Sunday, July 05, 2009

How ‘bout a boat ride?

Okay, now I face the walk back, which starts with tackling those stairs again. My breathing is still fairly shallow – not that I was expecting that thrill ride to settle it! – so I’m just going have to take the path back at my own pace.

I had asthma as a kid and grew out of it, but just recently it’s returned, along with some allergies and occasional bronchitis. I have an inhaler, but usually the asthma is so controlled that it’s rare that I’ll use the inhaler more than once a month, if that.

This, if this is asthma, is acting worse than I can ever recall it acting. It literally feels like I only have about half a lung’s worth of air intake in each breath. I’m not in distress, but it’s like I have just enough oxygen for a bare minimum of exertion and none to spare.

I stop several times on the path back to the queue entrance, letting other riders pass me while I stop and catch my breath. Naturally my inhaler’s back in the hotel room.

The family’s gone on ahead, but Brandon comes back and walks with me (slowly!). Nice kid. Of course, I have no extra breath to talk with him, but I appreciate the company. Besides, Brandon is skilled at carrying the conversation – he’s mostly ranting about how he liked Indiana Jones, but he did not enjoy the snakes and spiders!

Finally we reach the queue exit, and I spot a sitting area just to our right. Becky, Benjamin, Bob & Linda have been standing around waiting for me, I realize, so I hope that they don’t mind that I need to sit for a few minutes. Thankfully, they don’t. Becky’s a little worried about me, but I really think I’ll be okay if I can take it easy for a bit.

Hey, the Jungle Cruise is still right next door, and like Indy, there’s little to no wait even still. Let me get this straight – the Fourth of July was just yesterday, one of the busiest days of the year, if not the busiest, in the world’s most visited theme park, and we’re two hours past park opening and still just walking on to the most popular attractions??? We always have the best timing, somehow.

We wind through the queue building at Jungle Cruise and are immediately loaded into a boat. In fact, we’re among the last to board, so we depart right away.

The Jungle Cruise is the same corny fun it always is, though I don’t catch the skipper’s name. All the classic jokes are there, including my favorite, Schweitzer Falls, named for the noted African explorer Dr. Albert Falls,” and of course the flip side to the waterfall the “back side of water.” I’m even suckered in when the skipper says, “And if everyone will look to the left side of the boat, you will see... nothing.”

All in all, a relaxing and funny ride.

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