I’ve already written about the marathon, so you know all about the highs and lows. What you might not know is that bananas have never tasted as great as they did at mile 20, that chocolate has never been as amazing as it was at mile 23, and that Powerade is never more incredible than it is at mile 26.2. Can you tell that I didn’t eat breakfast or drink anything before the run that morning? There’s no telling what I ate/drank during those last six miles because if it was handed to me by a volunteer? Down it went, folks. (Which reminds me of a story I heard about another marathon runner that day who, when offered Vaseline on a stick by a volunteer, assumed it was some fancy new energy gel and ate it. He said he was still trying to rinse out his mouth at the finish line. That’s even better than me getting the BioFreeze on my tongue – don’t ask – at mile 23 and wondering why my mouth was super minty fresh for the rest of the afternoon.)
We finished up the marathon and met up with the family outside of Epcot. It must be noted that Ana was thoroughly unimpressed by what we had just accomplished, mainly because the end result was that we were stinky and sweaty. They had managed to meet us at two different points along the route, which wore down the girls a bit, so once we reunited, we went straight back to Pop Century to grab some lunch and let the girls watch TV in the kids’ seating. (This was one of the best parts of Pop Century – a big section of tables for kids in the food court, right next to a TV that was always tuned to the Disney Channel. The girls loved it!) After we ate, we went back to the room, got cleaned up, and met up with the family at the bus stop for the Magic Kingdom.
The only part of the park we hadn’t done at this point was Tomorrowland, so we made it our goal to hit the high points there. We started with the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, then moved onto the Carousel of Progress and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. After this, we split up – Wes, Jim, and Sandi took Emma onto Astro Orbiter while I took Ana to meet Buzz Lightyear. We grabbed Fast Passes for Space Mountain then headed to dinner at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café.
On our first visit to Walt Disney World in 2009, we had a horrible experience at Cosmic Ray’s. We had to wait about thirty minutes for a table, and the one we finally got was right next to a cluster of trash cans and a high-traffic exit. Our burgers were cold, the girls were grouchy, and unpleasantness abounded. I told Wes that I couldn’t imagine how anyone would choose to eat at Cosmic Ray’s when it was so crowded and such poor quality.
As it turns out, I was wrong!
Seating wasn’t a problem this time, the food was WONDERFUL, and best of all, Emma met the new love of her life – Sonny Eclipse. I had vaguely remembered an alien lounge singer from that first year, but he was all new to Emma, who focused all of her rapt attention on him from the moment we got there until the moment we left. She would try to take us back to see him several times the rest of the vacation, and now that we’re home, she asks me to find him on YouTube so she can watch him again.
(Incidentally, we discovered this way that Tokyo Disney has their very own Sonny Eclipse… at the end of their Star Tours ride! He’s a Japanese-speaking Sonny Eclipse stuck in the wrong ride, y’all. Crazy!)
After dinner, Nana and I took the girls on Tomorrowland Speedway, where they both said they were going to drive… until they started and decided that, to quote Emma, “I am too tired to drive.” So, Nana and I drove the cars from the passenger seats. Fun. Coach and Wes went to take their turn on Space Mountain, only to find that it had been closed because of a malfunction. What was the deal with all these rides closing? I blame the Christmas/New Year’s crowds for overloading them the two weeks before!
With the majority of Tomorrowland done, we decided to call it a night. Our legs were killing us, and after covering ourselves in Icy Hot, we tucked into bed for what would be a good night’s sleep…
… until 11:30 when I woke up to a strange gurgling sound. It was nothing short of the Lord’s doing that I woke up at all, and I truly believe that He was extending a special mercy to us by getting me out of bed and to Emma’s side so quickly. She was getting sick everywhere and choking in the process, still half-asleep as she did so. I grabbed her up out of the mess, realized that she herself was a bigger mess than what was on the blankets, the pillows, and the carpet, and tried to figure out what to do. Vomit doesn’t bother me in the slightest, but this was a bigger mess than normal, so much so that I didn’t even know where to begin. I calmed Emma (who was now awake and crying) down, woke up Wes, then had him take Ana (who slept through it all, hallelujah) next door to his parents. Ana safely delivered (and still asleep!), he got on the phone with housekeeping while I cleaned Emma up and put her in one of my shirts to sleep in. A member of the maintenance team came by with some big plastic bags, clean linens, and his apologies that they couldn’t do anything with the carpet until the next day. I took care of the dirty linens and began trying to clean up the carpet (as a much better Emma proclaimed, “Wow! I spitted EVERYWHERE!”) when there was another knock on the door. God bless him – the front desk attendant had made a special request for the carpet to be cleaned RIGHT THEN. The gentleman doing it was so friendly and understanding, y’all. If Disney didn’t already have our guaranteed business for the years ahead, this would have sealed the deal. They were so wonderful, and we were SO thankful!
We settled in (again) and tried to get some sleep. It was a success for everyone except for me, as I got kicked repeatedly by a very restless Emma. But, hey, at least she was kicking me instead of vomiting on me. Gotta look on the bright side, y’all. (Oh, and it was a shock to poor Coach the next morning when he discovered Ana in their bed, since he thought he had rescued Emma the night before. This is proof that we ALL get those two girls confused with one another from time to time.)
Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that this year, I made sure to get one particular picture. Two years ago when we were at WDW, Wes and I were in the worst shape of our adult lives. We took a picture in front of Cinderella Castle on that trip, and this trip, when we were in the BEST shape of our adult lives, we took another picture.
I told Wes that it was redemptive in some ways, to come back and do something that we certainly deemed impossible back then. So thankful for the changes in our lives this past year!
Next up… the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique!