We decided to take a break from the pavement stomping park adventures. Nikos and I headed downstairs after breakfast to get some much needed laundry done. I gave Nikolas and Elizabeth three directions. Don’t leave the room or allow Katerina to escape, don’t answer the door, and don’t watch anything scary on TV. They had the nerve to ask if we would pay them! The hotel laundromat wasn’t so outrageously priced, two bucks per wash and then dry.
I immediately became friends with an Australian woman, and then Nikos chatted it up with her boyfriend. They were traveling all over America for a month. We compared our countries and Jenny told me she could understand my accent more than any American she’d conversed with. We gave them plenty of advice and I loved her account of when they had eaten at the Outback, especially how her waiter had put on a fake Australian accent. Talking with the Australians passed the wash load time, and I realized we were fortunate as quite a crowd had developed, waiting for an available washing machine. Erik, my brother called, he was worried about his son’s possible allergies. Once I got everything in the dryer, I went ahead upstairs to be with the kids and finish talking to Erik. The kids were going crazy over a Brazilian info commercial about butts. This Brazilian cheeseball went on for who knows how long the kids watched it over his new butt video that of course worked miracles.
We needed to check out by 11a.m., so we gathered and cleaned and went on our way, just a mile over to Disney’s Coronado Springs. The feeling of having all of our laundry done is always exuberant and promises I’ll be in a good mood for at least two hours. That would have been the case had I not found Nikolas’ legs and squirming feet kickeing out at the lobby fountain while Nikos was checking us in. His arms were fully in the fountain, shirt getting drenched, while he collected foreign coins. It was so humiliating, as I scolded him and explained why he just can’t do that! That nut asked if he could just get the one I made him throw back in, that appeared to be real gold!
There was a Mexican food buffet, and we stuffed ourselves like enormous burritos for lunch. The carnitas with a tomatillo sauce were tasty, but the rest seemed processed. The kids loved the churros, and I was too stuffed for dessert, so I asked for some to go. The waitress told me that they didn’t give out to go boxes. I was staring at two desserts that I would not abandon, even if I stayed all day and night at that table! I made Elizabeth get me a paper towel from the bathroom and I wrapped my desserts, Grandma Sharp style. My precious grandma used to wrap even three french fries after our dinner at Frisch’s Big Boy. She was the sweetest!
The front desk clerk told Nikos that we had a “garden view”, so when we went to our room, our “garden view” held a few cacti, some bushes and the parking lot. The rooms were a little dark for my taste and even a little aged. Nikos and Katerina both took naps, and I began feeling ancy and even a little melancholic. This spread to Nikolas and Elizabeth until they were jumping around, playing with the sliding doors, arguing, and finally getting grounded. We got our swimsuits on and woke up the two sleepyheads. The pool was nice, resembling Mayan ruins in a Disney sort of way. There were pool activities for the kids but mine just wanted to swim. I allowed the kids to keep getting free refills of rootbeer with our one and only Epcot cup. I managed a whistle from the lifeguard, and not the kind that I haven’t heard in fifteen years since I’m now scary in my swimsuit, rather to get my cup away from the pool. Nikos’ presence was hit or miss since he was often in the hot tub or back in the room due to the now questionable lunch.
Early evening, we decided to take the Disney shuttle bus to Downtown Disney. It’s like a human-sized ant farm, buzzing with manic activity. We walked all over the area and enjoyed several places where musicians were playing, and even watched a dance team perform. Katerina and Nikolas danced without inhibition. Elizabeth has officially surpassed that stage. The hi-light of Nikolas’ evening was when a guitarist came over, jammed with him while Nikolas danced, and the guy handed over a blue guitar pick. Nikolas could have won a rare coin book, and he wouldn’t have been as excited as he was at that moment! I managed to avoid Lego Land by promising the kids we’d go on our next trip up to MN.
All of the sit down eateries were so jam-packed we would have waited until midnight to get a table. We found an express Wolfgang Puck place, and ordered at the counter while the kids snatched a table with three seats. The table still hadn’t been cleared and was dirty, but it was all there was. That fast food dinner cost us nearly $70, and that’s with ice waters! We’d ordered tortilla soup for Nikolas and Elizabeth, and three pizzas since they were small. Midway through our meal, Katerina needed to go to the bathroom. This was no easy feat with maneuvering through the congestion and even finding it, as it was in a different dining area. I was uptight and grouchy because I have boundary issues when it comes to crowds. So when I came back and my pizza was gone, I threw a bonafide fit! Nikos kept apologizing and said that the waiter had taken it and had the nerve to blame Nikolas for eating the rest of the other pizza, so why did Nikos still have food in his mouth?! Elizabeth was sure to point out that she had only eaten the crust.
I couldn’t wait to get out of that place, and on the bus back to our hotel. It was getting late, nearly after nine. Nikos went into the gift shop and got Nikolas’ Epcot ball, which had been delivered from the Epcot gift shop. He was so excited and I had to allow him to play it for at least a few minutes. It was cute. I put Katerina in her Minnie Mouse pajamas and sang “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” when we cuddled in bed. Finally, I dished out my threats that we wouldn’t go to Magic Kingdom unless they went to sleep. My two long-anticipated desserts were tasteless even the strawberries were void of any flavor.