Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Universal Studios Day Two: Friday, March 18

I woke up at 6:30 and was out of the room and looking for coffee by 6:40.  Unfortunately the food court/diner didn't open until 7:00 and there was a line, so I went to Starbucks and paid $3 for a non-refillable cup of mediocre coffee and drank it outside.  I then wandered back to the room and saw that Mom was awake, but she told me she was going to go back to sleep if she could, so read quietly for a while.  Eventually, I got my sunscreen and makeup on, pulled my hair into a ponytail and grabbed my phone and my camera.  I sent a quick text to my brother, and found out that he and the girls were headed down for breakfast, so I met them there.

Both girls had chocolate chip pancakes, since they'd had waffles for breakfast every day since Sunday.  I had scrambled eggs, potatoes and sausage gravy, and Captain Crossword had an omelet.  After breakfast we walked to the end of the parking lot and caught the shuttle to the park.  The ride was about 5 minutes, and then we walked about a mile to get to security.  After that we had to walk through the City Center section of the park, which does not require admission and is probably about another half mile long.

Finally we were in the park!  I loved the Minion recruiting posters:

And then the Minions ride, which started at Gru's house:

Many more pictures after the jump!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Universal Studios Day One: Thursday, March 17

Last Wednesday, I came home from work, threw the dog in the car and took her to the kennel.  Then I went to bed early so I could get up at 5:30 Thursday morning, drink my coffee, get dressed, and get to the airport in time for a 9:30 flight.  At this point, my caloric intake for the day consisted of two cups of coffee with milk & sweetener.

The flight to Philly was on time leaving and on time landing, but I still had fewer than 30 minutes to get from the terminal in which I arrived to the one from which my plane was departing.  I made it and boarded, only to run out of battery life on my netbook.  So I tried to nap until we landed in Orlando.

After a difficult experience picking up my brother and nieces at the airport, Mom and Dad asked me to find my own way from the airport to the hotel.  Unlike Disney World, Universal Studios does not have a shuttle from the airport to their hotels, but I went with the one they recommended and had a decent ride for less than the cost of a taxi.  We were staying at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal.

When I got to the hotel at 3ish, they told me that since Mom and I forgot to change my initial reservation from starting on 3/16 to starting on 3/17, they rented the room to someone else.  Then, they wouldn't let me stay in one of the remaining rooms unless I paid off the balance on both rooms for 3 nights.  So I called Mom and had a meltdown on the phone, then went to the restaurant and had an overpriced and misspelled lunch.  Ceasar salad, anyone? :-p

By the time the family pulled into the hotel parking lot, overheated and exhausted, I was more or less over my fit of pique, and after we'd all checked in and hauled luggage to our rooms (I shared with Mom & Dad), Dad took a nap and Mom and I went to the pool with Captain Crossword and the princesses.  The hotel pools were both very fancy, and the girls had a few rides on the slide before they decided they'd rather play Hop on Pop and try to drown my brother. :-D

After we were all cooled off and calmed down, we went and had dinner at the "diner" in the hotel.  It's much too big to be a diner, but it had the decor, there were hamburgers available at the food court, and the four giant TV screens on the walls showed a loop of NBC and Universal logos and TV commercials from the 1950s and 1960s.  Mom and I split a Margherita pizza and then my niece and I both had the lemon tart for dessert.  Princess STEM loves lemon and lemon flavored things as much as I do (or maybe even more).  I had a quick shower and plugged in the netbook and my phone for charging and was out like a light by 10.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Downs and ups

Wednesday was Call Day, which is the one day of the month when I play bailiff, and although I've gotten much better at it in the last year, it's still a little stressful.  Then I had a co-worker have a hissy fit at me (I think as a stand-in for the rest of the world) and give me work that she didn't feel she could do impartially.  So I fell off the non-smoking wagon. :-(

Thursday was an appointment with my regular doc to see if she'd be willing to take over prescribing my Lexapro.  My neurologist was responsible for it, but it costs $500 to see him, and even if I only pay $60 of it, add in driving time, cost of gas, cost of parking and it adds up quickly.  In addition, the county is self-insured and I'd like not to be the straw that broke the county's back.  Dr. J was willing to prescribe Lexapro for me, but when I asked about an increase, she said I'm at the maximum safe dosage.  So she put me on 5 milligrams of Wellbutrin, and asked me to come back in 6 weeks.

I went in to work, did the Orders from Call Day, which the judge has to sign, and came home and slept.  I'm not proud of that bout of self-pity, but it happened and now it's over and I'm moving on.  Moving on was helped immeasurably by a phone call from my friend Doc, who has been my friend since second grade--she's getting married, and she graciously acceded to my demand to be the clerk who signs her marriage license.

Three of us had drinks after work Friday night and had fun.  I'm still looking forward to Universal with Captain Crossword and the Princesses, and meeting Jen and John from Cakewrecks, and yes, my friend Donna backed up the wagon so I can climb back on.  So life is far from awful, and I have many, many, lots of things to which I look forward.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Leftovers and unremembered dreams

Mom and Dad are leaving tomorrow for Florida, so yesterday when I was at their house, Mom gave me a bunch of perishables.  Since the sour cream absolutely had to be used up first, I started with a batch of picnic potatoes, or as Sherri named them, Potatoes of Doom:

The ham adds the protein these needed, and because I am a lazy Jammies, or perhaps because I got all the laundry done, the sheets changed and made a quick trip to the grocery store before I ran out of spoons, I didn't have a veggie.  I drank 4 oz. of grapefruit juice and called it a complete meal.

Dessert will be something I've fallen hard for:

Lemon Peeps!  This was a total surprise.  I blame their purchase on The Impulsive Buy, but they're my new addiction because they're very good.  Ordinary Peeps are far too sweet, but the lemon perfectly balances the sweetness.

I did of course take a nap today, because it's Sunday.  I woke up with a frustrating awareness of having had VERY odd dreams but not being able to recall them.  It may be because I am always unsettled when my mom is out of town.  I miss her a great deal.

Well, it's time to set up the coffee for tomorrow morning, start the dishwasher and settle in for the finale/Christmas special of Downton Abbey.