Also, now I want to vent, because I feel like everyone is taking up ALL OF OUR TIME!!! First, Gaston is coming, then we get a slow start on Noragami, then we have an extra thing to translate, and then someone is messaging us on Facebook about hotel rooms and we're like dude, the con isn't for five months! Let us get some work done!!! I always forget how difficult it is for me to deal with people who need to plan everything as far in advance as possible, because usually I get so frustrated I stop dealing with them. And then they come along again.
But the worst part isn't even related to that, it's the extra translation! Of course we didn't want to let anyone else do it, and it was only two pages so we were sure it would be fine. We'd just dash off a translation and get back to our regularly scheduled programming. But no, it had to have a word that isn't in any dictionary. Not even any slang dictionaries! The best we got was about eight hits on Google, none of which gave a whole lot of context to help us figure out what it was. We spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure it out, then threw up our hands in despair, decided it wasn't that important to the story anyway, and fudged it.
But, being the professionals that we are, we let our editor know that we fudged it, so she went out and asked somebody (a native Japanese speaker, I would imagine), who came back with an answer that only just barely made any sense, and she asked us what we thought about it. We put off responding for a while because what we thought was that it's wrong. The evidence we had, to us, in our minds, supported the theory that this answer was not the correct one, so then we had to do more research and of course we found little to no evidence supporting either theory. So we stuck with ours. And hopefully we were polite about it, because we really aren't upset or anything, just feeling rushed, because in the meantime we're here with a volume of manga that's more talkative than we really have time for and we're using up all our time trying to find this stupid term that's not even important to anything except perfectionism! (So by the way, if anybody happens to know what エンカコラ means, or what エニヤコラ would have to do with going the extra mile to be popular in a potentially NC-17 setting, please let us know! But be mature about it, because we don't like NC-17 stuff.)
Okay, now that the venting is done, let's go back to DisneySea! But before I take us all there, I first have to tell you all about the little bakery that was across the street from our hotel. It's not super relevant to any subsequent events, but we did stop there to pick up breakfast that morning, and I think it's about time I mentioned it, because it was adorable and awesome. It was pretty much just a normal bakery with normal baked goods, but we loved it. It's called Hokuo, which in my mind means "Norse", because it's the word they use for Norse mythology, but I think it just means "Northern Europe." That morning, we bought our breakfast pastries to go, so we got a little plastic bag that explains the store's concept. It talks about the Tomte, which we knew from Kingdom Hearts [chi] Christmas events is a little creature like an elf or a brownie that looks like Santa (at least, I think the Wikipedia article described them in a way that sounded Santa-ish). But the point is, according to the plastic bag, the Tomte help make the breads delicious that Norse children eat every day, and this bakery believes that the Tomte lend their magic to their baked goods as well.
And so they have little rolls that look like bears! That was the main one that had a distinct look. They had a Valentine's fair going on, so they had some special chocolate things that we tried, and before we went to DisneySea, Athena and I got a couple of little custard donuts that had regular and chocolate custard filling, and were coated in sugar and corn flakes! (Again with the corn flakes. They work, though. It's kind of funny, because in America we make things crispy by adding puffed rice (a Japanese staple), and in Japan, they make things crispy by using flattened corn (an old American staple).)
We got our donuts to-go because we were in a hurry to get to the park, but once we got off the train at Maihama, we were too hungry to go on, so even though it was just about opening time, we stopped to eat anyway. (We weren't victims of the morning rush hour this time, because the park opened later.) Our late arrival might explain why we didn't see a brass band when we came in, but that was okay because we saw them last week. (They might also have just not had it, because the Aqua Globe was covered up for refurbishment, so they might not have wanted to drawn attention to all the scaffolding and stuff.)
Last time, we started out by going under the Mira Costa and turning right, so this time, we decided to turn left! So the first ride we went on was the Venetian Gondolas. I don't think I have a whole lot to add about this ride from the last time, but I can give another quick rundown. First, the queue area is full of benches, which is nice, but can be tricky when you switch to the next row--what if there's not enough room for your party? But anyway, you get on the gondola, and it's really just a canal boat ride. They take you all through the Mediterranean Harbor canal, and it's beautiful. We all say "Ciao!" to the passersby, who usually ignore us (we walked by later when a gondola was going by and said ciao back, and the gondoliers looked really happy about that), and there's a great photo op of Mt. Prometheus, and the tour guide gondolier even points out that the power rower gondolier will pose in the picture! We make a wish when we go under one of the bridges, and at one point the tour guide gondolier sings a bit in Italian, which always sounds lovely. And at the end, we all struggle to pronounce "arrivederci".
Right after we got off, they closed all the rides that were on the water! DisneySea was actually built on the beach, so all the oceany parts, like the water at the Mediterranean Harbor, are real ocean. Something about the water conditions made it dangerous, I guess, because we saw all the gondoliers packing up and getting ready to turn guests away. This came up again later, when we wanted to go on the transit steamer, they sadly told us that it was temporarily closed. But that didn't happen until after we went to the American Waterfront, to check on the Big Band Beat situation and see if the line to Toy Story Midway Mania was reasonable. Turns out it was literally nonexistent, because the ride was closed--also temporarily, but probably for different reasons than the gondolas.
I have to tell you, though, I didn't mention this before, but now I figure why not? We don't know how the ride compares to our version at California Adventure because ultimately we never went on it at DisneySea, but the entrance to the ride is kiiiiiinda scary. It's a giant Woody face, with his mouth as the door. Why would they do that? Are they trying to induce nightmares? Or maybe they saw something like it in an old reference book about old American carnivals or something and thought it was neat. I don't know. We'd heard about it before and at the time I was like, "DisneySea can do no wrong! I'm sure it's fine, even if they really should just not care about Toy Story." (We never were big Toy Story fans.) Then we saw it in real life and we were like, "Yeah, maybe that wasn't the best idea."
So we determined there was nothing to do at the American Waterfront, and we continued to wander, checking in at stores here and there to see if there was anything interesting. I always like to look in the gift shop at Tower of Terror, because I somehow got it into my head that it tends to have unique merchandise. Lately I'm not sure where that idea came from, because both in Japan and California, that hasn't seemed to be the case the last few times I checked. (Okay, technically the California one has slightly unique merchandise, insofar as Nightmare Before Christmas stuff can be called unique anymore.)
We wandered and wandered, and the next thing we knew, we were at the Lost River Delta, at the next transit steamer stop! (We stopped at the American Waterfront one during our first wanderings.) This was also where they had a Mexican restaurant, and Cecille had mentioned earlier that one of the main things she missed while in Japan was Mexican food, so we pointed it out to her (we knew about it from our research the Friday before) and made a mental note to come back later for lunch. For now, Sindbad's Storybook Voyage was in our sights again! It's kind of a long way off from Miguel's Cantina, but you can see it clearly, and we didn't want to go on any rides in the Lost River Delta (Athena and I would have been okay going on Indiana Jones, but Cecille didn't care for it), and hello, it's Sindbad. So off we went!
When we got off the ride, we saw a crowd gathered by the marketplace...around Jafar, the Genie...and Abu! What! We never see Abu here in the States! So of course we all had to get a picture! It was tricky this time, because all three of them were slowly making their way backstage to take their breaks. The funny thing about it was that the characters seemed to be like, "No, it's okay! We can't let the fans down!" but their attendants were telling all the guests, "We're very sorry, but Jafar-sama is going back to the palace! You're free to walk with us, however." But they were all masked characters, so there wasn't any fun banter, and since they were heading backstage nobody bothered trying to make any comments that might prompt some fun charades. We got some cute pictures, though, and this time they're on my camera so I don't have to go bug Cecille for them!
And that's how we got distracted from the magic carpets and ended up going to buy Chandu blankets instead. Or rather, Chandu + Blankets. They had these super adorable Chandu plushes that had straps like a backpack, only instead of actually being a backpack, his paws were snapped to a rolled up blanket! I love that Japan loves blankets, because I love blankets! I was just thinking a few months ago that if I were to collect something, it would probably be blankets. And then it got super hot for the summer. But the point is, it was Chandu, it was a plush toy, and it was a blanket. We had to buy it. And then Cecille pointed out that we really ought to take our new Chandus to see the amazingness that is the ride he came from. So we did!
For some reason, even though the magic carpets were right next door, we continued to forget about them and went on to the carousel. It's a double-decker carousel, and last time we'd ridden on the ground floor, so now we wanted to check it out from the top floor! While we waited in line, we encountered a little girl who just stared at us. This went on for a noticeable while, so I said to her, "Konnichi wa!" She continued to stare mutely, while her guardians (we're guessing grandparents) encouraged her to be friendly. I'm a lot less intimidated by small children, so I figured I might as well try to make conversation. I asked, "Tanoshindemasu ka? (Are you having fun?)" (I probably didn't need to use teinei-go; she was only like four, but old habits, I guess.) Then she lit up like a Christmas tree and blurted out, "Uchuujin ga ita yo! (There were aliens!)" And proceeded to tell me in very rapid speech about this place where there were aliens and a giant octopus (she was probably referring to a squid, actually, but there was an octopus, so I could be wrong). Her guardians told us that they had been on a different ride earlier, which I correctly guessed was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (she brags, as if it was such a riddle).
I have to say, though, this was one of the highlights of the day, because I think tiny children speaking foreign (to me) languages is one of the cutest things ever. Sometimes I'll be walking around our apartment complex (to get the mail or something), and there will be small children speaking Spanish to their families, and it's adorable. Add to that the fact that this little girl was SO excited, and it just brought a big smile to my heart.
Speaking of conversing with people, Athena remembered that on the train ride to the park that morning we ran into some high school age girls who were clearly going to the same place. They let us have their seats, too. We told them aw, you don't have to do that, but they were like, no, douzo douzo. So we confirmed that they were going to Disneyland, too, and they said yes (they were both wearing Minnie ears, so we kind of figured), and we said we went there yesterday and today we were going to Sea, and they were like, "Aww, you're so lucky to go two days in a row!" so I said, "No you're lucky because we have to go back to America in two days." And we all shared our friendly envy together.
After the carousel, we went back to Mermaid Lagoon. This was important to us, because we didn't do any of the surface rides last time! There's Flounder's Flying Fish Coaster, and the Scuttle Scooter. The coaster is pretty self-explanatory. We weren't too worried about taking Cecille on it this time; the track was all completely visible, and we told her she didn't have to go on it with us if it looked too scary. She kept reasoning why it would probably be fine, including that it was a kid's roller coaster, and we were like, "Well, technically, Gadget's Go Coaster (the kiddie coaster at Disneyland) is the scariest roller coaster in that park, but..." I did take a ton of pictures of the queue area, though, because the attention to detail is incredible. But the best part about this ride was the kids going on it with their parents. Athena said there was a mother and daughter riding behind her (and she just reminded me! it was the little girl in the Rapunzel dress, which we complimented the mother on while we were in line because she made it herself (it looked like she had, so I asked), and it was very pretty! there were a lot of little girls with their hair in one thick braid with lots of flowers), and they would say to each other, "Hayai ne! (It's fast, isn't it!)" And when we exited the ride, there was a father and daughter and the daughter said, "Tanoshikatta! (That was fun!)" and her father said, "Tanoshikatta ne! (It was fun, wasn't it!)", and it was just so darn heartwarming!
The Scuttle Scooter is a little harder to describe. You get in little...sea snails? And they go around in a circle, but the ground isn't flat, it goes up and down. And the snails are all facing forward, but at one point in the ride, half of them turn around, and then the other half turn around, and it's kind of like they're dancing! It's fun, and the cast members wave at you as you go by.
And then we were all getting hungry, so we went to Miguel's Cantina for lunch. And speaking of such things, it is time for us to order a pizza.
Today I'm thankful for having plans to order a pizza for dinner, having a super adorable Chandu + Blanket, getting to go on Sindbad's Storybook Voyage again, all the smiling people at DisneySea, and the adorable little bakery across the street from our hotel.