Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Take A Little Trip With Me

The Castle at Disney's Magic Kingdom
Hello friends - we are back from a fabulous Florida vacation and it was wonderful to spend some time away to recharge and refresh...and I am feeling inspired and ready to get back to work. What a blessing to be away from the bitter cold and snow for a week, even though I contracted a MISERABLE head cold midway through our time away. I was able to manage it with medication and make the best of it until returning home, but then it really set-in and I have basically slept the last three days away...which is really frustrating, as I have a plethora of projects and business tasks that need my immediate attention. I am hoping the worst has passed, as I can almost focus this morning...fingers crossed.

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) 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 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!).

A video posted by Belinda - Blue Ribbon Designs (@brdgirl) on

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).

A video posted by Belinda - Blue Ribbon Designs (@brdgirl) on

On Sunday, we spent some time at Gatorland, where I got to feed the alligators and get up close and personal with one after the Gator Wresting Show (yes, I got to pet an alligator). We were shocked at the amount of alligators, birds, and wildlife at this park...even though it was a bit touristy, we still had a great time. Next we were off to Titusville, FL, where we had an early dinner at Dixie Crossroards Seafood Restaurant (another local suggestion) and then to Kennedy Point Park to watch the rocket launch from Cape Canaveral (it was canceled at the last minute, but we had a lovely time by the water and met some new friends).

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 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 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

A video posted by Belinda - Blue Ribbon Designs (@brdgirl) on

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!


  1. What a fabulous winter vacation you and Travis had, Belinda! Loved all of your pictures although I can't believe that you were that close to the gators. Sorry the Falcon 9 launch was canceled and that you ended up with a cold. Rest up!


  2. WOW!! You sure did have fun!! Your photo's look great, I have never been to any of those places so it was fun looking at your photo's. And sounds like you had a lot of fun spending time with your mum and Dan... But alas no photo's? Great one of you with the gators... Your braver than me!! Belated birthday wishes :)
    Smiles :)

  3. Do glad you had a wonderful time. Great pics. Hope you feel better soon.

  4. Wow you really had a jam packed holiday, hope you feel better soon...

  5. What an amazing winter break! You truly packed in everything possible - you're a real trooper to,do,all that with a bad cold. Hope you feel much better now.

  6. Thanks for sharing your wonderful winter break with us. I am sorry you got the head cold and hope you feel better soon.