I’ve never understood all the hype surrounding Orlando and Disney World. As a native Floridian, I’ve made the mandatory pilgrimage to see Mickey Mouse the way a faithful Muslim journeys to Mecca, but I’ve never been able to grasp the allure behind what is essentially an overgrown rodent. He’s cute, to be sure, but so is the three-legged, half blind possum that wanders through my mom’s backyard on a nightly basis, and yet, no one’s granted him a magical kingdom. Even when I lived in Asia, my Indonesian friends from rural villages knew of two locations in the U.S.: New York City and Disney World. Given that those were their only two points of reference, I found myself siding with vermin over giant fruit, but that’s only because we were contained within the same state lines. No, my association with Disney World has been at acquaintance level at best, so you must know that my trip to Orlando had nothing to do with animated cartoon characters, dancing dolls from around the world, or mountains in space. I went for the pool.
My sister Teena had extended the invitation a couple of weeks prior. They were renting a one bedroom at a luxury resort that had a living room with a foldout couch. I could share the sofa bed with my 23 year old niece for no charge. Knowing that this place had multiple pools and a lazy river, I did a quick calendar check and bikini count and responded in the affirmative. Friday morning on June 29th, we were rolling south.
The trip down involved hours of music. Our family can be subdivided into two groups, the singers and the listeners, and my brother-in-law, niece and I are in the former. We were rolling on a river, carrying our brother (’cause he ain’t heavy), and free fallin’, while Teena nodded companionably in the passenger’s seat. If other travelers on Interstate 75 could have heard us, they would have thought the Partridge family was going on vacation. We pulled in shortly after check-in time for a hiatus that was soon to leave an impression.
© 2012 – Traci Carver