Day Two at Disney started with another blissful breakfast at Boma. Come to think of it, all of our days at Disney started with breakfast at Boma. We had no interest in going anywhere else. It was that good.
After I made love to my roasted ham with spicy tomatoes and maple-syruped cornmeal mash, we hopped on the bus for the Magic Kingdom.
This time I was ready. I had my bag and camera case off of my shoulder and open so the folks at the security tables could take a quick peek before waving me through.
That reminds me of a story T told about the trip back from Afghanistan. When his group went through security, an agent pulled one of the soldiers aside and asked him to open his bag.
“Oh, is it my pistol?” he asked. They are allowed to carry their pistols on military flights, but he couldn’t think what else it might be.
“No, your pistol is fine. But your shaving cream container is too big.”
But I digress. As usual.
We decided to work our way around the MK clockwise, starting with Adventureland. We wended our way through the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse and then stood in line for the Jungle Cruise where my entire day came crashing down around me.
But pretty close. As we were shuffling our way through the cattle chutes like calves at branding time, a rustle in the surrounding bushes caught my eye.
“Oh, look!” I said. “Look at the little birds!”
I told you we get excited about commonplace wildlife around here.
Then, “AwwwwooOO!” That was a coo of sympathy that ended in a high-pitched squeal of misery. It didn’t come from the pig-tailed three-year olds in line. It didn’t come from the babies looking over their mothers’ shoulders.
It came out of my mouth.
One of the birds had a glob of gum stuck to the top of its beak. A long blade of dried grass was stuck to the gum. The bird would hop a few steps, put its head to the ground, then try to step on the grass and pull both grass and gum off of his beak. The grass kept slipping through his tiny taloned feet. My heart broke into a million pieces and the pieces stabbed at the place where my heart used to be.
Then I was herded around the bend by the stampede waiting for the carnival ride and lost sight of him. My eyes welled up with tears and I immediately felt like an idiot.
Pull yourself together, woman. I thought. You’re 35 years old and you’re crying at Disney World?
I swear to you that I am the only person on this continent (over 12) that could possibly be miserable in the Magical World of Disney. But there I was, struggling to hold back the waterworks as I boarded the Jungle Cruise and loathing, no, detesting thoughtless, ignorant people with every cell in my body.
It is a testament to how far I’ve come in the realm of “accepting things I can’t change” that I was able to put this behind me at all. See? Deployment IS good for something!
Still, throughout the rest of the day, and even the trip, I would occasionally picture the poor, bitty birdy struggling with his gummed beak and starte to tear up. During these moments I would turn to T and say, “Say something funny, quick.”
To which he, in all of his witty glory, would respond, “Something funny, quick.”
To his credit, he did come up with several totally implausible scenarios for the bird’s survival and acted, unfailingly, like he believed in every one of them. I do love him for that.
And there was one good thing that came out of the bird episode: it totally explained why you cannot find ANY gum at ANY store on the Disney property. (Actually, it’s probably more for sanitation reasons, but this reason is just as good – if not better – in my mind.)
Okay. So anyway, the day wasn’t a complete loss. We continued to make our way around the park and hit most of the favorites: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, The Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World. Actually, there was one favorite that we missed. Splash Mountain was closed the entire time of our trip.
We ate a rather nasty lunch. The quick lunches on Disney, especially if you eat gluten and dairy-free, are horrible. The big restaurants are great, but the quickies? Not so much. We did, however, discuss Disney branding and admire how thorough it was:
We were also rather amazed at this kind of thing. See if you can figure out the subject of this picture:
No, it is not a picture of a lady drinking a Coke. (Okay, it is, but that isn’t the intended subject.) Need a closer view? Try this:
Admittedly, this is not a great shot. It just doesn’t do any justice to the scope of it. Because it was vast. And it was everywhere. Give up?
Stroller. Parking. Jeepers creepers, I knew I was in Disney, but this really brought it home. I totally concede that kids have the right-of-way at Disney, but I still started calling these seas of strollers, “the best birth control on Earth.”
Those and the nose-pickers. By the end of that first day at MK I’d seen enough kids in up to the second knuckle to last me a lifetime.
Then there was the kid in the confectioners shop who plastered himself to the glass of the bakery case like Peach from Finding Nemo, blocking out the light and everyone’s view. The case itself was already slimed up with fingerprints. “And nose prints,” T added, “and doggy wuffle and I don’t know what else.”
I cracked up at “doggy wuffle”, but I was ready to go.
We took a sunset ferry ride over to The Wilderness Lodge for another amazing meal.
Then we jumped over to Downtown Disney to catch Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba. It was beyond description. All I can say is, if you ever get a chance to check that out, do it. And if you don’t get a chance, at least jump over to the website and watch the video.
And finally…back to our room to crash again. Next up: The Animal Kingdom!