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Carol Perkins: Swearing off the Happiest Place on Earth

A visit to Disney World was a killer.
The next earlier column: Carol Perkins: Life lesson - it's not the seat, it's the principle

By Carol Perkins

Somewhere inside, I found the strength. The courage. The stamina. Deep in the bottom of my soul, I knew I had to carry on, move forward, and forge ahead. It occurred to me as I was in the middle of Disney's Animal Kingdom with not a dry thread on my body or a dry hair on my head that a stroke was possible. "Your face is red," Guy said. "I think I might explode," I replied. Even with a wet towel around the back of my neck, I had never felt so miserable. What I thought would hinder me (my knee) didn't bother me, thanks to a shot before I left, but the heat nearly "did me in."

This was the trip our third grandchild had been waiting to happen for a year and one for which Guy and I had been in training and conditioning mode. We would first go to Legoland (3 days but one would have been enough), then to the Kennedy Space Center, and from there to Disney's Animal Kingdom (stayed at the lodge for three nights) and end at Disney's Hollywood Studio.

We knew the Disney part would be a "killer" because we had been there with the entire family four years prior when we were in better shape. We once again walked the same paths, saw the same animals, and stood in the same lines (although I caught on to Fast Pass+ quickly). Joseph remembered very little of his last trip, so it was all new to him. The memories were too fresh for us.

We spent the day going from one area of the park to another. "I'm not riding that," Joseph, the cautious one, declared as I steered him toward "The Dinosaur." "It's simulated," I said, urging him forward. He had ridden a roller coaster once at his cousins' insistence, so he didn't trust any of us. "Look at those little kids riding this," I said in my argument. He didn't care about those kids, but finally gave in. That ride jerked us around, shook our heads, and was nothing more than a mini roller coaster. He said, "I tried to tell you I had watched the video." I apologized.

Even though I wanted to get the "good" out of every dollar we'd spent on the tickets, I praised the Lord for a storm that moved in late afternoon, pushing us back to the lodge where we stayed until time for dinner. This storm had shut down all major events at the park and closed the pool at the lodge so we missed three main events. Joseph worked on his Lego set, Luke (who joined us from Austin so J.C. would have a buddy at the park) stuck his head in his phone while Guy and I collapsed. When we were able to speak, Guy said, "If Noah (the last grandchild in line for a trip) wants to go to Disney, you'll have to go without me."

That's what he said the last time we visited the Happiest Place on Earth!

This story was posted on 2018-06-13 17:26:16
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