Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Disney Whirled: Hightlights of a Nine-Day Adventure into Magicalness, PART 8: "Appendix, Volume 1"

Two days ago I was having lunch with a friend, and I was wearing my Disney World T-shirt.  The server came to take our orders, then saw my shirt and said, “I used to work there.”  She had done the year-long internship about ten years ago, and was planning to return as a guest within a year with her young son.

Later, she brought out my round plate of nachos, along with two small plates for the sour cream and salsa.  After she left, I arranged the three circles as a Mickey Mouse silhouette.  When she returned to check on us, I said, “Look!”  She panicked for a second, like I had found a fly in my salsa or something like that, but then said, “Ah, hidden Mickey.  Nice.”

It’s like they say: “You can take the Hungry Preacher out of Disney World, but you can’t take the Disney World out of the Hungry Preacher.”  (For the record, the dorkiness probably isn’t going anywhere, either.)

Anyway, a few months have passed since our Disney vacation.  After blogging about our experience in the critically acclaimed series “Disney Whirled: Highlights of a Nine-Day Adventure into Magicalness” (the links are below), I promised I would offer a closing post at some point in the future, in which I would share some more reflective post-Disney thoughts.  If you were hoping for something profound or philosophical—well, that would be a strange thing for you to hope for.  But keep reading—you never know, right?

PART 1: "Preparations"
PART 2: "First Impressions"
PART 3: "Pretend People, Real Autographs"
PART 4: "Mac and Cheese and Legos"
PART 5: "Rides and Attractions, Volume 1"
PART 6: "Rides and Attractions, Volume 2"
PART 7: "Why So Sad?"

As far Hungry Preacher family members go, Beth had the scariest adjustment back into real life.  Our first night back in St. Louis, in our own bed, in our own house, I was sound asleep, probably dreaming about roller coasters and stunt shows.  I was suddenly awakened by an urgent whisper.  “Rob!”  My subconscious realized this was not one of those “it’s OK to wake up slowly” times.  Instantly, I was ready to spring into action.  I just needed to hear what the problem was.  Tornado sirens?  The sound of glass breaking from downstairs?  The smell of smoke?  Will I fight, or will I flee?  I was ready for either, and maybe even both.  I propped myself up sideways, “What?” I whispered back.  Beth was lying perfectly still, then whispered as clearly as she could, “There’s a dog in our room.”

I looked up.  Sure enough.  There he was.  Our dog.  Sitting next to our bed.  In our room.  In our house.  We made eye contact.  It was a nice moment.

Meanwhile, Beth was sorting through this bizarre incongruence.  She sat up, let out a confused and exasperated sigh, then shook her head and said, “Wait—are we back at home?”  Before I could even touch my index finger to my nose in an exaggerated manner, she had flopped her head back to her pillow and was sound asleep.

The next day, wanting to make sure I investigated the situation as thoroughly as possible, I sent this photo and caption to Beth.

"Is this the dog that you saw last night?"

The Monkeys had their own adjustments to make.

Monkey 1 was none too happy about having to go back to school; apparently the “2 weeks at school, 1 week at Disney World” schedule is way too heavy on “school” for her.  But she’s gotten back in the swing of things.

I had wondered if her enjoyment of Disney World stemmed primarily from the fact that Disney World was “not school”, but she seems to have fond memories of Disney World in its own right.  The other day at school, a teacher asked her, “Do you have a place to go when you just need to get away from it all?”  Her answer?  “Disney World.”  There you go.  Why go to “your room,” when you could just go to Disney World, right?

Monkey 1 still loves mac & cheese and Legos.  She has built and re-built her Lego souvenir many times, and has recently graduated to Lego Friends sets.  Friends sets are like regular Lego sets, but they are marketed for girls.  The pieces are mostly pastel colored, and the sets come with fewer guns and lasers than Lego Star Wars sets do.  This transition has been difficult for me.  When I was a kid (“kid” = “suggested maximum age printed on Lego boxes, multiplied by 2.5”), I viewed it as a compromise to play with any Lego sets that were not space-themed.  As I matured and grew to appreciate diversity, my own kids finally warmed me up to playing with Lego City sets.  But I never dreamed that a day would come that I would play with girl Legos.  Thankfully, with the support of family and friends, I am adjusting.  And I have done a commendable job of not forcibly steering Monkey 1 towards the more traditional Lego City or Lego Star Wars sets.

Monkey 2 seems ever-so-slightly less enthralled with princesses than she was when we went to Disney, but she still likes stuff that is generally pretty girly.  In fact, that was the theme of her birthday party in February: being girly.  It’s like being “princess-y”, but without the crowns.  She keeps her Princess autograph book displayed in her room.  It’s a nice keepsake.

Lest you think her interest in Princesses has completely faded, just last week, Monkey 2 created this during her quiet time.

Editor’s note: Monkey 2 had drawn a picture of Sleeping Beauty.  This is NOT that picture.  That picture was on the white board for about a week.  The day The Hungry Preacher went to take a photo of that picture, Monkey 2 had replaced it with another picture.  This is not THAT picture, either, but is yet another picture drawn by Monkey 2, using the same medium.  Thus, this picture will serve as an appropriate stand-in for her now-erased drawing of Sleeping Beauty.

Long live the Princess!

Check back tomorrow, and I will open up a can of first-person-reflections on your eyeballs in what will (almost certainly) be the final entry in the Disney Whirled series.

Until then…


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