Let's take a step back in time and let me tell you about what the fuzzy dog did within 12 hours of our leaving.........
On Wednesday, the day before we left, I came home from work and when I went to let Phil and Meri out of their crates, only Phil was in his crate. Oh fuck. A herd of elephants sounded from upstairs and Meri came bounding down the stairs to greet me. Instantly, there was a pit in my stomach. They didn't get their own #goatdogs hashtag for nothin'.
I let them out and head upstairs. The first thing I see in the middle of the loft floor is shredded paper. I inspected it for clues and came up with nothing. Together, the pieces read "Disney" but I couldn't recall where the paper was from, but my stomach dropped nonetheless. I continued with my detective work. I looked into the guest room and noticed there was something on the bed. Upon closer inspection, it was a coffee flavored GU energy gel. It was opened and leaking onto the blanket, but she must not have liked it, or she must have been enjoying it when I got home as most of it was still in the packet/on the bed. My stomach knotted up some more.
The night before, I had been motivated and I had packed ALL my running stuff into the suitcase so that way all I needed to add was my regular clothes and hygiene items, and it also meant that I was thinking about it, so if I forgot something I could put it in when I packed everything else. TL;DR: I had packed all my running gear and Meri had gotten into it. That included our costumes and energy gels and shoes and all the shit I needed.
I not-so-calmly sprint-walked to the master closet. I almost had a heart attack right then. On the floor was shredded bits of paper and the puzzle came together.. the paper in the loft had been the envelope our ticket vouchers and race waivers was in. At this point, all calmness was thrown from the window and I dropped to my knees in front of the suitcase, much like you'd see on TV when someone's significant other dies in the hospital and they are absolutely crushed when they are told.
Immediately, I checked the papers. Some teeth marks and some wet spots.. but that asshole #goatdog had miraculously not destroyed the most important things in the suitcase, only the envelope they had been in. I almost fell over in relief. Instead, I tried to stand up and realized that the carpet was sticky. #Goatdog had enjoyed a different energy gel in our closet and half the closet floor was sticky from it. Fortunately, not stained, but unappealingly sticky.
I did what anyone in a crisis would do, phoned a friend. When Teh MD-AR answered and said she'd call me right back, I said ok and impatiently started the laundry and removed the blanket from the guest bed since our dog sitter would need it.. and preferably clean.
The worst part of the entire situation was that when I had originally got the suitcase out on Tuesday night, I had told myself, "I should shut the closet door, just in case." Then I talked myself out of it, because the dogs are always in their crates when we are gone and they don't go in the closet when we are home. This was the 2nd or 3rd time I hadn't listen to my instincts that week and each time I was slapped in the face with the, "You should have listened to me!" later when my instinct was correct.
|At least she looks moderately shamed.|
PS. The gels didn't harm her. The one pictured above was pretty much organic sugars and she didn't eat enough of the coffee one to warrant much concern.
We finished packing after the laundry was finished on Wednesday night, went to bed later than we had planned on, and got up at 0400 on Thursday morning to be at the airport by 0530 for our 0730 flight to Atlanta, then landed in Anaheim at 1145. The flights weren't overly miserable, there was an annoying child from CHS to ATL, but ATL to SNA was naptime for both Teh German and I. We did meet several people while we were waiting on our flight out of ATL who were wearing their runDisney or Mickey gear and after chatting, we discovered that we were all running. I had found my people.
|44 pounds! This is pretty much a record. I'm almost always overweight for my luggage.. ANDDD Teh German and I were sharing a suitcase. #packing #likeaboss|
After we picked up our luggage, it was time to fetch the rental car. I didn't realize our rental company was off-site, but it was only a small bump in the road. We went to where the shuttles were and we realized that our shuttle was a Suburban and it was going to be completely loaded down. I didn't care if we were crammed like sardines, because we needed to get back to the airport to pick up Teh MD-AR when she landed within the next 30 minutes. I might have been in the minority with that mindset.
There was an older man in our shuttle who became extremely disgruntled after the shuttle driver informed us that when we open the back to get our luggage out, we need to be careful because the green suitcase with the wheels might fall out because "those things are designed with those wheels so they don't stay put." I had to stop myself from saying, "They are supposed to be designed to roll around, so I think they are designed pretty well." The older man, who owned the green suitcase, became very argumentative and said that it should have never been packed that way in the back and I tried to soothe the situation by explaining there wasn't really much room and we did the best we could getting all the luggage to fit. Then the shuttle driver sputtered on with, "I'm just trying to warn you. Blah blah blah," which was only serving to piss off the man even more. The man muttered about a bigger shuttle, less passengers, and finally I very obviously changed the subject and said, "Is anyone else here going to Disney?"
We were obviously going to Disney. I had been wearing my ears since we got to the CHS airport. The other 2 couples said they were going to Disney and one of them was actually running as well. With the subject changed, the man just mumbled quietly to himself and his wife and she just looked embarrassed. It was the longest 5 minute car ride of my life. When we arrived, I jumped out before the idiot driver could open the back and let the suitcase topple to the ground like a complete buffoon. He started to open the hatch and I told him to wait while I crouched under the door to hold the suitcase up so it didn't fall, the moron was just going to let the damn thing fall on the ground... Once the back was fully open, the driver took out the suitcase I was propping up and put it on the ground. Nothing was damaged, the lady pressed some cash in my hand to give to the driver as a tip since she wanted to avoid the wrath of her husband.
We were able to get our rental car without incident and headed back to the airport to wait on Teh MD-AR to arrive and collect her luggage. With Teh MD-AR in tow, we headed to lunch at In-N-Out Burger, since it's a CA staple that Teh German and Teh MD-AR had never experienced before.
|84°F in the middle of the day? Yes, please, thank you very much, MOOAARRRRR.|
After hangar was fought off, we went by Trader Joe's to pick up some snacks and bottled water for the weekend, then we were off to our hotel to check in. Check in was at 2, which was perfect for us since we arrived soon after. We moved our stuff in the room, unpacked the stuff we didn't want too wrinkly and checked out costume pieces all together (since I had some and Teh MD-AR had some, we hadn't seen our costumes all together), and headed to the expo to pick up our race packets and to check out the merchandise for sale.
Instead of bringing everything back to the hotel, we brought our backpacks and just carried whatever we got at the expo with us. I picked up a runDisney pin and we took some silly photos, but I ended up coming out mostly unscathed. The MD-AR bought some items, but once we were shopped out, we got directions to the monorail into Disneyland.
|Mickey and Minnie topiaries. Awww yeah.|
|We met Goofy at the expo|
|Blue carpet, red carpet...|
Either way, the carpet was rolled out for us!
(Teh MD-AR's photo)
The only problem with entering the parks through the monorail was that we didn't get to come in at main street and I was directionally challenged for the rest of the day. It's hard for me to orient if I don't know which orientation I'm at.. and well, I'm directionally challenged to begin with, so there's that. Fortunately, both Teh German and Teh MD-AR know this about me and were very patient with me. I went on a character hunt to find Peter Pan, but we had missed him and instead we back tracked some to ride our first Disneyland ride: it's a small world.
Disneyland (DL) it's a small world is much better than at Walt Disney World (WDW). The ride is the same, a meandering boat ride "around the world" but at DL, you will find hidden Disney characters along the route. It's like finding hidden Mickey's, but way more obvious. Sadly, our first ride was where I got my first bad taste of DL. When we stopped to take the selfie above, the Cast Member releasing the boats in the line we were in (the non-existant line where there was no one before or after us as far as the eye could see) saw us. We snapped a quick photo then continued to the boats. As we approached, the people were just getting settled in the boat and he closed the gates so we couldn't board with them. He then said to us, "That's what happens when you stop to take selfies." Uhhh, excuse me? It's not like we had to wait for the next boat for more than 20 seconds, but his shitty, completely unmagical attitude, almost set me off. Fortunately for him, my excitement and getting settled in the next boat distracted me from giving him an earful. Keep your opinions to yourself about my selfie decisions, I don't give a shit who you are, especially if I didn't do anything to affect anyone else by taking my selfie.
Our next ride was the tea cups for Teh MD-AR. While she doesn't love rides where her feet leave the ground, spinning rides are her jam. Please see proof below.
|Isn't this seriously the best picture ever?|
I'm not sure I could have captured more joy.
We were really just wandering around the park with no real goal in mind, other than eat dinner and watch the parade and fireworks before the park closed. I had done some research before we left to see what were the "must ride" rides and since we had arrived at the park so late, most of the rides had pretty long waits and we didn't want to wait. And by pretty long, I mean 50 minutes max. Compared to the WDW "long" waits of 60+ minutes, we were being snobs.
We aimed for rides with short to no lines that Teh MD-AR would ride with us, so we rode the carousel, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Pinocchio. We then realized that the structure we were looking at was the castle as I was pointing out that I hadn't seen the castle since we arrived. We were looking right at it. Let's just say that Sleeping Beauty's castle was very underwhelming. Please take into account that Cinderella's castle is massive. You can see Cinderella's castle from almost everywhere in Magic Kingdom at WDW. This was not true of Sleeping Beauty's castle at DL. The front was a bit better than the back at least.
|Walking through the castle selfie!|
|Sleeping Beauty's castle all decked out in the 60th anniversary gear.|
I can't remember when, but we also rode the Matterhorn Bobsleds, having been told that was one of the original DL rides. It sure felt like it too. My head was bounced around like a pinball because the track was so rough. Nonetheless, check in the box.
We were starting to get hungry and I checked the app to see where we could get reservations within the next hour and Cafe Orleans popped up. This was one of the highly suggested places to eat in DL, so we all agreed that we would eat there. Our server was the most magical person we encountered since coming through the gates. She suggested that we only order 1 Monte Cristo sandwich to split between the 3 of us since they were HUGE and we had already told her we were ordering the beignets for dessert. Excellent advice. She delivered the sandwich already quartered for us for easier eating.
|Quarter sized piece.|
The food was really good, but heavy since everything was fried. After we finished dinner, Teh German and I headed towards Thunder Mountain since the wait was under 30 minutes while Teh MD-AR wandered around the French Quarter for some shopping. After we finished our ride, we met up and headed towards Main Street to find a spot to watch the parade.
|Club 33 door (photo by Teh MD-AR)|
We made it to Main Street and both sides of the road were already jam packed. We did manage to find a spot and we went all the way back to the rope so we weren't the late-coming-assholes who blocked someone else's view who had been waiting for a while. Apparently, we were still unacceptable to the 2 girls (I'd say women, but women don't act like this) in front of us. I was chattering away about some pins I'd bought as I was putting them on my lanyard and I noticed the girls in front of me whispering and one jerk her head back towards us, obviously talking about us. Look, I'll be honest, I've done/do this behavior, so I can recognize when it's happening to me.
I got quiet for a minute then said, "Some people are really annoying." One of the girls started nodding, the other girl having not said anything, I knew she was nodding at what I said, so I then said, "I can see you, don't worry." Yeah, she shut that shit down quick. Fortunately, the Paint the Night parade started within the next 10 minutes. I was simmering still, but taking photos helped distract me from my rage.
|The Cllllawwwwww aliens from Toy Story|
|Elsa and Anna|
|Donald Duck, who was acting extra wacky|
After the parade ended, there was an announcement that the fireworks would be taking place in 15 minutes. We decided to burn the time shopping on Main Street. So, sooo, sooooooo worth it. While we were perusing, I checked out the mugs section and I FINALLY found the Sully mug I've been looking for since 2014 to go with my Mike Wazowski mug. I had even looked online and hadn't found one. I also bought the Tigger mug since those 2 characters completed our set. I also bought a few pins (because I have no self-restraint). The thing about shopping at Disney is that you have to buy it when you see it because the next store may not have the same items. This was 100% true about the Sully mug. I didn't find it anywhere else in any of the stores we went to the rest of the time we were in CA.
We did run out of the store when there was an announcement made, only to be disappointed that the fireworks were cancelled due to wind, and they played the last 2 minutes of the light show on the buildings of Main Street. Normally the light show is at least 10 minutes, so we were also gipped out of that too, but still, I cried magic tears within those 2 minutes.
As I was checking out, I noticed a Cast Member had a Pete's Dragon pin and I traded for it since Pete's Dragon is Teh German's favorite Disney movie. I gave it to him in the store before we left and he put it on his hat. #bestgirlfriendever
After we were finished shopping, we headed back to the hotel to get some sleeps. We had picked up free bus passes as the expo so we utilized those to save our aching feet. It probably took us around the same amount of time to wait and ride the bus as it would have to walk, so it panned out nicely. After getting settled in, it was all ZZZZZ's.