Friday, August 31, 2007

I thought I was so brilliant. I thought I had it all figured out.

Turns out I did but the world is out to get me.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

2 shabbos puns

1. I was informed by my host that there was a large bottle of vodka in the freezer, so I said "take me to your liter."

2. We were concerned that an urn had ashes of a dearly departed relative, so we asked (ready? this will be funnier to Ashkenazim)

"If we knock this over, will there be a 'mess' on the floor?"

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Last Thoughts

First, a pun.

When I went to the soda concession in Disney, the guy anticipated that I wanted my Diet Coke poured into a cup.

It was uncanny.

OK, I got that out of my system.

On the last day of our trip, we opted for a water park -- Typhoon Lagoon, to be exact. I had bought the tickets that had the water park admissions pre-paid and by gum, I intended to use that. The usual pre-events of packing and parking went smoothly and the weather called for "surface of the sun" type heat. The perfect day for a water park.

Well, once we walked from the car to the park, already sweating profusely, we realized thatonce inside, we couldn't shlep the bags of food and our clothes all over the place and, as we had already checked out of the hotel, we had no towels with us. So when I went to change in the locker room, I also rented a "large" locker (by large, they mean more expensive but similarly sized. It is a technical word.) and two towels. I jammed everything into the locker, got changed and went back to buy over-priced floppies for my feet. The camera got left behind in the locker so that it wouldn't get wet so we have few memories of the day.

The major attraction is a HUGE wave pool. You can swim up and get crushed by a wave, or stay near the back and get crushed by a wave. We also got to laze around the park in an inflatable 1-person raft and go on a family rafting trip (45 minute wait in the sun for 30 seconds in the raft). And we kept going back to the wave pool. I got scratched up after being dragged along the bottom, elbowed in the head and swamped by all the waves. It was loads of fun. The kids liked it too. Well, one liked it and one hated it. And during the day, I stood in the pool for a while feeling warmer and warmer.

Eventually, we made it to the airport, got pulled for secondary screening (AGAIN) and had flight delays for 2 hours while Newark airport looked at radar maps and worried about rain which was expected in 7 hours. A plane ride and a taxi later, we were home and have been living here ever since.

Of course, then I realized that my entire upper body had turned a pretty shade of red. The burn started burning and I haven't slept well since.

Pictures will be available when we finish assembling the online album, so we can relive this vacation all the time. Oh great.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Gone to the Movies

Today was the day we went to MGM Grand/Disney Studios. This had all the earmarks of a wonderful day. Then we got to the park.

Funny thing about the park. It doesn't have that much to do. But at least to compensate, the wait for each show (not ride, show) is excessively long. Now you have to remember -- I don't like shows so this did not hold too much promise. And when the center piece promised to be an outdoor pep rally for High School musical (outdoors...98 degrees and shade...lots of crowding around so we could see the Up With Everything teenagers glisten in the midday sun) I got even more desperate. On the plus side, the first show was cancelled. This gave us a chance to wander around looking for something to do as we missed the tart time of each show we went looking for. Eventually, we had a chance to see a number of musical productions. We traveled all that time and all those miles so I could watch versions of movies that I've seen very often at home. Makes perfect sense. I saw the Little Mermaid live (at least it only took 10 minutes), then we went on the Star Wars presentation/ride (to appease the geek in me) and the Muppet Show show (for the child in me). We also saw an extreme driving show, a Raiders of the Lost Ark stunt show, a small ride through the movies and we toured a variety of gift shops. We also bought lots of water and ice cream.

And to make the day complete, right after we got back to the hotel I was able to see the space shuttle launch from a distance. That made the entire thing worthwhile.

With no kids, MGM has some promise. With kids, I would have been better off staying home.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A few other thoughts

I've been thingking a bit more about the stay so far at the Spendigest Place on Earth and I have to say, the kids are happy, the drive is not terrible, I expected to be gouged at every turn, and our hotel is beautiful. So why am I so annoyed?

Vacations bring out the worst in people. They magnify the worst character traits, try the patience of saints, exhaust the stamina and ability to deal and make everyone come off in the worst possible way. Of course, to strangers, we're all lovely and peaches and cream, and the hosts and hostesses of Disney certainly exude a strange politeness which doesn't sit well with me, but to each others, we are all mean and short tempered.

Then they wonder why I kicked the bejesus out of that mouse.

redeeming values

Probably the most dangerous phrase ever uttered at a poolside bar:

"charge it to my room"

Two dis at Dayney

Well, I survived my first foray into the Magic Kingdom (tm, no doubt). I have a few reactions which I'd like to share.

Holy crap. What a waste of time. Long lines, mediocre rides and over priced, well, everything.

I discovered that my map missed a few areas, such as "Waiting on Line Land" and "Disappointment Village." Yes, the live and interactive Laugh Factory was neat, but the log flume (Splash Mountain) was a wait for a whole lot of nothing. I did notice that the chotchkes in the stores were stamped "Made in China-Pavillon".

We had a great view for the 3pm "Parade of things for sale" where dressed up college students from around the world got internship credit for dancing repeatedly on a 98 degree day. Apparently, if someone passes out from the heat, it costs $6.95 to resuccitate him. And there is a line.

The great American pasttime of waiting on line is honored repeatedly at Disney. There were roving representatives of the DMV there getting pionters.

The directions to and from the park refer to things don't actually mesh with what is on the street signs, and no one has told the people of Florida that a road that is called "east" or "west" should not run North/South. And saying "take route x" is useless when there are 2 directions to choose from. I suspect that a vast majority of drivers are from out of the area -- you'd think that there was more thought put into some of this. Why do I have to pount out the obvious?

We parked in Pluto 27. If that means something to you, then get a life. The children demanded scads of dolls and toys and useless stuff and now we have it all. We left one thing for the rest of the masses. Anyway, one child almost suffered heat stroke and I almost collapsed from a combination of vertigo and a blister on my toe. The two large draft beers I drank poolside when I got back to the hotel helped.

Tomorrow we either go to MGM and a water park, or back to the kingdom to finish off the Land of Stupidity.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Singing Songs about the Southland

So I'm spending a bit of time in Florida trying to get into the peninsular state of mind. The family has ended up at a lovely resort in a large 2-bedroom apartment which makes our own house look like a pile of poop. Later, I'm going to shower, then take a whirlpool bath, then shower again. Then, I may go outside, roll around in mud and do the whole thing over. Mosty because I can. I get the meanest streak in me on vacation. To get around my usual sense of guilt which comes from the knowledge that I am already paying a mortgage and utilities and taxes on one house, so what right do I hav to be paying for a hotel room somewhere else, I overcompensate by saying "screw it" to most everything. I run the water; I leave the lights on; I throw my towel on the floor. I do whatever I darn well please and eat vast amounts of whatever I want becauseI'm on vacation.

So the wife has rolled me over to the computer through the fields of dirty socks and here I am. I have to download all the pictures from the camera to the computer and relive memories that I am still trying to forget. We spent the day in Epcot center. I bought a half-yard of Bass ale and found that that made the day go so much better. I discovered the following:

1. You can't get a High School Musical shot glass. I mean, what glorifies drinking more than high school students and what celebrates high school more than drinking. It's a natural.

2. It takes a genius of a man like Walt Disney to get away with setting up food carts whcih charge six dollars for a slice of pizza. I brought my own food and felt like I beat the system.

3. All the education I gained in Epcot was lost due to the dehydration I suffered walking through the parking lot to find my rental.

4. According to my study, the only thing that Mars has in common with Norway is that both have ample supplies of T-shirts.

5. If you can get a character to break character while on the job, he'll be jailed by the Disney police.

6. The Chinese pavilion people have no sense of humor. I mean, I asked about buying a Falun Gong shirt and they started hitting me.

7. Speaking of the Chinese pavilion, do we really need to travel hours by plane, and pay for parking just to say to some Chinese college student "I'll have a number 4 with Fried Rice, hold the MSG"?

8. The cheapest souvenirs are the ones you get from other people's bags. No, honestly, I got away with just a vomit-bag from the Mission Space ride and the plastic cup which held my half-yard of beer. Of course, the kids needed to buy one of everything and then have me carry it.

9. Half the time I was categorizing women into two groups -- those about whom I felt guilty for staring, and half who should have felt guilty for having me stare at them. There is no law that says that every woman needs to wear cut off shorts and a tank top. Some people are just more presentable in other modes of extreme coverage.

10. The most common activity once you arrive is planning your exit.

Tomorrow, a horse, a horse, my magic kingdom for a horse.