Thursday, August 11

Swampy Recap

Let's see how fast I can get through talking about my trip while remembering not to include what I've already talked about. I really don't want to keep putting this off and have my crappy memory get even worse.

I wrote about getting there on four Tuesdays ago (holy crap). I did not add that the nice big fat cookbook that I was dying to have and had been waiting nearly a month for arrived that very same day. The SO checked on the mail after dropping me off at the airport and saw it sitting there. Of friggin' course! Lol. I have it now, it is absolutely wonderful and I cannot wait to start using it. I have determined that I was going to cook one special meal from it a month. That seems like a much more attainable goal since trying to cook a new meal a week was screwing up our grocery schedule and budget.

I was lucky enough to cram very quick and very few visits in while finishing getting the house ready with my brother for the following month of visiting relatives and traveling. I did go to my new doctor who was my mom's old doctor. Nice to finally put a face to the name I've heard and talked to for years, lol. I have a great apprehension and anxiety surrounding any doctor that isn't my eye doctor. Luckily, I was able to quickly bond with one of the nurses there and that helped me calm down considerably. However, just before and when I met my doctor, all I could think about when she asked me how I was doing was: "Oh, I'm just peachy. Not only do I have a fear of doctors, but I always meet new people buck-nekkid while wrapped in a paper towel vest and blanket covering my business and sitting on butcher paper. Freezing my butt off is just a plus." I get pretty... spunky when I feel as if I'm being pushed into a corner. Luckily, I was able to keep my attitude in check, answer her saying that I was cold, and then continue on with the appointment by being completely open, honest, and curious about my body and health. I think what was a huge relief and nearly a let down was the fact that I wasn't going to get any lab tests done and that was what I was dreading and psyching myself up for the most. It did have to get done but on another day. Boo.

I think I spent the majority of the rest of the day with my friend who was doing a bit of work. She and I ended up having a great discussion about my recent spiritual trip and we explored using the Medicine Cards. I hadn't expected that but I am so glad that it happened and I was able to share a little bit of what I've learned and experienced with a great person. Late that evening, we resolved to stalk-surprise another old friend of ours who wasn't able to visit with us. She was stuck at dress rehearsal for a local theater show that was to open that Friday evening.  We felt that we could not barge into the rehearsal without some sort of peace offering/ bribe, so we stopped on the way by a grocery store and bought two boxes of cookies from the bakery. Oh yes.

We figured out where rehearsals were, fandangled ourselves into the parking lot and auditorium, and waited impatiently in the freezing cold lobby for a "good" time to barge it. The entire time, we were trying to silence our nervous giggling and plotting to shove the cookies through the doorways ahead of our bodies to quell the potential rage from the theater folk over our invasion. In the end, one of the behind the scenes guys happened upon us and let us know that the rehearsal was nearly over. After the last song, we snuck in through the doors unnoticed and sat in the back rows while the directors went over their notes. It understandably took quite some time, lol. We figured out which dress and wig was our friend and attempted to bide our time. However, once the motivational speeches were done, the entire cast scattered backstage to close up shop before we knew what was going on. XD

After a few minutes of me trying to hide behind chairs while my partner in crime waited with camera ready for our friend to come back out, we meekly offered the cookies to the directors. In all reality, no one cared at all that we were there and would have had no problem with us coming in and spying at any time, cookies or not. Lol. The problem with our well-intended plan was that we did not realize that our friend was more or less in charge of locking up after everyone. After a while of waiting for her to come back out so I could pop up and surprise her and watching 75% of the cast and crew head out for a celebratory dinner, we were ready to go with Plan B of bum-rushing backstage and finding her instead. So, we did. We did surprise her a little and snag a blurry picture of that. We also grabbed our cookies, offered them to what was still left of the cast, and be descended upon. We did accompany the remainder of the gang to TGIF's but stayed long enough for a brief meet and greet and headed home because it was nearing midnight at that point. Stalking near-fail, lol.

During the rest of the week, my brother took another friend and I to various card-comic-hobby shops that he frequents now. They were so great! Tons of cool stuff to check out. Bless my brother's heart, he drove me everywhere around town and we galloped in and out stores so I could get more crochet supplies, Super Scribblenauts, a pair of amazing foam weapons from Target for a dollar each, and to our favorite super cheap pizza-pasta-soup buffet. On Sunday, we headed to church, I spent a few hours talking to an old friend, hit up Panera for brunch, and we also went to a smoothie and then frozen yogurt shop. They are all the rage now, I guess. Lol.

Okay, I managed to recap the following few days in a previous post. We did do a little bit of fishing in the Everglades but decided against going on an air boat tour with the large group we had. Instead, we saw some gators swim up to the floating dock we were on, peacocks strutting their stuff, and mosquitoes and red ants begin to eat us alive. When we dragged ourselves home, my mom had a buffet of food waiting for us and we descended upon it like an Olympic sport. My folks are weird and excited about their new camcorder (we haven't had a reasonable one in years and I guess this is where I get my need to document things from) and recorded us eating the entire time. As creepy as it felt at first, a lot of funny shenanigans and conversations happen during big dinners together so it almost makes sense to have that to watch once this once in a lifetime visit is long over. My mother started her much deserved vacation during this time and took the kids shopping and such.

That Friday, my brother and I did everything we could to empty the house and make a stockpile of everything the household was going to bring to Orlando. I snagged a quick visit with another friend and played with her beautiful kids. They are pretty funny. When my dad got off of work, the boys went to pick up the passenger van rental. That sucker was big and I pretty much packed it with everything by myself. That was utter nonsense. We piled in and headed out for Orlando a little before 5pm that day. Half way there, we made a stop at McDonalds where hilarity ensued because we all actively participated in the sport of marathon eating. We didn't make it to the rental house until 10pm.

I don't think we made it to any theme park before 1pm that week. Every morning, my brother, NY cousin who had already come to visit my folks earlier this summer and has been well trained already, and I would drag our butts out of bed, get dressed, and set up the breakfast buffet for everyone else. It usually consisted of at least half a dozen kinds of cereal because my folks are nuts. I'm the biggest cereal eater in the family (extended included, I've learned) and could not eat that much. Some days we added PopTarts, various cooked eggs, bacon, toast, corn, and egg noodle soup to the mix. Actually, I think that was everyday eventually. I ended up creating a get-pumped-up-party playlist that I played to get everyone awake in the morning.

The first day, to start off with a bang while we were all still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed was Magic Kingdom. That actually went pretty well overall because the three of us are some sort of super team when it comes to vacation boot camp. If it's any indication of how things went, my side muscles were sore because of how many times I looked back on the bulk of the group because I had run ahead to check things out or set activities up. We stayed until the park closed and dragged our sorry butts back to the house. The next day, most of the family went to Blizzard Beach the water park. In the evening, we headed to Downtown Disney for some shopping and food.

Come Monday, we wrapped up breakfast, tried to surprise our aunt at her shop, and then went to a Vietnamese restaurant recommended by our local cousin. Afterwards, we hit up Epcot. It did rain and we did end up speeding through the countries despite the fact that it's my favorite Disney World park. They've added this cute scavenger hunt for kids with a Kim Possible theme and that was really cool. I wish it had gone smoother for the group's youngest member, it's pretty flawed at the same time. After the fireworks show, we left the park and went to one of those big ole tourist gift shops for souvenirs. The Super Team, the little one, and my dad were marooned in the van while the rest of the group lost each other in a Super Walmart too.

The next day, we grabbed our local cousin and went to the other water park, Typhoon Lagoon. Somehow, the ladies that stayed in the shade of palm trees still managed to get a little sun burn. I'm not sure how that worked. We ate dinner at a Golden Corral. It was my first time there after hearing so many stories and I've come to the conclusion that it's like a college campus dining hall with food from all of the days of the week at the same time. And just as insane to navigate. I really admire anyone who manages to stay working there. Luckily for our family, it was attached with yet another souvenir shop. Oh goody! Lol.

Wednesday was Hollywood Studios. It was formerly known as MGM Studios and its still really weird for us to use its new name. We loved Tower of Terror, Rockin' Roller feat. Aerosmith, and Fantasmic. On Thursday, we packed up our things, left the rental house, and we grabbed our cousin again to spent the afternoon in Disney Quest. It's been quite some time since I've been there and my have things changed. Nearly all of the arcade games were free to play and our group pretty much dispersed, often into pairs that would alternate partners. It was pretty funny happening upon each other. That night we stayed at our cousin's house and the kids stayed up late doing karaoke. It was hilarious. She had also baked an early birthday cake for me and our cousin (whose birthday was that weekend). It was delicious.

We all got up bright and early the next to day to head home. I think the kids nodded off half of the time due to lack of sleep and soreness from throughout the week. I don't blame them. We were pretty relentless, lol. Pulled my folks' driveway around 2pm, unpacked the rental van to return it by 4pm, had a KFC-Taco Bell buffet at home, and then my friend and I headed out to catch previously mentioned friend's show: Gilbert and Sullivan's The Gondoliers.

*Scream* My train of thought has been severely destroyed by the fact that I just got bit 5 times in the past ten minutes by various bugs. *Eye twitch.* Really, bugs, really? What has been with you guys the past week? I was wearing a shirt/ sun dress today but have gone and changed into long pajama pants and a thin long-sleeved shirt. ROAR. Leave me alone, I'm blogging, you jerks. Lol.

I flew out the following day after grabbing a quick bite at Yogurtland where they are starting an advertising campaign involving Sanrio characters. We were freaking out over the new themed spoons and cups. After fairly smooth flights, the SO not only picked me up but took my hungry butt to the oh-so-lovely Olive Garden. He knows me so well.

That brings us up to this current week which leads into how the garden has done. Who knows how long that post is going to take me... *starts to cringe*. I'll see you soon! <3

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