Monday, May 21, 2012

Wonderful Florida Vacation

Okay, so for the last 10 days I’ve been in Orlando with my sweetie.  We spent a lot of time at the Disney Parks, especially Epcot, because we especially went down there to see two specific  concerts, Peter Noone (from Herman’s Hermits) and Mickey Dolenz (From the Monkees.)  The performances were excellent, especially Peter Noone (who actually sang one song while sitting on a bench just one row from me, so of course I snapped his picture with my phone.)  Both performers did tributes to Davey Jones, who died unexpectedly a few months ago from a heart attack.  Davey was supposed to have done the final concert this year, and after he died Disney asked Mickey to do the concert instead.  Said Mickey, “I’m glad to have the opportunity to be here today, but truth be told I wish it was someone else. (much applause here…) I wish I were here singing a song or two WITH him.  I lost the closest thing I had to a brother.” 

Here’s and interesting tidbit:  Mickey brought his sister Cocoa along to sing with him.  She has an amazing voice!  I hadn’t heard her sing before (shoot, I didn’t even know Mickey had a sister) and she was outstanding. 

We also spent a couple of days in each of the other Disney parks (except Animal Kingdom, where we spent only one day, but it was full.)  I have to say that it would be hard to skip any of the parks, I love to visit each of them when I go to Orlando.  Each of them have their own “feel,” and each of them have things that I really love to do and see.  And it seems like each of them have at least one ride that Gary refuses to ride so I end up going on one thing alone, but that’s okay. He’s a prince of a guy to put up with my wanting to do everything multiple times, wanting to watch all the parades and fireworks all the time.  He’s very good natured.  J  All he asks in return is to ride Spaceship earth from time to time (even though I think they ruined it at the end, the beginning is sill good.)  And of course at least once every decade we have to get a “kissing picture” as we go down the long fall at Splash Mountain. 

We also had some old friends from the ward come over to the condo for dinner, the Rollins family are living in the Orlando area now so they came over this last Sunday for tacos after church.  It was really fun to see them and introduce them to those awesome “cook your own” flour tortillas (which really spoil you for ANY other flour tortillas.)  It’s amazing how much other peoples’ kids grow when you don’t get to see them very often.  Next time we go down we’ll have to get together again.  Besides, it was nice to have someone to give all our leftover food to.  J  (We can store the non-perishables, but I’d rather give the groceries to someone I know.)

There is one thing I’d like to get off my chest, though.  There is a really disturbing trend that I’ve noticed for many years that seems to be getting worse and worse with the passage of time.  I am watching the next generation of type 2 diabetics grow up.  I’m talking about the occupants of strollers.  I’ve never seen so many HUGE kids in strollers in my entire life.  I have no issue with four and five year olds in strollers at Walt Disney World.  Shoot, there’s a lot of walking to do for people of all ages, and although I think kids should walk at least part of the time, it’s a good idea to have the stroller on hand so when they get tired there’s a back up.  But the parks were FULL of strollers that were straining at their welded seams with kids who had to be at least six, seven, and eight years old, maybe even older.  And these were not slender kids either, they were kids who already had weight issues, which will most likely plague them all their lives and cause them terrible health issues and emotional problems. 

More often than not these children were snacking as their poor parents slogged along, pushing that stroller full of heavy child.  And not snacking on apples or veggies, but on chips, cotton candy, ice cream, pastries, and heavy snacks that are fine for someone who is spending the day logging in miles of walking but not so fine for a child who is being carted hither and yon.  They made me think of spoiled royalty on sedan chairs hefted around on the backs of the slaves.  A lot of the strollers were the ones that Disney rents out, and countless single kids were in double strollers intended for two occupants, but rented out for a single passenger because the rider was too big to fit in the “single-wides.”  Some of those strollers were so huge they started to look more like wheelchairs and I was wondering if I was seeing a glimpse of that child’s future because the body types of these kids are apple-shaped, totally in keeping with the type-2 diabetic.  It was really heart breaking.  At what point is it not doing a child a favor by schlepping them around like this?  And who are we really doing it for?  Are we doing this so we can stay out till all hours of the night instead of taking a tired child back to the hotel room to get some rest? 

When Bridget was 4, we went to Walt Disney World for the first time, and after some careful consideration we rented a stroller for her each morning (and she HATED it!) but I wanted to make sure we had something available for the late hours when I was pretty sure she would be too tired to walk.  Of course, in order to prove me wrong she wouldn’t go near it until she was desperate, so we probably COULD have gotten away with not having one (she was a bitty thing and had a daddy and three big brothers who probably would have been fine giving her piggy back rides till she got her second wind).  My point is, with three teenage boys, three girls and two adults, we managed to close down the parks each night and still be there nearly at opening each morning.  And Bridget felt she was MUCH too big to be in a stroller, which she thought was for a baby.  So what has happened in the last sixteen years?   And shouldn’t it  be a hint to us that if a single child is oozing out of a single-wide stroller and needs to use a double-wide that we might be pushing someone who desperately needs exercise?  Okay, off my soap box.

Other than that, it was a great trip.  I love being able to go back to my own home after a day at the park.  I love being able to cook my egg in the morning for breakfast, and I love being able to putter around and make things cozy.  Oh, as we were showing the Rollins family around the place we noticed our high chair was missing.  Gary has a call in to the management company to ask about that.  We’re kind of wondering if they sort of borrow things from one unit to the next depending on who needs what, which is NOT okay with us.  The high chair is part of our unit, it was there when we bought it lock, stock, and barrel, and I really don’t want it hauled around from place to place getting banged up.  If that’s something they consider loaning around, what’s next?  No thank you.  Anyway, hopefully that’ll be returned as soon as possible.  We didn’t need it this time, of course, but the management company didn’t know that.  Since the summer season has started we won’t be returning till at least late September or early October.  I’m not much on loving the heat, but I couldn’t resist seeing our concerts.   

Well, this post is long enough, I’d say.  J