The Pleasure Pier

Old-fashioned family entertainment by the sea

As per the relevant entry on my 101 To Do Listย I have to “Visit a new place” every year. For 2018 I was planning to do this while in Houston and I was thinking an exotic location in the Caribbean together with a certain significant other. But plans change and I was running out of time – soon I’d be heading back to Europe. Enter Galveston – the easiest option to explore from central Houston – andย The Pleasure Pier. The house team was on board – my friend is a great sport and my goddaughter is always up for fun & games. It was a downcast day, nowhere near ideal for an excursion. After an hour’s drive we arrived at our eerie-looking destination. It looked as if it’d popped right out of a David Lynch set.

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The intriguing exterior of The Pleasure Pier

I am not an amusement park person – last time I visited one must have been more than 3 decades ago and, even back then, I am sure it was reluctantly. Screams embarrass me. I don’t enjoy being upside down. And being surrounded by screaming, over-excited 8 year olds is not my idea of great fun.

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Just entered the land of pleasure

Still, there we were and making the best of it seemed like the thing to do. I was reluctantly enthusiastic at the opportunity to give in to my inner child. We scouted the area and decided to start with the most benign offering: a giant, slow-turning wheel furnished with comfy compartments. The view from above was spectacular. I marveled at it while incessantly clicking away with my camera. Other than that, the ride was as boring as I’d anticipated. My inner child was dormant. Mildly dizzy too.

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I admit, this one wasn’t scary

We toyed with the idea of trying the giant roller-coaster and unanimously decided against. For a brief moment, I seriously flirted with giving it a go; I could use it to cross out the “Do something you’d normally wouldn’t do” entry on the list. But it was too much. ย 

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Impressive Galveston view from above

Instead, we boarded what -to me- looked like the tallest ride ever. From below it had seemed to be moving at a rhythmic, overall acceptable speed (it turns out it was simply too high up to get a proper feeling of it). I considered sneaking the camera in my pocket, against the rules – it’d be fantastic to take pictures from high up. I am glad I didn’t – it was crazy scary. I silently congratulated myself for my boldness and bravery and assumed we had enjoyed the offerings more than enough. The others immediately proceeded with testing another ride. I was happy to sit it out and take photos instead.

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You may want to skip this one if you have fear of heights

Then it seemed like we were about to wrap again but no – the tireless goddaughter wanted to test-drive another attraction. It looked somewhat unsophisticated so I decided to ride along. It turned out it was one too many for me. I rode it out eyes closed, implementing all my stress-fighting techniques simultaneously. I wondered if I will pass out. I felt my brain matter move a bit inside my head. I kept thinking it cannot last forever. And it didn’t (it just felt like it did).

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I sat this one out

Gathering up the last of my will power, I disengaged myself from my seat, trying not to loose balance. It took every bit of strength I possessed. My fellow riders mostly looked excited, even radiant. My world was spinning. Sweating and trembling, I barely made it to a bench to sit and collect myself. While heading out, the rest of the team couldn’t resist a final round. Just watching them amplified my nausea.

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Extremely pertinent placement of chairs to combat nausea

The pleasurable experience was followed by some serious seafood feasting at a nearby restaurant, which smoothed the edges of it all and restored me back to my original shape.

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Eerily atmospheric from afar

I doubt I will be returning to the Pleasure Pier anytime soon. That said, as I am writing this and looking at the photos, the incident seems funnier and more fun than it did at the time. I daresay I already feel a bit nostalgic.

 

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