We are still loving living here in the great state of Florida, and have had many adventures over this holiday week. I am sorry I haven’t been blogging more, usually I like to get one out per day, but that get’s a bit tough when I am in the Parks so much. Follow me as I let you in on what we have been up to this past week- enjoy!
The 4th of July, our first Holiday celebrated, was incredible. Donning my neon shirt and blue eye shadow, I dressed up to fit the part with the rest of the family. We hung out all day in Celebration, then walked downtown to see the 80s band “Flock of Seagulls” perform their one hit, and then a fireworks show set to nothing but the 80s- totally tubular! It was surreal to be standing on the little Main Street, with my awesome husband next to my side, holding hands, and knowing this was our life now. It’s these moments that help clear the cobwebs of the uncertainty and uneasiness I sometimes feel with moving here- I’m human and I have them. We ended the night walking down Main Street belting out “Don’t Stop Believing” which I thought was a perfect song to sum up our move.
The following day I woke up feeling like I had to go to Walt Disney World- I know, crazy right? But I felt that urge, that want to go an enjoy something I actually could now. So I got Emily ready and we headed to Studios for a day of what? Nothing! We checked out the new sign that is at the entrance, and then fastpassed Toy Story Mania for 7:00 p.m. Now, normally, if I am not going to be in the Park all day, I wouldn’t even bother. But, as a Resident, I usually get them and hand them out when we leave, or I come back after I eat dinner at home- I know, it’s the life!
Emily and I decided to draw again, which we enjoy doing so much, so we headed to the Animation Academy and hoped for the best. A word of advice, if you get “Heather” as the instructor, she will more than normally do a character that is someone other than the Fab 5- so it never hurts to ask! She drew “Ray” for us from “Princess and the Frog” and, again, gave it to Emily at the end of class. I smiled and told Heather we frame these for her room, which she loved, so it was nice to connect with such a special Cast Member.
After bumming around in the Animation Store, where we spoke to a featured Artist for awhile about his schooling, we got a funny tweet that a Tim Weston was in Studios and had a mission to find us. We laughed at it, and thought, “Ok, we will let him find us.” So we headed to “Little Mermaid” for some under the sea fun, hoping we would run into him there, not knowing he was outside. So we watched the show, and the ending… well… Ariel had a hard time becoming a human again. I will leave it at that, but having seen the show a billion times, it was interesting to see how she handled it, and she did VERY well. Kudos to Ariel and Eric for handling the snafu so well!!
We finally found Tim, and it was at the exact moment the Casey Anothony verdict was coming down. Do you remember where you were when the OJ Simpson one came? Well, I will always remember this one as Emily, Tim, and myself sitting around his cell phone outside “Little Mermaid” hearing the “Not Guilty” come down. I am not here to discuss the trail at all, just that it was a bit funny and odd to me where I heard the verdict. I was happy to meet Tim, and he came with us to check out the “Great Movie Ride.”
Folks, if I have to say it again and again and again, I will- NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY on dark rides, shows, etc. Seriously? I realize you may not know English, but it is not that hard to see as a HUMAN what your flash does on the attractions. So we are on the ride, and the announcer of the ride announces the rule, then the host that rides with you- he must have said it SEVERAL times- she, the woman, didn’t get it AT ALL. You are flashing in someone’s face, you are lighting up what Disney is trying to keep hidden and dark, so PLEASE, STOP IT! As a Resident now, I see how I will be completely irritated by this more and more and I am eventually going to start saying something. Ok, off the soap box, but geesh people, LISTEN and FOLLOW the rules and EVERYONE gets to enjoy! Thank you!
After the ride, Emily and I watched the Parade before heading out to pick up Kyra and Peter. They were shopping and exploring “Downtown Disney” until we could pick up his pass for the week. I have to say, DTD is a great way to kill some time, window shop, get ideas for Christmas presents, and just people watch. If you have family and friends coming to visit you after you relocate, take them to DTD for a day or morning- it is a lot of fun to explore and costs nothing to walk around at. PLUS if you really need a Disney fix and you don’t want to head into the busy Parks, walk around there with the pin trading shop, the World of Disney Store, etc.. you really can’t go wrong.
Since Craig works at home during the day, I like to make sure he feels the magic just as much. Yes, I do feel bad sometimes leaving to head to the Parks while he is stuck at home, but we can’t have this lifestyle without someone working. So on Tuesday night, we headed out to Pop Century for a date night of walking around, chatting, and a wonderful alcoholic beverage. Our thing on vacation was always to have ONE night of drinks and a stroll around whatever Resort we were staying at- so as Residents, this is even cooler.
We had not been to “Pop” since our Vacation in June 2009, and our Anniversary Vacation in 2008. It holds a special place in our heart as the one we stayed at without the kids, so being there the other night felt very “vacation” like. I got those butterflies in my stomach like I used to when we drove up to any Resort or Park, so it was nice to know that I wasn’t getting so used to everything that it wasn’t exciting anymore.
We bought our drinks, Raspberry Mango Daiquiris, from the “Petals” bar and then just strolled. We talked about how we would walk at night in our WI neighborhood about doing this very same thing, and now we were actually doing it- we both got a bit teary eyed. We walked around the lake area, snapping pics of the Animation Resort being worked on, and just enjoyed Disney for what it is. The smells of the food court brought us instantly back to the memories of a tired Craig and Amy who had just gotten to Pop Century late one night from driving 24 hours from WI and who just wanted something to eat and to chill out. I will always remember Craig’s head bobbing in the booth as her fought to stay awake and enjoy the moment of our arrival there, but we both gave in and went to our room shortly after. Becoming a Resident doesn’t meant those memories change, or that the new ones won’t feel the same, it’s just in how you look at them and experience them that is different.
Next day, yesterday, was quite the busy one. Peter finally had his pass in hand, so I dropped Kyra and Peter off at Epcot for the day. Since we didn’t buy the Hopper option, we encouraged the kids to make sure they use every minute possible for Peter to explore the Parks- which they did indeed do. I walked them in with Emily, and then let them go off on their own. Emily and I headed to Test Track, which we fastpassed for Emily and Craig for the night, and then did the same thing later for Soarin as well.
We took our time and explored all the little things that people seem to forget, and we really just enjoyed having some Mommy and Daughter time. We pin traded in “Mouse Gears” while it was dead in there, and found one more for the collection we have going. I love pin trading because it costs me nothing after the large lot I already bought a year ago, so it’s fun to do and the kids enjoy it. We then rode “Nemo” together and enjoyed a show of Crush for the first time since we moved here. I could seriously watch him all day, I am in awe of that technology and its way to much fun watching the kids reactions to it all. A quick stop at Club Cool, which opens at 11 a.m we found out, we ran into Kyra and Peter for a picture, then found “Max” outside for a small visit and picture as well. Bought a new shirt with a gift card from Todd and Cheryl, and headed home to chill out.
Craig headed into Epcot last night with Emily to have some Daddy/Daughter time and bring Kyra and Peter home after Illuminations, so I had some time to myself. I knew Tim was still in town, so I headed to MK and took some pictures while just enjoying the free time I had.
I caught the parade winding down, went into stores I had never been into before, and then ate a light dinner at the Bakery. I bought a sandwich and free water and relaxed by myself at a table. I really enjoyed the peace the place brought, and it wasn’t busy at all. I got a tweet that Tim was nearby, so I told him of my whereabouts and we hung out the rest of the evening.
I have to say, I am blessed to be able to make such awesome friends who live and who don’t live here, but when I find another brother or sister in Christ here, my heart jumps! I was so impressed by Tim and what he stands for, and I was truly happy to talk to him all night about our beliefs, how we grew up, and our love of Disney. If you EVER have the opportunity to make friends, DO IT, because you just never know what you will find from the encounter. I found I have another brother in Christ who I will get to see in Heaven some day, and that made the entire night worth it.
We rode the TTA twice, the Carousel of Progress (where we still don’t understand why they didn’t all age at all), and then headed into Fantasyland. Here is where he showed me this hidden gem of a place to eat, sit, relax, and have THE most amazing view of the Castle and the surrounding area. I will highlight the spot in its own blog, so look for that to come soon.
We rode “Haunted Mansion,” after of course, playing in the queue. I found that when no one is around, this area is quite a lot of fun. At night it is all lit up, and has a different feel to it. I actually took the time to read the book and play along, of course my rhyming was not as great as Tim’s I found out, but it was a lot of fun. We talked on the ride about what we both knew about it, and that’s what I love about meeting Disney friends- we all bring knowledge to the table and get to share it. We all know that family and friends at home usually could care less that there are 2 hidden Donalds on the HM, but Disney pals are thrilled to hear it.
We closed the night out with a stop at Columbia Harbor House and a view of “Wishes” from the end of Main Street near the Train Station. It was a fantastic evening shared with a great person, and I am honored to call him my friend now. Thank you Tim for the awesome night, and I hope you can make it back at the end of the month!
I once had a conversation with Lou Mongello himself about my blog and his job and what it is all about. He smiled and looked around at our boat full of friends and said “THIS, is what it is all about.” My friend, you were so right!