I need to write.
The trip to Orlando was a good one. Made it to the gate by the skin of our teeth (both ways!), but made it we did. The weather was lovely: cloudless, sunny days in the 70s-80s. Four days at the Universal parks and a couple days at Disney, and saw and rode on all the attractions we'd planned/intended. Very, very stress free for the most part, which is...frankly...amazing. No explosive arguments or catastrophes, and we even picked up a bunch of merch that we were (somehow) able to fit in our carry-ons without checking a single bag (we hate checking bags).
Lot of sickness, though. I picked up a sinus infection on the plane ride there, and it took me a couple days to get over it (but I managed). Then my daughter caught a cold the second to last day we were there and was able to pass it on to my wife and I just as we were pulling up stakes. Now back in Seattle, my daughter is on the mend, I'm, mm, pretty rough, and my wife is sick as a dog. However, tests show all four of us are negative for Covid, so there's that.
["masking" is not on the menu in Orlando. In six days at theme parks among thousands of people we saw exactly one mask on one employee (to be fair, we weren't wearing them either, outside the airport). But we saw a LOT of coughing and sneezing people, and plenty of snot-nosed children. I get it: you drop a load of cash on a Disney vacation and you're not going to skip it because you got a sniffle. Probably, I'm just germ-phobic in these post-pandemic times, but it's nice to be back in Seattle where no one bats an eye if you decide to wear a mask to the grocery store...hey, man, I'm protecting YOU, too]
Longest wait time for a ride was 2+ hours for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Second longest was about an hour plus for (tie between Jungle Cruise and Space Mountain). I do not like waiting in lines, but it is far easier to do with your family than solo (as I did with Space Mountain). But 2.5 hours definitely tries your patience, even with company. I mean, it really, really does. Probably a good idea to bring a cheap paperback novel.
Most disappointing ride: Pirates of the Caribbean. I've been to Disney Land thrice in my life (once in Tokyo!) but never Disney World and not for 30+ years. Pirates has long been my favorite ride, and DW's version was: crap. I mean, it's obnoxious anyway that they've had to insert animatronic Johnny Depp into multiple scenes because of the stupid movies (at least I didn't have to see animatronic Orlando Bloom)...but the ride is SHORT...they cut out whole scenes from the DL ride, characters that were the basis for the original movie (like the bomb dude), all the undead/ghost stuff and...I don't know. It felt cheap and chintzy. And I just heard they're getting rid of the original ride at Disney Land, too, changing it for "Jake the Pirate" which is just...*sigh.* I guess what counts as "adventure" for AdventureLand in the 21st century isn't the same as the 20th. Don't scare the kiddies with grim brutes and bloody cutlasses. Heavens!
The Magic Kingdom did seem geared to a younger audience. Asking for a beer in LibertyTown, the colonial-dressed cashier told me point blank "There will be no alcohol in the Magic Kingdom" in an ominous tone of voice. Like, none? Quite the contrast with Universal's theme parks, where the tourists are walking around with double-fisted pints from 9 in the morning. I mean, that's the way to wait in line (assuming it curls by a restroom).
[DW's other parks...like Disney Hollywood...were a bit looser than Magic Kingdom in this regard. Though I heard from an Uber driver that a flight of beers at the SW Cantina costs $85! Holy-moly! Most of the booze cost $12 from what I saw, but I'm not sure the additional $6 shot of rum would save that blue milk. Not my taste]
ANYway, all bitchin-moaning aside, we had a splendid time. Not sure if I'm a fan of the whole 3D/4D rides, as THOSE things made me far more queasy than ANY of the roller-coasters (especially that Escape From Hogwarts thing that the kids made me go on...twice! Nearly tossed my cookies every time we zoomed onto the Quidditch field). But those were mostly at Universal, where you could always grab a beer or a Bloody Mary to settle your stomach afterwards. And beautiful, sunny weather to stand around and drink it in (he says as he looks at the wind and hail...hail!...outside)...the fam had me cooking asado last night for Fat Tuesday and I was grilling in the pouring rain!
By the way, shout out to our hotel, the Cabana Bay (part of Universal) with its 1960s retro-modern vibe. Wow. Loved it...every bit of it. It was like a theme park unto itself (that theme being "1965"). But an extremely relaxing one.
The one thing I didn't do much of, however, was writing. Oh, I had the chance to do some writing...mostly on the six hour plane rides. But a lot of it was just...mm...not "mean-spirited," so much as just negative. I find, more-and-more, that a lot of what I'm inclined to write about (at least, with regard to commentary) is poking holes in things that others praise...or bringing a hammer to things that others are "okay" with.
I know, I know...I've blogged before about wanting to be constructive and positive, rather than destructive and negative. I don't really want to start singing that song again.
But it occurs to me that maybe there's a purpose for my negativity. Maybe.
Still, it's Lent and I want to practice a little restraint. Yes, I have one or two half-cocked (well, half-penned) rants waiting to be fired off, but I think I want to get a little more above the weather before I post 'em to Ye Old Blog. Just to make sure my heart's in the right place, I want to make sure my head is clear and non-stuffed.
[okay, now it's freaking snowing. Jeez]
This weekend...well, tomorrow, actually...the fam is headed out west to Port Angeles. My uncle recently passed away, and while there's no formal funeral or memorial (as my father told me long ago, folks in Port Angeles "never really took much to religion") there's a "get together" of friends and family at a (kid friendly) tavern. Very Port Angeles.
[yes, in Port Angeles they're called "taverns," not bars or pubs, at least by the locals. Most places tend to have a nautical theme to it as well...restaurants have names like The Hook & Line or Smuggler's Landing or 48 Degrees North. My grandfather...and late uncle...ran a tavern called The Wreck for decades...]
SO, I'll be gone this weekend (again) starting tomorrow, and I've got a bunch of packing and whatnot to do before then, as well as a D&D session to prep/run. So...maybe regular blogging to resume again on Monday? I'm hoping.
Hey...at least I didn't give up blogging for Lent this year.
Later, ya' land-lubbers!