I awoke this morning, like any other, except knowing that by the time I went to bed, I would be sleeping in the Happiest Place on Earth.
Yes, I was heading to Disney World with Colin -- our first vacation together since 2007 in NYC (Fleet Week and Coney Island).
The drive to Dulles was uneventful -- a pleasant feeling going against the 6:00 AM onslaught towards the Capital core. As I cruised along the GW Parkway, with the Memorials on my right flank, I could see the morning joggers pushing, pumping, panting -- a part of me wanted to be with them -- but wait a minute, I was heading to a place a lot more peaceful, a lot more quieter, a lot more happier. I would have to postpone running, for the next 72 hours at least -- unless I wanted to run in Disney -- which would a lot of ground to cover, was a distinct possibility.
The flight was smooth and roomy. We were able to check in to the hotel early, grab a bite to eat, then head straight to the Magic Kingdom. We were so excited, we could barely chew our food.
(** Tip One: If you're going to the Magic Kingdom by cab, get off at Epcot and catch the monorail there -- it's closer, a more enjoyable ride and you can use the money you saved in the fare by buying a cold Mickey ice cream bar. )
Florida in mid-May -- I was expecting hot, humid and sticky in the low 90's -- when we set down, I was plesantly surprised at how unseasonably cool and dry the weather was. And by the time, we got to Disneyworld, there was a large and luminous cloud cover -- the sky darkening, like the late Afternoon skies typical of Florida.
We started at Tomorrow Land getting a snap preview of the future and space on Bumper cars and Buzz Lightyear.
Then to Frontierland with Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain. "How do you Do?" said Br'er Rabbit to Br'er Fox.
Of course, the final drop -- reaching the fastest speed of any ride in the park results in a major splashdown.
But by the time we got to Adventureland, the heavens had opened and it started downpouring. What did it matter any way, we were already soaked.
** Tip Two -- when going to Disney -- always be prepared for inclement weather -- bring an umbrella and/or a poncho.
** Tip Three -- with the rain, most of the outdoor rides in the Magic Kingdom will be shut down especially if there's lightning (Epcot Center has more rides indoors, so you may want to go there when it rains.)
Colin and I ran and sought shelter at Pirates of the Caribbean, enjoying the exotic adventures from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the South Pacific. It didn't matter -- we were already drenched by the big drop on Splash Mountain.
And finally Fantasyland admiring the Bavarian achitecture and enjoying the quintesential ride: "It's a Small World."
I love the wonderful theme of global peace and the cute, little characters from all over the world in their native gown, speaking in their native tongues.
The neat thing was that I was able to capture the majority of these rides on video including the infamous drop on Splash Mountain (twice), although my camera got completely drenched in doing so. (Can't wait till we get home and upload the videos on You Tube).
By the time, we got to our hotel, it was nearly 11:00 PM and we were both wet, exhausted and hungry.
Well it is now past midnight, Colin is sound asleep and I should be there with him. Within a few hours, we will be rising to greet Mickey, Minnie and Goofy again. But I'm with you writing this tale because I feel that there are some folks at home (stress the word "few") who care about what we did and saw today -- Yes, touring and enjoying the Happiest Place on Earth.
Tomorrow onto Epcot. Yes the fun and adventure continues. I checked my running shoes -- yes they will dry out tonight. And tomorrow we will run Disney or bust...