Existential Crisis: It's in the Past

bnoble

he's right
A year ago, I was at a crossroads. It was pretty bleak.

Today I turn 50. I started my morning from the balcony of room 5533 at Boulder Ridge Villas. This was my view as I was sipping my morning coffee.

IMG_4566.jpg

I'll have more to say later. Here's the TL;DR version: my birthday is not the most important milestone on this trip, and it will be different from any other in many important ways, though a casual observer wouldn't know.
 

George

wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tag
Happy Birthday, Brian! What a great start to the day. I see that the trees have mostly been removed, providing for nice lake views, albeit over the tops of the cabins. Which do/did you prefer?
 

Anne

Well-known member
Happy Birthday! So glad to hear the existential crisis is resolved and you're enjoying a lovely birthday.
 

bnoble

he's right
Happy Birthday, Brian! What a great start to the day. I see that the trees have mostly been removed, providing for nice lake views, albeit over the tops of the cabins. Which do/did you prefer?
From the fifth floor, I like the lake views. Sitting on the balcony, the cabins might as well not be there. Lower down it might be different. They did put in some pines between VLW and the cabins that are at the height of the latter or a bit taller. So, from there it might be okay too.
 

Mrs Darling

Active member
Happy Birthday!!
I'm staring down my 50th this year too. Although it won't be anywhere nearly as fun as Disney
 

Goofballs

Member
Happy Birthday!
And happy to read that you are working through those crossroads and coming out the other side.
Life is hard. Looking forward to learning from your important milestones.
 

bnoble

he's right
It's an overcast afternoon, with just a sprinkle or two. I'm chilling on my balcony (the 5th floor 1BR balconies cover the entire unit, with doors to bedroom and living room.) A few thoughts:

Bodh'aktan (folk-rock act in Canada during Art Festival and maybe Food & Wine? I don't remember) is a worthy successor to Off Kilter. Great energy at the show, lots of little-kid-dancing, etc.

Delta Q (humorous a capella act in Germany, also probably a limited run) worked better than it sounds like it should.

I don't know if the Arts Festival drives attendance, but I suspect it does generate good marginal revenue. I saw lots of people carrying $5 dixie cups of beer, and some of the food prices were eye popping even for me, and I almost never care about prices in WDW. On the other hand, there is definitely a higher standard of care in the food booths during Arts vs. F&W.

That pricing theme carries over. I paid $29 (including tax+tip) at Sci Fi today for a black & bleu burger and an iced tea. Granted, the burger was pretty good, and a QS "burger" and fountain drink would have been right around $17 after tax, so it's worth doing, but still. Again, I'm the guy who doesn't really care what things cost at WDW, and even I'm starting to notice.

Speaking of Sci Fi, I have not been there in years---certainly well before #MeToo and the work I've been doing on getting out of the Man Box lately. The patriarchy was in-your-face alive and well during the period from which those clips are taken. At least two featured films had as their premise a race of fierce women warriors who lived in a male-free society (horrors! women who don't need men!), plus lots more that was more subtle, but not at all subtle.

I had my birthday dinner at Jiko, eating at the appetizer prep counter. There were only four seats set up there, so it might be hard to get, but as a solo diner I like setups like that or eating at the bar, where I can strike up a conversation. The food was *very* good. I had the curried shrimp off the "Enhancements" menu as an appetizer, the lamb shank for an entree, and had ordered the "Sunset Safari" for dessert. The server knew I was celebrating my birthday plus another event, so she brought me a second dessert (the Kilimanjaro) on the house to account for both things. That plus a club soda and a press pot of coffee was a shade under $100 after tax+tip. I felt a lot better about that $100 dinner than I did my $30 lunch.

Slinky Dog Dash. The best way I can describe this is to refer to an old-timer on a coaster enthusiast discussion board. He had a rating scale for coasters that only had about four levels. The bottom ranking was, essentially: I will never ride that again. For those of you who knew e.g. Mean Streak or Son of Beast before they were torn down, you know what this means. The next level up was: "Cold Fries Bad." Cold french fries aren't very good, but you'll sometimes find yourself picking at them because after all they are still kind of good. Slinky is in that category for me; more or less forceless, but not without its moments. I rode it during AM EMH, and I might try for a night ride to see what that's like, but I'm not sure I need to spend another half-day at Studios. That said, it's a perfect addition for this park; less aggressive than either Tower or Coaster, but still exciting enough for Disney's target market of first-time roller coaster riders.

I was serenaded by the Dans, though it was between sets so I did not also have to be the center of attention. The streetmosphere on Main Street USA is top-notch. As far as I can tell the Citizens of Hollywood were completely absent at Studios today, but maybe I just missed them.

There is a hilarious joke in the exit of Toy Story. It won't make sense right away, but you will have enough time to get it...guaranteed. On that note, my Toy Story game is up a notch, though still not leader-board-worthy.

I goofed rope drop at MK yesterday and arrived by boat rather than bus. I knew better, but I also wasn't really in all that much of a hurry, because I had FP+ for 7DMT, and was headed for Pan instead. Was too late for Pan, and called an audible and skipped it. I might try it later in the week.

The Frozen Sing-Along is a lot of fun if you let yourself go. (See what I did there?)

I leave you with this Dapper Selfie from yesterday.

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Kbcmom

New member
Happy Birthday!!
I'm staring down my 50th this year too. Although it won't be anywhere nearly as fun as Disney
Happy birthday Brian! My 50th birthday was a few weeks ago. I spent it at a surprise 50th birthday for my sister-in-law, so...yeah, WDW would have been wonderful.
 
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