After crashing on Friday (after being ready to check out at 1:15! (a new record for me), thanks to the generous help of Patrick, Miss T., Miss J., Miss S. (who came to visit and still helped, even on her healing knee, bless her), and Miss A., I packed up for my birthday trip that started yesterday.
It was a simple trip, just a jaunt down to a Hilton Garden Inn on Harbor Blvd., about two or three blocks away from Disneyland. The goal was to be able to get to DL to be on Main Street when they opened, so that we could go straight to Nemo.
Meanwhile, Saturday night, we went out for my birthday dinner. Now, despite being within driving distance of one of the best Italian places ever, I had a real hankerin' for Olive Garden black tie mousse cake, so that's where we went.
And therein hangs a tale. (Or, as Dharma once said on Dharma and Greg "therein squats the toad" just 'cause I'm random like that tonight.)
There is a large outdoor shopping mall in what is technically (I think) Irvine, off the Jamboree exit on the 5 South. I was sure there was an Olive Garden there.
Well, there's a Buca di Beppo (which is delicious, but does not have black tie mousse cake), and Macaroni Grill (ditto).
Before we'd left the hotel, I had been playing with the new photo feature of Google Maps, and had seen there was one on Katella. But after driving west on Katella quite a ways, we had to turn around and go the other way. But, we finally found a (not very crowded) Olive Garden, and I ate a week's worth of calories that I did not need, but oh, it was yummy.
(And given that as I type this, there's an add for an iPhone, which has google maps functionality, I can't help but moan, in a nerdy-like way, I WANT AN IPHONE!)
So we went back to the hotel and went to bed for our adventures this morning. I had new ear plugs (to avoid the almost-sleeping-in-the-bathroom disaster of a couple months ago) that worked very well, and I actually slept pretty well.
We left the hotel at about 10 after 7:00. Got to the parking lot right around 20 after 7:00.
Plenty of time.
Except that they apparently do things differently now. They did not even let us into the parking building until 7:30. By the time we got to the park, it was 10 after 8 and the line for Nemo was 3 hours long.
But I had my shuffle, bunches of podcasts to listen to, new sunscreen that actually wasn't gross to apply (thanks, Megan!), and comfy shoes, so we got in line while Patrick went to play.
Except that I either tweaked my back moving school stuff or it really did not like my bed the night before. Plus, I had one of my Stomach Aches (capitalized on purpose, and if you've ever seen me have one, you know why), which makes this one area in my back just agonizing.
But by that point, we'd been in line 2 hours, and I wasn't about to give up then.
Patrick -- who wasn't going to ride -- came back for money to buy a drink as we were about 15 minutes out, and decided to ride with us.
I'm not sure it'd be worth 3 hours in line again, but I'd wait 1 1/2 or 2. It was really, really good.
The underwater projection was amazing, and nearly everything the main narrator on the subs said was a nod to the original subs. Without spoiling it, I especially liked his comeback to the question about putting what they'd seen in the logs.
I took a video of it with my digital camera -- to make it fit, I had to do it at half-resolution, but I might upload it anyway.
Well, by the time we were done with that, we were all tuckered (my Stomach Aches leave me feeling like a dish rag, and Patrick had taken a page out of my book and hurt his ankle), so I bought myself a stuffed Dory that I'd been eyeing for some time, three chocolate covered strawberries, and headed on home, where I promptly crashed for a few hours.
My favorite part: unquestionably all the nods to the original subs. In fact, I told just that to the DL cast member who was doing a survey as you got off the subs.
Patrick's favorite part: Monorail Red dressed up as a sub.
All in all, a fun day.