Thursday, August 29, 2013

Orlando 2013 - Part I, Things That Don't Fit

My in-laws were super nice and put us and my sister-in-law's family up in Hilton resort in Orlando using their Hilton points.  I say super nice because they didn't have us share a set of rooms.  It was a nice place and came with a stove, a fold out couch for Eryn, a huge whirlpool in additional to the shower, and a washer and dryer.

Eryn's favorite features: the multiple swimming pools she stayed in until 11:00 p.m. most nights and the ducks she fed bread and Cheerios to each morning, although the ducks were usually chased a way after a few minutes by very large leathery turtles.  My favorite feature: the onsite coffee shop where I could have an Americano, a waffle with bacon if I wanted, and hang out for the 2-3 hours before my family woke up reading my book, doing email, and reading the paper.  I got a lot read.

I don't know what my wife's favorite part was.  Probably the whirlpool and the fact that she got the bed to herself for several hours when I went to the coffee shop.

Unlike last time we went to Orlando, where I optimized for a trip to Universal Studios and some traveling to Blue Springs and Cape Canaveral, making sure we had a shuttle and easy access to a rental car on a day-by-day basis, this time we were between Disney and Universal, so we did both.  Oof.  Five days of parks is a little bit too much parking for me.  And the shuttle service wasn't very good.  One day they were servicing the first guy in line so long everyone else missed the shuttle (a nice driver found as an alternative), one day they overbooked and didn't have space for us on the return shuttle so we had to wait for a replacement vehicle, and another day the guy at the front of the van was plenty cool, so he turned off the a/c.  Maybe a rental car would have been better, but we try to avoid the trouble (and cost) of parking when we can.

The one day we weren't parking we went to Cocoa beach where I learned that "just an hour" isn't really something you can say about the safety of your pale white farmer tan skin in the Atlantic Ocean.  I started peeling last night for the first time in over ten years.  For a while, I was worried my burn was pretty deep.  I can still feel it deeper in my skin after a week.

These are the various pictures that didn't happen in an amusement park.

Hip Hop Ming.  This guy who was on our flight looked a lot like Ming, except he  had tats, long shorts, and that You Only Got Video Game shirt.

There was a woman at the airport who had Japanese Kit Kats.  I remarked on them and at the baggage pick up she gave Jen one of them (two Kit Kat sticks each!).  They were delicious.  Green Tea Kit Kats are better than regular Kit Kats.

The guys who couldn't manage their shuttle service were trying to convince my wife that we should attend a sales pitch to buy a time share so we could go to this fabulous Medieval Times-type show.  Even Eryn was unswayed by the promise of experiencing their magical unicorn.

Where we stayed.  We were way down there on the end.  Where the lightning hit during the storm.  The big pool, coffee shop, and grocery store are towards where I'm standing in this picture.

What it looked like in my dreams when I went all Inception.  I was surprised to see this in my photos.  I think it was a panoramic shot gone wrong.

Speaking of which...panorama.  You can see a lot of clouds in the photo.  It rained every day we were there I think.  Never for long.  But at least three separate days I ended up taking a hair dryer to the inside of my shoes so I wasn't sloshing around the next morning.  The weather in Florida, when you looked at the radar, always showed dozens of little storms traipsing across the state.

The coffee shop, where they knew I was Mr. Americano by the end of the week.  Eryn would hang out with me there after feeding the ducks because she was generally assured some sort of blended iced coffee drink to get her good and ready to face the amusement parks.  That's her Kaiju Hunter shirt from Pacific Rim.  She received many compliments from park staff on her extensive collection of Doctor Who t-shirts.  She definitely has the in-the-know geek girl vibe.

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