Monday, November 28, 2011

Food, Wine, and De-vine??? (Part 2)

After we arrived at the Wilderness Lodge we were so hot from Animal Kingdom that we decided to take a dip in the pool. We stopped in at the roaring fork and bought a pizza to snack on and a couple of beers. The main pool was pretty packed so we walked over to the villas pool. (don't worry we were villas guests, I wasn't stealing the villas pool) It was much quieter and other than one other family we were the only other people in the pool.

After the dip in the pool and a quick shower we were off to EPCOT for the food and wine festival. I must say... A dip in the pool followed by a mid-afternoon shower and costume change really helped reenergize us.  The first attraction we always do when we get to EPCOT is spaceship earth. It is so nostalgic and it always gets me in that EPCOT mood. :)

After Spaceship earth I got a Direct message on twitter from the always sweet Nicole. I met Nicole through the Disney Driven Life and her blog NjoyLife is one of my favorites. I met up with her at Test track and it was like seeing an old friend! She was totally sweet and walking around world showcase with her was so fun. It was a brief meeting but an awesome one.

After we said good bye to Nicole it was time to get our food and drink on! we headed back to the beginning of world showcase to Mexico. Now you'll have to forgive me... I didn't write down everything we ate and drank.. Even if I did I think that the amount of drink we consumed would've led to us forgetting to write it down anyway. Just know that we started in mexico, and ended with Greece. We went all the way around!

After world showcase kicked out butts it was time to hit up a couple future world rides. One thing i can't stand about going to WDW in the fall is the short park hours! I completely forgot that future world closes at 7pm. Luckily we made it to the last showing of Captain EO that night... we literally ran in as the women was closing the doors! No matter how old this is I still Love it! As a huge michael fan and someone who grew up in the 80s I thoroughly enjoy this attraction. 

After EO we moonwalked our way over to the Seas with Nemo. Normally we spend a long time in the aquarium area after exiting the clam mobiles. However Adam was not feeling all that well so I did a quick walk through and then we were out of there. We had one more must do and that was test track. The stand by queue was only a 20min wait so we jumped in line. Half way through the line i felt myself fading and Adam was looking alittle pale. Test track was awesome as usual, but once we got out of the building we were headed right to the buses. I was really sad that we didn't stay until Illuminations but knowing we were leaving for the cruise the next day I didn't want to risk either of us being off of our game. 

Good night EPCOT... until next time!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey guys! I will be back to writing my trip report soon I promise! I hope you've all had a great thanksgiving weekend.

This weekend Adam and I had some nice quality time together. We had a few bumps in the road with some family members but all in all it was a very nice holiday! There was good food to be had, and some much needed laughs. We've learned that the good times and the good people are all that matter when it comes to the holidays.

Adam and I went to go see "The Muppets". It was awesome! We laughed and laughed and some happy tears were shed by me. So many people wrote positive reviews about the movie and I agree with most of them, so instead of writing a review that would be redundant of others I will tell you what I learned from The Muppets. The plot is about how the muppets need to reunite in order to save their studios from an evil oil tycoon. They all went their separate ways and there is a significant strain between Kermit and Piggy. There is a scene where Kermit is talking to Piggy and their relationship... He says "Maybe getting everyone to love you isn't what matters. Maybe just getting one person to love you is enough" (or something along those lines) This spoke volumes to me. This is why I totally loved the muppets as a kid and now as an adult. They just did what they loved regardless of what other people thought. Let's face it Fozzi's jokes aren't always the best but we love them anyway! Who cares if not everyone gets their humor or their talent... the fans they have LOVE it! On a personal level this quote (which I hope I got right) got me thinking about my own hang ups with people. Instead of focusing on the people that you don't click with or that you don't have the best relationship with, I need to focus on the people that I know care about me and love me without me having to ask for it. There were many life lessons in "The Muppets" that I think kids and adults could learn from.  I really hope that this movie spawns more Muppet productions in the world. Who knows.. maybe if it makes enough money this weekend we'll see a revival of "The Muppet Show"..... hey I can dream right?

I'm going to start writing up my next trip report blog post and hopefully have it up by Wednesday. This week is going to be busy for me at work but I'm hoping i'll have enough time to get it posted :) In the meantime tell me... how was your thanksgiving??

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 3 - Food, Wine, and De-vine??? (part 1)

Day 3 (September 29th) started with what else?... FOOD! Adam and I are BIG fans of BOMA Flavors Africa restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. We've had dinner there twice so far and love it! When planning this trip Adam found out that BOMA did a breakfast and he really wanted to try it. Our reservation that morning was for 8:30am. We were up and ready to go early and caught the first bus over to Animal Kingdom, and then to the lodge.

Since we arrived slightly early we thought it would be sweet to get some pictures on the bridge over the lobby. This is where Adam and I first saw each other the day of our wedding. It was very surreal to be back there a year later.
(October 2nd 2010)

(September 29th 2011)

yea we don't look completely exhausted! After pictures we checked in at BOMA and were seated pretty quickly. We had a very nice waiter who was from Casablanca... seriously! Don't ask me what his name was but I remember where he was from because how cool!? Breakfast was absolutely delicious. They had this scrambled egg dish that had goat cheese and chives in it... i went up for seconds of that! We tried a bit of everything and we loved most of it! Not going to lie there were a few things that were alittle too authentic but for the most part we stuffed ourselves silly. If you're a fan of BOMA's dinner menu I highly recommend you try their breakfast. Oh and did I mention that the famed Zebra Domes also make an appearance for breakfast?? Zebra Domes = <3

After breakfast and some walking around the Animal Kingdom Lodge lobby for some nostalgia it was back to the buses to head to Animal Kingdom park. I know everyone says this but seriously could that park be any hotter?! its like the second you walk through the turnstiles the temperature goes up 20 degrees! Any way... our standing tradition at Animal Kingdom is to go right to the Kilimanjaro Safari and get a fast pass, then head over to Expedition Everest. Like always this worked out great! We grabbed our safari fast pass and went right over to everest. The stand by line for everest was only 20mins but I never mind it. There is so much to see and read about in that queue that half the time I wish I was there longer!

Expedition Everest kicked butt as usual... although I wish they would fix the yeti!!! After Everest it was time to use our safari fast pass. I love how it is a totally different experience every time you ride it. On  this safari we got some really good pictures of rhinos and the elephants... especially the little baby elephant! :)

See the little baby!! So cute!!

After the safari we started walking through the Maharaja (sp?) Jungle trek. I love walking through here too. All the up close and personal animal areas and the cast members on hand to answer any questions you have about the animals is great! We were in there for about an hour! 

It was so hot and we were still so tired from lack of sleep that we though it would be best to head to the exit and back to Wilderness lodge for a quick dip in the pool, and shower to perk ourselves up before EPCOT. On the way out we saw a group of people gathered looking at a tree...???.... NOPE it was De-vine!!! I was so excited! I grabbed my camera and start snapping away. I've heard about De-vine many times but every time we go to Animal Kingdom I never get to see her. This was such an awesome moment! She was simply breathtaking. Adam and I watched her for quite a while before she moved on through the trees.

Side view... see her profile?

Best picture ever!

Our journey back to the Wilderness lodge was uneventful and luckily there was a wilderness lodge bus pulling in as we got to the bus depot. The air conditioning felt soooo gooooood!

This turned into another long post! ha! I think i'm going to keep posting my days in two parts so that its not too over whelming for both me to type and you to read! ;) Hope you enjoyed Day 3 part 1!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 2 - Ready Set Go (Part 2)

Ok... Where were we?? Ah yes... the journey back to Wilderness Lodge! One of the best things about staying at the Wilderness Lodge (in my opinion) are the boat launches that go right from Magic Kingdom. It is so relaxing after running around the park.

We walked over to the Wilderness Lodge Villas and found our room. We had an ok view... it wasn't of the woods or the pool area... it was facing more towards the main building. It wasn't terrible but it wasn't that great either. Luckily our luggage had already made its way into our room. I laid out our "dress up" clothes for our dinner reservation and jumped in the shower. It felt so good to finally clean up after all the travel and running around we'd been doing. I got out of the shower to find Adam completely passed out on the bed. Poor guy was exhausted. We had enough time before our dining reservation so I let him nap while I finished getting ready.

After a few attempts to wake Adam, he got ready and we were heading out to the Yacht Club Resort to have dinner at Yachtsman Steakhouse. Since we didn't rent a car we were at the mercy of the Disney World bus system. We waited a LONG time for a hollywood studios bus to show up but once it did we were on our way. When we arrived at the studios we saw how long the wait for the friendship boats were and decided we'd take a leisurely walk to the yacht club. Although my feet were killing me, I was hungry, exhausted, and hot I must say I do love that walk along the river. We saw a lot of the places we took pictures after our wedding last year, it brought back some good memories.

We finally arrived at the yacht club (beat the friendship boat i might add) and headed to the steakhouse. I don't know why I didn't take pictures here but I didn't and totally wished I did. The decor was so beautiful! After we checked in with the host we sat in the bar while we waited to be called. I ordered an Eco-Tini which i highly recommend, it was delicious AND it came with an awesome acai berry seed bracelet, which i still am wearing. The wait wasn't long and before we could finish our drinks we were lead to our table.

The service at the Yachtsman steak house is superb! The food was equally as amazing! I think I was so excited to be eating something other than a Dunkin Doughnuts bagel that I just inhaled my dinner before I got to take a picture of it. Adam and I both highly recommend that you try Yachtsman steakhouse. The food, service, and theming exude an air of class and sophistication that I think adults traveling to Disney World would really appreciate.

After dinner we headed to the lighthouse dock to catch the friendship boat back to hollywood studios. There was one thing and one thing only that I HAD to do this trip and that was the newly refurbished Star Tours. If you don't know i'm a HUGE star wars fan and i'd been watching the updates about the star tour refurb closely. I could hardly wait to get on the ride! Adam and I ran over and jumped right in line. The stand by wait time was only 15 mins so we totally lucked out. I love the new updates that were done to the queue! I found myself walking really slowly so I didn't miss anything. When we got up to the loading area Adam and I were put right in the front row of our star speeder.

I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't ridden it yet but the new star tours was totally incredible! I didn't stop smiling the entire time and even after it was over I was still totally amped up. Adam is not at all a Star Wars person (he actually never saw all of the films and has no desire to) but he even said the attraction was awesome. 

We browsed the star tour gift shop for a while before we headed back to the streets of hollywood studios. I wanted to do the backlot tour but since it was so late they stopped running it. The queue for toy story mainia was insanely long and there were no more fast passes left so we decided against that... we headed back over to the big blue sorcerer mickey hat and Mulch, Sweat, and Sheers were playing! We stopped and watched their whole performance. They were so good! We had such a blast singing along to the songs.

After their performance it was getting close to closing time for hollywood studios and we were getting pretty tired. Our stomaches were still too full to do Tower of Terror or Rock'n'roller coaster, so to close out the night we did one of my most favorite attractions, The Great Movie ride. As cheesy as it is, I really love all that The Great Movie ride represents and the classic movies that it pays homage to. I was glad this was the way we ended our first day at Walt Disney World.

Good night hollywood studios!

I don't remember the bus ride back to the Wilderness Lodge, or the walk to the room. But some how we made it and we passed out instantly. The next day was going to be equally as exhausting, but just as fun! 

I hope you're all enjoying my little trip report. If i'm going too fast, or too slow, or you want to know more about our dinner at yachtsman steakhouse, or the wilderness lodge please let me know! And feel free to comment and let you know you read Day 2!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 2 - Ready, Set, GO! (Part 1)

Happy Sunday everyone! Day light savings is totally screwing up my internal clock. Even though its only 5:30 I feel like I should be getting ready for bed, not getting ready to cook dinner. I can't believe how dark out it is already! Anyway let's start with day 2 of our amazing trip!

My alarm wasn't even necessary since I didn't really fall asleep that night. I was almost waiting for it to go off so that I could have an excuse to get up and Adam wouldn't be mad at me. When it did go off i jumped in the shower, got dressed, did my make up and had everything back in the luggage bags before Adam even started to get ready. I took a walk down the lobby to see what the weather was like and to check and see how busy the diner was. If Adam got ready fast enough maybe we could grab some breakfast there. When the elevator doors opened all I saw was the buckets of rain coming down outside. It looked like a monsoon! The diner didn't seem busy so I went back up to the room to check on Adams progress. He wasn't moving as quickly as I thought he would be (Try barely moving) and breakfast at the diner went out the window.

We gathered our things and went down to the lobby to check in for the shuttle service to the airport. We must've been the only people under fifty that were heading to the airport that day. I don't know if there is some sort of a senior discount in Vegas during the fall or what but everyone using the shuttle service that morning were eligible for medicare and had fanny packs on that said some sort of "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas..." slogan on it. Meanwhile i'm in my mickey t-shirt and Adam is looking at the food and wine festival information on his phone... We were definitely the minority.

After a quick trip to the airport we said headed to the nearest dunkin doughnuts for some much needed coffee and bagels. The flight was pretty uneventful... flash forward two and a half hours to landing! My first sight of palm trees always gets me insanely excited! We flew through security and down to Magical Express. We walked right up to the next Magical express attendant and I made a terrible discovery... I had packed up my magical express transfers! I almost had a heart attack! The nice man at the desk told me not to worry and looked me up in the system. He printed out a whole new voucher for me and told me to have a "magical day!" to which i replied "I most certainly will!"... God i love hearing "have a magical day!" Lesson learned... Do not panic at disney! They fix everything!

We boarded the bus headed to the Wilderness Lodge. I could hardly contain myself! The entire time I was tweeting and facebooking that I was on my way! We arrived at the Wilderness Lodge and went to the check in desk. I got a really nice cast member who chatted with me about Disney Cruise Line and told me all about the fun things that were going on around the world the few days i'd be there. Our room wasn't ready yet but we did the text thing that would let us know when it was ready and what room number we were in. It was so convenient. By this time Adam and I were pretty hungry. We went to the roaring fork and grabbed some chicken fingers and a pizza. I was so happy to be back in my happy place!

Excuse my finger in this one

After lunch we jumped on the next boat to Magic Kingdom. The first thing I wanted to do was ride the haunted mansion! I hadn't been on it since the new queue refurb. It was so much fun. I won't spoil it for those who haven't done it yet but just know that we loved it! After Haunted mansion we did Space Mountain. The whole time we were in line I was praying that we got the back... I LOVE the back of the train on space.. I feel like it goes faster and you get whipped around more. Guess what we got... the back! woohoo! I had my hands up and scream/laughed the whole time! Space is one of my most favorite rides! 

After space mountain I think the early morning, the flight, and running around got to us. It suddenly felt like we were moving in slow motion. We sat down in tomorrowland when I started tweeting with Scott from Collect the mouse and a Disney Driven Life. He and his wife Peggy were in the park that day and wanted to meet up with us! After some tweeting and a quick phone call we found each other and rode the TTA together. Scott and his wife are such nice people, it was like we'd known them for a long time.  It was so nice to just sit and relax on the TTA and have a nice chat with cool people! I wish I had gotten a picture with them but somewhere my brain totally blanked out and i forgot! :( 

After our TTA ride we said goodbye to Scott and Peggy. Next up was Pirates of the Caribbean, I can't go to Magic Kingdom and NOT do it! I still know all the words to the song and sing it in my head through the whole ride. Sadly this wasn't my favorite trip on pirates... there was some guy behind us who clearly didn't care about the "no flash photography" rule and kept blinding me! It was so bad that they stopped the ride twice and asked him to stop and he still didn't. At the end of the ride a cast member did pull him aside and said something to him but at that point the ride was over. I love a good photo but don't ruin someone's ride with a blinding flash! 

After that bad experience and our energy levels going down the tubes we thought we'd try one more ride... Splash Mountain. We got over to the queue area and the line was super long... we tried fast pass but the fast pass return wasn't until 5 o'clock and we had a dining reservation 5:30. Feeling defeated I heard the train whistle... it was sitting in the frontier land station. PERFECT! We ran up the stairs with every last bit of energy and were the last two people they let on. 

Adam and I started talking and as much as we wanted to keep going in Magic Kingdom we knew we were pushing it. We decided to go back to the Wilderness lodge for a quick nap, shower, and change before heading to the yacht club for dinner and Hollywood Studios that night. I checked my phone and sure enough we had a text telling us our room was ready. The train pulled out of the frontierland station and we were on our way to the main gate. We kept trying to peak behind the fences to see the fantasyland expansion construction but we couldn't see much. What we did see though looked super cool!  

We pulled into the main gate station and went down the ramp to leave...WAIT! I can't leave without a castle picture! I told Adam I need to get our picture in front of the castle and he reluctantly agreed, I think the poor guy was falling asleep on me. We got the nearest photopass photographer to snap this picture of us. 

Not our best photo but we're going to blame it on the crane in the background and not the fact that we look exhausted....hahaha

Wow this post is long... Ok i'm going to stop here. Don't want to loose you guys to too much in one post! Things to look forward to next include, Dinner at yachtsman Steak House...ummm omg yum!, Mulch Sweat and Tears, Star Tours meltdown, and Passing out!

Thanks for reading! And don't forget to leave a comment so I know you were here! 


Friday, November 4, 2011

Let's start at the very beginning

Waiting for my chocolate chip cookies to finish baking seems like the perfect time for me to start my trip report.... YAY! ::Applause applause!:: Ok who guessed where I was in that last picture???.... If you said we were on the Magic Kingdom Railroad train then you are right! :)

I'm going to start at the very beginning (like the title says) on Wednesday September the 28th. Technically I didn't get to WDW until the 29th but I feel that I should include the 28th too.

I woke up that morning totally amped! The entire time I was getting ready for work I was humming Disney songs, imagining seeing the Disney Magic for the first time, EPCOT! ect. It wasn't until I grabbed my keys that I realized I had to actually work ALL DAY before we would be starting our journey. During my hour commute into work I tried giving myself a pep talk, if I didn't bring my excitement level down a notch I wouldn't be able to handle working and my day would seem so much longer. Unfortunately no matter what I did I couldn't stop day dreaming! My ten and a half hour, 6:30am - 5pm shift felt like an eternity! The dentists would ask me questions and half the time I found myself responding with Disney jibberish. Finally after watching every painstaking second of the day go by it was quitting time! I grabbed my things and sprinted to my car. I squealed like a little girl the whole way home!

At the house Adam and his brother were there waiting for me. We decided to get a pizza and go over any last minute details. We gave my brother in law the vet information, instructions on the dogs eating schedule, the cruise and hotel information, the number to the local police and fire department, and made sure to emphasize NO PARTIES! After we ate dinner we loaded up my truck with all the luggage. Then it was time to say good-bye to my babies. For those of you who don't know I'm some what neurotic, especially when it comes to my puppies... they are my children and I worry about them like crazy. After a tearful fifteen minute "so-long" it was time to hit the road.

After another good hour in the car we arrived at the Holiday Inn in Manchester New Hampshire. By this time it was 8:30 at night and i'd been up since 4:50 in the morning. I was totally exhausted. We checked in and made our way to our room. It was a nice enough room for just a night... and we really liked that there was a diner located right down stairs. Adam thought it would be a good idea to go down and grab alittle dessert before we went to bed. The diner was themed like an old airport pilot bar. The food on the menu looked really good and had I known that I would've suggested we ate there instead of grabbing the pizza at home. I got the strawberry short cake and Adam got this insanely sized grasshopper pie. We chit chatted about our schedule for the following day and about how excited we were to be going back to the place we love and where we got married. It was really nice having that time to relax before all the traveling we'd have to do in the morning.

After we finished our yummy desserts we headed back up to the room to hit the hay. Our flight was leaving at 6:50 in the morning so we had to be in the lobby for the airport shuttle at 5:15. I set the alarm on my phone and got into bed. Adam was asleep in SECONDS! I swear that man can fall asleep anywhere! I however was too excited to sleep. I turned on the TV and watched the news, then I picked up my book and read, nothing would get me to sleep. I even went as far as trying to count sheep! (lame!) The last time I looked at the clock it said 1:14am (don't ask me why I remember that but I do) I know I fell asleep sometime after that... needless to say I didn't get the proper amount of sleep one needs for an early morning.

So that is how this crazy trip started. I will say that I am VERY glad we stayed at the hotel near the airport the night before. It was extremely convenient and if we ever do an early morning flight I will be sure to stay close by again. I am also glad that I went to work... even though it seemed like it was the longest day ever, I think if i took the day off to prepare and pack I would've gone stir crazy! Being at work made me focus on something else other than flying, and disney, and worrying about travel.... well most of the time.

My next post will be more exciting and will have many more pictures! But until then i'll leave you with this one...

Guess who was extremely tired and on a plane!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

bad blogger! Bad, bad, blogger!

I am such a slacking blogger. I can't believe my last blog post was August 4th... that makes me so sad! Let me explain whats been going on...

First the bad, In my last blog post we were putting our house on the market and then we were going to build our new house. As painful as it is for me to say, nothing worked out. I hate that I feel embarrassed about it. I guess I shouldn't start telling people things until I know for sure they are going to happen... lesson learned. As we stand now the house is off the market, we are slowly bringing all of our packed away things home from the storage unit, and putting the house back together so that it looks like we actually live here. It was kind of depressing and I was in a bit of a funk that our house got NO interest at all, but sadly this is the market we're in these days. We seem to have another game plan for the future but until I know its going to work i'm keeping my lips sealed!

Now the good! The other reason I haven't been blogging is because, well I wasn't here! We had the most amazing vacation to WDW and our first Disney Cruise. We were gone for nine days and had the the best time! It was exactly what we needed to get out of our terrible moods. Adam and I met some fabulous people both in WDW, and on the ship. We even booked our next cruise for 2012 with the other couple that we became friendly with. We now have cruising buddies! I've been emailing them and keeping in touch. Its like being a kid in elementary school when you had a pen pal.  I can't wait to share with you guys everything that we did and all that we are going to be doing next year. It has both Adam and I VERY excited!

My plan is that i'm going to be a better blogger. My goal is to post something at least 3 times a week. Even if it is just a small quick post. We're (mostly) settled in the house, we have power back on from that stupid snow storm we just had... seriously how does it snow in October?... and I have so much I want to share and so much Disney talk I need to let out. I find that I miss doing trip reports on message boards so I'm going to do one here! I hope you will all enjoy reading it. :)

Before I end this post i'll leave you with a teaser picture from the trip!

Can you guess where we are??