Monday, October 6, 2014

Still Working Hard

Coming back from Hawaii was hard. The weather was just beginning to turn (I am so dreading winter this year!) and I was having a hard time with some personal issues I am sorting through. I remember saying to a patient at work, "Sometimes you just need a vacation from your vacation."

And then I realized -- you get a vacation from your vacation! Less than a week after arriving home we were on a plane again to Orlando for an Otolaryngology conference. I have to admit this is really good for making my online persona look good!

I had high hopes for the trip. Using my extra time for getting in shape, studying for boards by the pool, maybe even some shopping or solo theme park expeditions while Abe was in his meetings.

Unfortunately, I was coming down with something on our way and I ended up in bed most of the time. (I could edit this part out to make my life look that much better, right?)

Abe's program has a lot of nice people who are pretty friendly and wanted to be social between meetings so we spent a lot of time with them which was fun.

Of course, you have to eat, even when sick so I braved it out for some Ethiopian food (which was amazing by the way).

Can you tell I'm sick? 
One of the attendings took us out to the Universal City Walk.

He treated us to a night of karaoke and pizza. We had a lot of fun singing with the live back-up dancers and singers. 

Abe's co-resident "Tiger" was a huge hit with the audience (middle back row, black hair and glasses), people chanting his name throughout the night and wanting to meet him. After taking pictures with the back up dancers, he had people asking for photos for their Facebook pages. Who knew we had such a hidden talent among us?

Abe and I had some mixed feelings about going to the parks the next day. I still wasn't feeling great and he was in the conference until the early afternoon. We decided to embrace our carefree and fun side and go for it! Upon arriving, we had a hard time deciding if we should go to Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure. Universal Studios has a new Harry Potter exhibit but we liked the roller coasters at Islands of Adventure last time we were there. We decided to go for the Islands of Adventure. 

This was perhaps the wrong choice. After going on a single roller coaster we both weren't feeling so hot. We stopped in a restaurant for some butter beer (Abe's main goal for going to the park) and got stuck there during a torrential downpour. After waiting about an hour, it slowed down enough for us to make it back towards the front of the park, only to get stuck again in the Jurassic Park exhibit for another downpour, before deciding to leave. It let up as we walked towards the entrance but very few rides were open due to the wet tracks and threat of lightening. We decided the only thing to do was to get a second butter beer (of course!) and head out. When we finally left I think we were relieved to be out of the rain. We still had fun, but I think Universal Studios would have had more inside to do and we would have at least seen the new Harry Potter attraction. And maybe I wouldn't have got so sick on the rides. 

Waiting inside with some liquid company.

Despite how it looks in the pictures, at least it was warm despite the rain!

Happy with his frozen butter beer. 
We bought tickets for the next day for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom for us and some friends.  We learned from our previous day's experience and bought ponchos before heading out for Disney World. By the time we pulled into the parking lot, it was pouring! We waited in the car hoping it would subside before donning our yellow courage and heading in. Good thing, too, because it rained for about 4 hours!

Abe's co-residents Marisa, Kristy, and Danielle getting ready!

The Halloween party was a really good option for us. The park closed at seven for its normal day-time guests but opened for the Halloween party from 7pm-12am. Since everyone was in conferences until about 2:30, it would have been a short and expensive day at Magic Kingdom. But luckily the party tickets were cheaper than regular admission, we were able to enter the park at 4 pm, and the party didn't end until midnight. I did not expect to stay until closing, but it turned out that I was sad when it was time to finally leave at midnight.

Thank goodness for ponchos!
Danielle had never been to Disney, despite growing up in Tampa, so it was fun to show her what she missed her whole childhood. I think once it stopped raining she was impressed.

We found some escape from the elements in Its a Small World
The biggest advantage to the night was minimal to no lines on the rides! After walking straight on to Splash Mountain, we sat in our ponchos getting completely drenched as the ride slowly maneuvered its way in a heavy downpour. After each getting a huge puddle in our laps and not even noticing the splash at the end of the ride, I think we had about had it with the rain so found some shelter and ate some dinner. Thankfully as we emerged from dinner, the rain had stopped, just in time for the parade, which was surprisingly good.

They had an amazing light show ON the castle (the coolest part of the night) and then some really impressive fireworks. 

We drove cars (not nearly as exciting as I remember -- I guess that makes sense as an adult who drives a real car).

And of course spun around in teacups (while Prince Charming looked on in admiration).

And rode flying elephants.

We even rode through a jewel mine.

And danced with monsters. 

One of the interesting parts of the night is that they have different characters than you would normally get to meet -- the villains -- out and about and taking pictures. We didn't take the time to wait in any of these lines but we tried to steal a picture with Mike from Monsters, Inc. 

He was too busy dancing to pose so we had to be quick!

Many of the park visitors were in costume as well as the workers. And they had trick-or-treating, giving away huge handfuls of candy.

It was probably some of the most fun I've had at a theme park. I wouldn't miss it if you have the chance to visit in September or October. Even in the rain!

And now we are home and back to work, as busy as ever. It was nice to have a few breaks at a much needed time.


Suz said...

Looks like fun.

Rachel Culmer said...

Love Disneyland. I'm glad that you and your hubby were able to enjoy some husband and wife time.