March Break Thoughts

After a brief 10 day sojourn with the sun, I’m back to the freezer.. errr.. I meant at this time of the year, the cooler. March break is the time of year when folks trek down to the sunny south to get rid of the freezer burn and I would be brutally frank when I say to live normally again, albeit a few days. Take that blunt statement from someone who was born in the tropics, the Pearl of the Orient to be exact. The mad rush to thaw our frozen bodies was evidenced by the fact that as we were driving to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, the car radio was announcing some 95,000 souls were scheduled to depart for March break that day. Man, I thought this was nuts. With the strict airport security and the fact that U.S. Immigration validation is done at the Pearson Airport, I was thinking long queues and baggage check-in nightmares and thought of leaving my golf bag in the van. But thanks to electronic ticketing , as soon as I got into one of the automated counters after a surprisingly short queue, I was able to print our boarding passes . I remember a couple of years ago, JetsGo, a small, no-frills Canadian airline went belly-up and announced bankruptcy on day one of March break stranding thousands of passengers. That was totally diabolical. Not making the trip with the kids and worse, not getting your money back would be the ultimate letdown.

This time it is Florida as my little girl had turned 4 years and wanted to go to Disneyworld. Our destination was Atlanta, Georgia as we intended to stay a couple of days in the Altanta area and drive down to Florida. As we stepped into the 50 seater Canadian made Bombardier CRJ200, I realized that Atlanta is considered commuter destination. Air Canada shuttles 4 flights into Atlanta daily. I’m a little perplexed – with 50 seats, how the heck would the airline profit from this route? If 50 passengers paid $200 each for a one way trip (okay, business travelers pay more), would $10,000 revenue make a profit on a 2 hour flight? We all know that planes don’t fly full house all the time. Man, with the escalating cost of airline fuel, I’m just wondering how much would it cost to fill-up this baby. The flight crew is pretty lean and the service mean – 2 pilots and a single stewardess who does a single serving of pop or juice. Airlines are kind of a brick and mortar business where expenses and competition are high and profitability can be jeopardized by rising fuel costs. No wonder why only the biggies prevail in this business. Alas, as I stepped out of the plane my Blackberry transitioned from Rogers to Cingular Wireless, which meant that I was very much wired and reachable.

I’ve been to Disneyworld many times and if not for my daughter’s desire to meet Woody and Buzz, I wouldn’t venture into Magic Kingdom again. The place is just so overrated. Moreover, ticket prices are stiff – $65 for an adult and $53 for children ages 3 to 9. You pay the same ticket price for EPCOT, Disney-MGM, Disney Animal Kingdom, Sea World, Universal Studios and the list goes on an on. You also pay $2.50 for a bottle of pop, if this is any kind of barometer of the rip off. The sad part is it will take you more than one day to enjoy all the rides at Disneyworld. When you queue for an hour to get into a ride, I figure that the most you can do is 10 rides a day. I remember a family friend who 2 years ago brought her two kids all the way from RP to see Disneyworld . She was so frustrated that they only made it to a few rides. I told her that people come to Disney to say that they’ve made it to Disney. Forget about enjoying Disney unless you’re prepared to pay for a hefty 3-day pass. I also thought her problem was compounded by her 4 year old, baby-talking, nanny bred son who was still on the bottle, couldn’t pee by himself, doesn’t have a clue of what society is – lug along this poor kid still recovering from jet lag and you’re in big time trouble city. Just an aside, what the heck are Pinoy parents expecting from nannies and yayas nowadays? Not to the let the kid do anything??

With the temporary suspension of any form of dieting, I gained pounds during the trip. Although our accommodation had a full size kitchen, vacations are times when you just let the belt loose. At a lobster buffet I remember seeing most folks rip the head of and not wanting to do anything with it. Apparently the red stuff, the underfertilized egg or roe is considered exotic food and the green stuff called “tomalley” is considered the lobster’s waste and not generally recommended for eating. What a waste! Eating lobster or crab without the green and red stuff is like eating hamburger without mayo and ketchup!

I’m home and will be back to work, back to battle stress once again. It’s another long wait- oh, well, at least a month before I can play golf again.

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13 Responses

  1. Whooa! Great comeback post bw. I was wondering why you haven’t updated, turns out you went on a trip to balmy Florida with the family. 🙂

    You’r right Disneyworld is so overrated, only kids and those of young at heart(not to mention those with deep pockets)will enjoy the long queues and ridiculous prices of the food and drinks. You should’ve visited the grand canyon instead, or Yellowstone national park.

    It’s really a problem when you travel with kids who are nanny-bred and are clueless to everything.You’ll spend half of your vacation time taking care of their every need. I have a couple of friends who are guilty of this…

  2. Disneyland is really for kids! When I went to Disneyland in Anaheim, I didn’t enjoy it. Just went to the place so I can say I’ve been there. Hehe. But I’m sure your daughter had a grand time, no? Lucky little girl!

  3. Sngl – Tks bro. Orlando weather was 28deg when we were there. Except for a couple of days when it went to cooler at night, the weather was excellent. It was 10deg in Toronto when we left so the difference was quite substantial. Know what – you’ll definitely spot a Pinoy when you see someone wearing long sleeves T shirt and long pants! Seems that our women are more preoccupied in making sure they don’t turn tan or dark vs. enjoying the weather. I mean using an umbrella would have been tantamount to social death!

    Agree Grand Canyon is great but we wanted to go somewhere closer where we could take our little girl to Disney and daddy can play golf and do a little fishing as well.

  4. Abaniko – agree. Disneyland is just for kids and toddlers at that.
    Glad that my daughter didn’t act up and fully understood the meaning of compliance. The pre school did a good job in training her. That nanny-bred kid I referred to in my post didn’t want to use a seat belt in the car! Never mind the 80 dollar fine but if an accident happens, the driver will be charged with murder if something fatal happened to the kid.

  5. This look like a very grand vacation for you bw and I am sure you have enjoyed it very much. Maybe someday I’d visit some nearby Disneyland and be part of that Mickey Mouse experience. Although I’ve never been a Mickey Mouse fan for I’ve always loved Bugs Bunny. When we were kids, I came to see Mickey Mouse as sort of rival to Bugs Bunny and so I thought, I won’t be having plans in seeing a life-size Mickey Mouse in the future. But maybe, I’d like to see Goofy for he is just a simple kind of fellow.

  6. Ha ha ha..My little girl had a photo session with Goofy actually. The only thing I really liked in this Disney trip was the closing fireworks that lit up Magic Kingdom at around 10pm before closing time which was a first for me coz we never stayed this late. It was spectacular with the music that blared along with it.

    I’m sure one day you’d visit Disney with your family. I heard they have already one in Hongkong?

  7. Golf season already? It’s officially spring here, but there is still a lot of snow on Winnipeg grounds.

    Lucky you, you got to go to Disneyworld. Kami kaya, kelan?

    Once every year the Red River Ex comes here in the summer and that’s the only carnival/rides we get. I can’t stand long queues. You can never make me wait in line for hours. Well, perhaps, I could if it’s a Disney ride. 🙂

  8. the requisite trip to Disney is the litmus test that you’ve made it in this world.

  9. Niceheart – we have been very much snow free since end of Feb and I can say it was a mild winter. Canada’s Wonderland in Toronto is also a world class funland but we only have it for 4 months. I don’t have patience in waiting for the ride myself.

    Irrealis – Orlando is certainly driveable from Toronto – about 20 hrs with an overnight rest. It saves you the plane fare and car rental and if you have a boatload of people and intend to stay more than 1 week, it makes a lot of sense. If you plan to do funland hopping, you have to spend some bucks.

  10. The first thing we look for in crab and lobster is the red “aligi”. How can people therow them away? sayang.. sarrap yun ah.

  11. Agree the aligi and that green stuff is high cholesterol stuff that we don’t mind eating.

  12. how sweet of you bringing your 4-year old to the Magic Kingdom.

    the place is really overrated only the can-afford could take.

  13. Bingskee – it is overrated indeed. People really only go there on planned vacations for the kids to enjoy.

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