Worrying over the arrival of the reportedly ferocious sea monster, Fay - we paused at the river’s edge, and found ourselves fascinated with the forming white caps that raced and crashed against the seawall. The water level was a bit higher than usual, thanks to Rain who had already paid us a visit earlier in the week. Pelting us with everything he had for a couple of days straight. Now it was Winds turn to work us over. The chimes sounded around the neighborhood alerting us of his presence as soon as he'd arrived. He spent most of the day roughing up the trees, occasionally tossing loose objects around the yard, but a good amount of his energy was devoted to churning the brewing storm. These unwelcome guests had both visited us many times before (they seem to love FL), but it was the intensity of their brutality and the arrival of their boss lady that had us SO worried. I guess Fay felt her threat of violence would be taken more seriously if she sent her henchmen ahead to give us a scare.
We were contemplating our options and wondering what Fay had in store for us, when suddenly we were whisked away. There was a whirlwind of panic and confusion, lots of noise and blurs of faces and colors whirling past us. Everything and everyone was distorted at that speed.
Once the initial chaos was over, we found ourselves comfortably floating through the air. Hmmm... had we been dealt a similar fate to Dorothy Gail? Were we headed to OZ? Would we meet the infamous Wizard? Like Dorothy, we thought it best that we just relax and settle in for the inevitable ride on the air current, who at this point was in charge of where we'd land anyway. So why fight it - right?! All of the excitement had left us sleepy anyway, so we took naps and later awoke to incredible cloud formations just below us.
At first I thought I was back home gently swaying in the comfort of my lofty hammock, better known as my daydream catcher, and had slipped into yet another daydream. But as the grogginess wore off, I realized that couldn't be the case. Not only was I viewing the clouds from the opposite side of a typical daydream, but the clouds occasionally parted, allowing me a peek at the land below to once again remind me that we were riding the air. Besides my dear ole hammock was no where in sight.
Isn't he just dreamy?!
Will we ever touch ground again, we wondered. Then finally, hours later, the air released its tight grip and gently placed us on the ground somewhere over the rainbow. Don't ask me where exactly. All I know is we were magically transported to a curious land, but unlike Dorothy and her little dog, we hadn't had the horrible luck of squashing a witch in the process. Oh how I hate to anger a witch's relatives. BTW, I'm still a little miffed at Dorothy for killing the Wicked Witch of the West, in spite of her claim of it having been an accident.
Sorry, I get sidetracked easily - back to the story.
We followed the crowd through maze after maze and at the end of one of them, a herd of metal beasts appeared, apparently programmed to arrive in synch. The beast's handler took our luggage and stood ready to feed his pet as soon as its mouth popped open. A little distraught about the demise of our bags, we hopped in anyway. Before we had a chance to settle, the beast raced out of the arena. It reminded me of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disney's Fantasy Land - jerking us around corners and nearly missing objects in its path. I have to say it was nothing compared to the dangerous yellow beasts we’d ridden in NYC, but they definitely had to be the same species. Before we knew it; our beast pulled up to a beautiful palace, its handler barely forcing it to a complete stop. Surprisingly, the wild beast coughed up our bags unharmed - we think. You could tell this creature had made the trip many times before and was eager to move on; maybe to find tastier luggage than ours to devour. We entered the lavishly decorated palace and made our way past the other guests. Several sparkling chandeliers hung from the ceiling where we were greeted by a sorceress of sorts. She was very kind, and even cast a spell on a card, that she explained would open our guest room door as she handed it to my hubby. I was impressed by her magic, but I must admit I was slightly disappointed she hadn’t handed us a fancy skeleton key instead. But then I was so close to bubbling over with enthusiastic anticipation that I didn't have time to fret over it. I inquired about her magic spells education, but took her laughter as my cue to take off.
The palace was huge and we were allowed to roam freely around it, so while my hubby spoke with the sorceress I wandered off to explore. I couldn’t believe my eyes, somehow these people managed to bring the sky inside, as well as some shrunken buildings. Do Munkinlanders live in those miniaturized buildings... they were certainly just their size. What wizardry, what magic made this possible, I asked myself. Everything sparkled, shimmered, glittered and shined, including the attire worn by the palace guests.
As I stepped off the cobblestone path I noticed some guests that appeared to be enchanted by strange machines. Their purring chimes, flashing lights, and tinkling bells seemed to compel the guests to feed the machines' insatiable appetites with paper currency. Could they be related to Tik-tok? Could they move about if only someone would take the time to wind them up instead of continue feeding them? Others were playing games with dice/cards. I thought I must've died and gone to Heaven.... I was actually witnessing adults playing games and enjoying it. They had to be under some sort of spell. The adults I normally run into don't particularly care for "childish games" with the exception of my in-laws (gotta love 'em).
We followed the cobblestone path that lead to our tower as the sorceress had instructed. We hadn't thought of it before, but could this be the same path Dorothy had taken? Had they painted over the yellow-brick road to prevent unwelcome guests from finding the Wizard's palace? What if we DID get to meet the Wizard? What gift would we ask him to bestow on us... I believe I'd ask for a healthy helping of self-confidence. What would YOU ask for?
We arrived at the designated tower and road the people lifter to the 22nd floor - WAY up there. When we got to our guest room the charmed card opened the door just as the sorceress had promised. We entered, looked around and couldn’t believe they'd given us such a spacious room - with two windows! You know what that means?! Two views of the city!
So we unpacked, freshened up a bit and off we went to see what treasures we could dig up in this curious place.
We walked through palace after palace in awe of the spectacular decor. We couldn't get over how blue the skies were, both inside and outside. There were more miniature buildings, only they were even smaller than the ones we'd seen before - maybe Pixie homes. After admiring a beautifully designed botanical garden we gave in to our famished tummies and found a place to dine. The food was so delicious our taste buds sang. In this enchanted town, we weren't sure if it was another spell, or if our chef was really a magician moonlighting on the side. It was evident that they had a heavy population of Performers, so I wouldn't be the least bit surprised. Everywhere we turned there was an illusionist, jester, acrobat, juggler, singer or dancer eager to perform.
Exhausted from our eventful day, we stopped in a sweet little dessert shop tucked away in our palace and ate just enough sugar to give us the energy boost (sugar high) we needed to make it up to our room.
We awoke the next morning, and realized the clouds were far behind us and our troubles melted like lemon drops up there away above the chimney tops. What a great way to start our day! We spent our time exploring each palace, wondering if it were physically possible to see every square inch of every palace. Curiosity was our main supply of energy.
We ran into one of my hubby's favorite celebrities, the Roaming Gnome. He was thrilled beyond words to have his picture taken with him and to get his autograph. The little fellow kept mumbling about losing his hiney at the Blackjack table, so we tossed him a poker chip and wished him better luck in the future as we hurried away.
After receiving word that Fay had left and the coast was clear, I gave my magic slippers a few clicks and we made it safely back home. We both agreed there really is no place like home, but it sure is fun to visit new places. We can hardly wait for our next adventure.