Kathy’s Birthday, 2005

Kathy Soars Over California on Her Birthday!

Who: Kathy and Rich
When: July 13, 2005
What: Kathy’s Birthday
Where: EPCOT at Walt Disney World

What was originally birthday week is now birthday month. On July 1st, Kathy received a lovely birthday plant, a bonsai bougainvillea, from the kitties. Kathy remembers fondly the bougainvillea plant in her childhood home in southern California. Then, on her actual birthday, Rich took the day off and we went to Walt Disney World. Where else? But this year, we went to EPCOT, instead of the Magic Kingdom.

Wednesday, July 13

New lanes have been opened on I-4 on the way to Orlando from Tampa so we made the trip in almost record time. We say almost because towards the end, the lanes returned to just 2 and the traffic backed up for the last 15 minutees or so. Still, it was a big improvement.

Wednesday was “Early Magic” hour for the Magic Kingdom so that’s one reason why we chose to go to EPCOT. With Early Magic Hour, resort guests get into the parks an hour earlier than everyone else. Since we were driving in from Tampa and not staying onsite, we didn’t want the park to already be crowded before we got there – which would likely be the case during the summer. EPCOT was a great choice. It was not crowded – especially once we got to the World Showcase.

But it was HOT and HUMID! We parked close enough in so that we didn’t have to take a tram – which is a plus to us. We walked to the front gate, headed for the farthest security gate – which was crowd-free and entered with our Annual Pass. We had talked about riding Test Track or Soarin but once we started walking through the park, Rich suggested, “How about we head for Soarin?” Excellent idea!

We had ridden Soarin for the first time last April and it was such a nostalgic experience for Kathy. And what better ride for Kathy’s birthday – who was born in Los Angeles? Kathy must have been feeling even more nostalgic on her birthday because tears slid down her cheeks at all of the familiar California sights – from the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco where Kathy lived for 22 years, met and married Rich – to Yosemite where Rich climbed Half Dome – to the finale where we soared right into Disneyland and the Matterhorn never looked better.

After Soarin, we rode Imagination and Figment gets cuter every time. This ride has really grown on us and is one of our favorites.

By this time it was getting close to our lunch PS at San Angel Inn in Mexico in World Showcase but first we rode El Rio del Tiempo inside the Mexico pavilion, shaped like a pyramid found on the Yucatan Peninsula:

After the ride we went to the podium to check in for lunch and were given a beeper. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait long and were seated at our regular table along the water. Our waiter was friendly and efficient and delivered our margaritas along with some chips and salsa.

We dove into our entrees when they arrived and forgot to take pictures. Here’s what we ordered:

K: Plato Mexicano – grilled beef taco, chicken enchilada and quesadilla, with onions and peppers, served with black refried beans, guacamole and rice

R: Carne Asada Tampiquena – grilled beef tenderloin served with a chicken enchilada topped with ranchera sauce, esquites and black refried beans

We had a wonderful lunch. The food was even more delicious than we had remembered. Eating at San Angel Inn is a tradition with us. This is where we ate our first meal on all of our trips from out of state. This was also where we went for our first meal when we first moved to Florida but we hadn’t been here since that time.

Afterwards, we started walking around World Showcase, intending to wind up at Beaches & Cream at the Yacht and Beach Club for dessert but half way around we were way too hot and realized we were probably too full for dessert so soon. So, we hopped on one of the Friendship Boats headed for Future World and headed towards the exit. On our way out, we stopped in at Mouse Gear but didn’t buy anything there, although we did stop outside the Mexican pavilion right after lunch and bought Caballero Donald as a remembrance of Kathy’s birthday in Mexico – and one we’ve been wanting to add to our collection (the Pirates of the Caribbean set is next.)

We walked out to the parking lot. The CMs on a nearby tram offered us a lift to relieve us of walking in the heat, but we weren’t that far from our car so we declined. And all in all, it was another magically Disney day. What better way for Kathy to spend her birthday? But the celebration wasn’t over yet. Later, at home, Rich brought out a birthday cake with ice cream, champagne and we had a birthday party with the kitties. They were a bit miffed they didn’t get any of the ice cream and cake but they filled up on a wet food snack instead.

Birthday wishes continue to arrive. Isn’t birthday month great? But it doesn’t end in August – celebrations continue for Rich’s birthday and our anniversary. Stay tuned for more reports.

About Kathy

Novelist & Music Producer