Somebody forgot to tell Florida that it’s still January, so we are enjoying warmer than usual winter temperatures here. I’m not bragging. Just stating facts. Fast forward to the middle of August wherein my thighs have melded to the leather upholstery of the van, and then we’ll be even.
We decided to take advantage of the 80 degree temperatures by spending the day at Typhoon Lagoon water park in Disney World. The Europeans had the same bright idea.
Oh the humanity. My retinas. Will never fully recover.
And it wasn’t just men in need of a good waxing wearing speedos. Nay. The thongs nearly did me in. I have to ask the makers of the thong. Why? And I would pose the same question to the wearers of the thong. Why?
It can’t be comfortable.
As you might imagine, I fit right in with my one piece sausage casing, knee length board shorts, and long sleeved rash guard.
I hope that you’ll be proud of me when I tell you that I conquered a ride called Slushing Gusher. It’s a long tube like slide that hurls a rider straight downward. You emerge at the end with a thong-type action, even if you didn’t intend to wear one. The most difficult part of the attraction, for me, was the long winding stairway which ascends to the top of the slide. Fiddledaddy was quizzing me on the way up and finally I had to tell him to STOP TALKING because I could no longer breathe, much less engage in witty banter. At about the half way point I had to stop and hang over the railing in the likely event I was going to hurl. My apologies to the patrons below me. If I had pen and paper I would have scribbled down my last will and testament and called it a day. When I mercifully did reach the pinnacle, I was so thankful to get to lie down at the entrance to the tube that I didn’t really think about what I was about to experience.
I closed my eyes, held my nose, and prayed like I’ve never prayed before, hoping the whole thing would end as I’m certain that I caught air, only to crash down onto the slide before flying out at the end. I lay there a moment blinking up at the sun, wondering if anyone had ever died on such a ride. The only thing that motivated me to get up was the fear that some hairy thong wearing vacationer would land on top of me after not understanding the ENGLISH behind WAIT FOR THE GREEN LIGHT BEFORE LAUNCHING.
I understand that while I was making my descent, my son was at the bottom of the slide causing a great deal of havoc while audibly worrying about his mommy WHO SHOULD NOT BE DOING THIS RIDE! And really, I could never have done it two years ago when I visited the park in my wheel chair. And I likely could not have done it even a year ago. But I’ve come a long way, baby.
The day would not be complete without an incident sure to make you feel better about your own parenting skills.
We lost Emme.
At the beginning of the day, we made the speech about should you happen to get lost, head to the entrance where there is a lost parent booth. Or ask a cast member/employee/life guard, and they will take you there.
We’ve never lost a child at Disney World, we just always like to feel like we’ve prepared everyone for most emergencies. It’s sort of like the speech given at the beginning of the airplane flight. No one really listens, but it’s your job to give it your best shot. Then at least you can say I told you so.
We were going to the shark tank to swim with the sharks and stingrays. And by we, I mean NOT ME as I don’t go near water that is below 90 degrees. Or inhabited by sharks and stingrays.
I exited the bathroom near the exhibit and asked Fiddledaddy where Emme was. Emme is the 13 year old independent child who is counting the moments until she can drive and move out on her own. He told me that she had gone below the exhibit to watch the sharks from underneath the water through the safety of portal windows. He then deposited me and our stroller full of crap at a picnic table near the exit of the exhibit. Yes. We bring our stroller. Our son has completely outgrown it, and can dismantle the entire thing and fashion it into a weapon, but we still insist on bringing it to hold ALL THE CRAP.
Fiddledaddy then took child #2 and #3 to swim with the fishes. I assumed he was going to collect Emme on the way. I sat and watched him snorkel up with the 2 younger children. I yelled to him to ask where Emme was, to no avail. He couldn’t hear me. I assumed she decided to stay put at the portal.
A great deal of time went by, and still no Emme. I became nervous as I began to think about my beautiful teenager and ALL THE HAIRY EUROPEAN MEN IN SPEEDOS. I got up from my perch and moved to a more central location. I spotted Cailey about 20 feet away with Emme. Who was crying.
Emme never cries. Never hardly ever. I knew immediately that she had come up from below the exhibit, not seen our stroller full of crap, and panicked. I walked over to her and she hugged me. SHE HUGGED ME. IN PUBLIC. Sure enough, she couldn’t find us and wandered off in search of the family she wants so badly to grow up and leave. She told us that she went to the lost parent’s booth. Twice. But did not stay there to WAIT FOR US. She circled the park a couple of times and came back to the shark exhibit at the same time that Cailey was coming out of the water. She didn’t let loose with the tears until she saw her sister. Prompting her sister to say, “Wow, maybe she really does love me.”
I noticed a very different Emme for the rest of the day. At one point she even let me hold her hand, something I’ve missed VERY MUCH since she’s gotten all grown up and taller than I am. I think the incident really struck a chord with her and that maybe, just maybe, her family is really not all that bad.
All in all, it was a good day.
Despite losing a child and the near death experience.