A window into the life of a professional geek, wife and mother (and nonni), stitcher/designer, bibliophile, old-school gamer, and whatever other roles she finds herself in.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

When weekends attack...

Sometimes long weekends just aren't long enough.

We had a 4-day weekend - DH and I get every other Friday off work, and Monday was Memorial Day here in the US. Friday was DD's last day of school, so life began as usual. After school, we drove over to the Zellwood SweetCorn Festival to meet up with friends, including DD's bestest friend H and her family. Other than the blazing heat, we had a good time, and enjoyed seeing Christian rock band MercyMe in concert. Loud, but enjoyable. And the corn was good, too. Our main purpose, though, was to rendezvous with H's family so we could get an early start Saturday on taking DD and H to Disney's Magic Kingdom, which was DD's birthday treat in lieu of a party.

We arrived at Disney not long after opening, and made the rounds. We hit the Haunted Mansion first, and had a very short wait. Most people tend to go for the popular attractions near the entrance first, so hoofing it to the further areas of the park first can sometimes pay off. That, and FastPass is a wonderful thing - you can only have one FastPass active at a time, but it really does help with the waits for popular rides. All told, we did about 17 different attractions, including Splash Mountain (DD and DH did - H didn't want to so I stayed with her), Thunder Mountain, and Space Mountain (which ROCKS!). The girls went on everything they wanted to do, which was good. Most of our waits were half an hour or less, which was pretty good considering Memorial Day weekend is probably when summer tourist season kicks into full gear. Our longest wait was for the Dumbo ride, which was a simple carnival thing, but we were stuck in the middle of the line when the ride started having technical difficulties, and what could have been a 20 minute wait was nearly an hour. Not my idea of a good time, personally, but DD and H had wanted to go on Dumbo, so we waited.

Despite living only an hour away from Di$ney, I've only been a handful of times, and this was my first trip to Magic Kingdom in 12 years. Many of the items were new to me. The Hall of Presidents has been massively updated since I last saw it - it's quite different now, and I really liked the little 'fidgety' touches that some of the animatronic presidents performed while others were speaking. PhilharMagic was new, and very cute. DD and H really liked the 3d effects. Space Mountain rocks, but then I am a professed adrenaline junkie when it comes to coasters. And the Buzz Lightyear ride was pretty cool as well - each little car comes with a pair of laser 'guns' that you use to shoot at the passing scenery to defeat the Evil Emperor Zurg. I got a modest 5300 points - DH got a whopping 132400!

So all told, we survived a 10-hour day in the beating sun schlepping along two giggly 7-year-olds, with minimal dehydration, and the only sunburn victim being yours truly. (How I got burned and my equally-fair DD didn't, I don't know. Especially since I forgot to sunscreen her). I admit it was fun, although I think next year we'll just stick with the party. Cheaper, and much less time consuming.

We got home late Saturday, just in time for me to catch the third period of the Oilers-Ducks game (I bet Christine's and Nicole's ears are still ringing over the Oiler win!)

Sunday and Monday were spent trying to recover from the previous two days! On Sunday DsS, DD and I saw _Over the Hedge_, which was pretty funny. DD got so into it that she didn't even eat all her popcorn. Normally she finishes hers and mooches off everyone else. Not the best movie I've ever seen, but still quite enjoyable. Yesterday I finished reading Terry Pratchett's _Going Postal_, and started _Monstrous Regiment_. Very enjoyable - Pratchett is always good for a quick and funny read. After _Monstrous Regiment_, I'm going to be rereading Sharon Kay Penman's _The Sunne in Splendour_ in preparation for our upcoming UK trip, especially since there will definitely be Ricardian sites on our tour list!

I need a weekend...

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