Author's note:

Welcome to
Trip Reports!

We have made a lot of friends on the internet, on a number of boards. Unfortunately not all our good friends are welcome everywhere. That raises a dilemma: where to post trip reports where all our friends can enjoy them?

I need to post where all the people who have been there for me, when I needed them, can share the stories. So for now that will be at the Lodgeboards and here.

I ask that people respect my rights as an author by please referring people to where I put my work rather than copying them.

Trip Reports at the Lodge




LY/MI, Chapter 3, It’s not snow!

Bright and early the next day came ‘bright and early’. I got up and noticed my skin seemed a little blotchy. I thought maybe I was getting too much Florida sun and I needed to up the sun block usage.

I put on sun block then got dressed, because I had heard or read somewhere that UV rays can be penetrated by some lighter colored clothes.

Okay, maybe it was a commercial or advertisement for laundry soap, but I have no interest in skin cancer and you can never be too careful.

Del watched me do this with a puzzled look on his face.

“So, what are you going to do in a couple hours? Go into the ladies room and strip so you can re-apply? Hey! Can I go in too?” Del asked me while I was getting dressed.

Whatever, okay, maybe it is a little silly.

We called next door to check on the kids who were up, dressed and ready to head over to MGM and go on the Tower of Terror. Curt had never been on it and Nikki was dying to get him on.

He was nervous about it and Nikki kept describing it. The more she described it, the more freaked out I got. There really was no reason for that; I had no intentions of getting on it.

I opened the door to our room and immediately slammed it shut again. There HAD to have been a recent nuclear blast out there.

“What’s the matter?” Del asked me. I stepped aside and he opened the door.

“Nuuggghh!” He sputtered, dropping his body forward, struggling to hold himself up by the door handle.

How can it be 8:00 in the morning and already be 80+ degrees? Is this some kind of joke? If it was that hot now, what the hell was it going to be like around lunch? Opening that door was like walking into an oven, if in fact, you could actually do that.

I have heard stories about people spontaneously combusting, I bet it was because they were in Florida in the summer.

We gathered the kids and went out to the van. I opened the door, leaned in and turned the key. There was no way I was getting into that death trap before the air conditioner got going.

Several hours later (okay, minutes but it was hot standing in the parking lot) the air conditioner was fully functioning and we were off to MGM.

Once we were in the parking lot of MGM, I took my picture of the sign. Curt, who was new to the ‘picture of the sign’ thing, kept walking and almost missed his close up. I had to call him back.

My guess is that he didn't think we were serious about taking pictures of the signs. If it hadn’t been so hot, I would have let him take the grand tour of the parking lots looking for the van.

While we were on the tram, Curt was expressing some concerns about the Tower of Terror. Commando Nikki, in her sweet, loving way was letting Curt know that everything would be okay.

Del stepped up to the turnstiles, put in his ticket (an AP, in case you forgot) and proceeded to squeeze the hell out of the machine with his fingers. “Sir,” The ticket lady said “You just need to place your fingers in the meter. No need to apply pressure.”

“No, I’ve tried that. Look, my fingers are crooked! It never works for me!” Del held up his fingers to show the ticket lady.

“Just place them in the machine, it will work.” She said.

“No, I’m telling you…”Del started to say when the ticket lady backhanded him in the arm and said “Just DO IT!”

No, I’m not kidding. She really backhanded him.

The kids and I were rolling on the floor, laughing our butts off. (AKA, ROTFLMBO)

Nikki and I declared our love for her and she let us take a picture of her.

Once we were in the gates, with Del rubbing his arm like he was seriously injured, we followed the mob of people down the street.

I was heading over to the Rock ‘n Rollercoaster to get fast passes while Nikki dragged Curt on Tower of Terror. Curt really didn't want to do it, problem was, he is in LOVE.

Curt tried to reason with Nikki, I heard him desperately trying to get out of going on that ride. He just wanted to wait at the exit for her but she wasn’t going to have that. To love Commando Nikki is to go on the crazy, scary rides.

I tried to help him out. I told Nikki how mean she was for making that poor boy do something he really didn't want to do. I told Curt if he didn't want to go on it, he didn't have too. He could hang out at the exit with me.

He decided to go on the ride; I’m not sure how to take that.

Nikki started begging me to go on it with them, even threatened to try and drag me over there.

I sat on the ground and held up my arms. “Go ahead; give it your best shot.” Even if she could manage and drag my chubby ass over there, I knew there was a gate at the entrance that I could wrap my legs around.

And trust me, I would have.

Sorry, falling isn’t fun. Unless they have changed something about falling since I was a kid, I have no interest in doing it. I filled my quota on falling when I was growing up. I was the only girl out of five kids and I fell a lot.

If and when I fall as an adult, it will be an unplanned event. Why spoil the surprise?

I fell off bicycles, skateboards, roller-skates, dirt bikes, out of trees, off a roof and a swing set, out of a car (twice) and off the hood of a car. (If you’re sitting on the hood of your brothers car and he tells you to get off, don’t stick you tongue out at him. He will throw the car into reverse and gravity takes over from there.)

No, I hate heights and I hate falling. I am not going on the Tower of Terror.

Neither was the crew. By the time they got to it, the wait time was already over an hour. People who are from New England cannot stand in this kind of heat to wait for a ride for that long. They drop dead. You don’t see it happen because we know better.

The only people who are standing in line for over an hour to get on a ride are from Texas, Arizona or Florida.

Unable to plunge from 13 stories after all, I changed my fast pass plans from the Rock ‘n Rollercoaster to the Tower of Terror, (Am I the only one who sees the word terror here?) we decided to go find some breakfast.

We found a little shop that sells croissants, muffins, turnovers and salmon sandwiches. “What is that?” Del asked the girl behind the counter and before she could answer him, he figured it out. “Fish? Who eats fish for breakfast? Em, did you see this? It’s fish. Robin, Curt, Nikki come over here and look at this, they are selling fish for breakfast. Ever heard of anyth…Hey, lady! Come here, look at the fish.”

Find Nemo, honey?

We took our pastries, minus the fish, outside to eat. While we were eating a small flock of about 6 tiny birds landed on the ground and waited.

I tossed them a tiny bit of my croissant because they we tiny birds.

8 more tiny birds came to see what was going on. I tossed a little more of my croissant.

That quickly got out of hand. 47 tiny birds ended up eating my breakfast.

That was okay, I was too hot to eat. I only got ½ way though my orange juice when that started to taste sour.

Unable to use their fast passes for the Tower of TERROR just yet, we wandered over to the other side of the park. I felt it was sun block re-apply time, so we stopped to re-apply.

I kept my clothes on, but the girls did a little boogie to the music in the background.

No matter where you are in Disney, there is always background music. They want you to do a little boogie.

We slowly walked over to the other side of the park, pausing to take in the sites:

And found that there was absolutely no line for Star Tours.

Del, Nikki and Em threw their hands in the air and cheered as they walked quickly (bordering on a run, but we don’t do that, it upsets the CM’s) towards the entrance. Curt took a few seconds to figure out what was going on.

Curt eventually catches on to our antics and joins in but I have a sneaking suspicion that his family doesn't do Disney like we do.

And like I have said before, if something doesn’t have a line, you get in it and you are excited about it, no matter what it is.

While the crew went to ride Star Tours I walked down to get fast passes for Lights, Motor, Extreme stunt show. It was a ghost town back there; I only passed one lady on my walk over. I half expected to see a tumble weed roll down the street.

The best part of these fast passes is that you can get another fast pass for a different ride about 20 minutes later.

I walked back up to the exit of Star Tours to wait and sat in the well shaded smoking area to upload my pictures and smoke a cigarette. I was sitting on a bench that was directly next to an ashtray.

A short time later a woman came into the smoking area pushing a baby carriage and holding a little girls hand. They sat on the bench next to mine.

I really didn't pay too much attention to her, until I looked up from my phone and she was staring at me.

“I have a baby.” She said to me very matter-of-factly.

I leaned up a little to get a look into the stroller, but from where I was sitting I couldn't tell if it was a boy or girl or if perhaps, it was a stolen baby. Why would someone sit there and state the obvious like that?

“Yes, very cute.” I said but I was really confused where this conversation was going.

“Do you have to do that here?” She snapped at me.

Do what? Upload my pictures? I had five bars; it seemed to be a good place to do it.

Oh, hang on. Is it my cigarette that is a problem? I leaned back, pointed to the ‘this is the only place you can smoke’ sign and said “Yeah, it’s the only place I can do this.”

She looked completely embarrassed and apologized. It was hot, she was dragging a couple of little kids around, and it wasn’t worth getting bent out of shape over.

Besides, someday I will be a non-smoker too and plan on being a humongous pain in the ass about it.

My cell phone rang and I had to excuse myself from the smoking police. It was my mom. “I’ve been watching the news and didn't see any reports of any planes going down, so I have to assume you guys made it there in one piece.”

If I am in Disney, you have to call me. Something happens to my brain (it could be the heat) and I can’t be expected to remember there is a real life world beyond the gigantic welcome to Disney World sign. Okay?

Del came out of the ride first, followed by Em. They jumped on the Star Wars thing to play while we waited for Nikki and Curt to come out of the gift shop and I finished my call from my mom.

When Curt and Nikki finally joined us, they wanted to go over to ‘Sounds Dangerous’. Curt couldn't believe it was one attraction we had never been in.

I really don’t have any idea why we hadn’t. I think one year it was in rehab, but other than that I have no excuse for missing this attraction. If you have never been in this attraction, you should at least once, it’s pretty cool.

I mean that in two ways.

It was gloriously air conditioned. We went in, sat down in the seats, put on our headsets and Em was stretching like a cat, trying to see over peoples heads. Curt told her not to worry; it wouldn’t matter in a few minutes anyway.

The attraction takes place in the dark. This, combined with the air conditioner is one of the happiest places in MGM. Drew Carry takes you on an adventure, having lost his video camera and leaving you only with sounds. It was pretty cool when he stopped and got a hair cut.

I think because I was so unbelievably comfortable, I may have caught a quick nap.

Heat really wipes you out. You don’t even realize it until someone shakes you awake and you’re making sucking drool sounds. I don’t handle the heat very well.

Brother and I have had this whole ‘heat meister vs. ice princess’ thing going on for years. I live on the coast of Maine; he lives in land-locked Tennessee. Both of us have acclimated to our environments and that makes visiting each other difficult.

My side of the argument is:

Heat makes you feel dizzy and sick. It’s like getting drunk without the buzz.

Cold can be avoided by adding layers of clothes and as an added bonus, hiding unsightly budges left from eating ice cream at 11:30 at night. The only was to get away from being hot is to undress, and, well, I ate ice cream at 11:30 at night one too many times.

Tee-shirts are not arm flab friendly, sweatshirts are.

You can cuddle with a loved one.

His side of the argument is:

Cold gives you an ice cream headache by simply taking out your trash.

Nobody has ever had to have their feet cut off because they got too hot.

Tee-shirts on any woman are guy friendly.

You can’t cuddle with your ‘loved one’.

We came out of Sounds Dangerous and were smacked right between the lookers by the heat.

I thought I was the only one who was really struggling to survive, but I took one look at the crew and knew I wasn’t alone. “Wouldn’t a swim be a good idea right about now?” Em suggested.

For an 8 year old, she is simply brilliant.

They still couldn't get on Tower of Terror for quiet a while but we could get another fast pass before we left, so we walked back down to Rock ‘n Rollercoaster to get one. On the way over we bought water.

If it hadn’t been 100 degrees outside, and I wasn’t freaking out about him dehydrating, this would be a cup of beer.

Nikki thought she would be cute and pour some water on Curt while he took a drink.

Curt took his little bath like a man, drank the rest of the water and walked away with the water bottle on the pretence of throwing it away.

Even I knew what was going to happen next, I don’t know why it caught Nikki off guard.

Once we finished our performance for the people waiting for something (no idea why so many people were sitting around down there) Del mentioned his sandals were tearing up his feet.

It’s really too bad there wasn’t someone in his life that could have told him those sandals were inappropriate for 12 miles of daily walking in a heat storm. What a pity there wasn’t someone around that mentioned either buying better sandals or bringing sneakers. What a crying shame.

Oh, hang on a second! There was someone saying that! His wife! Delswife! That’s me!

Back in Maine, standing in our kitchen, he told me I was out of my tree. Those sandals were the same sandals he wore when he went to the Nascar races. They did some walking at the races, they could handle Disney.

Nascar races, where you sit in a bleacher to watch the race VS. Disney World, where you have to walk miles just to get to a bathroom. Of course, they are exactly alike, what was I thinking?

We were walking through the gift shops to the exit to steal the air conditioning when we went into the ESPN shop and Nikki spotted some sandals. “Hey, Del. How about trying these on?” She asked him.

Del looked at Nikki like she just suggested he drop his pants and show the world his butt. It was a total look of disgust.

“I am NOT going to put my sweaty, blistered feet in those sandals. How disgusting is that? What if they don’t fit? By putting my gross feet into them, I will be committed to buying them. I can’t put them back after, that would be like returning underwear.”

Uh, okay. Hadn’t thought of it like that. I’ll never be able to go shoe shopping in the same way ever again.

I didn't mention it at the time, but there was a slight chance someone else could have tried those shoes on and decided not to get them. I was hot; I just want to get to the pool.

They came up with a plan to see if they would fit. Everyone was assigned a job. Curt held up Dels leg, Nikki put the sandal against his foot and Del covered the armpit stain from the heat.

They came to the conclusion that the sandal would fit his other sandal, thus fitting his foot. Del bought them and we finally headed out of the park on our way to the blessed pool.

We were sitting on the tram, waiting for it to pull away. The guy standing on the back with the microphone (let’s call him the tram babysitter) gave the final call, told people who didn't make it on to that tram to stay behind the yellow line, then told the driver it was all clear.

The next event happened really fast.

There was a woman pushing a stroller, running from the gate. She is an incredibly stupid woman.

Just as I heard the stupidest woman in ALL of Walt Disney World Theme Parks and Resorts say “Run, we can make it!” to her maybe 6 year old daughter, who, OF COURSE started running, the tram babysitter yelled “Driver STOP! STOP!”

That child was so close to being squashed between the cars, I almost threw up. All I saw from where I was sitting was a bouncing ponytail tied in a pink bow.

The tram jerked to a stop. So did my heart. I looked Em who threw her hands over her mouth. Just the look on her face was almost enough for me to get off that tram and slap that stupid woman in the head.

The stupid woman got quite a verbal beating from every parent sitting on that tram.

It truly scared the hell out of the woman sitting a couple rows back from me. I really thought she was getting off to kill that woman. Many other people were yelling and mad, but this woman was super pissed off. “You @#^%ing idiot! What the $*^@ is wrong with you?”

What the hell did she think all those people standing behind the yellow line were doing? Watching a tram parade?

We were parked in a back lot and as people started getting off, we started stretching out.

Referring back to the picture I took of the sign, we found the van and went back to Pop Century for a swim, snack, nap, shower and sun block re-apply.

Refreshed and ready to head back to MGM, I opened our door and immediately slammed it shut again.

COME ON! It’s dinner time. I had reservations at the 50’s prime time that I was really looking forward too, but I just can’t eat when it’s that hot out.

“If you don’t go out the door, I’m going to throw something in the trash.” Del said looking around the room and finally deciding that it would be the towel animal to go.

Oh, scary stuff.

We got back into the van and the artist formally known as Prince but now is some kind of symbol that ruined his career, was singing ‘Kiss’ on the radio.

Del seems to think it was his signing, not the symbol that ruined his career.

I turned it up and Nikki and I sang it out loud until we parked the van. Del got out and started singing his own version of the song, high pitch squealing voice and everything.

If there had been any dogs in the area, they would have dropped dead on the spot.

The crew was going to use their fast passes for the Tower of Terror. I tried to give Curt another way out, but he chose to go face is fear rather than hang out with me.

Fine, be that way. Go plunge 13 stories. I have Rock ‘n Rollercoaster fast passes to get anyway.

There is a spot outside near the exit where you can sit and wait for your loved ones. It’s a bench you can even lay on if you choose to, and I did.

Lying on the bench, looking up at the sky, daydreaming while waiting, I was suddenly hit in the forehead with a drop of rain.

What is this, liquid happiness?

With in minutes, the sky opened up and people started running for cover. I was left alone in my little area, lying on my bench, laughing. I knew I would be eating like a queen at the 50’s after all.

Curt came out of the exit of the ‘Tower of Terror’ and had a huge smile on his face. He ended up enjoying it after all.

I was pretty soaked when the crew came out of the exit. They started to run for cover when I yelled “We had over 100 inches of snow last winter! This is not snow!” Em stopped running behind them and came over to join me, because I was spinning and dancing in the rain.

There was a man standing under the cover of the fast pass machine for the Tower of Terror that heard me and agreed. He joined Em and I for a spin in the rain.

People, wearing garbage bags, walked past us like we were the weird ones.

People need to learn to love the rain when they are in Disney. Em and I are willing to try and teach them.

We made it to the 50’s and Dels’ sandals were ruined. The leather ripped apart and spent the rest of the evening destroying his feet. He was grateful that he had a fresh pair of ESPN sandal waiting for him back at the room.

Why wasn’t he wearing them in the first place? Your guess is as good as mine.

Standing in the 50’s, dripping from the sudden rain storm; Curt was swinging his wet hair into Nikki’s face. He paused momentarily. Nikki, thinking he was finished, started swinging her hair at him.

I caught the clunking of their heads on video.

While bumpy and lumpy stood there rubbing their heads, the sweetest little lady EVER walked into the ‘living room’ and called the Costello kids to the table. She told us mom was in the kitchen.

If we weren’t afraid of scaring the hell out of the sweetest little lady EVER, we would have asked her to eat with us. She was adorable.

Her name is Pat and she is now Del’s screensaver.

Wet and cold from the air conditioner, we were looking over the menu when my phone rang.

It was Chris! We passed the phone around, each taking a minute to say hello when our waitress, Rebecca came over and confiscated the phone. “Who is this and why aren’t you here?” She asked. “Oh, okay. I guess not getting leave IS a good enough excuse. Thank you for protecting our country, by the way. Smile big darling, your sister is taking video”. (I was taking the video, she got a huge tip)

We said our ‘Love ya, mean it’s’ to Chris and had a great meal.

Del told everyone within our general area that he has to spend a fortune to come to Disney World JUST so he can have meatloaf, that his terrible wife won’t cook him one.

See how that works? I don’t have to cook meatloaf, and I get a trip to Disney. Where is the incentive to cook a meatloaf?

During the meal, a young man was forced to stand with his nose against the wall and repeat “I will mind my own business” over and over again. The entire room was told to say “Shame on you Austin!” on the count of three and we did.

Curt looked concerned.

The lady at the table next to ours was being spoon fed green beans while the waitress made airplane noises.

Curt looked horrified.

We finished our meal followed by dessert and got up to leave.

Curt looked relieved.

Del looking at the dessert menu:

Nikki explained to Curt that this was just a warm up meal for the meal we would be having later in the week at the Whispering Canyon.

Curt went back to looking concerned.

I really believe it was this part of the trip that Curt started to relax and have fun with us.

He even explained to me why this picture was funny. Del had me take it but I didn’t know what he was pretending to do.

Lou got it right away. I’m a little slower at potty humor. Wink

There was no chance of seeing the Lights, Motor, Extreme show because it was still drizzling rain so we went on the Rock ‘n Rollercoaster. After that we got more fast passes for the Tower of Terror.

We didn't have much to do while we waited on the fast passes so we wandered over to the Great Movie Ride.

We were all damp when we walked into the Great Movie ride and it sub-zero air conditioning. I thought it was great, but nobody else agreed. Curt and Nikki kept cuddling up to get warm.

I was shivering and happy about it. I didn't think I would ever shiver again. While we stood in line, my cell phone rang. I had a text message. It read:

This message is for Emily! I would call but I am unsure of the time difference! Tell her I LOVE her and miss her and to call me when she can! Thanx!

Uh, oh. Someone forgot *Cough, Del, Cough* to call and let Em’s mom know we weren’t really in Alaska.

We stood there and all had a good laugh about it then completely forgot about the message altogether until a few days later when her mom called.

Again, if I am in Disney, you have to call me.

Em’s mom has never been to Disney, doesn’t understand why anyone would keep going back, thinks we are nuts, but she wasn’t mad.

I don’t think. It’s really hard to say with an ex. At least with this ex, my ex doesn’t give two figs were we are and what we are doing.

The Great Movie ride was okay, not the kind of ride you would jump on if you needed to use the bathroom. It’s kind of long. If you have anxiety about confined places, take a pill. By the time we got off the ride, I was back to being a sweaty mess.

I got through the ride by telling myself that at anytime I could jump off. There is no water, no drops, the DRIVER jumped off so if I really couldn't take it, I would jump out. An angry CM would come along, collect me and kick me out of the ride and that is what I would want ANYWAY, so it was a win-win situation.

I never would REALLY jump out of a ride, but if you convince yourself that you have an ‘out’ it helps you stay ‘in’.

That and xanax, but mine was in the room, in the safe, behind my passporter. I didn't want the mousekeeper touching my drugs, she already touched my toothbrush.

After the ride, the kids went to see the ‘Little Mermaid’ while Del and I went to scout out a smoking area. On the walk over, we got ourselves into trouble.

I had taken two cigarettes out of the pack, handed one to Del and we started walking to the smoking area. The lighter hadn’t even left my back pocket.

A nasty CM standing at the entrance of ‘Walt Disney: One mans dream’ screamed at us like we were carrying a gun rather than two unlit cigarettes. “You can’t do that here! Take it to the smoking area! That’s what they are for!”

Uh, have a magical day too while we are at it?

Del and I finished our cigarettes and walk past the nasty CM again with our hands raised high in the air. See, no cigarettes, ya big jerk.

Del waited outside of the exit of ‘The Little Mermaid’ while I went into the gift shop of the ‘Magic of Disney Animation’. I bought my little artist, Bea, a sketch book and had it sent back to the room. Bea is an incredible artist. She has won awards for her drawings.

I really missed her bad. I would have bought her the giant Donald Duck sculpture if it wasn’t a couple hundred bucks. Donald Duck is her favorite character but his stuff is really hard to find.

After another 13 story drop, we were finished for the night. On the way out of the park, we stopped at the candy store and got some treats then made our way back to the van.

I had forgotten how loud I was playing the radio when we got out of the van so that was an unpleasant surprise when I turned the key. I thought Em was going to jump right out the back of the van.

Those back speakers must have been up full blast.

We got back to our rooms, exhausted but happy. Tomorrow morning, we would sleep in.

Commando Nikki must really be in love if that was going to happen.

Copyright Robin Costello, All Rights Reserved 2005

The Gulf coast states could use your help. You know what to do.


Love Ya / Mean It and Pins

Tony, Delaney, Connor - Love Ya / Mean It

Robin & Del, Kimball & Bennet (aka Delswife & Scuba Steve, Zurgswife & Zurg) are proud to announce two unique limited edition trading pins to benefit research to help find cures for Juvenile Diabetes and Muscular Dystrophy.

We love going to Disney World and writing funny trip reports, after all it is how we became friends.  We care just as much or more about helping these two great causes. All the profits from pin sales will go to JDRF and MDA because, well, Robin thought it would be a fun idea.

So if you enjoy the trip reports please chip in and buy a pin or two. Pins are $10.00 each including shipping and handling (North America.) Send an email to with how many pins you would like and we will get the pins rolling. The pins have sold out. Existing orders are being filled but we can't take anymore pin orders, sorry. There still Love Ya /  Mean it Pins (there were more to start.) 

If you feel inspired click either MDA or JDRF's logo or both and make additional contributions.