Florida Escape Day 1

I’m in an airplane right now typing this blog on my iPad. I love living in the future, but as much as this is the futurist future there has ever been, it still seems kind of stuck in the past. Airplane travel hasn’t changed an awful lot since it began, it’s declined I think. Nobody dresses up. When I went to Europe in the autumn, I wore a nice jacket and dress pants and felt like a classy gentleman and comfortably lorded over the peasants. I must have been an aristocrat in a past life, I can’t think of any other reason that I feel like this. I didn’t dress fancy on this flight, in fact I wore flip flops, something I vowed I’d never do again. Karl’s cat, Choupette, was tweeting that her daddy couldn’t stand seeing them so I swore them off, but I can’t help love them. So, I’m sorry Karl, I’ll never wear them around you. I wore a rather nice ensemble and still feel superior. I wish people would give just a bit of effort to the way they look, the world could be such a more lovely place. Another thing I don’t understand about modern air travel is that we have given up on the supersonic jets. Why don’t we demand faster travel? Yes, Iowa to Florida in two and a half hours is nice, but why not make it one? Would that not be amazing? You could go to lunch in New York like it was no big deal. I would spend all my money. But I’ve started my narrative in the middle.

It took me forever to pack my bag last night. Jose was not much help, he just slept through it. I think I have everything that I need, and if not, I’ll just buy it I guess. The kids at work are always telling me that I’m rich and some of them fervently believe that I am Michael Phelps’ cousin and personal trainer and that he sends me buckets of cash all the time. Children are silly. Were that true, I wouldn’t be working with them.

When I went to bed, it was freezing cold and when I listened to the howling wind, I was horrified to discover what sounded like sleet. It was. I had a flight in the morning. This was not acceptable. Whatever, though, I turned my electric blanket on, cranked the space heater and passed out. In the morning, I looked out the window and my soul was crushed. Everything was white again. This is the winter that will not end. I was terrified that my flight would be delayed or worse. I NEED OUT OF HERE.

I hopped in the shower and waited for my blood to start circulating again before getting dressed and ready to go. I had an espresso for breakfast. Not a very filling meal, so we stopped at Walmart on the way to the airport and bought some cottage cheese, orange juice, and those kettle chips I can’t stop eating. I didn’t do too badly. I have a pool to sit by this afternoon, I don’t want to look obese for all the other people. I think of it as my duty to look nice to show people that they don’t have to look frumpy. I’m like a living art installation. I should be paid for my dedication and services to the nation.

It didn’t take too long to get to the airport and Ma teared up like she does. It was probably just because she was jealous. Everybody seems worried about me on this trip. Ma, Jess, Jose, even Granny texted me this morning. The only person who seems confident in my ability to take care of myself is Pa. I’ll be fine. I’ve got a ton of cash and it’s going to be warm. What’s the worst that could happen at Disney World?

Security was a breeze. It always is in Des Moines. We have the friendliest TSA agents that I’ve ever encountered. Sadly, I made it through security with no issues, which upset me, I love making jokes about being fondled. In fact, they complimented my skills in getting through at record pace. I was flattered.

I bought an espresso at Freidrich’s and was pleased that it tasted much better than it had in the past. I’ve never been a big fan of that shop, the coffee always tastes burnt, but this was good. I made my way to the gate and sat myself down next to the entry door and an outlet and glared at all those who tried to invade my bubble. I let the old ladies sit next to me, I’m a gentleman, if anything.

Last night I decided to buy priority status and a better seat. Totes worth it for only $28. I was one of the first on the plane and I’m in the front of the plane and everybody in the lounge was jealously glaring at me. It was too divine.

There’s always a morbidly obese man on every flight. Guess who he sat by? Yes, Mr. First Class. I could not believe my luck. I never get to sit next to attractive people or interesting people or celebrities in hiding, it’s always a fat old man or an old man or a lady who glares at me while flipping through her magazines. Whatever.

Takeoff was very smooth and I was charmed to see how many pools there are in Des Moines. Everybody should have a pool. It should be a fundamental right, like Internet and free health care and gay marriage and things like that that aren’t. I should be president. Who wouldn’t vote for me? A lot of people, I’m sure.

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I bought a margarita because…why not. It’s spring break and YOLO. I’m reclaiming that phrase and delight in using it in a sarcastic way. Only seven bucks and I love me a margarita. I love good margaritas. I love bad margaritas. I’ve loved every margarita I’ve ever had. They’re my drink of choice and I kind of want to have an intravenous drip on me at all times. Wouldn’t that be great? Life would be more fun.

Well, about two more hours until we land. I’ll write some more later. Ciao, bitches. (Isn’t that new Beyoncé snippet amazing where she says, “Bow Down, Bitches?” I’m like, “Anything for you, Bey.” She’s still taking advantage of my friendship, but whatevs.

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Then, I saw it. Water. The Gulf of Mexico. I felt something odd…I felt feelings. I felt teary. My eyes began filling with water and I began to cry a bit. So, I did the only natural thing a person can do and took a gulp of margarita and pretended to choke on it so that the fat man next to me didn’t think I spontaneously burst into tears at the sight of azure water. But, really, the Gulf of Mexico makes me ridiculously happy. I am always in awe of people that actually live here. They never have to go to Iowa. They never have to walk through the snow. They can grow basil in December. They can get a tan whenever they’d like. Their lives are just better than mine. I always talk about moving, but I’m going to do it. I’ve got to get out and go someplace where I can be super happy. It’ll work out somehow.

The landing was as smooth as the takeoff and before too long, I felt that wondrous blast of humidity that you do when you get onto that boarding hallway thing. Sanford airport is old, tiny, and not that interesting. I walked right on out of it and looked for the shuttles to the hotel. There was supposed to be something with a yellow logo, I forgot the name, but when I found it, it was closed. Convenient. I went down to guest services and the woman behind the counter told me the only way to get to town was a $90 taxi. That’s over half the price of my ticket here. Dumb. She said with a bored smirk, “You’d think we’d have that, wouldn’t you?” “Yeah,” I made a *you’re an idiot* face and walked off. There was another shuttle service across the way and they would take me to my hotel for $32. What a bitch that woman was. I hate her. I hope she gets food poisoning tonight.

It took absolutely forever for the shuttle to arrive, which wasn’t even the name on the sign–it was kind of sketchy, but the employees were rather friendly. As I waited and waited, I looked at the palm trees and found my throat constricting and my eyes getting weepy again. I adore palm trees. They’re like me in tree form. I can’t explain it. I love them. I have got to move here.

Finally we boarded our shuttle and had a driver that I could not understand at all. I can understand most accents without much trouble, but whatever this was was unintelligible. I just smiled and cocked my head to the side. I hated the people in the vehicle with me. They were a couple that were super awkward with each other. She thought she was sexy and kept flipping her hair–wasn’t. He thought he was clever and could use big words to make himself sound sexy–didn’t work. They both made me ill. They’re staying at a Marriott on the outside of town. Peasants.

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No.

It took an eternity to get to my resort, the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and now I must digress.

When I started off with this trip, all I wanted to do was go to Sarasota and sit on the beach. It’s one of my favorite places on earth, but it wasn’t very simple because I don’t drive and refuse to change that. I’m chauffeured. So it worked out to go to Disney World, which I’m good with, they have sunshine, good food, and well manicured lawns. Loves it. So, I had Ma contact her guy who gets us nice rooms for nice prices. HE TOOK A LONG TIME TO RESPOND AND I NEARLY HAD TO STAY AT THE POP CENTURY RESORT. I would have rather died. I’m a spoiled bitch when it comes to travel. The lowest I can do is a Hilton Garden Inn. Lesser than that and I can’t deal. It freaks me out. Sticky waffle irons and handicap showers and the water in the coffee machine is always way too damn hot. Dreadful.

So, it sounded like I was going to a nice room at the Saratoga Springs resort–a place based on New York health retreats of yesteryear. I was good for this. Then, suddenly, I was told that I was going to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I have no problem with the Animal Kingdom Lodge, in general, but I’ve been to the Animal Kingdom Lodge and the rooms were not classy enough for me. Standard two queen bed with mini fridges and cramped bathrooms. I couldn’t deal with this, so I had a fit. I believe you can understand, especially when I read that the standard studio has a balcony with a view of the PARKING LOT. Nope. Not happening. So, I was told that I could ask to be moved to a different resort when I arrived.

Back to the story. I just arrived. Everybody was smiling, calling me Sir, telling me that I was home. It was marvelous. I was basically carried to Freddy at the front counter. His jacket didn’t fit right and it really bothered me. We talked and he clicked buttons and called people and I was going to spend the whole time at Saratoga Springs, but then he had to call Ma’s guy, Bill, but he didn’t answer because he’s at some poker convention in Las Vegas–I think he has an interesting life, and because he didn’t answer, I had to stay there until they spoke to him.

I sighed, oh well, what’s the worst that could happen really? Parking lots weren’t that bad. Freddy said that I needed to take a shuttle to some village. I gave him a *what the what?* face and he explained to me that there is a Vacation Club side of Animal Kingdom Lodge. Why was I not informed of this development? Curiously, I went to the shuttle and was quickly at Kandari Village. I was intrigued. My room is like 3/4 of a mile away from the lobby. I’m going to be so thin when I get home!

The first thing that tipped me off that I was going to have a delightful time was the fact that there was nowhere to swipe my key. I was confused and started tapping the handle with the key and it clicked open. It’s like my old Navigo Pass from Paris. You just swipe your wallet over the machine and walk right through. This place is like the future. I walked in, and was instantly relieved. This room is huge. There’s a kitchenette, a spacious bathroom, two closets, a nice television, a sitting area, a table, a roomy balcony with views of exotic African animals, and it’s just nice. I love it here. Plus, there’s an awesome room service menu and I’m totes getting my dinner in the room manana. I’m going to eat on the balcony and think of all my friends and family back in Iowa shivering. I hate me, too.

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Delighted though I was, I was starving. Hadn’t eaten much, so I walked back to the other resort smiling at the world. There are palm trees and flowers that are in bloom and the air is warm and humid and it’s just awesome. I LOVE IT HERE.

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I took myself down to the Boma and was immediately ushered to a seat. I was delighted by the prompt service. All the others that were waiting glared at me delightfully.

I was handed an enormous drink menu, which was very difficult to choose from–I took something called a citrus twist. I love me some citrus. Then the waiter who looked an awful lot like that one bald guy you always see on cable news supporting the Democratic Party…what’s his name? C. Maybe Carville? Is that it? Bruce Carville? James Carville. I was close. Very nice guy. He told me what all the foods were and what my best options were as a vegetarian. Sounded like there was going to be a ton, so I scurried off and pushed and shoved my way to the front of the line.

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My first course was mushroom soup and a variety of hummus and bread. I’ve never had lavash, though I’ve heard of it, and was excited to finally try it. And, I always love hummus. The mushroom soup was amazing. It was more than amazing. It was one of the best soups I’d ever had in my whole damn life. I gulped it down. I need the recipe. My mushroom soup is pretty good, but that ruined it for me. There was a sundried tomato hummus, traditional chickpea, and an olive flavor. I liked them all but the olive. I’m not a huge fan of olives. I do love a good olive oil, but the fruit itself is something I’ll gladly pass on. The lavash was really good, it’s like a massive tortilla chip, but grittier. The pitas were pitiful. Did not care for them at all, which is sad, because I love pita.

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Next I had stewed tomatoes over rice and it was incredibly flavorful, the best of the main dishes I had. I also had a bit of everything else. Pumpkin mash–no. Coconut rice was okay, but sweet rice is not my thing. Roasted vegetables were good, if unoriginal. Almond couscous was decent.

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Then I had a salad with pickled watermelon slices and apple vinaigrette–odd, but rather good. Tabbouleh–heaven. I mixed in some chickpeas from another salad and that really enhanced the tabbouleh. I love tabbouleh. TABBOULEH! The grapefruit salad was very good, too.

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Oh, and I had peanut soup! I’ve never heard of such a thing, and it was really good! Tasted like a liquid peanut, which does not exactly sound all that appetizing, but was delicious. They know what they’re doing with soup here.

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I had one of each dessert. I’m a baker. I have to taste them, it’s my moral obligation. The zebra dome was good, so was the chocolate-cinnamon mousse. I could have done without the brownie and the cheesecake. There was some passionfruit gel thing that was quite nice, and the coffee tart was basic. Something with butterscotch, too, but I don’t have any memory of that.

Good meal and I was beyond stuffed. Barely able to walk, I huffed my way over to the busses and went to Downtown Disney. I swear it’s in a different state. It takes forever to get there from the Animal Kingdom. It wasn’t even really worth it. Nothing ever changes there. It’s always the same restaurants and same things in the shops. I did see a margarita stand that I need to go back and try, you know how I feel about a good margarita.

As I was passing by the stage, I heard One Direction, so I whipped over there and sang along with a choir from West Branch, Iowa. We have great taste in Iowa. I suppose I wasn’t supposed to sing along, but, whatevs, YOLO bitches.

I walked and walked and walked and didn’t see anything I wanted to do. I wanted to punch people at the Ghirardelli shop. They have bad espresso and the only sample they ever hand out is caramel. I hate caramel. The cashier was trying too hard to be quirky. I was annoyed. I don’t really know why. I made my way back to the busses and slowly made my way back to the resort where I relaxed for a while and went to bed in the very comfy bed.

Good evening.

Here are some pictures of my room:

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3 responses to “Florida Escape Day 1

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