Chapter Six: Splash Areas
I was loving me some Tonga Toast. And the whole idea of being in Disney World. It was the first morning of the first day. So all was right in my world. The Toast was particularly Tongaish and the salt of the bacon kept my world balanced.
I assume Mrs. Z and the other Z’s ordered food as well and maybe they were enjoying it. I was focused on the T-Tizzle.
But Little Z wasn’t so perky. Normally, she bounces about, talks a mile a minute. Sings. Laughs. Yet, somewhere in the middle of our meal (who could focus on those kinds of things?) Mrs. Z noticed that Lil Z was looking puny. She asked her if she was ok and Lil Z told her she thought she was going to throw up. So Mrs. Z scooped her up and off they went to the bathroom. I kept eating. Duh.
After a few minutes, they came back and Mrs. Z held Little Z and tried to finish her breakfast. I asked her if she’d thrown up and she said she hadn’t. But Lil Z still didn’t feel so nice. The waitress came by and brought her both Ginger Ale and Sprite (which Lil Z calls, “Sprite pop”). Nothing really settled her stomach. She had pulled back from the pit of despair but she was still feeling icky.
We had planned to go swimming that afternoon but with Lil Z feeling puny, we decided to head back to our VIP cleaned room for some nappage. Yes, even me. I was feeling vaguely tired. Carb overload perhaps. We hopped the Monorail and rode back to the CR.
As we rode, I was feeling a little sumpm sumpm.
A little sumpm fierce, if you know what I mean.
But that Monorail was NOT going to EPCOT and I was NOT headed to the Canadian Outpost.
Still, by the time we reached the MK, I knew I had need of some private time. I looked yonder at the CR and hoped we'd make it in time. No holds for traffic up ahead or any such nonsense.
We got back to the CR and I grabbed the newspaper and spent some quality time alone. Saying goodbye to the food I apparently only rented.
A while passed.
I don’t keep track of time when I’m in there.
But when I came out, Mrs. Z told me that Lil Z had thrown up. Sure enough, she’d spewed into the garbage can. In a burst of irony, I think she actually used the Jiminy Cricket recycle can. Mrs. Z tied the top of the bag and suggested I might should get rid of it. I agreed.
Now then. Where to put it? Obviously, it needn’t be in our room. It needed to be far away.
You know what the CR doesn’t have? Conveniently located garbage cans in the hallways.
I briefly considered putting it on the elevator and sending it to the 11th floor. But I thought better of that idea. However, on another day later in our trip, I did place something in an elevator and send it up. You see there is a rolling table in the CR rooms and one of our neighbors decided (for reasons I’ll never understand) that they didn’t want it in their room. Their room at over 400 square feet is quite capacious, and besides that, the rolling table actually nests under the desk. So it’s not hard to get the table out of your way. No matter, the clueless rubes deemed the table a superfluous piece of furniture and rolled it into the hallway. And left it there. For days. Why should it be in their way when it could be in ours?
After about 3 days of walking around this thing and wondering why they numbskulls in that room rolled it out and why the housekeepers didn’t move it, I finally took matters into my own hands. I pushed it down to the bank of elevators. But I stood across the hall from it. Like I wasn't there with the table. I pressed the button to call the elevator, but the first one that came had people in it. I waved them on. Second elevator was also occupado. I waved it on too. Third one came and was empty. But it was across the hall and on the opposite end from me. I ran and grabbed the table and then ran like the Tonga Toast out my tush (too much?) to get the table there. The doors started to close just as I got there so I stuck my foot in the door and then the doors retracted. I pushed the table in. Pressed a floor number and then hopped back out. My work was done.
But that was about three days from the afternoon searching for a place to lose the bag o’ puke. Which I properly disposed of. Then back in the room, we all hunkered down for a nice nap. It was cold and dark. Delicious sleeping weather. If I ever take a nap, it’s 15 minutes. But on this first afternoon of the first day, the jet lag caught up with me and I slept for a solid 25 minutes. I awoke refreshed. Everyone else was still sleeping, so I went exploring. I came back about an hour later and by then everyone was ready to get up.
Lil Z was feeling peckish, so we gave her some crackers and I got her some more Sprite Pop. She sat with me on the balcony while I snapped these pictures:
This is unzoomed by the way. If you're wondering what the view actually looks like.
We had plenty of afternoon left, so we slathered up the sunscreen and headed to the pool. The CR pool isn’t as tropical or as themed as some other Disney pools, but because it’s so big, it almost never feels crowded. Plus it has a pretty sweet slide and a new splash area.
We dropped our stuff off and headed to the splash area. At which point Lil Z announced, “I don’t wanna get splashed!” She wasn’t kidding neither. So Mrs. Z took her to the pool and ZZUBY and I splashed. And had water fights.
These post deals make music. If you hit them on top, they make a tone. And then water squirts out from the ground in front of them. I figured out that if you cover the water hole with your big toe and keep hitting the deal, when you move your toe, the water will shoot sky high. We had our own little Illuminations going on right there.
Then we moved on to the slide. The CR slide is fun. Lots of fun. ZZUBY and I were staging some Water Slide Olympics although the judging was full on rigged. As usual. However, on one of my trial runs, when I came slicing into the water with a very controlled splash, I came up out of the water and this guy standing there said, “nice form.” Which killed me DED. Not since three guys ran out of the Canadian Outpost bathroom complaining about the foul odor in there have I been so proud.
I think I love me some Disney World pool time about as much as anything. It relaxes me to get to unwind. Water slides are just plain fun. And the splash deal was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. But after awhile, we had to go get cleaned up.
We ate dinner at Chef Mickey’s that night. I do so love coming down the elevator, getting off on the fourth floor and walking over to that place. Our food was every bit as good as we remembered it being. The only negative was the kitchen doors were behind us so they're in almost every picture. I would have been annoyed by that if it was our only trip to Disney World. But it isn’t so I wasn’t.
What was this guy thinking?!
I did notice that the dessert selection seemed diminished. They didn’t have as many choices as they’d had in years past. Oh, it wasn’t like they were only serving graham crackers and grape jelly (NOGrandma), but there was noticeably less on the dessert buffet. While I was standing there giving it the once over, the “chef” came out to put out a plate of something. There was a girl standing nearby. And the “chef” goes all Brett Favre on her. He walked her all around the dessert table showing her what he liked and what he thought she’d like. He was full on hitting on her. And like so many girls I knew back in the day, she was completely oblivious to it. She was this close to telling him he was like a brother to her.
Not that that ever happened to me.
Chef Cheese Dog made a big fuss about the chocolate bread pudding. Told her it was his favorite. “Best thing he ever put in [his] mouth.” Yes, he did say that. It was THAT kind of, how do you say, creepy dee.
Nevertheless, I thought, “hmmm, I like chocolate. I like ‘Ohana’s bread pudding. This might be something.” I fixed me some and headed back to my table.
Where I was promptly disappointed.
It sucked. Primeval Whirl sucked. Waiting 45 minutes in the standby line only to find out the ride broke down sucked. Cramming in the Monorail at the end of a long sweaty night in the MK sucked. The long switchback ramp up to the EPCOT Monorail station after a hot night watching Illuminations sucked. Going up 24-0 on Auburn and then watching them roar back to beat you at home sucked. Being Miley Cyrus’ dad sucked. Being the person who had to tell Michelle Obama that “yes, that dress makes your butt look big,” sucked. Waiting more than 20 minutes for a Disney bus sucked. Trying to sell encyclopedias to the Palins sucked.
Before we finished up, I paid a visit downstairs. Because I’m very traditional. And also because I drank 8 glasses of tea.
And then we were off to the MK. We headed first to Jungle Cruise. It was dusk, which is a cool time of day to ride the JC. Our skipper was silly and his timing was pretty good.
Then we hit Pirates. From there, we headed over to Splash Mountain. I made my usual deal with ZZUBY, she couldn’t ask for the front and I wouldn’t refuse it. Dangit if that girl don’t have all kinds of front row luck! She was full on giddy to be in the front again. And man oh man did we get wet. The nice people behind us kept saying, “oh my! You really took it that time, didn’t you?” And the wetter we got, the more ZZUBY loved it. So yeah, it was worth it.
We finished up at Splash and tried to dry off in the bathrooms. Then we met up with Mrs. Z and Lil Z and crossed the park to Tomorrowland. Squishing as we walked. My shorts stuck to my legs. Not a nice feeling, I’m here to tell you. Not a nice feeling at all.
We got up to Space Mt. and the line was pretty long. Fortunately, we had our FPs from the morning. We got in the FP line and moved quickly up to the control tower section. And right as we got there, the CM closed off the side they were sending the FP people to. She sent us to the other side. What looked like the standby side.
This was our first time in Space Mt since they redid it. I was confused by what had happened. And I thought we were getting the screwgie. Our side was inching along. And then we came around the corner and it was jammed full in the massive switch backs.
I was ready to go all ZZUB on someone. I haven’t seen them use the switchbacks in there since I was a kid. Now it was more crowded than the Wisconsin Capitol building. And it smelled just as rank. (NOandfile). I was about to tell ZZUBY to hang right there while I went to find a CM to ask why we had been sent to the standby section. I was running the words through my head when I suddenly realized that we weren’t stuck in the massive switchback. There was a separate queue next to it for FP. Our lane moved right up to board the rocket ships.
I had completely misunderstood what was going on. If only the Wisconsin insaniacs would reach the same conclusion.
After our rocket trip through space, we met up with Mrs. Z and Lil Z who had just ridden Goofy’s barnstormer. Lil Z said, “Dad! It was so much fun!!! You go up, up, up and then you go like this and then you go down, down, down!” Her little chubby hands gesturing to show me how they went up, went around and then down again. She talked about that for several days. Indeed, I got her on video a few days later during lunch telling the story again.
We started making our way towards Mainstreet. It was the first night of the first day. A great day in the MK. We’d gotten to ride all our favorites. Revisited so many old friends. Fulfilled the plans we dreamt of on so many drives, during so many dinners and so many spare moments together. About the last thing left for the day was to watch the Summer Nightastic Fireworks. My girls and I had watched them a time or three on Youtube and couldn’t wait to see them in person.
The MSEP was running down the street about the time we got there, so we found a spot in front of the bakery and watched it pass by, content to see it over the heads of other people. As soon as it was done, we moved to the street to wait for the new fireworks show. Oddly enough, I was feeling hungry. The smell of Casey’s lured me in like Bernie Madoff’s promises of unbridled wealth. The thing about Casey’s is this: the smell is better than the taste.
Oh it tasted good enough, but it smelled better is all I’m saying.
Soon enough, they were dimming the lights and the fireworks began. It was hot and Mainstreet was crowded. I’ll never understand people with their cellphone cameras trying to take pictures of fireworks. I want to shout at them, “Your pictures are gonna suck! Save your efforts and just enjoy the show.” I don’t say it of course. I just wonder when they’ll learn.
No matter the annoying dumb people. Or the soggy taste of the crummy whole wheat bun. Or my damp shorts. Or my sticky shirt. Or the warm night. Or the crowds.
On that night, in that moment, I was exactly where I wanted to be. Where I’d give anything to be right now.
It was that kind of night. Where it didn’t have to be perfect to be great.
Because it was great. Even with wet socks.