Tuesday, May 24, 2011

...And a month later

I realize that I said I was going to update about Epcot and the rest of our Florida trip as soon as possible, and I really wanted too, but I cannot get a break at work. It has just been HELL.  Right before I left for Florida a decision was made that I would now be taking over 2 different jobs on top of the job I was doing. Do you ever get SO stressed out that you become physically ill?  That is what was happening to me. I am too young to feel like a 70 year old woman at work. Everytime my boss gives me something to do, I can feel myself aging and my hair turning gray.  It's not the fact that he is giving me work that is stressing me out, it's the fact that he is giving me work on top of all the other work I am doing.  We are seriously understaffed, and the school I work is becoming bigger and bigger by the day.  It is a physical impossibility for one person to do all the work that I do.  I am not saying that to brag or 'toot my own horn', I am simply stating a fact. I am to the point where I am neglecting aspects of my job, to tend to other parts of my job. For example, I will avoid answering my 70 or so e-mails a day to work on forms and paperwork. Or, I will take a day to neglect my forms and paperwork to work on student files to get them ready for graduation. If I'm not working on the student files, I'm answering my e-mails. In the midst of all the chaos, I am trying to answer all of my phone calls. Now, when the students want to call, it is normally because they want to tell me that they sent me an e-mail.  After they tell me they sent me an e-mail, they want to explain to me the contents of the e-mail. What is the point of sending me an e-mail, if you are just going to call and tell me what was in the e-mail?  If I tell them that I got their e-mail and will respond to it when I get to it, the next million dollar question is, "When are you going to read it?"...This question really gets to me. I'm not sure, let me take out my crystal ball and predict the future for you...It's silly because they are serious, and they want an answer.

So Epcot was one of my favorite parks.  It didn't have a lot of rides, and compared to Universal and Magic Kingdom, this one was very laid back.  A storm had also rolled through the area and the temperature had dropped almost 20 degrees. It was a steady 75, cloudy, and in my opinion, perfect. We'd been getting scorched in the hot Florida sun for the past 3 days, so the change was more than welcomed. I wasn't aware when we got there, but the inside of the giant Epcot golf ball is actually a ride called 'Spaceship Earth'.  It's a ride that takes you through all the stages of life since the beginning of man. Out of all the rides I rode while in Disney that week, this one was probably my favorite. It's slow and probably boring to a lot of people, but I loved it. We also went on Test Trak that day, and Mission Space.  Has anyone actually ever gone on this peice of shit 'ride'?  There were warnings all over the place that if you get motion sickness, it is advised that you DO NOT go on this ride.  So what did I do? I went on the ride. I should have gotten off immediately when I saw a pouch of barf bags on the ride, but alas, I stayed on. Now, for those of you who have never been on this horrible abomination, let me tell you about it. This is Wikipedia's version: "Mission Space is a motion simulator thrill ride at Epcot. It simulates what an astronaut might experience aboard a spacecraft on a mission to Mars, from the higher g-force of blastoff to the speculative hypersleep."

Now, let me tell you my version.

First you start out in a dark room with a group of people. Gary Sinise pops on the screen and starts rambling about space ships and moon landings and blah blah blah.  Yes, Gary Sinise was also the shinless, but awesome, Lt. Dan Taylor from the amazing movie, Forrest Gump. If you have not seen this movie, or do not like this movie, I feel very sorry for you and suggest you stop reading my blog now and light yourself on fire.  After Lt. Dan stops blabbering, you are broken into groups of four and sent into separate doors and loaded into your 'spacecraft' cockpit. They lock you in, equipped with barf bags, and the cockpit rises upwards so you are now facing the ceiling.  There is a small screen in front of you, similar to the Nintendo Virtual Boy from the early 90's, except in color.  They also do something where you experience G-force while watching this 3D monstrosity. Right away, some bitch pops up on the little 3D tv and warns the riders that 'closing your eyes will only intensify the motion sickness', so at this point, I am panicking. The 'ride' starts up and a movie starts. It's basically a spacecraft taking off from a landing and flying to Mars. We weren't even off the launch pad yet and I was already ready to barf.  My eyes were going funny and watering, I actually did try shutting my eyes, and that bitch was right, it made it worse. So I opened them and fixated them on the barf bags. Ben was giggling and holding my hand and kept asking me if I was ok and I kept hesitantly responding, 'no', in fear that opening my mouth would excrete barf on myself and the 14 year old passengers we were stuck riding with. After 2.5 excrutiating minutes the peice of shit was finally over and I staggered off and fumbled for the exit for fresh air.  NEVER again will I ever go on that ride, and quite honestly, I do not understand how people enjoy it. It should be shut down and burnt so I can pee on the ashes. I didn't end up barfing, but I definitely didn't feel right the rest of the day. 
After the torture was over, we headed over to the 'Countries' and walked around. We took a relaxing boat ride through Mexico, went on another relaxing boat ride in one of the other Countries, then settled in Germany for an amazing lunch of authentic German food, and get this, it was a buffet of authentic German food.  They had a stage set up where a band of lederhosen wearing men were playing. It was great. I loved this place.

After we filled up on great food, we walked around some more, went on 'The Seas of Nemo and Friends' which had an actual aquarium at the end of it which delighted me. I have a soft spot for animals, fish or not.
After that, we went back to the hotel and got ready to go to the Electric Light Parade at the Magic Kingdom. If you haven't been to Disney, or haven't had the opportunity to see this, I recommend you try to do it at some point. For those of you who may think you are too cool for this, it's most likely because you suck. You are never too old, and never too cool to see the Electric Light Parade.
Yes, I took this picture.

The next day we headed over to the Animal Kingdom.  This had to have been the most congested park of all of them.  We only managed to go on a few rides and stand the scorching heat, little kids and sweaty bodies rubbing on us, for roughly 5 hours before we called it quits and went back to our room for some swimming. We went on the Kilimanjaro African Safari, which would have been a lot more awesome if half the animals hadn't been hiding. I still appreciate the fact that I had the opportunity to ride this, it's a demanding ride at the Animal Kingdom. We also went on Expedition Everest, which is a coaster that travels up into a mountain where the 'Yeti' lives. Awesome. As you all know from my previous blogs, I'm not a huge fan of instense roller coasters, but this one, I ended up LOVING. I would go on it again with no hesitation. Of course, it's not a coaster with big drops and what not, or I would have hated it most likely.  We finished out the day eating at place called Yak and Yeti, which featured Asian quisine and an unforgettable dessert. Normally Ben and I don't get dessert's when we dine out, but it came included with our Disney meal plan, so we got some.  It was a large plate of fried cream cheese wontons with vanilla ice cream, topped lightly with hot caramel syrup and fresh strawberries. It was one of the best things I've ever tasted. It should be featured on one of those shows on the Travel channel.  I can just picture Adam Richman sitting at the table taking big bites and making all the weird sex noises he makes while engorging his face with all kinds of good shit.  Speaking of good shit, I left out a few details about the nights that Ben and I went out for some fancy dinners.  The meal plans are probably the best thing you can do for yourself if planning a Disney vacation, because we ate market fresh priced fish quite a bit on this trip. One of the places we went (Captain Jacks in Downtown Disney), I ate a big slab of grilled Talapia with mango chutney, ahh-mazing.

Friday was our free day.  We got up early and went back to the Magic Kingdom to see the 'Hall of Presidents'. By the time we were done doing that, it was already scorching hot out by 11 am, and I was exhausted. We went back to the hotel, relaxed and packed.  That night we went to a place called 'Ohana' as our last fancy dinner in Orlando. This was a Hawaiian restaurant where they would stuff your face until you wanted to puke.  They would bring rounds of meat on skewers to your table, along with pot stickers, salad, Hawaiian rolls, and noodles.  Completely stuffed, we took the monorail back to the hotel and passed out for our early wake up at 4:15.  The Disney bus took us to the airport around 530 and we were home by 11. This time, I had the bright idea of calling Southwest and asking them if it was possible to check in online, which it was. So we checked in as early as possible and were in the first group boarding. Not only did I get to sit by Ben, but I got a window seat. You better believe I took advantage of it and drank gin and tonics on the way home and got to relax this time. I  I loved Florida, but you really don't realize how much you love home until you don't get to see it for a week. I haven't slept that good in my bed since we got back from our 31 hour drive from California in 2009.

Since then, we've already bought tickets to Phish's Superball IX in Watkins Glen, New York at the Watkins Glen International race track.  My brother asked us the other day, "Are you guys ever home?"  I guess not...Luckily, this is only a 10 hour drive, and not 31.

Pictures from Bubba Gump Shrimp - Universal Studios