Okay, so back to Disney.
After we finally got there and got about six hours of sleep, we staggered out of bed, late but determined to make the most of the day.
The first thing T did was jump out of bed and open the curtains to a view that was guaranteed to reveal giraffes and lions and tigers and elephants. Well, not so much guaranteed. More like “suggested on the website, but highly improbable.” He stood there looking until I said, “Um, honey?” and pointed to a sign next to the drapes.
A sign that read something to the effect of, “For the protection of our animals, cameras are always on and pointed directly at your room, so you might want to consider putting on some boxers, buddy.”
“Oh,” T said and laughed.
It cracks me up that on the website there is a picture of a couple placidly reading the paper on their balcony while five giraffes graze in the background. Yes, because I would totally read the paper if a giraffe was walking by my window.
Not us. T and I were more like, “Ooo! Oo! Look at that! I think it’s a…oh, what do you call them? A bumble bee! Yes! Yes! It’s a bumble bee! Did you get a picture?”
Actually, we saw neither giraffes nor bumble bees from our room’s balcony, but the “savannah” was not completely devoid of all wildlife. We saw this gazellish-looking beast:
And pelicans. Lots and lots of pelicans.
A few other birds, too, none of which I remember the names.
stopped scaring the animals got dressed, we made our way through the African-inspired lobby where the vaulted ceilings were hung with tribal decor.
We ended in Boma, which offered a buffet breakfast that made me want to weep with joy.
The scrambled eggs with goat cheese and chives; the sausage, bacon and pineapple; the fresh fruit; the quinoa; the coffee and the Jungle juice…
Is it bad if my favorite part of any vacation is the food?
Incidentally, the Jungle juice is suspiciously like what they call POG juice in Hawaii. POG juice is passion fruit, orange and guava juices (mixed with corn syrup or sugar, probably). I fell in love with it when we were in Maui. The Jungle juice is every bit as tasty but with the subtle difference that it contains guava, orange and passion fruit juices. I guess GOP juice sounded too political.
Once breakfast was squared away, we had to make our way over to the Shades of Green military resort to get our discounted park hopper passes. This involved catching the bus from the Animal Kingdom Lodge over to the Magic Kingdom. From there we had to take the ferry across the lake where we caught another bus over to Shades of Green.
Fortunately the busses and ferries run often and regularly. I was very impressed with transportation on Disney and by how easy it was to get around. We didn’t rent a car and we didn’t need one. I was happy to be able to let someone else do the driving and, best of all, we didn’t have to find parking!
Still, with all of the transfers, getting over there was a bit of a hassle, but it was totally worth it because two four-day park hopper passes with a military discount were half the price they normally are, which is in the hundreds of dollars. It was also kind of cool to check out Shades of Green, which I didn’t expect to love, but which was a pleasant surprise. It was actually very nice. If we go back, we’d definitely consider staying there if we can get reservations. My understanding is that you have to book pretty far in advance.
By the time we got all that done, it was nearing three o’clock. We’d decided to do Epcot that day because that was the park with the extended hours (for folks staying on Disney property only). So that’s where we headed.
We started with Spaceship Earth and took in a few other sights. Lines aren’t long at the end of January, so we didn’t need to use the FASTPASS system at all that day – although we did on other days and it saved quite a bit of time.
At 5:00 we had reservations in Mexico at La Hacienda. We had another amazing meal and T tried mole (pronounced “moe-lay”) sauce for the first time! Our waiter, who was from Mexico City and an absolute sweetheart, described the sauce for us. Once T heard it was made with chocolate, it was a done deal. Paulo brought us a little bowl of it with our fabulous, fabulous meal.
Notice the light-colored fleece he is wearing? Well, he managed to drip a little of the chocolate mole sauce on it. This delighted him to no end as he could now look down at his belly, then back up at me and say, “Hoe-lay Moe-lay!”
Which he has continued to do ever since.
After dinner we continued to make our way around the World Showcase. In Italy we stopped to buy me a sweatshirt because I was freezing my canoli off. In Japan I discovered a culture that is possibly more obsessed with cellulite than American.
And by Canada I was too cold to move. How apropos. Fortunately, Canada is the last country on the route, so we headed back to the hotel to collapse once more.
After all, the next day was the Magic Kingdom!