Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fun Times

This weekend we celebrated my birthday.  It’s not actually my birthday yet, but next weekend will not be particularly useful in terms of celebrating anything (see also the surgery announcement).  So we decided to do the birthday weekend thing a week early.  We didn’t do much, really.  We watched Baby Driver, which was quite good.  We completed our rewatch of season 1 of Stranger Things and got about 3 episodes deep into season 2.  We played a game of Munchkin Wonderland and started a massive 2v1 game of Heroscape: snakes and wolves working with elementals on offense, vs a vast legion of Romans and Cathars on defense.  We ate out at a new(ish) Italian deli, which was pretty nice.  And I got to sleep till noon both days and my family did all my chores for me.  So, you know: can’t complain.

Disneyland on Thursday was, mercifully, not as hot as we feared.  It was, however, a comedy of errors in practically every other way.  We left late, and we had to get gas first.  I accidentally drove to the wrong gas station—the one where they refuse to take any credit card—and then when I said, fine, just run my card as a debit card and I’ll pay your moronic 50¢ fee or whatever it was, it didn’t work anyway.  So we had to drive to the proper gas station anyway and start over.  I plugged my phone into the car charger to make sure it stayed fully charged despite the fact I was running Waze the whole way, but it turns out it wasn’t plugged in all the way, so I started out the day at 50% battery, which started dropping rapidly.  (Yes, my battery is pretty well borked.)  Still better than my eldest, whose phone is completely dead and not yet replaced (on account of being 19 years old means your parents are no longer responsible for fixing everything for you, so things have a tendency to just not get fixed).  We decided to start the day at California Adventure, since it closed at 8 (the main park wasn’t closing until 11pm).  We heard that the new(ish) Cars-themed ride was closed, which was a bummer, since we’ve never ridden it, but we decided to head over to the even newer Guardians of the Galaxy ride, which we’ve also never ridden.  When we got there, they’d just closed “to switch over to the Hallowe’en theme.”  So we figured we’d get a Fastpass time and come back later, but they’d closed the Fastpass too.  So we dawdled a bit in A Bug’s Land, then decided to check out Radiator Springs even if the main ride was closed.  But they’d actually reopened it, and the wait time was only 60 minutes, which is long, but not that long, especially for a good ride that you’ve never been on before.  After 15 minutes of waiting, they announced that the wait time was more like 90 minutes.  15 more minutes and the wait time was officially up to 105 minutes.  It turns out that the problem was, if you have a Fastpass time but the ride is closed then, your Fastpass becomes officially good for any for the remainder of the day.  So all those people with Fastpass times while the ride was closed were now coming back, on top of the people who actually had Fastpass times for that actual time window.  With the end result that they were letting more Fastpass people than “regular” people in, so us regular folks got screwed.  You know how frustrating it is to get 3 people away from the final lining up and then get stopped while 50 Fastpass people go streaming in ahead of you?  I mean, it was a good ride, in the end, but still.  After that we decided to go back to the main park and the littlest one starts freaking out about buying a balloon.  Not now, we say: wait until we’re on the way out.  We’re not lugging a damn balloon around while we’re trying to ride rides.  So that was a thing.  Then the Smaller Animal insisted we take the train to New Orleans instead of walking, which is fine, sort of, except that, by the time you have to wait in line for the stupid train, it ends up taking longer than it would to just walk.  And we’re all hungry as hell because it’s past dinner time at this point.  So I try to get us into the Orleans Café, but they’re only doing reservations.  So, fine: the French Market Restaurant—they don’t have the gumbo, but at least I can get red beans and rice.  Except, no, they took that off the menu.  Sigh.  Okay, fine, give me the “New Orleans beef stew,” whatever that is.  I’ll try something new.  Actually, we just ran out of that; sorry, sir.  Seriously?  So I just got a salad.  Then we were going to go into the Haunted Mansion, but the wait time was 90 minutes and we just couldn’t go through that again.  So then the Smaller Animal wanted to do the Winne-the-Pooh ride, but only because he’d heard there was someplace on the ride where you can see “an animal or something” if you turn around and look behind you at some point on the ride.  (For the record, it’s 3 stuffed-and-mounted heads way up close to the ceiling: moose, bear, and something else ... wolf, maybe.)  But he couldn’t remember when you were supposed to turn around.  So we spent the whole time craning our necks around, which was a real problem for me because I’d already developed a weird crick in my neck from sleeping badly the night before or something.  So then we figured we’d give Pirates of the Caribbean a shot, ’cause the line wasn’t too bad, but it was still 45 minutes of more waiting.  Then we had to get back on the train because the Littles demanded to see the dinosaurs (the littlest one informed us that she hadn’t seen dinosaurs “for 6 minutes—maybe more!”  By that time, it was after 10:30, so we figured we’d call it a night.  Time to find that balloon the little one wanted ... except the balloon sellers had apparently already packed it in for the night.  This engendered a good 15 minutes’ worth of panic, as we desperately tried to avoid a full-blown meltdown.  We finally compromised on buying her a Little Mermaid bubble wand, because, you know: bubbles.  Then we left the park, with Waze telling us that we could be home in a little over an hour: well under half as long as it took us to get there.  Great, we figure.  Maybe just make a quick stop to get a couple milkshakes or something to help us stay awake.  Trying to get Waze to point you at a useful McDonald’s, though, can be tricky.  It forces you to pick which McDonald’s you want to go to, which isn’t very helpful if you have no idea where you are.  I want one that is right off the freeway, and has a drive-through, and isn’t located inside a Wal-Mart, and isn’t already behind us.  How the fuck am I supposed to know which of the 5 McDonald’s-es in the list that is?  We eventually ended up at an In-and-Out (probably a better milkshake anyhow), except we were behind like 20 cars and we didn’t move for 10 minutes.  So we gave up and found a McDonald’s.  Started to order and they said sorry, we’re out of ice cream; what else can I get for you?  Nothing.  You can get nothing for me, because I WANT FUCKING ICE CREAM.  So we finally find a different McDonald’s, and they do have ice cream, but they’re only accepting cash, because their cash registers are all down (literally, they are using pen and paper to calculate the order totals).  So now we’re all scrambling for enough cash and The Mother is pointing out that we actually would have been home by now if we’d just driven straight through, and of course we don’t know how much cash we need because they have to write everything down and carry the 2 and all that shit, and, long story short (HAH!) we ended up getting home at like 1am.

So that was a fun time.  I mean, really it was, and I’m glad we went one last time, but I can’t help but feel like fate was sort of thumbing its nose at us or something.

And now we’re on final countdown.  5 days till the pre-surgery appointment.  7 days until we find out what time the surgery will be, and if they have a room for us at the Ronald McDonald House.  8 days until surgery.  Should be a fun time.


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