Saturday, January 22, 2011

Escape Route

After two weeks of being back at school, I was chomping at the bit to go to Disney. I was doing well for a while, seeing my grad buddies again and plotting with them to sneak off during the day to a certain delicious French cafe. I greedily ate up the first two books of The Mysterious Benedict Society and found a new character to gush annoyingly about (Milligan, you're the man!).

Milligan, the man. You have no idea.

But even in spite of this, a familiar weariness set into my bones as I stayed awake for the fourth night in a row working on PowerPoints and lesson plans for my pupils. It's a tired ache that's stronger than any you'd feel on the fifth week of slaving over a research paper - trust me. It makes you long for some kind of escape; usually a quick trip into my head rectifies the situation, but when you're going to school to put your creative thoughts on paper, the imagination does not have the same magic it always used to. So real life has to come to the rescue.

Real life is Disney (Oh, haha. That's good).

Disney's Boardwalk was the exact place I had in mind ease my agitated spirits. A wild wind travels off the water that whips your hair until you run inside the stores, only to find yourself looking like a Wishnik troll. An abandoned night club that advertises dueling pianos looks rather lonely, but there's always a family kicking along by in a four-passenger Surrey bike. There's a tiny pearl shack, a lighthouse, and oh! Did I mention the shops? Only briefly. While you're furiously combing your hair back down, you might find some treasures not yet sent to the Disney Parks. This happened to me once in a glorious way. I found a t-shirt with Prince Phillip on it, and he had his arms crossed and looking proud. The shirt said, "Sorry ladies, I'm taken." How cool is that? I would have bought it immediately, except that I'm a girl (haha). The decorations in the shops are intricate and lovely. The last time I went, I noticed a painting or a carousel (and a literal carousel horse in one of the front windows) and a vintage illustration of hot air balloons. Wow.

The family and I spent most of the day exploring the hotels littered around the Boardwalk. One of my favorite things to do is wander around Disney hotels and just hang out there, sitting on the comfy couches or exploring the little shops and eateries inside. And if there's a theme to the hotel - ohmygosh. Then that's even better. I won't go into the specifics in this post, but the range of decorations spanned from vintage nautical to high-end Las Vegas style. We explored four of the hotels and waddled back on sore feet to the bakery for a bite and a good sit-down. I carried a giant (really) strawberry cupcake out to red high top table overlooking the water.

As we ate our respected desserts, I looked around me and enjoyed being still. The wind played with my bangs and threatened to make me swallow my own hair as the strands got caught in fluffy icing and red sprinkles. We were right by the ESPN Zone, complete with an ever-present line of men waiting to go inside; they clapped and cheered and stood on their toes as if celebrities were only just waiting for them inside the door. A woman sat at a table nearby (probably the wife of one of these men) with a stack of magazines and a novel. She glared at the seagull that continued to insist on occupying the table space. I grinned at the bird but forgot to offer him something.

The birds started to gather. Sparrows danced below our feet like tiny dancers on stage. Seagulls clung to the railing and surveyed the scene with proud eyes. One seagull had a feather stuck to his beak. He lowly approached our table and just stared up at me. Not begging, really, but trying to threaten me. But by then the cupcake was gone. Normally considerate of such things, I didn't drop any crumbs for the sparrows or seagulls. My parents were thankful about this, but they still teased me later on. "Yeah, why didn't you?" My mom said. "Didn't we teach you any manners?" I merely grumbled and tickled her sides. Revenge. Haha.

I breathed deeply, closed my eyes. I couldn't feel that ache anymore. It was as if someone stripped that heaviness off my bones so that I could float freely into the sky. I felt so happy. I wanted to sit at that table for another few hours. Maybe buy another cupcake but share all of it. I wanted to stay as far away from the computer and PowerPoint as I could.

But we all must return eventually. And I had to admit, as we got in the car to drive home, that I did feel refreshed enough to try again.


  1. Ahhh, This made me want to go to Disney so bad! Your descriptions are so beautiful.
    The part about the birds made me think of the last time we were in Disney... My mom and I were sitting somewhere (in the Magic Kingdom, maybe?) and there was a mama duck wandering around with all her little ducklings. They got separated, though, and a lot of the little ducklings hid under where I was sitting for some reason. I had never been that close to a duckling! Thankfully someone directed them to where their mom was. Hehe. :)

    Milligian is the man, for sure!!! =D

    P.S. - I've been reading "Birdcage Girl" in some of my free moments - I am loving it so far!

  2. I find that giving myself breaks when things get stressful is the only way to go. I will take a day just for myself and go for a long walk, drink plenty of tea, and read and write and draw, it is quite refreshing. This sounds just amazing dear.

    xx and hugs


  3. I went to Disney when I was very little - all I seem to remember from it is seeing Michael Jackson on screen and my minnie mouse hat :)

  4. @Melee Ah, ducks! I love ducks! And Disney is such a nice haven for them. There are families of ducks and ducklings spanning all of the parks. I used to get angry when little kids would spray them with water fans or hit them with plastic swords. I wanted to start a rally or something, haha. But lately, I haven't seen such things happening. In fact, a few months ago every one stopped and waited politely for a large family to cross the road up near Mexico. Maybe there's hope for the world now :)

    Ahhhhh, Milligan. *high fives* I wish there was another illustration of him, even if it turned out looking a little strange. I can't help but feel that he's a handsome guy though :D

    Yay! Thanks for reading! I'm glad that you're enjoying it - the small chapters are fun and challenging to write :) You'll have to let me know who your favorite character is down the road :DDD

    @Jhordyn Ashley Yes, you're right - breaks are necessary to survive! I do want to start walking again, but at least I always have tea lying around for those more quiet moments. Great suggestions :)

    @hila Ah! I never had a minnie moue hat! You must have enjoyed wearing it :D Epcot just got back Captain EO; I had never seen it before, but apparently it had been around a long time ago. It's Micheal Jackson playing an underdog space agent with a band of colorful Muppet-like characters. It's just amazing, haha.

  5. Oh dear I feel so very sorry!
    I have been over here and England and didn't realise how little designing I could do.
    I feel horrible for saying this, but I can no longer do your design request, at least for this year. It makes me awfully sad - but I don't have any access to programs or scanners or anything that would make it in the least bit possible.
    I would love to continue working on it when I return to my much easier home life, but I suppose you want something before then.

    Let me know what you think. and again, I am so very very sorry for this.

    All the best (and great post by the way... you always get me lost into a different world with your words),

    Steph @ 1001 ways to be more lovely.

  6. kim. this is cnf you know. you can stop panicking now.

  7. @namie Hahahahahahaha! I can't help but panic - it's probably not a good idea to turn my blog posts in for a grade. No, no. XD