01. Even although it’s been a few years now since I last visited this part of the world – and, even although I’m not actually from here – coming back still feels a bit like coming home. The Ponderosa is still next to the Bargain World, opposite the iHOP with the coldest aircon in all the land. You can still see the remains of Splendid China crumbling away by the side of the road. It’s tacky and garish, and all kinds of wonderful, and I still love everything about it. The way the heat wraps around you like a blanket as soon as you step off the plane. The smell of the air at night, and in the early morning. Those chocolate covered cherries you can get at Target, but which have never been quite as good as they were the first time. Everything.
02. I should probably stop eating the chocolate covered cherries for breakfast, though, tbh.
03. Why does Max refer to Mickey Mouse as ‘Michael’? I mean, none of us told him Mickey was a diminutive of Michael, so how did he know? IS Michael his real name? MIND. BLOWN.
04. It’s a bit weird that American houses have power outlets in the bathroom (Not allowed in the UK…) but I’m not going to argue with the convenience of being able to dry my hair in the same room I wash it. (Also, props to me for bringing a European adaptor for my GHDs, rather than a US one: yay me!) (It’s OK, Terry remembered to bring the correct ones. He didn’t remember his wallet or driving licence, mind you, but at least we’re all set for plug adaptors.) (Still not over the wallet/driving licence thing, obvs.) (Or the fact that Terry somehow thought a photo of his driving licence would suffice with the car rental company. Like, if that was the case, I’d just take a photo of a $100 bill everywhere and be all, ‘Yeah, I don’t have the actual cash, but this’ll do, right?) (Why can’t I stop writing in parentheses, now? Will the rest of the post be like this? Someone help me!)
05. (On the subject of car rental companies, it turns out that Budget is budget for a reason, and the reason involves spending an hour and a half waiting for them to bring your car round, even although there’s no one else waiting at the time. I’ve written to them suggesting they adopt the tagline, “Budget: you get what you pay for!) (I haven’t. REALLY going to stop with the parentheses now.)
06. (YES, the rest of the post IS going to be like this, apparently. As Max would say, “Ohhhh NOOOOO!”
07. I’m old enough, and have been here often enough now, to remember tons of the lost and abandoned attractions that used to litter the 192: most of which were, quite frankly, NUTS. Like, if we bring Max here when he’s older, it won’t be so much as case of, “I remember when this was all fields,” as “I remember when this was all giant gators, sunken pirate ships and jousting tournaments.” Kissimmee, U drunk.
08. At least 50% of my child’s clothes, and almost all of his pyjamas have a Mickey Mouse theme of some kind. We’re probably not going to Disney. (Long story, but basically Max won’t nap in the pushchair, and we just can’t justify the cost of park tickets for the few hours we’d be able to spend there before we had to head back for naptime. We wouldn’t see much in a day if we had to keep leaving and then going back, so we reckon the best way to do it would be with park hopper tickets, which are a bit too pricey for us, especially given that I’m the only one who really wants to go…)
09. Is it even a holiday if the fake tan on your feet doesn’t go patchy on day 1?
10. GAME OF THRONES. OMG.