Returning From a Week in DisneyWorld Domination Central Florida Edition.
Content Warning: Central Florida.
Visiting my in-laws, that’s why. MH’s parents used to come out to see us at least once a year, and we’d do the trek to see them every other year or so. But my FIL’s struggles with Parkinson’s Disease, and now lymphoma on top of that (good times!). These and other realities of age have made it difficult for the former intrepid travelers to comfortably and safely do the cross-country trek.
My in-laws are nice people and gracious hosts. We visited the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey and kayaked on the Wekiva river, and we had a great lunch on Sunday with an old friend of MH’s (old as in, from when MH was a teenager) and her family. Still, I loathe Central Florida, or at least the parts of it that are not rivers fit for kayaking and canoeing. But even those (ala Wekiwa Springs) are infested with an odious blend of Hey-Where’s-the-Party Locals & Tourists ®.
My goals for this trip included:
Mission partially accomplished.
Lowering your expectations and upping your patience/tolerance thresholds are the keys to any extended family visit…I keep telling myself. Still, it’s hard to watch your offspring attempt to navigate a Family Obligation Situation © after having a whole 1.5 days of downtime  between their college finals/graduation, moving out of college living situations and back with their parents, having to unpack from one situation and pack for the trip…and being obviously exhausted and less than enthusiastic, and having those attitudes noticed  by All The Grownups who do not seem to understand (or perhaps even realize) how introverts derive their energy and what they need to recharge.
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The Mechanically Unfriendly, Cardiac Incident-Inducing Skies
Aka: Notes to Moiself on the Flight(s) Home
Okay, so our flight from PDX to Phoenix was delayed, first to check “mechanical difficulties” and then, when we were getting ready to go, a passenger seated in first class had a “cardiac incident,” which ended with him being deplaned, as they say. We thought we’d missed our connection, but when we arrived in Phoenix we ran to the gate just as our flight to Orlando was beginning to board, and another “mechanical difficulty” was announced.
On the first leg of our flight back home, there was another call over the plane’s PA system for a medical professional, wich resulted in an elderly women a few rows ahead of us being given oxygen for the rest of the flight and her vitals monitored by a doctor…and now this, our fourth and final flight during this trip, the flight to return us to our beloved PDX, is behing delayed due to mechanical difficulties…and I wouldn’t mind pacing back and forth/sitting for yet another hour-plus delay if the Phoenix airport didn’t have such gawd-awful carpet, ahem.
Department of It Wasn’t All Bad
When we finally boarded flight #2 (Phoenix to Orlando), as I was schlepping my carryon back to row 2,478 or whatever, I greeted the flight attendants as I always do. As I passed by, one of them one asked me how my day was going. My shrugged reply of Meh –I’m flying to Central Florida apparently amused her enough that she comped me two white wines during beverage service.
* * *
Reader’s Digest-y condensed explanation: It has to do with the human body’s internal clock, which has an inborn tendency to run slightly longer than 24 hours. Every day, when you think your body is preoccupied with maintenance tasks like digestion and respiration, shedding skin cells, emitting waste products for which you plan on blaming the dog and so on and so forth, without your conscious knowledge your sneaky body is also “contracting” your internal clock to synchronize with the sun’s 24-hour cycle. Thus, when you travel east and lose time, your body has to cut its natural cycle even further (and when you travel west, your body gets the extra time it instinctively craves).
Anyway, all of this means that we were there long enough for me to feel sleep-deprived and dopey the entire time, and now I get to return to feeling just…my normal sleep-deprived and dopey self.
Still, it’s good to be back. Even if I’m not up for doing much of a post.
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Department of Maybe It’s a Good Thing They Turned Right And We Turned Left
Another creepy thing about Central Florida, for us Happy Heathens and Amiable Apostates, ® is the preponderances of churchiness. You can’t spit (and I have tried) without hitting a church or a church school or signs in people’s yards advertising religious schools or religious bumper stickers and license plates holders…
Also, you can’t get halibut in this FSM-forsaken place, a realization which, as we were driving to yet another grocery store, pissed me off even more than the
WE ARE A CHRISTIAN NATION
window sticker I saw on the car ahead of us — the car I hoped was also grocery store-bound, so I could leave a
CRACK THE CONSTITUTION – WE ARE NOT A THEOCRACY,
WE ARE A SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC, YOU SANCTIMONIOUS DUMBFUCK
note on their windshield.
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Okay, I’m too tired to do a decent post so pretend that right here we have many delightful pictures of Florida alligators, and people who need to be bitten by alligators….
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
 Which is one of those inappropriately named “full size” beds. Nothing full about it. We have a king bed at home. I was grumpy about the lodging arrangements…and rescued at the last moment, when MH’s parents rented another bed, yee haw!
 You can’t spit in Central Florida without hitting an amusement park of some kind. From LegoLand to Universal Studios to Gatorland to SeaWorld to Disney’s Epcot, Disney World, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, Disney’s Blizzard Beach….
 And not really downtime at that, what with scampering around to fulfill multiple obligations as per moving back home and attaining summer employment .
 And commented upon.
 Or, do you even give a flying squirrels’ patootie?