Festival of the Arts at Epcot on 1.21.2021

I have been so busy getting ready for my big online garage sale, that I haven’t had much time to hit the Parks in the last couple of weeks. Normally I get in 3x a week, stream and share as I go, but prepping and preparing items for sale takes a lot of my time these days oh AND planning a years long journey across the U.S.A. No biggie right? So I was MORE than happy today to get into Epcot finally for a little me time and a little work as well- enjoy!

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First off, let me say that today was the quietest day yet for me at Epcot in many, many years. I could have walked right on to Soarin, and still walked right on to Frozen an hour later. I don’t think I walked past more than a couple hundred people in total, and I walked the entire thing. The advantage of being in the Parks during the day is getting the quiet time, PLUS enjoying many areas without any people even around yet. Even walking World Showcase after the lunch hour, I found it very peaceful and few people.

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I was pleasantly surprised that the “Ratatouille” area was partially open, albeit the Restrooms, but still a cool preview and a great shot of the Skyliner going overhead. Check out my LIVE video of it on my Facebook page at The Relocated Tourist and MANY more I share every week!

As far as the Festival went, it had some of the same photo opps as years past, and many of the butterfly wings were back, with some new ones to boot! I loved seeing the adult and child version of “Figment” photo opps, always a great use of the construction walls that hide the graveyard of Epcot past.

One of my favorite things to check out every year is the “Chalk Art.” Fantastic artists making amazing, beautiful works of art from the use of chalk reside on the walkway to and from the World Showcase. Up and down the right and left sides, the artwork changes many times over the Festival Season, with always a cornerstone piece on the end of some type of 3-D image that you can take your picture in.

The food…this year I decided to shake things up. I made the decision that I would not only try something different, but also something out of my comfort zone.  That I would treat myself on occasion, and that it would have to fit the confines of my Disney gift card (every penny from now until June is invested into the blog and trip). So thank you to those who have gifted me the chance to eat without stressing about the money part of it- MUCH appreciated!  Today I dined near the Germany area, at the kiosk which celebrated “Braised dishes inspired by classic art of the 18th and 19th Centuries.”  I read the menu and actually said out loud “I’m going to TREAT MYSELF” and said to the Cast Member, “one of each please.” The ribs were divine….moist, delicious. The chicken was new to me, a delicacy that I had heard of and did try -it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t the ribs LOL.  And that Opera cake…..I begged the Phantom to sing to me with each bite…yeah, no, I wish, but it was REALLY good! The light piece of chocolate that laid upon the cake was absolutely sinful…maybe it sang to my soul? Is that why it’s called “Opera Cake?” The World may never know….. with a bottle of water with my purchased lot of a lunch, the total was around $22.

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The merch….how do I put this nicely, I was not a fan of the color scheme or the Figment print. (And I LOVE that little guy!) I was pretty happy I didn’t like it because as most of you know, I am working on selling a lot of my stuff, and with how much work this has been to get ready for, I had ZERO desire to buy a single thing.  So, win, win. 

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The artwork and artists are ALWAYS a joy to meet, talk to, and drool over their amazing talents. If you are looking for any type of artwork, not just Disney, this is a perfect place to stroll the Countries, have a bite to eat, and maybe take a piece or two home to remember your Disney vacation. This Festival is 5 years old now and it has been a journey to watch it morph into what it is in it’s present form. I was happy to see that the exhibits stretched to the Test Track area as well.

A delight for the eyes, a delicacy for your taste buds, and the amazing feeling that you supported an Artist makes this a Festival not to be missed!

The Relocated Tourist is sponsored by Exclusive Travel Partners.…booking through me supports my mission and I appreciate that VERY much. Click the link and thank you!

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Thank you for your kindness.

I LOVE sharing the joy of Disney, Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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The Coolest Gravestones I Have Seen Thus Far….

I know, this may be a bit weird or off to some, but to me, gravestones are that last piece of art and expression of someone’s life. Whether it be the stone itself, or what is written upon it, these were some of the coolest, and CREEPIEST, I saw last year! I highly recommend you take a walk some time through a Cemetery and look at all the beauty they hold… there’s a certain peace it brings. Even bring a flower or too, respect should always be paid while enjoying these. Here are my favorites…enjoy!

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The Relocated Tourist is sponsored by Exclusive Travel Partners.…booking through me supports my mission and I appreciate that VERY much. Click the link and thank you!

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Thank you for your support and kindness.

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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The Hall of Presidents at Magic Kingdom

It’s funny what we always gravitate too as a routine of sorts when most of us hit the Disney Parks.  I always seem to go left in MK, right in Epcot, left in AK, and left in Studios. I like what I like, and so it’s easy to ride the same stuff or see the same shows, forgetting there is a lot more to the Parks when you just stop and look up.  So we had a rough day(NOT sarcasm) in our Nation a couple weeks ago, and I was feeling incredibly sad and melancholy. And sure enough, I found myself stopping in front of “HOP” Hall of Presidents. Do I go in? Do I poke the bear during such a sensitive week? And what I mean by that is that I feel MANY feel how I do – damned if you feel anything, damned if you say anything.  I don’t think that’s fair. So I went in.

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I forgot how cool this lobby is….the Presidential seal in the center with all the great Presidential artwork on the walls. They actually have real items from past Presidents in glass cases here, and the Museum nerd in me had a moment when I saw one of Lincolns drawing desks! (I did an entire Lincoln series last year).  Walt Disney looked up to Abraham Lincoln, so much that he created “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” with the first ever Audio Animatronic ever made (he still resides in the Hall today).

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I talked to several of the Cast Members who were very on edge and I thanked them for working this attraction during these times. I am sad to say they have an Officer who stands outside the Attraction, and during the show there were two of them in the theater. I know why, you know why, and it hurts to see them.

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I think all of 20 of us were in that particular show, everyone spread across for the sake of Covid safety and honestly space. No one was looking down at phones or recording, taking pics. It was the silence of a church service…it was almost a somber silence with a heap load of respect.

As I watched, it filled me with hope. Hope for our Country to heal one day, and for people to come together instead of so much hate. And then Lincoln gave his Gettysburg address….and the tears just fell…and they kept falling.  I thought about everyone who passed this year from Covid, about all of the anger I have seen on the news and online, and I thought about all the great leaders that as I child I looked up too and wondered what little kids are thinking of these times now. It is a beautiful show, whether you like who is on the stage or not.

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Everyone clapped at the end, and I walked out feeling better. I hope we all feel better soon, and I highly encourage you all to check it out.

The Relocated Tourist is sponsored by Exclusive Travel Partners.…booking through me supports my mission and I appreciate that VERY much. Click the link and thank you!

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Thank you for your kindness and support!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Disney, Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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What Inspires You

I think purpose is one of THE hardest things to find in our lives. Our parents, God willing, mold us, direct us until we can fly from the nest, and then we stand at this strange crossroads of life.  I didn’t know if I wanted to go to College, have a family, travel, or stay at home until I figured it all out. And it got me thinking a lot lately about my life, but especially about at what point did I get inspired to do the life choices I made. OR did they choose me?

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Let’s face it, life is life. We all have to work, pay the bills, and if lucky, have a family along the way to share in. But if not our lot in life, we may choose money over love, or vice versa, career over babies, or career at all…the point being there are SO many roads to travel, WHERE and WHAT inspired you?

So Craig and I got married young and had a baby right away. My compass was set at that time, and you just go where the sails may take you. He had gotten a job at a Manufacturing Plant in town, and he would be a line worker, making good money for a 19 year old.  He said he was obsessed with the movie “War Games” as a kid, and always wanted to deep dive into Technology.  One day he was asked to help with scheduling in the office at the Plant, and as he helped, little by little, he got to know their program and it became part of his job.  From that small spark, he would go on to climb the ladder of IT, without a day of College in his life. He was inspired from a movie, passion from someone believing in him, and now he works from home with a comfortable lifestyle we all enjoy.

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And what inspired me? I always loved to write…in school and out. I would write my own stories, imagining lands like OZ -hoping they existed.  I was the kid who made book reports incredibly long because, even as a kid, I needed to get my point across…albeit a long winded one.  English was always an “A” grade- always jumping at the opportunity to create art out of words. But ALL of that didn’t inspire me like one story did….also made into a movie. 

“Julie and Julia” was the film, and it is one of my absolute favorites for BOTH sides of what it brings! If you haven’t seen it, a girl named Julie Powell starts a blog in 2002 about going through Julia Child’s entire cook book, one recipe for one day, for an entire year (and then some, she would complete 524 recipes in total!) On top of Julie’s job being a crisis helper for 9/11 victims full time during the day, she would return to her cute apartment with her hubby and cook a new recipe every night.  (And carry ALL the ingredients on the subway- New Yorkers, I do not know how you do it!)  On the other side of it is Julia Child’s story on how she became the famous cook…her love of food and tenacity to learn in a world of Men….well that makes my womanly heart smile.

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Two of the same stories of learning something new, something out of their comfort zone until it wasn’t anymore.  Both fearless, both strong. God, I LOVE this movie! So yes, it inspired me to be a BETTER writer, to write from the heart and not so much from the head. To be fearless in my endeavors and that the will of wanting to be liked and accepted should not govern the opportunities that face you. I should tell you, I HATE cooking. So, it helped my writing and my thinking, but cooking was nothing I am interested in. Although Julia AND Julie make it interesting… maybe that will be another adventure in the future.

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It is amazing what inspires us…pay attention.

The Relocated Tourist is sponsored by Exclusive Travel Partners.…booking through me supports my mission and I appreciate that VERY much. Click the link and thank you!

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Thank you for your kindness and support!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Disney, Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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BIG ANNOUNCEMENT~ SELLING ALL OF MY DISNEY STUFF!

That’s right folks, you heard correctly! Every Popcorn bucket you have seen, every Vinylmation I have collected over the years, the hundreds of pins I have held onto, plus Pop Funkos, Clothing, Magnets, Tsum Tsums, and loads more Collectibles. Fear not, if you gifted one of these said items to be sold, know I loved on it and now it’s time for someone else to enjoy it. I love that we can recycle things like this and not have to own it forever, but a piece of time, and then let it move on to the next person.

The Relocated Tourist
The Relocated Tourist

Each item will be listed on the blog, the link available on Facebook as well BUT in case FB has any problems posting it, I HIGHLY suggest you SUBSCRIBE to the relocatedtourist.com so you get the emails right away and have a better chance and snagging something you’d like! The plan is to mark the item “SOLD” on the post it’s on so y’all know if it was taken or not. So if you are curious and there is no “SOLD” on it, PLEASE feel free to email me and I will let you know the status of it is.

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So because of the sheer volume of items, I will be shipping ONCE a week, hoping for Friday every week. This helps you to combine items- (I highly recommend the $15 USPS Priority Mail box- whatever fits for that price- same with the $20 one). It also helps me keep my sanity so that I am not running every day to ship items out.  Items must be paid by PAYPAL only (unless we have discussed something else).  Items will be a FIXED price, this will not be bidding, and it will be on a first come, first serve basis. You want the item? First person to email me and agrees to the price and shipping costs gets it- easy peasy! You will have 24 hours to make the payment on said item or it will go back on sale and offered to the second person who asked for it or back online if no others asked about it the first time.

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Please be patient with me…this is 10 years of Disney collecting since we have lived here. It’s A LOT of stuff, so also be aware of that you’ll see 6 emails or more a day coming from the blog. I am letting you all know NOW so there isn’t someone complaining that they are getting “So many emails..”

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I will still be posting my Disney travels and adventures on the blog as well…plus the planning posts for the big trip! (WHICH I have named and I will be announcing soon because you all are going TO LOVE IT!!)

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So “Amy’s Garage Sale” starts FEBRUARY 1st, 2021. If you are interested, SUB to the blog and WATCH your emails. Let the DISNEY GAMES BEGIN!!!!

The Relocated Tourist is sponsored by Exclusive Travel Partners.…booking through me supports my mission and I appreciate that VERY much. Click the link and thank you!

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Thank you for your kindness.

I LOVE sharing the joy of Disney, Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

A couple of years ago, I had THE most amazing trip with Craig and Emily (Hubby and youngest daughter) to Washington D.C.  I had been there a couple of time alone before, and with every visit, I try to see something more that I missed and hit the favorite stuff too. One of my favorite monuments, tributes, was to the great Martin Luther King Jr.

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I wonder what he would think about the World today, about our United States today.  A Baptist minister, I would have loved to have seen him at the pulpit speaking his mind on the craziness we are all dealing with now.  Taken too soon from us in 1968 from an assassination, this man had so much love and wisdom left to give to this unrelenting Nation.  Voices like his are needed now more than ever.

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When I visit “The American Adventure” in Epcot, they play the beginning of his famous “I have a dream” speech during the “Golden Dream” song sequence. EVERY.TIME. I get the chills because it was such a moment in our history, and it reminds me of the equality that so many are still fighting for today.

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Thank you Martin Luther King Jr., for everything you did and everyone you touched, this World didn’t deserve you.

The Relocated Tourist is sponsored by Exclusive Travel Partners.…booking through me supports my mission and I appreciate that VERY much. Click the link and thank you!

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Thank you for your kindness and support!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Disney, Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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Route 66…The Gemini Giant & the Launching Pad Drive-In

Picture this…the sun is setting in the Midwest, and not just a normal sunset kind of day, but the Midwest kind. The air smells dewy and sweet, the temperature a perfect 70 degrees. The sky has turned a bright orange, followed by a deep pink.  The last of my Route 66 treasures for the day, I had one left to check off before the veil of night fell completely.  I was focused, I was determined, and I was ready to see him and the Launching Pad.

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Do you remember that moment in “National Lampoons Vacation” where they are running towards Wally World, that thrill and excitement they all had of FINALLY getting to see it? So maybe I wasn’t THAT enthusiastic about this, but still, nobody feels good when you see the CLOSED sign.  I mean, at least the Giant didn’t pack it up and head home for the day (Altho entertaining that would have been to see).

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So what’s the story? Here goes. They refurbished a bunch of these iconic fiberglass “Muffler Men” from back in the day to sport something other than selling Mufflers. They created this one to be a Space Man holding a space ship and wearing a helmet. The location is in alignment with the timing of the space program in the 1960s in which they had Gemini Space Missions.

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Not only does the big guy watch over the Mother Road, but he also stands next to the Launching Pad Drive-In!  Now had I gotten to go in, instead of looking through the windows like some kind of creeper, I would’ve gotten to see they also had a Route 66 Welcome Center, Museum, and Gift Shop. Apparently when they Diner is in full swing, you can get a Chicago style hot dog or a fresh piece of apple pie.

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And as I wrote this, I realized something. At Magic Kingdom, found in Tomorrowland, there is a walk-up eatery called….. THE LAUNCHING PAD!  Here’s some more Disney irony….the one on Route 66 also serves Dole Whips!! I will have to add that to my “Disney around the U.S.” file.

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Still cool to see, even though I didn’t get to spend any time inside. I also traveled during the summer of some rough times, so that could also be why they stayed closed.  I hope to see it again, open, on brighter and better days. Check out their site for more information, and remember….get your kicks, on Route 66!

The Relocated Tourist is sponsored by Exclusive Travel Partners.…booking through me supports my mission and I appreciate that VERY much. Click the link and thank you!

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Thanks for your kindness and support!

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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The “When I, Then I” Effect

Have you ever found yourself talking to a dear friend, or chatting with your spouse on the couch and saying the words “When I do this, THEN I will be this.” When I finally make enough money, then I can buy that or do that. When I finally lose all of this weight, then I will be happy about myself.  I bring it up today because I found myself saying this quite a bit over the year of Hell, but also recently. Like a literal light bulb going on in my head, it occurred to me that every time I say or said this, I was self sabotaging myself. Let me explain…

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It’s important to have goals and dreams, otherwise what the heck are we looking forward too? I have been that person all of my life, where I do better having something to look forward too then looking back or sitting stagnant without any forward motion in my life.  I have always struggled with my weight since having my girls, many ladies do.  We convince ourselves that while we are fluffy or not “our best” that somehow during that time nothing matters because of how we feel. The thing is, the time will pass anyways. I started to look at it that it’s just a life in progress, my life in progress, and sometimes we are buffering and other times we are complete.

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Have you ever looked at pictures of yourself from years ago, or maybe currently, and cringed on who or where you were at that point? I lost a lot of weight years ago, and I’ve looked at my scrapbooks and don’t even recognize that Amy. My kids didn’t care what weight I was, the memories made at the Park or the Zoo were the point. But here’s the thing, it’s my history, it happened, and it deserves it’s place. So because of feeling like that looking at the past, I know someday that the “right now” I am living I will also look back on.  What am I getting at? Whether you are what you are, where are you, what you are doing, the today matters. You may not think it does, but it does. The smallest act to the largest, we must rewire our brains to say instead “Today I will do my best. I will work on my job, I will try to eat better, I will try to save my money, and I will try to work on something of myself (Or whatever your goals may be) .”

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Yeah, I know, maybe you aren’t into all that “Be yourself” or staying positive stuff….I get it. This past year just sucked. But think of it this way, we are at the bottom, now let’s start looking up. You may not be there yet,  but looking at what brings you joy every day and not what upsets you will change your perspective on things. I have to practice it EVERY DAY and when I can’t dig deep enough to find it, I retreat, I stay silent, to just find peace without the world’s noise. And that’s ok….be upset, be disappointed, be angry, be mad. Just don’t unpack and live there, visit for a time, and move on.

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When I focus on the positive, then I am the happiest. Maybe it’s not that bad after all?

The Relocated Tourist is sponsored by Exclusive Travel Partners.…booking through me supports my mission and I appreciate that VERY much. Click the link and thank you!

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Thanks for your support!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Disney, Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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