It’s around this time every year that I recall one of my favorite trips with my hubby, Carl. I thought since we are coming up to our wedding anniversary soon, I would share our trip with you.
We wanted to celebrate 15 years of wedded bliss, so we planned for months and months, almost secretively. Why? Well, Belle and Jessie weren’t going to be happy knowing we were heading to Disney without them, so we had our own secret, which was kind of fun. As we got closer to the dates, we eventually told them, which they weren’t too thrilled about. But, they got over it. So as the dates got closer, my Carl did something incredible. He gave me a Disney pin that represented something from past trips, and always on a certain number of days left. I received several from him, and I always smile when I look at them. It always seems that counting down is the most fun part…I remember sitting at work and thinking “Tomorrow, I will be on my way to WDW with my hubby!”
We rented a car from Enterprise here in town, and were so excited to drive something so much nicer than our rust bucket that was living in our garage. We packed it up, and then waited for Nana to arrive. Once we put the girls to bed, we said our goodbyes, and headed out on the open road. We left WI after 9 p.m. central and drive through the night.
About 3/4th of the way there…I woke up from a nap I was taking while Carl was driving. I remember looking right at him, and thinking, I feel so safe and loved at this moment. I can’t tell you WHY I felt that at THAT moment, but it was so incredibly peaceful. We got there about 24 hours later, non-stop, and as we passed under the WDW arch, we both got very emotional. One- we made it. Two- we were there without our kids, it was going to be rough at first.
We checked into the lobby of Pop Century, and I will never forget how nervous Carl was. I could tell that he wasn’t sure he liked being there without Belle and Jessie. I kept kissing him on the cheek and telling him that this was to celebrate “us” and that they were safe at home- I think it worked a little. We got our room in the 80’s section because, DUH, it’s the best era EVER! We tried to video tape our moments, but it was so humid, that the camera kept fogging up! Before resting for the night, we had to check out the resort because we were moving to Caribbean Beach in the morning.
We headed to the Pop Food Court, a first for us, and decided to have…. not a yummy chocolate snack, or a Mickey something or other… we had salads. Don’t ask me why, I don’t remember. But I “DO” remember us sitting next to a gentleman who had a wheel chair that looked like it came from the space age- huge and VERY robotic. While we ate our salads, Carl was starting to literally fall asleep at the booth. The showers we had taken had apparently not waken us up enough. So we headed past the computer pool, and went to bed. A note on being pool side… its noisy FOREVER into the night. We would never ask for poolside again!
You know what I LOVE about trips? You get to buy new clothes. Now WHY we do this, I will never understand, because I could use new clothes during my boring day to day life… but I digress. I remember putting on my new outfit that I had bought the week before, and walking out onto the balcony- I felt great! What more could I want? I had my hubby by my side, and we were in our favorite place on earth. We packed up the car, and drove to CBR.
Caribbean Beach Resort was another first for us, and we loved the silence of the area. Our room was ready for us, so we looked around it like kids on Christmas morning. We were in a corner room, with huge windows, and the sunlight pouring in was amazing. We decided to head to Epcot for our first day… Carl’s favorite park.
As we stood at rope drop near the Fountain of Nations, a Cast Member came up to us and said “You look excited!” I said, “It’s our first day, and it’s our Anniversary trip, and I am SOOOOO happy to be here.” I truly think my face already hurt from smiling- you know-like Barbie in “Toy Story 2?” Of course, we headed to “Soarin” first- it’s my FAVORITIST ride! As we followed the throngs of people, we broke from the pack and were able to head in closer to the front. Riding it first on our trip was just amazing. I don’t know what it is about that ride, but I feel absolute joy on it. Who wouldn’t want to feel that? So yeah, we fastpassed it of course. Our Epcot day continued with fun surprises… including our buttons we got from the bakery in “Sunshine Seasons” along with free cookies. We enjoyed Future World so much, and then had even more fun in World Showcase. Upon entering the “American Adventure” we were asked how many years married and our names. In front of a full house, they announced us and we got to stand and be applauded for. After the show, we got our Million Dreams gift certificate and a fun phone call from Mickey and the gang.
Since this was in 2008, there are only so many details I can remember anymore about the trip, so forgive my thinking. I just want to touch on certain moments that did occur during the rest of our trip.
On our official “Birthiversary” which I sweetly had called it (Yes, it’s probably lame, just move on) because it was Carl’s birthday and our wedding anniversary. Carl was such a good sport and wore matching t-shirts with me that said “Celebrating our Birthiversary” on the back. Even now when I wear that t-shirt to bed, it makes me always think of that special day. We received a lot of special treatment during the day, and even got a lot of the characters interacting with us, because of the shirts.
Day turned into night, and we came up with the plan to get dressed up at CBR, and park over at the Contemp for our big Anniversary dinner at the California Grill. We brought extra clothes to change in after dinner so we could head back to the parks. We felt like such celebrities… we checked into the restaurant on one floor, and then they ride up with you on the elevator to the actual restaurant. I had booked us the first dinner of the evening, so we could get the table we wanted. Before seating, we walked out onto the veranda where you could see the Magic Kingdom and surrounding area. It was so beautiful, and SOOOO humid. Our pics are great, but you can SEE the humidity in the air!
We were seated promptly and right by the window. Our view was of Cinderella’s Castle, and it was so very romantic. We ate the yummiest steaks and just enjoyed each other’s company- perfection! We had to go as soon as we were done so that we could make the showing of “Wishes” inside Magic Kingdom. We paid, and practically ran to the bathrooms to get changed for the evening. We just made the monorail, and sprinted off of it to get to our “Pooh” spot to watch the show.
Before the show began, my Carl, the love of my life, turned to me and pulled out the cutest little blue box. He opened it, and I saw this white satin bag inside. I opened it and Carl put this most beautiful ring on my finger, shaped like Mickey, donned with 15 hidden Mickeys- representing each year of our marriage. I cried. I just stood and cried. “Wishes” began to play, and I cried some more. It was one of THE most beautiful anniversaries I have ever had with him.
Before I end this, I wanted to touch upon the funny stuff too. We actually got lost driving back from the Contemp to CBR. We wound up in the Epcot parking lot…now, I of course, was worried, so a small match broke out because I was worried security would have a fit with us. Carl was very cool headed, but it did make going back to the room that night very interesting.
The next night, after another day of fun at the parks, we just got back to the room while it started to lightly rain. We could see the Epcot fireworks “Illuminations” outside our room, and I will never forget us both standing in our jammies, holding each other, and watching the fireworks in the rain. Funny and romantic, all at the same time.
The reason I wanted to write this was to describe just ONE of the many trips I have shared with Carl in WDW. It is our safe haven, our place of non-judgment, our birth place of bliss, and our second home. So to my Carl, this coming September 14th, I want you to know how much that trip meant to me and how much I have enjoyed being your Ellie.
I can’t wait to move with you to Florida in less than 9 months… “Adventure is out there!”