Thursday, December 23, 2010

Orlando Vacation Day Four

Wow. Amazing to think this vacation as just about a month ago...
Animal Kingdom! Just over halfway done with our vacation at this point and I think we were all showing signs of wear. But we arrived at a new park ready to tackle it. At this point we had finally figured out the whole fast pass thing and knew to zoom our way to the Safari to retrieve fast passes first.

It is a difficult concept to understand if you haven’t been there. Why would I get a fast pass when the sign says it is only a 20 minute wait? I am here, right now! Well because the wait time isn’t always correct and there are a lot of things to do that have no wait. Get your fast passes and then walk over and do those things instead of stand in line. Then when your time slot comes up, walk on the ride. Yes, it took me a few days to figure this out – apparently I am a bit slow. Friends told me to use the fast pass system, but I didn’t really get why until I was there.

We hung out in Africa, the kids loved the giant toads, the hippos and the gorillas. There was a new baby gorilla that weighed in at a whopping 9 lbs who was the most adorable little thing on the face of the earth as she clung to her mama’s belly. Kind of made my uterus ache a bit…

Anyways, moving on.
Giant Toad: (The bowl is like a big dog bowl... not some little kitty cat bowl.)

The Safari was fun and a nice way to see a bunch of animals in a matter of minutes as we pretended to be chasing poachers. We caught up with our friends briefly at this point before dividing up to conquer different things and the intent to meet up later. Which actually never panned out, but that was ok.

We headed over to the raft ride where I read the warnings that you WILL get wet and you MAY get soaked. This is where AB assured me once again, that I wasn’t going to get that wet. And I certainly didn’t need to spend $7 on a rain poncho. Well, I could if I wanted…

And at that point I was so tired of being nickeled and dimed that I decided I was NOT forking over money for a rain poncho after reminding myself I was not wearing white.

The woman in front of us didn’t check this. She was wearing white. She was also a bit weird in that she talked endlessly about how she always eats the entire apple, seeds included, the seeds have a nice almondy flavor and she wished that stores would sell apple seeds to top your salad with. I debated.

Do I admit to eavesdropping on her conversation to tell her that that nice almondy flavor comes from cyanide? Stores will never sell apple seeds because they are poisonous?

Anyways, finally we were on the ride. Even Skadi got to ride this one.

Let’s just say that Skadi was the only one who escaped getting absolutely soaked.

$7 didn’t seem quite so expensive when you are drenched from head to foot.
We had Fast Passes for this one and AB and Leif rode it again. Skadi and I did NOT.

AB headed over to secure fast passes for the Dinosaur ride while I took the kids and headed to the Tusker House for our lunch reservations.

Tusker House = the best food we ate on our family vacation hands down. I did have some great Italian and Cuban food with RAB before the actual vacation portion started. Anyways, it was an African buffet that was amazing. The only bad part was listening to Skadi scream about not having picked THE plate. THAT plate was blue, not pink and she wanted the PINK one and I had already put food on the BLUE plate. And if you know Skadi you know that nothing will fix this. Switching to the pink plate and dumping all the food and starting new won’t fix it. My bad. Temper tantrum-ville. Regardless AB and I enjoyed our food immensely and toyed with the notion of just hanging out there… all afternoon, grazing.

Except that we were given reserved seats for the Finding Nemo show. I believe this is a ploy to ensure people don’t just hang out all afternoon. So we finished up and raced to Finding Nemo. Amazing. Truly amazing and one of the highlights of the trip.

AB and Leif hit the Dinosaur ride with two of the fast passes while Skadi and I waited outside. Skadi found these "pretty berries". She wasn't kidding. They are pretty. She wanted me to taste them and see if they were good. I declined though.

AB and Leif got off the ride and we decided that I would go on it with Leif again. “It wasn’t too bad,” AB told me, “just a bit loud. Nothing that will make you sick.”

This was also the wrong thing to do and I should have noticed Leif’s slight hesitation. As we were getting on the ride he started freaking out and admitted he just wanted to hang out with me, not actually ride this ride again. It was scary and loud. And loud doesn’t begin to describe it. I am positive our ES&H person would never sign off on that ride.

And so Leif spent the ride buried in my armpit.

At this point we realized the time. And as was par for the course we realized we had intended to head back to the hotel for a swim about 2 hours before this point and finally hopped on the shuttle bus.

On the way back my phone was ringing… a call with the same prefix as my work. Of course I wasn’t going to answer it. (Though I would check the message after it came through.) AB pulled out his phone and asked me, “what number did you say that was?” He had a call from the same number.

That is when things start get concerning since it was definitely an area phone number. And we don’t work for the same companies, so for both of us to get calls from the same number… a bit disconcerting.

AB was the first to get to his voicemail and his jaw dropped.

I started freaking out nudging him for details. What’s going on? I can only imagine the worst. A terrorist attack?

He keeps telling me, “just a second” and the dang voicemail hasn’t come through on my phone yet. (AT&T service in Orlando was spotty at best.) I am going nuts.

Finally he hangs up and says, “I just got a job offer”. (Mystery of the phone call to my phone? My sister in law had given them my phone number after they had called the house.)

We got back and I took the kids for a quick swim so AB could return the call and get the details before we went and got ready for our dinner out at Boma with friends.

Boma was nice. The food was good, definitely the second best we had at Disney, but it wasn’t as stunning as I had hoped for. It was African buffet as well. Skadi was carrying a plate at the buffet when it slipped right out of her hands and broke. The woman cleaned it up and then brought her a light up Tinkerbell to make her feel better since she "looked so sad".


I didn’t tell Leif why she ended up with another Tinkerbell. I was afraid there would be a dishes flying.

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