April 2nd, 2008


There's nothing on Earth like a genuine, bona fide, electrified, six-car monorail

 For the last time,  bethje= green.

Since our bus back to the airport on Friday was scheduled to leave at 5:25, we had a little time to spend at the parks that day, but not all that much. I felt kind of rushed the whole time. Our first trip was to the Magic Kingdom, where we saw the one major thing that we'd missed on Monday, the Hall of Presidents. It was pretty cool, although I have to wonder why only Lincoln and the current president get to talk. One thing I'm interested in with the Hall of Presidents is what it was like when it first opened and how it changed each time. Before we entered, an attendant was telling us about how the controversy over John McCain not being born in the United States paralleled that concerning Barry Goldwater, and that Hillary Clinton (or, more accurately, Hillary Rodham, since this was before she got married) was involved with that case. We then did some last-minute shopping (it was a real pain in the ass to try to get all of the souvenirs that I bought for my family, let me tell you.), which is as good an excuse as any to mention that the stores at Walt Disney World had a serious abundance of High School Musical merchandise. Now, I was never one to keep up with the trends the kids were following even when I WAS a kid, but the High School Musical phenomenon seemed to me to spring up overnight.  Before leaving, we took our photopass and got our free 5x7 photo of us sitting in front a fountain in Italy. It's a really nice picture, and it came out nicer than I had expected for it being nighttime when it was taken.

Our next stop was EPCOT, which we reached by means of the monorail. This time, it wasn't incredibly crowded like it had been on Monday night, and we actually got to sit down. We did have to transfer at
the parking lot station, though. It's kind of a shame that they never expanded the monorail to service the newer parks, but I guess that would be rather difficult and expensive. If I ever get more moneys, I'd love to go back and stay at a hotel that has a monorail stop. I love the monorail, and the next time I get there, I want to just ride the monorail around to see what there is to see.

Anyway, our first stop in EPCOT was the place where you could get your pictures taken with characters, because we figured we really couldn't leave Disney World without doing that. I was afraid we'd missed our chance what with this being the last day and all. Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, and Chip and Dale were all there (Mickey and a chipmunk blew me a kiss, tee hee. Don't get me wrong. I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE between Chip and Dale, but I just don't remember who I was standing next to and the time.), but Donald Duck wasn't, for some reason. I did see him later in the Mexico area, but we didn't have time for a picture. Also, you may remember from the Tuesday entry that we had three countries left to visit: Canada (I really wanted to ask the Canadian girl if she liked the Kids in the Hall or Sloan, but I didn't do it), the United Kingdom (I think we spent less time in the United Kingdom than anywhere else. All I remember doing there was buying an Irish Minnie from a kiosk), and France. We did so, and saw the films about both Canada (hosted by Martin Short who didn't annoy me like I thought he would) and France. My lunch in the France pavilion was a small ham and cheese quiche, while bethje had some kind of bread with cheese (I can't remember the name of it) and I had chocolate mousse and Nate had a fruit tart thing. We still had some snacks to use up after that, so we bought some more pastries in Norway to go (another almond pretzel for her and an apple danish for me), and I got a not-so-great pretzel at a beer stand in Germany. Beth wanted to use her final snack to get a dessert, but for some reason the churros in Mexico weren't covered by the plan, and we couldn't find another place before having to head back to the hotel. She ended up getting a soda at the Electric Umbrella, and it was only after that that I noticed an ice cream place right near there. I don't know for sure that they would have accepted the snack plan either, though. I really think they need to label what items on the menus count as snacks, as it's pretty confusing. We were really, really concerned about time, but I made Nathan feel guilty for not buying his mom a souvenir. So I sat on a ledge and waited for him while he ran to Mexico to get her a painted bird.

We got back to the hotel in time to catch our bus to the airport, but we still didn't catch it, because I didn't think we were supposed to take a Disney Cruise Lines bus if we weren't taking a cruise. Improper labeling was apparently the theme of the day. So I ate my Norway pretzel while we waited for the next bus. I thought of an older couple I'd overheard on the busride there from the airport and wondered how they liked their trip. They were such rubes, hehe. I hope they had fun. I think they had just gotten married, too.  It didn't make much of a difference, though, since the 5:55 bus got us to the airport in plenty of time for our flight. It featured another video, this time with all of the characters leaving Disney World to catch a plane to Disneyland. So do they spend all their time flying back and forth between Disney parks, or what? At airport security, the guy wanded me a couple times, then made me stand in a glass box while he called a woman to pat me down. I still don't know what I had on me that was making the metal detector go off. It was a really weird expereience. Stupid racial profiling. Anyway, our flight ended up being delayed for about three hours, which was a real pain. I believe the reason for the delay was bad weather and thuinderstorms, but what about those of us who prefer potential death to waiting in an airport? The airline gave us some coupons, but they were pretty much worthless. One was for a free drink or $10 off at an airport restaurant, but all of the restaurants in the area were already closed by that point. (Why they close them when there are still a lot of people around waiting for flights is beyond me, but very little of what happens at airports makes any sense. And closing a Burger King at 9:30 is ridiculous anyway, especially for an airport. You knew you were giving those stupid vouchers out, so why did you wait so long?) The other was for a discount on a future flight, because the first thing I'm going to want to do after a bad experience with flying is to fly again, right? I spent a lot of the wait time watching somebody's kids. This one little kid kept rolling around on the floor and rolling off the seat onto the floor, while big sister was being overly bossy, and the brother who was being really quiet and just playing GameBoy was accused of being selfish by the sister and yelled at for something else by their mom. There is no justice. I seriously wanted to tell him how awesome he was for sitting quietly and playing GameBoy and that I was on his side, but I probably would have been arrested. Honestly, I think I would have preferred it if they hadn't given us anything, instead of things we couldn't use. The delayed flight was a problem not just because of the annoyance, but also because the train we needed to take doesn't run between midnight and 5 AM. Dorothea picked us up, but that means our return tickets went to waste.

And, well, I suppose that's all. The trip was enjoyable, albeit exhausting, and I wouldn't mind going back again someday. Or maybe we should hit Disneyland next, even though I hear it's not as good. I don't think I could ever be one of the people who go to Disney World or Disneyland several times a year, though. Even if the cost weren't a factor, I think it would get really tiring. 

Did I ever mention that we went swimming in the guitar-shaped pool Wednesday night? We did. The air was cooler than I would have liked and the deepest part was only 5' deep, but it was still fun and not at all crowded as it was about 11pm.

And did I mention how nice they were about exchanging a bottle of sunblock for me on Tuesday? Disney employees are nice. I mean, they have to be nice, but it wasn't wasted on me.

After getting home, I started missing Disney World much faster than I thought I would. It was a very nice hooneymoon, though.

I'm leading the world down a yellow brick road

April Fool's Day kind of bothers me, because I always feel like I SHOULD come up with some kind of joke, but I never really have any good ideas. Oh, well. It's over now, and I was too busy to properly observe the day anyway. I just got finished with working seven days in a row, so I feel like I should get some rest. Unfortunately, I have a few things I have to do tomorrow. Isn't that always the way? But what I really want to address in this post isn't my desire for free time, but the new Ditty Bops album, Summer Rains.

The CD ended up costing me $20, plus $5 shipping. The shipping might have been unavoidable, but $20 for a twelve-song CD is rather steep. Shouldn't a self-released album be cheaper, since they don't have to give a cut to the record company? Maybe it was the soy-based inks that resulted in the high price. It is some nice packaging, though, resembling a pop-up book. And hey, there's also some music on the record! If you've heard either of the band's other two albums, you know what to expect from this one. There's no significant change in sound, but hey, that's okay. It does have more slow songs than Moon Over the Freeway does, though. I think my favorite track on Summer Rains is "What Happened To The Radio," although there aren't any I particularly dislike. The title track seems to be at least partially about global warming, although it's also possible that it's just about the weather in southern California. And I have to say that, when I hear "I Stole Your Wishes" (for which there's a video), I can't help but think of the bit in Michael Ian Black's comedy routine where he says that blowing out the candles on another guy's birthday cake is a good way to emasculate someone.

And now I think I should get to bed. I have a few more ideas for posts, so I'll probably make at least one new one tomorrow.
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