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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Some Last Views of Disney World

One delight at the Magic Kingdom is the Dole Pineapple Float.  You can only get them in the Magic Kingdom or at the Polynesian Hotel.  They are delicious and go down easy, way too easy.  We had them three days in a row.  Here is Indiana (Andrew) Jones enjoying his float, not wasting a drop.

All around Epcot were Disney characters made from bushes and flowers.  It must take years to shape plants to grow like this.

The Living Seas has, along with a World Class Aquarium, the Finding Nemo ride.  It uses the aquarium as a backdrop for the ride, with the story projected right onto the aquarium's glass.

You ride in giant clam shell cars.  Andrew was fascinated by the story.

One ride that I like is the railroad that circles the Magic Kingdom.  There are two real steam locomotives that pull cars around the park.  It takes about 15 minutes to do a complete loop, which gives you time to enjoy seeing the Magic Kingdom  while you let your feet take a break.

Big Thunder Railway is a great roller coaster ride at the Magic Kingdom. 

Owie was finally tall enough to ride this years and he loved it!

We enjoyed the various shows and parades that Disney puts on.  Here in front of Cinderella's Castle was a show starring, who else?  Mickey and Minnie.

This year we spent a day at Typhoon Lagoon, one of the two water parks at Disney World.  The boys and their parents loved it.  They are already planning to go back again later this summer because they still have three days of water parks left on their tickets.

Once again we had a great vacation with the kids.  You can tell by the smiles.




Heather and Brian

We actually wore little Owie out! ;c)

Thanks for visiting a feel free to leave a comment.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rolling Around the Fort

One of the fun things we all love to do at Fort Wilderness is called "Looping", which is riding around all the loops at the campground and see the many things that are there.  We rent a golf cart from the Fort Wilderness Bike Barn, but you can bring your own and many people do.  The rental is not cheap, but for us, on a weeks vacation, it's worth it.

You can have any color golf cart you'd like, as long as it's green!

Andrew is looking forward to the day when he is old enough to drive (16 by Disney rules).

Even Mimi (Marti) likes to drive.

We drove to one of the stores, called the Settlement.  They carry souvenirs and some food and camping items.

Down towards the lake is the marina where you can catch a boat to the Magic Kingdom.  The trees look pretty with all the Spanish Moss hanging from the branches.

There is a restaurant there call the Trails End and also a Dinner Theater where a popular show, the Hoopty Doopty Review plays twice every night.

All around there are staff maintaining and sprucing up the grounds to keep everything in tip-top shape.  Here some careful repainting is taking place.

There is golf cart parking right near the marina, it is just a short walk to the boat.

We were very fortunate to be escorted by Indiana Jones.

There is a beautiful, white sandy beach at the marina.  The lake is called Bay Lake, but swimming is not allowed!  There is a periodic bloom of a type of bacteria that can make you very sick so you have to stay out of the water.  But that's okay, because the pools are awesome.

You can rent boats or charter a boat to go out fishing on the lake.

We also love looking at all the RVs parked in the loops.  You'll see everything from simple tents and pop-ups to the largest motorhomes.  People bring all kinds of things to decorate their sites.  Check out this one, it is an inflatable movie screen, complete with mouse ears to project movies and TV shows on.
It was huge, so big in fact that it totally hid the Class A motorhome parked behind it!

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dinner in the Old West at Disney World

When we visit Disney World, we enjoy sampling meals at the many restaurants that are found all through the parks.  Even the the hotels have interesting places to chow down.

We have always wanted to visit the Wilderness Lodge, which is located right next to the Fort Wilderness campground.

You can drive there or take a boat from the Fort Wilderness Marina to get there.  We hopped on the boat to make our way over to the lodge,

 Heather had made reservations for us to have dinner at the Whispering Canyon Cafe.

The Wilderness Lodge is amazing to see, it is themed to resemble the famous  Yellowstone Lodge  at Yellowstone National Park.  The interior is built of logs and has a huge fireplace.  While we waited to be seated, we enjoyed looking at the construction of the lobby, it has totem poles, carvings, tepee shaped lights hanging from the ceiling and a massive fireplace.

Everything was larger than life, and the meal did not disappoint, either.  Andrew ordered a large lemonade.  None of us had seen a large this large!  Yes, he almost finished it.

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

PS:  Marti's friend is having brain surgery to remove the tumor on Monday, we're hoping for the best.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Marti's Musings: Reality Check

As you have seen and read, we had a wonderful time on vacation - Disney and grandkids - does it get any better than that??  Owen, our 3 year old grandson, came with us to set up - arriving before his family.  That was unplanned, although it had been discussed, the decision was to have him come down later with his family, as his brother had school and wouldn't have the same opportunity.  Yeah, well, that only worked until we drove off and turned the corner.  Major meltdown - Owie wanted to go with his Mimi and Pa.  Mom and Dad agreed, and we were thrilled! So along came our precious Owen, we is often attached at the hip to me.  We had a blast!  Family is number one.  Reality check. 

I returned to a crazy week at work (no real surprise there).  However, on Thursday, one of my key employees (read star employee) collapsed at work.  She is only 49.  I went to see her at the ER, she was pretty out of it, and ended up being medi-vac'd to the local Level 1 Trauma hospital.  Tonight, I visited her at that hospital.  They have found a brain tumor.  No prognosis as of yet but...  Reality check.

My grandson plays a little game with his Mom.  "I love you, Mom"    "I love you more"  "I love Mimi more."

Is there anything more precious or important than being with those that you love?  NOT those that you work with?  Reality check.

Paul and I have been working (admittedly mostly Paul, as I still have a gimpy leg) - towards getting the house ready for sale.  It is tempting to just moan and groan about all that needs to be done, and how little time we have - but after the roller coaster of a week we have had emotionally - how dare we complain.  We have a common goal - hit the road, and spend our time with those that mean the most to us, while we are still healthy and able to travel and follow our dreams.  Reality check.

With that in mind - we are keeping our eyes on the prize of leaving this crazy life we lead.  Enjoying each other and our family, while we tour this beautiful USA.  Life will be good, as long as we keep our Reality Check in the forefront.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rolling Around Disney World

We didn't let Marti's broken ankle slow down our Disney World adventures.  We rented a wheelchair for Marti to sit in as we pushed her around the parks.  Disney gets an A+ for its accessibility to disabled people to participate in all the rides and shows.  We were really impressed.

We took turns pushing Marti around, even the grandsons wanted to help.

Marti has a walking cast, but it was too much for her to walk everywhere, the cast weighs 15 pounds.  It didn't hold her back from being able to walk enough to transfer to the rides.  And our favorite ride in the Magic Kingdom was Splash Mountain.

Splash Mountain is based on the Disney movie Song of the South and feature Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, Brer Bear and many other characters from the movie.  It is neatly put together with the story line and the ride complementing each other.

The ride starts with going through themed decorations, like Chip and Dale's house.  You can hear them talking inside.  It's made of acorns and peanuts.

You start the ride by getting in a log shaped boat.

The boat winds its way in and out of the mountain.  Some small drops are waiting along the route.

Inside the mountain are some of the characters from the movie telling the story.

Eventually you come to the big drop, a fast fall down into the Brer Patch.

Yes, Splash Mountain lives up to its name.  Pa, can we go again? Please!

Lots more fun to come!  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Disney Fun

Heather, Brian and Andrew arrived late in the evening after driving down to Fort Wilderness from South Carolina.  Trying as hard as he could to stay awake, Owie conked out and went to bed.  He was thrilled to wake up to find his family in the Journey with him.

Heather made plans for us to start our day and go to the Disney Hollywood Studios.

We had breakfast reservations for the Hollywood and Vine restaurant.  Along with great food, there are Disney characters roaming around the tables and they each visit with the guests.  Here Owie gets a hug from Handy Manny.

Special Agent Oso came over, too.  Heather had to get her picture taken with him.  Evidently, she has an affinity for Special Agents for some strange reason...

The boys recently saw the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, so we had to head over to the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular show, which they loved.  Shortly after the show, we found two newly outfitted Indiana Jones clones.

We also went to the big hit attraction, Toy Story Mania, where you get to participate in a ride and shoot at arcade screens.  It seems to be one of the most popular attractions at Hollywood Studios.

It was a good time to visit Disney World, it is the time of the Flower and Garden show.  At various places around Disney World are characters made out of plants and flowers.

We had purchased Park Hopper tickets so we could bounce between the four Disney World Parks.  We drove back to the campground, hopped in the golf cart and headed to the Marina where we caught a boat for the Magic Kingdom.

Stay tuned for more in our next post.