Thursday, July 22, 2010

WDW Family Trip, December 2008, Day 7: Back to Life…Back to Reality

Here's Day 6, just in case.

We're up at well before the butt-crack of dawn…since our flight leaves at 8:45, that means we're to be on the Magical Express at around 5:45. Luckily, we already are checked in and have the tags for the bags. All I have to do is make sure that we have the bags down to the check-in before 5:45, and we should be okay.


The boys are still sleeping (duh…went to bed just 5 hours before). Sheri finishes the rest of the packing, and I take the bags down…no problem! I make sure to let them know how awesome the check-in process is. They were still on their first cup of coffee, though, I think. The food court isn't open, so we'll have to fend for ourselves at the airport. As we make our way out to the bus stop for the Bad Bus (a name Sheri has given the M.E. that takes everyone back to the airport…she has been calling it that since back on our first trip). I figure we'd be one of the only ones out there, but there are 4-5 other families there, mostly catatonic. Sheri and I are relatively awake as the bus pulls up. A former NYC cabbie pops out of the bus with far too much energy and throws everyone on the bus. For those of us who were awake, this guy was flippin' hilarious…for those trying to sleep, he was flippin' annoying as hell. He talked about the snow and ice across the nation and how he had to get out of the Northeast to warmer weather and that he hasn't had to shovel snow for 7 years and how he's still a Yankees fan (which drew boos from just about everybody).


We leave ASMO after saying one final goodbye to it and stop over at ASMU to pick up someone. Then we run over to Coronado Springs for a pick up, and before, we know it, we're jetting to MCO.


After arriving at the airport, we breeze past the check-in line for AirTran, which is flippin' long! No problems at all at the security checkpoint, as there seem to be very few people traveling (they're all stuck at the ticket counter at AirTran apparently). We have a good hour and 45 minutes before the flight, so we do our last ritual of every WDW trip…eat at Burger King! The tooth was still driving me up a wall, but, luckily, croissanwiches are not too tough.


The boys are waking up and are in a really good mood, despite leaving our favorite spot to visit. As we make our way to the gate, I snag a paper that a previous patron had left and start to get acclimated back to the real world (damn it). Sheri sneaks away and buys the boys two small plushes (a Pluto for Eric and a Goofy for Aaron). The boys were rambunctious but not destructive, and they kept several people in the gate entertained. Despite all the ice back home over the past several days, our flight is on-time (damn it). Before we know it, we're back on the ground at BMI. As we land, the entire plane groans as we get our first glimpse of the ice mess. We deplane and head over to the baggage claim. Most were still struggling to stay awake because 95% of the people went to the wrong baggage claim. The 3 or 4 families that kind of knew where to go camped out by the non-moving belt and waited.


Ten minutes later, we have our stuff, and I head out to see the disaster that's waiting for me at the van, while Sheri and the boys stayed warm in the terminal. I ice-skate out to the van.




Ohhhhhh crap (though I didn't say "crap" then).


There was a good inch of ice on the Mickey antenna topper, which was weighing it down tremendously. Some of the ice had actually broken off of the antenna from the bending and waving in the wind. Three-fourths of the van is covered in well over an inch of ice. I drop kick the tires, and the ice cracks…4 minutes later, the wheel sides are clear. Where the wheels touch the pavement, well…that's a different story. I start pounding on all parts of the van in an effort to get a place to start working. Ultimately, I think it was a drop-kick on the tailgate that finally worked. Finally, I'm able to open up a sliding door and get the van started, though the ice is just too thick for the defrost to do much of anything. At least I now have a scraper. Nearby, I see the AirTran 717 we were just on taxiing to runway 20. I flipped it off as it departed (lucky @#%&%^#$% travelers). I spend the next 20 minutes punching and scraping the van to the point where I think I can actually drive it.


I put it in reverse and burn rubber!



…in the exact same place as I'm still iced to the road. I rock it a few times (though "don't bother knockin'" didn't apply) and am finally able to move a few feet…not enough to make it over the hump of ice behind the van (where they plowed and it froze). 15 additional minutes to go, and I FINALLY am free. Sheri is about to call 911 in fears that I either A) suffered a heart attack out there; B) am frozen to the pavement; or C) took someone up on a triple dog dare to stick my tongue to the antenna. She had just about given up hope and was about to start looking for a new spouse when I pull the van up.


I almost thought I saw a look of disappointment pass across her face for a moment.


We hop in and do a grocery run and then head over to a regional favorite…Monical's pizza…for lunch. While we eat, we start the reminiscing and listening to the boys' pleas to live in Florida or Georgia.


We make it home…


The pic doesn't do it justice as you can't see how many limbs are down and just how thick the ice is. 6 hours ago, it was in the 60s in the dark.


(damn it)


The cats are still mad at us for leaving and barf all over the place for retribution. We unpack and look at the damage from the receipts. The boys make quick work of the new Mr. Potato Head parts:



Funny…it seemed like a lot more as we were putting it in the gigantaur container :lol:




…And then back to real-life we went.

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