This has been a crazy week, deciding to list our house again for sale; scouring the market for our next perfect house; firing up all cylinders to reinvent my business and figuring out what that all means; planning J’s 4th birthday party in one week; working out the details of Senior Lunch to make sure we have enough food; squeezing in exercise and beauty maintenance. I could sure use a few days of vacation…
So how the hell did I end up in Disney World??
Oh yeah, J’s 4th birthday. Whose idea was this anyway? Oh yeah, mine. It sounded so good back in December when we booked the trip. 4 years old is the perfect age for your first trip to Disney. “J will love it,” I thought…
Fast forward 5 months. It is still freakishly cold in the northeast in May, so an escape to central Florida will be nice. Those folks at Disney sure know how to treat their guests- courtesy bus to and from airport; busses to and from everywhere you go; trams and boats and trains to and from everywhere else. What could be better? We don’t have to do much – except stand in line, and wait on benches, and stand in line, and wait on benches and give up on waiting and take taxis.
Day #1 We are refreshed from a good night sleep so waiting in line isn’t so bad, the air is still cool and I still have my shell on. There are companies in Orlando that rent strollers to all of the theme parks, how convenient. Let’s do that. J sees the stroller and doesn’t want to walk another step. That’s ok; this is a lot of walking, and standing and waiting. We quickly learn that stroller parking in Disney is like parking your car in Manhattan. Droves of people walk through narrow pathways created from droves of parked strollers. Most of the rides for the 4 year old contingent have at least 30 minute waits. J isn’t going to stand in line for 30 minutes. So we skip Dumbo’s ride and Aladdin’s Magic Carpet. We have already used up our fast pass for the hour with Peter Pan.
Day #2 It has been a nice morning but now it is 1pm, 97 degrees and J is withering in the sun like a hot noodle. Time to head back to the hotel. Gee the bus line is enormous. What’s going on? Turns out our hotel bus has been MIA for almost an hour. This doesn’t bode well for our chances of getting on when it shows. We meander through the queue forming contraption that puts us about 50 people back from the front. People come up behind us but wait, the chain isn’t across this part of the line generator so they may try to cut us. But wait again, my father hooks that chain up just in time…Just in time to see the look on this scary, heavily tattooed man’s face as he feels “cut off” by my father. Oh my god, we are going to die. How are the Disney people going to cover this up? We are a party of 4, one being a small child. There is no way they can cover this up. I avert his menacing gaze and that of his wife of equal tattooed scariness until the bus finally comes. All 75 of us manage to get on this bus that seats 50. My husband is in charge of the “folded up” stroller that takes up its own seat, for which there is no room. Ahh, the cursing commences about the @#!!$%*# stroller. Somehow, he muscles it on there amongst too many people on too small a bus. We made it. The ride is ok but boy is it getting warm in here. All of these bodies heat up a bus really fast. About half way through the ten minute ride I glance over my right shoulder and wouldn’t you know, scary tattooed man is 5 inches away. We manage to escape the ride unscathed.
Back at the hotel pool, it’s all fun in the sun. You know what would make this day better? Alcohol. They have such amazing drinks at the poolside bar. They all look so yummy. Maybe I will get one…
“Ohh, that looks so good. What is that?” I ask a man literally bellied up to the bar getting a frozen something with whipped cream and fruit.
“Headache in a cup with a pineapple garnish,” says the large round man wearing a Speedo. He surprises me with the proper use of the word garnish.
I laugh and order a margarita. Now when one is overheated and tired, alcohol and sugar is not the way to go. I should have been reaching for the Aquafina. But I’m on vacation! Fun drinks please and keep ‘em coming.
Day #3…why the hell did I have those margaritas? I feel like crap. My calves have never been so tight. It is all the walking and not enough hydration. Even J the early riser needs a wake up call this morning. I don’t think I have ever woken him up in the morning, ever.
Day #4 two days have gone by and I am not sure how that happened, it is all a blur. The days seem to run into each other down here. It’s like Vegas with no windows or clocks, just lines of people and lines of strollers.
I have to say, Disney is not a place for the faint hearted. You have to be in shape and ready to go to blows with people in wheelchairs with their own oxygen supply at any minute. People here are on their last nerve. It’s hot, the lines are long, the kids are crying, the mothers are screaming, the fathers are suggesting extra suntan lotion on little what’s-her-name only to be back-handed with a glare from his wife that says “don’t question my mothering skills.” You know that look I am referring to, we’ve all been there.
Day #5 We are heading home this morn. Getting on another bus. The last bus. Everyone here looks a bit weary with much less enthusiasm than the bus ride that first day. The bus driver wants us to cheer or clap our hands or something but no one is participating. People are borderline grumpy. By people, I mean me.
As I reflect on the week behind us, we did make some wonderful memories. J loved his trip. I loved seeing the look on his face when he saw Mickey and Donald and Goofy all stroll in the night of his birthday. He spent great quality time with his dad and grandpa and fell in love with being a pirate. All of the chaos and crabbiness and dehydration was worth his smile and his little voice saying “thank you for taking me on my birthday trip,” our last night here.
You know as I think about it, this was a really great trip. Maybe I will look into coming back. Do you think they are busy here during the Holidays?
My pants are a bit tighter than they were last week due to all the french fries and ice cream I have consumed, not to mention all that aforementioned alcohol. I seem to need two cups of coffee in the morning instead of my usual one cup. Two of my toes have giant blisters from walking and I was wearing sneakers. The cramp in my neck that I had last week is still in my neck. Boy, I could sure use a vacation.