Another road trip to Orlando has passed. Becky and I helped her sister and two other girls move in to a third floor apartment... with no elevator. Mattresses and dressers be damned, all it took was one huge, leather sofa to make my arms into jello the rest of the day. Our labor was paid for by Patron Silver, Bud Light, and $5 hot-n-ready Little Caesars; I feel no shame.
Apart from a buzz and the excuse to slam slices of cheesy greasy goodness, two things made the sore muscles worthwhile. Sister Q’s roommates are both moving out of their parent’s homes for the first time. In the family kitchen, one proud poppa couldn’t believe I drank my coffee black, especially a young guy like me.
“What are you, like 22?” he asked. Sister Q said she could hear Becky and I laughing all the way from the driveway. He admitted to guessing low to make me feel good, but he kept repeating 38? 38? in tones of heightened incredulity rarely heard outside of a bad romantic comedy.
Apart from learning I could blend in with college students in the right light (i.e. nine am in a kitchen with no eastern-facing windows), Becky and I got a free day at Disney World on Tuesday.
Which park did we do? ALL OF THEM, BABY! Again, I feel no shame.
We started with Test Track, Soarin’ (why not “Soaring”? Does the missing “g” mean more fun?), and Captain EO at Epcot Center. We moved on to Animal Kingdom’s Maharajah Jungle Trek so Becky could greet the tigers, and we rode Expedition Everest twice. I’d never done Expedition Everest before, and it gives more sustained stomach butterflies than any other Disney ride. At Hollywood Studios we took in Toy Story Mania, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. We would have ridden Tower and Rock ‘n Roller twice each, but butterflies have a way of turning into queasiness for me, so we decided not to press our luck.
Then on to Magic Kingdom for the usual Pirates of the Caribbean-esque, Haunted Mansion-ey, Space Mountain-laden, Big Thunder Mountain-drenched fun. We also found time for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and I somehow managed to keep my motion sickness under control long enough to ride the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Teacups.
I don’t know if people normally crowding Disney were whooping it up over at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or if it was just February first, but there were no lines. Rides that said ten minutes barely took five. The longest wait was Toy Story Mania, which claimed 40 minutes but took fifteen. On Pirates, we just walked in and didn’t stop until we were looking at an empty boat. We were so accustomed to waiting we just stood there. Finally, the woman expediting the ride encouraged Becky, me, and our fellow guests to board.
This slowness also meant no parade. As hundreds of people sat around the usual route and the guys pushed their carts full of glow-in-the-dark tchotchkes, Becky read from the program that the parade was limited to Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. People within hearing distance got up and left. Becky and I walked out feeling superior to the hoards of saps who hadn’t realized that the parade was not late, is was just not.
Another benefit of the slowness? Disney recommends reservations for Canada’s le Cellier - located in Epcot’s World Showcase - be made 180 days in advance. Becky snagged us a reservation five hours out. It’s a steakhouse, and I’ve never been anywhere in Canada approaching that level of expense, but it lived up to the hype I’ve been hearing the last few years.
It was a day to die for, topped off with a meal to die for, with a woman who makes me glad to be alive.