Today was a low-schedule day. Our big plan for the afternoon was to see Avengers; Age of Ultron, and I had managed to make a plan for us to meet with a girlfriend from college (who was also one of my bridesmaids) who lives in the Orlando area for dinner.
We began the day in the apartment, enjoying a leisurely breakfast of cereal, watching the river, and generally chilling. Mr. Chili got online and bought the movie tickets while I was texting with Anne Marie about where and when we should meet for dinner. She and I decided on a spot at Downtown Disney called Paradiso 37, and I made a plan to head over there before the movie to make reservations (it’s Friday, after all).
We finished breakfast, tidied up, showered, dressed, and strolled down to the boat landing to catch the next run to Downtown Disney. While we waited (we timed our walk exactly between the runs, so we were watching a boat leave as we were walking in the other direction. It wasn’t really an issue, though; the weather was fine and we were on vacation), we admired the flowers, checked out what movie was going to be screened at the pool later tonight, and perused the gift shop for the resort for a Hawaiian shirt for Mr. Chili (he really likes the uniforms that the Old Key West employees wear, and was hoping to find a similar shirt in the shop. No such luck, but it was suggested to us that we should stop by the Polynesian and check out their gift shop). The boat arrived, we got on, and enjoyed a lovely float to Downtown Disney.
Bean and I hoofed over to the restaurant and asked the nice lady at the podium if we could reserve a table for 8 at 5:30. That it’s Friday should have clued me in to the idea that making reservations might be a bit more difficult than I imagined, because that nice lady looked at me like I was crazy. She could give me reservations, she said, but the only openings she had were all after 8:45. Since Anne Marie and her boys wanted to make an early night of it (they’re running a 5k tomorrow morning), that wasn’t going to fly.
Undaunted, Bean and I headed over to the T-Rex restaurant down the way, but we got almost exactly the same story; nothing available until after 8:00. I figured that the tune would be the same all over the place, so I texted Anne Marie to ask her to call a Macaroni Grille Mr. Chili and I had seen on our way to pick up the rental car to find out if THEY could seat us before bedtime. She made the reservations while we were watching previews, and just like that, we had a plan.
The movie was good for what it was. I enjoyed it quite a bit, though I liked the first Avengers film much more. There were a couple of promising directions that the story started to investigate, but it never really followed through. I think that a nuanced and in-depth story was sacrificed for action and special effects – which were good (see “the movie was good for what it was”), but I have to admit leaving the theatre a tiny bit disappointed.
The timing worked out that we needed to head right back to the boat to get back to the rental car to meet Anne Marie and her boys (her husband wasn’t able to join us). That went pretty seamlessly; the boat we needed to get on was just disembarking its incoming passengers, so we were able to get right on. We walked back to the apartment, got the car keys, and arrived at the restaurant literally just as Anne Marie and her kids were parking their car.
We had a lovely dinner together. I hadn’t seen my friend in a very long time – years, in fact – and it was very nice to catch up. She is a wonderful person, and I have long admired how she moves through the world. She’s always seemed to me to be a little bit of peace and calm among the noise and chaos, and I aspire to her grace. I was very, very grateful that she took the time to visit with us – and that she was willing to brave traffic on a Friday night.
After dinner, we said our goodbyes and made our way back to the apartment, where we enjoyed some ice cream and down time. It was a quiet day, but a good one.