Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My First Victim

Yesterday at work, I had my first victim as a life guard.  My first real life situation where my skills as a life guard were needed.  My victim had been stung by a bee in the chest and was experiencing severe pain around the area.  I used the sting relief we carry in our first aid kit and an ice pack to help reduce the burning sensation.  The discomfort and pain went away in about 30 minutes, due to my help as a life guard.

Oh, did I mention my first victim was me?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Prisoner of War

Yesterday was my second to last day at Disney's All-Star Resort.  (Which means today is my last.)  I was over at Movies at the Fantasia/Mighty Ducks pool.  The PM crew always bumps on at 3:45 so the AM crew can go do the changing of the guard dance at the Calypso pool at music.  I was standing on stand one at about 3:40 waiting to bump on when we go a radio call that said all the pools were closing to do electrical activity in the air.  So instead of bumping, we just closed the pools and the AM crew left.

Fantasia 1...

Fantasia 2...

Mighty Ducks...


Fantasia 1...

And we finally opened again at 7:00!  We were closed for 3 hours and 15 minutes!  Piece.  Of.  Cake.

At 7:15, the bump came and I moved over to Fantasia 2 where an older gentleman was watching a father and his two daughters.  At first I just thought he was his grandfather.  He was talking to the girls and encouraging their swimming, etc.  He came over to my guard stand and asked me a few questions about our training, then began telling me about his life.  He said he was in the Navy when he was younger.  He was telling me about the things that he would do--basically simulated water landings in air planes.  And then he said he used to be a POW instructor.  He said, "Senator John McCain was one of my students."  That's right, John McCain.  Look, I'll be straight up, I voted for Obama in 2008, but the man survived as a POW in Vietnam and I was talking to the man who taught him how to do it.  Incredible.  He was full of amazing stories, including working with the first US Soldier to escape from the Viet Cong--Dieter Dengler.  He was such an interesting man and I was so sad to get bumped over to Mighty for 45 minutes.

That's the thing I love about being down here.  You meet all kinds of people.  And even though life guarding doesn't have very much guest interaction other than "WALK PLEASE" or "OFF THE SHOULDERS, PLEASE", sometimes you get to talk to some really incredible people.  And sometimes you get to make a difference with a kid.

Twice since I've been over at All-Star have I talked to kids one day and remembered them by name and picked up the conversation another.  They love it!  They can't get enough of it.  Although usually you hear the parents, "Uh-oh, if the life guard knows you by name you must be in trouble."  Hey, I'm just friendly.  And I love hearing "I know!" when I say, "Hi, I'm Hannah".  Always forget about that name tag.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Name Is Hannah & I'm an Epcotaholic

I realized this yesterday.

Jenna and I happened to have the same days off this week, so we were able to have lots of Disney fun together.  On Monday, we went to Blizzard Beach, one of Disney's two water parks.  We did a lot at the park--a majority of the rides and the lazy river once.  Jenna also got her 1/2 dozen mini donuts she's been craving since day one.  It was the perfect water park day and I got a little tan.  (My arms and legs are so tan, but my stomach is still blindingly white.)

After Blizzard, we got a group together to go to the grand opening of Applebee's near our apartments.  We've been waiting for this for forever and I've actually tried to go there twice--rather unsuccessfully.  But it finally opened and we were done craving it, had to have it.

Lots of Lifeguards!
L to R: Adrian, Kaori, Hannah (ME!), Fernando, Adriana, Jaime, Jenna, Isiah

Jaime, Jenna, and I met up with some fellow life guards from Jenna's region after dinner to play miniature golf at Fantasia Gardens.  What a cool course!  We had a lot of fun, but since there were six of us we had to split into two groups of three.  Jaime, Jenna, and I were in Hannah 1, the other three were in Hannah 2.  (They named us that, not us.)  Jenna won--she was getting 2's almost every hole!--but I got second and Jaime came in an obvious third place.

(As you can see, the holes were all decorated like different sections of the original Fantasia.  Mickey as the Sorcerer's Apprentice with his broomsticks were on #17 and the Sorcerer was #18.)

On Tuesday, Jenna and I went to Animal Kingdom.  She hasn't been since we've been down here and we've been trying to go for about a week now.  It was the first park I went to after I started working here, but that time we only did Dinosaur and Expedition Everest.  But we did a lot this time!  We did Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safari, Primeval Whirl, Finding Nemo: The Musical, and the parade.  After Animal Kingdom--because it closes at 5:00--we went to Epcot for dinner.  We were both craving sushi like crazy!  It was delicious in the Japanese pavilion, of course!  After dinner, we walked around the World Showcase for a while and tried to eat dessert in Italy, but settled for France.  They have the best chocolate cake, EVER.  It was a lot of fun, but a lot of work and we were both exhausted at the end of the day.  My camera died right after the Kilimanjaro Safari in Animal Kingdom, so the rest of the pictures are from Jenna's camera.  She has better quality pictures than I do anyway.

Disney's Animal Kingdom...

The Tree of Life

We found this woman on the street.  This tree woman!

DinoLand, USA!

Finding Nemo: The Musical, one of the best shows at Disney World.

Some of the characters from the parade at Animal Kingdom.

And now Epcot...

Alice, in England, not Wonderland.

Bonjour from France!

Jasmine & Aladdin in Morocco.



We saw Belle & the Beast in France and I've seen Mulan in China and heard about some of the princesses in Norway.  But I think they should have Tiana & Naveen in America.  She's from New Orleans, after all.  I just finished that movie today and it was fantastic!  A must-see, for sure.  Anyway, we just didn't get pictures from Canada, American Adventure, Japan, Germany, Norway, and Mexico.  Next time!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mickey Says: Update!

Let's start from the beginning.  First and foremost, I am pleased to announce that on September 16th, I accomplished #58 of my 101 Goals: Sing karaoke.  On Thursday night, a bunch of the life guards went out to a bar in Orlando called Cowboys and we took a taxi there.  This taxi was awesome.  When we first got in, I noticed the ceiling was covered in name tags from Disney World.  They were from all over the world--except America.  He had them organized by country so there was an Italy section, a Germany section, a Japan section, etc.  It was cool and probably about half the ceiling of a 12-passenger van.  He also had karaoke in his car!  He had the machine between the two front seats and two screens that came down--one from the dashboard, one from the ceiling.  So we sang all the way to Orlando.  We did ABBA, Destiny's Child, Jennifer Lopez, etc.  It was a lot of fun.  So there ya go, crossing one off!

I wish I could cross off #24: Take a Spanish class again.  I've been spending a lot of time with Mexicans and people from other Spanish-speaking countries.  They keep encouraging me to speak Spanish to them, so I've been practicing a lot.  But I'm still shy about speaking it a lot of the times.  I can usually understand them though.  I've also had to use Spanish a lot at work.  It seems like the number of Americans is down right now and the number of people from South America is up!  So I've learned how to talk to people about balls--do you want one, you can't have that one, etc.  And also running, diving, jumping.  One day this little boy and girl kept diving in and she did it right in front of me, so I called her over and told her, "Puedes saltar con tus pies primero.  No tu caballo."  Of course I meant to say "cabesa"...you can't jump in with your head first.  Instead I told her horse.  They just looked at me like I was crazy.

Here's the group at Cowboys 2 weeks ago.
Back row, L to R: James, Ashley, Tyler, Alix, Nicole, Hannah (ME!), Nicole
Front row, L to R: Emily, Jaime, Samantha
(We all work together, except Samantha is the second Nicole's friend from outside work.)

On Saturday at work, I had my first Operational Alarm (OA).  I was working at the Surf pool at All-Star Sports at the time.  I probably should have radioed it in, but I forgot.  I was more concerned with helping the guest quickly.  I was standing on the side of the pool watching the water when a woman in the pool approached me asking me if I had anything for cramps.  I thought she meant menstrual cramps, so I told her we only had tylenol, advil, etc.  Meaning not midol.  She went on to explain that her legs had cramped up as soon as she got in the water.  So I went around and got the first aid kit for her to let her see what she wanted.  We're not doctors and we can't tell people what to take, so we give them our first aid kit and let them decide what they want.  She took a packet of pills, I don't remember which, and then said she needed water, but she didn't think she could get out of the pool.  So I tapped out, meaning I let the other guard know I was losing my 10/20 and leaving the pool.  (A 10/20 means we need to be able to scan our entire water in 10 seconds and get to the furthest point in the zone in 20 seconds.)  So I went to the bar to get her water and took it back to her.  I stayed there to make sure she was alright and didn't need anything else before I scanned back in.  It was the second to last stand and my next rotation was AC (area clean-up), so I checked in with her periodically, but then she disappeared so I'm guessing she left.  We made sure she stayed in the shallow end, because if she couldn't use her legs, she couldn't stay up in the deep end and we did not want to go in for her.  She ended up okay and 20 minutes later a kid on the other side of the pool stubbed his toe, started crying, and our coordinator was out there anyway.

On Saturday night, I went to Epcot for dinner with some people from work and their friends.  Three of them were from Mexico, one from Costa Rica, and one from Guatemala.  Meaning lots and lots of Spanish!  It was a lot of fun.  We were going to eat at the Mexican pavilion, but the sit down restaurant was $25 a plate and we don't get a discount there and the quick-service restaurant was $10-$15 for stuff like nachos, quesadillas, etc.  They didn't want to spend that much money on stuff they eat at home all the time for a lot less than that.  So we decided to go to Biergarten in Germany, where I've been before.  But it was a 30 minute wait and it was already 8:30 and the fireworks show, IllumiNations, starts at 9:00.  So we went to the quick-service German place and just got bratwursts.  We spoke in Spanish and English all night and I tried to follow along with the conversation.  It was hard sometimes, but it was a lot of fun.  I imagine that's the closest I've ever been to being in another country with another language because they all said they struggle with English.  But they were nice and they liked to practice their English with me anyway.  Zuly, one of the Mexican girls, said she should always speak English to me and I should always speak back in Spanish.  I like her thinking!

The group at Spaceship Earth in Epcot.
L to R: Glenda (Guatemala), Zuly (Mexico), Hannah (ME!), Fernando (Mexico), Ana Daniela (Mexico), Jose (Costa Rica)

During dinner, they asked me what we call sauerkraut.  I told them and that it was a word we adapted from the Germans.  They said in Spanish it's called "repollo" so Jose, from Costa Rica, said, "Is it re-chicken in English?"  If you know Spanish, you know pollo is chicken.  Very funny.  The language can sometimes be frustrating and a barrier, but it also makes for a lot of good word play jokes--my favorite.

On the bus home, I met a guy from Italy.  He's the first Italian that I've met here!  Apparently they all live in the international housing complex and I think most of them work at the Italian pavilion in Epcot.  But I'm making my way around the world, one contact at a time!

On Sunday I had my last AM shift at All-Star.  I worked at the Calypso pool in Music and after work my feet were killing me.  You have to rove at both stands, which means you're basically walking back and forth the whole time on stand.  I'm sad it was my last AM because 1) I like getting off work at 4:30 more than 10:30 and 2) I like the dance we have to do at the end of the shift.  There's always a changing of the guard dance.  Both of my AMs before we did The Cupid Shuffle, but yesterday we did Cotton-Eye Joe.  The rest of this week I'm only PM and then next week I'm back at my home region.  I'm kind of bummed about that.  I like All-Star.  Also, yesterday if I had had my car, I could have gone to the Polynesian Resort because they were pulling guards from other regions since they were short, so someone else went instead.  Huge bummer.  Once again, the bus ruins my fun.

Anyway, I have two days off now and I was supposed to go to Jacksonville today and Cocoa Beach tomorrow, but life happens and plans change.  So instead we're spending two days in the parks.

Also, it's officially been one month and one day since I've done laundry.  And I'm still not out of clothes!

Okay, one last thing!  Apparently I'm literally the only person in the world that hasn't heard "Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)" [The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Song] by Shakira (featuring Freshlyground).  It's on the play list at Calypso and it's so cool because when it comes on literally every person in the pool knows the whole thing--no matter where they're from.  So of course I had to hit up iTunes and download it immediately.  Now I can't get it out of my head.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Life in Deployment

As I've mentioned before, I work at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney's Pop Century Resort.  However, our region is relatively overstaffed at the moment, and some other regions are lacking life guards.  Being a CP (meaning someone on the college program), I have to "pay my dues" if you will, and be deployed to another region.  That's just Disney talk.

Most of the CPs from my region--actually, all that I know of--have been deployed to Disney's All-Star Resort, either Movies, Music, or Sports.  I had a few friends who had the pleasure of going over to Disney's Yacht  Club Resort and Disney's Beach Club Resort, deluxe resorts where many celebrities frequent.

So far, I've worked three days over at All-Star.  It's been an interesting experience.  Of course things are more or less the same, but there's still a little bit of adjusting to do.

On my first day, I worked the morning at All-Star Music.  In the mornings, we only guard the big pools at each of the three resorts.  Music's big pool is Calypso.  Unfortunately, the way the pool is shaped--like a big guitar--there is a lot of glare on the water, so you have to rove both stands.  That just means walking back and forth for each 30 minute stand.  It actually made time go by a lot faster and Music has children's activities in the afternoon, so they play music and the kids play games.  That helps keep me entertained as well.

The second day, I was over at All-Star Movies in the morning again.  The big pool over there is Fantasia.  It's shaped like a wave, I think.  But luckily both stands are sitting stands, you just have to keep your five minute rule.  Meaning every five minutes you have to change your position, posture, and perspective.  You can sit, stand, or stroll.  That day, I got an ER--early release.  Instead of getting off at 4:30, I got off at 2:00.  All-Star tends to schedule more life guards than they need every day so if someone calls in, there is someone there to cover.  At my region, they only schedule as many guards as they need, but the zones are also adjustable, so that if someone does call in, we can still safely guard the pools.

Yesterday was day three.  I was over at All-Star Sports in the evening.  At night, we guard both the big pools and the small pools.  There's one of each at each resort.  Over at sports, we have Surf for the big pool and Grand for the small pool.  Surf is a wave too, I think.  But it's more horseshoe shaped.  And Grand is just a square, but it's a baseball field so it has the bases and a big statue of Goofy pitching in the middle.  Thanks to the statue, you have to rove at Grand.  I walked the bases 30 times my first stand over there and 29 my second stand.  Every five I would switch directions and look at the time, so it made it go by really quickly.  But during my second stand at about 8:20, everyone got out of the pool.  It was the first time I've ever guarded an empty pool, so I just talked to myself and practiced my singing until about 9:40 when two girls came with a baby.  I didn't want to seem crazy, so I shut up!  I also had to close the pool for the second time ever.  I was nervous, but the other guard made me do it because I was on Surf 1, which is technically supposed to be the one that does it.  So I made the closing announcement:

"Attention ladies and gentlemen.  The time is now 10:00 and all active life guards are now going off duty.  The pool will remain open until 12:00 and you are free to swim at your own risk.  If there is an emergency, please pick up the red phone on either life guard stand.  It will connect you directly to 911.  All pool rules still apply: No running.  No diving.  No drowning.  Thank you and have a magical evening!"

Oh yes!  We also had a cast party yesterday from 11:00 to 5:00, so Kyle (an English CP from my region) and I stopped by a little early to get food and hang out.  Mickey and Minnie both made an appearance, and Mickey actually asked me to dance.  Of course I said yes.  Minnie was dancing with Kyle, but she saw me and Mickey and I guess she's got her eye on me now.  Haha.  Anyway, I think this is my first picture (EVER) with either Mickey or Minnie!  Mom, can you prove me wrong?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Holly & Polly

Because the Humane Society had an overload of kittens, my mom decided to foster another litter.  She graciously offered them my entire room.  I guess I've been replaced.

Their names are Holly and Polly.  My mom totally lucked out there because after the last four, she said, "I think two will be plenty from now on."  Well there ya go.

Sorry I don't know much about them.  Obviously I've never met them, being so far away and all.  Holly is on the left, Polly is on the right.

Thank you Rachel for the picture.  (Finally!)  Thank you Mom for carrying on my good deeds in the cat world.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ten on Ten :: September 2010

Since today is September 10th, that means it's time for 10 on 10!  Unfortunately, I couldn't follow the rules exactly this month because I worked a 10 hour shift.  It would have been perfect, documenting each hour, but not only would I not want to have my camera on stand, I'm definitely not allowed to have it.  So instead, I took pictures of ten different things around my room.

Until October 10th!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Star Tours Farewell Tour

The virtual ride based on George Lucas' original Star Wars trilogy, Star Tours, at Disney's Hollywood Studios is taking its last flight to Endor (and beyond) on Tuesday, September 7, 2010.  (Today!)  It will reopen sometime in 2011 after some much needed renovations are complete.  

By chance, we happened to stop by Hollywood Studios after checking out the famous Beaches & Cream restaurant located at the Beach Club Resort.  It's a 50's style diner with a world famous kitchen sink.  No, no, not a kitchen sink to wash vegetables and dishes, a dessert dubbed the kitchen sink.  Imagine eight scoops of decedent ice cream topped with the works--brownies, bundt cake, candy bars--an entire can of whipped cream, sprinkles, and cherries galore.  Jenna, Brian, Dexter, and I were going to attempt to conquer the Everest of ice cream sundaes, but by the time we got a table (3:30) we were all starving and decided to order some real food first and chickened out and got our own desserts.  I had the brownie a la mode and it was delicious.  And just like when we went to Germany, after lunch we were rolling in fatness.  Still not too fat for Hollywood, though.

We headed straight for Star Tours as the cast member loading the tram announced the general public only had a short two days to ride the old version.  And sadly, we probably won't be here for the grand opening of Star Tours 2.0.  Bummer.

Anyway, as usual with Disney, the line was awesome.  Totally decked out in Star Wars themed decorations.  We even bumped into C3PO and R2D2.  Imagine that.  After riding the ride--which we pretty much just got right onto sans a wait--we came to the consensus that Disney definitely needs to update their mode of transportation to the far corners of a galaxy far, far away.  And let's just say our driver wasn't that experienced and it wasn't a great ride to go on when you're stuffed to the brim with ice cream and brownies.

After Star Tours, we did Muppet Vision 3D, a cute 3D show based on...THE MUPPETS!  It was enjoyable, which is saying a lot.  Ever since I saw Honey, I Shrunk the Audience at Epcot in the mid-90's, I've hated 3D, as I may have mentioned before.  But I liked it.  It was funny.  And who can resist Kermit the Frog?  No one, I tell you!

Then we hopped on the Great Movie Ride, to complete the trio of new rides for me.  (I think I've done all three of those before, just not since I've been down here.)  I loved it!  I love movies, you know, I loved this ride.  I actually had only seen one of the movies--The Wizard of Oz--but most of them are on my Oscars list.  It was very cool and I'm slightly jealous that I don't get to do the spiel for that ride.  I would love, love, love it!

To top off the day, of course we ended on Tower of Terror.  I don't think any changes were made, I don't know if we were just on a different track, but it was different than when I rode it earlier this month, and a lot scarier.  But then again, Jenna did say, "Look at the eye.  There we are."  So I'm guessing it wasn't new, it's just different on each track.

So, farewell Star Tours, we'll catch the reunion on May 20, 2011.  It was fun while it lasted, but it's not me, it's you.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Vigilance Awareness Training

I had an interesting two days at work on Friday and Saturday.  Although, more Saturday.  It just all started on Friday afternoon...

While on my rotation at Pop Century, I was doing my two stands at the Hippy Dippy pool.  My manager, Lauren, came up to do their daily "How are you?  Do you need anything" check-in.  Before she left, she announced she would be giving me an IST quiz.  IST stands for in-service training, a two hour training session we have to complete twice a month in order to keep our licenses as guards.  (Yes, we're not certified, we're licensed.  That means I'm only a life guard at Walt Disney World.  If I save someone any where else, I no longer have professional training or legal protection.  Oy.)

"What does FBAO stand for?"
"Foreign Body Airway...Obstruction?"
"Yes.  What does BSI stand for?"
"Body...something Isolation."
"Body Substance Isolation.  What does VAT stand for?"
"Wow.  Um..."
"Vigilance Awareness Training.  What does AED stand for?"
"Automatic External Defibrillator."
"What does AFR stand for?"
"Accidental Fecal Release."
"Very good!  You passed."

It was very stressful.  While she was quizzing me, I was scanning out of Hippy 2 and into Hippy 3.  It's hard to look for VATs, let alone guests in distress, while you're being quizzed on them.

The rest of Friday went completely in the ordinary.  My Chacos continued to destroy my feet--and we were doing so well together!  No one drowned and nothing extreme happened.

After getting a mediocre night's sleep, I had to get up at 6:00 for in-service training at Caribbean Beach.  There was just a small group of us, compared to my first in-service which was nearly our entire life guard staff.  We worked with Lauren and one of our coordinators, Jen.  It was a good two hours.  A lot of us seemed to have a lot of questions.  (It worked out that we had all started anywhere from two months ago to two days ago.)  But we also had a lot of stuff to go over.  We did scenarios where we broke into groups of three and scanned into the three sections of the pool at Old Port Royale.  I was on Pool 2, by the big slide.  The rest of the group was in the water ready to act out the simulated emergency.

One of the girls placed a VAT in Pool 1.  A VAT is a silhouette of a person lying down.  They come in infant, child, and adult sizes.  We get "vatted" periodically during our regular shifts, and they also use them for in-service.  The idea is to lay it at the bottom of the pool and you have 30 seconds to see it and blow your whistle.  Then you jump in and get it.  Well, Pippa was at Pool 3 and happened to see it before Alix, so she jumped in to get it.  I hopped up on top of my stand, standard procedure, and began scanning my water and Pippa's.  When Pippa came out, we all got back to our regular zones.  That's when a guest walked up to the side of the pool, right by my stand, with a drink.  I thought she was just dipping her foot in the water to check the temperature, so I wasn't going to say anything about the drink.  But she stayed a little too long for my liking and I kindly asked her to move the drink six feet from the pool, a Florida law.  Meanwhile, Jen was placing a doll in the corner of my zone.  I don't want to make any excuses, I should have seen it, but I didn't have my visor or sunglasses and there was a terrible glare from the sun rising, something we never encounter.  Pippa happened to see the baby and jumped in again.

Because we're a team, it didn't matter.  But I still felt bad because there was a baby at the bottom of my pool and I didn't see it!  Regardless, the day went on and after in-service, I had to head over to Pop for work.  The day was going, once again, very well.  (A good day for a life guard is a day in which nothing happens.)  I had Bowling 2, Hippy 1, break.  Computer, Hippy 2, Hippy 3, break.  Repeat.  Not a bad line.

Around Computer, I started to notice I was nearly dry from in-service.  I had brought a change of clothes since I have to wear my shirt in the pool since the swim suit doesn't cover my tattoo, but I opted to stay in the wet clothes just to stay cooler.  So there I am, walking over to Hippy 2 thinking "I'm almost dry, and I managed to not get my hip pack or hair wet in IST.  But, just my luck I'll probably get vatted at Hippy."  I scanned onto Hippy 2 and noticed Nicole, who I was bumping, was acting very strange.  She didn't say anything to me, which isn't uncommon, but it was in more of an awkward way.  I could feel something coming.  But then again, I thought maybe something had happened on that stand that shook her up a bit.  She gave me the all clear and I sat down.  It was hot and I was nearly dry, so I started to drink some water, still scanning my water.  I look down in front of my stand and there's Adam, one of our coordinators.  Well, if Adam is in the water, so is a VAT.

And then I saw it.  Right in the middle of one of the petals, a silhouette of a child laying at the bottom of the pool.  I blow my whistle loudly, point, and jump off the stand.  I took two steps before I was in the water.  I swam over to the VAT, pushed my rescue tube aside, and dove for it.  (All 3 1/2 feet.)

Lauren and Juan, another one of our managers, came over to my stand and the four of us--Adam included--gathered around to talk.  "How do you think you did?  What do you think your time was?" Juan asked, kind of solemnly.  "I don't know, 5 seconds maybe."  (Side note, Adam had already told me in the water I got it fairly quickly.)  "10 at the most."  "And why do you think that?" Lauren asked in the same tone.  "Um, I don't know."  I was definitely starting to get the feeling it had been over the allotted 30 seconds and I would be just another guard that failed their first VAT.  "What was my time then?"  "FIVE SECONDS!" they said in unison.  Phew!  They went on to say I did a great job pointing confidently.  Most guards on their first VAT do a double take and just hop in, apparently.  All the adrenaline shook me up a bit and I kept checking that spot over and over again just to make sure there wasn't still something there.

They said I would get a t-shirt and be able to sign the Wall of Fame in the coordinator's office.  YAY!

On my next stand, Hippy 3, there was an AFR on the side of the pool by Hippy 2.  If you remember from my quiz, an AFR is basically when someone poops in the pool.  So we had to close the pool and walk around and tidy some stuff up.  One of the guests started asking me questions about the closing and somehow the other two life guards and Adam ended up all talking to this guy.  Somehow he managed to work in that he had open heart surgery in 2005, and I said "ME TOO!"  He asked me about my surgery and I asked him about his.  It was very interesting.  It's nice to bond with a guest like that because usually we're just yelling at people to walk or jump in feet first.

The rest of the day was uneventful.  (Except that I did have a conversation with a guest in Spanish.  YAY!)  The air conditioning in the break room made for my first two breaks to be very uncomfortable.  And I was finally starting to dry off when I was back at Computer for the second time.  Of course it started to rain then.  Luckily, it stopped within minutes and I stayed somewhat dry.  But hey, I went home dry and that's all that matters.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Sharks & Sausages

On Monday night, Jenna and I had a guacamole competition.  Being the geniuses we are, we had an even number of people do the taste test, and we ended in a draw.  But the good news is, we made a whole meal for a big group all by ourselves!  Well, by whole meal I mean we made nachos with meat and beans, and the rest of your classic Mexican toppings--sour cream, salsa, etc.  It was a lot of fun.

On Tuesday, my last day off, I crammed in all the Disney fun I could.  Jenna and I went to Typhoon Lagoon, a water park by Downtown Disney.  It has a wave pool with six-foot waves and a few mediocre slides.  But most importantly, it has a shark reef.  You can snorkel with the sharks free, you just have to wait in line (for us, 10 minutes), or for $20 you can scuba dive with the sharks for a little bit longer than our snorkeling.  I was getting a little freaked out as we got closer and closer to the edge of the water, but it turned out to be a blast.  You stay on the surface of the water and all the sharks and other ocean life are down near the bottom.  The water is salty and only 68 degrees, so it's a little bit different than the warmer chlorinated water.  More like a shock.  You just have to make sure you don't kick your feet and disturb the surface too much.  There's a life guard in the water, what looked like a shark expert floating near the end of the reef, and a life guard on stand nearby.  If something happens, they would be in there in a heart beat.  I wanted to ask Johnny, the guy that started each group in the water, if there had ever been any incidents, but with the girl that got a quarter of the way through, turned vertical, and started kicking her way back to the beginning, I figured I'd pass.  No need to freak anyone else out.

After two (maybe three) trips around the lazy river--and seeing some people from our guard class--we went home.  We met up with Lindsey, Dexter, and his roommate Brian to go to Epcot for dinner.  When we got there, the marquee giving the wait times for everything said Soarin' was an unheard of 10 minute wait (usually it's 60+), so we immediately jumped in line for that.  I was the only one who had never done it before and loved it!  Can I say I've been to California now?!

Soarin' is a virtual ride in which you "board an airplane" to California.  You're put in a glider in front of a gigantic screen and all of a sudden you're soaring over beautiful California.  If you ever do this ride, make sure you engage all your senses.  Although, you won't be able to taste much, unless you're licking the person next to you.  And don't do it if you're afraid of heights!

After Soarin', we walked over to the World Showcase for dinner, our original plan.  We had it narrowed down to either the pub in the United Kingdom or the buffet in Germany.  It just so happened that we walked to the UK first, since it's just the second country on that side, but the wait was closer to 90 minutes than 60, she said.  No thank you!  The wait was only 10 minutes for Biergarten, the restaurant in Germany.  We ate and ate and ate.  All of us had more than one plate of sausage, salmon, potatoes, bread, etc. plus another plate of dessert.  It was delicious--chocolate mouse, authentic cheese cake, and more.  Yum!!  We were stuffed.  On top of that, Jenna, Dexter, and Brian each got a liter of beer.  Needless to say, I made sure to rove a bit more yesterday at work to try to burn off some of those calories.  It was a lot of fun though.  I can't wait to eat my way around the World Showcase.  Right now I'm already checking flights to Berlin.  (I joke.)