Apparently I took the summer off. I was writing in my head the whole time and if you'd been brushing up on your psychic mind-reading skills then we'd have been on the same page all along. But I get the sneaking suspicion you haven't been brushing up on anything over the past two months apart from your laundry and drinking skills, and no I'm not projecting my summer onto you, thank you very much.
In any case, there is a lot to catch up on. I've got blogmania going on in my head and I will share one at a time.
I'm going to start with what I promised I'd start with, which is one fascinating trip to Orlando, Florida.
Maybe you know some Floridians, maybe you don't. I do, and I'm not judging them or anyone else who is from there. I know as well as anyone that freaks reside worldwide, and I'm not singling out Orlando, all I'm saying is that I'd rather live on the West Coast, even with all of California's warts. The humidity alone can send me running away from the East coast. Nobody needs to look like Gilda Radner* on a daily basis, except of course, her husband Willy Wonka**.
Let's begin, shall we?
1. Disney World was constructed on the surface of the sun. I shit you not, it's like standing in a furnace surrounded by sticky strangers who have no spatial awareness. Or as Eight and Nine described, "it's like being a wooly mammoth in a ski jacket, three pairs of tights and uggs, in a hot frying pan in the oven, surrounded by heaters with the puppy laying on you in the sun." The girls are on point -- and we were on fire -- for three days.
2. Before you get excited about "driving" the cars on the Tomorrowland Speedway, because it's the only ride where the line is less than 25 minutes long, you should know that when you finally get to the staircase that takes you to the racetrack, you will actually be walking down the staircase which leads into the molten core of the sun. Or the fiery depths of hell, whichever is hotter.
3. You know those parents who force their young daughters to stand in line for a roller coaster ride that they are outwardly terrified to go on? The daughters that cry and shake their head no and beg to get out of line repeatedly until the littler kids standing in line behind them aren't even pretending not to stare anymore? For the ride that touts their broken tracks and an angry, hungry yeti and a backward spiral? Well, look for us on the cover of Bad Parent Magazine next month because we are those parents.
4. Obviously we didn't learn our lesson from the yeti because we stepped right into another long line for another roller coaster with our traumatized kids. (What? They came off the yeti ride and said they liked it. Okay, one of them did, but that's a good percentage.) And when we finally got to the VERY front of the line, with one foot raised and ready to step into the rocket that was poised to spin us around Space Mountain with our sweaty, screaming children, do you know what happened? Kid Karma struck in the form of a Florida lightening storm, the ride shut down, and everyone - including our suddenly giggling, relieved girls - was escorted out of the building. Well played, Mother Nature. Well played.
5. Disney World is a hillbilly magnet. We started to feel like we had an overabundance of teeth and too few children to be in good standing. We saw all kinds of crazy stuff that you don't see on a regular basis where we live. Skinny dads with wife beater tanks on, and what are apparently the requisite bandaids over his nipples, because, you know, chafing. Ladies making important fashion missteps...okay, close your eyes and picture cottage cheese packed into a balloon. Then merge that image with a lower back tattoo showcased atop tight white short shorts, and you've got yourself an image of our view for three days. Exhausted, overheated children crying up at their parents from their stroller because they drank all their Mountain Dew and finished their pixie sticks already, and exhausted, overheated parents staring down at them like, Why are these little strangers screaming at me?
6. If you too decide to go to Disney World over the Fourth of July week because you enjoy the feeling of being incinerated, listen here. When a smiling staff member tells you the best fireworks show is at Hollywood Studios, tell her she's full of shit and don't feel bad for even one second. Because if you don't, you'll ride your umpteenth shuttle bus of the day to get there 5 minutes early. But upon arrival, you'll realize you're actually 10 minutes late, and then you'll spend the next 15 minutes craning your neck from outside Hollywood Studios trying to get a good glimpse of the end of the show, because the park is too full to let just four more people in. Then when you're waiting in line for your umpteenth+1 shuttle bus, you'll hear something and turn around to see the back view of the REAL fireworks show you would have seen if that staff member had known what she was talking about, over at Epcot Center, where the lights and fireworks are going apeshit in a finale that makes you want to sing the National Anthem before you go to bed, and you would, except you can't remember the words due to extreme dehydration, because you have been sweating down the backs of your legs for three days, and still are, although it's now 10:30pm.
7. BUT. After all that. On the shuttle bus back to the hotel, where there are no seats and you're packed in like sardines, something happens. Two little girls sitting next to us who are obviously still in the throes of a sugar high start singing "Call Me Maybe". It's cute and we're cooling off, so we start humming along (much to the embarrassment of our kids, but more on that in a second). The women behind us in their twenties, who to this point have been speaking French the whole time stop their conversation, and they start singing along too. And I started to think, You know, it's okay that my shoulders are numb from this backpack and that I'm covered in a layer of dirty sweat for the third day in a row, because this IS the happiest place on earth! Music is the international equalizer!! We are all connected!!! Kumbaya, people!!!!
8. I learned a lot from our time in Orlando. For example, Disneyland is better than Disney World. Also, popsicles slide off their stick in 30 seconds when you're standing on the sun. But one of the best things I learned was that I can embarrass my kids from coast to coast. Although, Nine admitted after what we'd seen there that I'm nowhere near the most embarrassing mom on earth. She said it out loud, too. BOOM.
I think that sums it up.
*Young 'uns: Gilda Radner was a funny, funny woman (before she died of a terrible, terrible disease) who played funny, funny characters on a television show called Saturday Night Live, which you may have heard of recently when your favorite new band (that I've never heard of) performed on their stage. Not that you're home on a Saturday night at 11:35...but you know, hulu and whatnot.
**Not Johnny Depp. You're so cute when you're bewildered. Keep going. There you go! Gene Wilder. As frizztastic as they come. Perfect match for Gilda.