So I fulfilled a wish for my remaining lifetime. Way I figure I'll live maybe 15-20 more years, if I'm lucky. Family history does not predict a long life span for me but I will take what I get. I had three things I wanted to do before I died. One was to go to Disney World with my granddaughter.
Now can mark this as "been there, done that".
It was a wonderful adventure, this is the only way I can sum it up, void of pretty adjectives as is my wont.
Now to write the story in my Blog for granddaughter to read someday, perhaps right before she takes her own children to the Magic Kingdom.
Where to begin?
|We met Mickey and Minnie in Animal Kingdom|
|Melissa is soaked after the River Rapids Ride in Animal Kingdom|
Well how about the drive? Yes we drove to Disney World from Georgetown Delaware, on the drive to we took two days; on the drive back we made it in one day-17 hours including all stops.
You know, driving today in this year of our Lord-2013- is like sitting in your living room. The Jeep, garage-kept and pampered, plowed on with no problem as bugs insulted her windshield and passengers lolled all about. Plenty of baggage packed inside as well. At times the Jeep breezed along at 90 miles per hour but if you tell anyone I said that I shall deny.
We listened to the Kindle music list of my favorite songs, the Kindle broadcasting the music through to the Jeep radio even as the Tom-Tom lady quacked her directions. Indeed, it was a most pleasant trip, if long trips can ever be pleasant, and the Jeep? She is tired but proud and resting in the garage.
We stayed at Fort Wilderness in the Disney World Resort and here I must insert something I learned about Disney World over 30 years ago when I drove to Disney World with whatever husband of the moment, two step-children and my own then 6-year old. At that time, mid-80's I'd guess, we stayed inside of the Disney World Resort as well, an apartment as I remember.
See, the folks at Disney World, once you get in there, they don't want you to ever get out! For like my prior visit I got so immersed in Disney World and its culture that I forgot that there's another world out there. Which is, I surmise, the plan. It's also the reason for Disney's vaunted meal plan….more on this later.
It's not that Disney World commits any crimes of hostage-taking. It's just that they know out beyond the serenity of their hand-crafted World they know there are many temptations; many things that might call to vacationers open to suggestion and fun. In the 80's we'd been tucked inside Disney World Resorts for so long that the final straw was a bouillabaisse the only offering for teen stepchildren when we'd had it. We got in the car and drove around and we discovered Kissimmee Florida, complete with Pizza Huts and everything!
The Disney World Resorts "free" dining plan is the stuff of marketing genius. For know, as anecdoted above, that it was only a scarcity of food choices that drove us off the reservation in the mid-80's. With the dining plan, hey, no need at all to leave Disney World Resorts and discover Sea Worlds or Universal Studios all about.
|Kaitlyn meets her prince at a Disney character meal|
|Kaitlyn and Dad in Epcot Center|
I was perfectly fine with the Disney World Resorts dining plan and seriously, for seven straight days we never left Disney World proper. We did visit every resort and property within and this too is part of the marketing plan.
It was in our own Disney resort-Fort Wilderness, that we attended the Hoop De Do, a Hoot And Holler type of affair, featuring BBQ's ribs and fixins'. The cornbread served there was the best I've ever eaten.
Along with the food diners are treated to a show of comedy, fine singing and a bit of tourist fun so popular in Disney World.
What does every visitor to Disney World have in common? They are all from somewhere else! Every Disney World cast member, be they server or costumed character, will almost inevitably ask where one is from. Sometimes in the various shows, and definitely in this Hoop De Hoo Review show, audience members are recruited right in the exact time to be part of the show! Or perhaps a sudden spotlight will shine upon an unsuspecting audience member as current cast members poke fun at the surprised Disney World guest.
|Kaitlyn meets a princess and gets to be in a play!|
|"It's a Small World After All...."|
It's a wonderful idea. Disney World is filled with humans of all sorts. The one thing ALL of them have in common is that they are from somewhere else.
The Disney World dining plan is absolutely amazing. Ours had four character meals-this being a big deal with children evidently, forgive this old grandmother's surprise. Each character meal, which is a meal featuring, eh, characters. DISNEY characters. There were meals featuring Winnie the Pooh characters, meals with all princesses, several of them, meals with , like I said, DISNEY characters.
Children love these meals and each character meal takes the diner to some distant Disney Resort they'd probably never visit. We went to a Polynesian Disney Resort for a children's show. We went to Disney's famous Floridian hotels for an all-you-can-eat buffet with princesses making the rounds. We went to Norway for breakfast, of all places, where there were even more princesses, even a few princes.
All this character stuff does, of course, create photo opportunities and Disney World is very gracious to guests with their own cameras, but I'm sure they make a few dimes on their in-house photo business. Get a child posing with a perfectly dressed character and you got to get a picture, that's why it's done.
|An ostrich and her eggs in Animal Kingdom|
|Melissa's favorite character, Eyeore.|
So we got to see all kinds of Disney Resorts we'd never see for the character meals. As for what Disney calls "table service", this pretty much includes any restaurant in any park. We had plenty of table service credits, we didn't use them all. And the food offered for these meals was amazing. All table meals featured appetizer, drink, main dish and dessert. There were few restrictions to any foods offered. In addition to all these food credits, there are food items called "snack credits". This is generally a drink, perhaps a Smoothie type of affair. Also included would be ice cream cones, pretzels...that sort of thing.
Essentially our particular Disney dining plan allowed us to eat most anywhere, anytime and eat anything. It was great.
Hey, you won't find Kissimmee Florida with this plan but there's plenty of pizza on it, including an eatery in Italy, in Epcot's World of Nations.
We had already booked our trip before the Disney dining plan was offered, so I was prepared to pay for all meals we ate during our trip. With this dining plan I don't think I spent a dime all week on food. No, I didn't leave Disney World resorts for over seven straight days and that is the plan.
Disney made it well worth my while.
We stayed in a cabin during our stay at Disney World, a cabin in Fort Wilderness, a perfect venue for our motley crew. The Jeep was parked in the cabin driveway and remained there for eight full days.
For if you want to travel around Disney World and its resorts you get used to buses and fairies and monorails. Sometimes you travel on these things ALL AT ONCE! But it's no mind as the drivers of all transport vehicles are, like all Disney World "cast members" , pleasant and helpful.
We visited The Magic Kingdom for three days, once to Adventureland and Frontierland, once to Tomorrowland and once to Fantasyland.
Yes we went through the "It's a Small World" ride and yes I had an ear bug for three days after. The Magic Kingdom has more calming rides, aiming to the children. The Haunted Mansion is always a great joy, I remember it well from my 80's visit.
|Kaitlyn becomes a princess in the Bippity Boppity Boutique|
|Frey Family in Hollywood Studios|
In Epcot there is, of course, Space Mountain, and this is a Disney favorite as well. In Hollywood Studios we went on the Rocking Roller coaster and my very favorite ride of all, the Tower of Terror.
Animal Kingdom was great for, well for the animals. That resorts River Rapids ride was great and a good way to break up a hot day.
I adored my trip to Disney World but I'll state right now, I'll not likely go there again. I know there are lots of Disney afficianados but for me it was enjoying the trip with my granddaughter and my family.
There is no other vacation on earth that could equal this trip to Disney World.
Capitalism at its shining best, God Bless America.
Ending With a Smile
The garage work continues. Currently I'm in a break between stages. The prep work is done and we await the beginning of the floor work. The difference is already amazing and I hope to set up a Web page for pictures sometime this weekend. (Don't hold your breath, though, just in case.)
Thank you to those of you who sent me tips about diabetes. My sugar levels are doing well; I have an appointment with an endocrinologist later this month and I also go back to my eye doctor to see how my vision is doing. I remain fuzzy at a distance with my newest glasses, but can use my previous pair for driving. While in this case two is
*not* better than one, because I'm always forgetting to change them, it's at least better than wearing two pairs at the same time at work!
I am still learning about my medication, Metformin, and how the meds and food affect my blood sugar levels. I'm also learning about me. I've always known I was just a bit paranoid, but sometimes I can also be an immense idiot.
Warning: If bodily functions and other delicate subjects offend you or make you squeamish, you might want to skip down to the last paragraph or two.
You may remember Drivel: The Greatest Gift Of All, or other stories of my mom's battle with her own diabetes. She usually cannot tell when her blood sugar level tanks. I find I am terrified that I will be the same way. I'm supposed to be learning how my body *feels* during the day, and watching for medication or sugar level side effects.
Some of the Metformin symptoms to watch for are non-issues. Diarrhea; okay, I can handle that. Gas; inconvenient, but okay. Indigestion; might be a new sensation for me. Headaches; been there, done that. Then there's this lethal one, lactic acidosis. Isn't that the same thing you get when you overuse your muscles - you know, the soreness you have because you replaced your lawn with sod yesterday? Signs of lactic acidosis are feeling tired or weak, muscle pain, having trouble breathing, feeling cold, feeling dizzy, having stomach pain, and/or having a slow or irregular heartbeat.
The blood sugar symptoms are based on whether my level is low or high. High ones are increased hunger, thirst, or urination, blurred vision, fatigue, shortness of breath, and nausea. Low ones are sweating, shakiness, extreme hunger, dizziness, blurry vision, irritability, confusion, and loss of coordination.
Again, I have a bunch of those anyway! For the last month and a half, I've been wondering if the sweatiness I'm feeling is a side effect or just because it's 104 degrees outside. Did I forget that word because my blood sugar is low or because my brain is full of 50 years of information? Is that wheezing a sign of my asthma or should I be worried about it?
See? Paranoid. And the icing on the cake is that I don't have enough test strips to check my blood sugar whenever I want to. These things are regulated by *prescription* and I can't just decide I want to check every hour one day to see what my levels do. I was trying to make the ones I have last until I see the endocrinologist.
And then I made that one possibly fatal error.
It's all so easy to see in hindsight.
Harry and I had gone out to dinner the night before, and I carried my pill along in my pocket so I could take it with food. When we got to the restaurant, it was *packed* so we opted for to-go from the attached deli. Same food, but no place to eat it there. Since we
brought the food home, I took my vitamin supplements - and a Metformin pill from the bottle.
The next morning, Harry went off to bottle somewhere, the garage construction crew was working on the garage, and I was working from home. I had a full work schedule, three conference calls, and a neurotic dog reacting badly to the construction noises. Many things were vying for my attention. I tested my sugar level (122) and had breakfast.
About an hour went by, and I had answered questions from the garage crew, attended a short conference call, did the morning work stuff that needs doing every morning, and I was on yet another conference call. As I often do when on a call (I think I got this habit from Harry) I paced around the house. I have a headset now so my hands are free; one held my usual diet Dr. Pepper. Pacing, I stuck the other hand in my pocket. And it found a pill.
Oh. I must have forgotten to take it with breakfast. That happens a lot, especially at work. I took the pill.
And as it went down, I realized I wasn't AT WORK. I was AT HOME. Where I had taken a pill from the bottle WITH BREAKFAST.
About an hour ago.
Great, I thought. I haven't been on these meds for even two months and I've already managed to kill myself with them. The first thing that came to mind was getting that pill back UP even if it meant losing the one from earlier.
That stuff I'm finding out about myself? Add to the list that I can't be bulimic. I had a frantic half hour of trying to rid myself of that pill by "forced ejection" (thanks for the term, Win!) to no avail. After leaning over the toilet for half an hour, I was sweating, I had the shakes, my stomach didn't feel so good, and my heartbeat was pretty darn fast. There you go, almost all the symptoms, all at the same time.
I really didn't have time in my schedule that day for a stomach pump, so I rushed to the computer and consulted the Internet, which gave me two other ways to try - drinking a glass of warm salt water, or using syrup of ipecac. I didn't have ipecac, but I did have salt and water.
Warm salt water isn't very pleasant. And it didn't come back up, either. I gave it 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, and when going on the longest half an hour of my life, gave up that it was going to work. My trusty headset was still on me, and the conference call continued to drone in my ear, but I heard none of it. I turned it off, hoping the system wouldn't announce my departure, and told the garage crew I'd be out for a short while.
Grabbed my purse and raced my Toyota hybrid up the street to the store. There's a calculation for gas mileage every trip from on to off; I think I got 12. At the store, I didn't waste time looking for the ipecac, I went straight to the pharmacy counter.
Guess what? They don't sell that stuff anymore. Apparently too many people abused it. I talked my dilemma over with the pharmacist, who reassured me that I just had to watch my levels and would probably have to eat more sugars or carbs until the time for my next normal pill, which would be dinner. That calmed me down a bit.
I bought an Almond Joy. I deserved it, chocolate heals many ills, and if I needed extra sugar in my bloodstream that was a good way to do it. By the time I got home, my racing heart had slowed, my shakiness was gone, and I'd stopped sweating. I checked in with the garage guys, made sure I didn't have any urgent work messages waiting, then called a friend. She talked me into using some of my valuable test strips to check on my sugar level, and convinced me to check on it throughout the day (thanks, Denise!).
I spent the day snacking a bit every two hours or so, and checking my sugar when I thought I needed to or before snacking. The levels did fine, and I skipped the dinner pill just for my sanity.
When I got up the next morning, I had a momentary panic when I stretched and almost all my muscles protested in agony. Muscle soreness! Was it... could it be... a Metformin side effect? Oh, no, of course! All those efforts to get rid of that stupid pill... it was a wonder my muscles could move at all.
So now I have a new rule. If the Metformin isn't taken *with* the meal, I don't take it. That dose gets skipped. And I filled my prescription and got 100 test strips, too.
The learning continues.
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