Mom and Nate See the World
November 30, 2000
Finally, the big day is here. Thanks to my hunny insisting I "Just Stop" I was packed and ready to go before bed the night before. Just had to load up the laptop, grab the cel phone and we were off. Nate woke up easily even that early, and although he had said he didn't want to get up, Ben changed his mind and decided to come to the airport to see us off. We actually had time to stop at MickeyD's and grab breakfast together on the way to the airport. The guys couldn't stay tho, as Ben had to get to school and Ed has a daily conference call for work, so they helped with luggage, we said our "wish you were going toos" and "Be safes" hugs all around, and they were gone.
Once on the plane, the fun began. The pilot announced a computer problem. They would keep us posted, but for now we would have to stay put. Getting from here to there was a big challenge this trip. We had originally booked with ProAir as I get big discounts thru them because of my job, but the FAA shut them down and those tickets were no good. So I had to buy a second set of tickets. This time on Delta, thanks Tink for arranging that discount. Now it seemed this wouldn't be completely smooth either. Eventually we were allowed to take off tho and would even be able to make our connection in Atlanta. However, it seemed the computer glitch had somehow fouled up the water on the plane. No coffee (on a 6:30 am flight) and no working faucet in the restroom. NO COFFEE!
We made it to Atlanta, and I gotta tell you, I now hate that airport. I know people complain about O'Hare, and Detroit Metro, but I actually don't mind those. I've now been to Atlanta airport 3 times and had complications each time. This time would be no different. Everything seemed fine when we finally found the gate we would fly from (I think it was across town from where we landed) but about 10 minutes later it was announced that we would need new tickets issued as they were changing planes to a 777. Hmmm. A huge line formed at the check in counter as if by magic. We got that accomplished and it was announced that the new plane was here, but there was another challenge. They had to find a flight crew qualified to fly it. Yes Please! I would prefer the flight crew were qualified. What was supposed to be about an hour in Atlanta was now approaching 3 hours. I grabbed a burger for Nate just before they announced that for our troubles we would receive an airline lunch. Okay.
Boredom was setting in and it was getting harder to keep Nate entertained. He wanted Mickey, and frankly, so did I. Thank God for cel phones and Grandpa back home. I noted all the people waiting, and considered asking the lady at the check-in desk to page Rita Aero just to see who might look up, on the chance there was another clubhouse member in the crowd. But I chickened out. I found out later that evening, that Moley was in fact on the same plane. Darn it!
Finally we were allowed to board this huge plane! The flight was comfortable, but I was becoming concerned as to my ability to get the rental car, get to Dixie Landings, check in and find my way to the Grand Floridian on time to meet my friends for the Villains' Dinner. Well, all we could do was the best we could do, right? Picking up our bags went smoothly although a bit of a juggling act by myself, and we hurried to find the Emerald Aisle. There were several vehicles to choose from, most of which were Toyota Camrys. Being a diehard GMer and loyal to my bread and butter, we opted for the beautiful silver Blazer that was sitting in their midst. I drive Ed's at home, so it was perfect for us, and a bargain too since I hadn't booked an SUV.
We arrived at Dixie Landings on a wing and a prayer, and got checked in. I had faxed a note to the room assignor requesting a few things in regard to our room, hoping for at least a couple of them. Ground floor, to avoid carrying a sleepy child and luggage up the stairs. A corner room for a little more brightness and a bit more to look at if we came back for afternoon rests, close to the main buildings as we planned on eating there a few times, and hopefully the mansion section, for old times' sake. Well, we were in Alligator bayou, almost as far from the main building as you could get, in a non-corner second floor room as far from any stairway as we could be. I guess I used up all the fax magic on the trip Ed and I took Memorial Weekend. Bummer. But we would manage. The worst was the luggage factor as Nate wasn't able to help a lot.
Our itinerary called for our presence at the Grand Floridian's 1900 Park Fare for The Villains' Dinner. Many of my friends would be there, and I would get to meet them for the first time. There was a major bonus too, Sir Scotty had told me we would be seated at the same table and I was looking forward to Nate having a buddy to goof off with in Scotty's son Jeremy. We dumped our things in the room, ran a brush thru our hair and ran out the door. We were already close to late and I wasn't sure of myself never having driven around the World on my own. As I was trying to determine where I was and how I would get where I was going, my cel phone rang. It was my hubby, Ed (Dsorcerer). It seems there was a bit of confusion at home and my input was needed. A classic case of mama-multi-tasking, but a bit frustrating long distance. We found the Grand Floridian, tossed the valet the keys and a small token of appreciation, grabbed Nate's chariot from the back of the blazer, and ran inside. I spotted Scotty almost immediately, thanks to his bold colored Hawaiian shirt, and soon I was surrounded by my Disney Family. After the past couple of months in my family's life, I wasn't sure I should have made the trip at all, but at my dear Hubby's insistence I did. It was the right thing for me to do.
I spotted LindaB and handed her an original design clubhouse badge I'd promised to replace her lost one and was on the receiving end of one of her incredible hugs. There was Ms. e, and Susan3 and Mal, and someone in a cat suit? and another lady in spotted fur, (wonder who that could be) and oops the catLady said it was time to go sit down, so off we went. We shared a table with Scotty, Susan (where did your beautiful long hair go?) Nate's new bud, Jeremy, Lady as Si the Cat, and Nate's soon to be girlfriend Duchess. Dinner was very good, but I like these buffets. We had so much character attention, and the boys had a great time. Each time Capn' Hook was in earshot Nate and Jeremy would holler "Tick Tock!" or "Hook is a codfish!" and he would shake his hook at them.
The highlight of the evening was the 'Meeting of the Cruellas.' The Disney Cru was in rare form. She blew into the room, began rearranging autograph books, and crossing out the names of princesses. The book I made for Nate was opened up and rearranged with Cruella's picture as the first page, "Ahead of the Rat" Then she met our Clubhouse Cru. At first it was a calm meeting, comparing furs, swapping stories. Then it graduated to the 'my shoes are better than yours,' and 'well your fur doesn't even have spots' level. Before we knew it they were nose to nose and yelling. It was hysterical. Soon after, folks began making their exits, some to go to the Magic Kingdom for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, others off on their own exciting adventures. Nate and I wandered around the lobby area enjoying holiday decorations and the smell of gingerbread before hopping on the monorail.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party was great fun. Unfortunately the best night to go during our trip wasn't the best night for us due to it's being our arrival day. We loved the holiday decorations, and tho we already had some back home in Michigan, the 'snow' was fun too. Our first objective, at Nate's request, was the zapping of Zurg in Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. It was a walk on! Kewl! We're (hopefully) on a roll! Next stop was the promised commemorative picture. I in my Santa Mickey Hat and Nate as my elf.
The crowd level was telling us now was the time to visit Fantasyland. So I pointed the chariot in that direction and off we went. Holy Smokes! there's no one in line for Dumbo! We chose a Christmas Dumbo to fly in, so we had an extra special festive flight. The lines were growing now and we were feeling the effects of our long day. We weren't sure which we could ride and still make it back for the fireworks, so we just wandered, taking in the Christmas. Cinderella had a primo parking place for her coach just behind her castle, and she and Snow White were busily signing books. It was the first time we had seen the coach close up so we took our time admiring it. I was commandeered 3 times to photograph couples wanting it as a backdrop.
Tomorrowland was calling as it was almost time to meet for the fireworks, so we wandered in that direction. On our way we passed Mal. How fun to just bump into a friend by accident at the Magic Kingdom. There wasn't anyone gathering yet, so we continued thru the Plaza toward Main Street planning to people watch when we bumped into LindaB. She had gone to grab thermals as she and Susan3 were a bit chilly. Nate and I were drafted to watch for PammyK while they donned their warmies. The group together, we headed for Plaza Pavilion. Pammy, bless her heart, braved massive lines to grab hot cocoa for all, and we enjoyed the few minute wait chatting and welcoming new friends as they arrived. The lights dimmed, the show started, and it was spectacular as always. Actually 2 shows, the regular Fantasy in the Sky was first, followed by a special talk from Santa Goofy. Then we had a surprise. Where Tink would normally fly over the kingdom, dousing us with Pixie Dust, Rudolph took her place, and a second show began. This one is set to holiday music, and shells shoot off all around the Magic Kingdom not just behind the castle. WOW! My biggest impressions from this meeting, a nice chat with Bobller, a little (unfortunately too little) quiet talk with Susan3, KelliJ and her family-very nice folks, and meeting Party Teacher. I knew you immediately and lady, your name fits you well. You just bubble over.
After the show Nate and I opted to head 'home' for some rest, and he was asleep in his chariot before we got to the monorail. I enjoyed the return trip of the Electrical Water Parade while waiting and hummed quietly 'When you wish.... The valet was an amazing help getting the chariot in the back of the Blazer while I strapped Nate in, bless him! I managed to find my way back to Dixie Landings and carry Nate up to the room before downing some Nyquil and passing out. I was so tired, but it was good to be back.