My father took me back to their resort. One amusing thing about this: almost everyone -- my brother, his wife, my father, even my oldest niece -- owned a cellphone. However, my brother's was almost out of power, and his wife and stepdaughter hadn't brought theirs. So my niece suggested my father give her his cellphone, and then he could get theirs from the room when he got back. Then he could use their cellphone to call his own cellphone and get in touch with them when he got back to the park.
Cellphones do make amusement parks and large groups a lot easier to deal with. Made me wish Lut and I had one each so that I could've brought mine.
One of the things I remember being glad of was that my family was pretty cool about the whole thing. My father didn't mind taking me back to the resort, and no one was pushy about it one way or another. To be honest, if I'd been enthusiastic about Sea World, I would've paid full admission and not sweated it. But getting home early and napping, or talking to my mother if she felt sociable, both seemed at least as appealing as an amusement park and -- bonus -- much cheaper.
At the resort, my mother had already gotten a quick nap, and was feeling talkative. So we sat out on their balcony, looking at the scenery and talking, mostly about games. My mother is a big fan of MMORPGs: she's played EverQuest more than anything else, but has also tried Asheron's Call, Dark Ages of Camelot, City of Heroes, and probably some others that I don't remember at the moment. Her current favorite is World of Warcraft. We talked about what made those games fun, or not, and I explained how I'd finally figured out from talking to brennabat that there are "two games" inside all of these: there's the collect-loot/gain-levels meta-game, and then there's the minigame of conducting and orchestrating individual fights against NPCs. That minigame is most of the gameplay, and I don't much care for it unless there's some new and complex variant to try to work out and deal with a particular situation. So I'm mostly just playing to level (I don't even like collecting loot) and it gets boring for me quickly.
But I do like the more abstract puzzle games much better, which is why I'm such a fan of Puzzle Pirates.
My mother was curious about Puzzle Pirates, so I downloaded it to their laptop (woo, technology) and showed it to her. It was kind of a pain to play without a real mouse, and since my mother doesn't play puzzle games she wasn't much good at it. "It's sort of like a substitute for Solitaire, isn't it?"
At about 5:20, I called koogrr to let him know I'd was on the way back. He was late leaving work so I expected to get back to his place before he did.
Of course, this meant I hit the road right at rush hour. I knew there was some reason I wanted to leave earlier. What had been a fun half-hour drive at eleven was an hour-long slog at five. Part of the trouble is that I'm a bad driver. This isn't such a problem when the roads are clear, because there're few cars for me to accidentally ram. But being stuck in large packs makes me nervous that I'll cause a wreck. Even if it is only a rental. ;)
Eventually, however, I made it back, and a few minutes before John did. John wanted to get some cleaning done, so I took a shower. Then we discussed what to do for dinner. Since I'd eaten out for lunch, I didn't really want to go out again for dinner. He had a leftover appetizer from Thursday, when he and gen had gone out to eat at Red Lobster. When he got it out, I was surprised to see that he had the whole appetizer leftover: it was the lobster-and-cheese fondue in a bread bowl. It had arrived almost at the same time as their meal, and without much bread to dip, so they'd not really touched it.
We shredded up some more bread, reheated it, and shared it for dinner. For dessert, we had two chocolate-chocolate chip cookies each -- the last ones from a bag I'd bought for munchies on the plane ride to Florida.
By the time we finished, it was around 7:30 or 8:00. I wanted to get up early the next morning, so that I could meet up with my relatives and have enough time to make it worthwhile to join them at theme park. So we decided not to see if anyone else wanted to socialize, and spent a couple of hours just hanging out at John's house. It was nice to slow down for a while -- the days so far had felt so packed with things to do and people to see.
I checked the clock at around 10PM, and told John, "OK, I gotta get to sleep now so I can get up early tomorrow.
"Sure," he agreed.
At 11PM, I said, "OK, I really mean it this time: I have to get to sleep now."
Somewhat sheepishly, he retreated to his room. Where he played World of Warcraft until 3AM. 'Cause he lives in Orlando and all that.