"There's no place like home, but do we really want to be there?" Thursday, 23 November 2000 Our last day! BOO!!!!! We were supposed to eat breakfast at Hollywood and Vine at MGM, but--being the wild and crazy person that I've become--I changed the plans AGAIN! Wow! Big deal for me! We ate in the room, and I packed. I was a little concerned about how we were going to get everything crammed in suitcases, but I am an expert at cramming, so everything worked out fine! We asked the bellman to store our luggage, and we headed over to Epcot. I had a feeling that the Thanksgiving Day crowd at MK might be horrible, but Epcot was not crowded at all while we were there. We were pleasantly surprised. We entered the International Gateway soon after 11:00 and just enjoyed one last stroll around the World Showcase Lagoon. We stopped and browsed here and there. We ate some popcorn at the American Adventure, and my daughter participated in the Thanksgiving crafts. We strolled all the way around the lagoon, eventually making the full circle and visiting the Millennium Village one last time. Before we left the park, we ran into Jafar and Winnie the Pooh (what an ODD combination) near the International Gateway. We had PS for 3:00 at Spoodles, so we headed toward the Epcot resorts. We stopped at the Beach Club and at the Yacht Club to admire the Christmas decorations before heading to the BoardWalk. At Spoodles, we had a smoked duck, Camembert, and cranberry flatbread that was delicious. My husband and my daughter chose the traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey, etc. I chose shrimp and scallops with a mushroom and goat cheese risotto and a cream sauce seasoned with leeks and sherry. I'm sure the pilgrims would have preferred my choice. We headed back to the Swan, waited for the town car (which arrived on the dot), and headed to the airport. We discovered at check-in that our seats had been reassigned and that I was placed about ten rows ahead of my husband and child! He got to listen to her chatter for two hours. I read magazines! Our flight from Orlando to Memphis was uneventful. We did have a new level of bad plane food: a sandwich of unidentifiable origin, a bag of Fritos, and an apple. (I kid you not.) I knew that I was no longer in Fantasyland when I deplaned and ran into a maintenance worker at the airport. "Good evening," I said, "And happy Thanksgiving!" "What's so good about it?" he snapped. Then, I went into a restroom where a woman was digging through the trash. Here's where things got really bad. When we arrived in Memphis around 7:40, we were surprised that none of the shops or restaurants were open. When we arrived at our gate, we learned that our flight was overbooked. I was more than willing to accept the airline's offer to put us up for the night and to give us each $400 in travel vouchers. (Visions of future Disney trips dancing in my head!) However, my husband was in "going home mode" and refused to consider the offer. Things got worse when we were told that our plane was not there, so our flight had been listed as "indefinite." I had a bad feeling that I was going to be spending the night in the Memphis airport! As the evening dragged on, someone from the airline offered us "apology packets"--which included a 6-minute phone card and a $10 voucher for the Perkins restaurant, which, apparently was the only place open in the whole dang airport. Imagine my husband's surprise (and the other passengers who had been sent as the representatives from their families) when he learned that this place had no hot food and no meals of any sort! The following options were available: bags of potato chips, sodas, muffins, cookies, and pie. The group at gate A-11 became a tight-knit family on this unusual Thanksgiving night! One man kept saying, "Hey! We need to eat some meat!" Another man (obviously a genius) chimed in with the following comments about pork: "Pork meat is some good eating. And nothin' goes to waste! You can even use the feet." It was late, and I was tired, but I wasn't so tired that I didn't wish 100 times that I had a tape recorder! I do have great video footage of some brilliant repartee: Me: "So, what did you have for Thanksgiving dinner?" Passenger A: "A burger in the Detroit airport and a brick-like sandwich on the plane." Passenger B: "Lays potato chips, cookies, and apple crumb cake in the Memphis airport." And on and on! We had quite an assortment of humanity in that gate area: two high school cheerleaders who had begun the day by participating in the Macy's parade and who were desperate to get home because they had to catch a bus at 8:00 A. M. to go to a playoff game, a family from Las Vegas trying to make it to Louisiana for Thanksgiving dinner, three different groups of people who had been to WDW. We then learned that a plane had arrived, but we didn't have a crew. A pilot finally appeared on the scene--but refused to fly that "pitiful, broken plane", as he described it. Meanwhile, the weather was getting worse and worse. I kept thinking that if God were sending us signs, surely we should recognize them! We were finally allowed to board a plane after midnight (hours and hours behind schedule). The pilot warned us that we were in for a very rough flight, but we finally landed safely in Louisiana. We drove home from the airport and arrived around 3:00 A. M. Truly a Thanksgiving to remember! ****************** Post-trip Comments We had a great trip, but ten days might be too long. (Ack! Don't tell my husband I said that.) We really didn't stress ourselves out by trying to do everything at the parks. We spent a lot of time relaxing at the parks and changing our itinerary to fit our moods. I really enjoyed meeting some fellow DIS pals. I'm going back in February--and I can't wait! Be warned: It will be a Chicken Girl birthday extravaganza!