. 

Can anyone say, "Midtown Village?"

We aren't the only ones. (Orem locals, can you give me an update?)

But I want to give a shout out to the graphic designer of the logo for the Melbourne Star. Check it out: 

It has "M"s all around it, and if you count up the exterior points, there are exactly 21. Just like the real wheel. So clever. Give that designer a raise. 

For comparison, Las Vegas has one that is 168 meters high (the biggest in the world) and London has one that is 135 meters high.

As we drove home I realized I had never had ALL of my kids in the car with me before. Jordan and Jessica had moved out by the time Henry was born and if we ever went to the same places Jordan and her husband would just drive themselves. Maddie also moved out pretty soon and had her own car. So this was a significant first! And we ALL went into Costco together. Yes, I took all seven of my kids to Costco. They were angels.

Allen took the train home because we don't all fit in the car now that Jordan is here. Ha. Life in a big family is different.

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