Disney – happiest place on earth? or where old people go to die?

my husband was rammed by a scooter while taking this photo - hence the blur

Since it is December in Florida and time to get into the spirit of Christmas, my men and I are hitting all the holiday destinations. We brought a bunch of friends to ICE last weekend, an event involving long lines, ice sculptures and freaky blue parkas… Much fun was had by all and everyone managed to resist the temptation to see if colored ice tasted like fruit punch….

Monday we went to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to see the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, which was actually really pretty and definitely made our holiday hearts grow a size or two. Unfortunately we endured many hours of insane crowds and although I was mentally as prepared as possible for the mind numbing sea of strollers (all Disney Parks have record numbers of those) what took us all by surprise was the sheer number of  crazed old people in “hoverround” scooters! Maybe it is a second childhood, or the desire to watch the grandbabies get hyped up on sugar and the heady Disney drug cocktail of character sightings and merchandise…..

Whatever causes it, it just about blew our minds – my husband ended up playing some form of hypnotic scooter bingo – “look I see three more on the left –  there’s another one –  red one at 3 o clock….”

Other than the severe danger of being run over at every turn, the absolute best part was when waiting in line for a ride, we watched two people ahead of us (who frankly should get out of the scooters and get some exercise – we all might live a little longer) try to take out metal stanchion. (I have finally gotten to use that word in a sentence LOL)

Scooter 1 tried rounding the corner slowly and discovered that the turning radius on her contraption was less than ideal, so she rammed the metal pole (now I understand why those things are bolted into the ground) this of course led to an approximately 25 point turn accompanied by complaints, curses and step by step instructions for her companion in scooter 2 behind her how not to take the turn –  all the while a long line of people behind us muttered menacingly…..

Scooter 2 having witnessed the entire thing choose to ignore all advice and just go with top speed – she hit that same abused stanchion so hard that she and her scooter actually bounced back about a foot – not to be deterred she maintaned her stubborn determination and current trajectory and tried again. After 10 minutes of ramming the immovable object she managed to scrape past it – not by any form of steering – just complete bloody mindedness. Each time she hit the pole – the scooter bounced back and minutely changed her angle!

I am sorry to report that I did not capture any of this on film – I was too afraid that the crazy scooter lady would chase me down and beat me with the grabby stick, then back over me a dozen times….

Merry Christmas!

This morning’s near death microwave experience….

Microwaves are hardly new technology – I have been using them for probably 20 years or more and I am quite aware that I am not supposed to put metal or hamsters in them.

I will admit that there have been a couple of dumb moments – like when I forgot to vent the rice packet and it exploded all over the inside of the mircowave – or the tiny piece of foil on the edge of a container that created some epic lightning effects before I turned it off – but as a general rule I am pretty “microwave savvy”

So imagine my horror this morning, when freshly showered and ready for work, my microwave tried to kill me….

I made myself eggs and toast for breakfast this morning, using the stove of course because everyone knows that microwave eggs are an abomination. But the perils of dealing with 4 dogs in the morning meant that it had gotten a little cold before I got to them – so I tossed the eggs into a microwave safe container and put them in for 20 seconds to warm them up.

As I walked away from the microwave, holding my breakfast in hand, it exploded in my face!!!! I shit you not – that just happened! I let out a scream partly in shock and also partly because eggs the temperature of hot lava had just landed all over me –  worst of all on on the delicate skin of my eyelid. Clearly the reason there is no beauty treatment involving hot eggs is because it hurts like a Mo Fo – much worse than a bikini wax – trust me!

Perhaps they should have changed the warning from “let food stand in the microwave for a minute before removing” to something people are more likely to pay attention to…. Like “RETRIEVE FOOD AT OWN RISK – EXPLOSIVE FOOD MAY REMOVE AN EYE

So there I stood, covered in exploded eggs in a brand new sweater that will probably never be the same, with a fast swelling eye and 4 very excited dogs – clearly their prayers had been answered since it was finally raining food in the kitchen.

After making sure the eggs hadn’t burned a hole through my eyelid, despite how it felt,  tossing the new egg covered sweater in the laundry and combing the eggy crap out of my hair –  I was feeling pretty sorry for myself and my first thought was to call my husband (who is out of town this weekend) to tell him what an awful morning I was having so he could commiserate, be concerned for my safety etc.

Then I realized, who am I kidding? He will laugh his ass off – as will my 14 year old son when he hears about it. Let’s be honest, anyone who is not you, suddenly covered in exploding food is pretty damn funny  – I would laugh too if I wasn’t crying on the inside…

So feel good about yourselves since you are not going to work with hair that smells like eggs and chances are your day did not start as badly as mine – You are most welcome!

Ninja squirrels

Our resident Ninja

We have been living in Florida for over a year now and one of the things that I get the biggest kick out of is all the exotic animals and plants here. Not just the gators, turtles and manatees etc but even the birds are more colorful and the flowers are bigger and brighter….

After living the majority of my life in places where grey and rainy was the norm and the birds tended to be nothing more than sparrows, pigeons and crows – living day to day in sunshiny Florida where giant sandhill cranes walk past you in the parking lot and seemingly every shrub or tree has flowers as big as your hand – I have to say I feel a little like Dorothy when she opened the door of her drab grey home and saw Oz laid out before her in a riot of color and wonder. To this day, that scene always catches my breath…

But what is even more surprising to me sometimes is even the everyday animals are transformed by the surroundings. Squirrels are far from exotic – we had them in Ireland and Seattle, but the simple addition of a screened in pool enclosure has turned these always cute creatures into endlessly amusing ninjas!

giant flowers

They race across the top – jump from the neighbors onto ours and then back into the trees like tiny Jackie Chan’s. They hang upside down and stare in at us demanding peanuts. I can almost hear their theme music in my head – a little like mission impossible…They taunt the dogs, knowing they are safe on the far side of the screen – so close but just out of reach. I had to rescue Gizmo recently, when in her squirrel induced frenzy she fell in the pool. Well, after I was done laughing my ass off – I fished her out.

There are a lot of things I love about our new life in Florida but mostly it is the simple pleasures that count.