Monday, July 24, 2006

another 48 hours.....

...and i'll be at "the happiest place on earth".

no, no- that was neither a reference to val kilmer's boudoir (yeah- wouldn't know about that one) or the inside of matthew mcconaughey's airstream trailer (ditto)- i'm talking about that 47-square mile mickeytropolis down in florida.

as you may have guessed by the mention of my favorite amusement park ride anywhere in yesterday's post, i'm getting a little excited about this latest vacation.....and only partially because it's already paid for and i didn't have to put any of it on my credit card*, thus freeing it up for the purchase of ridiculous amounts of souvenirs when i'm down there.

this'll be my third visit to disneyworld, the first being when i was seven and my sibling was 5, and the second being my third year of college, when my sibling was stationed down in pensacola, florida.

the first time we went to disneyworld was probably the best, and it'll probably remain my favorite visit, even after this upcoming trip. i remember we went down in february. i think it was during "energy conservation week", though we may have had to take a few days off from school for our trip. (some of the deatils get a little fuzzy after 20 years have passed.)

it took daddy, diana and i two days to drive from our home in woodlawn (near baltimore) maryland to the koa kampground outside of the park. i remember we spent the night somewhere in south carolina (off of I-95, i'm sure, though i'm uncertain as to exactly where), where we ate barbecue and daddy conversed with our neighbors at the campground. (i clearly recall him asking if i'd noticed that he spoke to her with a southern accent. just as clearly, i recall saying that no, i hadn't noticed any accent.) we left the campground relatively early the next morning, with a couple of additions to my wardrobe. it seems the southerners daddy had conversed with took a liking to us, and somehow i wound up with two slightly used short jumpsuits in good condition. (i'd offer up a photo or two, as i wore those outfits pretty much constantly for the year that followed, but quite frankly, sharing photographic evidence of my nerdy youth just isn't high on my list of things to do.)

i don't remember too much about the koa kampground, except that there was a pool, and my sibling and i spent a fair amount of time in it each night, after we left the park. each morning, we'd take a shuttle from the campground to disneyworld, which saved a fair bit of time and hassle....assuming we were ready when the shuttle came. (we usually were, mostly because we were too excited about being at disneyworld to sleep all that much.)

during the mid-80s, when we first visited the park, there were only two sections to disneyworld. there was the magic kingdom, of course, as well as epcot center, which was pretty new at the time. we liked the magic kingdom well enough (after all, that's where the haunted mansion was), but i think epcot held more appeal for us, at least at the time anyway. upon entering epcot center, you wind up passing underneath a giant sphere. inside that sphere was my sibling's favorite ride...i think it's called "spaceship:earth", but i'll have to double check for accuracy in a couple of days.

it's probably important to note that back in those days, my sister harbored dreams of becoming an astronaut, and i think she still would to this day, were it not for the math and science requirements.

aside from my sister's obsession with spaceship:earth, a couple other memories of epcot stand out:

~while we were in the world showcase area of the park, an older woman (probably in her 20s at the time) screamed out "morocco", and rolled her "r"s, a talent i've never been able to master, much to the dismay of every spanish teacher i've ever had. (rolling "r"s, not screaming out "morocco", which i can do on demand, though i'm afraid the occasion just doesn't arise very often.)

~also in the world showcase, daddy bought each of us a souvenir. my sister picked out a small italian flag (we're a quarter italian, thanks to mama), and i picked out a german flag (some undetermined fraction on daddy's side). to say we weren't overindulged would be an understatement, and that was (and still is) perfectly fine with us. in fact, the goal is to buy as few souvenirs as possible this time, unless of course, they have


we loved that purple dragon. he was in an exhibit on imagination in epcot. i was absolutely, completely, and totally heartbroken during my last visit to epcot, seven years ago, to find that the exhibit had been replaced by "honey, i shrunk the audience", which, in my opinion (which could have been affected by my broken heart, i suppose), sucked. in fact, i was so mad about the switch that after we exited the show, i went to the nearest gift shop and bought everything figmenty i could find.

which reminds me- sibling, if you're reading this- and i know you are, i have not forgotten about the kidnapping of my plush figment.

~finally, perhaps my fondest epcot memory, though it was terribly embarrassing at the time:
there we were, in the american section of the world showcase. there was a show involving a whole bunch of patriotic folks singing and dancing, and at one point, naming all the states in the union. i think we were supposed to clap or cheer when our state was mentioned, and everyone did, through the first 49 states. (at least i assume they went in alphabetical order, though i probably will be corrected by daddy and/or sibling on that one.)

"wait a minute," you're saying, "aren't there fifty states?"

yes- there most certainly are. the last one alphabetically just happens to be.....

(oh, come on- you know this)

(really, you do- even if you might now necessarily be able to pick it out on a map)

".......west virginia.....wisconsin.....wyoming."

and with that last state, a voice in the crowd - mortifyingly, belonging to my dad- let out the loudest "YEE-HAW!" in the history of "yee-haw"s.

i'm rather shy by nature, anyway, but having several members of the cast of this patriotic little show afterwards was just.....well, i pretty much wished i could just blend in to the floor, or daddy's leg, or the nearest pillar- anything.

we skipped the show the last time we went to disneyworld, but if it's still in production this time around, i'm dragging daddy to it. we've discussed the "yeehaw"ing of twenty years ago, and he seems hesitant to repeat the outburst, though i'm still kind of hoping he'll do it....mostly because i'm not sure i have the guts to do it just yet. (i can, by right- after all, wyoming was the first state i lived in, and my social security number starts with a wyoming prefix.)

okay- enough of least for a couple of days, anyway. (yes, i'm planning on taking my laptop with me so i can upload pictures and perhaps bang out a post or two while i'm there.)

i don't remember nearly as much about my first trip to the magic kingdom as i do about epcot. the pirates of the caribbean ride was closed, but we spent time instead at the haunted mansion (have i mentioned how much i love that ride? just a little.), tom sawyer's island, and the swiss family robinson's tree house, which was memorable both because we wound up pretty far off the ground and there was a young (20ish) couple in line near us wearing these cutesy t-shirts printed with something to the effect of "i'm with him/her", with an arrow underneath the phrase. (for the record, one said "i'm with him", and the other said "i'm with her", they didn't both say "i'm with him/her" or anything like that. somehow i doubt there's too much of that sort of gender-bending fun in those parts- especially in the mid-80s, at least involving this particular couple.)

even back then, i swore i would never, ever, ever be caught dead in a shirt like that. (ever!)

i certainly don't have any memories quite like that about my trip in college. though i went with dad and his wife, i spent most of the time off doing my own thing, like going through the haunted mansion four or five times in a row (did i mention....?), finally riding on the pirates of the caribbean (lots of pirates and fire), avoiding the "it's a small world" ride like the plague (i swear, even reading the words gets that excruciatingly annoying song stuck in my head.)...sure, i remember lots of other stuff (like the overamorous piglet, who kept following me around. when i told sibling about it, she cracked that piglet must've been a lesbian, as that's what i tend to attract.), but nothing strongly enough to dull the memories of the earlier trip.

so, i suppose it'll be interesting to see what i come up with this time around. we're staying in far fancier digs than either of the previous visits (quite frankly, i'd be just as happy in a tent by the pool at the koa, but not everyone in our group is willing to "rough it", even if it'd save a ton of money), and we won't be sharing funnel cakes, like we did the first time. (one of sibling's, notsomuch, though i do enjoy the powdered sugar off the top.) most importantly, due to her recent decision to become a grownup and buy a house and whatnot, my sister won't be joining us, which i suppose would mean there's no need for funnel cake anyway, as:

1. i'm not sure how well they keep and travel
2. especially when someone (who, of course, shall remain nameless) has licked off all of the powdered sugar.

*except for my tickets to the cirque du soleil show, that is, but since SO's ticket takes care of one of those gift-giving occasions (flag day), it counts as "gift shopping", not "vacation expenses".


DrM2B said...

I demand pics of you in ears!!! Have a great time!

Motherdear said...

I want to have drm2b's body!

Never mind...I wouldn't know what to do with it, anyway.

sibling said...

remember, any of the characters that case after you this time are probably women too...enjoy!!!!! (insert evil laughter)