After an afternoon spent doing nothing and everything all at once, we rounded up all of our gear and headed back into the Yacht Club.
While there are a million reasons to love staying at deluxe resorts, there is also one pretty big reason to loathe staying at deluxe resorts. For us anyway.
Around these here parts, we like to call it The Walk of Shame.
No matter how hard I try not to, I always feel a little sheepish walking back into a resort from the pool. Looking like a hot mess. With pool hair. Eyes burned crimson red from the chlorine. Fingers pruned to such an extent that it’s hard to keep a grip on anything, let alone a six foot long wet noodle. Dripping wet and carrying all of our pool crap (and extra towels we swiped from the pool area) as others are mingling around the lobby, dressed for dinner.
Fresh. Rested. Perfectly coiffed. Adequately perfumed. Possessing all their teeth. Dry. Wearing heels.
And slipping in our wake as we cut a trail from one end of the lobby to the other. Loaded down with an armful of wet pool paraphernalia and looking like something the cat drug in.
Feels very Clampett-ish to me. Which is a very unfamiliar feeling. To us. In Opposite World.
Some families come from the pool looking as though they’ve just stepped off Parenting magazine’s July issue cover shoot. They're dry, they carry nothing in their hands, and not one hair is out of place. I hate those people. And by ‘hate‘, I mean ‘strongly dislike’. What I really mean is: I’ve never understood those people. In contrast, we’re messy, we’re hot, we’re wet, we’re sweaty, we’re louder than we probably should be, our bag is overpacked, (duh!) and so are our arms.
In other words: we’re as real as it gets. Or…as redneck as it gets.
Especially when you factor in four huge soaking wet bright red and blue pool noodles. The ones we made the boy carry.
At the time, it seemed like a perfect plan. Make him more responsible. Make the boy earn his keep. “Here, son. Take these four pool noodles that are EVERY BIT as big as you are and tote them for us a ways. It’ll toughen you up. Make you grow some hair on your chest”. We said.
Looking back, that might not have been the BEST option. Considering all the breakables around.
And so it was that we schlepped and slid our way across the shiny hardwood floor that anchors the stoic Yacht Club lobby that day. Laughing loudly. At ourselves, mostly. We eventually arrived at the elevator and found two very well dressed older gentlemen already waiting inside. They were well coiffed. Well groomed. Fresh. Rested. Dry. Not possessing all their teeth. Looking for Grey Poupon. They eyed us with concern as we showed up in their lives behind Door Number Two, this motley crew who had OBVIOUSLY been having entirely too much fun for entirely too long at the pool. You could see the wheels turning as they weighed their options. But they knew it as well as we did: they were trapped. They’d have to share an elevator with the Clampetts and all their pool crap.
"Jolly Good Show!", they said to each other. Sarcastically. With their dorkalicious braided nose hair.
We greeted them warmly but were ignored. For the life of me, I can’t imagine why. Thankfully, the ride up was swift and smooth and as we arrived at our floor, we bid them adieu.
In the way that only a true LaLa can.
The door opens and Mr. Newfound Responsibility steps forward. Carrying with him the still soaking wet pool noodles. All four of them. As he does, he turns around, then doubles back and bends over to pick up something. Then stands up again and turns around. And in the process, he unintentionally smacks both men square in the face with the noodles.
Two men. Four noodles to the face each. It was a soaking wet jackslap in rapid fire succession. If you’ve ever seen the Price is Right wheel being spun and watched the big red triangular pointer slapping those numbers as they speed by, you’ve witnessed The Elevator Pool Noodle Incident.
Only with people. And noodles.
It was like something from the Three Stooges.
I felt bad for the men and worse for the boy, who was MORTIFIED for a few minutes. Until the silent shaking laughter took over. Once the doors closed behind him. Because that was, hands down, one of the funniest sights I think I’ve ever seen. Even though they CLEARLY did not care for the unjust treatment they received.
I believe we may have even knocked a toupe loose.
Of course we apologized profusely and I did feel bad. A little bit. Not a whole lot though. Because it was so stinkin’ hilarious. And because my line of thinking is that if you’re wearing a toupe, you deserve to have it knocked off your head by a wet noodle in a Disney elevator. I mean, c’mon! You’re not fooling anybody with that thing.
I’m looking at you, ZZUB.
And that one incident was the catalyst for so many of our jokes for the remainder of the week. Most of them revolving around us being forced out of the Yacht Club and being shipped back to "The Pop Cent’r-eh". Where we belong. We’d do something stupid and one of the kids would yell, “There’s the bus, come to take us back to The Pop Cent-reh!”
And we’d all laugh ourselves silly. Knowing they weren’t getting’ rid of us THAT easy.
After yet another Elevator Incident to add to the LaLa Family Book of Unforgettable Disney Moments, we made our way back to our room in order to get ready for our dinner that night.
Since it was DH’s actual birthday, he chose our park and dinner destination for the evening. He could’ve gone anywhere and done anything, but the man chose Epicot and Le Cellier to ring in his birthday proper. And there was no other place I would’ve rather been that night. Love me some Mr. LaLa and his line of thinking.
The word on the street lately has been that Le Cellier will soon be listed as a Signature restaurant on the Dining Plan. I discovered this shortly before we went and gave DH the 411. I have to say, we’re both pretty bummed about it because we really enjoy Le Cellier. We don’t normally eat at Signature restaurants on the Dining Plan. I just hate spending two credits on one meal, even if the food rocks. Just doesn’t seem worth it to me for some reason. So for months, we had really been looking forward to what might turn out to be our last meal at Le Cellier for a really long time.
We cleaned up and headed out, anxious to get the night started.
On our walk toward the elevators, we noticed (again) that we seemed to be the only ones around. There's something about having the whole floor to yourself (or at least feeling that way) that lends itself to some serious tomfoolery. And since it was DH's birthday and he was feeling awfully peppy that night, he proposed a few elevator shenanigans. In the form of a game.
Basically, there are four elevators and four LaLas. So we each pick one set of elevator doors and stand in front of it, then push the button. At the same time. That part is crucial. The person whose doors slide open first wins the prize.
Although, and here's the catch: the prize is always a mystery prize. At DH's sole discretion. It's like Forest Gump and his box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.
The winner that night happened to be Yours Truly. As I did a little victory dance, I was swept up by my husband. Evidently, the prize that night was some unexpected, shameless PDA. I even got dipped at the end of the kiss so you KNOW the man was feeling about twenty instead of forty that night! I may have lifted an eyebrow and given him a look afterwards. Indicating I appreciated the gesture.
Our kids, who were looking on with disgust, however....did not appreciate the gesture! Even though they both giggled AFTER they finished telling us how wrong that was. And how gross we were.
We are now, officially, our parents.
Tomfoolery behind us, we got on with the business of getting over to Epicot. Our Epicot.
This would be the first time we would ever walk to Epcot from our resort (!!!) and we enjoyed it immensely. On the way over. Not so much later that night on the way back.
But more on that later.
The walk is a very easy one and although we kinda missed having Spaceship Earth all up in our grill, it was SO DADGUM cool to just waltz in the back door of Epcot. Once we arrived, we scanned from east to west and tried our hardest to let our eyes linger on everything in between. We took in the sights and listened to that familiar music that we love so much. We stood around and just breathed in the atmosphere for a little bit. With smiles all around.
Man, I LOVE me some World Showcase. It totally rocks.
We made our way over to Le Cellier in plenty of time for our ADR.
Once we arrive at the check in counter, DH is greeted with a round of enthusiastic “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!s” from the girls on duty that night. He immediately goes into recon mode and pokes his finger, that one big finger, their way. “How old do you think I am?”, he shoots. Putting them on the spot. The smiles slowly fade from their faces and they seem confused. As the seconds tick by. Loudly. Slowly.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
Their brows furrow and the smiles return to their faces. This time, a little more plastic than the last.
“Oh, I mean….uhm……23?”
“That’s better. Now g’on and scare us up a table. Because I’m 40 today and I’m ready to eat, dadgummit!”
And eat we did. Le Cellier still ranks right up there as one of our all time favorite restaurants in the World Showcase. We were not disappointed. For us, it’s about the food and the atmosphere.
For the kids, it’s all about the milkshakes and smoothies. And the fact that the servers tend to play it a little fast and loose with the dining plan requirements there. Guiding us on how to get the most bang for our credits. Yet another reason to love Le Cellier.
DH got a little birthday love to boot as he was treated to a table decorated for his birthday.
Because we'd already had a big 40th surprise party for him and I'd sprung for an awesome cake at home, I didn't order a cake here. Although I was tempted, because Disney makes some fine lookin' cakes. But when they brought his creme brulee out for his desert, it was decorated appropriately and he seemed to like it. Very nice.
Once dinner was over, we rolled ourselves out the door and strolled around the serene lagoon at sunset. Giddy as could be.
We had plans to take in Illuminations that night and by our watch, we still had plenty of time left before we needed to grab a seat and settle in for the show of all shows. So because it was STILL my husband’s birthday (what is he, eighty now? I feel like we’ve been celebrating this for MONTHS) and Test Track is probably his favorite ride in all of Epcot, we headed in that direction. Thinking that, by some miracle, there might not be a line and we might be able to take a quick spin before gathering around the fire to watch a true adventure emerge.
An hour and a half later, we’d watched a true adventure emerge, alright.
But it wasn’t exactly the one we had in mind.