"That was a very interesting sentence until you finished it."

I made it back unscathed! Pretty much. I did live through five hours in the Avalon Mall though, so who knows what lasting mental damage that may have inflicted. Then on Sunday I got to go to Ms. B’s and PT’s and PT’s GF’s Church, which was fun. They said their third largest budgetary expense, after the building and the pastor, was coffee. My Kind Of People! The music was very Pentecostal, but they seemed since, which I can respect. And there was a guest speaker, so I’m not quite sure what the teaching actually is like. But there also was a potluck afterwards, which was scrummy. Hurrah for free food! Oh, and PT and his GF were walking downtown to see the christmas parade, so I had to take my things out of the car and bring them back to the church, where I was being picked up. However, the church is downtown, so they lock the doors after normal service hours. Which led to me being locked out of a church, and hammering lightly on the doors. 😀 I mainly sat on my suitcase and waited for someone to come out, but there definitely was a little bit of beating on the door going on. Then they let me in and I had chocolate cake, so it was all good.

On, on the first night I was wearing a pashmina, for grace and the fact that I can hid under it of anyone looks at me. Then when I went up to get coffee a lady looked at me and said; “What you’re wearing looks nice! It looks like you’re wearing a tablecloth, but on you it looks good!” 😀

And a quote from PT’s GF. “You know today is the first day of Advent? That means today is going to be a day for Extraordinary things.”

Last night Fraulein and I watched Prince Caspian! Since we are avid Narnian Fan girls, we’ve been waiting impatiently for it to come out on DVD. We don’t have a theatre in town, remember? And it was fun. We decided that Peter is generally an idiot, and Susan doubly so. Seriously woman, what is with the leather corset with buckles and such? ISH. And the whole kissing Caspian in front of the crowd, and “you might want to call me sometime-” *facepalm* However, Edmund and Lucy were marvelous, and we love the mice. 😀 “You are a mouse.” I’m still a little if-ish about Miraz and the Telmarines. The whole story was so very far from the book that you have to divide your brain into two stories for the book and the movie. And I’m not sure if the Telmarines are scary or simply a mindless horde of spanish men. I’ll have to watch it again with a critical eye. 😀

In other news, I’m technically done with Nano now. So I suppose I have to try and break the habit of spending every possible moment on my laptop. *sigh* I know you’re weeping for my sad plight. 😛 But first I just have to read some of the shiny NanoNovels my genius internet friends wrote.

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Time in town…

I’m in St. John’s! Hurrah for the big city!

I got a ride in with a friend’s family, which was very nice of them. It was also rather amusing, because myself and an 16 year old boy were sharing the back seat. He stumbled out of the house at seven in the morning, clutching a pillow, and saw me. *stares* So the pillow went in between us two, and we both leaned on opposite windows and slept. *thumb up*
I’m staying with Ms. B for the weekend, so once we got into town I was dropped off at her house, and got a tour… It’s a nice apartment. 😀 She has a balcony and everything. 
OH, and we ate out in the college food court, which is very college-y. You know, people behind the count who don’t really care, straws on the floor, everything tastes like fridge, and people my age. Oh, and half the people are guys, which is just strange and unsettling. 
(And by the way, interspersed between all this is watching of Firefly; we’re going through the series. Some moments are totally matchy, and some ver ver awful- put a quilt over your head AND stick your fingers in your ears. )
Mmmmm, then PT and PT’s GF came by, and we went out to Tims! Coffee and tea all round, and various munchables. PT’s GF is very cute. And sweet. And tiny. And giggly. And despite that description, I do actually like her. 😛 She and PT are really cute together. They do hold hands a lot, though. And seeing your little brother kiss anyone, even on the cheek, is traumatizing any time when the little brother is over the age of four.
Then, at 9:00, we all went out downtown- to a church coffee house. There was free music and coffee! MARVELOUS! My Classical Pianist brother, bless his shiny heart, thought the music was too loud. Just because he couldn’t hear himself talk. Sheesh. I thought it was pretty good though. The first act was really good, just a man and a guitar. I recognized a couple of Johnny cash songs, and quite a few I would liked to have been able to identify but wasn’t. Then there was a band which showed a lot of promise for the first minute of intro to their first song, and then repeated the intro with variations for forty minutes. They were all first year engineering students, however, so I suppose I’ll forgive them. After the first years came a more established band, which is well known in the “christian scene.” At least, the players are well known, I”m not sure about the band unit its self. Despite having The St. John’s Sound and a lead singer who couldn’t find the pocket in a pair of cargo pants, they were pretty good. If you’re playing John Mayer, a decent guitar player makes up for much. Side note; I approve of well- played guitars in general. 

"Did I mention I know almost everything about almost everything?"

I’m been such a sporadic blogger of late. I think that is because I have no time sense. It’s true. There is an event, and another event, and they float disconnected in a sea of rushed images and words. I navigate by landmarks of memory, phrases and scenes that stick in my memory. This is especially odd, since I have a good memory, but if you ask me how long a thing has taken or will take, the odds are pretty good I will have no clue. The only way I know is if I work the math and count back from a number I have, whether that is a time or a date. Of course, this may be how everyone works. 😀 

Well, I went for a lovely long walk on Saturday. 11.7 km, in fact. My legs were about to seize up when I got home. But I did get some very nice pictures, which I will post sometime in the future. Oh, and PT may be bringing his Girl Friend home for Christmas, which should be fun! 
I see another reason I didn’t post. A signal lack of things to talk about. 😀 
But I did make pork barbecue in the slow cooker, which was a success. Also, we’re going to have a working shower tomorrow evening at five pm. For the first time in three weeks. 
HURRAH! 

"If you spray me and I’m not on fire I’ve giving you to the community college."

We had the police in at work today. In an unofficial capacity. You see, we had a techie come in to upgrade one of our systems. (I’m not important enough to know the details. :D) And in the process of doing so, he set off our tamper alarm. We continued as per normal, ignoring the high-pitched siren that was emanating from the secure room where he was locked in with the senior cashier. After about twenty minutes of this, a very confused off-duty RCMP Officer poked his head in the door. “Do you, uh, hear that alarm?” So the other cashiers laughed at him and sent him away. 😀 Just a normal day in your local friendly financial institution! (Interestingly, my reaction to alarms has gone down significantly since spending time at McWork. I just blink at them.)

Ah, and yesterday I had my first ever conference call! It was magical! Actually, it wasn’t quite magical, but it was quite fun. The lady facilitating the training call was from Winnipeg, and everyone else was from Ontario. After about twenty minutes of general conversation we were told to preface our statements with our names, since we all had similar voices. Then she retracted that order, saying that Ali, (who moved to Toronto from Iran five years ago), and I (who apparently has a strong Newfoundland accent), wouldn’t need to state our names. Mainlanders. 😀 
Yesterday PT stopped by on his way to visit grandparents on the mainland. He and the Walrus are going out to help out for two weeks. Regrettably, I was at work all day. But I consoled myself with watching Ironman. Which is a good movie. A very good movie. My oh my. Everyone and their uncle, it seems, had been watching it and raving about it, so I had to preorder it on itunes so that I could watch it at the first available legal day. That was not even an option, really. (I sense disapproval oozing from those among us who do not have access to a theatre and are not fond of that fact, so I will qualify my previous assertion and say that everyone and their uncle who live in or near a city watched it and told me to watch it.) And it was awesome. Did I say that already? 
And I want Mr. Stark’s computer. Actually, I want his whole house, but that computer is amazing to the nth power. *stares at it* For those who are gearheads- you know who you are- it is worth it to watch the movie just for the computer. And if you’re a gearhead and don’t know it, this movie will show you. Also the dialogue is marvelous, as are the characters, the cinematography is lovely, the effects are beond cool, and the plot makes me happy, but the computer rocks my socks. *writes fanfiction about the computer* 😛
Now I need to go fold some laundry so I can jury-rig some more sudo-professional outfits. Valeo!

"Dr. Who did not help that experience to be more reassuring."

Day: 5
Date: 22/07/08
Event: Hollywood Studios

This experience is very fun, but my tendency towards cynicism in not lessening. In Epcot there is a general feeling of Quality to the structures, or at least of solidity. But Here the whole idea is that it is movie sets, so it all rings slightly false. 😀 Hah! I mean, false even after the significant suspension of disbelief required for a theme park. 😛

We started the day with Star Tours; a Star Wars Themed ride. It was quite fun, but we realised afterwards that Slonner and Walrus have not seen the movies, which made it slightly incomprehensible for them. They still enjoyed it, however, so all was not lost. After emergence from that ride, we were off to meet Lightening McQueen!

This was the thing Gid actually wished for. And I don’t know- when you have a 4 year-old palliative patient who has had a rush wish (which means he doesn’t have a lot of time,) come to visit, wouldn’t you try to do something special for him? A meeting in Lightning’s Garage? Five minutes uninterrupted? A sticker pack? That was what I was expecting. What we got was jumped to the front of the line to get our picture taken with Lighting and Mater. Two minutes, tops, in the middle of the public square, with other people crowding in for their turn, and music blaring.

Now, Gid was still delighted. When I asked later what he did today he said that “I saw Lightening and Mater- and touched them!” I, on the other hand, wanted to punch something. Hard. Broken glass and blood, please. Bah, I believed the Disney propaganda, which is always a dangerous thing. I’ve just got a jaded soul and Gid is so cute it hurts. I was holding him while we were waiting for Lightning, and he is so thin. Such delicate hands. His eyes are huge, and when he grins he’s infused with happiness. You beam to look at him. Mommy bought him Lightning McQueen shoes last night, and he was delighted with the. And the thing with Gid is that when you use words like “delight,” “joy,” and “beam,” it is the perfect truth. Even with all he’s been through, he is so full of life and happiness. My little brother is an amazing little boy. I wish I could see the man he would be. I have been truly blessed to be his big sister for 4 years.

[Here I broke off to bawl in the bathroom for 10 minutes]

Anyhow, the day. We went on a number or other rides, but probably the most noteworthy were the Tower of Terror and Rocking Roller Coaster. The Tower of Terror, because of the, (yes,) terror it inspired. The title is my reaction after we staggered out. The Rocking Roller Coaster is worthy of note because of its truly impressive wait line. ToT was fun, I’ll say, but I have no interest in doing it again. Been there, done that, sneered at the t-shirt. Seriously, why are all the good snarky t-shirts in guy’s sizes only? Even if perchance they have an acceptable design, it’s on a pink background!

I don’t do pink. I am the anti-pink. Pink is against my beliefs. So why do half of all female t-shirts have to be on that accursed colour? *bites a pillow* This is me, not impressed.

And on the subject of t-shirts, Fraulein and I noticed a distinguishing feature of Brazilian girls while in the interminable line for the RRC. There are a lot of groups of teenage tours from Brazil, all with official t-shirts. And the girls, almost without fail, have modified their shirts. The modifications range from “falling off the shoulder,” to “sleeveless,” to “bikini top.” I didn’t know you could fashion a bikini out of a t-shirt, but these girls manage it.

Overall, today was another very fun day, and I’m becoming acclimatised and accustomed, but I don’t think I’d fork out my own money for another ticket.

We’re in the SYSTEM now!

Day: 4
Date: 21/07/08
Event: Epcot

Disney is pretty much the embodiment of wildly successful capitalism. 47 square miles of wildly successful capitalism. Not that it’s not warranted, mind you. Today was kind of our test-day, to see ho our other days will be organised. And it was very fun.

After getting through the gates, (which required a fingerprint scan, (for Homeland Security? No one knows.)) We split up into two group. Mommy, Daddy and the small ones in one group, and Slonner, PT, Walrus, Fraulein and I in another. As we’re the oldest, we’re sometimes refereed to as the G5, and we were unleashed on the unsuspecting theme park! *evil laugh* We commenced a detailed and carefully considered planning session.

“What’s that golf ball?”
“I think it’s a ride?”
“Wanna go on it?”
“Sure!”
*enters the line for Spaceship Earth*

In fact, that was the best line experience of our day. We were in the official queue for approximately 2 minutes before we were taken aside and let in the exit. Aren’t we special? *preens* There was on spot on the “time travel” ride when we saw Michelangelo painting the Sistine chapel, with an Alleluia playing, and I got hit rather hard with a wave of homesickness for Augustine. I never thought I’d miss music class, but that time has arrived! 😀 Then we got stuck up at the top. PT spotted a pair of legs sticking out form under a car, so he was either fixing it, or we’re run over him and they were bringing up the body bag. It was dark; who knows?

Anyhow, fired with enthusiasm at our short line wait, we headed over to Test Track. 50minutes later, we got on the ride. I guess not all park employees are as zealous to give special treatment! I should explain at this point, that we were told, as a wish family, that we wouldn’t have to wait in lines. 😀 *shrug*

By the time we emerged form there, it was time for lunch. Whereupon we went to Morocco! For those not familiar with Epcot, it has 11 “international showcases,” which ostensibly represent Canada, UK, France, Morocco, Japan, US, Italy, Germany, China, Norway and Mexico. We lunched at Morocco, including some truly incredible coffee.

I have absolutely no inclination to close my eyes.

Then we did all the other countries. Well, not the US or France, but those hardly count, right? *ducks*

Among the G5, it was agreed that Japan, Germany, Morocco and UK, were the best, with Japan being “The place I most wish I had money for.” I almost bought a Kimono, as they were SOOO pretty, but by the time I would have bought one that wasn’t rayon, with the proper accoutrement, I could easily have spent $200. Therefore I decided to wait for my trip to Japan, which will happen someday! Why wait? Because I would certainly wear it on the street, and it would keep the cringe factor down if I didn’t have to say I bought it at Disney. So I bought Slonner a Parasol instead.

Then we went on the most successful ride of the day, which was Mission: SPACE. We were waved into the Fastpass line, but I’m still not sure if that was due to the Wish Uniform we were wearing or not. Anyhow, I tend to like anything vaguely space-related, and the ride its self was pretty awesome, so it was a general hit.

And now my legs are very tired. I don’t usually get to where it hurts to more. At last count, that took a walk of 15 km. So we walked at least that. Oh, and after the small ones were in bed, we went to a MASSIVE Wal-mart. Truly, this takes superstore to a whole new level.

Most of the time I don’t know what is an average price for Clothing, or shoes, or even media. But one thing I am very certain of is the average price of chocolate; and the bars at checkout were only 60% of the prices we get at home. Even with the exchange, that is still a significant benefit to the American shopper. I mean, no wonder the American students were aghast at Canadian Prices!

And one last discovery. I need to work on feeling more secure in public places. If I’m walking around in a basic state of insecurity, wanting only to retreat to my room, that tends to defeat the purpose of travel, no? Or maybe I can just go where there is an absence of crowds. 😛

Can we go ride the train? Can we?

Day: 2
Date: 19/07/08
Event: To Toronto

We made it to the mainland! The little girls went from exclaiming over the size of the St. John’s airport and begging to ride the elevator- to riding a monorail between terminals in Toronto and swimming in the pool, (which is part of the hotel (which is part of the airport)). I think they’re having a good time.

We had breakfast in the St. John’s hotel this morning, which for our family costs a whopping $100.00, and headed off to the airport. The lady at the check-in was rather surprised to see that among 12 people only 5 piece of luggage were checked, but what can I say? We’re a special family. We also almost all managed to be carrying gels or liquids in our carry-ons, so we had to pull the convoy over and repack the lip balm, toothpaste, etc. But everyone made it through check-in and security without incident-

and then Gid dropped his boarding his pass down the heating vent. Hmmmmmm…. Thankfully Daddy worked his usual wonders in convincing people behind counters, and a new boarding pass was printed for him. *sigh of relief*

The actual flight was pleasantly uneventful. And far from being Delayed, we arrived 10 minutes early! We were flying Air Canada, so I was, understandably I think, skeptical of that happening. On the flight I watched Vantage Point, which was a very enjoyable movie. However, there was a large enough body count that I don’t think I’d watch it at home. But it was good. I just especially liked the little news blurb at the end, which was entirely not what had happened. *glee* My devious soul was pleased within me.

Once we had landed the pilots of the plane allowed all the little ones, and even the big ones of our family to sit in the cockpit and pose for pictures. But that thrill was almost overshadowed by the sheer magnitude of Toronto Airport. Moving sidewalks! Massive Hallways! Escalators! Baggage carousals! And- the biggest thrill- a monorail train to our hotel. I think we were all thrilled with that train. And I want one for my own. It was all futuristic glass and private compartments, zipping over highways and parking garages. There wasn’t even a driver, it was completely automated. *wistful sigh*

Right. Yes. *cough* So, we checked into the hotel, which is quite sumptuous, and scouted out the terminal next door. Was this just an excuse to ride the train? Um, yes. 😛 However, we did find a little food court which we then returned to, with Daddy and the money, for supper.

I am writing this by the side of the pool, as the official Adult which allows my non-adult siblings to swim. I was a spoilsport and didn’t swim. 😀 Now the young ones are going up to bed, and PT, Fraulein and myself are going to ride the train again and check out the bustling Toronto night life. (We’re going to the food court for Frozen Yogurt.)

Ciao!