Throwback Thursdays… “The Choices We Would Make Differently” commented and reflected on.

The original post was written on June 23rd, 2011, about 2ish weeks after we officially moved to Florida.  This Throwback Thursday idea is to not only shed light on where my heart and head were back when, but to also throw in the spotlight of what life truly is for us in Florida NOW. The updates are in BOLD, enjoy!

The advantage of us relocating before many of you is that we can help guide you on what TO do and what NOT TO do. We got a great comment asking if there was anything we got rid of we wished we kept, and so on. I thought, “Yeah, there is.” Get your note pad out, pencil ready, and listen up!  (So I chose this post because I definitely found it interesting to talk about because of this being a very raw post back then about our move. But now being 2020, and having moved to Florida twice, it should ABSOLUTELY be helpful to someone who is about to relocate here soon! )

Let’s start with the big stuff- we got rid of ALL of our furniture because it was very, very old and used. The fact that we actually sold it is a serious miracle! We budgeted and saved for very specific things, but I think we have found that over the past weeks, we wish we had brought it or saved more money. You will find you will have a budget, and certain items just have to wait. (So all I can remember is the cold, hard, living room, berber carpeted, floor that we chose to sleep on while we waited for beds to be bought and set up. I think we were naïve to think this would be some easy task, the shopping for a HOUSE full of furniture.  It would more work out to more bites that one big swallow.)

We sold our Washer and Dryer, and we just can’t afford them for awhile. A good friend lets us do our laundry at her house until we can buy them, so it is covered until we can get them. But it is rough when we use towels ALL the time and we don’t have any dry ones- LOVE the swimming pool, but not having a dryer with it is a downfall. We also have found a nearby Resort will also let us do our laundry there, which is closer to home, but a lot more boring. Craig and Kyra found that the local Laundromat in Kissimmee on Orange Blossom Trail was a bit terrifying and they didn’t feel safe enough to even park- so no more trying of that!  (Hey, PAST AMY, YOU ARE AN IDIOT! Let me tell you people what you DON’T get rid of that you already have- a washer and dryer, mattresses, a couch, and small appliances. Trust me. Trying to do laundry at a Resort was honestly just awkward as all get up, and I found I never had or could get enough quarters for the machine.  My best moment ever was getting our new washer and dryer…it’s like God himself delivered it on Angel’s wings and said “Here Amy, you are forgiven, wash and dry free my child!” LOL)

We bought the mattresses first for all of us, so everyone could be off the floor. Then we found the frames, at IKEA actually, so both of the girls beds are completed. Keep in mind when buying beds, you have to have money for the frame, the headboard, the footboard, and the mattresses. That doesn’t include any set you would like with it- like a matching dresser or hutch- so if you are watching your bottom line, get the beds first and then add as you go on. (Seriously Amy? Yes, you need beds, kind of important. And for anyone who was curious, we still don’t have a bedroom SET, we just have a bed frame we like, as do the kids. I guess we aren’t “SETS” kind of people LOL)

We didn’t have any chairs, so we bought a patio set for the pool area, but for now, is our kitchen set until we find one we like. It works, it matches, and we finally have been able to sit together and eat. What also will work is a simple card table and 4 chairs at Walmart for $50 for your kitchen as well until you find, or can afford, something nicer. (Ah yes, the poor man’s dining set. Living the dream folks, patio furniture in my kitchen.  HOW did anyone enjoy reading this??? LOL Wowsers, I really wasn’t jaded yet)

Relocation, in its first stages, is all about COMFORT. You aren’t worried about that bed frame when you have slept on the floor all night, you just want a mattress. You don’t carry about what kind of chair to sit on to eat your lunch, just that you don’t want to eat and juggle on the new couch you just bought. Its things like that you really don’t care about, as much as the comfort of getting some real sleep and tackling normal life among the stress of relocating. (OK, she’s right LOL  When you don’t have a decent nights sleep during a relocation period, it makes it near impossible to get anything done. Comfort is key right off the bat!)

No, I would STILL sell everything, ok, well mostly everything. We would NEVER want to drive the UHaul, nor pay anyone to move our stuff, it just wasn’t worth it to us. That doesn’t mean it’s not a great idea for someone else, it just didn’t fit into our plans and budget. The stress of driving through the mountains with our own vehicles alone was enough to give me heart palpitations, I can’t imagine having to drive a U-Haul truck like that. (You know what we SHOULD have done, should have rented us one of those PODS- I hear they are all the rage and can be quite dependable with moving you and a great deal on the pocket book…… SAID NOONE EVER)

We have found that we wish we had moved several smaller items, just for the pure convenience of them. Example, we moved all the serving spoons, spatulas, etc.. which was a God send when starting to finally cook here. But, we got rid of our pizza oven, and now we really want one again. We made a lot of frozen pizza I guess, so eventually we will get another one. We got rid of all our dishes, and we bought a new set, but its only a serving size of 4, so we have to wash them a lot unless we buy another set. Same goes for silverware too. We have plenty of new glasses, and brought a lot of our collectible Disney ones as well, plus we used up the paper cups we bought the first night we got here. (Not sure why we didn’t have room for our pizza oven…it wasn’t like it was a brick one from the back yard, I mean it wasn’t small either, but that is pretty odd to me. Pack your pizza oven folks, because pizza is always an easy go to when you are in the middle of moving and unpacking!)

You know how you rent a cabin, and they have NOTHING in the cupboards, so you know you can’t even think about chilling out until you run to the store? Well, that was us June 5th. We were exhausted, we just wanted to crawl into a bed and sleep- no beds, it was the floor. No food, and no one wanted to run to a fast food joint. We wound up dragging our tired butts to Target where we just grabbed paper goods and small snacks to make it through the evening and next morning. We don’t recommend this since being tired doesn’t help your decision process, and ANY pillow, etc.. looks good when you are beat. We would have stayed at a Hotel the first night looking back, but we were just so happy to be in the house, we just didn’t think about it much. (Yes, agree with all of this today. Book a nice room for your first night so that you have a comfy bed, hot shower, and the ability to get your bearings about you before the real work begins the next day. Even with our second move, we raced to get to our new home in time for the Realtor who had a strict schedule, but we didn’t have any furniture until our PODS showed up (a WHOLE other story). Always have a Plan B when it comes to moving.)

I wish we didn’t sell the printer/fax machine and here is why- coupons and deals online. Yes, we can buy another one, but it stinks when your budget is at its line and you just have to wait until the next pay day. It will take us a good year to really furnish, decorate, and have this home the way we want it. Craig bought a table, for a desk, because he works from home, so we hope to get a much nicer one down the road, but again, make do with what you can. (Yes, a printer should have been a priority as well and agree with this. Also hitting the yard sales up immediatedly when we got here would’ve been hella smart because we would’ve saved a ton of money and probably found some cool stuff!)

Honestly, all I need is a neighborhood or just ONE really GOOD garage sale here and I could get so much stuff! But here is the thing I learned in FL, they don’t have sales in the summer because of the heat- only in the Spring and Fall… so I guess if I can be patient, I might get lucky with something in a couple of months. Things like lamps, end tables, tv stand, DVD rack, etc.. are usually so easy to find at garage sales, so here is hoping I run into one soon. I did find a local Goodwill, which I hope to check out this weekend. (Ok so my past self and present self think alike….good to know I haven’t lost all my marbles yet!)

We did bring enough clothes, and I would recommend to you all to have a plethora of swim suits and towels if you want to live in FL. If you aren’t sweating outside, you will be in the pool. My kids swim almost 2x a day, and it’s only going to get warmer. Having a lot of choices for the kids to wear is nice to let the others dry out. (Yes and yes!!!)

If you have a favorite food of your region, like ours is cheese, you may want to have it shipped to your new home or bring it with. Especially if your kids have a favorite something- you may not find it here in FL. We mostly food shopped at Walmart in WI, so once we found the Walmart here, the food was the same. Produce seems to be cheaper here, but milk is about $3.64 here a gallon, where I thought it was about $1 less in WI. I wish we had packed some of the Merkts spreadable cheese, as we LOVE that, but maybe Mom or someone will send us some in the future. (PUBLIX now carries Merkts cheese- and it is glorious. Now we also have a Culvers, so if they could just get a Happy Joes down here, this Cheesehead would be set!)

What you have to do is sit down and THINK of what you use, every single day. From sun up to sun down, think of what you couldn’t live without and what you touch during your everyday life. Now take that list and see if it fits into your moving budget and/or method. We weren’t able to bring everything, and wound up storing at my Moms and my Dads homes. We stored things like scrapbooks, pictures, and yearbooks- nothing we were going to need “right this minute,” and we needed the space for other items. (My Mom would eventually get us all the scrapbooks from her house and I took several trips back home to grab the rest from my Dad. So if you need to store it for a move, feel confident that you can get it eventually when the timing is right).

So the golden question, WHAT did we bring with us? Here is our list: (Oh Lord, like you all really care about what I packed LOL)

Clothes- mostly summer
Winter Coats- you never know
Toys/Stuffed Animals for Emily
Books that the kids enjoy
DVDs and Video Games and their systems
2 TV’s
Disney Collectibles and Glassware (Items we can’t rebuy)
Monorail set for Christmas tree- we LIVE near WDW now, how could we NOT bring it with us for this Christmas? LOL
Make-up/ health items/ Hair Items (Familiar is good with your daily grooming routine)
Ipods and IPhones
Some pictures for the walls (Nothing to specific here…LOL)
Disney Lithogaphs
Small Kitchen Utensils
Christmas Ornaments
DVD Player
Computers
Magnets
Cards and misc items for fridge
Jewelery Box
Our Hamsters Jack and Gus, Gus (Rest in Peace my fuzzy friends!)
Shoes
Filing Cabinet (Because we couldn’t buy THAT here??? LOL)
Em’s Medical Records
Tools/ Scissors (YOU NEED SCISSORS FOR EVERYTHING!!), and Tape
Lots of Misc Items thrown in at the end to bring because we had the space too (EXCEPT FOR MY PIZZA OVEN!!! LOL)
Now, your list may be completely different, but this is what we could literally fit into 2 vehicles, plus get the van and car to FL as well! We hope to travel back to WI to pick up the rest next summer, or having Mom and Dad bring some of the items to us when they come to visit.

There is no perfect plan, and you will find that you just learn along the way. I must head to Wal-Mart or Target every other day because of a curtain rod I need, or a snack, or Craig needs something special to hang items on the wall. If you can afford to move your own items, and they are worth it TO move, go for it. Otherwise, make a list, and get ready to shop as much as you did when you first got married! I hope this helps your relocation efforts, and please feel free to comment or ask questions in the comments section.

I truly hope you enjoyed this look back into the mind of where we were at, 9 years ago. I can’t believe its been that long, but I am super happy that we are still here, and we are still making it home as much as possible! 

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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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Throwback Thursday: “50 Things We Won’t Be Doing in FL”…a Post Revisited and Commented On.

rsz_img_1349I thought it would be fun to revisit old blog posts and comment on the REAL of what happened from the HOPE and WISH that I made statements on before we moved to Florida. Basically it’s like revisiting your journal of 10 years ago and having a good laugh at the optimism you once had and how things really did wind up. The original blog post is below, with my answers and clap backs in BOLD. Enjoy- I did! 

50 Things We Won’t Be Doing in FL

Well, it’s list time again, since we did it at our 300 and 100 day marks, so why not another list for our 50 day mark? Exactly! I thought it would be fun to focus on what we won’t be doing in Florida, since we have it pretty much memorized what we WILL be doing when we get there.

1. We won’t be shoveling any snow…….(Yes, this was correct.)
2. We won’t be slipping on any ice……(Correct.)
3. We can leave our homes in the hottest weather and still not worry about freezing to death….(BUT we can have a HEAT STROKE at any time! LOL)
4. We won’t be cooped up in our home for 6 months because life stands still when it’s cold out. (Again, the heat and humidity will keep you indoors too!)
5. We won’t be worrying about snowy road conditions (Correct…just bad traffic now)
6. No longer will we hear “Snow Storm Tiffany” is hitting our area this weekend (Just “Hurricane Tiffany” now LOL)
7. We won’t be paying State Taxes (True- but now we have Tolls)
8. We will never again say “I’m bored” (My kids would disagree on this)
9. We won’t have to plan a trip to WDW anymore, we get to just go. (Pending on the Season, time of day, etc…)
10. We won’t have to worry about waiting in line, if it’s too long, we will ride it another day. (Flight of Passage is a perfect example)
11. We will never have nothing to blog about while living minutes from WDW. (True, but I still have to be in the “mood” to write when and how I want)
12. We will never again have to make sure that each child has winter boots. (But they are still really stylish here, so there’s that)
13. We will never have a dry swim suit in FL- we will be in the pools quite a bit this summer. (First couple of years yes, now, not so much)
14. We won’t ever complain there is nowhere to go out to eat for something different (Correct, we found that we just complain about the traffic now to get there).
15. We won’t ever again crave a Dole Whip and feel bummed because we can’t have one (Well, I mean, you have to have the money still for it)
16. We won’t miss the Meets (LOL…. Sure)
17. We won’t miss out on all of the friends going to WDW and meeting up with others (I still do)
18. We won’t have to deal with Scott Walker and the endless drama in WI (Don’t care)
19. We won’t ever have to look far for a Water Park (Too bad none of us like them)
20. We won’t have to hope it doesn’t rain, let it rain, we are locals! (Love the rain, can’t stand the life threatening Lightening here)
21. We will never again have to cancel plans because of the winter storms and weather (Meh, you still cancel when it’s pouring or it’s way too cold here, or something is on TV)
22. We won’t be cold when it hits the 30s in FL, just enjoy the taste of WI for that time period (HAH!!! Was I high when I wrote this?? WE ARE COLD IN THE 30s, and 40s…)
23. We won’t ever wonder what we are doing after school/work (Sure we do, it’s PLEASE DEAR GOD LET ME GET HOME on I4 ALIVE)
24. I will never again have to wonder if I am ever going to meet people. (Yeah, not sure why I wondered that, ever).
25. I won’t ever be doing Everest, RnRc, or Primevil Whirl (LMAO….JUST did Everest with bestie Kim a few weeks ago…)
26. I won’t be worrying about who likes me or who doesn’t, my family comes first, always has, always will (Ah, words of wisdom by past me, perhaps I should’ve read this sooner)
27. We won’t be waiting long to plug into a church- God knows he has a church family waiting for us somewhere (Have visited 4 Churches since living here, and still looking)
28. I won’t stress over schools- I believe that God will help Craig and I find the best ones for the kids. (LOL Oh DEAR GOD. Laughing at what really happened with Schools, not that God wouldn’t be there for us- of course he was)
29. I won’t be bringing WI baggage to FL- emotional and personal things that have affected me in my life will stay there- FL is a new beginning for everyone. (You know, it looks good on paper, but sometimes that emotional stuff has a way of not letting go)
30. I will never take a Palm Tree for granted (Until one bit me…yes, they are pains to trim)
31. We will never again have to sit and wonder what our lives would be like living in FL (True)
32. We won’t have to wait to create a new dream- we will thinking of another one on the way to FL (Yes and No…the move was a lot to process, so the “dreaming” of the next big thing would take some time later)
33. We will never have to say “I can stop over, unless it’s snowing” (Nope, now I say “I can come over, unless it’s rush hour)
34. We will never have to worry about a warm sunny day one day, then snow the next (Nope, just one day hotter, and the next day hotter, and so on)
35. We won’t ever take Walt Disney World for granted (Ummmmm)
36. I won’t take any friendship I have for granted- you know who you are, and I love you! (This stands true, and y’all still should know who you are, because we are friends still today!)
37. I won’t worry about the heat and humidity, it’s FL, get over it (Sure……geesh I was cocky)
38. We won’t worry about Park crowds, avoid what we can (Again, was I drunk when I wrote this????)
39. We won’t have to listen to Magical Mouse Radio or Mouseworld Radio and fantasize about being there… we will BE there! (True, the music is better IN person)
40. We won’t have to feel bad about missing “Night of Joy” or the Festivals anymore (Or ever since it’s been cancelled)
41. We won’t have to deal with all of the endless stuff we have accumulated over the years, once the garage sale is done, our lives fit into 2 vehicles and 22 bins. (Funny, 22 bins…not only my lucky number but probably 3 times that now)
42. We won’t have to move any furniture, we get too buy new in FL and have it set up (Also we got to sleep on the hard floor for days on end waiting for said new furniture to show up, OH HAPPY DAYS!!!)
43. Carl, like here, won’t have to commute at all… working at home is a sweet deal! (Craig still works at home) 
44. I won’t have to work unless I want to- taking care of the family’s needs come first, especially this first year. (And then they are young adults and there ya go)
45. We won’t ever have to worry about losing the winter weight (although we won’t have any excuses now lol) (Here it should be called Theme Park weight because its easy to gain with so many food choices now!)
46. We won’t come out of April looking pasty white anymore- a normal color would be nice. (Red, BRIGHT red, or South Florida is Raisin Brown….or “Bacon”)
47. We won’t have to worry if we need a winter coat or shorts in the Spring and Fall (Just had my Winter Coat on recently, now I did say Spring and Fall so the Courts will allow)
48. We will never have to wonder what cool Resort to try out next (Nope, just wonder how we are going to pay for them)
49. We won’t ever have to wonder if the Packers will go back to the Super Bowl- they did it for us before we left. (Well, that’s the journey honestly every year, you hope your Team does, and then you rinse, repeat, and do it all over again the following year)
50. We won’t ever again have a basement to fill with endless junk. (Well, when we moved back to WI for a brief time in 2016, we had a basement again which we filled AGAIN. On top of that, the garage is now what our basement used to be.)

I hope the list entertained you, it did for us! We can’t believe our 100 day chain is now half its size, and that we are getting so close. Thanks again for everyone who supports and loves us, it means everything.
God Bless your day!

Yeah, that happened. 

Donations for Content

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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What’s In a Name?

rsz_brnl1238

For those who don’t know our story, back in 2009, Craig and I were on our nightly walk when we not only came up with the name “The Relocated Tourist”, but also our mantra and life statement, which is “Going from what if, to why not?” Still love that to this day. I can’t even begin to tell you how much that has applied to our lives.

When I started blogging that 9 years ago, I was thirsty to share with the World what information we had collected for our big move to Florida. There wasn’t anything out there that talked about “REAL” life here, and that concerned us both.  Thus a building of a beautiful community of friends that I have had since that launch day, oh so long ago, that I wish I had realized that I didn’t have to stay in the box that I had created for myself back then.

People will tell you if you want the numbers, stay on target. Focus on what you want to talk about and go with that subject in mind.  But I have learned that I have lots I want to talk about and share with people, and I am definitely not “normal.”  The reason I LOVED the name of my blog was for the fact that I could talk about travel, relocation, Disney, Universal, Sea World, Florida, Wisconsin, road trips, life mishaps, etc… and why I hope that when the day comes that this isn’t all about Mickey and Main Street that you STILL follow along my adventures.

I can guarantee you we will relocate again down the road…but for now, the magic of Disney, the frustrations of Florida, and all of my road trip goodness will hopefully keep you tucked in at night.  Stay tuned!

Donations for Content

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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Dealing with Sense of Purpose

rsz_fmrm0238I have been wracking my brain, trying to figure out why I have been so “unsettled” the last few years of my life. There is the obvious marriage stuff and the move from WI to FL, but there was something else that had been bothering me.  What people may not realize, is that Craig and I are young parents. We got married right out of High School and had an instant family.  My entire life has been raising my kids and being a part of this cohesive family unit.  I don’t have the high paying career, or the fancy job- I stayed at home and tried to grow responsible human beings.  I think it worked…I hope it worked..who knows?!

So when we moved to Fl the first time, I had kids that were Junior High and Middle School age…well on their way to becoming young adults.  My focus was holding us all together and keeping the smile on my face at the end of the day, no matter how hard the road got here.  Kyra, then Emily, graduated and became their own persons, that purpose I had for the last 25 years of my life seemed to just vanish.  So not only did I have these moves, and a marriage under construction, but also I was becoming unemployed from the best job ever. And you know what I mean.  This concept of being “settled” is so foreign to me.  I mean, I have a home that’s a place to call so, but I feel like I am always lining up for something else.

I think I have had just so much change in the past 3 years that my mind hasn’t processed it all.  I walk into a Park thinking “How is this my life?” still to this day.  I know I am blessed to be able to have this blog and The Relocated Tourist as a point of purpose to share magic and joy with the World. But without it, I truly felt like I was just floating here.  They don’t give you a handbook after raising your kids that says “Here is what you do next.” (Although I would buy it).  People who have had careers all of their lives have raises and promotions.  After you raise a couple of humans, you get a great feeling, but the “What now” is scary.  It’s just something I am still processing and working on, maybe other Moms out there will get where I am coming from.

Donations for Content

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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Keep the Memories, Ditch the Rest

Back in 2011, those who followed us from the beginning know we had an “Epic Garage Sale” which you can read and see here.  https://relocatedtourist.com/2011/05/21/our-epic-garage-sale/

First move, we had decided to get rid of a good 85% of our belongings so we didn’t have to move it all to Florida. Now in hindsight, I will say taking everything we had in just two vehicles was definitely a sense of freedom I had never felt before.  Things tie you down more than you realize, so having little to move was awesome. So that was the good part. The bad part was that when we arrived to our new sunny state home, we had nothing to start with out the gate.  I think we unpacked in under an hour, it was a wall full of bins.  We had to start from scratch, which we had saved for, but the downside was that it was a pain to spend so much time traveling and shopping.  We didn’t know the area at all, so it was a lot of trial and error with different stores. We found a furniture place near the FL Mall that we bought our couches from that TO THIS DAY we think was a con, scam, something shady since they were literally gone the Monday after we had shopped there. So yeah, beware of the “too good to be true” deals. My sofa probably “fell of a truck.”

Second move, back to WI, we tried out “PODS.” Again we cleaned out our home, purged about 50% of our stuff this time so that everything fit into their largest model.  Going back we knew where the furniture stores were and what was available- it wasn’t this question like it was coming to Florida.  I knew I could hit up the garage sales and thrift stores for the smaller stuff and pay much less than to move it. Besides, I like change.

Third move, back to Florida, we purged my apartment and a house full of stuff about 50%. We used “PODS” again (Which I would NEVER USE AGAIN) and packed it full to the point we couldn’t fit our sectional- BUT we got the recliner in.  Mattresses, dining set, bins, clothes, scrapbooks, electronics, kitchen appliances, washer and dryer, these were things that went back and forth with us every time.

What I learned is that you have to be reasonable with yourself on what you will NEED the minute you land in your new pad.  You should have a bin filled with toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex, cleaning wipes, paper plates, silverware, cups, your coffee maker, one frying pan and sauce pan, garbage bags, scissors, tablecloth, snacks, a plug-in (in case it smells off), and any other essential you can think of. With every move, we were exhausted from the drive.  It is so much easier to open the ONE bin that has the necessary stuff right away so you can take a breath before you unpack than digging into the nightmare that is the car, truck, or POD.

Of course it cost us money to move every time, but I think we broke even with move two and three. If we had rented another unit, it would have cost us more than the price of the sectional. We took our chances and got an affordable couch here which has worked out fine. Trust me, we have gotten really good at moving. We see a move as a chance to clean out our home, get rid of the clutter and noise that we don’t use and just move on.  We may buy it back down the road, we may never again- that’s the beauty of it.

Keep the memories, ditch the rest.

Donations for Content

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!

$5.00

After that First “Wow” is Gone

When you are on vacation here, everything has the “wow” factor. From the moment you step off the plane and onto Magical Express, you are taken into the land of dreams where you are nothing but entertained for the week.  But when you live here, that “wow” is oh so different. My “wows” usually are “Wow, that’s how much a soda is now?” or “Wow, are the Parks ever going to not be crowded anymore” kind of thing.

I remember hanging out with a large group of friends at Studios around my first week here…and I was just in awe. Everything felt good, I just absorbed every little drop of magic, but the rest of them were bored. I was perplexed- how could this be? Had they not moved here as well for the opportunities the magic brought? It wasn’t until we had lunch at Backlot Express that they asked me why I kept smiling. I said “Look where I am. I am getting to play, I am getting to enjoy Disney, and I can do it any time I want.”  And I will never forget my friend Shane looking at me with the most glummest of faces and saying “Just wait, it’ll wear off. It will get old, it will get boring. You are just new to it right now.” Of course the Amy of 2011 took great offense to this, HOW could he just let the air right of my happy bubble??? But now all I can do is nod at that and I hate that he was right.

Once that “wow” wears off, or whatever you want to call it, reality begins to knock at your door. The butterflies tended to flit a bit less in my tummy on Main Street and I just assumed it’s a part of living here. Friends on vacation who would invite me out for drinks, dinner, or to hang out, were in that “mode” where I had just been dealing with school problems or an hour’s worth of traffic.  Life merging with my magic was just annoying. You can spend so much time building up the fantasy in your head of how it will be when you move to Florida, that you can actually forget the “life” part. Kind of like putting all thought and energy into the wedding but not looking past that day into the life you will now have with the other person.

My advice to the new kids coming here is to take it all in small bites- don’t do everything at once. Think of it as your favorite buffet and you want to try everything at a slow and decent pace so that the overindulgence literally doesn’t get you sick.  My problem is that when I stop doing so much at any given time, I feel like I am missing out or that the quiet is to much. Trust me, I am a work in process on that. The good news is that there were many “wow’s” we have had, and I hope that we still have more to come. Time will tell.

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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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