Guest blog post by Cyndi Sweet (Sister/Sister-in-Law/Aunt)
In a few weeks, Sharon and I will be going with my sister, Suzanne Sweet Cook and her family to Disney for a day and then on a cruise for a week. While we are very excited, we are also a bit nervous. Allow me to explain.
When Sharon and I “take on” a day at an amusement park, we enjoy a nice stroll through the park, either by a self-guided tour or by picking up a park map and picking shows we want to see. We ride a ride if we want, we eat when we are hungry, we take in a show if we want, and we let the day and the park guide us. We enjoy finding a nice bench or swing to do a little people watching. We stay as long as we want, which might be all day or might be only part of the day. We use the opportunity to have fun and relax a little.
When my sister “takes on” a day at an amusement park, however, things are a bit different. Her plan is also to enjoy the day and have fun, but her approach is a bit more….aggressive.
First of all, for all of my friends who think I walk too fast, I would be the tortoise and my sister would be the hare. A speed limit of 55 on the interstate has nothing on my sister and her ability to move the short legs attached to her 5’3″ frame at NASCAR speeds. Even the longer legs on my 5’7″ frame are not long enough to keep up with her pace. From the moment you exit the car, it’s a race to the shuttle stop, a race to the front gate, and a race to the first ride. A slight odor of burning rubber can be detected from the soles of the group’s shoes. People in the park tend to step aside from the oncoming roar of a fast moving group and feel a slight breeze as we pass by them, never really being aware of the fact that it was 2 or 3 adults and 3 kids that just blew them off the sidewalk.
In discussing our upcoming visit to Disney, Suzy shared “the plan” with us and Sharon and I got a little winded just from “the plan” alone. I didn’t fully comprehend “the plan” because her mouth was moving about as fast as her legs do and my brain couldn’t keep up. I heard phrases like “up early”, “be at the park when it opens”, “park in Parking Lot X…speed walk to shuttle….board shuttle to Amusement Park Y”, “be first in line for Ride A”, “bathroom breaks only when urgent”, “food only as fuel for our bodies”, “stay until closing”, “park hop via speed walking and shuttle all day long”, etc. Drill sergeants look like teddy bears compared to my sister. Step aside; Mickey….the Cook family is coming through.
Suzy doesn’t wait for the day to wake her up…she wakes the day up. Then she grabs it by the throat, shakes it silly, and squeezes it until every last drop of “fun” has been squeezed out of it. She doesn’t let the day dictate to her…she dictates to the day how it will go. She uses the internet and iPhone apps like her own personal war room…planning, plotting, and mapping how to cover a lot of ground in a short period of time.
Disney will earn its reputation of being the most magical place on earth if Sharon and I survive it with my sister. Lord knows we are going to have to conjure up some sort of magical spell to “KEEP MOVING!” and “HAVE FUN!” (Suzy’s instructions)