In the meantime, I still have an excursion to write about! It started Friday afternoon, when Mom took us to the train station. There we were, merrily waiting for the train, checking the time against the train's arrival time...and suddenly the distance between those times stopped getting shorter. For about an hour, the distance between the real time and the train's ETA stayed at about fifty minutes. It was kind of excruciating. But we counted our blessings that we weren't on the train while it was delayed--at least we had relatively fresh air.
Finally the train arrived, and it was really hard to find two seats together, so we split up. I sat next to a woman who is not afraid to start conversations with people, so we talked. She was an archaeologist who normally works in Belize, but is not archaeologing right now because she's taking care of an eight-month-old. I agree that it probably wouldn't be the best of ideas to take an eight-year-old to an archaeological site in Belize that's surrounded by venomous snakes and spiders and moths and frogs and jaguars (not venomous, but still deadly), unless she wanted the girl to grow up like Steve Irwin's kids. Oh, Steve Irwin. I miss you.
Anyway. That was probably the only thing worth mentioning about the train/bus ride, so on we went to Burbank. We were dropped of right by the airport, and then it was our job to find...oh yeah, we realized something really helpful. After all our panicking about oh no how are we going to get from the train station to the hotel and back!, we finally made the connection that the hotel's complimentary shuttle from the airport would probably still apply to people riding the bus to the airport. So now it was our job to find this shuttle. But then we found out we were supposed to have called the hotel first. Fortunately, "first" can be "a minute ago," so we were able to book a shuttle without too much problem, but we were reeeeeally nervous about whether or not we were getting on the right shuttle. I was pretty sure I had heard everything right, but when you're nervous, it doesn't matter.
The hotel was awesome. It was a small hotel, and was kind of more...surrounded...than we're used to, but it was really pretty, and the staff was super friendly. When we got there, the lady at the front desk asked if we would need a ride back to the airport, then discovered she didn't have a shuttle driver for Saturday. But she promised they would get us to the airport somehow, even if she had to pay for a cab. Then she found out they still had some newly renovated rooms free, so she put us in one of those, and oh my goodness, it was amazing. I took pictures, but it's probably more amazing in person.
We decided to check what was on TV, and that's when we discovered Undercover Boss. We'd heard of it before, but we never saw it. This episode featured the COO of Orkin, going undercover to work with employees. We only caught the second half, but it was just so happy and awesome. We came home and tried to find it on Hulu, but it looks like we have to watch it through cbs.com. That's okay, except we need to not be at the computer all the time for crying out loud. Anyway, we highly recommend it! (Or at least that one episode. And hopefully it doesn't have dark secrets like The Biggest Loser.)
The next day, we got up early so we could go on the D23 Walt Disney Studios tour. The hotel was close enough to walk, and it was really easy to figure out how to get to the main entrance...but the email told us to please use the other entrance. So we left early to make sure we'd have time to find the non-main entrance. So we walked toward the studio and found the main entrance, and then of course took the longest route possible to get to the other entrance. We didn't see anything that indicated we were in the right place, and we were running out of time! So we went to a security guard and asked what to do. He said the D23 tours were using the main entrance. Well. That's just swell.
So we dashed (as much as we could; we are not in shape, and we'd already been walking too fast for a while) toward the main entrance and made it with two minutes to spare! Whew!
And I'll tell the rest of this story someday when I have time to upload pictures.
Today I'm thankful for getting to stay at a really great hotel (we looked out the window and saw a comic book store across the street; we were tempted to go check it out, but we are timid and lazy, and we were also tired), getting to watch Undercover Boss, getting to see Iron Man 3, the magical restorative properties of lemonade, and making it safely from the airport to the hotel and back.