Tuesday, October 10

You wouldn't believe the things that are coming out of my nose

Back home. Well, one of my homes, anyway -- the parental one -- and it's 9 a.m. and I am awake but achy and stiff and sore and all the contents of my head are pulsing in little rhythms dictated by their own organic whims.

I woke up yesterday morning with a sore throat, which developed into a full-blown sinus infection during the 15-hour ride home. And I don't know how many of you have had the pleasure of sitting still in a car for long stretches of time and feeling your body break down and give in to the pernicious and depraved desires of the cocky germs within, but it's nothing I'd like to do again. Especially the part where I woke up from a Benadryl-induced nap with a pounding quasi-migraine and, as soon as we stopped at a gas station to stretch, I got out and walked around for about ten seconds before realizing that if I didn't sit down -- no -- LIE DOWN fast, my head was going to pop, like a fat tick.

But the ride home was just the unfunny punchline to an otherwise fantastic trip, truly. Thursday I put my car in the shop and then hitched a ride to Wal-Mart with my dad. He had some stuff of his own to get, and then my sister met up with us and we bought a cooler and some bread and sandwich meat and stuff for the trip to minimize the time and money spent eating fast food. We left my sister's house on Jot Em Down (that's her real street name) at roughly 5:30 and drove through Florence and Birmingham and over to Atlanta before stopping off to get a hotel room for the night. We settled on a cheap Economy Inn with a hole in the wall because they'd actually let us see the room before we paid for it, unlike Econolodge, whose proprietor, upon my asking, said, "What do you expect? It's Econolodge!" At which point I politely said thanks but no thanks and left.

Friday morning we were up early and I turned the TV on to CNN, and was greeted by a disturbing headline: "Memphis Inferno." I called around to see what was going on, and no one knew much of anything that CNN hadn't already told me, so I just sat tight. And then we got on the road and headed further south. We hunted in vain for a Shoney's but finally settled on a Huddle House, and then browsed through some overpriced antiques in a little roadside store next door. Back on the road, we eventually arrived in Orlando -- I guess it was about 4:30 or so -- and checked into our room, and then headed out to browse the cheap souvenirs and eat at the ridiculous two-story McDonald's with all the arcade games.

Saturday morning we were up early again, had breakfast at the Denny's adjacent to our hotel, and then caught the shuttle to Universal Studios (which the hotel's literature had said was within walking distance, which was technically true despite the lack of crosswalks across six lanes of frantic Orlando traffic). The kids decided they wanted to do Universal first and then Islands of Adventure the next day, so we headed toward the big Universal ball and rode everything we possibly could (which ended up being everything but the E.T. ride).

We talked my sister into getting on the Jaws ride despite her childhood traumas involving the movie. A twist of fate placed her seated on the side of the boat where the shark jumps up to say hello a couple of times. She and Patrick were closest to the action, which was hilarious because I'd spent the better part of two days trying to convince Patrick that they use real trained sharks for that ride. "No, it's mechanical!" He'd say, and I'd argue, "You think they could put a robot shark in the water? It would short circuit and electrocute everyone! They have to train real sharks!" And while he never would concede, I think I planted enough of a glimmer of doubt in him that, when the beast shot up out of the water and started coming toward him, he was actually scared. Hee.

The kids rode their first roller coasters ever, and they rode EVERYTHING without fear or hesitation. Even Dr. Doom's freefall ride and the Dueling Dragons coaster -- twice, and in the front row! I was so proud of them, and my sister too. I honestly thought some of the rides might be too much for Patrick, but he's a trooper. He loved it. So did Casey. And so did Kris. It was excellent.

I'll upload pictures when I get back to Memphis.


Blogger Brandonian said...

I've got to remember the shark story the next time I bring small children to a theme park. Clever...

Tue Oct 10, 01:05:00 PM  

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