Laura and Lee's 2004 New Holiday Stuff
at Walt Disney World Vacation

December 5-11, 2004
Part 4

Saturday, December 11 - RADP Meet, Home

Going home day...not quite as I originally planned it due to the changes in our flights. (Recap for those just joining us: I'd originally booked a return flight at 6:00 p.m. but Delta cancelled it and all I could get was a 2:00 p.m. flight. So instead of having plenty of time for the RADP meet and greet and the Megamouse meet, we would only have time for a brief stop at the RADP meet.)

I got up and packed, checked the "Express checkout" bill, which looked ok, and headed over to Epcot. Lee was going to do breakfast from the Boardwalk Bakery, but I hadn't gotten my cinnamon pecan croissant from Fountainview fix yet, and this was my last chance! And there were still a few things I wanted to do at Epcot. We made arrangements to meet back at our room at 10:30.

Mexico tapestry
Las Posadas tapestry at Mexico pavilion
I got my croissant and even got to watch the fountain dance while I was eating it. Then I went over to the Imagination pavilion to see "Figment's Place" - Kevin had told us about it the day before. It wasn't open yet, but a very nice (and really cute!) CM from Brazil, who was at the souvenir cart outside, told me it should be opening at 10:00, which wasn't too far away. As I was making my way back towards Innoventions I ran into Lee. We wandered around Innoventions and the Art of Disney store and by then it was after 10:00. But Figment must have been sleeping late, and it still wasn't open. As we made our way down the ramp Lee turned around and saw the doors open so we went back. The place is really just a character greeting area for Figment, though it has some of those funhouse type mirrors to entertain you while you're waiting. Unfortunately Figment was living up to his name, and was truly a figment of the imagination that morning so we left - we needed to get back to the Boardwalk to finish getting moved out.

We put our bags in the car and then walked back to Epcot again - I wanted to get some pretzel breadsticks from Trapper Bob's - which no longer sells beavertails. No great loss - once they started pre-cooking them and re-heating them rather than cooking them fresh they weren't very good. But Trapper Bob's wasn't open, nor did it show signs of opening soon. Oh well, at least I got the pretzel bread when we had lunch at Le Cellier.

We went back to the International Gateway where a number of people had already gathered for the RADP meet even though it was only 11:15. The first people who saw us were Kerry and Chad - it was great to see them - it had been probably 4 years. We were having to keep one eye on our watches since we had to leave for the airport. But we had time to say hello to Charlotte and John, and Jan and Mike, and Kenny, Jack, Bruce, Brian and BigBrian, Dave, Amy, and Randy. Oh! Kenny was wearing long pants!!! I'd never seen that before. He believed the weather report that said it was supposed to be chilly, when it turned out to be sunny and quite comfortable. We had to give him a bad time about that. :-) 12:00 came too soon and it was time to leave.

We arrived at the airport in plenty of time. The check-in line for Delta was *huge* but fortunately there was no line at the self-service kiosks. Whew.

As I write this we are in a holding pattern over Imperial County...the San Diego airport is fogged in and they may have to divert us to LAX. I hope not.

And there's the announcement...LAX it is.

Poly tree
Tree at the Polynesian
Ok, so we land at LAX, and get off the plane. They tell us to remain in the gate area until they figure out what they are going to do with us. Within 5 minutes they announce that they are re-boarding our flight for immediate departure, so now we're back on board...and the pilot just announced that we are NOT ready to leave - actually the weather in San Diego isn't clear yet.

And now we're no longer live, it's back to Memorex (or memory, as the case may be).

We ended up waiting at the gate at LAX for another hour and a half before we finally took off - I did get to see most of Elf (with free headsets) in that time, though. The weather had cleared in San Diego but they put us in a holding pattern so that they could let a bunch of planes depart that had been waiting to leave. We were on final approach when all of a sudden the pilot broke off and gunned the engines - never a good sign. The fog had closed in again. But the plane behind was was able to land, so we came around again, and did land that time. I hope the pilots could see more than I could - I couldn't see the runway lights until we were over them.

It was a looooong day...we were supposed to land at 7:25 but didn't get in until 10:45. My brother came and picked us up anyway (thanks, Gary!) and we got home around 11:30. The cats were happy to see us...mostly I think they were glad because we turned the heat on - it had continued to be chilly while we were gone. There was a pile o'cats on the bed that night! :-)

Just a few last flower photos!

Final Thoughts

Thanks for reading!

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Tigger & Stitch's Holiday Escape
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Text and photographs copyright © 2004 by Laura Gilbreath. All rights reserved.

Laura Gilbreath lgil at lgil dot net
Last updated 12/21/04