Friday, April 06, 2007


My abysmal track record on 007 blogging isn't solely attributed to colossal laziness--although that's certainly a major factor. No...I can also blame it on travel.

My daughter, Pumpkin, and I spent last week at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Sure, EuroDisney is closer...but there are no Waffle Houses, Cracker Barrels or Shoney's in France.

To some of us, that's a deal-breaker.

We flew from Madrid to Miami, and enjoyed a SIX HOUR lay-over at Miami International Airport--the highlight of which was the Pizza Hut personal pan pizza and $8 (EIGHT DOLLARS!!!) pint of Samuel Adams that I inhaled like a death row inmate while Pumpkin slept in her stroller at Gate D36.

We then took a one hour flight to Orlando, and arrived at our rented house in Kissimee at 2am--which, according to my body clock, was 7am. Twelve members of my family from Chicago were waiting for us at the house. Eleven of them were waiting in bed...asleep.

But the Disney empire waits for no man; regardless of his state of physical exhaustion. We therefore leaped out of bed at 6:30am the next morning (which amounted to three hours sleep for me; nearly twelve hours for Pumpkin) and made a bee-line for the Magic Kingdom.

Disney World's Orlando facility has four main parks: Magic Kingdom (the most kid-friendly of the bunch); Epcot (the most adult-friendly, IMO); MGM Studios (nice, but my least favorite of the bunch); and Animal Kingdom (a great park...not only does it have a mind-blowing reproduction of Mt. Everest, but also a BBQ stand that serves pulled pork).

Pumpkin bought a new hat during the first hour of the first morning, and didn't take it off for the rest of the week.

She bought something else every hour of every day for the rest of the week.

If you're between 3 and 83 and can't have fun at Disney World, there is something seriously wrong with you. Despite the $50 corn dogs, it's a really cool place to bring kids.

Cool for adults, too. The Magic Kingdom's "Rock and Roll Roller Coaster"--which accelerates from 0 to 60 in less than three seconds--won the Fat Sal family's "Best of Show Award" hands-down.

I do need, however, to mention one observation that I found a bit shocking. The Disney parks rent motorized wheelchairs, and they rent a lot of them. However, quite a few of those that I saw driving those wheelchairs were not "handicapped" as that word is commonly interpreted. They were obese. I mean profoundly, morbidly obese--and some of them were clearly younger than I am.

I've never been to EuroDisney, but I suspect that this obesity epidemic doesn't exist there. And if that's the case, then I think it's clear where the finger of blame must be pointed.

At Waffle House, Cracker Barrel and Shoney's.


At 12:20 AM, Blogger woman wandering said...

Hey ... you're back and blogging. Ver y good. I had stopped calling by due to the heavy burden of 'no posting' ... sounds like you had a grand time.

At 8:46 AM, Blogger J said...

I was at Disneyland Paris (they changed the name) in Nov and don't recall seeing obese people in wheelchairs.

It was fun, but you're right, though, it would have been better with a Cracker Barrel nearby.

At 3:09 AM, Blogger keri said...

My husband and I just returned to the U.S. after a week in Madrid and were also struck by the lack of obesity in Europe. We are thinking it has something to do with the lack of partially hydrogenated oils in the processed food in Europe, as well as the fact that people sit and eat or sit and drink their coffee - not in their car. We really loved the pace in Spain.

At 9:07 PM, Blogger Angie said...

It sounds like you had a great trip! What a good memory for you and Pumpkin! The photos are priceless, too. (Where'd they disappear to, anyway?)

I've been to Disneyworld twice -- the 1st time at age 9, and 2nd at age 17. It was no less magical to me at age 17, but I'm kind of a nerd like that.

You know, you're going to turn Pumpkin into a fat American with that kind of cuisine! ;) There are no Shoney's where I live and no Waffle Houses until you get "down south" near Indianapolis. But don't worry, we have plenty of Cracker Barrels!


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