Sunday, January 25, 2009

Adventures in DisneyLand

It figures that the one morning of our Disney vacation that we can sleep in – I wake up at 6:30 a.m. to go to the bathroom and the children wake soon after.

            Yesterday I had to turn lights on and the radio on, massage limbs and soothe with my “I know it’s still dark outside but I need you to wake  up now” voice and then have to revert to ripping off covers and quickening my voice to a “Get up or we’ll be late meeting the bus” voice.

            So now it is just after 7 a.m. and the sun is emerging.

            Paul is playing a computer game – a morning ritual for him; and the children have industriously made a fort of blankets over a hide-a-bed and are playing a ‘guy game’ in the dark, with light-up toys bought from over-priced Disney kiosks.

            And I am writing.


            I wanted to bring my laptop in order to keep up with my blog posts and emails but Paul wanted to bring his own and I thought it silly to bring two.

            “I can just use yours – I just need to get online once in awhile.” How naïve.

            The only time he was briefly not on it was Night Two after a Disney Day of such exhaustion that I fell asleep at 8 p.m. Not a chance of blogging that night. I couldn’t even read my annotated copy of “Pride and Prejudice”.

You know, the one with all the answers and definitions supplied along the way, so you know what “accustomed circuit” means. Or “nobler fall of ground” or that “impropriety of expression” means Mr. Darcy’s facial expression was one of ‘proud haughtiness’.

            My favorite in last night’s reading was:  “agitations of former partiality.” You gotta love Jane Austen-speak. David M. Shapard – the annotator and editor of said book – says Jane Austen meant:  “the agitated emotions caused by her (Elizabeth) having been partial to him (Darcy).

            It is a great help to have Mr. Shapard whispering interpretations to me while I read Jane Austen’s greatest tome.

            Our trip has been fraught with adventure of all sorts. From the minor, but painful pre-blister rubbings that both my daughter and I got from walking so far in hot weather in either a skirt or rough-fabriced shorts --we had to wear large band-aids and adjust our wardrobe accordingly the next day – to the first of our maniac adventures. That one turned out to be inconvenient for others besides ourselves.

            We were driving to Seattle at night, perhaps 8 p.m., when my power steering went out followed by a giant shift in temperature. We were overheating. And not in the gradual “I hope we can make it to the next town and gas station before it gets dangerously high.” It was BAM! Red zone.

            We stopped the van long enough to discover that we weren’t out of coolant – it had to be a belt or something. We slowly drove to the mercifully close-by rest stop.

            For those interested, the Toutle River Safety Rest Area serves hot coffee, apple cider and cookies from a staffed booth that would not let us come in and stay warm. Safety reasons, I suppose. Our family of four trailing luggage for a week could’ve been ax murderers.

            We called a tow-truck with my roadside assistance. And then, my mom.

            We were supposed to stay the night with her and then fly out of Seattle the next day. After several phone calls to roadside assistance, the towing company, the tower and his wife, and my mom – Oy Vey – we settled on a plan.

            The tow truck would come get the van and my mom would start driving to come pick us all up. But since she was still over a hundred miles away, that would’ve put us at night, in the super cold parking lot of Toutle River Safety Rest Area with only cookies and cider to sustain us, and echoes of the possible dangers that accompany rest stops.

            So the tower’s wife came, too. She drove a separate rig and drove us and our luggage all to a truck stop. We ate chicken strips and hashbrowns and truck stop cheeseburgers until my mom showed up an hour later.

            Disaster averted. Well, the disaster of missing our plane anyway. We laughed the rest off as part of our adventure.

            Further adventures included  a  45 minute wait for Space Mountain , only to be turned away at the end with a fire alarm and evacuation of the building.

            “Probably some 8 year old kid pulled the fire alarm,” Paul said.

            And two of our most-looked-forward-to rides were closed for regular maintenance to be opened next week. Well, that didn’t help us.

            But the last day of our park days await and the shower beckons, so I will close with the anticipation of what adventures this day will bring.

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