Thunder from Downunder II

June 17, 2010

Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
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CHAPTER 4
~ Nicole’s Coming of Age~

I was amazed with how energetic and awake I felt after running on only four hours of sleep. I was out the front of Animal Kingdom  bright-eyed and eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Aussies at 10am. I did, however take a much needed detour to the food and beverage stand to purchase a Vitamin Water which I downed in 0.092 seconds to help ease my mild dehydration from last nights insane bevy intake.

Today was Nicole’s 25th Birthday and we had an epic day lined up to celebrate. In order for the celebration to begin though, Nicole would need to be present. It would probably be nice if Gavin made an appearance too since him and Nic go way back. I do not have my glasses on but upon straining my pretty hazel eyes, I see what seems to be a herd of sheep approaching. This would make sense since we are at the Animal Kingdom and all, but, oh, no, wait, that’s just Brendon; our token New Zealander that pretends to be Australian. I hear that’s what all the cool kids are doing these days. I’m delighted to see that Nicole is right up there behind him, oh, and what do we have here, a Gavin. Nice of you to join us… Sleep well, did we Mr. Thomas?

We head over to Guest Relations. I force Nicole to wear a birthday pin and for the rest of us to wear ‘I’m Celebrating‘ pins. Unfortunately for Nicole, I am celebrating her oldness. She glances over at me, unamused. I pretend to be oblivious as I mischievously continue chuckling at my awesomeness.

Today we figured we would get wet before visiting Mickey and Minnie. If she saw we were wet before meeting her then she wouldn’t have to waste any of her precious time flirting and teasing. We gently place our butts down on the Kali River Rapids ride and strap ourselves in. Judging by the name of the ride, I predict the mere rapid or two ahead.

In a stern yet serious voice, I warn the Aussies that there is a slight (extreme) possibility we would end up completely soaked from head to toe and everything in between (yes, I am subtly referring to soggy butt crack). I though this would be enough for them to take me seriously. I guess I should never assume, especially after an epic night of heavy drinking.  We disembark our raft a wee bit heavier than when we hopped on. Fastest weight gain of my life. Chafe much? This calls for a whirlwind ride on Expedition Everest to dry off.

Upon entering the Festival of the Lion King, we take a quick detour to our right. We wait in line for some time to meet Mickey.  This isn’t just any old Mickey though, this is Safari Mickey, all decked out in his safari gear. I’m not too sure if this is a fortunate or unfortunate event, but it’s that time of the day again where Gavin loses his shit. No one has a mirror on them so we are unsure if we still look like drowned sewer rats. I ponder this thought for a moment; Mickey… Mouse… Wet Aussies… Drowned Sewer Rats… Mice… Rats = Family. Perfect! Now, if only I had a piece of cheese to offer at this family reunion; I hate showing up empty handed. Despite my entire backside dripping wet, we still take a cute family portrait.

It’s reaching park close. My clothes are still damp and I’m pretty sure I smell of wet cat. I worry that my Eau de Wet Cat will soon start attracting the male Cheetahs and Lions on the Kilimanjaro Jungle Safari. We go our separate ways to wash up and plan to meet back at Downtown Disney soon after for Nicole’s birthday dinner.
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CHAPTER 5
~ Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue~

I had only heard good things from friends whom had previously attended, so I was expecting utter amazingness at its best for tonight’s birthday dinner celebration. The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is an old fashioned dinner show that includes foot-stomping music, nostalgic comedy and an all you can eat dinner buffet at the Pioneer Hall in Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.

We arrive early and line up to have a group photo taken. We know this is going to be another money-maker, but the photo is too cute to turn down.

The dinner show is hosted in a western-feel dance hall and brought to life through the use of wild west music, singing, dancing and cheesy yet hilarious comedy provided by Claire de Lune, Johnny Ringo, Dolly Drew, Six Bits Slocum, Flora Long and Jim Handy. Good thing Brendon and I both wore plaid.

We were booked in for Category 1 seating. Our table was only a few meters from the stage and smack bang in the middle of the hall. We had a great view. A Cast Member came around to take our drink orders. Unlimited beer, wine and sangria were on the drink menu; amazing! I ordered myself a beer. In between all the singing, dancing and crowd participation, Cast Members brought out a countrified feast of all-you-can-eat fried chicken, smoked BBQ pork ribs, vegetables, baked beans and freshly baked corn bread. The food was absolutely delicious and went down a treat with my five glasses of beer.

At times, I think I speak on behalf of the four girls at our table when I say I had a hard time swallowing my food. We were all distracted by the super hotness that was the lead male character. He could square dance around me any day. It was much to our delight when he approached Nicole for her birthday and started dancing around our table. I think I almost choked on a chicken bone. It would have been a lovely last sight to see. While us girls were busy trying to pick our jaws up off the table from admiring this handsome character and his extremely tight blue leggings, Brendon had found a love interest of his own in the show. When the mood seemed right, Brendon would flash a wink over in her direction and attempt to seduce her with the tiger like rollings of his tongue.

The cast do a tremendous job staying in character and playing the part although sometimes going off script and adding an extra bit of hilarity to it all. Crowd participation is encouraged throughout the show making it all the more enjoyable.

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Dessert was strawberry shortcake which is shared between you and your neighbor. It was scrumptiously delectable and I wish I had more of if to devour right this minute. While still consuming this little bit of heaven, the cast came through to each table handing out old fashioned washboards and encouraging everyone to make as much noise as possible on it with their spoon. It wasn’t the most pleasant of noises but it was damn right fun. Every one picked up their napkins and swung them up above their heads for the grand finale, and just like that, it was over.
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CHAPTER 6
~ The Nip Slip ~

nip slip
Vulgar slang (verb)

……..1. A  wardrobe  malfunction  leading  to  the  indecent  exposure
………….
of  intimate  parts.
……..
2. When  a nipple slips  out  of  an  article of clothing, partially or
.…… ……fully, and is noticed by someone else.
……..3. Something that happened to Nicole at Typhoon Lagoon.

It was a scorching 98º Fahrenheit out at Lake Buena Vista today. It could only be assumed that Typhoon Lagoon would be endlessly busy with hot and bothered guests trying to cool off from the sizzling Florida sun. Little did they know and to their surprise,  today (and for today only) they would get more than just the price of their admission ticket. Today, Thursday May 20, 2010, an innocent little boy, myself  and the other ten million billion guests enjoying the Typhoon Lagoon wave pool would fall victim to Nicole’s right breast <insert Jaws music here>.

The waves come crashing toward us with quite a temper. Each one seemed more tumultuous than the one before. I was standing in the middle of the wave pool; the water level sitting just above my shoulders. The others swam ahead to depths much greater than their own. I felt comfortable here. My feet were still firmly on the pool floor. I assess my immediate surroundings making sure I would not crash into any annoying little children as I catch the next wave back to shore. All is clear.

A tremor is sent through the pool. I look up ahead. A behemoth roaring wave is gushing towards me, taking with it everything in its path. I position my body facing forward in free-style position with my head still turned behind me. Timing is everything. I take a deep breath and throw my head down. The monstrosity of a wave knocks my body around and takes me for a ride back toward the pool shore.

The water level is much lower here than where I was previously standing. Before rising, I make sure my boobs are still in my bikini top. I would be horrified if I ever stood up and they were just hanging all out for the world to see. I find my feet and stand up. The water level is now at my waist. It takes me a second or two to shake the water out from my noes and ears before I begin scoping my surroundings for my Aussies. Brendon; check, Gavin; check, Nicole… AHHHHHHHHH!

I am engulfed by a fierce case of laughter. I am laughing so hard I can hardly find the time to breathe so that I don’t suffocate. I try to get the right words out but all I manage to do is just point. Nicole glances over to see what all the commotion is about. She sees that I am pointing in her direction. I am still a hysterical ball of laughter struggling to breathe and talk. She appears confused for a second until she feels slightly aroused by a breeze rushing over a part of her that is meant to be covered up. She looks down. Her right boob is hanging out of her bikini top. Nicole’s mouth drops. The life guard on duty catches a glimpse and begins to giggle. Right at that moment, a small child, no more than nine years of age surfaces from beneath the water right up beside Nicole. To his horror, upon removing his fogged-up goggles, the first thing he sees is Nicole’s breast. His mouth drops open too. Nicole immediately begins to shove her boob back into her swim suit. The poor child has just lost his first shred of innocence in a wave pool at Disney World. If only he had an underwater camera with him; now that would make for an awesome show-and-tell story when he returns to school.

I manage to contain myself just as Gavin and Brendon make it back to us so I can tell them what they missed out on. I feel they are somewhat relieved that they didn’t experience the torment of Nicole’s boob. We all laugh at Nicole’s expense.

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~TO BE CONTINUED~

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Parental Unit Arrival

June 4, 2010

Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
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Mum cried when she saw me at Orlando airport. That was to be expected. I am rather miss-able so I can’t say that I blame her. It would be impossible filling the void I left when I moved away way back in June of 2009. I can’t imagine what it would be like not having all that extra laundry to wash and iron, no special dinners to cook, one less bed to make and bedroom to clean… really, I can tell why she had those tears rolling down her cheeks when we hugged for the first time in ten months. Yep, she missed me! We were like one big happy family again, minus Darren and Chris…

I had only one objective while mum and dad were in town, and that was to show them the time of their lives; after all, they had done a pretty neat job putting up with me for the last 24 years, so I felt as though this was my one chance to give back and show my appreciation, and that, I think I successfully did (well, at least that is what they led me to believe).

Mum and dad stayed at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. This resort is mainly used for Disney Vacation Club members but non members are also able to make reservations there. Apart from the Grand Floridian, I had not yet had the chance to check out any of Disney’s other Deluxe Resorts; Saratoga Springs fell under this deluxe category and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. The grounds of the resort were absolutely gorgeous and perfect to a tee.

We had the basic studio room which was simply adorable. There was a double bed, a fold out couch bed, balcony, bathroom and a cute little kitchenette which kept mum extremely happy. Both mum and dad were very impressed with the room, as was I. If this was  just the basic studio room, then the one, two and three bedroom options must be ridiculously amazing!

The Turf Club Bar & Grill restaurant at the Saratoga Springs Resort also deserves a notable mention. We ate here on two separate occasions, both times for dinner and the service and food were exceptional! I should also mention that on neither occasion did we have reservations, but they managed to seat us extremely quickly, even on Mother’s Day! On our first night Claude was our host and on the second night, Linda was our hostess. Both were amazing and very accommodating to any of our requests. The food was amongst the best I’ve had at any on-property restaurant whether it be Disney owned or third party. I recommend the Onion Rings for appetizers and the New York Strip Steak for main. it was incredibly delicious.  The Angus Chuck Burger was also one of the best I have yet to find anywhere at Disney!

With my complimentary admissions, I was able to get mum and dad into all four parks for free which was pretty awesome. We did Epcot for mum and dads 30th Wedding Anniversary…

Magic Kingdom so mum could feel like a little girl again…

Animal Kingdom for Mother’s Day and because they mentioned something about wanting another baby…

And Hollywood Studios because no Disney trip would be complete without it…

Our mornings were early, our days, long, and our nights, late, but we had so much to fit into the ten shorts days that mum and dad would be  with me at Disney before embarking on the rest of their big U.S.A. adventure. The humidity had arrived just in time and although the temperature only hit the low 90’s, on our day at Epcot, with the humidity taken into account, the temperature sweltered to a lovely 103 Fahrenheit. Despite this ridiculous heat, Epcot was by far their favorite of all four parks. At the time the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival was still on so the garden beds were looking all pretty and more colorful than usual; of course this made dad love it all the more.

Ten days went by way too fast, and before I knew it, mum and dad were off to New York City. Although their time here with me was short, I am so happy that they enjoyed themselves. I know they’ve never really had the opportunity to travel and  see all the amazing things that I’ve been blessed enough to see so I felt a sense of happiness knowing that after all these years of raising my brothers and I, that they could finally go on an adventure of their own, on their own without us being burden on them. I loved seeing dad get caught up and lost in how amazingly beautiful Epcot is and I loved the genuine look of excitement on mums face when she got to meet Mickey and Minnie and how she’d wave and high-five the characters as they went down Main Street U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom during the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade.

I’m glad that after all these years, mum and dad finally understand why I love it here in the U.S.A. and at Disney so much and I hope, that even for a short moment while here, they could revert back to their childhood and get lost in the most happiest place on earth; Disney World.

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~ MORE OF MAY MAYHEM TO COME ~


Splish Splash I Was Takin’ A Bath…

April 20, 2010

Disney mates at Animal Kingdom

… at Animal Kingdom!

The weather man could not have been more precise when he said that there was a 60% chance of precipitation forecast for Monday. The weather man being right, imagine that! Well, upon waking up it looked quite nice out; a few clouds floating about, the sun was shining and it was rather warm out so we decided to take our chances and head to Animal Kingdom for the last time before Jung leaves us on Friday.

Today was to be all about good times, friendship, plenty of photos…

AHHHH! STiTCH!

and… a celebration of new life! (Finally, now they have to let me stay in the USA, right!)

..

Until it began pouring down rain. Now, when I say rain, I don’t just mean your average little sprinkle… I mean bucket loads of rain, pouring down like crazy! It came out of no where too and was at it’s heaviest just as we jumped onto the Kilimanjaro Safari truck. I was somewhat disappointed because I love riding the safari and thought the rain would spoil the ride for the simple fact that all the animals would be hiding; seeking shelter from the hurricane-like rain but to my surprise though, it was quite the opposite!

I’ve never seen so many animals out while on safari; it was delightful! There were two hippopotamus trying to bite each others faces off in the water; all four giraffes were out and standing all together in a line which I found rather amusing; the ostriches came right up by our safari truck and were dripping wet while another was sitting by the truck route keeping its eggs warm; there was a lonely elephant slapping its trunk and head down repetitively into a pool of water trying to wash itself (in the rain… yeah, go figure) and there was some weird lama looking animal pacing back and forth; it almost looked as though it was in distress from the torrential rain. Rain was flying into the truck from all directions, there was mud all over the truck route and the safari truck and the tire trenches had become pools of water; it was almost like we were on a real African safari! Best one I’ve ever experienced at Animal Kingdom!

Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom

Needless to say soon after, just like the ostriches, we too were soaking wet. I guess it didn’t help that we went on the Kali River Rapids ride and Jung and I just happened to be sitting in the two seats that took the most hits of water. My back was completely soaked! We took some time to go and watch The Lion King musical performance and saw this as an opportunity to dry off… only the AC was blasting so high we almost froze to death. A happy freezing, though, because The Lion King musical they put on at Animal Kingdom is AMAZING! Everyone was clapping away, I had my feet moving along to the Disney classics and also had my shoulders moving to the beat. It really is a phenomenal little production; if you haven’t taken the time to see it, I suggest you do!

We also took the time to see the bird show; Flights of Wonder. This is possibly one of my most favorite things to see at Animal Kingdom. Monday was the second time I had gone to see Flights of Wonder. Not sure if they ever have a different guy as the ‘tour guide”, Guano Joe, because it has been the same guy both times I have been, but he does an excellent job in playing the part and he’s quite the comedian. The 25-minute show features at least 20 species of exotic birds from right around the globe and often showcases their humorous side (yes, birds indulge in humor too!).

American Bald Eagle - simply beautiful

Of course, the day would not have been complete without encouraging (forcing) Jung to take a ride of Everest. She squeezed my hand so hard while she screamed and was on the verge of tears while I laughed and screamed simultaneously. I’m going to miss her so much 😦