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Happy Birthday to Me! - trinalin thinks things through — LiveJournal
Happy Birthday to Me!
Thanks to my using Judi's computer while writing this entry, there's still 25 more minutes left of my birthday. (She lives in Central and so her clock is set that way - however, we're here in Eastern, so officially, it's the day *after* my birthday.)

Yes, I'm a New Years Baby. I was the first baby born in '71 for 2 newspapers in my county and thus my parents (and me) got a lot of freebie gifts. But that was then and I wanna write about NOW.

So my poor little journal has been without updates for a couple of days. Which is just as well as I wrote one hell of a long entry the last time. So you've had time to recover, but now it's time for you to read along long ass description - this time of TWO days...

Well, I'll get as much written as I can, then when the girls tell me to turn off and go to bed I shall have to leave (and you can all breathe a sigh of relief).

I shall begin with New Year's Eve. We got up damned early for vacationers (6:45am) and had breakfast at the hotel (buffet for me - more of that yummy cream of wheat). Then onto the shuttle to EPCOT, where we had intended to spend our entire day.

Once at EPCOT, we stowed our carrier bag o' shoes & other essentials in a locker and then went to the Mission: Space Fastpass line. Steph and I were there for about 20 minutes while Judi & Elsa waited in line for Judi to get her photo taken with Mickey. Once we had the tix, we joined the girls in line for Spaceship Earth. (I tell ya, these new fangled cell phones are ideal for finding your friends in theme parks! Shame I don't have one yet. But thankfully, the others all did.)

Spaceship Earth was a nice start to the day's events. Judi and I then decided to find out where Mickey & Co were going to be during the day because the first line for Mickey pix ended with the person right in front of Judi! For 31 years she's been wanting her photo taken with that mouse, and he snuffed her! The cad! (Well, actually it was the attendent with Mickey who did it.) So rather than have her mope all day about it, we decided to take action. As soon as we got to Guest Services, a lady there was handing out daily schedules, which had the times when Mickey & Co would stop and where. And the next time was 11:15 - less than half an hour to go.

We headed for the World Showcase plaza where the company would show and called the others to tell them where we were. They were waiting in line for Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, but since the line was going too quickly, they went to The Land and told us to meet them there when the deed was done. Judi & I shopped for a bit before the company arrived and she got a Mickey and I bought a New Years Figment with diaper and top hat - just $10. When Mickey & Co. arrived, we were in the Mickey line rather quickly and Judi was FINALLY able to have her photo taken with the Big Mouse himself. YAY! Even Trina got her picture taken with the mouse. YAY!

By the time it was done and we met the girls at The Land, we could get fastpass tix again, and this time opted on Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. We then walked up the Rose Path to the International Section and stopped in the UK to determine our plan of action. Steph headed off to France to get reservations for supper, while the girls and I waited in the Fish & Chips line for - get this - fish & chips. Steph returned just as our ordered were filled and we found a place to eat while Steph told us the bad news. Every country was booked for supper. Well, all the countries she tried. She tried sit-down restaurants in France, Morocco, and Japan but all were already booked. Ah well. The fish & chips were very good. And a local squirrel agreed with us.

Steph, Judi, and I decided to shop a bit while Elsa sat & read some on a nice bench near the ferry to MGM. We went to France and looked around the shops. We had a 1:30 deadline for our fastpass tickets to Honey Shrunk the Audience, so we didn't have a lot of shopping time. We decided to get ice cream and lie to Elsa about it, but the line took too long and we had to bail before we could get any. So we walked back to pick up Elsa and then headed for the movie.

Being a major Eric Idle fan, I'd been wanting to see Honey, I Shrunk the Audience for some time. It was lovely to finally see it. And the 3D was very good. After we saw the flick, we got in line to see Figment - and he, too, had Eric with him. Fun stuff.

Our next Fastpass ticket excursion was for Test Track. But the girls were getting tired, so we decided to split up before getting the tix. Just as we were going to split up, however, Judi shouts "Cappy! JJ!" and there were her brother, sister-in-law, and their son, Angelo. Damn, *THAT* was spooky! Yeah, we knew they were in Florida during this time and figured we'd meet up at some point, but certainly not accidentally like that. After that freak meeting (her family's not freaky, just the chance at meeting them that was freaky) we finished the split up. Judi, Steph & I checked out Mouse Gear and then I went onto the locker to change from sandals to shoes and to dump off the stuffed toys. On my way back to meet the girls, I saw the big electric display showing information about Future World or whatever. And alas, TestTrack had no more FastPass tickets available.

I informed the girls this, but we didn't yet know what the waiting line was. When we discovered it was 2 and a half hours, we decided to get Fastpass tix for Maelstrom instead. So off to Norway (via Mexico, doncha know) to get the tix. While there, we had some pastries from a Norweigian bakery - Lefse, decadent chocolate (mousse) cake, giant sweet pretzels w/ almonds, cheese danish - all yummy. And as it was going to be my birthday, I treated the girls to the snacks.

It was nearing time for our Mission: Space adventure, so we headed back to wait in the Fastpass lane. And just as we were about to board our vessel, Elsa decided maybe the ride was going to be too intense for her. Hell, it was too intense for me, but I wasn't smart enough to know it at the time. Actually, I was fine for the takeoff and the g-forces - but when we were dodging the asteroids, my tummy said "Hell no!" So once we were off the ride, I decided I needed to sit a spell. Judi & Elsa played the giant video game outside the Mission: Space area while I watched and rested. Steph made a video postcard to her hubby while she waited.

Well, the problem with us being in there instead of being outside is that they were distributing the hats & horns for NYE at that time. By the time we left, (a) it was dark, and (b) they had given them all out! Alas, no hats or horns for us. :-(

Well, as it was getting dark, it was getting chilly so it was back to the lockers for more changes of shoes & gatherings of jackets/sweatshirts. We were at the zonked out stage by now. We'd been at the park since 9am and it was now nearly 7pm. Steph & I, however, decided to make another attempt at getting hats & horns by going down the Rose Path. No success there, but on our way back, I decided I just *had* to have a photo of the main International bridge & Xmas tree now that they were all lit. I made some adjustments to the camera and as soon as I pointed it at my subject, I noticed the tree had gone out. So had the bridge. Steph and I just laughed. But that meant that it was nearly time for the fireworks.

We walked back toward UK and found a spot on the bridge to sit and watch the fireworks. Alas, most of the action took place at waterlevel, so we missed a bit. And I made up a story to go with the music that is unprintable, but kept us entertained. And while we were sitting there, I got what I thought was an inspired idea. Why not look for a place to camp out at for the rest of the night and stay there - always having 2 of us there to save spots for the others. We wanted a place that we could sit in reasonable comfort, preferably with a back support, and could see the fireworks. My first thought was the place behind the Fish & Chips shop where we'd gotten lunch. But when we got there, it was set aside for a private party. So we walked against the sea of people and found The Perfect Spot. There's a bit on the bridge between the UK and France (heh) that juts out over the water - and practically no one was there. There was a cement ledge to sit upon and nice bushes for leaning against (the non-prickly kind). And room for 4. And it overlooked the lagoon in the direction of the fireworks. And later we discovered that the family sitting next to us were all from around London. So that gave us fun neighbors to talk to.

Having found the ideal spot, Steph called the girls and told them the plan. Describing where it was took some doing, but we did a well enough job for Judi to find us. They, too, were against the sea of traffic and couldn't get to us quickly. So Elsa was in line for more fish & chips (the only food place they could reach) and Judi headed back to show her where to go. When they arrived, Steph and I were able to go off to France to find some supper.

There was a patisserrie we'd seen earlier in the day and we thought the line looked reasonable. Steph checked to make sure they had real food as well as sweets, and they did. And while we were in line, I saw a stack of 3 NYE hats sitting on a trash can. I checked 'em over and they were in fine shape. YAY! We had hats! Well, three of 'em at least. We got food - I opted for ham & cheese croissant and a plain croissant, followed by fruit tart. Steph got ham & cheese baguette and two decadent chocolate conconctions. And we also got a peach tart for Judi and chocolate croissant for Elsa. (Poor things had to have fish & chips TWICE in one day!)

Well, we'd found the place at 8pm and, with few times that we vacated the area (in ones or twos only), were there until it was time for the fireworks. We sat or stood and talked with our neighbors and each other. We watched as our little point got more and more crowded. We heard the same International Tunes over and over again. Every hour on the half hour, we heard the Chinese ring in the Chinese New Year with firecrackers. And at 11:40pm, the fireworks began. Steph, Judi, and I jumped (hah) up onto the ledge to watch, along with the Londoners beside us.

Damn, did we pick the BEST place in all of EPCOT to watch the fireworks! The show was phenomenal. And minutes before midnight, each of the countries in the World Showcase shot off fireworks and stuff. And when the UK celebrated, no one was lounder than our crew of Merkans and UK residents. And then it was time for the countdown. And then the biggest fireworks finale that I ever hope to see. Just simply amazing. I got choked up. And Judi got some lovely photos of the lightshow.

Then I changed my little display toy (that I bought the night before for $20 - spin it and it displays messages like "Happy New Year" in red lights) from "Happy New Year" to "Happy Birthday." And the girls sang Happy Birthday to me. And Steph gave me a present - a Wonka bar! I haven't opened it yet to see if I won the golden ticket - but I'll do that later.

We made our way back to the front to pick up our locker stuff, our packages, and our bus. Now I got something other than the stuffed toy, but I can't write about that cuz mom might be reading this... But I'd sent it up front with the package pickup. Elsa had something there as well.

At 1:30am, the bus arrived and took us back to our hotel. Then we all collapsed. It was a damn fine day - probably the best NYE ever! Let's hear it for the great start to 2004 and to my 33rd year - yay!

Current Mood: tired tired

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