Notes on D-World 9-14-08 Sunday

Another headache for Jen; another late morning. Not as late... initially. We let her sleep in; after I shower, I decide to go on my first walkabout of the trip. Head out at 9:35 am, brisk walk to the lake results in many lizard drive-bys and a up-close face-off with a large squirrel, about a foot and a half away from my face. Sit by lake on the dock for a while. Jen calls at 9:46, she is up and getting ready. I hang at lake for an hour waiting for them; they get out, but are stuck at bus-stop for an enormous chunk of time. We finally catch the boat close to 11, and head to Magic Kingdom, under the wing of Cap'n Fred, who tells us many tales of the lake's construction (10 feet deep mostly, sometimes 15), the water bridge (one of around ten in the world), and the hotels being built and the ones that already have been. Cap'n Fred is a font of info, it seems.

Make reservations at Tony's, the Lady and the Tramp-themed restaurant, for 4:50 and head to Tomorrowland for an early lunch to get some energy. Burger Bar is actually well-stocked and surprisingly good (as we discovered last year); burger itself is processed and plain, but fixings are delicious. I settle for mushrooms and grilled onions, with which one never loses. (And BBQ sauce for my fries, as well). Head through Fantasyland. After much discussion about the differences between the coastal Mad Tea Parties, we hit Donald's Philhar-Magic, the exemplary 3-D show featuring computer animated recreations of many classic Disney scenes, and all outfitted with the raucous intrusion of Donald Duck. It warms my heart to hear small ones excitedly awaiting Donald's appearance on film. No surprise that for me, Donald is the duck (though on equal web-footing with Daffy, of course). Screaming brat behind us refuses to be placated by the increasingly frantic pleas of his mater and pater, and screams straight through the entire film, right dead exactly behind our heads.

Peter Pan's Flight, Haunted Mansion. Ibis on the Rivers dock. Pirates of the Caribbean finds four people in our boat taking flash photos, despite the rules against it. Jungle Cruise has an amusing guide -- we are seated at the exact front, me in the first seat -- until he hits us with a couple of Giggity giggity goos. We hate Family Guy. Mary leaves for the day, so we hit Country Bears, since Mary didn't want to do it before. Sound is as bad as last year -- they really need to refurbish this ride, though I doubt they will. Over an hour to kill before dinner, so we ride the train for the first time here, and take it through six stops (1/2 circuits) before getting off at Main Street. Shop for a while -- I get the Gabler Disney bio finally, and the total of everything gets me a swell limited edition watch for only $15. So now I have a souvenir for the trip, though there will be others. Dinner is only OK. I get the chicken parmigiana, but I don't like spaghetti, so I leave about half of my plate, eating only the chicken part. Menu did not say spaghetti, but just pasta. All three of us are disappointed, considering how much we enjoyed eating there last year, and Jen was left wondering if they are changing to a more generic family menu than before. We leave park and head back to Ft. Wilderness.

Clouds are slowly starting to gather for the first time, and growing ever darker. We stop at Trading Post and purchase three umbrellas and I grab some orange juice. Jen's mom decides to stay in for the night, being exhausted from the heat, so Jen showers and we head to Downtown Disney for an evening out together at the movies. At the stop waiting for the Purple shuttle, we hear a scuffling in the woods behind us. Jen notices movement outside a cabin and we then make out the form of an armadillo digging in the dirt at the base of a tree. It jumps back and forth briefly, and then spins to renew its digging, finally disappearing as our bus arrives.

We get tickets for the 10 pm Burn After Reading (the new Coen Bros. joint) and wander about for an hour. We finally decide to go the Bongos take-out window. I get two empanadas do pollo and Jen gets a flan. We sit by the waterside on a park bench, flanked by a surly guy with a beer bottle on another bench to the left, and a homeless guy to the right. Not really flanked, as they are about thirty feet away on each side, but you know what I mean. Movie is really funny, but crowd is weird. Girl behind us reacts to the warning about talking during the film by saying to her friends "I don't understand what the big deal is about talking during movies." She then proceeds to talk straight through the movie, as do her three friends. They pipe down every time I turn slightly around to glare at them, but then it builds up again like they are in their own living room. When Frances McDormand's character uses mixed metaphors openly -- and all because her character, like most of the people in the film, is a blank-faced idiot -- the girl openly goes "Mixed metaphors!" It quickly becomes apparent that the people behind us are the type of people that the film is mocking. Everyone in Burn is terrific, but Pitt and McDormand are kind of amazing.

We catch the shuttle after midnight back to the Outpost, and we are surprised when the shuttle goes there first, since previous trips have found us hitting the lodge first. Shuttle back to home, and we watch the full moon through the tops of the trees as we walk back to the cabin in the pitch blackness, hoping to see another armadillo.


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