last days of trip

Wow, nice to be typing on a real computer again! Neat.

So, we got up early Saturday morning to head to the Magic Kingdom. We got to the park just about as it opened (9AM), and immediately headed to Tomorrowland and rode Space Mountain (there was like no wait!). It was pretty good – I had been in Disneyland, but this seemed more intense (and I later found out that it has been redone somewhat recently). After that we checked out “Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin”, which was less of a ride and more of a moving shooting gallery – there were two people to a car and you had a laser gun to shoot targets. And you can spin your car around, which is always neat. Then we did “Stitch’s Great Escape” which had us sitting in a theater while various things were done to us (spraying water and foul-smelling something), and rode the tea cups.

We then rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain (although I passed on that one), then went to the Hall of Presidents. Animatronic people are creepy, and nothing was more creepy than the animatronic George W. Bush talking about freedom and equality (and listing a bunch of non-discrimination things for gender, race, etc., while obviously not listing sexual orientation…) – you could cut the irony with a knife. Did the Haunted Mansion, then had lunch (BBQ pork sandwich – mmm!), then rode “it’s a small world” (which has also been redone), which did not drive me crazy. Did Pirates of the Caribbean and walked through the Swiss Family Tree House, David got a nice looking necklace (picture to come!) and then we were about done for the day. Headed back to the hotel (we were pretty exhausted by this point), relaxed for a bit, then went out to IHOP for dinner (someone was craving waffles or something), then we went back to Magic Kingdom for the fireworks show. The show was very impressive – there was a voice-over by Jiminy Cricket that had lots of Disney soundtrack music in the background, and a fair number of the fireworks were synchronized with either the music or the talking. I got some pictures of these too 🙂

After that, back to the hotel for packing, then to bed! For we got up at 5:30 Sunday morning, and left the hotel parking lot at 6:11 – 4 minutes ahead of schedule! (woohoo!) Due to the fact that we were up very early and the timechange, we had lunch at 10:30 local time, which was kinda weird. Anyway, drive drive drive drive drive, and we arrived in Houston (at abstractseaweed‘s place) just after 11 PM, exhausted. We got up this morning at 6:30 or something and drove back to Austin, and I took a nap, had lunch, and went in to work.

All told (from Austin back to Austin), we went just under 2500 miles on the trip. I haven’t crunched the numbers yet, but I think we averaged around 45 MPG for the trip.

Sorry that was kinda dry – I have some more substantial thoughts about the trip and stuff that I’ll post tomorrow, probably.

*yawn*

no park day! stuff! trogdor!

No parks today! For the morning, see previous post.

After posting, we went out to lunch at Johnny Rocket’s (50s-style place…decent hamburgers) (and djedi wanted me to add that he had a really great Oreo shake, and got to pick a Sonny and Cher song to listen to. So, there…and now he’s gone 🙂 ), then over to the Sheraton (the host hotel for Gay Days) for the expo and pool party. By then it had started to rain again.

The expo was kinda neat – we looked around at various jewelry places and stuff like that, although there were a fair number of places for vacations and cruises and stuff (presumably because gays have, on the whole, more disposable income because they tend to not have kids) which we weren’t really interested in. The hotel, by the way, was like Gay Central Station, or perhaps Gay Central Park. Gays and lesbians as far as the eye could see and whatnot. It was pretty neat to see 🙂

After that we went over to the pool party, which had just kinda started for real because the rain stopped. So we hung around the edge of the pool, and eventually got in and people-watched for a while and stuff. Then, it started to sprinkle. Then, it started to rain. Then, it stopped raining, then sprinkled and rained hard. This didn’t seem to bother other people, but being rained on while in a swimming pool is pretty unpleasant for me for some reason (I have a hangup about getting wet or something). Then, I saw some distant lightning, and it rained harder, so we finally decided to leave (many people were leaving by this point). Made our way back to the car (very hard to find parking) and I was soaking wet, then had to drive back to the hotel. Ugh!

Then we showered (ahh!), played a few hands of Rage, got dinner at Subway and went to see the comedy show “The Naked Guy”. It was…interesting. I enjoyed it at first, but the style of the show was very Golden Girls (says David), and they took a lot of shots at celebrities to get a cheap laugh (or so it seemed to me). the plot was pretty predictable and so were a lot of the jokes by the end. But, it was still neat to see (and go back to Gay Central Station). Afterwards we came back here, played a quick game and are about to go to bed.

So tomorrow’s the Magic Kingdom, and it’s going to be crazy busy between usual Saturday traffic and the Gay Days stuff. But it should be fun. Unfortunately, we’re leaving early early (well, 6AMish) the next day to drive back to Houston, so this has two consequences:

1) We’re going to be tiiiired!
2) No LJ post until I get back, Monday at the very earliest.

I guess that’s it. I had fun, but as usual at the end of a vacation I’ll be glad to get back to my “normal life” and see people and stuff.

I’m not very good at winding down long posts.

Animal Kingdom/Pleasure Island recap

So, Thursday was the day for Animal Kingdom (which none of us had been to) and Pleasure Island. But first, Animal Kingdom!

We got out the door pretty on time, and made our way via shuttle to the Animal Kingdom. We spent the first bit of time in Africa, walking through a kinda nature trail with animal exhibits – saw gorillas, pelicans, and all sorts of good stuff (and I got some good pictures!) The other main thing to do in Africa was a safari, which was a ride that took us through a big savannah and stuff (driven by a cast member on the open road) – got los more good pictures there. After that, lunchtime! (mmm, I’m hungry now) So we ate at the Rainforest Cafe, which had a neat ambience, but the food was just OK, and gave my stomach problems later. *shrug* We then explored Asia and saw a few random things (a bird show), then left on the earlyish side.

I don’t like zoos as a rule (although a show on the Disney Information Channel we saw a few days ago declared that the Animal Kingdom was “Nahtazu”…ha ha ha), but this wasn’t bad. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the other parks, but I did enjoy it more than I expected. Although it was a lot of walking, and we were pretty tired by this point.

So we came back to the hotel, relaxed for a bit, then went over to Seasons 52 for dinner. Still good, although the menu hadn’t changed as much as I had kinda thought it would. Anyway, after that we went to Downtown Disney, spent a little time there and then headed to Pleasure Island.

Pleasure Island, if you’ve never heard of it (me!), is an “adult” part of Downtown Disney that has clubs, outdoor music, and things like that. Thursday night was the official Gay Days night at Pleasure Island, and boy could you tell! (we saw some gay couples/people at Animal Kingdom, but nothing compared to this) The official club of Gay Days had a huge line in front of it (and they got filled to capacity pretty quickly, so we didn’t get in), and there were lots of clearly gay men in line (and occasionally lesbians, too, but that’s harder to tell because it’s more socially acceptable for straight girls to hang on each other, be touchy-feely, etc. than it is for guys). Even outside they were playing lots of “gay music” (“I Will Survive”, “I’m Coming Out”, things by Cher, theme to “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”, etc.). So wildrice13 had been to the comedy club before and said it was pretty good, but we just missed a showing, so we wandered around for a while waiting for the 10:30 show. By the time we left the club we were in to get in line, Gay Days people were starting to come in and whatnot (since no one could get in to the official club). The comedy show was pretty good (it was an improv show, which are always interesting), and one of the performers clearly knew it was Gay Days and kept making jokes/innuendos, etc. to great applause from the audience 🙂 After that we went back to the club we had been in, and it was quite full, lots of gays and straights dancing, which was a pretty neat sight to see. djedi and I danced for a little while, then went home a little early (well, by that I mean 1 AM) because we were really exhausted.

This morning djedi and I got up (the others stayed out later and so slept in) and got to play a round of golf at Pirate’s Cove (like we had tried to do Wednesday) befor it started sprinkling and stuff, like it’s doing now. It’s supposed to rain in the afternoon, but we’ll see. There are some Gay Days related activities we’re gonna do this afternoon (pool party, comedy show, some sort of expo), so we’ll see how that goes.

off-day recap

Howdy all! It’s late and I’m tired, so here’s a quick recap!

So we got going a bit later than we wanted to this morning, and after some false starts (why why why don’t all interstates have feeders??? why?) we made it to Pirate’s Cove minigolf, when the rain that had been falling since we left picked up and we decided minigolf was not going to work today. Perhaps on Friday. So we went to our backup plan and went to the Morse Museum, which had some really neat and amazing glass works of Louis Comfort Tiffany (and a few other artists) – there were paintings of his too, but the glass works were the really impressive part. Before that, we stopped at a cafe and had lunch, and I was good and didn’t have an enormous cookie that looked really really good (by this point, it had about stopped raining)

After that, we went to WonderWorks, which is…well, it’s a little hard to describe. It has a lot of fun and educational things for kids to do, and most of the fun stuff was fun for us, too! We experienced winds that approached hurricane strength (65 mph), made giant bubbles, I landed the Space Shuttle, and stuff like that. And we played a game of Laser Tag at the end, too! We then headed for dinner at Pebbles Island Grill, which was decent but probably not worth the price. Stopped by the room to change and then walked to Downtown Disney (a bunch of shops and stuff that we’ll see more of tomorrow) to the far end to see the Cirque du Soleil show “La Nouba”. I’ve never seen a Cirque show before, and it was really amazing (which is good, because the tickets were a bit pricey). Lots of crazy crazy acrobatics, people spinning in wheels, people climbing up walls (done by gaining momentum on trampolines), neato trapeze stuff, guy riding a bicycle on a tightrope upside down…you get the idea. It was a very cool show, and I bought a CD afterwards. Walking back to the hotel, we got some ice cream…mmm…and then did some midnightish swimming.

That wasn’t so quick. Anyway, we’re going to the Animal Kingdom (another Disney park) tomorrow, followed by dinner at Seasons 52 (hopefully) and then Pleasure Island (which is an island inside Downtown Disney with clubs and bars and stuff) and probably general Downtown Disney stuff, too.

And I saw in the local paper that Deep Throat was revealed today. Read about it! 🙂

EPCOT & MGM!

So, recap of yesterday!

So we got up and left approximately on time to go to EPCOT – the hotel has a shuttle that goes there (and MGM) so we took that. Unfortunately, it was overcast and rainy, but it wasn’t pouring, and the rain kept the crowds down (a lot) at EPCOT. We did the new “Mission: SPACE” ride, which was fun – we were all members of a flight team (I was the engineer!) and we flew a mission to Mars. <proud>I put the team in hypersleep!</proud> We then did the “Test Track” ride, which is supposed to be like a proving ground for a car (which went outside in the rain, too bad), explored some of the “Innoventions” which were kinds fun to play with (but nothing earth-shattering), and went to the “Ellen’s Energy Adventure” show, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye the Science Guy. It was pretty neat (the show was moving and we went through a prehistoric landscape with dinosaurs and whatnot) although on the longish side.

We walked through all the countries in the World Showcase, doing the ride and watching the show at Norway, watching a show at China before skipping ahead to Morocco to eat (definitely lunchtime by then). Then retraced our steps, got some fudge in Germany (mmmm!) and eventually meandered over to the UK and David and I got some Twinings Tea. (oh, and both the Norway and China show emphasized that “X’s culture is in its people”, so don’t forget that!) After that we were going to go to MGM studios, and the nice lady in the UK that we bought tea from said that there was a boat ride that went there, so we did that (although it did take longer than the promised ten minutes…)

Hmm. This is a long recap. And this keyboard sucks. And surfing the web without a popup blocker is like the worst thing ever!

Anyway, we made it to MGM studios around 3:30, and immediately got a fastpass to Aerosmith’s Rock n’ Roller Coaster and waited in line for the Tower of Terror. That was fun, although pretty scary. Good stuff. Anyhow, we then got a fastpass for Star Tours, waited a long time for a Slushee (by this time it had stopped raining, so it was hot, and the crowds were a fair bit heavier) and barely made it into the next show of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire – Play It!”. That was fun – a few people actually were on the hotseat for prizes, and the audience played along to earn points to try to be the next person in the hotseat. The host was no Regis, but she was pretty good, and did a good job handling some “technical difficulties” 🙂 Afterwards, we did Star Tours, which wasn’t as fun as I remembered in seventh grade. Still, good stuff. In the store after that, I overheard the following conversation between two kids:

“Here’s Darth Vader (figurine)”
“I wanted Anakin!”
“Anakin is Darth Vader!”

Heh heh. Anyway, then we went back and did the Aerosmith coaster, which was a lot of fun but pretty damn scary. While waiting in line we saw the start of the ride, which involves you starting out with a big acceleration (linear induction, sayeth wildrice13) and going up a hill. Upon seeing that, I thought “Hmm, that looks bad, but I’m sure it isn’t as bad as it looks”. Well, surprise, surprise, it was that bad! Yikes. But the rest of the ride was fun, and I eventually shook it off. djedi went on this ride (he had skipped Tower of Terror because of his stomach) and he seemed fine with it. Good stuff.

So then Part B of the day begins – we were going to go back to the room to order pizza and get some beer. Anyway, this sucked, and we couldn’t find the pizza place, and I went the wrong way on I-4 and then tried to turn around, which had me exit 4 times (4 times!!) before I was on a real road I could turn around on, and by that time I was going the right direction so I just followed the signs back to I-4. Ugh. So we eventually got pizza and beer and made it back here. (Google SMS saved the day again!) Unfortunately, that meant we ate so late djedi had to stay up really late because f his medicine. *sigh*

So, today is a non-park day – we’re planning to go mini golfing (at Pirate’s Cove), then to Wonder Works (a general fun place with laser tag and stuff), and we have tickets to Cirque du Soleil tonight, which should rock. My hands are really starting to hurt, and we’re about to go, so that’s all for now!

dinner and rain

Just got back from dinner – we went to this really cool place called Seasons 52. It’s so named because part of the menu changes weekly (and the rest of the menu changes seasonally – it switches from Spring to Summer tomorrow!) It was reasonably priced and very good (and all main dishes are under 475 calories, which is a neat idea). For dessert they have “Mini Indulgences” which are cheap, very small (fit inside a small glass), and quite good.

Unfortunately it’s lightning and thundering pretty heavily right now (although only raining off and on) – hopefully it’ll blow over tonight, but I kinda doubt it. We’ll see!