We left at about seven-thirty yesterday morning and were well on our way by about maybe nine o'clock, when we got pulled over for speeding. Normally, I would be like, "Celeste... *shakes head*" but the cop who gave her the ticket claimed she was going almost a hundred miles an hour, and we're all pretty sure that was a lie. She was, however, definitely speeding, which is why she was very honorably thinking she won't take it to court.
We got down to Anaheim by about noon, Celeste and Sarah picked up their stuff, and we went to Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen for a small lunch with beignets. Then we looked all through the World of Disney store where they had some pretty funny Beauty and the Beast shirts (one with Gaston that said "Relationship Status: Single," and one with Belle and Beast looking upset with each other that said "Relationship Status: Complicated), and then we went to check in to our hotel.
Next, we had discovered that Sarah had never been to the Rainforest Cafe before, and we all agreed that that had to change. It was a little early for dinner, but since the little sisters were going to be waking up beyond early to run a half marathon the next day, they needed to have an early dinner, preferably of pasta. Granted, there are more obvious places in Downtown Disney to get pasta (the Italian restaurant Naples, for example), but Rainforest Cafe. It's "a wild place to shop and eat!" And they had thunderstorms every half hour! It's so great! Last time we ate there (about four and a half years ago), it was at night, so we didn't realize that the restaurant has skylights, which get closed up so the thunderstorms are darker. Awesome. We were seated by one of the aquariums, which gave us plenty of time to discover that fish...can get really creepy sometimes. They were really pretty, though. Just...it's not a good idea to stare at them for too long. We also sat nearby a family of elephants that would wake up and trumpet at us every so often.
The only disappointment of dinner was that we weren't feeling up to having a Sparkling Volcano. We didn't get one, so I couldn't say exactly what it is, but from the picture on the menu, as well as the one I caught a glimpse of as it was carried to a table, it's a mountain of cake with two giant scoops of ice cream on top, and syrup (chocolate and caramel) running down it like lava. And they put a sparkly thing on top, and maybe a candle to light it up? Anyway, it looked really amazing, and now I have made it a goal to someday return to the Rainforest Cafe and order one. Someday...
Then we went to Marceline's to buy some candy, and then back to the hotel, where the idea was to go to bed super early to facilitate waking up super early, but what actually happened is that Celeste and Sarah spent about an hour watching funny videos on Celeste's phone (after watching a couple episodes of The Office on the room's TV). It all started when Celeste, for a reason I can't remember, wouldn't stop singing the "I'm the map" song from Dora the Explorer. (We think the reason was that someone had something else stuck in her head, and she said, "At least it's not as bad as...") Then we discovered that Celeste had never seen the Dora the Explorer fake movie trailer, and it all took off from there. ("I haven't seen you...since I was this many.")
Eventually we did all go to sleep. The race started at five, and something somewhere had encouraged all the runners to be there by four. We weren't nice enough to wake up with Celeste and Sarah, so we got up at about 6:40 (normally there's no chance that would have happened, but we got to bed really early) and walked over to the finish line to see if we could catch them still running. We eventually caught sight of Sarah running down the track, so we watched her until she ran by where we were, and we cheered her on! A few minutes later, I texted her to see if we had missed Celeste or not, and since we hadn't, we looked at all the runners and their costumes as we waited for her. (Incidentally, Celeste and Sarah both had a pair of wings, and a white t-shirt that said "I can fly, I can fly, I can fly," only in three lines and without the commas. There may or may not have been exclamation points, but we were never much for remembering visual details. That's why for the longest time after we started our run of annual passes, I would see something at Disneyland and think, "Whoa, I never noticed that before!")
I got so distracted by a couple of runners with sparkly skirts (there were a ton of runners with sparkly skirts, but most of the sparkles were round, and these particular sparkles were triangular, which for some reason fascinated me) that I almost missed Celeste, but we did get to cheer for her, too. And then we had a happy reunion, except that Celeste was completely wiped out. She had been fighting a cold all weekend, and she's been saying something about an injured leg since the Jingle Bell Run. We had to walk all the way across Downtown Disney and the Disneyland entrance gate area to get to the shuttle stop, and on the way, they told us about the funny signs some of the spectators were holding. There was one that said, "I didn't get up this early to see you walk!", and one that said, "I bet you thought this was a better idea four months ago," and apparently there was a guy at the beginning with a sign that said "Race Liar" (or something along those lines) who was saying, "Come on! You're almost there!" There was another guy towards the finish line who was acting like all those apocalypse types shouting, "You have to believe me! The end is nigh!"
Then Celeste and Sarah crashed at the hotel for a couple of hours, and then we came home. We had sort of planned on going to church in Anaheim (I don't like missing church!), but since we're uncomfortable going to unfamiliar wards (no particular reason, just the same old social anxiety type stuff), we didn't push the concept too far. But while we were driving, we ran into a lot of traffic, and while Celeste complained about it ("I hate my life right now." "But you just ran a half marathon and did a great job!" "Yeah, but look at this traffic."), Athena said, "Maybe if we'd gone to sacrament meeting..." So we discussed the possibility of getting off the freeway and driving around until we found a church. Since none of us had changed into church attire, the members would probably think we were investigators, and they would be very happy to talk to us. They would ask us what brought us to church that day, and we'd say, "Oh, you know. I was driving around, hating my life, and suddenly I thought, 'I need to go to church!'" ...Well, we were amused anyway. But we do need to get better at saying things like, "No, seriously, people, we should go to church."
The little sisters asked us if we wanted to join them and their boys at Mom's house, but they warned us that there would be football, and that they would not be particularly entertaining (being exhausted), so we opted to come home instead. And here we are! Tadah.
Today I'm thankful for getting to eat at the Rainforest Cafe, getting to buy some candy at Marceline's, Celeste and Sarah having a good time at their race, having chocolate things to eat, and events that are not planned for Sundays.