Keith's dad (who's house-sitting for us and watching the dogs and cat) drove us to the airport. Jane and Tyler were not there yet, and after calling them we decided to meet at the gate, since they were running behind.
Boarding time came and they were still not there. Keith was upset, and I was worried. Just before the doors to the plane closed, they made it. They had trouble with their luggage check-in and it took a while for them to get through...but they made it, to our relief.
The flights themselves (from Seattle to Atlanta and Atlanta to Orlando) were uneventful. When we got to our resort (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge), we found out 3 things:
The online check-in system is full of bugs
All the hotels at Disney World are sold out (which is unbelievable for late August)
We didn't get the connecting rooms we had hoped for (and requested)
We did eventually get to our rooms (though Jane was moved to another room, at her request, the following day). By the time we made it to the room we had barely enough time to get our Owner’s Lockers and quickly change for dinner.
We had dinner at Boma, a buffet restaurant at the resort. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is an African-themed resort and the buffet reflected it. Bear in mind that calling Boma a buffet restaurant is like calling the Hope diamond a pretty rock. It is, in my mind, one of the best restaurants on the planet. And they have, in addition to all the other amazing dishes, the Best. Mushroom Soup. Anywhere. (I happen to love a good mushroom soup.)
Because this is Keith’s birthday trip (his birthday is in September, so he gets his Disney birthday trip in August a lot), he asked for and received a Birthday Button from the front desk. He loves wearing it. We always make sure at Disney that restaurant cast members know it’s not his actual birthday, and they never seem to care. They give him a birthday celebration anyhow. So far this trip he’s had 3, and counting. Who wouldn’t want to wear the button, under these circumstances???
So he wore the button at Boma, and at the end of the meal was presented with a special treats platter with the words “BOMA Re A Ipela” written in chocolate powder on it. To my shame, I forget which African language it’s in, but it means “Boma celebrates you,” according to our server.
We finished the meal on a high note and headed back to our room. Keith and Tyler discussed the possible advantages and cataclysmic climate consequences of complete ocean desalinization all the way to the elevators. Because they can be real nerds, in addition to typical boys, sometimes.
Once in the room, I got our GardenGrocer order delivered from Bell Services, including the multipack of pocket tissue packets (cue foreboding music here). Then we went to sleep. Despite Keith’s best efforts to bounce of the walls, he was that excited!
I woke up at 2AM to finish some last minute packing (and because I was too excited to sleep much, as usual). At 3AM, I went into Keith's room with his monorail T-shirt. I woke him up. (I told him the day before we were going to Portland by train, because I wanted to make sure he packed himself some stuff to keep himself entertained for several hours.) The conversation went something like that: "Keith, wake up. And wear this shirt. It's appropriate for where we're going." (Yawn) "OK." Takes shirt, glances at it, puts it on. (Me, disappointed) "Uh, OK, finish getting dressed." (Yawn) "OK." Then he catches a glimpse of the clock. "Hey, it's only 3AM!" "Yup, flight leaves at 6." (Blank stare) "What flight?" "Look again at your shirt." (Looks down)"Yeah, we're going on the train, right?" "Are you sure?" (The light dawns) "WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY???" I wish I had my camera for that, really.
When not planning my next Walt Disney World vacation, I write about medicine and science for various publications. I'm a bookworm and have recently fallen in love with knitting. I am owned by 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a 12 year old son who loves Disney as much as I do.