If you live in the Eastern part of the United States, you are very cold today. Too cold to be productive.
I don’t necessarily know if that’s true, but it’s how I feel. In that light, due to weather, I’m going to write a commemorative post about warmer times.
Just few weeks back, in Florida, my lady and I went to Disney World. It was an amazing trip, full of fun, conversation, and Disney ambiance. We loved it.
Mary Poppins also told me not to get “cheeky” when I hit on her.
6:47 AM: I wake in Tampa, Florida, and I am in the bed of my girlfriend, Lenka Sokol. We share a bed but we remain pure.
6:48 AM: Attempt to wake girlfriend. I roll her over and tell her it is time to go to Disney. She rolls back over, using words Mickey never would.
6:54 AM: Connect my phone to a Bluetooth speaker and play “Let’s Go Fly a Kite,” famed ballad from Disney Classic Mary Poppins, trying to wake said girlfriend.
6:55 AM: Pick up Bluetooth speaker, playing famed ballad “Let’s Go Fly a Kite,” from across the room. Girlfriend, Lenka Sokol, threw said Bluetooth speaker.
7:05 AM – 7:55 AM: Prep, pack, breakfast. Disney Holiday Pandora plays. Depart for Orlando.
8:16 AM: Starbucks. Order black coffee. When intercom attendant implores as to the room needed available for sugar or milk, I say, “no, I got plenty of sugar”, winking at Lenka.
8:34 AM: Break check while I’m driving. Lenka smears mascara on face as she jerks forward. Got her.
8:56 AM: See first sign for Disney World. We are approaching. Turn stereo volume to max as “Bonjour” sounds.
9:09 AM – 9:21 AM: Park at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort ($109.79/night). I exit the vehicle and proceed to lobby to check in. Watch parent in front of me scream at their child—who is a little shithead—“be happy, God damnit, we’re at Disney!”
9:23 AM: Room will not be ready until later that day. Receive Mickey embroidered wrist bands and return to vehicle.
9:25 AM: Sneak and approach vehicle. Slam hands onto passenger side window. Lenka spills remaining Starbucks tea.
9:37 AM: Board hotel shuttle. Heading towards the Magic Kingdom. In serious tone I tell Lenka how excited I am to be experiencing this trip with her. We hug and kiss while standing on the bus. I grab a little tush. Two small children smile at me. Lenka socks me in the stomach.
9:55 AM: Enter Magic Kingdom. Take first selfie, positioning Main Street directly in our rear.
9:58 AM: Walking down Main Street I point to a famous Native American wooden statue. I tell Lenka to look at the Indian.
9:59 AM: Aggressive tap on my shoulder. I stop walking. Disney attendant—middle aged Caucasian man—looks at me and adamantly states “I am not an Indian!” Confused—both as to why this blatantly cream-colored man would assume I was calling him an Indian and also why Disney would let this loose cannon work the park’s entrance—I pointed to the actual wooden depiction of an Indian.
(One of the more bizarre, but had-to-be-there moments I’ve ever experienced.)
10:01 AM: Lenka and I are still giggling. We take another picture, this time with a castle in the background. Disney is great. I grab her hand and lead us toward Fantasyland.
10:16 AM: Buy a pair of Minny ears (for her) and a trucker hat that states “I Live In Fantasyland” (me).
10:44: AM: Ride Dumbo. Our Dumbo went higher than everyone else. We high five and kiss at the peak of our orbit.
10:57 AM: Walk by “Hundred Acre GOODS” shop for the sixth time. I tell Lenka we will will keep walking by it until she realizes and appreciates the play on words.
11:21 AM: Take pictures with Cinderella’s ugly step sisters. They will not break character. One of them asks Lenka if I am her boyfriend. Lenka says “no.” I ask if they want to hang out, and I say it dirty. The actresses become nervous and default to “we have to go back to the castle and see Mother.”
11:55 AM: Churro (X3).
12:07 PM: Makeout (with Lenka).
12:33 PM: Track down Mary Poppins. She is kinda hot. We approach her to take a picture and I ask if she parties, tapping my nose. She is stern and tells me not to get “cheeky” in front of my girlfriend.
12:40 PM – 1:20 PM: Peaceful walk on Tom Sawyer’s Island. It means a lot to me that Disney has not updated this portion of the park and kept history strong.
1:29 PM: Visit Gaston’s shop. No sign of Belle or Emma Watson.
1:48 PM: Check-in for our “Be Our Guest” lunch reservation. Lenka set this up, because she is special and considerate and knows I love Beauty and the Beast. We find an opening in the back portion of Beast’s Castle, where the room is dimly lit and the upholstery is tattered and beaten—Beast’s temper.
2:01 PM: Food tastes amazing. I record an action snap of the Beast’s portrait as it morphs during a thunder strike.
2:07 PM – 2:49 PM: Attempt to capture a picture in front of the notorious and cursed rose while a petal drops. Fail.
2:51 PM: Grab two corndogs. For whatever reason, we were met with a post-lunch craving as we approached Frontierand.
3:07 PM: Get in line for Splash Mountain. Splash Mountain is my favorite ride in the park. I love the scenery and the ambiance. The Briarpatch constituency is a group I love. I am anxious and giddy in line.
3:08 PM: Three young boys follow in line behind us. They have the look of ruffians—shitheads.
3:09 PM: Three young boys begin speaking in Spanish. They are talking about me and my girlfriend. I know this because they are pointing at me and I hear “puta” a lot. These kids are mean. One of them has tattoos.
(The kids were not ruffians or shitheads or mean because they were foreign. They were ruffians and shitheads and mean because they were rude and loud and ruining Disney. They also put me in a tough spot because Lenka was expecting me to do/say something and typically, if my adept fighting friends—namely Chris Matulis—are not around, I avoid conflict. These kids put me on the spot.)
3:19 PM: I’m posturing to Lenka—discreetly whispering in her ear that I’m about to mess these kids up.
3:24 PM: Deciding what mean names to use first and where to place my hands.
3:25 PM: The one with tattoos knocks off my Fantasyland trucker hat and they all run from the Splash Mountain line. The dad behind us tried to snag one of the kids before they ran off. I’m flustered and embarrassed.
3:26 PM: The dad and his wife and two young girls tell me they won’t let anything happen to me if the kids come back. Lenka won’t make eye contact with me.
3:27 PM – 3:55 PM: Wait in line. Regain my confidence and Disney feels by telling several different jokes to Lenka and the family behind us.
3:55 PM: Lenka realizes she is lucky to be with such a funny, warm, good natured guy.
4:01 PM– 4:10 PM: Ride Splash Mountain. It’s the best.
4:11 PM: Exchange information with family behind us. Bro it out with the dad with a hand-shake and hug. The two young girls tell me they were scared of those kids, too.
4:27 PM: Walk back to Fantasyland because I’m still slightly rattled, despite exterior façade and well-timed jokes. I need the ambiance.
4:58 PM: Ride the “Mad Tea Party.” Lenka loves it. I love her. Makeout.
5:17 PM: Pirates of the Caribean. I had not ridden it since I was a child. Disney did a nice job incorporating Johnny Depp and other elements of their lucrative franchise.
6:02 PM – 6:06 PM: Walking again near Frontierland, along the riverway. A Disney employee attempts to grab our attention. His name is Jordan.
Jordan: Are you dating!?!? Are you married!?!?
Me: Yes. Lenka: Kind of.
Jordan: Would you be interested in a Disney wedding.
Me: Possibly, down the road. She’s pretty special to me. Lenka: No.
Jordan: You guys are funny. Do you love each other?
Lenka: Yes (that felt good).
Me: No doubt.
Jordan: Enjoy your Disney experience.
(That really happened.)
6:18 PM: Walk to the Walt Disney statue. I hold her hand close. It has been a bizarre, yet oddly magical experience.
6:19 PM: Picture
6:23 PM: We watch a performance in front of the main castle. We need alcohol.
6:34 PM: Leave the Magic Kingdom, head for Epcot.
6:38 PM: Board tram. I hear Spanish—grab my hat.
6:39 PM: Lenka holds my hand, to comfort me. Everything is ok.
6:51 PM: Enter Epcot. We proceed through main entrance and are drawn to the large Christmas tree. Lenka asks a young couple to take our picture. I feel very uncomfortable when she does this because she overlooks the gesture as being enough and has the couple take our picture until it’s right. I’m making furtive eye-contact with the dude like, sorry, bro. She’s the hottest chick I’ve been with, I can’t say anything. Get the picture right.
7:16 PM: Begin our walk around the international lake.
7:21 PM: Bypass Canada, without a glance.
7:23 PM: Stop in the United Kingdom. There is a beer stand adjacent a restaurant. I grab a nice ale for myself and a flavored drink for Lenka.
7:31 PM: Lenka tries an English accent. It’s brutal.
7:32 PM: (Burp)
7:33 PM Order an ale.
7:37 PM: Walk to France.
7:42 PM-7:58 PM: Firm makeout underneath Eifel Tower.
8:04 PM: Snag some champagne from a little French bistro for Bae and I.
8:21 PM: Skip Morocco. Off the Middle East right now.
8:27 PM: Enter Japan. I am a huge fan of Asian culture and have a deep affinity for both their meditative principles and their women. Lenka knows this.
8:34 PM: Order a sake and a Japanese beer (Kirin) for myself and Lenka. I pretend to forget that she doesn’t drink beer, so I get two drinks with the sake. Then we enter a large Japanese cultural shop.
8:48 PM: Lenka puts on a blue, embroidered silk Kimono. Wow.
8:50 PM: Not enough cover in the changing areas and the bathrooms are both occupied. I checked.
8:59 PM: Buy the blue, embroidered silk Kimono for Lenka. Leaving the store I make an appropriate, sexually insinuative Samurai reference.
9:14 PM: Italy is next. We find a fancy restaurant. I don’t have that much money but I wanted to flaunt everything I had so she’d rock the Kimono that evening back at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort ($109.79/night).
9:23 PM: Eduardo shows us to our table. He will be our waiter for the evening. He is friendly, personable, here for a two-year Disney work program, and wants to open a bakery in Milan upon return.
9:31 PM: I ask for a house Cabernet. Eduardo talks me into wonderful seasonal favorite. $37.
9:39 PM: Lenka orders a cup of soup, a small option available in the “aperitivo” section. It is listed at $8.99. I order a panini, $11.99.
10:01 PM: Eduardo puts a large bowl of seafood soup—comprised or fresh oysters, shrimp, and scallops—in front of Lenka. $44.
10:02 PM: A minute later, because the seafood soup was 18 lbs. of market price fish, Eduardo set down my order. When I asked for a panini, Eduardo heard Veal. It was a miscommunication. $49.
10:03 PM – 10:21 PM: Lenka explained the slight error of order and Eduardo vehemently apologized. We were his American friends and he meant no offense. He sat down with us for ten minutes, full of remorse, and told us about his life in Italy. Eduardo became our friend, shaking my hand and hugging Lenka as he left. He returned five minutes later with a cheese cake dessert ($24).
10:32 PM: I knew people who lost loved ones in WW2, but the train display in Germany was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen—truly. I didn’t want to leave. I stayed and watched these trains, climbing and crisscrossing, until Lenka pulled me away and said enough.
11:00 PM: The park lights dimmed. The firework display was about to begin. Lenka and I ran to China to secure a spot overlooking the lake.
11:01 – 11:30 PM: Absolutely blown away by the beauty and presentation of this display. The theme of the show was universality and connectedness and it was all grounded in a love of commonality. Each respective country was lit up and corresponding fireworks would charge the sky. The globe in the middle of the lake, depicting scenes of brotherhood and respect, was an effervescent beacon of cultural unity. It was beautiful, and I was transfixed.
11:31 PM: Lenka told me she was tired, needed to shower, and wanted to try on the Kimono.
11:31 PM: I grabbed my girlfriends hand I ran towards the exit and transportation station, knocking over any and everyone who got in my way—race did not matter.