Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Battle for my Wallet VII: Lost and Found

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.

Crisis averted.

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.


  1. Hi Zzub!
    Been gone for a bit.....seems I had a really bad dream that AU went undefeated & won a BCSNC?!!? Oh well nightmare over & AU is ALL IN t-r-o-u-b-l-e....so with the earth safely back on it's axis it's time to catch-up on my blogs!

  2. What can make a crotchy day a little brighter? A bonus chapter of a Zzub TR! I'm so happy you posted another episode! Because this: "I ran and grabbed the table and then ran like the Tonga Toast out my tush," made me laugh uncontrollably. The thought of you dumping the table in the elevator was just TOO funny. Thanks for sharing that.

    Sorry to hear Lil Z was woozy. Bless her heart. I hope she got to feeling better later on. The splash park looked great. I also cracked up that you removed photos of Zzuby, but left in those of the other random children you encountered.

    But I think my favorite part of this installment was they way it ended. Well said my soggy-bummed friend.

  3. First of all, EWWWWWWWWW!!!!!

    Now that that's out of the way, second of all, that monorail shot is really cool. I might hijack that and make it a wallpaper on my phone or something. Good stuff.

    Speaking of pictures, I SO AGREE with the crappy shots of fireworks. (Although I have to admit that I got a really good shot with my Blackberry of the 4th of July Celebrate America show.) But the ones that get me are the cameras with flashes going off. Like you need flash for fireworks. All you're gonna get is a shot of the back of the heads in front of you. All lit up. And glowing if they're bald.


    I loved this installment. I think that no matter how different all of our travel styles may be, any Disney geek can understand the unbridled joy that comes from the first night of the vacation. You're right - all the talking, planning, quizzing (if you're an NM) and general pre-vacation giddiness comes to a head on the first night. It's full on good times.

    Thanks for sharing it with us. I wish I was right there, too.

    (Psssst...in three weeks and three days I will be. But who's counting?)


  4. GB wrote, "What can make a crotchy day a little brighter?" Dude! That's TMI even for me! No one needs to hear about your crotch issues! I can't imagine what word you were trying to use, but I'm hoping against hope it wasn't crotch.

    Samc! You're back!!! Great to see you again. Yes, this past season was a big ol' bucket of suck. But I too sense that wrong will be made right soon enough.

    NM: way to rub it in!


  5. It's an oft used euphemism in these parts to describe a really bad day. It is not a comment on the state of the union in the Netherlands. GFAMT!.

  6. I'm leaning on the side that it's YOU in that picture up there. You just cropped out the chupas.

    First of all, you must feel really comfortable with us to tell us the gory details of your bathroom needs/adventure. I was DED though at the image of you pinching it in on the monorail. Absolutely ded.

    Fourth of all, the fact that you put that table in the elevator is full on funny. You aint right.

    Second of all, you seriously went for Casey's when the bakery was right behind you?

    On my trip to the World with Ashclan, I learned that she is NOT afraid to tell the people in front of her to put down the camera if they are holding it up and blocking your view. (btw Ash, I never thanked you for that. I hope that guy is enjoying the 805 pictures he took of the Nemo show)

    Third, I love the pictures. Thanks for taking me to DIsney this morning! (But no round of thanks for taking me to the bathroom with you too)

  7. You are welcome Frick. That guy was a tool. And I think it was actually 857 pictures....

    Wow, Z. Nothing for ages then two chapters within a week?! You’re on a roll! (Unlike Melons, who is on a role….inside joke.)

    So much to comment on. And I am really missing the quote feature right about now. I’ll do my best with the far inferior < b > method.

    First of all, I could’ve done without yet another intestinal explosion story. Maybe we all would’ve been better off if the Tonga Toast HAD been removed from the menu. Just during your trip, anyway. Plus I would’ve loved to have heard about that ZZUB freak out. I also rolled my eyes that poor lil Z was forced to barf in the trash barrel while her dad hogged the bathroom.

    I too enjoyed the table in the elevator story. I can just see you acting all mission-impossible-like and waving on all the unsuspecting elevator occupants until you got an empty one. The funniest part is that you would be the guy who would be totally P.O.ed if the elevator doors opened on your floor and you found a table just taking up space in YOUR elevator….

    ZZUB sad: 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.” DED. That had to be one of your TR readers.

    I miss Chef Mickey’s. And this line… Oh, it wasn’t like they were only serving graham crackers and grape jelly (NOGrandma) not only killed me but reminded me of my Nana’s holiday “appetizers” which invariably consisted of some jarred olives and pickles on a plate. Bless her, as Frick would say.

    Am I the only one who wonders why they don’t have hand dryers in the Splash bathrooms? It would be so very helpful. Especially when you are "lucky" enough to land in the front of the log.

    I had completely misunderstood what was going on should have been your TR title. Seems to be an ongoing theme here.


  8. Ashclan wrote, "The funniest part is that you would be the guy who would be totally P.O.ed if the elevator doors opened on your floor and you found a table just taking up space in YOUR elevator…"
    I can see how you'd reach that conclusion, but you couldn't be more wrong. I LOVE randomly placed pieces of furniture in elevators. Few thinks make me laugh as hard as an elevator door opening up and finding a table, a chair or a lamp inside. Also, room service trays in an elevator make me full on guffaw.

    Frick: rest assured if the morons with their cell phone cameras were blocking my view, I'd have said something. Years ago I caused a kerfuffle at that insipid Beauty and the Beast show b/c some dumbkis put his daughter on his shoulders.

    And Ash, don't be hating on Fox News for having an audience. Eventually you and the three other people who watch MSNBC will come off your Kool Aid high and return to real news.


  9. For the record, I very rarely watch MSNBC. Just as I very rarely watch Fox. For sheer entertainment value, of course.

    Jon Stewart, however, is my favorite "fake" newscaster ever. Saw him at the Grand Floridian on our last day, BTW. Had I not been so sick, and dealing with a transportation crisis at that particular moment, and had he not been with his family, I SO would've gone over to hug him. Or to propose. Love that man. And no, my husband doesn't mind. He's a pretty big fan himself :)

  10. At least we can identify Michelle Obama as, in fact, A WOMAN....(NOAnnCoulter)

  11. Excellent TR! I don't think it's just Casey's, the smell of any Main St. restaurant is like that. If they could actually make the food taste like a blend of fresh-baked cookies, cotton candy and fried animal fat, I'd never leave. That being said:

    ...I don't care what anyone says, it's really not the dress's fault,
    ...if you let her SHOOT the encyclopedias first then you might make a sale,
    ...wet socks in WDW beats the snot out of wet feet in MI, and;
    ...the only thing noteworthy about MSNBC is that approximately 1%-3% of the male population thinks Rachael Maddow is the most exciting, fresh-faced young man they've seen on TV since Fred Savage left the Wonder Years.

  12. ...the only thing noteworthy about MSNBC is that approximately 1%-3% of the male population thinks Rachael Maddow is the most exciting, fresh-faced young man they've seen on TV since Fred Savage left the Wonder Years.

    And THAT is the ballgame.

    I feel like this installment should have come with a warning label. I popped in the other day and I knew you'd written a new one. But I just got around to reading it today during lunch.

    I repeat: DURING LUNCH.

    Leftover BBQ chicken has never been so unappealing. At least I wasn't eating Tonga Toast. Balanced by the salt of the bacon.

    I'm so disgusted right now I'm going to throw up. In a garbage can, NOT the toilet. In honor of Little Z.

    I would say I really enjoyed this one but if I did, I'd be lying. It caused me intestinal issues from which I have yet to recover. In other words, I've got a sour stomach just THINKING about you blowin' it out while your daughter is forced to yak in the garbage can. Is this what it feels like to read one of MY TRs? If so, I'm sorry a million times!

    I hate that Little Z was sick, that's got to be miserable. But it sounds like yall were able to roll with it and enjoyed your time together in spite of all the issues.

    Love the pictures in this one. The water splash area looks pretty dang cool. Not Samawati Springs cool, but still. Cool enough. One question: what does that weird looking white rectangle do?

  13. Oh, and GB: we have a similar saying around these here parts. Only our version is slightly less vulgar. It's crotchety. If you're in a bad mood, you're having a crotchety day. Of course, we also put on our blinkers while we're headed to Wal-Mart to put ketchup and Coke (not soda or worse, POP) in our buggies.

    I'm DED over the mental image of ZZUB sneaking furniture on the elevator. Especially when the image is coupled with a little Mission Impossible theme song in the background.

    Yes, I watch too many movies.

  14. You know, I hear (or read, as the case may be) all of you talking about the zany hilarity of elephant boy putting the furniture in the elevator, but did you ever stop to think about it from the prospective of the table?

    There it sits in it's room day in and day out, nothing to do but wait for someone to drop a room key on it, or a fanny pack, or a slightly soggy park map. It hopes beyond hope the wetness of said map is from it's owner riding Splash Mountain or Kali, but it's so afraid that, in reality, it's only the remnants of the butt sweat that was transferred to the map from riding around in someones back pocket all day. I mean, come on, it lives in WDW for crying out loud. Just consider, for a moment, how sad it would be to live IN our happy place, but to never be able to visit a park...eat a dole whip...stank up the Canadian facilities...dare I say it...get a FP for Maelstrom?

    No...it has to sit there day after day after day and ponder weighty thoughts like whether or not it did something wrongly to be treated in such a fashion, or what the heck is up with this guy and all his ellipses? ... sorry, it's one of my MANY eccentricities.

    Then it happens. One day, as it's sitting there nestled snugly (and boringly) under the desk, someone comes and moves it out. It sighs quietly as it wonders what to what odd use it's new owners are going to put it this time. But then it gets moved further and further. It thinks, "Hey, why are they moving me this close to the door...what use could I possibly be over here?" What's this? They're opening the door?!? They're actually taking me out of the room?!?!? Oh Happy Day! I'm going to the parks. I'm going to participate in the Water Slide Olympics! I'm going to shop in Downtown Disney!! I'm going to actually get to own my very own park map, completely free of butt sweat!!! Wait...why have I stopped moving? Where are they going? No...don't close the door on me!!! Humiliated, it sits there for days, quietly crying to itself, contemplating the universal truth that no matter how bad you think things are, they can always get worse.

    Then, one day, the guy from across the hall comes by and stops. Hey, he's moving me! Where are we going? After a quick trip to the elevators and several seconds of the guy trying to act nonchalant and, frankly, looking pretty odd, it finally gets put on the elevator. It doesn't matter anymore if it will actually get to a park, or DTD, or anything. It's just getting off this God-forsaken floor. To see the lobby, to watch the happy faces of those checking in, to breathe the fresh air wafting through the doors...that will be heaven. It won't have to worry anymore about all those horrible fated it dreamed up on the many days where it just sat in that room. No one will ever again put a butt-sweaty map on it again. No one will use it to flagrantly disregard the rules and race down the halls on it's back again. No one will ever, and I mean EVER, make a coat out of it.

    Hmm? What? A table? *looks back at the original post* Ooohhhhh.....TABLE...I thought you said SABLE. You know, the species of marten which inhabits forest environments, and occasionally becomes the covering of a winter garment. Yeah...so...nevermind. Of course a table wouldn't think those things...they are inanimate objects. And to be perfectly honest...putting one on an elevator is pretty weird.


    P.S. Hi LaLa.

  15. MG wrote, "putting one on an elevator is pretty weird."

    Says the guy who six paragraphs about a table's thirst for freedom.

    All I'm saying is, next time you're in Disney World, if you find a randomly placed piece of furniture, a potted plant (NOJayCarney), a room service tray or a garbage can in the elevator, then look around for me. ZZUB's probably lurking about.

    My goal is to get one on the Monorail.


  16. MG - Well done my friend. That left me DED!

    Freaky coke and buggy borg LaLa!

  17. Hi M-A-S....T-E-R, a G with a double E. I never did say this but it's great to see you around here again. We've missed you!

    Z: Next time you're there, put one of your wet socks on the elevator. Or a bag of puke. Then train your video camera on the scene, step back, and wait for it. You'll make AFV's Greatest Hits show for sure.

  18. Now you have me wondering, just what exactly was the fate of the table? Did it make it to the lobby and race to freedom? Is it still randomly riding the elevator? Did something tragic happen to it and it is now haunting the CR Tower of Terror style? Or did some Dis Budget Boarder find it and haul it out to the minivan loaded with missing swap strollers and fridges???