Alarm goes off at .
Two dogs and The Dr. half open their eyes and look at me like I’m nuts. It’s Saturday – the world does not start until, at the absolute earliest, on Saturday.
But this isn’t any ordinary Saturday. It is the Saturday we go to Walt Disney World!!
I remind them all of this and blow my nose for punctuation.
They look dubious, especially the Jack Russell.
Max became part of the family in February, ’04 when he chose us by sitting in my front yard with no collar, a cocked head and a “you need me” kind of look on his face. He is a terrier through and through – and also has a tendency to have separation anxiety. Which is why we kennel him if we are going to be gone. Would hate for Pag to walk into the house and Max to have chewed through the leather sofas. He loves the vet where we go, and they have yet to call us and demand that we come and get him, so all is good.
I walk to the living room to find the cat sitting in an open suitcase.
She is not amused. She is a mixed Lavender Point Siamese. She is rarely amused.
She is also kinda purple…like a
That is an exact quote.
. Phone rings. I see by the caller ID it is the Deanster. Must be on her way, it’s her cell phone.
“Let me in,” says she in her tiniest, sleepiest, COLDEST voice.
“Where are you?”
“I’m in the driveway”
Seems she was up until 3 am getting orders finished for clients that needed photos for Christmas and packing, etc. She knew if she went to sleep she’d never get up on time, so she decided to run by the 24 Hour post office to mail some things (at 4 in the morning, in the rape and murder district of Dallas – did I mention that she should have been a character in “The Incredibles?” She could have been Invincible Girl) and then drove 40 minutes to my house and slept in her car until she saw a light go on.
I bundle her in and got things going. Dr. D was out the door at 7 to take Max to the kennel. (I distinctly saw Lilac blow him a raspberry as he was lead out the door.) I called Pag to make sure he was awake and on his way over and did a last minute check of all bags.
The Lab-spaniel mix
(who has disturbing tendencies towards cocker spanielism) has had her allergies flare up and I’ve had to get out her med’s for Pag to administer, but things were still going well.
We would be ready to leave for the airport at 8:00 am. I was sure of it.
8:10 – Pag squeals in on two wheels, takes one look at all the luggage and mutters something under his breath. I believe it is some primordial male code. Dr. D subconsciously picks up on it and they begin grunting in early morning pre-coffee vernacular while looking at Pag’s trunk like apes contemplating the monolith.
I should have thought about this – Pag’s trunk isn’t big enough and I hadn’t cleaned out the trunk of our Sedan.
Just a quick sidebar on what I envision a trunk’s function to be. 1.) a mobile closet and/or 2.) a mobile storage unit. And since the acquisition of the Miata and the subsequent diminished capacity of my own trunk space, I have usurped space in DH’s sedan.
I have the trunk cleaned out in record time, mainly due to the fact that everything is thrown into the garage (hopefully not in any configuration that will become a fire hazard, but hey, that’s why Pag is there.) and by 8:20 we are on our way.
Have printed our boarding passes so we can curbside check our luggage, hug the Pag goodbye and proceed upstairs to security.
Poor Dr. D – he fits some profile and gets pulled out of line or makes the machine go off 9 out of 10 times. We also travel with his CPAP, which is a breathing apparatus that he wears at night for his sleep apnea. It is a gift from above as far as snore control goes, however it does tend to freak security out. We carry the instructions with it so we can prove what it is.
I turn around and see Dr. D turning into the much maligned superhero “Naked Man.” He has on no shoes, has turned everything out of his pockets, taken off his belt, his glasses AND his wedding ring – and I am too far away to stop him if he begins to disrobe.
The cost of this trip – you don’t even want to know.
Seeing Dr. D breeze through security complete with small end zone celebration dance –
We hit McDonalds for coffee and small breakfast goodies and I take more Robitussin.
I blow my nose and cough as an added ploy for sympathy.
We board and get on our way on time and are told we’ll get in ahead of schedule. Fabulous.
Just as drinks are being served the turbulence starts – flight attendants hurry to finish and return to their seats. Captain tells us that he’ll change altitude and try to get us out of this REALLY choppy air. I know he did everything he could – we went up and down several times, but we pulled a Tigger all the way to Orlando.
Bouncy, Trouncy, Flouncy, Pouncy
Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun!
Now, I am not a particularly calm flyer, but I have discovered that Robitussin makes me just drowsy enough to not truly care about turbulence. Must remember this for future flights.
Arrive ahead of schedule, just as predicted. MCO airport is bustling, but not too bad. Festive decorations are up. We get our bags pretty quickly and head to Alamo. I read somewhere that you could rent a car quite inexpensively for a day and return it on Disney property. Looked into doing same thing in reverse for going home, but rates were much higher because of the start of Christmas week and could do car service for about the same price.*
Got checked in at Alamo and directed to parking garage. Deanster was now fully awake and excited to be there – she forged ahead with instructions to pick a car in the intermediate row that was NOT white. Dr. D and I are moseying along letting Deanster get ahead. We begin to notice the Deanster pick up her pace – there is another family headed with her to the intermediate row – AND THERE ARE ONLY TWO CARS LEFT.
One of them is white.
Deanster beats them to the other car and flings her body and luggage across the trunk.
This car is metallic gold.
Now to be fair, it is a MUTED metallic gold, but it is gold nonetheless. Deanster loads up, quite happy with having chosen what we have now dubbed “The Pimp Mobile.” Dr. D (his name is Dennis) now believes that he is the new rapper “P.Denny” with his all girl band.
We head to the Coronado Springs Resort with Big Cal’s carefully printed and very accurate GPS directions. Weather is great. Resort is beautiful. Room is where we requested it to be. All is right with the world.
We are starving so head to Pepper Market. Deanster and I split chicken fajitas and Dr. D. has a Chinese dish. Both are great. We jump back in the “Pimp Mobile” and head to Downtown Disney. Stroll around and marvel at the marketing that is Disney. We listen to a high school band that performs Christmas carols. We make mental notes as to what we might want to take back as gifts and souvenirs. Deanster gets hot chocolate at Ghiradelli’s. I just enjoy the night, hanging out with sis and hubby.
And then…(insert scary suspenseful minor chords here) we discover the pin trader.
Dr. D gets a certain look in his eye that worries me. He is by trade an historian, by nature a collector. These two things could be just the powder keg that sets off an obsession. We chat with Cast Memeber’s to get the skinny on how all this works. Dr. D is aloof…nonchalant, but I know he is absorbing every word. He's a secret superhero, remember.
I had thought that Deanster and I might enjoy pin trading. We were getting lanyards with our Dream Maker package. I had purchased about 15 pins in a lot off of ebay so that we had some to trade. Now I wished I had bought some for Dr. D. He was still noncommittal. But I had a feeling.
It begins to get chilly and we are exhausted, so back to the resort.
Big day tomorrow – Big Cal and Mini Maureen arrive.
And Deanster has a secret plan…
* this was in the days before the Disney Express Bus service!
Next chapter - Together at last!