Chris and I were lucky enough to sneak away this Labor Day weekend to our favorite easy, sunny getaway vacation-Walt Disney World. Yes, I know to some it may be the mecca of conglomerate evil, but it has a special place in our hearts because it was where Chris asked me to marry him. I know, I’m cheesy, but what can I say. It’s also a place where we can be kids again.
We had a relatively smooth flight (this time we went with Delta because it was cheaper) and got into Florida in less than 3 hours straight. Our flight was hilarious because a big family was going to Disney for their first time and it appeared to be their first flight ever. When we took off, all the kids squealed like they were on a roller coaster ride, a couple of adults cried “Dayyyyummmm!” and an older woman (grandma?) cried “Lord Jeeee-ssuss!!!”. We couldn’t help laughing.
It was DAMN hot every day when we got there, with heat indexes of 100 most days and a lot of humidity. Nevertheless we walked everywhere (we stayed in the shade and stayed hydrated and sun-blocked); we had to earn our ice cream calories somehow.
Nutritious food prospects in the Orlando region are less than favorable for vegetarians, and unfortunately becoming increasingly more so. It’s as if Florida isn’t trying to avoid becoming an obese state, they are trying to vie for this national title! Every where you went, there were all you can eat buffets at The Sizzler, IHOP and Steak n’Shake, and Krispy Kremes and KFCs up the Wazoo. We lucked out that the resorts and parks usually at least served a veggie burger, and in Orlando proper we at least could eat Indian food. We ate at a great Indian restaurant called Dakshin, and we also lucked out veggie-wise at their Mexican chain called Chevy’s. At the airports, we could only find greasy veggie burgers at Burger King. But hey, beggars can’t be choosers, and we definitely felt more like “beggars” this time. Although, we at least had ice cream. So we weren’t too upset.
We stayed at one of the “value” resorts at Disney, Pop Century. A stay there is relatively quite cheap, however you have to keep in mind that you kind of get what you pay for. Meaning that bus services to all aspects of Disney from the resort were very slow and often crammed with as many people as possible. Eating at the resort cafeteria left you feeling like herded cattle. It is crowded and noisy but it’s a place to sleep. We made the unfortunate discovery on our first night that we were placed in what is called an “adjoining room”, meaning there is a doorway from one room to the other. If you don’t rent both the door is kept locked, however you can easily hear your neighbors. We lucked out by being next to the LOUDEST, most obnoxious family ever. The parents screamed at their kids all night long and the kids whined and yelled back. It was a regular red-neck riot. We didn’t sleep a wink. Luckily the next day the resort kindly switched us to another, non-adjoining room without a problem. Phew….
On our first full day at Disney, we headed over to one of the waterparks (Tyhpoon Lagoon). It was nice just to sit in the lazy river all day on one of the hottest days there. We didn’t even get sunburned! That night we went to the movies and saw “Stardust”. It was a very underrated, cute fairy tale film! (And not cute as in cutesy…guys can handle this one too).
Our second full day we spent at our favorite little private beach at the Fort Wilderness resort, Clementine Beach. We sat under a shady tree in the sand and read…until it started pouring rain! Luckily we hopped a ferry back to catch our bus just in time…
Our third day we headed over to Animal Kingdom. Animal Kingdom houses an actual wildlife refuge and focuses on teaching conservation. There are four “countries” with hiking trails along each displaying animals in their most realistically-mimicked habitats. Several endangered species seek refuge here. We got to see some pretty amazing animals up close, including Black Rhinos, apes and bengal tigers. The apes were hilarious, just chilling lazily in the sun, so human-like. The tigers hung out in a wading pool in the shade to keep cool. We also saw hippos, meerkats, okapi and an antelope-like creature called a scimitar-horned ork. It was pretty damn awesome to be there.
Later on in the day we hopped over to the Magic Kindgom to ride a small handful of rides. Unfortunately, our absolute favorite the Haunted Mansion was closed for refurbishment (what…isn’t it supposed to LOOK like a shambles???). We did get to ride on The Pirates of the Carribean, and Buzz Lightyear (Chris was happy to beat my score at defeating the evil robots and Zurg!). We also went on a new Monster’s Inc themed ride (The Laugh Room) and visited one of Walt’s oldest inductions to Disney World, the Carousel of Progress.
Our feet were sore but we had a great day.
Day four was our last full day (boo hoo!). We took “sad” pictures, had Ghirardelli’s iced mocha took a long walk to get Indian food and then forgot that it was closed on a Monday (at least we got exercise), and bought some small souvenirs (we always buy a Disney ornament when we go).
All in all we were lucky to get away for a nice time at a memorable place.
I must also add that sometimes a trip to Florida can make you realize just how DUMB some people are. I know we all do stupid things (hello, Queen of doing dumb things talking right here), but some things just take the cake. I hate to say it, but Florida is mostly a “red” state, and I think it goes without saying…well, here are some examples.
There is not one, not two but SEVERAL evangelical channels out of a small handful of channels available to watch at the Disney resort. These are not the calm, introspective religious monologues..oh no…these are “fire and brimstone”, show us your money and we’ll heal ya bible banging programs! One program claimed that only buy buying their special brand of blessed holy water can you be saved…another that you could be saved by buying their special album of healing music. The so called “witnesses” of good deeds on the program were so fake and appeared to be salivating for their promised “crack-if- you-do- this- evangelism- commercial” fix.
Speaking of evangelism, apparently one church in Florida thought that they could speak to volumes of people by sky-writing. Instead of spending those precious hundreds of dollars on feeding the poor or helping the hopeless and reaching more people that way, they decided to waste it on a few seconds of “air-time”, in which a pilot sloppily wrote “Trust Jesus” in the sky over Downtown Disney. He did such a terrible job and the weather was so foggy that in a few seconds the letters started to dissipate, so that to an onlooker the disappearing letters merely spelled out “RUST JESUS” in the sky….
We witnessed a group of people trying to cross the street when the “walk” signal was obviously blaring. The mother told the children not to cross (even though it was perfectly fine to!) because she saw a sign that read “no turn on red” by the crosswalk. (Lady. That…was for TRAFFIC!!!!! DUH!!!!).
Oy vey…we could go on and on. We witnessed people complaining about the most ridiculous things. There wasn’t enough cheese sauce on their whoppers (Sir, you already look like the Michelin Man; I think you could do without the cheese sauce and lose a few tires!). The bus didn’t come fast enough and they had to stand for 5 minutes, people didn’t bow down to their bratty children’s every request. . It made us want to scream “PEOPLE! You are on VACATION!!! Chilll OUT!!!”. Ugh…oh wait a minute, this was supposed to be post about what a NICE, RELAXING vacation our Florida trip was….sorry, I got sidetracked on an angry tangent there.
(sheepishly backs away…)
Pics to come soon!