|The Castle at Disney's Magic Kingdom|
This was our first winter vacation EVER...yep, fifteen years of marriage and we have never escaped an Iowa winter...and my husband had never been to Florida or Disney World...and I haven't been to Florida since I was a teenager (my only trip to Disney was on my 5th birthday)...so when my mother and her new husband invited us down for a winter getaway, we made some sacrifices to get away and spend a week visiting with them! We wanted to do and see as much as possible...in fact, we were busy from early morning to late night every single day. Here are just a few photos/videos I captured along the way...
We arrived in Orlando on Thursday afternoon and wasted no time, heading straight to the beach. We stopped at a local's recommendation for a late lunch at Hidden Treasure Rum Bar & Grill on Ponce Inlet...then we were off to New Smyrna Beach for a drive along the ocean...
Friday we spent the entire day with my mom and her new husband (Dan) at Walt Disney World - Magic Kingdom Park. Dan has been going to Disney World every single year for over 20 years and was an excellent tour guide - he had us on a schedule and we were able to see and do EVERYTHING from the Magic Kingdom Welcome Show at the park opening to the Main Street Electrical Parade (AMAZING) and Wishes Nighttime Spectacular before park closing....and yes, we rode all the rides (Splash Mountain was my personal favorite!).
Saturday we went to Walt Disney World - Epcot. We had a fun-filled day riding some of the major rides and we started visiting all the countries in the World Showcase...having lunch and a jalapeno margarita in Mexico and then continuing through the United Kingdom. Once it was dark, we had scoped out the perfect place outside of Italy to view Illuninations: Reflections of Earth (a spectacular fireworks show over the water).
Monday we had the entire day planned at Walt Disney World - Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park with my mom and Dan...but the weather had other ideas. We were able to see quite a bit before it started raining...I mean really raining...it was a downpour! We were lunching when it started and after discussing our plans, we decided to get ponchos and make the best of it. We were able to do most of the things on our list...and I got to meet Chip and Dale (yay!). We did as much as possible in the rain, then headed to the Rainforest Cafe for our dinner reservations. Even with the rain, we had a fabulous day (although it didn't help my head cold)!
Travis and I set out on our own again to finish touring Walt Disney World - Epcot on Tuesday. We still had one country left on the World Beer Tour and a few places left to explore....plus we had a fast pass for Soarin' (a spectacular ride where you virtually fly above California). We toured Canada (which had beautiful gardens), enjoyed the Canadian Lumberjacks show, and took in the American Adventure. Once we finished up Epcot, we headed to Daytona Beach to see the Daytona Speedway, have dinner, and take in the ocean....and maybe see the rocket launch from Cape Canaveral (but it was canceled at the last minute AGAIN - maybe next time).
|Quilting inspiration in Morocco|
Wednesday was our last full day in Orlando and we spent it with my mom and Dan at Walt Disney World - Disney's Hollywood Studios. Travis and I loved this park - and once again with Dan as our tour guide we were able to take in all it has to offer...including the Tower of Terror (LOVED!) and the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith (WAY FUN!). I thoroughly enjoyed Walt Disney: One Man's Dream, which is a gallery of rare artifacts and an inspiring 15-minute film on the life of Walt Disney. Then to top off a perfect day, we stayed for Fantasmic - a 30-minute fireworks and water extravaganza, which was spectacular - what a great way to end our winter break!
|It's still all about the squirrel - this little french fry thief joined us for lunch|
at Disney's Hollywood Studios...
We were up and out the door at 4:30 AM on Thursday, heading to the airport and back home to Iowa...and my miserable head cold was in full swing...but the week we had definitely made up for my discomfort. My birthday and Valentine's Day were a complete blur, as I slept and nursed this nasty bug...but that's okay, we made enough memories last week.
So today, I am in catch-up mode - still nursing the horrible head cold. This afternoon, I am hoping to be at my sewing machine...and I have a couple magazine submissions to complete...and I have loads of model stitching to do...time to get back into creative mode!