I’m afraid I don’t have much energy to devote to much of anything tonight, creative or otherwise. Regrettably, the long drive sapped the entire family of our residual strength and we’ve spent the past twenty-four hours running on little more than fumes. Once we were finally able to get on the road after the unfortunate eight hour delay we were forced to endure, we made an arduous sixteen hour journey across the country, through the nation’s bowels of Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas before finally settling deep into The Great American Urethra, otherwise known as the state of Florida. Every wannabe stand-up comic may have already made the Florida-as-penis joke far too many times than I’d like to explore, but the joke is a cliche because it’s true. The state is a giant, flaccid phallus that dangles off the edge of the country and metaphorically pisses the waste of North America into the warm and salty waters of the Atlantic Ocean, only nobody really cares because, well, it’s Florida! The country, after all, likely has low expectations of a state that brought us both pregnant chads and a governor named Jeb. And, let’s face it, aside from Disneyworld and NASA, the best Florida ever had to offer died with the cancellation of The Golden Girls.
It’s not that I hate Florida or anything, I just don’t particularly like it. It’s a lot like Louisiana, which is another state I generally loathe, but it’s somehow worse, probably because it houses one specific location that I love – and I do love
Disneyworld. It’s a great place that, while fiendishly managed by malevolent corporate greed designed to rape its customers on every level imaginable, still manages to engender feelings of warm and fuzzy goodness from me and mine. Judging by Trey’s initial reaction to the place, for example, he’ll likely harbor a deep adoration of it for many years to come. When we first passed under the Walt Disney World gateway and pulled onto the 47 square miles of Disney property, he made his face smile so hard that it came around the other side, looking angry. Seriously, by the time we parked the car, he was so excited that I was certain he was about to Hulk out from pure joy, and I started watching for signs that his skin was turning green. Thankfully, it wasn’t – but that was just the start!
We drove to our hotel and managed to just barely make our reservation time, although we missed the character breakfast we’d scheduled for Trey. We checked in, unloaded the car, then headed out to the Magic Kingdom. Driving yourself is
usually faster than taking Disney transportation (well, with the exception of the monorail, providing it doesn’t catch on fire), but the Magic Kingdom is an exception. When you drive to the Magic Kingdom, you don’t actually park
at the Magic Kingdom. Instead, you park at the Ticket and Transportation Center, then board a tram to take you from the parking lot to the TTC itself, before finally choosing to depart for the park via boat or monorail. It’s a multi-step process that is annoying when you’re arriving and downright soul-crushing when you’re leaving. After a day of constant walking whilst carrying a child who somehow manages to increase his specific gravity with every step you take, the last thing you want to do at the end of it all is stand in more lines – and there are always lines. There are lines for everything: to get into the park, to leave the park, to buy food, drinks, clothes and toys. There are lines for the rides and lines for the shows, lines for the toilets and lines on the roads. Lines, queues, turnstiles and wraparound rat mazes funnel hundreds of thousands of people through a resort complex twice the size of Manhattan – and it works. It’s annoying, but it does work.
Except, of course, when it doesn’t. While working our way through the maze of chains and guardrails for one particular attraction today, a woman and her child hopped the barriers just in front of us and cut in line, while calling her
husband and a couple of other guys to come join her. Naturally, I could not let this slide, so I began yelling at them as we approached. I elaborated as we got closer, but their lack of response to my skillful display of unrepentant rage seemed to indicate that they simply weren’t impressed. Once they started speaking to each other, however, it became clear: they didn’t speak English. I couldn’t pinpoint the exact language, but it was of the eastern European variety, not that it matters. I’m fairly certain that cultural differences don’t allow for flagrant abuses of accepted social conventions like not cutting in line. Whatever country they were from, they were pricks, regardless of whatever language it was they were speaking.
Fortunately, my anger is as quick to dissipate as it is to emerge, so once we’d left their general vicinity, I was back to being happy. Mostly, I was enjoying being with Trey and watching him enjoy the park. Throughout the day, he kept telling me how glad he is that he’s back, while providing a limitless flow of hugs and kisses accompanied by repeatedly calling
me Daddy, sans the Kris. We toured Mickey’s house, and he met the famous mouse and his girlfriend. We rode Goofy’s roller-coaster and saved the galaxy with Buzz Lightyear. We were passengers onboard several trains, from the steam train that surrounds the park and the linear synchronous motor-propelled PeopleMover of Tomorrowland, to the train of a 1970s-tomorrow called the Monorail and the “crazy train” that Trey calls the parking lot tram. We walked into the Haunted Mansion and walked out as soon as Trey decided he wasn’t as into it as he thought he’d be. We watched a 3D CGI film called Mickey’s Philharmagic
and laughed as Trey reached out to grab a phantasmic Donald Duck, or when he jumped in his seat as droplets of water jumped off the screen and splashed onto his face. We took part in a massive street dance-a-thon with a few Disney characters and a couple thousand other people, and we took a quick tour through the candy store. But mostly, I watched Trey having the time of his life, and I smiled.
I smiled not only because he was having such a good time, or even because he was so affectionate and loving towards both Brittany and I. It wasn’t even all the times he’s called me “Daddy” since we got on the road last night. He’s done all of that before, and rather regularly, in fact. No, what I enjoyed most was the he was having the best family vacation I think he’s ever had, and it was only the first day of our first one. Tomorrow can only be better. All the tomorrows. Forever.
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