He now had a little money to spend

Back at home for a little while.

Let’s talk about the FLA trip. I’ll keep a running tally.

The trip South went well. JewelrySlut and Shmuppie drove to SC last Tuesday night and continued to FLA the following day. My flight from EWR was fine and I finally got to the hotel at about 6:00. It was a long day, but it went well.

The ladies were poolside at the Pop Century when I arrived, and I went to the room to drop off my stuff and wash up.

Did we ever get what we paid for at the hotel. I know it was only like $90 per night, but the room was little more than a large closet. There were 2 beds, a little dresser and a tiny table. Once I arrived with my suitcase, backpack and laptop bag, we were officially cluttered. We quickly decided that we would not be staying at a Disney value resort again. I shudder at the thought.

But, we got changed and headed out for some dinner. As usual, I let my grand plans blur my vision of sanity. We left the hotel and I promptly got lost. I always get lost while on property. I don’t like the WDW signs at all. Like 4 days later, we’d arrived at the Wilderness Lodge. The plan was to drive there, walk around, get a boat to the Contemporary Resort, board a monorail, head to the Polynesian and eat there. Why not drive to the Poly? Because I’m an idiot. Plus, the WL is cool and the boat ride is fun. Plus…more monorail.

Well, the “spring” at the WL is under refurbishment so it’s dried out. That takes a lot of the thrill away. We walked to the dock and waited for a boat. And then we waited. And Waited. Then another boat arrived (not our boat) and we were told that they were having problems and that tiny spec in the distance was our boat.

So, now we wait. I’d waited for a long time at the hotel to pick up my key because the Cast Members there all seemed to be idiots. The hotel was broken and our boat was missing. All and all, a great start. Shmuppie had not napped and I needed a drink. JewelrySlut was clinging to sanity as I started melting down.

The boat arrived, and luckily for us, it seemed to be piloted by a blind man. He crashed into the dock and then kinda drove around in circles for a while. We finally boarded and rode to the Contemporary. He promptly crashed into the dock again and drove in circles. I was fried.

We got to the hotel, and rode the monorail with no problems. We arrived at the Poly and all was good in the world. When we’re rich, we’ll stay there again. Until then, we’ll be gate crashers. We got drinks at the bar and ordered up a mess of appetizers for dinner. As we ate, Shmuppie started getting tired, so it was time to head out.

Now, the folly in my transportation plan is that you now either have to re-trace the trip (monorail to boat to walk) or walk to the other side of the hotel and catch a bus. We went the bus route. And promptly waited for like 25 minutes for a bus. I don’t know if it was just the schedule or if the boat dude was now a bus driver. But, we finally got to the car, didn’t get lost, got to the hotel and passed out in our tiny room.

One night at hotel and passes for the following day: $300
Dinner: $60
Coloring book to keep Shmuppie quiet as the food came: $8
Lunch for the ladies: $10

Thursday 6:30AM

RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING

Time to wake up. We had 8:20 reservations for breakfast in the Magic Kingdom. We had a character breakfast to go to and needed to haul ass. I showered and stated hauling bags to the car (about 57 miles away). The girls got dressed and we were off and on our way. I managed to not get lost and we drove up to the TTC for the monorail ride to the MK. (If you don’t like acronyms, please leave now). We parked and got on a monorail. It wouldn’t go. Now, it was just about 8:00 and I knew we’d be cutting it close for breakfast. I was tired, in need of coffee and annoyed. I needed to chill.

We got to the MK and went in. I rented Shmuppie a stroller and we hustled to the Crystal Palace for breakfast with Pooh and Friends. We arrived at 8:21 and were told to wait. After like 15 minutes of waiting, we went inside and Shmuppie lost her mind. Pooh, Eyeore, Piglet and Tigger were all there. She was just a little excited. This was why we’d decided to go to WDW with her. The money and the waiting no longer mattered.

We ate and had pictures taken with the characters. The buffet was quite large and filled with awful looking food. We stuck to basics and marveled at how much money they’d made off of us.

Overheard at the food line:
Little Girl (way too fat with greasy hair and bad teeth): Momma, can I squeeze them? (the characters)
Mom (The apple didn’t fall far from the tree): No. It’s hot in those costumes (HELLO!!! They’re real! Not people in costumes. Stop wrecking with the fantasy, Wyatt)
LG: But, they’re strangers. (Is it suddenly OK to squeeze random strangers)
I covered my groinal region and got my food.

We ate and got on our way. Through breakfast, I was scanning the park maps and laying out a strategy. JewelrySlut let me have it, knowing full well it would fall apart in like 4 minutes.

We left and headed to Fantasyland. We rode the Pooh ride and Shmuppie nearly freaked out. She announced that she didn’t like the dark. Not taking her seriously, we went on Snow White. Bad move. Bad move. She burst into tears. We got off the ride, calmed her down and rode the carousel. All was well again. Small World was a big hit, as was the 3-D Philharmagic movie. She got a real kick out of that. Peter Pan was so-so. I opted off of the teacups, not wanting to puke, and picked up some drinks.

Having “Done Fantasyland”, we went to see Mickey and his pals at the Toontown Fair. We did the photo ops and had a good time despite the lines and annoying people. At this point, we all needed a rest, so we took the train around the park. We had apples and bananas (liberated form the buffet earlier) and relaxed.

We then headed to Tomorrowland. Fantasyland was filling up and it was time to go. We rode the WedWay (We refuse to call it by its idiotic new name) and Shmuppie got scared. Ugh. JS and I REALLY wanted to ride Space Mountain so I concocted a plan. One would ride it while the other took Shmuppie on the Tomorrowland speedway. Then, we’d switch. I rode Space Mountain and loved it. I met the girls and we did the switcheroo. Shmuppie loved the cars. She drove us back and forth into the guide rail, giving me whiplash.

We wanted to do Buzz Light-year, but Shmuppie was none too keen on it. We decided to head off to Adventureland. We wanted to get there before the parade started at 3:00 so we didn’t get trapped in its path. We grabbed some lunch and caught the parade. Shmuppie watched it from atop my shoulders. It’s one of those things that Dads have to do.

We rode the Aladdin flying carpets and saw the Tiki Birds. The Haunted Mansion and Pirates were way out of the question. We were about to go on the Jungle Cruise when Shmuppie announced that she was done and didn’t want to go on any more rides.

OK. That was easy. Better that than a full meltdown on the Jungle Cruise.

We headed out to Main Street and engaged in a little commerce at a gift shop or 4. We trudged back to the monorail and got in the car for the ride to Crystal River.

It had really been a great day. The weather was wonderful and we’d all had a great time. Shmuppie was able to handle it and I behaved. It was hard at times, not setting a lunatic pace and plowing through the park. It was empty there and JewelrySlut and I could have done every ride like 4 times if we’d wanted. But, this trip was not for us. It was for Shmuppie and she’d had a ball.

Stroller: $10
Breakfast: $60
Drinks: $5
Lunch: $15
Souvenirs: $246 (I bought JewelrySlut some nice earrings as a “Sorry for never being home and missing our 10th Anniversary gift even though I know I don’t need to buy you anything because you’re the awesomest wife ever)

That’s $roughly $718 for 27 hours on property. That’s $26.44 per hour. $.44 per second.

It was worth every penny.

All the way up to Fantasyland

Shouldn’t I have something…anything to say? I should.

Alas, I don’t.

There’s enough going on for Jeebus’ sake, but haven’t we all heard me bitch about delays at airports and lumpy hotel beds? I know I’m tired of writing about it. Anyway…I made it through last week, got home semi-late on Thursday and got in late last night. I’m here until Wednesday and then I head to FLA. I’m officially excited.

JewelrySlut and I used to be serious Disney junkies. We honeymooned there, went again twice in 2000 (in a span of 3 months) and then went again in early 2003. It’s only 4 trips in 10 years, so we’re way behind a lot of the true junkies, but we spent a lot of the time in between collecting Disney-related shit. For us, a vacation was meant to be spent running around like crazy people seeing as many attractions as possible. Then, as we all know, St John happened and our, especially my, opinion of vacations changed. Until about 6 weeks ago, we had no idea when we’d be back at Disney.

But damned if I won’t be paying Mouse Tax in less than 48 hours. But it’s all good. We’re going to get to see Disney through Shmuppie’s eyes. That may be a good thing. Then again, considering that we think she has full blown Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, things could get ugly. Do I kid?

No.

I kid not. The kid’s got shit wrong with her. And she gets it straight from her mother. Sure, I like things to be neat and organized, but I now have the honor of living with 2 crazy women. Shmuppie has got it bad. If anything…and I mean ANYTHING is out of place or crooked or not exactly as expected, she melts down. I spend a lot of time telling her that things are going to be OK. Like when a magazine is on the floor. I guess its presence on the floor makes things bad. I don’t know. So, naturally, I leave things out of place all the time. It only used to upset JewelrySlut, but now I have 2 of them to make crazy.

So, you can imagine how bad it was last Friday. When I got home on Thursday, I noticed that things in the house looked odd. Still, I couldn’t put my finger on it. I had to ask. Then I was reminded, in nice language I’ll assure you, that we were getting new floors on Friday. Oh yea…kinda had forgotten about that one. How did I forget about a whole floor of the house getting new flooring? Read the first paragraph again. I’ll wait.

So, since this was going on, all the furniture had been stripped bare. The hutches and the wall unit were empty, and all of Shmuppie’s toys were gone. Oh yea…new floors. So, on Friday morning when the Pepes showed up (you remember the Pepes don’t you? Go look at the entries from when we moved. They even had a Miguel who lived in a Nextel) we herded Shmuppie downstairs and let them do their thing. The rest of the day was filled with noise and dust. Shmuppie was huddled on the couch hugging a stuffed animal. She claimed to be scared of the noise, but I’m sure the mess had something to do with it. I just went about my day, setting up the new computer and cheating my way through training. Yup…cheating at training. Then again, anyone who actually watches the little movies and doesn’t skip straight to the test, in my book, is an asshole.

Finally, the floors were done and we had to clean up. Sure, it was a mess, but we got all the work done in a few hours. The first floor is no longer carpeted. We have lovely looking laminate flooring. It’s amazing how good it looks. We’re very excited.

We spent Saturday morning reloading all the furniture and spent the rest of the weekend chilling.

Reason #4898679 to love Raleigh: Just 5 minutes from the house is a park with a fairly large lake. 2 weeks ago, we went over and walked around a bit before we realized that they rent boats. So, we rented a paddle boat and chased the ducks and ran away form the pirates. Sunday, we went back and got a boat for an hour. It was a beautiful day and we had a really good time. Of course, Little Miss OCD managed to flip out every time there was a leaf on the lake’s surface. Still, a good time. I even managed to sing my version of the Pirates of the Caribbean song.

Which brings us back to Disney. I hope Shmuppie has a good time. I’m saying now that we plan to let her take things at her own pace. It’s going to be hard not to revert to my old habits. I’m going to want to pick Shmuppie up, hand her to JewelrySlut and block for them as we plow through crowds. But, the first fat slob in spandex who stops right on front of us to adjust their wedge may be in for an earful. I’ll be sure to take a lot of pictures. And, I don’t plan to be subtle about any of them. So, if you’re ugly, sweaty, wearing cammo, wearing a John Deere shirt, or otherwise pissing me off, expect to see your picture on the internet.

You’ve been warned.

We sailed from the port of indecision

First off, please see the picture below.

At what point do we worry that Shmuppie may not be in for all that good of an education here in NC? And, I’m not talking about her gluing skills. More the teacher’s spelling skills.

JewelrySlut and I each had to stare for quite a while to figure out what exactly it was meant to mean.

Moving on.

So, while Shmuppie was napping, JewelrySlut was doing some cleaning in Shmuppie’s playroom. Nothing major; just organizing books and puzzles and weeding out some of the stuff that’s “too young” for her. I wandered in and asked what the plan was for all the stuff. JewelrySlut announced that she’d see if the Y wanted the stuff. I mentioned that we may want to save the puzzles…you know…in case.

Which brought us to a discussion we’ve been having a lot lately.

Do we have another one? Or is 1 enough? We honestly don’t know. We’re getting close to the “flip a coin” stage.

We can make arguments towards either side, and sometimes think that if we have a pro and con list that we already know the answer.

Pros:
Well…because we can (or so we think. My little soldiers may go bad or something)

We’ve done it once and could do it again. I mean, it’s not hard, there’s just a lot to do

We can afford it waaaaay easier than the first time around

We have a lot of stuff (assuming it’s a girl and I KNOW it would be because God has a sense of humor like that)

JewelrySlut is home all the time (no daycare)

Cons (and you thought I was a bad person before you read this. Allow me to lower the bar)
We want to go to St John in 2008 and a baby would crimp our style

We’re happy with just the 3 of us.

We enjoy the freedom to travel and think we could really show Shmuppie a lot more of the world than either of us ever got to see while growing up

I don’t know how we could do it in this house. I think it’s too small. JewelrySlut disagrees somewhat. Were we to buy a larger house, we’d be less able to afford it.

We each have siblings and don’t get a whole lot from the relationships (This goes towards the argument of “A kid needs a sibling”.) Plus, they’d be over 5 years apart and would likely have NOTHING in common (like me and my brother). Or the next one would be a retard like Quasi is.

While I can handle the early baby stuff like not sleeping and being shat upon, I’m not sure I have the patience to do the toddler years again. And, I’m OK saying that. I’m not as patient as I should be with Shmuppie and I’m not exactly happy about that. A lot of it, I think, comes from:

I travel too damn much. I think my job with RedCompany will always involve travel. Not like it was last year, but a week or 2 every month. I look at my pal in PA who has been on the road for 9 years now. His daughter is 13 and he sees her from Friday night until Sunday lunchtime. That’s it. Maybe the occasional week or 2 of vacation. I would rather not have another child than not be around to raise her (I’m certain it would be a girl).

JewelrySlut ain’t no Spring Chicken. I know, she’s only going to be turning 36 in a few weeks, and it’s not all that old, but it’s old enough. I look down the line and see her almost 60 by the time this new kid is out of the house and am not sure how I feel about that. Since I’ll be lucky to hit 65, that leaves us only a few years to enjoy ourselves again. A lot of this is my fault. I was an emotionally immature mess from 1996-2002. I was in no way whatsoever prepared to be a parent. We, according to our logic, got a late start. I don’t know…maybe I’m selfish, but I want time on the back end for me and JewelrySlut to enjoy ourselves.

Wow…that’s a long list of Cons, ain’t it? What does it say? I don’t know (although I think I know what it says). Part of me says, “Screw it. Let’s do it. It will be fine. St John will be there for ever and we’ll figure out the rest.”

I don’t know. The 3 of us are good together. I want to give my girls as much as I can. Fuck, I’m sending JewelrySlut to Ireland in a few weeks simply to avoid unpacking my parents’ new house. I want Shmuppie to be able to go places just for fun. Can I still do that if we have another child? Or, is that all the ranting of an incredibly immature selfish person? I don’t know.

I got to go. I may be depressing myself.

Let’s lighten the mood.

Poop.