The impetus to finally go came because I had some friends come into town this weekend who invited me to hang with them at Disney. Fortunately, my workplace is encouraging vacations this quarter and I'm employed and SoCal residents can get a 2 day pass for the price of 1 day. Inside Disney wasn't as expensive as I thought it would be and I managed to stay under my budget for the trip. The budget and sanity were also helped by staying overnight with a friend who lives about 20 miles from Disney instead of my 66. (Thanks for the Hot Toddy kit! And *yes* I remembered a hostess gift.)
I got to see Hon and Bun again and their very small child, who makes a nice 38# arm exerciser. Additionally, another college friend and his wife were along. You'd think 5 adults and 1 toddler would be overkill babysitting but it worked out really well - we could split up into child care/child free groupings to go on fun rides. And Disney has some excellent accommodation policies (such as switch and fast passes) for parents, as well as general park attendees. Speaking of general park attendees, Disney must be doing a great job being accessible to everyone as I have to say, I have not seen such a high concentration or diversity of visibly disabled people in many a day. And everyone but the overtired toddlers seemed to be having a great time.
I think a lot of how much one enjoys something is dependent on 2 things: the inherent goodness of a thing AND how well that goodness matches expectations. There are few places that have higher expectations than Disney and from my perspective they really lived up to that high water mark. I can recommend the Character Breakfast. I also enjoyed the Chili Peppers tunes on Sp.ace M.ountain and Califor.nia S.creaming. The place was clean, well maintained, friendly, and lively. The scale of D.LAND is small enough to do a lot in a day without running out of things to do. Their "city" planners are second to none for traffic flow. Their alternative passes make the trip so much more accessible (than 20 yrs ago...), and they can sell atmosphere like few others.
So, good things from today (this won't do it justice):
- Disney trip went great. Disney lived up to my expectations, in a good way. I got 77300 on my second try on the Buz.z Lig.htyear ride. And I got to hang with some of my very best friends and a new one.
- The "new one" (wife of college pal) knows all the words to The Animaniacs "Countries of the World" song AND "The Battle of New Orleans". And she has a pleasing voice and sings on pitch. Sorry to all in the Indy Adventure ride who had to listen to "united states canada mexico panama haiti jamaica peru...fiji australia sudan" to a can-can tune, but it is a rare, rare day when I meet someone else who can sing the nations song.
- I drove around an accident on the way home with no problem. A car forward and on my right started twitching back and forth after what seemed kind of like an evasive manoeuver when some dumbass tried to merge into him. It was a "kind of" because he was trying to go fast into the far right lane from the second lane in, but someone there sped up and tried to merge left without (I'm speculating) looking first. [I have no objection to the first, but you have to make sure there's space.] So there was some wobbling. At some point the car just pointed left and started in across the left 3 lanes of traffic. Fortunately, they were still going forward at about 80mph as well as sideways so I, in the 3rd lane, took my foot off the gas a little, let him scoot by just in front of me as I went a little right, and saw him hit the wall at a favorable angle for airbag deployment and function.
Then in my rear-view, I saw him bounce off the center wall and back to the second lane where I believe a minivan stopped shy of smashing him. (Hopefully the people behind them stopped too.) While I could easily have been in the left lane, I was in the 3rd lane in order to leave myself more options for just such an eventuality and it paid off, along with noticing that something was amiss. I will admit there was luck involved for me. It could have been a LOT worse for him and for me. But I saw the accident brewing and took evasive action and got by unscathed. I checked out the next exit sign as I drove by and called in the emergency and location. Bits of silver car sprinkled across 3 lanes of traffic on 101N does constitute an emergency.
- OOh! C.ourt.ney Co.x, now of Dirt fame, is on L.eno. Shiny. Must watch.