We rose late and surveyed the lay of the land over coffee.
The villa was much the same as the last time I was in it, about ten years ago. We have shifted the week about so many times in the past that we haven't stayed in our own unit (these are freehold properties) for a long time. There were many memories of this one even so
I remember standing on the fairway outside with about eight others in 1989, watching what I believe was Columbia, mission STS-28R, race across the sky. It was memorable because it was the fastest damn thing I had ever seen in flight, and an elderly lady sliced a golfball right through our group and was baffled by our yelling at her. We had all pulled the old CRT 37 inch TVs out on their telescopic stands and turned them to face the golf course so we would know when the launch started.
During a later visit I sat with a young Stevieling with a couple of slices of bread and lured a family of ducks across the width of the fairway to feed. The ducks, a mother and two yearlings, waddled about three hundred feet because they were too lazy to fly. The Stevieling got to see the thought processes of the wary mother duck who wanted the bread but was scared of the people (us). Slowly the bread became larger in her tiny brain than the danger and the Stevieling got to see that decision process on the surprisingly expressive face of the duck.
On another occasion I was alone in the unit with the sliding window open and two Peahens walked into the room while my back was turned. I caught their motion in the corner of my eye and span around and let out a manly shriek. Jurassic Park had been released a few months before and the walking birds moved exactly like the movie's Velociraptors.
I pulled the drapes to find that the fairway had been replaced by a huge sandtrap that had flooded from all the rain to form a small lake. Oh well.
We went for breakfast at the not-so-local Cracker Barrel, but the wait was four years or so, so we switched to a different Perkins from last night (it was nearer). Then we drove off to Coliseum of Comics for a look-see at what they had, where I bought a graphic novel1 and some dice to add to my collection2, and thence to a couple of sneaker outlet places so I could buy some shoes.
Funny thing. The Rack Room Shoes store next to the Nike Discount Outlet was less-crowded, had better Nike sneakers at lower prices. All round better deal and way better experience. In the Nike store I was battling endless numbers of Brazilian teens3 for the privilege of looking at eye-hurting neon sneakers4. Same in the Converse Outlet. But I scored two pairs of very nice Nike sneakers next door in half the time and with less single combat required.
Then on to Disney Springs, what used to be called Downtown Disney, the bit with the Lego shop and Ghiradelli's Ice Cream Parlor. This latter was our target for the day, and we dined on delicious ice-cream as we people watched outside. My only regret was that we were meeting the kids later for dinner and so I couldn't indulge myself with my usual Banana Split sundae - it is just too large for a snack.
I did make a stop beforehand in Pop Gallery, the same store I had picked up my splendiferous Glass Eye Volcano paperweight last year, where I picked up another going under the title Caribbean Reef, an illuminating plinth for it and some ear-rings for Mrs Stevie.
After that we rendezvoused with the Stevieling and the Stevilingbeau at Universal Studios Boardwalk and had a very nice dinner in a restaurant disturbingly called "Cowfish", which specializes in Sushi, Sashami and burgers. Sounds silly but the Japanese/American fusion dishes were actually quite surprisingly good. And The Stevieling got chatting to one of the staff (remember, the Stevieling works in one of these restaurants too) and we found ourselves seated in an observation floor with a wonderful view of the surroundings. I was truly sorry when we all had to go home.
And so we returned to the villa, through a thin drizzle.
- Gaiman's Study In Emerald if you must know↑
- It's an obsession. I theme dice for the various games I'm involved in↑
- Who have an absolute right to be in those stores buying the colors of sneaker they prize. They simply trigger my claustrophobia with their youthful enthusiasm↑
- As Cotton Mather wrote in Ye Malleus Cobblerium, Ye shoes worne by ye people shalle be of sombre color and playne design. Ye colors that do glowe during evensong lyke unto ye Will-o-Wisps of ye grayte swampes or leave thyne eye burning as after witnessing ye thunderbolte stryke Shoulde Notte Bee↑