- Arrive in Orlando after silly tarmac delays and a threat of being bumped off our oversold flight, retrieve our rental car, and pull onto the highway just in time for a sudden torrential downpour featuring sheets of rain and other vision impairments one would rather not encounter while trying to interpret a Google map.
- Spend evening in the house with Evan's mom, stepfather, her parents, his mother, brother (Nate), and brother's girlfriend (Shannon). Parent and Grandparent-types retire to bed early, thanks mostly to their 14-hour drive from Maryland in a minivan with 5 adults, two dogs, and all the suitcases that come along with them. Youngster-types spend evening bullshitting over beers and sitting in hot tub.
- Wake up to Evan lodging small complaints of an upset stomach. Complaints rapidly deteriorate into loud, hostile vomiting. Evan's digestive system makes executive decision to keep him at the house for the day.
- Make a trip with Shannon to the supermarket to buy Gatorade, Goldfish crackers and other stomach-settling items for Evan. During the ride, she and I talk about her and Nate's recent cross-country family-visit road trip, for which they had rented a car, due to a distrust of their own. When I made a side comment about the two of them being put on the rental agreement to both be allowed to drive the car, Shannon explained that since she and Nate share a car, she doesn't have her own car insurance, so the rental company wanted an extra $300 in order to put her on the agreement. But, she said, since it's free for married couples to both be on the insurance, they made a stop at the courthouse before they picked up the car. I laughed and asked if anyone else knew about this, and she casually said they didn't, nor did she think it mattered since she and Nate have already been together for so long.
- The plan had been for the Parent- and Youngster-types to spend the day at Epcot while the Grandparents recuperated at the house. Evan apologetically encouraged me to go with them, and if he felt better he would come out and meet us. Sadly, Evan was sick for his favorite part of the trip: the tradition in their family is to bar crawl around the World Showcase at Epcot, stopping for a drink in (almost) every country. After putting in some time at the Future World section, we had a lager and some fish & chips in England, champagne and crepes in France, asti in Italy, and sake in Japan. Encroaching tired and dinner commitments with the Grandparents cut the beverage tour short of a few more stops, but it's a tradition to keep.
- During a routine telephone check-in on the Grandparents while driving back to the house, it was reported that Evan's condition had worsened and he had vomited in his bed. I enter a full-blown panic as I envision his atrophied body glued to the sheets with his own sick, ala Sloth from Se7en. When we get back to the house, I run upstairs in tears as I begin spouting out apologies for leaving him behind sick while I drank around the world with his family. While he still didn't feel well, reports of his in-bed yam were grossly overexaggerated.
- The rest of the clan went out to dinner while Evan and I stayed home, and after they returned, a benign football playoffs viewing devolved into political discussion loud enough to rouse Evan from our bedroom and to come downstairs to join us.
- A fully-recovered Evan and I are awoken to a loud "Holy Shit!" from the kitchen downstairs. Assuming this was his mother's reaction to Nate and Shannon's Marriage of Economic Advantage, I'm not roused out of bed. When we head downstairs for breakfast, I ask what the commotion was about, and they show us the framed ultrasound that Nate & Shannon had presented them with earlier, complete with a note that the baby should arrive in late July. Grandparents express joy at their promotion to Great-grandparents, parents (specifically, mother) expresses concern over the title change. Under my breath, I ask Shannon if they paired the baby announcement with one about the "rental car agreement", and she said no, it hadn't occurred to them to say so.
- The day at Sea World was beautiful. The weather was perfect, the sky a crystal blue extension of the pools and lake, mottled with big puffy clouds.
- There were many happy dolphins.
- There are also ups and downs to having a wheelchair-bound member in your party: sure it takes a little longer to get from A to B, but once you get there, you get the best seats in the house and skip most of the lines.
- The day at Sea World marked our first encounter with the Brazilians. Every day, in every park we went to, we found ourselves with at least one tour group made up of at least 200 Brazilian teenagers in matching neon tour uniforms. They often showered one another in encouraging chants, likely to provide some sort of morale bonus to enduring lines. Monday was Green Brazilian Day.
- Evan and I presented our gnome to Phil and were allowed to return to the house for a mandatory 12-hour rest period.
- The evening concluded with a trip to Fulton's Crab House at Downtown Disney to celebrate the coming child. Nate ordered the most curious item on the menu, a lobster stuffed with shrimp and scallops, or what one might call the Turducken of Shellfish.
More to come...