Sue Holland -- June 2002 -- Walt Disney World (AKL)
This trip really was not planned to be a Disney trip at all, despite the choice of lodging. Many of you know Leesa & I saw Fairy Tales last month - the show that Greg from the Comedy Warehouse directed, which was part of the Florida Fringe Festival. 2 of the 5 actors in the cast were also people we know - Jen B & Layden from Comedy Warehouse. Kathy was planning to come with us, but circumstances prevented her from being able to go that particular night. When Greg told me they were going to run the show for 2 more weekends separate from the festival, Kathy was determined to do whatever it takes to get there, and of course she didn't have to twist my arm at all! The show was fabulous - way beyond my expectations.
Kathy uses a specialized electric wheelchair to get around, and has a number of additional medical devices attached (life support equipment) that keep her alive. Unfortunately she's not your typical "easy" disabled guest (one in a standard wheelchair, who can at least stand for a moment or two) and her experiences at WDW resorts over the past 6 months or so have been bad enough that she swore she would never stay in a Disney resort again. I was going to just pick her up Saturday, see the show, and then spend the night at her place Saturday night. But, she was concerned the 45 minute drive (more like an hour from the show) after the show would be too difficult for her - so we decided to book a resort. We later decided to add Friday as well so we wouldn't be waiting until late to check in on Saturday.
Our friends Adie & Lisa decided to also come up to see Fairy Tales for their first time, and decided by booking Friday & Saturday that would give them a night at the Comedy Warehouse! Sheila called me at work yesterday to announce she'd decided to escape to WDW this weekend and had booked Saturday night at Coronado! When I told her about our Fairy Tale plans she decided to see the show also. So, our party became 6 people for a terrific show!
The plans (subject to change) so far...
Fri 5/24: Pick up Kathy, check in Coronado Springs, Comedy Warehouse
Sat 5/25: See Gus at Animal Kingdom, Fairy Tales
Sun 5/26: Possibly enjoy WDW, drive home
DAY 1 FRIDAY JUNE 14, 2002:
Who: Sue, DVC Member
Kathy, DVC Member
Adie & Lisa, DVC Members
Plan: Pick up Kathy, check in Coronado Springs, Comedy Warehouse
Actual: The day started off well enough, but quickly took a turn for the worse. I worked until 2, drove to Kathy's and she was ready & waiting for me. She had to show me how to operate her van, since it is customized for use by a person in a wheelchair. There's no key for the ignition, and even starting or shifting is done using buttons on the keypad. I had to keep asking for the same instructions over & over, but I'm finally learning, lol!
We arrived at Coronado Springs and checked in without any wait. The cm was very nice and assured us we had our connecting non-smoking rooms. Coming out we ran into Adie & Lisa, who had just arrived. We told them where our rooms were and waited for them to check in - we all ended up in the same general section. We made it to the rooms before it started raining (thank goodness) but right off the bat noticed my room smelled a bit funny and Kathy's definitely smelled like smoke! We were NOT pleased - this is the second freakin' time I've checked into a non-smoking room at this resort and had it smell like an ashtray. I called the front desk and they offered a choice of sending up the ozone machine to clear the smell or change rooms. The ozone machine didn't do squat for my stinky room last time, so we declined that - saying we needed the room change. Finally the cm came back on the phone to say there were no pairs of rooms that met our needs available (we needed connecting, with 1 accessible).
We headed for the front desk, leaving our stuff in the stinky rooms. Adie & Lisa claim they weren't stalking us, but it's funny how they kept turning up <g>. We told them of our troubles, and then they went to get dinner at the Pepper Market. We ran into a manager (Wesley) and approached him for help. He turned out to be excellent - he went back and searched but there was nothing at CS. He checked the other moderates and came up with nothing - and said he wasn't even going to bother checking All Stars because we should not have to move "down". He was able to find 2 connecting pool view rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge, AND followed us to Adie & Lisa to tell them he'd get their room moved over also (honoring our CS rates).
It began to pour just as we arrived at AKL, so I pulled up under the cover to drop off Kathy & our stuff once we realized it wasn't passing over right away. We had already missed the first Comedy Warehouse show and did not really want to spend the evening sitting in a van in the handicapped parking lot! I had an umbrella, but Kathy's electrical equipment shouldn't get wet. Once inside things seemed to be going well, and we got our room assignments. As we were ready to leave the front desk the 2 stalkers arrived behind us and began their check in process. We told them we'd see them at Comedy Warehouse soon!
Once we got to the rooms we found another problem - there was not enough room next to the bed for Kathy's wheelchair. Her equipment remains attached to the chair, and she's attached to the equipment with various tubes, so she's got to be within a short distance to the chair. For medical reasons she must be positioned a certain way in bed, so the chair has to be on a specific side of her, and this room was not going to meet those needs. We called engineering and 2 men came up and moved the bed over - which looked ridiculous because the headboard was bolted to the wall so now the bed was a few feet off! One of the night stands had to be removed, so I had the guy just put it in my room to get it out of the way. I forget what time it was by this time, but we had missed the 2nd Comedy Warehouse show and Kathy was feeling bad that I was missing the shows. She suggested I go without her, but I came on this trip to spend time with her - and at this point having an early night relaxing around the resort sounded pretty appealing! The Comedy Warehouse will be there on my next trip, and I'll rely on Adie & Lisa's excellent trip report to experience it vicariously!
The more Kathy looked at her room the less satisfied she became - saying it looked more like a closet than a room in a deluxe resort. It did look like hell, lol - I only laugh because it looked so stupid with the bed not lined up with the head board, and furniture pushed out of the way. I took a picture of it, and we planned to stop by the front desk to show them how tacky it looked so they'd know the accessible rooms aren't really that accessible for everyone. Housekeeping brought me a coffee maker and some cups upon request. Since we were planning on being at Coronado I'd brought my cappuccino but not a cup or the hot pot to heat the water!
We went to Mara to get soup for my dinner. Along the way it was amazing - we'd come to a door and Kathy would hit the automatic door opener and as the door would open people walking from the other direction would exit through it as if she was sitting there opening the door for them! She's experienced that all over Disney and on the cruise - she'd be stuck waiting for everyone else to be rushing through the door she'd just opened, and then it would close before she'd get through. The same thing happens on elevators all too often. We get there alone, call the elevator, by the time it comes a crowd has formed and rushes in so there's no longer room for us.
At Mara the cm taking orders was really nice, and doing a good job. The soup of the day was chicken corn chowder, which was pretty good but I decided to stick with my tomato bisque. The soup cm seemed to have an attitude - she would not serve my soup until I paid and left the area, and then someone would carry it over to me. Often when someone's only getting soup they'll portion it up and give it to you right then, and you take it with you to the register. We'd been hanging around the area waiting for her to portion it out, and the whole time she was waiting for us to leave before she'd begin - arrgh! I got my soup though, and it was delicious! We took it upstairs and sat around the fire pit under the fireplace certain women on Fortress are attracted to.
After I ate we went over to the front desk and the manager turned out to be Beau, who Kathy knows well. He's a riot - a regular stand up comedian, lol! We told him about the smelly room at CS being the reason we were moved here, and showed him the picture of the AKL room. He knew Kathy had "fit" in other rooms there, and after a lot of joking around about her and Pedro and me & Francois he went back to find us other rooms. He showed us a couple of deluxe rooms which were slightly bigger, but they were not connecting. However, the beds were higher than the one in the old room, which makes it easier to get Kathy from bed into her wheelchair. We decided to take these rooms. Beau warned us that if a guy asks us to dance tomorrow night at the Parliament House, to not get our hopes up - he really only wants to dance (it's a gay resort), lol! He joked that he & I could just leave Kathy in a room - nobody would find her, and we could run off to Pleasure Island. Instead, he went and made our room keys while we went to move our stuff.
We got our stuff (including the coffee maker) and piled it up on Kathy's lap (except for the stuff I carried or pulled <g>) and went to the front desk. There was a long line, and we were not in the mood to wait. Just then Kathy noticed the charge on her wheelchair was almost gone! If that died, we'd be in a heap of trouble, so she shut it off while I asked a cm to get our keys from Beau. Once we had them we raced to the new rooms and I went ahead to get the door open so there was no time wasted. She got into the room and Beau had already pushed 1 bed away a little bit so she had room to back her wheelchair between the beds just in time!
At this point it was somewhere after 10 - so much for a relaxing early night, lol! I threw my stuff in my room and then got Kathy's equipment & stuff taken care of before getting her into bed. It's amazing it took all night to get situated in a resort, and that's part of the reason she doesn't stay at the resorts anymore - frankly it's not worth the headaches & trouble to her. I got to my room sometime after 11, left a message for Adie & Lisa so they wouldn't think our absence at Comedy Warehouse was due to a problem & told them I'd probably be calling them around 9 tomorrow. I updated this report, gasped when I saw 160 new emails since 1pm this afternoon, and put in for a 6:30 wake up call since I couldn't figure out how to set the alarm clock. Yikes - Kathy trusts me with her life support equipment and driving her van, but I can't handle an alarm clock at a Disney resort - what's wrong with that picture?? <g>
The day clearly did not go as planned, thanks to Disney. We really preferred being at Coronado, and if the non-smoking rooms didn't smell like an ashtray we would have been all set to enjoy our planned night at the Comedy Warehouse. Instead, we spent 5 hours moving around to find an accommodating room. The fact that AKL is a "nicer" resort doesn't matter - we lost an entire evening that we could have been out doing something more fun than moving. The rooms are pool view, but Kathy can't get out there to enjoy the view so it doesn't really matter. My soup was convenient, though!
Now that we're settled in the resort, hopefully tomorrow will go more smoothly - although we'll see what challenges the buses and parks have in store for us!
DAY 2 SATURDAY JUNE 15, 2002:
Who: Sue, DVC Member
Kathy, DVC member
Adie & Lisa, DVC members
Leesa, Comedy Warehouse regular
Sheila, frequent DVC guest
Plan: See Gus at Animal Kingdom, Fairy Tales
Actual: I failed to mention that last night we were both struck by how DARK these rooms seem, lol! Maria & Larry can both say "I told you so", as really kind of pooh-poohed their complaints that there was not enough light. We'd go into a dark room to check it out, turn on the lights and be underwhelmed by the 52 watt bulbs in every light. I swear they seemed more like 15 watt bulbs, or Christmas tree light bulbs, lol! The room was quite comfortable though, with no noise (other than Kathy & Pedro next door <g>).
I got up to shower & get dressed, glad to have the coffee maker to make my cappuccino. I'm not a caffeine addict, and only drink decaf; I just like the taste of this stuff. Last night in Mara we saw this wonderful AKL plastic cup filled with yogurt & granola, and we both immediately thought of me - it's like they made it specifically for me (well, for people like me perhaps) so that will most likely be my breakfast later.
Around 8 I went over to Kathy's, and Adie & Lisa came by just before 9. It seems the 10:40 Comedy Warehouse show had a bunch of drunks in the audience, which is a shame. They left to finish getting ready for their day, and Kathy & I were on our way around 9:20 or so. We were all headed to Animal Kingdom - Adie & Lisa's mission was to stalk us and keep people from messing with any of Kathy's equipment <g>! Kathy & I stopped at Mara to get my breakfast - the yogurt and granola thing. It was delicious, with lots of granola! It was really too much for 1 meal, but since we had no fridge I ended up eating it all. We ate in the lobby, where Adie & Lisa joined us.
Adie & Lisa drove to Animal Kingdom, but Kathy & I took the bus because parking there has been a problem. We had an uneventful bus ride - nice driver, no arguing or malfunctioning equipment. The tram that pulled up as we were heading towards the entrance held Adie & Lisa - talk about timing! The 4 of us got through security and the turnstiles quickly and entered the park.
It began raining lightly, so we stopped to get our rain gear ready. In Harambe a security cm came over and gave us fast passes for the Safari, which Lisa later gave to another party since we were not planning to ride it today. That same security cm came over to advise us that heavy rain was moving in, and would likely last a couple of hours - he suggested we get somewhere under cover. We headed to the Pangani Forest Trail, as it rained harder and harder. Gus was hiding under some rocks near the waterfall but we could not stop there in the rain. We spent the rest of the morning in the gorilla viewing area with the glass wall. The family troop is on that side, and Gino the dad was sitting in the corner. Soon his kids came out and began playing (rough housing) and otherwise entertaining the people watching.
Sheila had called earlier - her water park plans rained out, she decided to join us on the trail. When the rain let up we headed to look for the bachelor troop of gorillas, but they were not out. Adie & Lisa decided to return to AKL, Colin headed for Downtown Disney, leaving Kathy, Sheila & me. We were about to head for Epcot when we spotted Gus' thigh. He never did see us though, and was mostly hidden. We figured we'd try again tomorrow, since most likely he was freaked out from the rain (he hates it) and being trapped by it.
As we left the park it was raining again - this is getting very old! At the bus stop the first Epcot bus had a lift that would not function. We'd been told when that happens to have the driver call for another bus to come right away, so I asked the driver to do that and she replied that the next bus would be here in 12 minutes. I didn't argue with her, figuring 12 minutes wasn't that long. The next bus came and the driver did not want to allow Kathy to board the bus, saying she had to back on. We explained why that was not possible, and the driver went on & on about why we'd have to do it that way - in the meantime Kathy drove onto the bus and got into position to be secured <g>. The driver tried telling us that the next driver may refuse to take her, and we should call to request a certain type of bus - but there's never been a regular bus that could not accommodate her wheelchair. I finally asked the driver if we could just get to Epcot since Kathy was already on the bus! Next he wasn't sure how to tie down her wheelchair, so I got up and did that. The ride seemed to take forever, and was very tiring for Kathy because of the position her chair was in. Our wait for that bus was 35 minutes.
At Epcot we entered without incident, and decided to stop by Guest Relations. Kathy needed to replace her guest assistance pass because it had gotten wet, and we wanted to ask about the bus problems. The cm working also has a disability and seemed to want to help - hopefully he'll follow through with what he promised. For the bus problem he said we should call a certain Disney phone # 2 hours before we needed transportation - that will not work, since we're rarely in a park for 2 hours at a time! And, her wheelchair fits on the buses just fine and can be tied down without a problem - we just want drivers to stop arguing with her (maybe a bus pass that would alert drivers that it's ok for her to board going forward). We were in Guest Relations for quite a while - it's a shame that when she comes to a park she has so little time to enjoy anything due to crap like this.
We headed over to the new Imagination ride, expecting we would all ride. Well, the wheelchair accessible car was not big enough for Kathy's wheelchair, thanks to the seat for a companion that was built into the car. Without that, she would have probably fit. So, while everyone was waiting to ride, she had to back off the ride and learn she'd never be able to experience yet another attraction (yet Disney is supposedly so accessible). She was upset and wanted Sheila & me to ride; we didn't want to ride at that point, but more importantly didn't want Kathy feeling guilty that we were being kept from doing stuff so once we knew Kathy could stay right where she was (where no guests have access - it's too dangerous for her to stay out in the open alone) we rode the damn thing. It was a cute ride - a definite improvement over the previous version, but we both still prefer the original! We filled Kathy in on it when we got off - she didn't mind missing the skunk portion, lol!
At this point I suggested we return to AKL and Kathy agreed that was a good idea - so the 3 of us left Epcot and had a pleasant bus experience back to AKL. The driver was a bit uncertain, but eventually trusted me - without arguing. Back at AKL we showed the rooms to Sheila, then went down to Mara for a late lunch. I of course got the tomato bisque, Sheila got the sugar cane chicken, and we both got one of those yummy rich brownies. Kathy went to her room for a nap while Sheila & I ate our lunch in my room. Those brownies - oh my gosh are they good! Neither of us could eat more than a thin slice of it though, they're so rich. Colin will get some of hers for sure <g> and I'll be snacking after Fairy Tales.
I updated the report, tried to do something with my hair (yuck - the rain & humidity), and we hung out watching TV. It began raining again, and there must have been lightning nearby as Sheila noticed every single guest suddenly leaving the pool!
Around 4:30 we went back to Kathy's room and spent time looking at a picture book I'd bought in Alaska. Soon it was time to meet Adie & Lisa in the lobby, then we drove to pick up Leesa around 6. From there we headed to the Parliament House, which is a gay resort with several gay bars, located on Orange Blossom Trail very close to downtown Orlando. We had a bit of trouble keeping Kathy in her chair properly - a few times too many I had to stop quickly, and she would slide out of her seat part way. A few other mishaps occurred, but I'm leaving those out because I was at fault and I refuse to incriminate myself! I was getting worried as we kept driving and driving looking for this place, as time was passing. Fortunately we got there by 7 and they had our tickets! We paid for them and were also given wrist bands so that we could visit any of the other clubs after the show. They have a nude male revue on certain nights, but we wouldn't really be an appropriate audience there!
A nice guy named Darcel came over to take us to the theater (using the ramp entrance rather than stairs) and showed us his picture on the marquee of female impersonators. He was an ordinary looking guy but transforms into a damn good looking woman! As it turned out the female impersonator's show was the next show in the same room as Fairy Tales. We selected our seats - I knew where I wanted to be based on Leesa's description of the floor plan (she also attended the show last Sunday). We basically took the front section, and since the rows were angled out we had 3 of us in the front row and 3 right behind. Before the show we turned our chairs around so we were facing each other.
Some people were smoking in the room - pretty disgusting, but the air conditioner was blasting and that helped a little bit. Greg had emailed me earlier about the smoking situation and said they'd try to get guests to not smoke during the show, and sure enough when it was about to start an announcement was made to not smoke. Not a single person lit up after the announcement!
We had about a half hour to kill, so we ordered drinks (thanks, Adie for buying the drinks) and sat around talking & laughing. The audience was mostly men, but men of all ages - unfortunately they were all together, lol! Sheila, Kathy, Leesa & I definitely weren't going to be getting lucky here <g>. It was a good crowd - the place was almost full, and everyone seemed to love the show (which is no surprise - it's excellent). I went to use the restroom, and went into the one labeled "women". Inside were 2 stalls, each with a great big sign that said "One Person Per Stall"! I've never seen that before, lol! The only person in there already was this big huge MAN at the sink. At first I just thought it was a woman who looked very masculine, but this guy was one of the waiters - I have no idea what he was doing in there, and I double checked on my way out to make sure I was really in the women's room (I was). It didn't bother me though - hell, it's just a bathroom and I don't really care who's in there. It was just another quirky thing, like the signs on the stalls. I was someplace new & exciting, lol!
I returned to the table and before the show started got the supplies to feed Kathy her beer. It ended up being a comedy of errors and we were hysterical. We were trying to be discrete, since pumping beer through a fat syringe into someone's stomach tube is not something people see every day. Usually we can do this without anyone really noticing. Tonight we first had trouble with the stomach tube backing up a bit because in trying to be discrete we didn't keep it high enough (gravity can be the enemy). Then, I took the syringe and started pouring the beer into it, but hadn't put the syringe into the stomach tube so the beer was running right through and onto the floor! Kathy wondered what the hell I was doing, lol, and I quickly put the syringe into the can's opening to drain back in! Yikes! Next I put the syringe into the tube, and filled it with beer, but it didn't go anywhere - in fact it formed a head and started running over the top of the syringe! We couldn't figure out what the problem was, then Kathy noticed the cap was still on the end of the syringe - so nothing could come out! Holy smokes - by the time we settled down and did things right the show was starting, so she only got about half of her beer there and we took the rest home <g>.
I wrote a recap of some of the scenes in the report most of you saw last month. I didn't post it to the DVC or trip reports boards, since the trip was just Comedy Warehouse & Fairy Tales. If anyone wants to see it, let me know and I'll send it to you. Leesa & I saw the show, along with Mary's (Comedy Warehouse) sister Patty and husband Jason. I expected to enjoy the show - I think very highly of Greg & his talent, have loved watching Layden's work for over 10 years now, and also enjoy Jen B. I had underestimated just how fantastic this show would be, though. The other 3 actors in the cast (a guy from Hoop Dee Doo Revue & 2 who were new to me) also were great - there was not a single thing in the entire show that I could criticize, except that the 90 minutes went by much too quickly! After we saw it the first time we all came out saying "I want to see that again", and the same was true tonight - we still would love to see it again!
One of the scenes was Layden singing about the Partridge Family, which was his idea of heaven. It was hysterical, and each of the 5 cast members was a different character, which left them 2 short. To get the missing 2 Partridges, Layden goes into the audience and grabs 2 people and brings them up on stage. I figured he'd never take me because he knows me, but he surprised me! He came out and grabbed both Sheila & I by the hand and led us up on stage. While Layden continued his song 2 other actors got us into our costume & wig, Sheila was given a tambourine to play and I was handed drumsticks and told to pretend to play the drums. Basically we performed a song as the Partridge Family - and looked pretty silly! When it was done the audience applauded, and then applauded again when Sheila & I went to leave the stage. As we're walking off the stage she noticed I was about to step off the stage but was not at the stairs, and she tried to grab me but Layden was in her way, so I basically stepped from the stage down to the floor in 1 step! I'm not sure if anyone gasped - I know Kathy was concerned I'd hurt myself, but luckily I never seem to get hurt when I do stupid things like that <g>. I felt like an ass, but at least I didn't fall down! Layden asked if I was ok - shouting "we're not liable"! I was fine - just felt foolish.
Adie & Lisa loved the show, and the setting was perfect for them - they could act like a couple and nobody would raise an eyebrow. They're such an old married couple - really cute! Sheila and Kathy both loved it, too. Kathy said it was worth all the headaches to get there, which I was very glad to hear. The cast got a standing ovation a couple of times, and then it was announced the cast would come to another lounge since the female impersonator's show would be starting in this room. We went to that other lounge and waited, hoping to see Layden & Jen. I had designed a mug with the name of the show, dates, Greg's picture & name, and had Lisa print up 5 of them for me last month. I kept 1, gave 1 to Leesa, and gave the other 3 to Greg (for him, his mom & his friend). He loved them, and they turned out really nice. Evidently Jen had been whining and even stomping her feet because Greg got a mug and she didn't, so Lisa printed one up with her name & picture, and 1 for Layden. They looked terrific!
We waited in the lounge - and noticed an incredibly buff topless bartender working. Man oh man I'll bet he pulled in some good tips <g>. Soon Layden came in & stopped to talk. It was good to see him, and he'd done a wonderful job. He said that he looks to see who's in the audience so he can pick someone who looks willing to do the Partridge Family thing, and spotted us before the song. I'd seen him see me, but getting "chosen" was still a surprise. I showed him the mug Lisa made him, and he thanked her.
We saw Jen next - she was surprised to see Leesa here for a 3rd time and me for the 2nd. She greeted us both with hugs and flipped out when she saw her mug! She was like a kid at Christmas, lol! We talked to her for a while, and she told me what had happened at the Comedy Warehouse last Monday night. Brian opened the show with the phone call, and the person answered "Sue's Fan Club" and said Sue was a person who writes trip reports on the internet. The actors knew exactly who the person meant, and Brian even commented that I write for MousePlanet. Jen said just a few days before the actors who didn't know about that were talking about it and checked the site, so the timing of it all was pretty funny! She asked Lisa if she had found out about the Comedy Warehouse through my trip reports, and Lisa said yes - Jen recognizes Adie & Lisa as pretty regular visitors!
We left to begin the drive back - and what a drive it was! Adie was entertaining Kathy & Leesa with funny stories from her & Lisa's sex life, while Lisa was groaning and saying "don't tell them THAT", lol! We had to stop at a gas station to haul Kathy back up in her chair when she started slipping again, which was primarily because she was riding sideways as a passenger rather than facing forward as the driver. We dropped of Leesa - I was glad she & Kathy finally got to meet each other, and we'll be sharing the pictures we both took!
We drove back to WDW and dropped Sheila off at Coronado, then arrived at AKL shortly before 11. We said goodbye to Adie & Lisa in the lobby, then went upstairs. It was a wonderful evening, and spending it with these 5 friends is a big part of what made it so much fun.
Kathy & I got everything settled in her room, and watched the 11pm news to find out why there had been so many police cars and even a guy with a rifle on Disney property near here earlier today. It turned out there had been a car chase on 192 and 1 guy ended up on Disney property before they shot his tires out. He ran off on foot, but the dogs caught him. I forget what he did wrong - don't really care - he's arrested and out of the picture. I got back to my room about midnight and spent about an hour and a half finishing up this report (and eating part of the brownie <g>). I decided to skip getting online - we'd warned Lisa to not be pacing in front of their computer looking for the report and cussing me out for it not being there yet! Adie kept saying "I want to read it to see what I did today" - I think she was experiencing the blackouts caused by her crack addiction again ;-)
Despite the frustrations at Disney, the evening with friends at Fairy Tales (the real purpose of this trip) more than made up for all of that. If they do the show again I know I will be back, making another trip solely to see this fabulous show again - and I doubt I'll be the only one <g>.
DAY 3 SUNDAY JUNE 16, 2002:
Who: Sue, DVC Member
Kathy, DVC member
Sheila, frequent DVC guest
Colin, Sheila's son
Plan: Possibly enjoy WDW, drive home
Actual: My wake up call came at 6:35, and although I only slept 4 hours or so I felt rested. By 8:15 it was pouring outside, but hopefully it'll pass. There's no way we'd head out in that type of rain. Sheila & Colin are coming by between 9-9:30 so after I showered, dressed, had cappuccino and posted the report I headed over to Kathy's. We were still talking and laughing about last night - what fun that was!
We turned on the weather channel while we were waiting for Sheila & Colin, and saw that it was going to be raining off and on all day long. Originally it was supposed to be pretty rain-free! In light of the latest weather forecast we decided to skip the parks entirely. Most likely Gus would not be out and we did not need to get caught in the rain again. Sheila & Colin arrived and we visited with them for a little while. Colin had wanted to eat breakfast at the Pepper Market, so they ate before they came over. Due to the rain they decided to skip Animal Kingdom as well, and headed to Epcot. Kathy & I decided to have a relaxing breakfast and then head home early.
After putting stuff in the van we went to Mara and I got another of those yogurt/granola cups and at it by the fireplace in the lobby rather than the noisy food court. I absolutely love those things, but can barely finish them. I'll be back for them when I'm staying at OKWR & elsewhere, too! Kathy was laughing at me enjoying yogurt so much, lol, but it seems my trips always center around some favorite food - the yogurt thing has got to be healthier than the marshmallow thingy!
By the time we (I) finished breakfast and washed out my cup it was just after 11, so we went back to Mara since lunch had just started. No, we were not ready to eat again - we were buying food to take home! I asked the cm what the soup of the day was, and it was the same yucky flavor as yesterday - must be leftovers <g>. I ordered the tomato bisque for the 3rd day in a row, lol, and got another brownie. Kathy got a couple of the tomato bisques, a brownie & the African stew for her boys. We got it all to go, and headed out to the van. We ran into a little rain on the way to Kathy's house but thankfully it wasn't raining when we got there! I didn't stay long - knowing I had lots to do after I got home, and the drive home was pretty routine & boring.
Tim called me during my drive, and was funny - I guess he didn't realize we were at his favorite resort, AKL, and reacted with a "WHAT????" when I mentioned it, lol! He settled down when he found out I'd gotten both of the passholder pins he wanted though. I forgot to mention that last night he called me DURING Fairy Tales - thank goodness I'd had the sense to put the phone on vibrate even though I wasn't expecting any calls! I ran out the door we came in to take the call, and let the door close behind me. Tim asked if we enjoyed the show, and I told him it's still going on (thinking what the HELL are you calling me NOW for???). He'd forgotten about Fairy Tales and thought we were at Comedy Warehouse - he was calling to tell us he was in the row behind us, as a joke, lol! Yikes - I told him I wanted to get back to the show - I didn't want to miss a minute - so we hung up and then I discovered the door was locked! I was locked out of the freakin' theater!! Frantic, I looked for people who might have a key, but nobody I found had it. They were all really nice, just keyless! One guy suggested I go around to the regular entrance, and told me where that was, and I got back in during the scene where Layden's character is dying. Whew - I had visions of missing the whole rest of the show, and would have been very upset at myself for taking that phone call!
Today the weather kept us from the original plan. It would have been nice to see Gus, but we found out he'd been not feeling well so it's possible he wouldn't have been out today if we had gone over. We were spared any Disney transportation challenges, lol, so there's always a bright side! Having a leisurely morning was a treat, and coming home to finish the report while eating my tomato bisque from Mara was pretty darn nice!
Without question, we had our share of challenging moments thanks to Disney. The unacceptable ashtray-smelling non smoking rooms, the inaccessible accessible room, the arguing bus drivers, and the new Imagination attraction that cannot accommodate Kathy's wheelchair were all things we would have preferred to skip. We missed going to the Comedy Warehouse Friday night since it took us 5 hours to get checking into a suitable room. I personally didn't care that I missed it - I'll be back and will spend many nights there, but Kathy's not likely to be able to go since she doesn't normally stay at the resorts anymore. It sounded like a great cast that night (Jen was working for Mary and Jake was in for Greg), and I'm sure Adie is feverishly creating her highly detailed report of each and every scene (or has a big 'ole box of Hoffman's double chocolate covered pretzels on their way)! <g>
Despite the challenges though, I loved this weekend trip, and overall had an excellent time! I've gushed enough about Fairy Tales already, but no more than anyone else who'd seen it would do! The 6 of us who attended had lots of fun together, and a lot of laughs! I don't think Kathy will ever forget me pouring her beer through a syringe directly onto the floor! Usually we don't spend an evening in a gay bar during our trips - but other than the smoke I thought the Parliament House seemed like a great place (full of really nice people, and the shirtless hunk was a nice touch even though he wasn't shirtless for us <g>). One thing that impressed me was if any of the people working there knew we were not gay (4 of us, anyway) they didn't treat us any less wonderfully - it's too bad people who are gay can't always say that when they're in predominantly straight settings. The Partridge Family will always have a special meaning to me now, lol - I feel almost like one of them <g>. Sheila & I being chosen was a surprise, but I loved it. At the Warehouse I tend to not volunteer because I'm there so much, and I figure they'd rather have someone who hasn't done it before - but I love getting involved and don't mind becoming part of the show.
It was great fun spending time with Adie & Lisa again, and having Sheila there at the same time. Leesa & Kathy finally got to meet - after hearing about each other for so long. Everyone knows these people from my trip reports, so when they meet for the first time in person it's like seeing an old friend - which is terrific!
My next scheduled trip isn't until July 12th, unless I add a weekend before then either for Comedy Warehouse with Leesa or doing something with Kathy. On July 12th Chris & I start a 10-day trip we'll share most of with Larry from Scotland & his family, and will be joined by Nancy & her fiance (not just a boyfriend anymore) Clinta for the Vero Beach portion of the trip. Larry's family will be DVC guests at Vero & OKWR, and then is treating us to the AKL concierge level. It should be a great trip!