Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Adventures

So... I know it's been a while since I posted, but that's because my life was really dull. Not in a bad way. I worked and spent time with my family, which I really enjoyed. But nothing particularly unusual or epic or Disney-related. And then... my life became nothing BUT adventures, so it's been difficult to get computer time. Etcetera.

This next bit has nothing to do with Disney, but people have been asking me what I've been up to, so here's the summary of my last week: Last Wednesday, I said farewell to my family(which was a tearful moment), and my dad and I drove to Seattle. I checked my two heavy bags and went through security. The TSA people at the Sea-Tac airport are nice, but not particularly efficient. I got to the gate and checked in with the flight agent. You see, instead of having a seat number on my boarding pass, it merely said "check in at gate." It turned out that the flight was oversold by 16 people, and NOBODY was volunteering to get off. Nobody. People who checked in first got their seats. I guess I was behind? Anyways, thanks for that, HURRICANE IRENE.

 So I didn't get on my flight. I did, however, get a hotel voucher, a first class ticket for the next day, and a voucher I can use on a future ticket. And they told my that my baggage would be put in a locked room(remember that). So that was nice. And then I got to spend the rest of the day in Seattle with my dad. We went to REI and the Woodland Park Zoo(which is, by the way, my favorite zoo in the history of ever). The next morning, I got up EARLY and went to the airport. I didn't have to check any bags(since they were already in New Jersey), and I already had my boarding pass WITH A SEAT NUMBER on it. No problems in security, and I got to the gate in plenty of time. Other people got bumped from the flight... but not me! I felt bad for the people who didn't get on, of course, but not bad enough to give up my seat and say goodbye to my dad all over again.

 I got into Newark, NJ at around 3ish Eastern time. THERE ARE NO BATHROOMS IN THAT AIRPORT. It took me forever to find a restroom. I was in literal pain by the time I did find one. But I did find one, so all was well. I called my aunt to find out how close she was(ten minutes), and then went to find my poor bags. First I talked to your stereotypical NJ lady, accent and all, who informed me that I was in the wrong line, and to go "ovah theah" to get my bags. She waggled her fingers in the general direction of "theah," and I headed off to find my bags. As I was heading to the correct window, I saw my bags... just standing against the wall... in the open. I assumed that a security person would jump me if I tried to get my bags, so I waited in line. At the end, an angry Jamaican lady informed me that if I could see my bags, I could just take them. That... bugged me. My luggage didn't appear to have been tampered with in any way, but I hate being lied to. Either the airline employee in Seattle had blatantly lied, or didn't know what he was talking about, which is still a lie. I've seen this a lot in airports and with airlines. I'm not sure what the deal is there.

 Anyhoo, my wonderful aunt Nancy picked me up from the airport! I was in pain from the long flight, and it was a looong drive back to her place because some key roads were still closed from the flooding, but she still made me enjoy my ride! New Jersey is very flat and very green. Almost like Seattle green, but a lighter green. We made it back to her apartment safe and sound. I got somewhat settled, and played with my cousin and a little girl that my aunt babysits. I enjoyed it. It was nice and peaceful and quiet... quite the opposite of the last two days.

 The next day we went to the Turtleback Zoo, which was fantastic, but I won't bore you with all my zoofangirliness. But zoos=awesome in my book. Then... we went to New York City! The first stop was the Central Park Zoo(like I said... zoos are my thing), which is an extremely well done zoo. It gets really crowded, and it doesn't have the large exhibits that seem to really wow people at big zoos, but it's a zoo that knows its limitations and does extremely well within them. We walked down 5th Avenue... went to FAO Schwarz(coolest toy store EVER)... walked down to the GE building... ate street food... had Mister Softee ice cream... it was a good day. Hot, but good.

 Sunday, we had to go back to the city to pick up my aunt Molly. We had a pretty low-key Sunday, which was good. On Monday, we went back to NYC. This time, we went to Washington Square and I met up with Colby, an old friend of mine from Alaska. We walked around some of the NYU campus-ish area and got falafel sandwiches. Later, I met up with my aunts and cousin again for some more NYC fun. Molly and I went shopping and got awesome fruit smoothies from one of the street vendors. At the end of the day, we took the subway back to where we had parked the car(for the record, Nancy is a parallel-parking goddess), and then drove home.

 Tuesday was low-key, which was a good thing, because it rained. Hard. We went to Kohl's, and half of the parking lot was flooded, that's how hard it was raining. On Wednesday... I got up super early, and my wonderful aunt Nancy took me to the airport, with my also-wonderful aunt Molly coming along to help me inside the airport. I got everything together, went through security(it's never crowded for the super early flights), and I was on my way! My plane was NOT oversold, and I got on my seat just fine! I finished Pride & Prejudice, and got to Orlando without any major hitches.

 I used Mears for my travel from the airport to the program check-in. The counter was really far from my baggage claim, and I felt like a ridiculous camel with all my bags. I had to wait a bit for a van, but it wasn't bad. There were three other CP people in the van with me. The shuttle person dropped off two other people at their hotels first. I wondered about that a little, because our location was closer, and there were more of us. When we got dropped off, though, I found out why.. none of the college interns tip! People: It is polite to tip your transportation from the airport, whether taxi or shuttle. They have to help you with your luggage, but it's up to them whether or not to be nice to your luggage and whether or not to take you to your location first. Tipping your shuttle driver will make life easier on future interns.

 The check-in process was crazy, but everything went smoothly. There are people who will tell you exactly where to go, what to do, how to act, and where to sign. No question is ever too dumb to ask. Most of the people helping you did the college program themselves, so they understand your confusion and possible nervousness.

 My apartment is in the Chatham building! I wasn't super thrilled about that at first, but I've gotten to like it. I was given my apartment number and key, and about 30 minutes to get my bags in and get back to the bus stop to go to Casting. None of my roommates were in, but there was a note saying hi and a bag full of cookies. I ran out as quickly as I had come in, because I didn't want to miss that bus. Casting was... interesting. They whipped me right through the hiring process that took me a week at the grocery store I worked at back home. I got my assignment: Adventureland Merchandise! I am SO EXCITED ABOUT THAT. Seriously, that's one of three locations where I wanted to work. the other two were Tower of Terror or somewhere in the Animal Kingdom, and after being here, I've found out that the costumes there tend to be more comfortable. That's fantastic, because while I'm getting used to the humidity, I'm not used to it to the point where I could wear some of the costumes I've seen.

 After casting, I made a Wal-Mart run with a couple of my new friends. We got lost getting there and back, but figured it out in the end. I think I'm going to stick with taking the bus from now on- it will take longer, but there will be less chance of getting lost. When I got back, I met my roommate, B(I'mma  use letters for my roommates until I get the okay on using their names)! We share a bedroom, so I was glad to meet her right off. I spent the rest of the night unpacking and getting settled and meeting my other two roommates. Nothing too interesting happened.

On Thursday(today), I slept in a little, and then made another Wal-Mart run for some laundry supplies. When I got back, I had some lunch, and then I went to the Welcome session, where they covered housing. I made some more friends while I was there. Everybody here is so nice! It's so easy to start conversations with people, which is great, because there's a lot of waiting. We're all in the same boat, and we all came here for the same reason: we want to work for Disney. Some people want to work for Disney for different reasons, and that's what makes the conversations more than just running through a checklist.

 Later today, I went to Grocery Bingo. This is a Very Big Deal here. Basically, if you win, you get free groceries. I read about the crowds online, and let me tell you, none of the other bloggers are exaggerating. There were hundreds of people there tonight. I'm glad I got there an hour early. I didn't win any groceries, but I still had fun. They ended up sending my group back outside so the next set of hundreds of people could get in. I had the option of waiting in line again, but I decided to just go home. I'm getting the hang of the bus system... I think. Anyways, that's all for now! Thanks for reading, and hopefully I'll be able post soon. :)


  1. Hehe, like...five people attend our grocery bingo. Of course, I'm pretty sure we have less people, but either way, nobody really goes. Oh, and the having to use a bathroom when you're on any sort of airplane related trip in New Jersey...I understand entirely. It's like they assume if you fly to New Jersey you have had your insides stop for a bit to accommodate your trip :P

  2. You are a fantastic writer. I didn't know. Anyway. Just wanted to say so. - Johnny