Personalize Your Own Mouscar

Found at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, at several of the shops, you can make your own “Mouscar” for that favorite person in your life. Perfect for Disney fans, Graduations, Mother/Father Days, Birthdays, or just any day you want to celebrate someone special.  And the Mouscar goes to…..

Mouscar1 Mouscar2

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

Merch Monday…Disney’s Latest Purses & Bags

I love a good Disney purse, so here is what I found on a recent trip to “Tren D” at Dowtown Disney, enjoy!

Purse9 PURSE1 PURSE2 Purse3 Purse4 Purse5 Purse6 Purse7 Purse8

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

 

 

Miniland…New York

Below you will see pictures taken at our recent visit to Legoland, Florida. This is “Miniland” and this is the “Las Vegas” section- enjoy! **All pictures are property of “The Relocated Tourist.”

rsz_242 rsz_243 rsz_244 rsz_246 rsz_247 rsz_248 rsz_250 rsz_251 rsz_252 rsz_253 rsz_255 rsz_256

rsz_257

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

Keeping Dreams on Track- Disney’s The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour

A good friend who was going to be in town asked me what I hadn’t done yet since I moved here. After going over my list, the Train Tour sounded really interesting to try, so she booked it and made it happen. Here is my experience and if I felt it was worth it or not to try- enjoy!

Yes, not many gals think trains and then think about Disney, but I associate the train whistle with every Magic Kingdom memory I have. It’s a very important part of the Park, and of who Walt Disney was himself. His love of trains, and their association with many of his life moments is why it is a great tour to enjoy to begin with.

Let’s start with the fact that the only down side of the tour is that you have to be up pretty early for it. We had to be at the MK turnstiles at 7:30 a.m., which we worked out with having Craig drop us off near the Contemp and walk over- if you need to park they have you do so at the Contemporary lot.  It was beautiful out, not hot at all, and with the sun just peeking up over Space Mountain, it was simply magical.

We checked in with the Train Conductor standing in the front, and then once it was time, we entered the gates. You DO have to have an admission to the Park first before taking the tour, so keep that in mind if you are interested in doing this.  My favorite part of the day would be in these first few minutes, where Bethany and I were the first into the Park- not even the breakfast people were allowed in yet. So I did what any normal person does in that situation- I danced. Yes, I danced in front of the Mickey flower head- skipping to the music and sincerely drinking in the awesome opportunity. It’s not every day you get it to yourself- it was pure heaven.

We all were inside now, and headed to the front hub where, again, no one was on Main Street. An EMPTY Main Street? Could this day get any better? He started the tour here, and even though he was speaking, we managed to get some shots on Main Street before it opened up to the public.

I am not going to give away the details of the tour, because that is for YOU to personally enjoy- but I can tell you what I thought was VERY cool.

I loved the fact that they took us back to the place they work and house the trains- it was very “behind-the-scenes” and you felt like you shouldn’t be back there. We were standing right under the Monorail base as well, and I soooooo wish we could have gone up there- I would have got my geek on for that.

I loved all the facts, information, back stories, and just explanations of things that you always wonder about when riding the train. It took a good three hours, and they gave us a break with free water bottles and coffee towards the end.  You even get a small token to remember the tour by at the end, a very cool keepsake to cherish.

The tour is only $40 and I feel it is totally worth it! You really don’t even have to be that into trains to take it, but if you are, it’s your heaven for a few hours. I enjoyed the laughs and giggles with Bethany, and it was a great time to share with such an awesome friend. I even made NEW friends on the tour, and I got to take my picture in the train with the conductor hat on- HOW COOL IS THAT!!?!  I encourage you try it once, it is very much worth it.

If interested in this tour, check it out at http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/tours-and-experiences/steam-trains-tour/

Our “BRAVE” Day and Magical Moment with Jessie

Our little Miss Emily celebrated her 12 Birthday last week, and I wanted to share with you some of the awesome highlights that happened on her special day- enjoy!

For one, the girl wanted her “Shake it Up” party supplies, so check, we found them at Party City in Lakeland. We also made it a cupcake theme and bought all cupcake gift bags, along with baking cupcakes instead of a cake this year. She actually already had a cake during our Bay Lake Tower Birthday surprise for her. With all the lovely cards and gifts our friends sent her, we laid everything out to surprise her when she woke up. We even let her open one the night before, from Diane Welch, which was a “Bella” doll from “Shake it Up”- yeah, the kid was in Heaven!!

Mom and Bob took the day to relax while we headed into the Magic Kingdom to find a very special Princess. Merida, the newest Disney Princess, is now camped where Rapunzel used to reside. Befor going to see her, we HAD to get Emily the very important BIRTHDAY BUTTON which she proudly wore the rest of the day!

Merida’s line was short at 10:00 a.m., and they let us in without any wait- SCORE! I loved the celtic music playing, reminded me of the Renaissance Faires, and we were all set in line to meet her. You can practice archery with one of her friends, but Em was focused on meeting her first. Emily bought her bow and arrows a couple of days before, so with those and her BRAVE shirt on (Thanks to Thadine for that!!) she proudly stood ready to meet her.

We all know those parental moments that just tug at your heart strings, and this was one of those. Special, I could have wrapped it all up in a bow it was so sweet. Emily walked right up to her and hugged her like she knew her all her life. She was so kind to Emily, said Happy Birthday to her, then we took a bunch of pictures. The three bears reside right behind her, and they even follow your line of sight as you walk out. Quite memorable.

On a side note, check out the Merch Monday section on the blog to see all of the new Brave merchandise!

As we walked around to see what Emily would like to do on this very awesome occasion, Craig mentioned she should go visit her favorite cowgirl, Jessie. What a cool idea, never even thought about it. It would be a first to see her on Emily’s birthday, so away we went to Frontierland.

Now, if you have never visited Jessie here, a word of warning. It is in a very hot spot in the MK, and from experience, people can get heat exhaustion just standing there waiting for the characters to come out. Grab a couple of ICE WATERS which are FREE at any Disney Stand- but at this point get them right across at Pecos Bills, and THEN stand in line. Trust me , you will thank me later!

After 30 minutes or more in the scorching heat, we were finally up to meet her. We love Woody, but its not who she came to see. Emily whispers in my ear to remind Jessie of who she is and why we need to see her. I tell Jessie that Emily had her Jessie doll in all of her cancer treatments and that she is a very important person in Emily and our family’s lives.

I have been here before, Jessie seems shocked and holds her hands to her heart and mouth several times. Well as I am telling Jessie the story, Woody walks off because he thinks we dont want to talk to him. Jessie and Emily walk over to get him, and it plays out so sweetly and it was actually more funny than anything else.

Jessie and Woody come back and I tell Woody that we all love him, but this is why Jessie is loved so much by our family. Woody looks taken back, and they both hug and squeeze the poor thing that it was adorable to watch her be loved by them so much. We take lots of pics, thank them, and head towards Pirates.

On the way, we stopped to chat about lunch, and what we wanted to do. We are all still geeking over this amazing moment we just had. As we are about to leave, we hear running behind us, and its JESSIE and WOODY!! They came and followed us and hugged her some more, they wouldn’t let her go! We now had a large crowd around us, and all I could do was wipe the tears away from my eyes. It was such a cool moment, on top of what was already meaningful to us- all I can say is the power of a hug can do ENORMOUS things in a child’s life- dont EVER forget that!

The rest of her birthday we swam at home with Nana and Bob, then chilled out with cupcakes in her tummies. It was a great day for Emily, and I am SURE she will never forget the day she was followed by Jessie and Woody in MK and hugged in front of everyone.

I leave you with this… You’ve Got a Friend in Me..never truer words than that day.

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

A Look Back on our First Year in Florida… Amy’s POV

Wow, what a whopper of a year. We all decided to write our own story about our feelings on the past year because we knew we all would have a different outlook. Since I have been writing most of the blog this past year, you all pretty much know how I feel.  So I had to dig deep and really think about what I could share that would not only enlighten someone out there, but possibly educate and inspire as well.

First, I want to be frank about things. Let’s start with what I would do different about the entire experience.  I would have waited until 2012. Yes, you heard me right. We got excited, we got motivated, and then we jumped the gun. Now I know many of you out there are probably saying “But everything went so well with your move” and for the most part, it did.  But what I had to endure with schools after getting here was something I would have rather only ONE child had to have had to deal with in the first place.

I am so proud of my kids and how they dealt with both of their school situations this year, but in hindsight, I would have loved to have seen Kyra graduate among her friends that she grew up knowing. It was almost painful to watch her graduate among those she only knew for a year, and being very honest here, I felt a lot of guilt.  Did our dream overshadow our children’s futures? It is almost mind numbing to think out loud.  We were caught in a web of decisions before we moved- if we didn’t move in 2011, and Kyra wanted to attend College in FL in 2012- she wouldn’t be considered a resident yet and the cost would be through the roof.  Plus her going to college here in FL during our possible first year of residence would have made her feel left out of all the fun the three of us were having. I don’t know, you just hope and pray that you don’t screw up your kids for life.

I would have let Emily finish up at Highlands with her classmates she loved, and then dealt with the real world of middle school when we got here. Was virtual a bust? No, it worked for what we needed it for- but the alternative to what we left in WI makes me sad she had to do it at all.  All we can do now is move forward with her attending Celebration next year and pray that God protects her heart among the uglies that school can bring.

The only other reason I would have waited one more year to move here would have been to save more money. You can think you are set, you are good with what you have, but you will always find out that there is never enough.  I would have liked to not only have enough, but also enough to be comfortable for everything that would come our way, and not have to deal it out among each paycheck.  For us staying another year in WI meant another cruel and unkind winter that we just could not endure, and funny enough, they had one of the most calm and quiet winters this past year- who knew?!?

Second, I love our home and the area it is in. When we first got here, I was a bit terrified.  Highway 192 was a looming monster nearby that I was SURE I would have to conquer every day, and then we found the Reunion area behind us and I could breathe again.  We were really lucky that we found a home so fast and landlords that are very kind. They even LIVE in this Country! LOL (Many landlords here live out of the USA) We talk on occasion that we probably should have flown out first to check out this home, but it would have cost a lot to do so, and sometimes the leap of faith is just a huge one. We took it, we got lucky, and we are very happy with where we live. I couldn’t imagine life now without a pool and patio- it’s our favorite place on our property.

Third, I am humbly embarrassed that I still haven’t found my church family yet, although I have found Christians that can help me stay on my path to Him. I have been to 3 different churches now, and there has been a spark in my heart when going, but not that “home” feeling I miss with my old church in Appleton.  I am not proud at all that I haven’t spent more time on the search, and it gets to be too easy to sleep in on Sundays and believe you will go the following week only to fall into a cycle that isn’t healthy for any spiritual growth. No, you don’t have to go to be a Christian or continue to be one, but a flower can’t live without the sun, and neither can we. Prayers for us that we find something that we are comfortable with and that sticks in our hearts to help us grow.

Fourth, the experiences I have had over the last year have been simply unforgettable. From the positive ones, to the ones I would love to soon forget, they have all made me what I am today. I can only hope that I have grown and learned from my mistakes- that everything I have done right smarts me up enough to repeat them again and again.  Finding out who you are, who you REALLY are can be the scariest experience you can have. I want to be someone that people are proud of, remembered for the good I brought to peoples lives and that I was a friend to many. I will always say that putting yourself out there for the world to judge is like standing naked in front of a crowd- you don’t know who is pointing, who is laughing, who is mocking, or who is crying because they can’t imagine what you are going through and all they want to do is comfort you. This year gave me the REAL experience of understanding who is there for me, and my family, and who is just here to be curious. Real friends are hard to find, and I sincerely thank you all who have been there for us this year.

Last, would I do it again? Heck yeah! Even with all the trials and tribulations, I feel we came out stronger and happier in the end. We shall see what happens in our 2nd year, thanks again for everything you have done, for being loyal friends and readers, and for enjoying the journey with us. God bless your day!

Serving Jury Duty in Central Florida

A tale of two days, I will tell you about what to expect when you receive a jury summons in the great State of Florida. Sit back, grab your favorite beverage, turn the a/c up, and let’s begin!

Let’s start with the fact that I have only lived here 11 months, AND I have not registered to vote yet, which leads me to believe that they get the information from the Department of Motor Vehicles.  At first, I was annoyed I got one. Honestly, I am just getting down how to get to and from the things I need weekly, but now I have to find the courthouse in Kissimmee? Oh bliss.

But, after some time had passed, I got excited. Everything new in FL is an experience, and I love being able to share them with you, so hey, how bad could it be? Maybe I would learn something, meet new people, and who is to say I would even get picked. So, with great attitude in check, I pressed forward this past Thursday and arrived on time and ready to serve.

The summons will tell you that you need to call after 5 p.m. the evening before the day you are to appear.  If you number is read off, you must show, and if not, you don’t have too. I am unsure of what happens after your number is NOT called, I assume they put you back in the pool of people to be summoned again.  My number was on the list read, and promptly filled out the card on my summons so that I was prepared to hand it in upon arrival the next day. The note card is some basic info about yourself, simple and easy to fill out.

Once you get to the Courthouse, which I served at the Osceola County Courthouse in downtown Kissimmee, FL, you have to go through security.  On the message you hear the night before, they tell you what you cannot bring into the courthouse. Like going through any security, no glass, no firearms, no lighters. Etc…  I had to take off my shoes, place my cell phone out of my purse and in the basket alone, then my purse alone.  It went off every time I went through it , so they used the hand scanner to check me- I was always fine.  The gal in front of me had a glass perfume jar in her purse and they made her throw it away to take it back to her car- she chucked it.

If you are wondering about something you would like to bring in, call and ask first or don’t bother bringing it at all.  I can tell you that as potential jury member, I was told I could bring in my laptop, Ipad, IPhone, IPod, or any electronic device.  Now, you can use these only in the jury waiting room, but they are NOT allowed in the court room. We were instructed that if a cell phone goes off, for any reason, the judge will take it from you. We made sure SEVERAL times that all of our cell phones were indeed turned off.

Once I was through security, I headed left to the jury selection room.  I checked in, handed my summons in, and they give you a badge to wear with your jury member number. The time on the summons said 8 a.m. so I was promptly sitting in the large room at around 7:50. They basically just pointed and told me to wait in this huge room.  I referred to it as the “holding cell.” Eventually it filled with everyone else, and what made it so uncomfortable was the sheer silence. They had tvs playing over head, but no volume. I saw computers in the corner, but if you are new to this room, how the heck would I know what they are for? So I cracked open my “Hunger Games” book, sat, and waited.

It would be another hour and a half later that anyone would even clue us in on what was going to happen. You have to understand, I have served before, in WI. We were ushered right to a court room, questioned, picked, and then stayed or went home. This “holding cell” was a whole new ball game to me.

Around 9:30 we were informed that as the day progressed, we would be called, or not, and then taken to a court room where they would decide if we were jury material or not. She explained the computers were for us to use, along with the vending machines, bathrooms, games in the back of the room, and even a fridge to put our own lunches in.  They even told us that you can have food delivered to the court house… of course I pictured getting a pizza delivery while in the actual court room and how amusing that would be. “Excuse m judge, I just need to tip my pizza guy.”

The clock was coming up to 10:45 now, and the peanut M&Ms weren’t holding me over. As I was contemplating something else to settle my stomach, they said they needed a jury. Twenty-five numbers were called, and as I heard my number, I was more excited to stand and do ANYTHING else than sit in the quiet room any longer.

The line of our group was escorted upstairs then held until the court was ready for us. We filed in, with assigned seating, and began getting questioned by the state first.  She came to me and said “Mrs. Petermann, it says here you are a blogger… might I ask what you blog about?” So I told her, which got me oohs and aahs from those around me. She said “I never met a blogger, that’s really cool.” (Of course I was thinking ‘NEVER?’”

Noon came and they dismissed us to lunch. Since I hadn’t brought one, I headed down the street in search of anything- I was starving.  Several of us walked the same way, starting talking, and I had lunch with three other very nice ladies.  It was a bit unnerving though, because we ate outside at this Café, helicopters were over head, circling several times. Apparently one of the buildings near the area had to be evacuated because of a bomb threat… lovely.  I just smiled at it all, I swear to you sometimes it feels like this stuff only happens to me.

After 1:30 the Defense got to question us, and by 3:00 they had made their decision.  I was the 4th name called, and my new friend was called right after me. What were the odds? Apparently 1 in 3.  I was excited, I was actually going to hear a case and get to be an important part of it.  The 7 of us were sworn in, and it was a done deal. I was an official jury member in the state of FL- who knew this would happen in my first year? Crazy!

As any case you have been a part of or seen on TV, both councils give their opening statements. As we got into the witnesses, I kid you not, one of our jury members was SNORING!!! Yes, he fell ASLEEP! Now, the Baliff got my attention, and I nudged my neighbor, who nudged the snorer. I am sure he was tired, but good grief, I am SURE you can get in tons of trouble for not paying attention.

We ended day 1 around 5:00 p.m., just in time for a rush hour, and were instructed to come back for day 2 at 1:00 p.m.  We all assumed it would be starting back up right away in the morning, so it took us all by surprise.  But, all awake this time, we were there at 1:00 waiting for the baliff to take us back to the jury room once again.  Each time we were escorted into the Court room, I felt like royalty- all the “rise for the jury” was a bit enjoyable for me. The first time we all kept standing when we got in, and the judge said “No, the standing is for you, please sit.” The statement made me think of the end of the Lord of the Rings movie where the King says to the Hobbits “You bow for no one.”

The Defense rested, closing statements came and went, and it was time for us to sink our teeth into the case. We could FINALLY talk about it.. I never realized how hard that is until now. The jury room overlooked Lake Tahoe, it was an incredible view.  It’s a funny thing to be in this quiet room, with six other strangers, have nothing in common but the ONE thing you have in common you are not allowed to talk about until the very end.  Just odd.  We went back and forth and came to a decision we all felt very comfortable with. I was almost foreman, but I felt another gal would be better. She had to sign and bring the verdict to the court, but she did not have to read it.

As the Clerk read the verdict, it was like being a part of a movie again. The quiet, the tension, the eye glances of the attorneys towards us- it was surreal.  Then came the most awkward part of the entire experience… the hallway. They let us out from behind the court room, and the attorneys, witnesses, and defendant out the other side.. and we all met to wait for the elevators.  One attorney loves us, one hates us, and we all stood there waiting.  Eventually one would grab an elevator, then the other, then us.

Seven strangers, and actually on was excused before deliberation because they only needed six. So indeed, six strangers had to decide someone’s fate, and we left shaking each other’s hands, and even a few hugs. I was blessed to have met and worked next to all of them, even Sleepy.

I am able to discuss, but I am choosing to leave that part out. Why? Well, for one, it’s my choice to tell. Two, no matter why and how I chose my decision, it could lead to unnecessary debate that I am not comfortable with. Three, we all have our reasons for things in life, and the way our jury came to the decision I feel I will leave private, for my sake, and for fellow members. I will say this, I felt wonderful about my decision and that we deliberated fairly, accurately, and with the utmost common sense.

The point of today’s blog was to let you in on how it all works. I encourage all of you that if you are chosen, take it with the utmost respect and integrity because you are ultimately choosing the course that someone’s life is about to take. It could be freedom, it could be incarceration, it could be anything- but I took it with the most seriousness that I could because I thought to myself more than once how scary it would be that 6 strangers would be deciding my fate.

I am thankful for the experience and honestly, I wouldn’t mind being chosen again.

Thank you for the blog support!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Disney, Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my brand 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!!

$1.00

A Combination of Celebrations

With my impending family visit, the gears in my head have been working overtime. Finding a balance with family has been a little tougher than I had once thought, and it warranted a sharing that I thought you would all enjoy.

I have noticed that when I lived close to my parents, Craig too, that everything was obviously as it should be. We got together for the holidays, brat frys, and birthdays. But what happens to all of those normal annual events when you move away? When you don’t live near them at all?  Obviously, there is change.

Here is the problem: Mom is coming for a visit, with Bob, along with Craig’s mom and dad. I am thrilled they are coming, but then I realized how much I had missed celebrating with them. Yes, birthday cards and packages can be mailed, but having them all here, FOR REAL, makes celebrating almost priority.

Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Kyra’s Graduation, Emily’s Birthday, oh and all of THEIR Birthdays we didn’t get to see them for also. It is really overwhelming, and I am sure I am putting more stress on myself than needed.  We skyped Christmas with my parents this year and it was very hard to enjoy- it wasn’t the same. I feel like I should be decorating my house with every holiday known to man for their arrival.

It’s funny, but I remember talking to a particular co-worker who would tell me about their Thanksgivings with the family and that was when everyone comes in town- they would have not only celebrate that, but also Christmas.  It just isn’t something I ever gave full thought to until this past year.

Yes, I thought about “how” I would cope with this- and dealt with it every time a special day came up. But I can also say that the “specialness” of those days wasn’t necessarily what the celebration was, but the combo of it with the relative I was sharing it with.

My point? Relocating changes family dynamics, traditions, and relationships. No one wants it too, but it happens. I believe we all don’t think it will, we all say in our heads or even out loud “We will get together.” But life happens, and when in a new town/city/state things are constantly taking your attention, that sometimes it’s easy to forget what you left behind. “Out of sight, out of mind” will never be your family, you will always love them- but the relationship you had with them will change whether you like it or not.

My advice? Well, don’t procrastinate on any of the celebrations, whether you live close or not. Keep up with the birthdays, calling and staying in touch will help any relationship. Making the effort shows that you truly care about them and whether they ever reciprocate it or not should never matter. Find a way to make it work, because this is how things are now and I have to tell myself that almost every day.

Now I want to reiterate, I AM OK….some of you read these posts like I may be typing them in some corner rocking back and forth. I reassure you I am fine, like everything about my blog, it is about keeping it real. I have heard MANY of you say “I could never leave my ________ behind.” Well, I did, and so did Craig, and this is just one of those oddities born from it.  Keep it in mind and have a great day.