Florida Day 4

I can’t even begin to remember how today began, the beginnings are all a messy blur of fuzzy images. The first clear thought I can remember is being in the gift shop with Pa laughing at the incredibly high prices Mickey charges for his brand of shampoo. I’m sure that Icelandic seaweed is good for the hair, but at those prices, I will stick with whatever it is we have at home.

We missed the first bus to EPCOT, but thankfully another one was quickly behind it and we were soon whizzing our way to my favorite place on Earth — EPCOT! I think I like it so much because I have always enjoyed the idea of the World’s Fair, and EPCOT is basically the 1889 World Fair, with all the technological marvels and world cultures. If they had Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, the illusion would be complete.

We set off at a quick place to the Land building to get a Fast Pass for Soarin’. With that complete, I wanted to ride the boat tour through the greenhouses — which was my kind of heaven. I have long fantasized about living inside a giant greenhouse, where I could grow anything I wanted whenever I wanted, and I could control the levels of humidity and the temperature, even the light. It would be amazing…someday in the future, I suppose. Anyway, there were pumpkins growing suspended in nets ten feet off the ground, perfectly round and ripened all over, there was a rosemary plant bigger than any Christmas tree, there was rice, sunflowers growing in sand, hydroponic basil plants whizzing through the air, three pound lemons, and something called a tomato tree, which made me ridiculously excited. I’m already hunting down the seeds for that one. I would have loved to walk around and study each of the plants, they were all so beautiful and perfect.

Jessica and I had lunch reservations at Les Chefs de France, so we headed to the World Showcase after the ride, which Jessica didn’t go on as she hates nature. She refuses to eat homegrown potatoes because, and I quote, “They grow in the dirt.” I don’t know where she thinks store-bought ones come from. We had about forty-five minutes before the time of our reservation, so I tried to walk around a couple of the shops. Jessica was having none of that and wanted to check in immediately. I was having none of that, so we both walked painfully through the stores.

We spoke whimsical French for our own amusement, things like, « Le ciel! C’est très bleu! Et regarde — il y a beacoup des nuages aux anges! »

Wherever we go in EPCOT, we keep seeing this newlywed couple that is staying at our resort. I swear that they are stalking us, so we tried to get into each of the shots they took with their camera. There are some romantic photos of them with Jessica and I pulling rude faces in the background in store for them. Serves them right.

It was finally time to check in and we waited around for a little bit, chatting about the ugly baby next to us, in French. Nobody complimented our mastery of the language, so, either we were not as fluent as we thought, or they didn’t appreciate jokes about babies needing plastic surgery. If you don’t think that’s funny, lighten up!

Finally we were elegantly swept in and presented with menus in an adequately decorated room. I wasn’t impressed by the riff raff they had allowed to infiltrate their establishment, but I just ignored them, as I always ignore the lower classes.

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Neither of us could understand our waitress, everything she said was in whispers, so we kept leaning in closer and closer, saying, “Oui.”

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We both ordered the three-course lunch for $23.95 per person, thinking these would be small portions for lunch. We were very wrong. I had the French Onion Soup and Jessica had the Lobster Bisque. After reading many recipes, I have come to the conclusion that this soup most definitely had beef stock in it, and being a vegetarian, this doesn’t make me happy. But, it happened and it’s over with. I know better know. I don’t understand the reason, but most traditional recipes have a slice or two of baguette baked in the soup. When thoroughly soaked through, these take on the appearance of tripe, which isn’t the most appetizing image.

Jessica ordered a hot tea for her beverage and the waitress brought her an adorable little pot of hot water and presented her with a gigantic wooden box full of tea bags for her to select from. Jessica took the Earl Grey, which was an excellent choice.

When we finished the soup, another waiter brought out our entrees. We had both chosen the Macaroni Gratin, which was delicious, but insanely large. I couldn’t even begin to eat more than a third of it. Large penne noodles covered in gruyere and cream and nutmeg. Oh God, thinking back on it now, I feel stuffed again.

As we waited for a box to come, we kept noticing a woman with a cheese tray wheeling about and stopping at each table. Assuming she was bringing around a cheese course, we were delighted when it was really an animatronic version of Remi from Ratatouille, coming to see if we had enjoyed our meals. He would respond to our questions, tell us that he loved “Fromage!” and then “Merci!” It was painfully adorable.

Then, a banging came at the window, we all looked around in glee, hoping that a fight was taking place outside and was about to come crashing into the restaurant like some kind of wonderful recreation of Danielle vs Theresa in the Real Housewives of New Jersey. In reality, it was better, it was one of the Aristocats trying her hardest to get into the restaurant to eat Remi! Remi’s handler said in deeply accented English, “No, Remi! I will not let her eat you!” This was too much for me and I squealed with laughter for a good many minutes.

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After all the excitement died down, our desserts were brought out. I had a Creme Brulee and Jessica had chocolate profiteroles. Again, the portions were massive. The Creme Brulee was delicious, but far too much for me, Jessica and I had to share. Her profiteroles were pretty bad, the choux pastry was stale, I think, and formed sickly dough balls in your mouth, very unappetizing. I had an after dinner espresso and we waited for the bill — it was a lot, but worth it.

After we walked about the French and Moroccan pavilions for awhile, it was time for our Fast Pass on Soarin’, so, away we went. Before we got on that ride, we went to Captain EO, which I have been waiting to go on since I first heard about it years ago. I’m pissed at the reason it’s open again, but I’m happy that it is. I get sick to death of people who once screamed “Child Molester!” fawning over Michael Jackson now that he is dead. And the companies cashing in on his death are quite creepy, too. I’m not saying that I don’t appreciate their releasing music that never was — but maybe it wasn’t released for a reason. I dunno. (I have decided “dunno” is a word now. It means “don’t know,” for those of you not in the know.)

I had seen Captain EO once on YouTube by somebody who had filmed it in the 80s. It was good fun, but amazing to see it in the theater. The plot is absolutely ridiculous, involving the power of music and moonwalking, but I loved it and spent the next hour humming the music

After this we went on Soarin’, which is always fun. We were in the upper seats, so I didn’t have to suffer looking at everybody’s dirty feet. I wish there were more scenarios than California, but it was still good. There is such an amazing feeling of motion created that it is hard to believe you aren’t zooming over an orange grove.

For the last ride of the day we went on one of my all-time favorites — Ellen’s Energy Adventure! Jessica and I went on this the first time about two years ago and loved every hysterical minute of it. I mean, is anything better than Ellen going on a journey through time with Bill Nye the Science Guy, then defeating a snarky Jamie Lee Curtis at Jeopardy? I think not. I don’t even know how to begin explaining what this ride is about, you should just go on it. It does take about forty-five minutes, though, a fact which freaked my father out. He couldn’t imagine sitting around so long, but he did.

I thought that we might finish shopping now that the ride was over, since that is the one thing I look forward to most on my trips to Disney World. I love poking in all the little shops and picking up trinkets and treasures. I drop craploads of cash on the World Showcase. But, not today, Jessica pitched another fit and we were going to go to the Waffle House again. (They are there again as I type this. I can’t understand it.) We wasted an hour and a half catching a bus to the resort and driving to the Waffle House and sitting through that same semi-retarded kids painfully unfunny jokes. It wasn’t all terrible, though, Jessica and I stopped traffic doing our “broken down Barbie doll” pose on the side of the road — Tyra would have been so proud — and I had my first chocolate chip waffle, which is much better than I would have ever expected.

We picked up a pizza and drove back to the park. Now, I was allowed to go shopping. Ma and I sat and sat and sat and sat waiting for the bus back to EPCOT, but it would not come. In the end we resolved to just drive there, and by the time we were past the gates, I only had thirty-five minutes left. As you can imagine, I was thrilled…

We only had time to do one country, so I picked my favorite, Japan, and flew through the store. I could spend the rest of my life in Mitsukoshi’s, picking out lucky cats, ceramic bowls, chopsticks, Japanese candies, kimonos, bonsai trees, fresh pearls, Hello Kitty! trinkets, Samurai swords, and socks with toes. I love everything about that store. I have always loved shopping in Japanese stores as they are crazily concerned with customers. Each of the workers gave me a bow and a smile as I passed by, which was just lovely. I delighted in picking out new bowls and lucky cats to add to my collection. As I was halfway finished with my shopping, one of the very considerate staff came up and asked if I wanted her to take my choices to the checkout. Of course I did! With my hands free, I could pick up even more, and I did.

When I was finally finished, I went to the checkout counter and there were three workers, all in a fluster, wrapping up my bowls and plates with incredible amounts of tissue paper. One girl kept appearing with a box every few moments containing one of the things I had selected. (If you haven’t read my blog about the day I went shopping at the Japanese Embassy in Paris, you should, they were even more impressive, if that is even possible. The workers quietly stalk you there, and look at what you choose, then rush back to their storeroom and wrap it up, then take it up to the counter. When you’re ready to check out, everything is wrapped in a bag and all you have to do is swipe your credit card. It is fabulous.)

Then, with a lot of bowing, we headed home as the park was now closed.

I went to the hot tub for a spell, and then to bed.

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