“Don’t you realize? The next time you see sky, it’ll be over another town. The next time you take a test, it’ll be in some other school. Our parents, they want the best of stuff for us. But right now, they got to do what’s right for them. Because it’s their time. Their time! Up there! Down here, it’s our time. It’s our time down here.” – The Goonies
Well, it was the third and final day of going into the parks for us. I can honestly say for the first time that I am not sad about it being the end. We woke up casually at the Grand Floridian and ate our breakfast in bed. I think Zelda approved of the french toast Angela ate because she was kicking a bit afterwards. I have still yet to feel her kick myself, but I will take Angela’s word for it.
I continued to keep it casual and checked out at around 10:30am. Shocker for my lovely wife. This is the first trip that I have not gone 1,000 mph with her. Normally, I would be staring Angela down at six in the morning, waiting for her to get up and get moving. It is certainly different, but in a good way. Even last year with our two friends from Norfolk, I was a little more “on the ball” to go hard and fast all day. As I get older, I realize I can’t do the 14-hour marathon days I am famous for anymore. I don’t think there are shoes comfortable enough for that, at least in this weather down here.
We got into Epcot around 11am. First up was my favorite area of the park: The Land. We rode my favorite ride, Living with the Land, first. It’s probably one of the most boring rides in the Disney Parks repertoire, but I love it. The wall paintings near the entrance of the ride look vaguely like Soviet propaganda, which makes it even better because it’s sponsored by Chiquita Bananas. There is an academic paper on corporate sponsorship and Disney in there somewhere, but no time. What’s not to love? It’s educational, relaxing, and the end song on the ride is totally bitching. Who doesn’t like to learn about fruits and vegetables from other countries, and the latest techniques of how to grow tomatoes? I guess I was a farmer in my former life. That or Joan or Arc.
Our last ride we went on was Soarin’, which is also located in The Land. Angela was super excited, as it was her only “thrill ride” because she is pregnant. My favorite part of the ride is when you travel through orange groves and smell it coming out into the ride. It reminds me of Horizons, a ride that used to do something similar when it was around until 1999. Vintage Epcot stuff is like crack to me.
We took advantage of the Food and Wine Festival one last time and took a stroll around the World Showcase. I was done with alcohol (I had my share the other night at Trader Sam’s), so I stuck to the food. I had a chicken gyro from Greece, Mongolian beef sliders from China, one of course the lamb meatball from New Zealand (my personal favorite). Thankfully, we bought a cookbook that has the Disney recipe for the meatballs in it. That way they won’t haunt my dreams for the rest of my life. Angela had a shrimp taco from Mexico and the richest macaroni and cheese I have ever tasted from the Florida stand. Thank God we have walked nearly ten miles each day during this trip. By 3pm, we were both ready to leave. The sky was getting dark and we were both ready for a nap. I said my final goodbyes to Epcot and we headed back to our condo. We leave for Alexandria tomorrow. No regrets. I can’t wait to see my kitty and puppy.
Disney Never Says Die
I wanted to make this post a little introspective. After all, this will likely be the last time I will be writing about going to Disney for quite a while. The biggest question I am always asked when I tell friends that I am once again going to Disney every year is, “why?” Why go to the same place you have been for the past four years? Why deal with the extreme heat or the unpredictable weather? Why spend so much money to do the same things over and over again?
It could be easy to just say none of your damn business, but there is more to it. I feel the need to explain myself a little bit. When we were down here in Orlando at Disney, or occasionally at Universal, it was our time. It was our time to do what we wanted to, whether that be riding the Haunted Mansion five times in a row or pounding liquor drinks at the Backstage Cafe in MGM Studios. This trip was our way of saying goodbye to doing it all for us.
When we come back, it will not be our time. It will be Zelda’s time. It will all be for her. This was the last time we could say we were going down here for ourselves. I can’t wait to come back with her. For better or worse, everything will be different. The familiar smell of the pavement after it rains will be different. The sound of laughter and crying. Living with the Land will be an educational experience for my daughter that I can use to teach her about growing things. I can see her reaction when she drinks the Beverly soda and grimace (hopefully). It’s all going to be attached to something I made with Angela. There is a beauty in it that I can’t completely explain. I think anybody who is a parent might be able to sympathize with what I am saying and hear my sympathetic vibrations (a little Haunted Mansion humor). It’s going to be beautiful when the 1,000th happy haunt comes into our world next year.
Looking forward to the future. This was a perfect vacation getaway and way to say goodbye to “our time.” Back to reality tomorrow.
But it was not THIS KID’S TIME. Not yet.