On the off-chance anyone is reading this and not doing Christmas things, here's one last update before we board the boat tomorrow. After that, it's anyone's guess whether or not I'll be updating the blog. But here are a few observations from the past few days:
1. Disney World was about what we expected...that is to say a complete madhouse. A Saturday a couple of days before Christmas? Lunacy. Still, it was fun because we set our own pace and didn't try and rush through it and get on all the rides. We did manage to get on most of the ones we wanted, excepted Space Mountain. Unfortunate, but the line-up was retarded.
2. One day, when whatever mad scientist completes his experiment (ie. Disney World) I hope I'm still alive to see what his/her conclusions are. I think they will be fascinating.
3. Trying to go to Sawgrass Mills, one of the largest shopping areas in Florida, on the Sunday right before Christmas? We've had smarter ideas. We eventually gave up and fled in terror.
4. I never would have thought it would be so goddamn hard to find a bookstore in Florida, but it is. Unless you're looking for a Christian bookstore. There's oodles of them. Real bookstores? Not so much.
5. Cathy finally got to go to an IHOP. You've never seen blueberry pancakes make a person so happy in their entire life.
6. We've been wished a Happy Holidays a lot around here. Merry Christmas? Not so much.
And now, for the story of the nagging bitch.
As an early Christmas gift, I got Cathy a Garmin 250. This is a GPS device with all the road maps of North America programmed into it. This might seem like a silly device to buy, given that we live in Iqaluit (although the city map for Iqaluit is programmed in), but I thought it might be useful for Florida. Plus, you can buy upgrades, so if we go to Italy next year, we can buy that. And it's small enough to take around in your hand with you. For those wondering why I would give this to her, whenever we get a car on vacation, I end up driving, Cathy navigates. I thought this might make her life easier rather than pouring over maps.
Anyway, the bloody thing is a lifesaver. I suspect we would have been lost a lot more times than we have over the last few days if we didn't have that thing in the car with us, although it really likes freeways too much, especially toll highways (What is it with this state and all the goddamn tolls?). The problem is, we think it's developing sentience.
Seriously, you can nearly hear the contempt in its little electronic voice when it goes "Recalculating" after we've made a wrong turn and it has to give us new directions. And it nags. "Turn right, Turn Right. Turn right now, goddamn it!" (I might have made that last part up). But it's bossy and demanding. And I suspect it's no coincidence that the people who programmed it gave it a female voice.
Anyway, myself and Cathy have taken to calling it, "the nagging bitch." As in, "fire up the bitch and see where the hotel is, will you?" And so on, and so forth.
Of course, the bitch will likely have the last laugh. Forget Skynet, Garmin GPS devices are going to gain sentience one day, and every human in a car is going to crash like lemmings all at once. I suspect they could wipe out about a third of the world's population in a few hours. They'll pick off the rest later.
Wonderful device, but very scary.
Anyway, if you've read this blog over the year, thanks for swinging by. I honestly appreciate it, even those of you who have annoyed me. And I hope you all have a good Christmas. Or a happy holidays.