Notes on D-World 9-21-08 Sunday

Get up at 6:30, sad but tired, knowing we probably stayed a little too long this time. I write for a while, and the usual fury with which I attack typing lessens the sadness to a great degree. After I shower (as usual, just before everyone else starts rising), I pack everything up in a far more methodical fashion than I normally do, mostly to kill time but also to make sure I am not forgetting anything. And then, after some toast and tea, I go back to writing while the girls get ready to leave. We head to to Outpost just before 11:00 am, the standard hotel checkout time, and check our bags in at the Magical Express for our ride back to the airport much later in the afternoon. Sande, however, leaves well before us at 11:50, and her Express shuttle arrives a few minutes before that and we hug her and see her off on her way.

Down a member of our happy little party, Jen and I still have around three hours to kill before we absolutely have to be back at the Outpost for our own shuttle. We mull over the possibility of hitting one of the parks, but decide that the most direct and reliable place to be with easy access for returning is Downtown Disney. We have some shopping to perform still, and also, a decent lunch is also a very desirable item, as we will be in the air for five hours later. We grab a ride almost right away, and we head off.

I am in the mood for pizza, as we never even came near to having any in our entire trip, so naturally, the Wolfgang Puck Express Cafe appealed to me, especially given the success of our dinner three nights earlier at the regular Puck restaurant. The basics only for this boy still wrasslin' with an upset stomach: pepperoni and mushrooms; Jen gets the Pizza Margherita. We get the food far quicker than we expected, and we only eat half of our food in order to have something left to eat before we board the bus around 3:30 p.m. As a result, we have more spare time to kill. We wander about in stores we would not even normally walk through, and eventually pick up a couple of shirts at the World of Disney store. We stop to get mint chocolate chip ice cream and a soda at the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain, and after a final run through the Lego store, for no really good reason except to just hang around in the Lego store, we head to the bus and make it back to the Fort Wilderness Outpost with nearly an hour to go before our shuttle arrives.

We eat that time up mired in a battle-to-the-death checkers match in the Outpost lobby, on a wonderfully huge and antiqued-style checkers board with pieces sliced directly off a piece of wood it seems. Little round slabs of wood, barely sanded and finished. I play evil cutthroat and Jen plays rational and temperate, much like everything we do. We run out of time though, when I spy the Magical Express bus careening around the corner through the window, and so we decide to call it a draw (very reluctantly on my part, because she was clearly about to lose, though she will never admit it). We meet the bus, and even though he won't leave for another 15 minutes, we climb on board as the only patrons of this particular section of his route, and then eat the remainder of our lunch. The bus will jam almost completely full at the next couple of stops at Port Orleans and another hotel, and then we head out for the nearly 40-minute drive to the airport.

We checked in at the Outpost, so once we hit the terminal, all we have to do is go through security, where there is no wait at all, and so we shop for magazines and snacks at a Hudson News store to kill more time. I find a copy of the first entry in a new line of Ray Harryhausen-produced novels, War Eagles, a novelization of an original story by Merian C. Cooper, the man who brought Kong to life. Since I am finding what I would normally take to be a more obscure publication in an airport bookstore of all places, where the selection is ridiculously limited and generic, I take this to mean that I am meant to purchase this book. So I do. That I don't actually try to read it on the plane is more a reflection of the fact that I don't really like to read on planes than anything else. Too many distractions on planes for me to read, so I watch an incredibly shrunken version of Speed Racer on the 10-inch monitor hanging above our seats, and spend the rest of the time listening to Nick Cave and TV On the Radio on my iPod. Sit in the middle, with Jen on my right and the world to my left. Manage to find a strange peace there in space. Reflect on past experiences in similar situations. All is well.

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