Part III here!
We continue on to Japan, where I want to FINALLY look around and see if I can find the gardens. Too @#%)@#$^!#$ bad it's dark outside and we can't see a thing. We look around a little and head out to continue our speed-of-light tour. Morocco is up next, and nothing to see there. We looked for Nickladdin (a CM friend of Mare's crew that we've come to know) but didn't see him and continue on to France. We do a requisite stop for a Slushie thingy and continue on to Canada. The crowds are starting to build for Illuminations, and it's getting a little busier in the walkways. We pass Canada, and I resist the urge to buy a half-yard of Bass Ale over at the U.K. I text DD to tell her we're heading back their way. I then stop for a second and realize that we STILL haven't given the kids a chance to really see the countries much (we still haven't seen a ton of it, for that matter). We'll try again…especially as Aaron starts to know the countries a little more and as Eric can do the Funstop items more. DD tells us that they're on SSE now, so we turn out of WS and start heading back to FW (damn acronyms). We stop for a family pic by the tree, but the music is so loud there that it's really bothering Eric.
Great pic of the other 3, though.
We save Eric from the decibels and head to the golf ball. Before we enter the exit, we hit the bathroom. Aaron and I get out first, so I text them to see if they're still there:
"B room bx SSE"
(crap…just realized I misspelled 'by' in the text)
One minute later, DD replies with "English, please"
I nearly died laughing at that text.
I translate and let them know that sounds like TT might be back open. Another reply from DD saying that Mare is playing games at the bottom of SSE. Not Renee…Mare (lol) We head in just as Illuminations starts (much to Eric's appreciation) and find them in no time. Aaron joins Renee in a game…
I LOVE that pic of the two of them. We catch up with Mare while we wait for the rest of the crew to return from the top of the golf ball. We talk a bit more and then head out towards TT.
...at around 9:45...
…when it has the Christmas finale tag…
…where they can feel and hear the fireworks from as far away as Sandusky, OH.
Sufficed to say…Eric hated us.
We make it to TT, and Mare and Renee head off to do something else as Renee's not a big fan of this attraction. We all have a good time talking in the queue line and waiting for the ride. We watch the movie and head in. We split up so that Mark, Dan, and Austin get in a car, and Sheri, Me, Aaron, Eric, Debbie, and Lexie try to commandeer a car to ourselves. We get sequenced in so we can ride together, though we hurl insults at Mark, Dan, and Austin for being behind us in line but in a car ahead of us.
We get going and just enjoy the ride. As we get into the heat/cold/corrosion test, I very nearly make a comment to Debbie about the cold and its effect on certain female body parts, but I'm still not 100% sure how Lexie will take that, so I keep quiet. For some reason, Lexie keeps me in check with my innuendo and remarks (again, refer to the 2005 trip report…next to last day). Debbie and I know each other well enough to let anything fly, so I think she was disappointed that I DIDN'T comment. Everything is going great until we get to the crash test. DD and Lexie quit talking for a second and do this weird motion with their arms. I turn to look at them right before I figured out what they were doing.
THIS is what they were doing.
We hop off and head out to meet back up with Mare and Renee, who were playing at Mission Space. It's about 10:20, and the boys are still going strong, so we all decide to head over to Soarin to see what the wait time is. I got to catch up a little with Mark and Dan on the walk over, since we hadn't seen each other for a while. We walk in, and it's jammed…the board says about a 45 minute wait. Debbie says there's no way in Hell this is going to be only 45 minutes…she bets that it's going to be well over an hour…possibly an hour and a half. I think the wait is actually going to be pretty close to the posted time. Neither of us backing down to a challenge, we both check the time and start the waiting.
I tell you what…touring a Disney park is amazing. Touring a Disney park with a group of friends, however, is exponentially more fun! We had the best time talking with each other about everything. While we were in line waiting, Mare started texting Ed (a common friend) about our escapades. After a couple of minutes, I start texting him instead of relaying my answers to Mare. Finally, DD, Mare, and I all decide to see if we can crash Ed's phone by sending him 3 texts simultaneously…we actually counted down to press "send". I don't think Ed ever did reply to us.
Aaron is still going strong with Renee there (and Austin and Lexie helping out), but Eric's starting to wind down. Luckily we are past the CM that tells us which side to go to and are about ready to get queued in. I look at the watch to see how long we have been in line, and, well…I'll let Debbie tell you how long we waited (heheheheh). There are 11 of us, and a row is exactly 11 seats wide. We let Mark be our spokesperson to lobby for the middle-top row, and we get it! I mention that this is a great way to end it. Mare asks what the perfect way to end a Disney vacation would be. I, of course, reply, "Sex." This, of course, leads Sheri into the discussion, and we get into another one of our sarcastic conversations that leaves Mare staring dumbfounded at us, laughing with every insult hurled at each other.
Kronk comes on and gives us the briefing, and we're in. The lineup was somehow set up so that I was towards the middle, next to Mare and Mark, and I think Aaron was over near the other edge nestled somewhere with Lexie, Austin, and Renee. Eric had fallen asleep just before we gotten into the final queue, so he's kind of out of it, but he agrees to stay awake for the ride.
"Soarin to Tower…we are ready for take-off."
That just sends chills up me every time I hear it.
We rise up over the screen, and I am simply…relaxed. I look over, and Sheri almost has a tear trickling down, though with a smile on her face. I look to my right, and I can see the kids pointing out things to each other. Right next to me, I see Mark and Mare holding hands as they watch the scenes. Sheri and I make eye contact and just smile.
I didn't want the attraction to end. I really didn't.
The last volley of fireworks explodes, and we are back on the ground all too soon.
We all are starting to get a little tired as we exit The Land pavilion, and we have to get the boys to bed because we have a very early bus to catch tomorrow. We tell each other goodbye with hugs and kisses, and we head our separate ways. The bus ride to ASMO is quiet, as we're leaving before EP closes. The boys both are fast asleep before we leave the parking lot, and I am just content to reflect on how things are going. As an added bonus, when we get to the room, there's a new item on the handle. Odd…we already have our Magical Express stuff from this morning. The resort-area check-in checked us in already and printed our boarding passes AND printed baggage tags.
The boys walk into the room and fall asleep, though they both grinned when we ask if they had fun.
Sheri does a bit more packing as I prepare the bags for the check-in at way before the ass-crack of dawn.
Click HERE for the last day.