Longing to go back to Disney

August 19, 2010

.

Location: Melbourne, Australia
.

It has been five weeks since my Internship came to an end and I stopped working for Walt Disney World.

It has been ten days since I left Orlando, FL for Las Vegas.

It has been five days since I left Las Vegas to fly back home to Melbourne, Australia.

Not a second goes by where I don’t think about my Disney family. I miss them so much. I miss everything; the friends, the freedom, the lifestyle. I wish I could go back to day one and do it all over again.

Before embarking on this journey, I used to think I knew everything about myself, but now I’m not so sure.

There are things I never thought I wanted in life, that now I want; things I thought I wanted, but now I don’t.

My time abroad has been a life-changing and eye-opening experience that I will never take for granted.

I have met so many amazing and wonderful people and am blessed to have them in my life, even if it was only for a short while.

This is the parting gift that Bryan left me with.
I haven’t been able to watch it yet without crying.

Disney College Program
July 2009 – July 2010
Best time of my life.

Part I

Part II

Advertisements

Bahama-Rama I

August 1, 2010

Location: Somewhere in the North Atlantic Ocean
.

~ DAY ONE ~

The day started out different to the one before. Today there was a particular sense of excitement buzzing around through out the air. The countdown had finally reached its end and the next exhilarating saga was about to begin. Yes, today was the day we board Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Seas and embark on our journey to The Bahamas.

Royal Caribbean’s terminal at Port Canaveral is swarming with people; all as eager and bright-eyed as I to board the ship. The check in line is long and some of the younger guests begin to get irritated by this. As I patiently wait I wonder how many of these guests are first-time cruise-goers like myself.

Check in goes as smoothly as one could hope. The ship is money-less so we are given SeaPass cards which act as our room key as well as a debit/credit card. Once swiped the crew on board can detect our age and verify that the card is ours via a hideous photo that is taken upon entry. Now, let me tell you, this is no ordinary photo. This photo is taken from roughly stomach height looking up toward your face. This is not only the worst angle ever imaginable, but now in my photo, I look like a repulsive, three-chined, sweaty dragon lady; an eager one none the less. Can’t wait to flash that one to my bar-tenders later on tonight when I’m all gussied up. Dragon lady who?

Upon stepping foot onto the ship, we are welcomed by many of the ships crew and an array of alcoholic beverages, all chargeable to our SeaPass card, of course. We decide it would be best to find our cabin, throw our luggage in there and then make our way to the pool deck for a swim before dinner. We are in stateroom 5009 which is down an extremely long hall, away from all the noise and commotion. The room is, well, tiny, to say the least; tiny yet extremely cute. We have two single beds and another set of two beds which fold down from the walls to make bunk beds. There is a small closet, a TV, a full length mirror and another half body mirror on the dresser as well as a small bedside table between the two bottom beds. The bathroom is, well, again, tiny. If you were slightly on the larger side I’m not exactly sure you’d have the most pleasing of times trying to fit not only into the shower, but into the bathroom itself. Despite the size of the room, it really is pretty much all we need. After all, who goes on a cruise to The Bahamas and does nothing more than stay in their cabin? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Before we can go and enjoy the pool, everyone is to meet on deck for a compulsory safety briefing. I hate this part, just like I hate it when I’m on a plane flying over the ocean. What to do if the ship sinks in the middle of no where and you’re stranded with no land or human life (except those on the ship) for thousands of miles out; ugh, it gives me the heeby geebyz. A life jacket, a whistle and a flash light is not going to protect me from a hungry great white shark that sees me helplessly kicking around in the water and thinks I’m a stranded seal, or worse, the dessert that accompanies the seal. It is at this safety briefing that we meet Mike. Mike is conveniently standing by us with his family when he hears is talking about Disney. He turns around and starts talking to us. Coincidentally he is also a Disney Cast Member on the College Program and lives right across from my old apartment at Chatham Square. Coincidence? I think not! The never ending safety briefing finally ends. Imagine that.

By now, the ship has departed Port Canaveral, en route to the island of Coco Cay in The Bahamas. We get our bathing suits on and head to Deck 11 which is where the pool is situated. It is crazy hot out and the pool water looks so wonderfully inviting minus the horde of children floating around in it. My feet are burning on the hot floor. I can’t wait any longer. Without even thinking, I jump right in. AHHHHHHH! It burns! Upon surfacing I scurry around like a crazy dragon lady to find the pool ledge. My eye balls are burning in their sockets and my throat is stinging as if I’d just downed ten shots of straight up Limoncello. This is not chlorinated water; it’s the saltiest water ever to roam the earth. If I dumped 50 kilograms of salt into my bathtub and then some, this pool water would still be saltier! Gross!

After adjusting to the unhealthy levels of salt in the pool, I later find subtle enjoyment from this. While resting on the ledge, I see completely dry pool-goers, eager to find peace from the fierce heat jumping on it. Little do they know the water is salt city until it is too late. I find happiness while watching them scurry on over to the ledge while screaming out in a salty panic. Call me evil, but I’m sure someone did the same thing to me when I jumped in only minutes before. The next victim is our new friend, Mike. He walks up to the ledge and jumps on in. Poor Mike.

After spending several hours in the pool and looking wrinkly beyond belief, we head back to our cabin to prepare for dinner. Our dinner seating is at 8:30pm in Vincent’s Dining Room on Deck 3. Tonight is just a casual seating so we dress neatly and appropriately. The dining room is rather large. Upon estimation, I’d think it could seat maybe 500 people. There is also another dining room above us called Claude’s Dining Room which too has an 8:30pm seating. Both rooms also have an earlier seating of 5:45pm. Since this is our first dinner, we are escorted to table 91; this will remain our dining table for the next four nights. We are at the back of the room right by the kitchen which means super fast service. We are greeted by our waiters who introduce themselves at Ning, our waitress, and Jonathan, our assistant waiter. Both are very lovely and go out of their way to attend to our needs which they soon become very accustom to: a glass of hot water for Jessica upon arrival, no veggies for myself and Mike, plenty of sour dough bread rolls for us all and never ending glasses of lemonade. They are extremely accommodating and apologetic for the tiniest of things. Tonight I order myself a caesar salad for the appetizer and a flat iron steak with garlic butter sauce and a baked potato for my main, which, by the way was super delicious. Dessert is something similar to a chocolate molten lava cake, just without the lava. The inside is deliciously rich and moist. I also enjoy a side of lemon gelato which goes down a treat. Before leaving, Ning tells us that there is breakfast served in the dining room every morning until 9:30am, but since we are youngens she doesn’t expect to see us there. Between you and me, I think ‘young’ is her nice was of saying ‘drunks’.

We have some time to kill before tonight’s planned activities so we head to what soon becomes one of Jessica’s favourite places on board the ship, yes, that’s right, the Casino Royale. To be honest, neither of us really have any clue what we are doing but we each decide to gamble a few harmless dollars. I sit at a slot machine, put in a dollar bill, press the 20 lines by 3 button, and just like that, the machine howls at me and I’ve won $4.27; I am excited beyond belief… that is, until, I play my winnings and lose it all. Ah, such is life. I can’t let this steep loss get to me though, because tonight is 70’s night and we are ready to boogie the night away!

70’s night kicks off at 10:30pm sharp on Deck 3 right out side Vincent’s Dining Room. The entertainment crew come out wearing crazy big afro’s and florescent, vibrant costumes and start dancing away to some Saturday Night Fever. Not before too long, they are pulling guests out onto the dance floor and we’re all getting down. I’m not one to dance while sober, but the music was too good to refuse. The dancing crew jumped into the transparent elevators in front of the dance floor and started riding them up and down while getting their disco dance on inside. Every time a new guest would step foot into the elevator, they’d make them dance around like crazy; it was hilarious. A massive conga line was formed and travelled around Deck 3 and the Village People even made a surprise visit.  If this was the outlook for the next three days then this cruise was going to be amazing!

After 70’s night we made our way over to one of the 18+ clubs on the ship, The Circuit. We head straight to the bar and order ourselves a Bud Light. Beer after beer after beer was consumed. We drank so much that the bar tenders even learned our names and knew what we wanted before we even ordered. Tonight we made many friends while drinking and dancing that, despite knowing yet, we’d bump into many a time throughout the duration of our cruise. We wound down at Sorreno’s Pizza Bar at 3am and somehow made it back to our cabins some time after that and passed out.

Despite only being 12 hours long, day one was nothing short of amazing!

.

~ To be continued ~


Bienvenidos a Miami

July 20, 2010


.
Location:
Miami, Florida, USA
.
There was quite the last minute hustle and bustle early Friday morning.

I woke bright and early to the chiming of my cell phone alarm. My eyes were puffy from crying the night before and my eyeliner had smudged a good 1cm radius around my eyes. I looked like a sleep-deprived Panda. I took a quick shower, packed the remainder of my things, stripped my bed down and took out the last of my trash.

Bryan would be pulling up by my apartment any minute now. I grab my things and walk towards my front door. Before flicking off the light switch on my way out I turn around and take one last look at what is now a completely empty apartment; just like the day I moved into it. The walls are stripped bare; apartment 4102 now lacks any character I had added to it to make me feel at home. So many great memories, so many smiles, so much fun; gone. I feel my eyes begin to water. I take a deep breath, turn around, and shut the door behind me. There’s no turning back now.

I place my gear in Bryan’s trunk and hop into the front seat. We make a quick stop by Housing. I reluctantly hand in my Chatham Square Housing ID and my apartment key to the front desk. Just like that, after a full twelve months of working for Disney, I am no longer a Disney Cast Member, no longer on the Disney College Program and I no longer live at Chatham Square. Good bye, Disney, it’s been a blast.

Sadness is quickly over turned. Today a bunch of my Disney friend and I are road-tripping to South Beach, Miami for a few days to have one last big group outing together. Before departure though, we have one thing left to do. What could possibly be better than Maccas for a pre-roadtrip breakfast!?! Mmmm, hash browns and a bacon, egg and cheese bagel! I’m lovin’ it.

We get into Miami Beach at around 4pm. We are staying at the Viscay Hotel on Collins Ave. Everything seemed to be completely booked out for the dates we required, and it didn’t make it any easier since we were a party of ten. This hotel is by far no where as elegant and luxurious as where we stayed a few weeks ago at The Bentley Hotel on Ocean Drive, but they had vacancy, the price was decent and it was ranked highly on trip advisor. Despite this, we are still only a three minute walk from the beach and we are right in the heart of the exuberant nightlife that South Beach offers.  We have two suites booked. The plan is to fit five in each. Upon arrival and first inspection, the rooms seem sufficient; big, spacious area, bathroom is do-able and we have a nice small kitchen space. I think we are more excited about the fact that our kitchen table is big enough to play beer pong on. The king bed is huge and able to accommodate three people, the fold out couch can accommodate another two; perfect… Or was it?

We get our luggage into the hotel. By now it is pushing 6pm and we are bloody hungry but we have to wait for Mike and Jessica to get back before we can head out for dinner. While waiting around, I get a text from Mike saying that he thinks he is standing next to LeBron James at The Bentley Hotel. Bryan tells me to text back and tell Mike to take either a photo or video. Bryan is from LeBron’s hometown so if he sees a photo, he’d definitely know if it was him or not. Mike texts back saying he is too scared because he has four big body guard-looking guys standing around him. Booo, Mike, boooo!

Mike and Jessica finally get back to our hotel and we  all decide to walk down Ocean Drive and go to  TGIFriday’s for dinner. Worst decision ever. Ocean Drive was absolutely packed with a swarm of people; not the most friendliest looking crowd you’d want to come across either. We held hands and made a human chain to get through it all together; it was tough, but we survived and in the end, we were rewarded with the deliciousness that is TGIFriday’s. I ask the waitress if she knows why Ocean Drive is insanely busy and she tells us that LeBron James is in town and everyone is trying to find him. Turns out it was him that Mike had seen after all!

We headed back to the hotel for en epic night of pre-gaming and beer pong. I can’t really tell you what happened because not even I’m too sure, but judging by the photos, lots of booze was consumed, beer pong was played, and there was some sort of weird, drunken photo shoot on our bed… I can recall bits and pieces of Bryan somersaulting across the bed a few times, one time almost crashing into a wall only to have Ali come to his rescue… the words ‘spread eagle‘ being yelled across the room… Dawin getting his drink spilled all over his jeans and then somehow everyone piling up on top of each other for a very close, lovingly group photo shoot.

After our glamor shots we ended up sitting out on Miami Beach in the pitch blackness of the night. It was so pleasant and relaxing until security came by and told us we had to get off the beach because it was closed. Boooo, way to ruin our night; party poopers! Once again, we headed back to our hotel. Everything was all well and good until we discovered a cockroach in our kitchen. I almost vomit a little in my mouth; gross. Not sure who, but someone killed it. Phew. We all regained our composure until not before too long, we discovered another cockroach by the closet. Mike freaked out, grabbed my shoe and squished it before I even realized it was my shoe in his hand. When I finally realizing my shoe had touched that thing, I may have vomit a little again in my mouth. A creepy shiver ran down my spine as I thought about a cockroach flying into my ear and laying babies in it while I tried to sleep at night. Ahhhhh! As soon as morning came, Mike and Bryan went to the front desk to complain but there was nothing they could do.

Cockroaches weren’t enough to bring us down. The next morning we get up and head to Fresh on Fifth to get  freshly made baguettes to order; delicious. From here we walk across the road and find ourselves a spot on the sand. While some wait for their lunch to settle in their belly, Ali, myself and Mike already have our clothes off and are running towards the welcoming, emerald greeny blue waters. Without even thinking, I jump right in. The water is beautiful. We form a triangle and throw the ball out to each other. Ali is terrible at aiming so I am forced to swim after the ball several times. This proves to be quite complicated as the water is extremely choppy today and the waves keep pushing the ball further towards the shore. When I eventually get out of the water, my legs feel like jelly and I can’t seem to walk in a straight line on the sand. I collapse on my towel and soak up the suns rays. Not a worry in the world; this is the definition of perfection.

I head back to the hotel a half an hour before the others do. I want to get a shower and wash my hair so it has enough time to dry before I straighten it. As I hop out of the shower, I hear it start to bucket down rain outside. I worry about the rest of the gang getting caught up in the rain storm but they make it back just in time. Everyone starts taking turns showering. While Ali is in the shower, Bryan, myself, Susan and Leila are laying out on the bed watching T.V. We hear a disturbing crunching sound coming from the air conditioning unit; similar to that of a blender blade trying to chop up thick ice cubes. Out of no where, the AC unit starts spitting out balls of ice; how wonderful! Just what we needed, a broken AC unit when it’s stinking hot outside. Bryan makes his way to front desk to complain, only this time, they relocate us to a new room.

Our new hotel room is much nicer, it’s on the corner so we have windows right around letting in plenty of light and the kitchen and bathroom are newer and nicer than the previous room. This room also proves to be cockroach free! Hooray! We settle in and head out to a Burger King Lounge for a quick dinner. Tonight’s plan is to pre-game at the hotel, then for those of us who are 21+, the night will be spent at Mansion nightclub. We’ve heard only good things about this place so we are rather excited to go there.

Entry to club Mansion is $25 which is a little steep, but at the same time, the clubs back home in Melbourne usually charge $20-$30 club entry so I can’t complain. The wait to get in isn’t all too bad. The club is separated into three parts; there is a small bar and dance floor upon entry which leads into a larger room with more bars, a roped off VIP section and the most awesome music to party to ever and then this room leads into an even bigger room that plays house and dance music. We wait here forever to get a drink then head back to the awesome music room to get our groove on until the early morning.

Sunday is check out morning. We gather our things and head towards Fort Lauderdale to grab a late breakfast at Arby’s. After Arby’s we decide to spend some time at Fort Lauderdale beach like we did last time. Fort Lauderdale beach is extremely beautiful and much more peaceful than Miami Beach. I decide to not swim this time; I don’t feel like having sand in unwanted places for the three hour drive back to Orlando.

On the drive home Bryan and I notice that Mike’s right back tire is looking a little flat. I text him to let him know he needs some air in it and he texts back saying he’s going to pull into the next rest stop to inflate it. Unfortunately, the next rest stop seems to be quite the distance away, and only two miles out from it, Bryan and I smell burned rubber, and, sure enough, Mike’s tire blows out so we all pull over. It takes a call to AAA, the State Troopers and Dawin to fix this hot mess. The jack that Mike had in his car wasn’t all that great, so once the wheel was off, the jack gave way and the car tilted and rolled backwards. Once the State Trooper arrived and lent Dawin a better jack, it went smoothly from here. Finally, after what seems like forever, we are ready to continue our journey back to Orlando.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we get in a lot later than expected. Despite this small obstacle, the trip was great fun and I’m glad we could all do this once last time before we all go our separate ways.

Next up, our cruise to the Bahamas in t-minus six days and counting!


Exiting the Circus

July 15, 2010


.
Location:
Orlando, Florida, USA
.
For the last twelve months of my life I have watched people from right around the world who have grown so close and dear to me depart as their Disney College Program experience had come to an end. As I sit here typing this from my apartment here at Chatham Square for the last time, I have tears rolling down my cheeks. The Cirque du Soleil; La Nouba soundtrack is playing in the background; certain parts triggering my mind as I run through my queues in my head. Although I really should be packing, I can’t bring myself to realize that this amazing whirlwind of a life-changing experience is about to conclude.

Last night, sadly, after one entire year of working for Walt Disney at Cirque du Soleil, my Disney College Program came to an end. It was a series of many lasts:

  • My last ride to work with Bryan; someone I have come to love so dearly
  • My last time putting on my hideous blue pants and blazer
  • My last time proudly wearing my Disney name tag
  • My last time clocking into CDS for my final shift
  • My last time laughing and joking around in the dungeon
  • My last pre-shift meeting on the stairs before first show load
  • My last time ushering a Cirque du Soleil show
  • My last time assisting Disney World guests
  • My last time calling cameras on the radio
  • My last time screaming out ‘Mop Help’ to Lalita
  • My last time working with a team of extremely amazing people from all over the world where I really feel like I belong
  • My last time clocking out of CDS to mark the end of my final shift
  • My last ride from work to Ale House to enjoy loaded fries and a few beers with my Cirque crew
  • My last ride from Ale House back to Chatham Square with friends that have become family for me while I’ve been here

My time here on the Disney College Program has been something that words can’t even describe. Twelve months ago I would never have thought I’d have grown so attached to so many people. Everyone is so different and unique and it’s quite hard to sum them up. I love each of them all dearly and each for different reasons.

If any of you happen to read this, thank you all for being you! I love you all so much and and I am going to miss you all terribly. I will definitely be back to visit, sooner rather than later.

Again, thank you, it’s been a blast.

-xoxo-










Thunder from Downunder III

June 18, 2010

Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
.

CHAPTER 7
~May The Force Be With You ~

Star Wars Weekends is an annual special event held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that celebrates the legendary Star Wars Saga and the animated television series, The Clone Wars. Little did we know that this year marked the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back which meant Hollywood Studios would be infested with Star Wars nerds lurking at each and every corner.

I am, by no means a Star Wars nerd, but, having grown up with a brother who’s childhood dream was for mum and dad to buy him the Millennium Falcon and a father who absolutely loved the original Star Wars Trilogy, it was hard not being a teeny tiny bit excited. I don’t think the Aussies had the slightest bit interest in Star Wars though, and I can’t really say that I blame them.

I was amazed with the detail and depth that went into all the Star Wars costumes. While admiring a few, it was a delightful surprise to see that one of our College Program Alumni friends, Jason, had scored the face-role of Mace Windu. We ditched the Aussies on a street corner somewhere and jumped in line to grab a photo with him. While waiting, I was astounded with how excited grown men were to be having their photo taken with ‘Mace Windu’. I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything quite like it. We were up next.

Me: Hi Mace!
Mace Windu: Greetings. And which strange planet are you from milady?
Me: Australia.
Mace Windu: Ah, I was wondering where that beautiful accent was from.
Me: *giggles*
Mace Windu:
(To Bryan as we were walking away) Keep an eye on her. The force is especially strong within this one.
Mace Windu: (To me) May the force be with you.

Here’s a few more photos I was able to snap displaying the spectacular costuming and make-up efforts that went into Star Wars Weekends.

It saddens me to say that there wasn’t anything terribly embarrassing to report back on from today’s events. I’d love to tell you that Nicole slipped and fell down in front of hundreds of people, or that Gavin lost his shit again when we watched the Beauty and the Beast musical, but unfortunately I can’t. Despite the lack of incidents, though, a fun time was had by all. It was starting to get dark. The Aussies headed towards the amphitheater to get seats for Fantasmic and Bryan and I headed back home in time to catch the Lost finale. There are simply some things in life that just get put ahead of friendship.
.

CHAPTER 8
~Hats What I’m Talking About ~

Epcot; the last of the four Disney parks left on our agenda. This saddens me because I know the time I have left with my Aussies is coming to an end. I try not to think about it despite the lingering thought at the back of my mind.

The World Showcase does not open up until 11am so we decide to tackle Test Track and Soarin’ first. We have a fast pass for Test Track so we get through the line with ease and are assigned to our vehicle. We are set for Concourse A. Our vehicle clears the heat and ice condition testing and  leads us out into a dark room; we are driving blindly at a rough yet steady pace. We are still in pitch darkness. Out of no where, the overbearing horn of a semi-trailer can be heard as its headlights turn on and shine directly onto our vehicle. The semi-trailer is heading straight toward us. Nicole is startled by the sudden appearance of the semi and starts screaming at the top of her lungs. Our vehicle abruptly swerves, merely missing the semi. I’m pretty sure Nicole shits her pants as she panics and continues to frantically scream. I begin to uncontrollably laugh. I’ve been on test track a few dozen times and I have never seen anyone scream so much at the semi part. I continue to laugh all the way through but stop just in time to pose before we smash into the wall.

We make our way toward Space Ship Earth. Nicole is eager to ride the big ball. Too bad Minnie isn’t here to ride with her, they would have made a great, frisky team. Carlos offers himself and Nicole willingly accepts. We board the ride in pairs. Gavin and Bryan; Nicole and Carlos; Brendon and myself. We take our seats and face forward as the ride begins. We must be maybe three or so minutes into the ride when I notice that Carlos is no longer facing forward, but instead, facing Brendon’s and my direction. I ponder this awkward positioning for a moment until I realize that Carlos is mounting Nicole. Their love continues to blossom.

Our World Showcase adventure is ready to begin. Today, our reason for living is to try on as many different hats in as many different countries as possible. Nicole, however, had an alternative motive; to get drunk. I feel as though this ‘alternative motive’ was a cover to shag Carlos around the world and then to just blame the alcohol. I guess we will never know the real truth. Hey, he’s not complaining, he got to ride Nicole’s magic carpet in Morocco and show her a dazzling place she never knew. It really was a whole new world but unfortunately for Nicole, she closed her eyes. Perhaps to say she was only dreaming? Sound familiar? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Hola! Our first hat country on the list is Mexico. Nothing screams Mexico more than giant sombreros and maracas. Muy bien senor o senorita!


We make our way to the Tequila Bar. Nicole and Bryan order margaritas. Lucky for Bryan he can hold his liquor a lot better than Nicole can. She is already drunk after only one drink; oh, the joys!

Next up is Norway. I do admit I lack extensive Norwegian knowledge, but judging by the hats and props they had in their gift store, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume they thrive on violence and seek joy from stabbing one another with swords while giant trolls watch on. They are also rather horny; that’s just my visual take. We make use of the props on display and give our best Norwegian pose. Unfortunately we couldn’t find any real trolls lurking around. I was rather disappointed and saddened that we had to use a fake one. Using what limited resources we had, I think we depict a rather accurate photo of Norwegian life today.

Ni hao. Wo ai Zhongguo! It’s China time. Now, having studied and learned Chinese back in high school for four years, I had the whole conical straw hat thing down pat and was quite confident with where my Chinese knowledge level was at. I was, however, unaware that Chinese people spray-pained themselves gold on a daily basis and ran around with their shirts unbuttoned. It’s amazing how much a statue can teach you. Immediately upon realizing this, I tried to find gold body paint, but to no avail. I was also quite mad at myself for not wearing a button-up shirt today. I think I speak on behalf of all the Aussies when I say we failed at being Chinese.

Zaijian China and hello U.S.A. Having lived in the U.S.A. for a year now I encourage my Aussies to pretend to be American by doing what Yank’s do best; patriotism. Americans LOVE being American so we try to adopt this same adoration for our pretend country. We deck ourselves out in ginormous star spangled banner hats and hold our hand to our heart just long enough for the camera to snap. Woah, that’s enough chauvinism for one day, kids. In between frolicking from this hat journey to our next, Nicole fits in another beer; oh my.

We’re cruising in style to our next destination. I snap my fingers. Within second a magic carpet arrives; ‘Carpet, take us to a fez-filled country.‘ We disembark the carpet to find ourselves in a whole new world where every turns a surprise. Nicole walks ahead, eager to explore this foreign land. I hear her bellow from a far; ‘Hold your breath it gets better!‘ I group with my remaining Aussies as we link arms and tip toe around the corner of what seems to be a strange market place. Brendon leans closer and whispers; ‘Hey guys I think we’re in…’ ‘Morocco! We’re in Morocco,’ screams an excited Nicole. Way to ruin Brendon’s blog appearance, Nic!

We browse through the backstreet markets of Morocco until we stumble upon the Fez House. We each put one on. I suddenly feel the much needed urge to move my hips in ways they have never been moved before. I want to jump on top of a table and do some serious belly dancing. I immediately take my fez off. I glance over at Nicole. She is serenading Carlos by belly dancing laps around him. I run over to her and take a giant leap into the air (this is all happening in slow motion by the way) knocking her fez off her head before hitting the ground. We place our fez’ back on our heads, but only long enough for a single snap of the camera.

Bonjour! Upon stepping foot in France I feel the constant urge to make love to any man in my path. Well, not any, but some. After all, Paris is the city of love and who can deny one wearing nothing more than a seductive beret? Since we are at Disney though, we must keep it clean, so, unfortunately for you guys reading this, we are wearing more than just a beret. I have a sneaking suspicion that if you friend request Nicole on Facebook, she’d be more than willing to send you the private photos her and Carlos took in just their berets.

We journey off to the United Kingdom to sip some tea and meet the Queen. Just like Norway, judging by the props available to us in the gift store, I get the feeling that people in the UK enjoy promoting violence via daily heroic sword battles (minus the giant troll watching on). I try to fathom how much had changed since my last visit to London in 2008; the Brits seemed civil and harmless back then. I guess it goes to show that anything can happen.

I was somewhat sad that our hat journey was about to come to an end, and of all countries, Canada had to be the last. Canada, eh? Canadians are completely in denial about their extensive use of the word ‘eh‘. The problem is, they say it so often, they don’t even realize that they’re doing it. It’s similar to the usage of the word ‘like’ by a tween girl; she will say it at least five times within a sentence without even realizing; it’s kind of a second nature. Oh well, at least us non-Canadians know the truth and the truth is all that matters.

We each grab one of Davy Crockett’s hats for our Canadian pose. Nicole grabs a beaver and, without even thinking, gets down on her knees in front of Carlos. Typical of her. We transform into our Canadian selves in preparation for our final photo. Instead of yelling out cheese, we yell out eh? I don’t think the Canadian store attendant taking our photo is too impressed but the jokes on him because I heard him say eh prior to taking our photo.

Our hat-tastic journey around the world is over. How sad. No more parks and only one day left with my Aussies. I want to bathe in a pool filled with my own tears of misery. Attractive, I know.

.
CHAPTER 9
~ End It With A Bang ~

Tonight marked the final night out with my Aussies. We had plans for another messy night at club Rain. Again, I’d love to report back on the nights events, but I have limited memory of our time there. Strangely enough, there were also no photos taken. Either Gavin was too drunk to operate his camera or he was being kept occupied. Hmmm; my monies on the later of the two.

Speaking of being kept occupied, tonight was the night Nicole and Carlos finally consummated their love for one another by swapping spit. It was a gruesome sight watched on by all. Cheering and applauds could be heard from miles on out. Finally, after nine days, Nicole and Carlos had accepted what we had realized from the beginning; true love.

We drunkenly stumbled our way out of the club to attend to the dire needs of Kellen who had passed out in the back of Ali’s car. Right there, in the parking lot of Rain, we exchanged our good byes and farewells. Much to my surprise, this was a tear-free event. This is an odd occurrence for Gavin and myself as we usually dribble and drool on each others shoulder while sharing a farewell embrace. I jump into one car, my Aussies in another and we drive our separate ways; Gavin driving an entirely separate way altogether (re. chapter title).

The last nine days with my Aussies was way too much fun; an epic hot mess, if you will. I am so happy that they took the time to come over to Disney for a visit. We made magical memories that will last a life time in my heart. See you guys back home in Australia!
.

~ The End ~


Thunder from Downunder II

June 17, 2010

Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
.

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.
.

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.

.
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.
.

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.

.
~TO BE CONTINUED~


Thunder from Downunder I

June 15, 2010

Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
.

They may look harmless and innocent, but please, do not let their angelic, semi-tanned (minus me who clearly matches the wood top) appearances fool you. They came from all over Australia; Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane with only one thing in mind. With their powers combine they were an indestructible partying, booze-consuming, and adventure-hungry force… a force that Carlos was not mentally prepared for.

CHAPTER 1
~ The Arrival ~

It was a sweltering summers evening here in Orlando; much like the one we are currently experiencing here tonight. All the Aussies had arrived safe and sound to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Check-in went as smooth as one could hope. The resort was nice enough; comfortable beds, an adequate bathroom for Gavin to beautify himself in and a nice pool with a water slide, that’s right, a water slide. Moving on up in the world, people!

It could not have been more than five or so hours after arriving that the bright-eyed, eager youth of Australia began begging and pleading with me to introduce them to the cheapness that is American alcohol. They didn’t have to ask me twice. After all, who was I to deny them of such a privilege?
.

CHAPTER 2
~ Ale House ~

It would be a lie if I said I wasn’t nervous. I felt comfortable enough but I knew I was taking a risk by crossing cultural boundaries. I mean, it just didn’t seem fair introducing a country that is quite capable and at ease of drinking anyone and everyone under the table (this is just one of many Australian stereotypes, but one we stand by; one we are truly and wholeheartedly proud of) with a bunch of piss-weak Americans. I thought long and hard about this. I figured that at worst, we would just sacrifice Nicole; our one drink wonder, and that would make us even. This made  sense in my head. All seemed fair again. Enough delaying, bring on the buckets and pitchers.

Pitcher after pitcher after pitcher was consumed. It was a marvelous sight; the Australians and the Americans mingling together as if we were united as one (under the rulings of her majesty, the Queen, of course). Beer got the party started until shots just added a whole new definition to crossing boundaries. The saying ‘beer before liquor, never been sicker’, was completely blown out the window tonight. We were all just bouncing off the walls like one big happy drunken family that had just been reunited after twenty odd years of being lost at sea.  The alcohol slowly yet surely began to work its magic. Speech became difficult and the right words seemed somewhat troublesome to get out. Conversation quickly took a turn for the worse. Well, maybe not so much for the worse, but enough to send Gavin into a table-hitting ball of laughter and for me to fall to the floor while simultaneously hysterically laughing and crying at the one time. See, even when I’ve had too much to drink I can still multi-task. I should add that to my resume. This is where true love begins to blossom between Aussie Nicole and American Carlos. Will cupid pull through for the sake of us all?

When the night ends with the purchase of three shots and five beers as well as food for $25 and two car loads in a bar parking lot harmoniously screaming out a drunken rendition of Backstreet Boys ‘I Want It That Way‘ (while Carlos makes it his duty to mount me in the front seat, of Bryan’s car), you know you’ve had a good night (and perhaps too much to drink). This almost brought a tear to my eye. I felt at ease with my decision to introduce my Aussies to my Americans.
.

CHAPTER 3
~ Magic Kingdom ~

A new, sober day. To be honest with you, I’m not quite sure how I got myself out of bed this morning. Today would be the first of four Disney park days.  Magic Kingdom is the only dry park on Disney property and just as well after our  ‘welcome to America‘ Ale House adventure last night.

Would it be Magic Kingdom without a cliched jump in front of Cinderella’s Castle photo? Yes, we do range from ages 19  – 25. Don’t you be judging now…

Magic Kingdom really is the place where dreams come true. No matter how old you are here, there is always that brief moment where you revert back to your childhood and let the kid inside of you come out and get excited. Now, whether you express this sense of excitement or not is totally up to you, but don’t go being in denial about it; it happens to the best of us. I dropped the tough girl persona within minutes of stepping foot into the Magic Kingdom almost one year ago to this day. And since we are being honest, yes, yes I did download ‘Celebrate You‘ by Corbin Bleu, the pre-tune to the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade and yes, maybe I do sing along and dance to it in front of my mirror when my room mate isn’t home!
.
lo·sing ones shit (sht)
Vulgar slang
(verb)

1. The act of meeting Mickey and Minnie for the first time.
.. .. … .I’m going to lose my shit when I see Mickey and Minnie.
.

Today was Gavin’s day to, as he’d loosely refer to it as, ‘lose his shit‘. This is a very simple process for one Gavin Thomas. It involved presenting him with either Mickey or Minnie Mouse. The two of them simultaneously would clearly be sensory overload for the young Mr. Thomas so it was much to my delight when we stumbled upon Mickey’s House and were greeted by the two of them in a separate building out back, possibly Mickey’s garage? I think Mickey and Minnie’s secret rendezvous meeting point seemed to be the more appropriate answer; these two were out of control all over every one. It was something like out of a reality TV show titled Minnie Gone Wild. I’m not sure what side of the bed Miss. Minnie woke up on this morning (or if she mistakenly popped a few of Mickey’s Viagra pills), but she was rather touchy feely; throwing kisses out left right and center then dashing mischief glances over toward Mickey in hopes to see him jealous after she’d smooch it up with all the boys. She was all about the hand action; hugging, poking, tickling, hands around everyone’s waist. Mickey could do nothing more than silently suffer and accept the fact that his girl was feeling rather whore-ish on this pleasant summers day. Who would have thought Minnie had a frisky side to her; definitely not me. All this hot Minnie action was, no doubt, causing Gavin to experience heart palpitations like no other. He shoved his camera into my hands while mumbling a quick ‘Oh my God’ under his breath and leaped toward Mickey for a long, loving embrace. Gavin had officially lost his shit.

I had not had my photo taken with Mickey or Minnie for some time now so I figured since we’d waited in line, I may as well take advantage of this situation (and of Minnie). The anticipation and all that sexual tension that was floating around the room proved to be all too much for the Aussies, because after all of this, we got wet. Very wet.  That’s right, we rode Splash Mountain and got drenched from head to toe. Not what you were thinking, right? Dirty buggers.

Our night at Magic Kingdom ended with a big bang. I can’t say I’m surprised if you suspect that Minnie had something to do with this, but fortunately for Mickey’s sanity and the longevity of Disney World, you are wrong. Get your mind out of the gutter, people. I’m talking about the Wishes Fireworks Spectacular! Since arriving at Disney World last year, Wishes has quite possibly been my favorite thing ever apart from the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor so I was ecstatic to be sharing this treat with my Aussies. This would be the last time that I’d be seeing Wishes as it is going on hiatus over the Summer and being replaced with the Pirates and Princesses Fireworks Spectacular. Knowing this, I felt a teeny tiny bit sad, but also eager and excited to experience what was to come. The lights around the park dim and a sweet, innocent little voice begins reciting the lyrics to Star Light, Star Bright as the first round of fireworks shoot their way up into the dark night sky. Pretty sure the Aussies are at a loss for words and I’m quite confident that Gavin is  discretely having one of his little moments. Oh Wishes, how I will miss you and the lingering memory of the extended Wishes Holidays Spectacular that I will hold ever so dearly in my mind. Somewhere between Wishes ending and us trying to exit Magic Kingdom through a stampede of guests, we ended up at Steak ‘n’ Shake. Today was a good day.

.

CHAPTER 3
~ Let it Rain ~

Tonight, as promised, we had made plans to venture out to club Rain. Now, I will begin by being honest with you straight up. I really do not remember much from this night. It may or may not have something to do with the self-consumption of two shots and six beers in a short period of time; I’m just saying, this may have something to do with it. I can quite confidently tell you that the night began by pre-gaming with my Aussie and American boys (and girls).

From here, I can also confidently report to you that we made it into Rain, despite being somewhat tipsy at the door. I remember lots of dancing and drinking; Bryan handing me drink after drink. At one point I remember our Aussie and American crew completely owning the stage but the rest of it is just a blur; a blur of fun, none the less. Somewhere along the line, it ended up looking like the hot mess below.

I don’t know how we made it out, or how I ended up in Ali’s car, but what I do know is that I was ecstatic to hear that we were making a 3am Maccas run. Late night (early morning) Maccas runs are possibly one of my favorite things to do when drunk. Nothing makes you feel better upon waking up that next morning knowing that you devoured a McNugget Meal  only hours earlier and passed out on a full stomach. A good night was had by all, except for maybe Nicole who’s empty heart beat only for Carlos and perhaps Brendon who had been approached by another male and asked how much his services would cost. We got home somewhere between the hours of 3 and 4am. We needed to be up at 8am for another day of debauchery. This was going to prove to be quite the task, especially since Gavin was no where to be found.
.

~TO BE CONTINUED~

.