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joedisney
02-13-2001, 02:22 PM
A little later than promised, here is Episode III. I have decided to forgo the aliases, at least at times, and am providing the following cast information: I'm Joe, the Dad and 38. Kathy is the Mom, also known as Lucy, and is 37. Christopher is 8 and is also known as "Map Boy" or Huckle. Connor is 5 and the famous "Octopus" from Episode 1 is 18 month old Alex.

Episode 3: Learning to laugh

OK, we're only about half way through our first full day at the Kingdom and we are having a real hard time finding any magic. There were times when I thought a little pixie dust might have been blowing our way, when an insect, bird or small pooping boy would gust up and blow that dust back in the other direction. Well, I did promise some magic, but you will need to bear with me a bit longer before some good eventually happens upon this lowly crew of snake bitten travelers. Being the fanatical Disney planner that I am, I quickly query my mental database for options. As you may remember, all of us are still quite hungry as Kathy and I have had no lunch and two portly seagulls have absconded with the boy’s hot dogs. Although I know it is physically impossible for more to come out, I also wonder how much time we have before the Octopus erupts yet again. I've got the perfect idea, right out of the Unofficial Guide, I remember the recommendation that when the family begins to overload, head off to the relative tranquility of Tom Sawyers Island for a nice lunch while the kids let off some steam exploring the caves. What a great idea! There is certainly no way anything can go wrong with this plan. Except, of course, for the fact that the great planner has forgotten the fact that Aunt Polly's Dockside Inn, the only restaurant on the island, only has OUTDOOR seating. Oops. As this ragtag group rides the raft over to Tom Sawyers Island, the Octopus struggles to return to the waters of his brethren. At any site of water, this boy wants in. While dodging the many salvos of the swinging wrecking ball also filling the role of Alex's head, we soon land on the island and debark in search of food. Following the winding path, the second thing that catches my eye as we turn the corner heading towards Aunt Polly's is the number of birds that are fluttering about. The first thing I notice? You guessed it, the lovely outdoor seating. Instantly, I feel the heat of the pregnant girl as her glare settles upon the back of my head. Undaunted, we find a table and I head off for some food. The boys, are little slower on the draw, but soon realize that they will again be dining with birds. They are not happy. Back with the sandwiches and drinks, I know we will not be going to the Enchanted Tiki Room anytime soon, even if it is "under new management." Although the sandwiches are good, we are all so bothered by the birds, we really don’t enjoy lunch. I sit in disbelief as the family next to us feeds these bothersome flying beasts. As hoards of birds descend upon us, we gulp down the last of our food and move on. Before we leave the island, we do have fun crossing the bridges and exploring the caves. Oh, and by the way, even though I was sure it was impossible, we use our last diaper before heading back to the mainland.

Having survived a most eventful morning, our spirits are surprisingly high as we head back over to Tomorrowland to ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Buzz was down earlier in the day, but we did get speed passes that were expiring shortly. Speed passes are cool. With a twenty-minute wait in the normal line, we swiftly moved to the front of the line and got on the ride in less than five minutes. Buzz is a fun ride, but Christopher was a little disturbed at the final score. I promised that he would get a chance for a rematch as we would be going to e-ticket night on the following Tuesday. Exiting the neon whir of Buzz Lightyear, we head over to one of my favorite rides in the park. As my unsuspecting boys board the boat to It’s a Small World, I suck in the nostalgia of my surroundings. This ride always brings back fond memories of my Dad's hearty laugh. Other than the Country Bear Jamboree, nothing brought out larger chuckles from the big guy. Some would say that my father was easily amused. I now believe that he was simply able to enjoy humor at the level it was intended. The ability to immerse himself in the moment without the inhibitions that sometimes shackle us as adults. To let out that loud belly laugh even when no other adult in the room is brave enough to admit that they find those silly singing bears kind of amusing. It's funny how this simple concept, which embarrassed me as an eleven-year old boy back in 1973, is now something I would love to impart on my boys as an adult in 2001. This lesson, however, will be left for another day as both of the bigger boys block their ears and yell incoherently through most of the ride. Alex, on the other hand, likes the ride and is uncharacteristically content to remain inside the boat. After It's a Small World, we do the Astro Orbiter. This ride, you'll be happy to know, holds no sentimental value and with my fear of heights, I'm glad when it's over and I'm back on the ground. At this point, I'm a bit disappointed at how few rides we have actually gone on, but we unanimously agree to head back to the hotel for some rest (mom and Alex) and pool time (dad and the big boys).

As we head towards the exit, we notice the crowds developing for the Magical Moments Parade. We decide to watch and find a nice spot to the left of the castle. Here is where we first discover that the babe loves all that is Disney. He is in awe of the spectacle before him. Dancing and snapping his little fingers he thoroughly enjoys the parade. Back at the hotel, Connor, Christopher and I get on our suits and head for the pool. It's only in the low 70's, but the pool is heated and is quite nice. As we swim, the anguish of our travels is quickly washed away. Soon, however, we notice we are being stalked. A young lad has taken a liking to us and stays within feet of wherever we go. Swim to the left, there he is. Swim to the right, can't shake him. Swim to the other end of the pool, there he is again. Eventually we introduce ourselves and discover our shadow is actually 9 year old Mathew, who is here with his Grandmother and, being home schooled, is not really missing any school. Having gotten the formalities out of the way, we play for an hour or so and eventually say good-by to our new friend. He sadly returns to his Grandmother as we dry off and head back to our room.

After a quick shower, we head off to the Grand Floridian Café for dinner. Although this is one of the hotel's more casual restaurants, I still feel a bit like Griswald's dining at the Ritz. Our waitress is very nice and the food is excellent. I have the Scallops and Shrimp over pasta, which is delicious. We are all ecstatic about having a meal that is free from the watchful eyes of our winged friends. Stuffed and tired we head back to the room for some Toon Disney and some sleep. When the boys are all tucked in, however, I decide to take a trip to the Super Walmart for some supplies that will be a little friendlier on our budget. Returning to the hotel with eight bags of drinks and snacks, I feel a little silly walking through the lobby. Especially since I needed to stop every 20 feet or so to rest my aching fingers. Settling in for the night is a glorious thing. Kathy and I lie and chat and can now laugh at the day's events. As I drift off to sleep, I'm sure my Dad has been watching and laughing too.

Coming soon:

Episode IV: "I've looked around, no one looks like him."

4merlurkerchris
02-13-2001, 05:32 PM
Hi,
We've been waiting for your next report. Glad to hear that things seem to be going better! Looking forward to reading the rest.
Chris :)

forest
02-14-2001, 06:07 AM
We love reading your trip reports. Your family sounds so much like ours, although we have 2 girls and one boy, similar ages, and the last on the way. We are also distant neighbors, from the south of Boston. I am a teacher and was "checking in" with DIS when I read this, (SHHH, don't tell!). Students and teachers walking by my class looked in questioning WHAT I am doing and looking at me strange, because I was laughing OUT LOUD while reading your report. Keep them coming, we leave in 3 days for the Contemporary - YEAH! :)

joedisney
02-14-2001, 02:34 PM
Hope you have a great time! We had ten days of spectacular weather. I'm already starting to plan for another trip next January!

Thmacs
02-20-2001, 04:40 PM
Thanks for posting. I truly enjoy your optimism and sense of humor. Your reflections on your Dad at WDW were very touching.
Thanks again, Gail Mc

pumba
02-20-2001, 05:14 PM
report from you....you are a fantastic writer and I love it....... :D

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Cousin Orville
02-20-2001, 05:58 PM
What a great trip report. Thanks. I hope this next post isn't what I think it will be about. :(

Cousin Orville
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PoohbearLisa
02-21-2001, 02:36 PM
Thanks for the new post. Am really enjoying your trip report. :)

oldkicker
02-21-2001, 04:58 PM
Joe - You hooked me with your topic title. I'm off to catch up on your others!

Nice job! :)

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sherrie
02-21-2001, 05:14 PM
GREAT, GREAT REPORT. I am sorry about your little pooper, hope the tummy trouble is gone the next day. Can't wait to hear of your adventures. Thanks for posting.

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lynr
02-21-2001, 07:41 PM
Joe,
What a great report. All I can say is been there and done that. I think we all can relate to the exploding child. And I do wonder why people feed those birds it only makes them worse. I can't wait to read your next installment. :D :D

UncleKyle
02-21-2001, 11:03 PM
Your reports are a joy. And your children sound adorable. Can't wait for you next one. Don't keep us waiting!

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disneydreamerinny
02-22-2001, 04:58 AM
I am so glad I chose to read this report. This is the first time I have read one. It is hilarious!! You poor thing. But you have such good spirits through it all. If it were my family, I would have been so stressed and probably crying by this point just knowing the whole trip was going to suck.
Kudos to you! Cant wait for the next one. You are a very talented writer.

All Star Music 10/4/98
Next trip Music or Movies, not sure yet 9/13/02

abuwalker
02-22-2001, 06:23 AM
Our family thought they were the funniest thing we encountered. Those dive bomber birds nearly got my hot dog at the Launching Pad, but we found the worst place to be Cantina de San Angel in Epcot!

minniecarousel
02-22-2001, 03:04 PM
HA-HA! Just have to say, I started reading your reports at work, then when I got home, fired up the computer & momentarily forgot your name. For some reason, I wanted to check "Poopie's" trip reports! (Now where would I get an idea like that!!)

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zurgswife
02-22-2001, 03:58 PM
So I had the privliage of reading them all in one sitting.. I don't know if I could have waited for each installment..You know while you were living your actual life trying to have the time to entertain us again.

I have four of my own (one Connor) and I've been there done that and I've enjoyed your stories..

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Bennet
02-22-2001, 06:21 PM
lets get these in order.

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Jenn
02-23-2001, 07:34 AM
bump to page 1

Jenn

Robin1116
02-23-2001, 01:28 PM
The mental images from your posts are so funny... I can se your family eating at Aunt Polly's and watching all of the birds!!!
Going to go read four now... :D

Robin Longley

BrerMom
02-24-2001, 09:24 AM
Keep them coming! Our little one loved Small World, too.

Our way to deal with the seagulls: our octopus was always the first one done eating. We'd let him get down, he'd run around the table chasing the "Birds!", and we'd get to eat in relative peace. :D

Beth E. (NJ)
02-24-2001, 09:25 AM
I am thoroughly enjoying your trip reports! Thank you for sharing them with us. :D

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DVC California
02-24-2001, 10:38 AM
Thanks for sharing buddy. As a fellow Disney Dad, I've been where you are a number of times. And it is exactly that type of aversity that makes certain vacations SO memorable.

I've also had to "schlep" a bunch of Wal-Mart bags through the lobbies of these "Grand" hotels, but once I saw that I wasn't alone, it took alittle of the edge off.

I also learned to save those plastic bags to store poopie clothes in for emergencies. :D

Steve

Mackey Mouse
02-24-2001, 04:52 PM
Joe, your trip reports are the greatest. I only wish that you and the family are coming to the Convention in December, I would love to meet this cast of characters in the flesh.. Thanks for making me smile.. :D

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whosezMN
02-24-2001, 07:25 PM
Another great installment! Thanks for posting.

Sandy

Marla Hellwig
02-24-2001, 08:39 PM
Exploding child - been there done that. My one aunt and I have fond memories of Country Bear. Thanks for posting!

Bennet
02-25-2001, 06:58 PM
bump

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zurgswife
02-27-2001, 12:01 PM
These are getting to low on the page!!!

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zurgswife
03-02-2001, 07:12 AM
Bump

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BWV Aug '98, Mar '99
ASM Nov '99
BWV Oct '00, Mar 01
Zurg, Barbie, Buzz, Buzz, Jessie & Tinkerbell
http://members.home.net/dunlapsdisney/

Bennet
03-26-2001, 07:19 PM
bump

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Bennet
03-26-2001, 07:21 PM
oops wrong order bump again

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nativetxn
07-22-2001, 07:06 PM
Too bad other people can't figure out that if you feed the birds they are going to be more agressive towards other human's food.

I love your sense of humor, you made me laugh.

Katholyn

Minniespal
07-25-2003, 04:53 AM
Thanks for sharing ~ Wonderful reviews!!!!!