I actually managed to stop working pretty much when I said I would, which is like freakin’ amazing. Was on the road with my supply of water and munchies du jour by around 3:30 pm or so. Called Debbie, who was just about ready to leave and pick up Lexie’s friend. We figured we MIGHT both hit the pre-I4 rest stop at the same time but were unsure.
Coming through Sarasota on I75, I hit one of those craptacularly sudden and intense rain storms that slows traffic to a crawl. I’d say it was 30-35 mph for about 20 minutes; drove out of it just as suddenly.
The I4 part of the journey seems long when you have to pass the Disney exits! But I’m happy to report that once I got off and made my left at the end of the exit, the Sheraton Safari was only two lights away. I went up, took some quick shots of the room, and called Debbie again to find that they’d just arrived at Sarasota Springs, and that *1L (Michele with one L) was there too. Stashed the vitals in the safe and boogied out of there to go meet them.
Just as quick to get on-property – didn’t really even have to get back on I4, as the entrance ramp is actually the exit ramp for one exit back west. In no time, I was knocking on the door, which was answered by Lexie, who is just as pretty as ever. Hugs all around; *1L leapt off the sofa to deliver one to me, then posed with her moose hat on her head. Really great to see Deb’s mom again, and good to know she’ll be coming on the Ladies Cruise too! WOO HOO!
Pretty soon, Dan arrived with my buddy Austin. We took a quick tour of the 2BR villa, which is pretty spacious, and then all made for the bus stop to head out to Epcot. We’d heard there were some other Mooses roaming around the Food & Wine Festival, and wondered who they’d meet.
The minute we got off the bus, Deb said she felt rain drops and realized she’d left all the Mickey ponchos back at the room. I had mine, however, and *1L snapped a pic of me modeling it for bloggety blog posterity. However, the rain soon stopped, so I took the poncho off and rolled it up and tried to stuff it back into my bag. But you can’t really get a Mickey poncho folded up small without laying it down on the bed, so for the rest of the evening, my bag was bulging.
We were all very hungry, so the plan was to get over to The Land, ride Soarin’, and then go to the little cafeteria place there (name escapes me) to get some chow. I have never waited standby on Soarin’ before; always have done Fast Pass there, so I was pleasantly surprised by the “video games” in the queue. The photo below where I say it’s Austin popping blobs – there’s an image sort of in the center that is shaped like an upside down “U”. That’s Austin. He hung his arms over the balcony to pop the blobs, making the image look sort of like a crab clapping.
After Soarin’ we went for the food, but the place was closing and limited to sandwiches. We decided we must head into the World Showcase for food, but on the way we spotted Mary and Mari just finishing up their dinner. Hugs all around, and I blogged them below. They had had enough for the day, so we parted company with promises to see one another at the Big Meet tomorrow afternoon.
Deb wanted to know where the banana daiquiris were located, so we cruised past Imagination and up the Rose Walk to reach Dominican Republic, Peru (where I had the duck last time) etc. I called out, “It’s right up there on the left, Deb – that pink kiosk” but she was well ahead of me and already speedwalking toward it, telling Mom all about how I “drunk dialed” her last time. Deb, *1L and I made and blogged our purchases, and we walked out into the Showcase to find food.
The kids wanted McDonalds, but *1L and I headed into Greece to see what we could see. At this point, the camera phone ran out of juice, so there are no more pics on the blog after the banana daiquiris. We discovered a spinach-in-pastry offering on the Greece menu. HEY WOBIN, THERE’S SPINACH IN GREECE!!!!!! We made our purchases and found a table nearby to chow down.
At some point, Dan and I excused ourselves to go feed the mutual monkey on our backs, and tragedy befell; my daiquiri leapt to it’s death off a wet trash can! I can’t tell you how many times during the Gartner conference I stopped at that particular smoking area and placed whatever I was drinking on that very same trash can, and nothing like this occurred. I was CRUSHED! And determined to get another, since it was not even half empty yet. First I went and laid my head on Deb’s shoulder and cried about it. She laughed at me! My sensitive and caring friend LAUGHED at me! So I went to buy another and the woman said, “you’re back so soon?” and I whinged, “I dropped my daiquiri, wah wah wah”. Well, the woman would not take my money; she GAVE me a brand new banana daiquiri – WOO HOO!
It would soon be time for the nightly burn-off, so we hung around the lagoon a bit across from the Rose Walk to see if we could see it. The daiquiris were beginning to have their desired effect, but we are steadfast in our belief that banana daiquiris actually enhance your brain function – all that potassium, you know, it helps with the old lapses in the synapses. LOL.
We were befuddled that the burn-off wasn’t coming, so we kept walking into the section over near Oddyssey with Chile, Argentina, etc. *1L and I got some sort of beef/mashed potatoes/onions dish in Argentina, and I think Deb got something from Chile (?). We were just about almost near Mexico when the announcement was made, so we raced over to the lagoon. Deb and I each took a photo, which both came out quite different, and we felt the blast of heat on our faces, but overall it was sort of a let-down – it happens so fast.
At this point we headed over to Test Track. We were not eve sure it was open because we could not hear it, but it was. It was Lexie’s first time, and she loved it! After that we headed out to the bus stop and returned to Saratoga Springs, where I got into my car and made the brief journey back to the hotel. Unfortunately, when you arrive back that late (midnight or close to it), there are no good or even medium reasonable parking spaces left and you have to park out in God’s country. Fortunately, when I arrived in God’s country, there was a family of 5 just getting out of their van, and I rolled down my window and asked if they would wait for me to park so I could walk back with them. They were very nice, and no one was accosted.
I absofreakinlutely crashed when I got back here last night, and woke up well before my wake up call (I had asked for 7:00 am, but it’s 7:00 am now and I am done typing). I think upload of photos from the camera to the Moose Meet album has to wait. My brother said, “I will call you in the morning” and he’s an early riser, so I think I’d better hit the shower.
ok, so that’s the way it was on Friday. I’ve charged up the camera phone, and I plan to be at the Main Moose Meet at 4:00 PM, after having spent the earlier part of the day with Chez Bro and SIL at *gasp* Universal.
See ya real soon!
Pictures from Moose Meet should start on Saturday afternoon; first, I have to get through the work day and the drive over there.
See ya real soon!