My 30th Birthday week

Tuesday was the day before my 30th birthday and I went up to DeKalb to see Stacy. We did dollar bowling (we bowled better at the end left handed then we did right handed) and we went to eat a birthday dinner celebration at Baker’s Square. Stacy had birthday candles for me that would make several appearances over the course of the week. He tried putting them into the cornbread, french dip and every thing else that I had at Baker’s Square and she finally got it to work in the piece of my peanut butter cup chocolate pie. Here is the picture of the infamous candles:


I left Stacy’s on my birthday and went down to Louisville to get Ian and Mickie. I ran into bad traffic about a half hour north of Louisville because of construction. I got to Ian’s and we went to Caesar’s riverboat for awhile and then returned to Ian’s for some sleep before leaving for the airport. We left around noon to make the trek to Midway Airport and to meet Stacy. We ran into bad traffic in the same spot but things go smoothly after that and we get to the airport right on time but Stacy was stuck in traffic and running late. We checked in and Mickie and Ian went on through security while I waited for Stacy. Stacy gets a late check in on her bag and we hustle through security (had to take the shoes off cause we look like terrorists) and we catch up to Mickie and Ian and board the plane. Southwest doesn’t have assigned seats so Ian and Mickie sit together across the aisle from Stacy and me towards the back of the plane. Ian and Mickie keep talking to the one stewardess and end up getting about 100 bags of peanuts. Ian takes great glee in torturing me about the fact that the plane would be “cruising at an altitude of 41,000 feet” since I don’t like heights. Then right before we land, I get handed a roll of toilet paper that has “Happy 30th Birthday Jim” and “SWA luvs you” by the stewardess and they announce it over the intercom of the plane and have the entire plane sing Happy Birthday to me. Here is the toilet paper “cake” that I received from Southwest Airlines:



We get off the plane and go get our bags and go to pick up the rental car. They are out of cars that I had reserved so we ended up with a Kia SUV. Waiting in the line at the counter and then in the garage to get out with the car took almost as long as the flight from Chicago to Orlando. We make out way to the hotel and then go to Denny’s to eat and Stacy gets the aforementioned candles put into another piece of pie for me. Here are some photos of the hotel we stayed at: The Palms at the Villa 2 miles from Disney.



I got up on Friday morning and went to check into the discounted tickets for Disney that were advertised in the hotel lobby. It ended up being for a time share tour and I declined saving money in that fashion. I picked up a bunch of brochures and decided that Universal Studios did not look worth the same price as Disney. 2 days at Disney with the park hopper was the route we were going to go.

We arrive at Disney and purchase our tickets and Ian tells the lady that it is my 30th birthday. The next thing I know, I’m getting a phone call from Goofy and he is singing Happy Birthday to me and I am being given a button to wear all day to let everyone know that it is James’ birthday. We ride the monorail into the park and enter the Magical Kingdom.

We walked into Main Street USA and I had to stop and just take everything in. Ian and Mickie laughed at how giddy I was looking but I had harbored ill will since I was 11 years old for my mom’s side of the family all going to Florida and not taking me. All that anger was leaving and it was like I was a little kid again. I couldn’t have been any happier. Here are the pictures taken as soon as we got into the park:




The first place we headed was Space Mountain. As a Ric Flair mark for life, I had to witness Space Mountain just to see “what’s causing all this???” It was quite a line but a great ride. I had Ian laughing hysterically as I was behind him yelling for him to let me know when the dips were coming because it was pitch black. Here is a picture as we approached Space Mountain:


After Space Mountain we decided it was time for some food and drink. We did a fast pass for Stitch’s Great Escape so we could go right in after we ate. That “ride” was gross. Stitch was spitting on everyone and they had a thing around your head and had him burp up a chili dog and you could smell it. Disgusting. We then started heading over into the kiddy part of the park…Fantasyland. We rode the Scary Adventures of Snow White next. It was a very simple ride but Mickie got the piss scared out of her by the alligators because she wasn’t expecting them to move! Here is a picture of the Scary Adventures of Snow White:


Then I wanted to ride the Flying Dumbos but it was a long line so we headed to “It’s A Small World After All” and that was a great time. Here are photos at that ride:




I am a huge fan of Don Quijote having read it in Spanish class in high school so I loved this part of the ride with Don and Sancho Panza –



We then headed over to the Hall of Presidents and watch that show. It wasn’t as good as it could have been but was still a good time. Outside the Hall, they had some torture devices of ancient times. Ian had said that he was going to throw pennies at Stacy and I every time we kissed on the trip. He was already out of pennies so we had to do this as our punishment:


It was then time to go to MGM Studios so we could do the Star Wars ride. We had to take a shuttle bus to the park and the driver saw my button and thus made an announcement and had everyone on the bus sing Happy Birthday to me. We immediately went to the Star Wars ride and it was cool. I was very disappointed in the gift shop though after the ride. No shirts in my size. Disney thinks everyone is small. Ian and Mickie wanted to do the Aerosmith roller coaster and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Stacy and I wanted to do the Muppets 3 D and eat. We split up and the Muppets show was awesome. Stacy bought a Beeker shirt but it is a little small as well. They had Christmas lights up and it was beautiful. Here are the pictures I took



We ate and then went to the Fantasia light show. It was impressive and the park closed and we met up with Ian and Mickie and left. 7.2 miles walked and I was dead. Back to the hotel we go.

Saturday was back to Disney but a little later cause we all slept in. We immediately go to Animal Kingdom on the shuttle after arriving. The bus driver wouldn’t shut up the entire ride. He then started singing The Wheels of the Bus go round and round song until Ian told him to stop because he was annoying. The bus driver cried and called Ian rude but thankfully shut up. Stacy and I wanted to go on the African Safari but there wasn’t time cause the park was closing early due to early sunset.

Ian and Mickie took a picture with one of the characters on the way into the park:


We walked around and saw all kinds of cool animals though and Ian and Mickie took off to ride the Mt. Everest coaster as many times as possible. Here are pictures of the animals at Animal Kingdom and finishing with the Mt. Everest ride:













I chickened out of going onto the Everest ride at first but Stacy and I eventually went on it. I didn’t like it at all. I kept my eyes closed the whole time.

We went to DinoLand and went on a cool simulation ride where you go to try to catch a Dinosaur before the meteor hits. Here are some pictures from Dino Land:



Animal Kingdom closed and then it was back over to Magical Kingdom. Space Mountain off the bat again and then it was the tea cups and FLYING DUMBO!!!!! Here are the photos:




We watched the most awesome fireworks display ever with the nightly show at Disney. Ian and Mickie went and rode the Thunder Mountain Railroad coaster half a dozen times while Stacy and I did the Flying Dumbo ride. That was my favorite ride the whole time at Disney parks. We walked over the Thunder Mountain to meet up with Ian and Mickie and I rode that one time to finish out the Disney experience. 10 miles walked and my feet were finished.

Park closes and we go back to the hotel. Sunday morning Stacy and I wake up and take a 4 mile walk down to some gift shops. Then it was swimming and eating at Logan’s Roadhouse. Lots of swimming and then it was off to a Kobe Japanese Steakhouse place. Take a look at what I had to eat:


Stacy and I went back to the hotel and watched the end of the Bears victory over the Giants.

Today was going back to the airport and coming home. Mickie went out to LA for the MTV deal. Stacy, Ian and I came back to Midway. Bouncy ass plane ride to end all plane rides. I was a sweating mess during the absurd amount of turbulence. Stacy’s bag got lost. Blah to Southwest for that.

Home and lots of sleep today.

The end.






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