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So How Was Orlando? - Part 2

Wait! There's a first part. This isn't just a clever title. Go and read it before you get too invested in this part, or you shall be lost.

They released us from the conference at 11 in the morning, so I hurried across the street to the tourist office, and booked myself a round trip on the 1PM shuttle to Disney World. While waiting for the shuttle, I had lunch with Geoff, and exchanged hopes for good weather that day. It had been raining all week, and the forecast for that day had sedately called for, "A few thunderstorms." The sun was out now, and people were walking around. I was optimistic. Geoff was getting on the 1:15 airport shuttle, to make a flight back to KC sometime shortly after that, so we shook hands, and wished each other good luck.

The driver picked me up about ten minutes early, and dropped me off at Epcot Center, where, as I knew from the previous year, the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival was taking place. Wanting to try something different than last year, however, I hopped on the monorail and headed for the Magic Kingdom. When I got off the train in front of the park, it started pouring down rain. Not really thinking anything was going to change, I walked calmly over to the ticket booth, and forked over $63.64 for admission. By the time I had my ticket, and had gone through the rather technologically impressive ticket gate(they take electronic fingerprints to make sure nobody else can use your ticket!), the rain had died down to a sprinkle.

I walked into the park that had always been my favorite to visit when I was a little kid, and started looking around for a place to get a beer. A place like Disney World is unparalleled in its potential for people-watching, so i figured wandering around with a beer in my hand would be a nice way to spend the day. I found an information booth, and asked the attendant where I could go to get some beer on tap, and was informed, "Oh, there's no alcohol in the Magic Kingdom." Completely amazed, I wandered from attraction to attraction, stone-sober, and wondered why I liked this place so much when I was a kid. At that time, as well, the rain stopped, and was replaced by oppressive heat, which continued for the rest of my trip.

At about 6PM, I left the park, which was closing for some kind of Halloween celebration, and went over to Epcot. Good old Epcot. I had previously arranged to meet Frank, who used to work with Geoff, there, and because his wife is a Disney employee, he was able to get me into the park for free. Then, I wasted no time drinking the beers of the world. When I walked out at about 9:45, I had consumed no less than nine beers in three hours. I took the monorail over to the transit plaza, another monorail from there to the Polynesian Resort, and a bus to Downtown Disney, where I had arranged to be picked up at midnight. I payed the crazy $23 cover charge, and made a beeline for the Adventurer's Club, to see a whole new cast of characters playing the roles I saw last year. Very fun, nonetheless.

At 11:45, my phone rang. It was the shuttle driver, commanding me to come outside, because he was ready to go. It was a very quiet ride back to the hotel. When I called from Epcot earlier that night, the dispatcher at the cab company said that it'd be an additional $24 to be picked up any time later than 9:30. When the shuttle dropped me off at the hotel, I started walking toward the door, and he called after me, asking for my original ticket. I produced it for him, minus the part with my information on it, which had been collected by the driver that took me to Disney earlier.

"Did you pay for a round-trip?" he demanded of me.

"Yes, I did," I responded. He seemed appeased by that, but still flummoxed. Not flummoxed enough, however, to demand the $24 the dispatcher assured me I'd have to pay. Making sure that they make all they can make from their overcharged cab service is hardly my responsibility, so I made no attempt to remind the driver that he needed to get some money from me. I went inside, checked my email, read a chapter, and went to sleep.

The next morning, I got a call at about 9AM from my Uncle Matt, who lives in Orlando, and with whose family I would be spending the remainder of my trip. He said that because of the timing of several events that day, he would have to come and get me in twenty minutes. I leapt out of bed, into some clothes, washed my face, brushed my teeth, and packed everything up. I went downstairs, checked out, and walked out the front door just in time to see Uncle Matt drive up.

We went to his daughter(my cousin) Sarah's soccer game, after which we hurried over to Charlie's football game, where I sat with Uncle Matt, Matthew and Aunt Cecilia. After that, we made a quick run back to the Kelly house for a shower and a nip of some lemon-lime soda, before heading off to the Florida Citrus Bowl, to watch the University of Central Florida play the University of Memphis, and win. It was an excellent game, and I'm really glad I got to go.

After the game, we headed back to the house and hung out until well after the regularly-posted bedtime. In the morning, I enjoyed a delicious breakfast, courtesy Uncle Matt and Aunt Cecilia, before Uncle Matt drove me to the airport. I had a great time in Orlando, but it looks like it'll probably be the last visit I make for a while, as the annual conference will be in San Antonio, next year.

7:47 PM, Oct 10, 2005

4 comments

matthew took the time to say:

it was great seeing you, thanks for the Rilo Kiley, its really very amazing.

9:22 PM, Oct 11, 2005

Rachel blurted:

MATT! What is your email address?

1:41 PM, Oct 12, 2005

Brian thinks:

Rilo Kiley rocks my world. Shoo bop, shoo bop.

9:21 AM, Oct 14, 2005

matthew brooked no delay in saying:

my email is pablokell@cfl.rr.com they now offically rock me as well.

10:00 PM, Oct 16, 2005

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