Monday, June 20, 2005

We've been home a week now and it seems like we never went away! Our trip was amazing - I flew out Thursday morning - I was a little nervous about making my way through unknown airports on my own but it turned out to be pretty simple, and I made some friends along the way so I had someone to talk to. Orlando was cloudy and muggy which suited me fine - it was hot enough to sit at the pool but not so bright and sunny that you could feel your skin roasting.
I took a shuttle to our hotel - which was close to the convention centre so there were a lot of fellow conference go-ers there. (you will recognize them by their shorts with long socks and sandals) Our resort was on International Drive - which was so manicured and landscaped that by the second day my eyes just wanted to see plain grass! It was really beautiful. They must employ a lot of gardeners.
I took a walk through our resort while I waited for Keith to get back - aquainted myself with 2 of the 3 pools and the hot tub. It was starting to drizzle a little but it was a warm rain so no big deal...then it started to pour, so I cut my walk short and went back to our room.
That night we went to Universal Studios - Microsoft had rented it for the conference attendees so everything was free. We didn't eat a lot tho, since we wanted to get all the rides done in one evening!
The first ride we went on was Men in Black - this is a great ride - you hop in a little car and shoot down aliens with your laser gun as you ride down the track. It keeps score too, so you can have a little friendly competition. We did this ride twice - not sure why, but it was MUCH faster the first time - maybe we had heavier people with us on the second ride. Anyway - lots of fun and highly recommended.
We went on Jaws next - I have not seen the movie but I know the premise. You take a ride in a little boat - meant to be a little pleasure cruise that goes bad.... :) It was fun but not that long and of course fairly predictable. It was worth walking up to, but I wouldn't wait in line for an hour for it.
Next was the Mummy. This was a roller coaster and was a pretty fun ride except for this one part where the roller coaster stops and flames shoot up all around you (no kidding - it is HOT) and the mummy starts laughing at you and saying something about how your soul will burn forever or some such...little too hellish for me...but the roller coaster part was great!
My favorite ride - and the last one we went on that night was Back to the Future - I didn't expect much from this but it was so much fun - if we'd had time I would've gone again! Basically you sit in a stationary car and there is a screen all around you - you are going on a mission through time - the car moves up and down and tilts and bumps around making it feel like you are actually moving. It was great. (I admit my description of it sounds lame but it was really fun - trust me.)
I also got an I love Lucy shirt for myself.
The next day Keith had to finish up the conference so I was on my own. I had my cup of lousy hotel coffee (next time I will pony up the couple bucks for the starbucks in the gift shop) then headed to the hot tub for a quick soak. There are a lot of nice hotels and sight seeing along international drive so I went for a walk. I ended up at a little hole in the wall outlet store where I picked up a pair of shorts for Keith and a wrap for myself so I could sit by the pool.
I had lunch at TGIFridays and headed back to our hotel around 2 to read my book. At 3:00 my phone rang - the evening before I had tried to book a massage at the hotel spa, but they couldn't confirm my time - they were going to leave me a message in my room if they could keep the appointment. Well they forgot to call me but my massage therapist was there I ran down and had a 30 min swedish massage, then sat by the pool and read my book until Keith got back.
We didn't do much that evening - We went to Charley's for steak (apparently the number 1 steakhouse in Florida and #2 in the US.) The steak was really good...but everything else was not the best....the steak was worth it tho. We bought Keith another pair of shorts, invested in some ponchos and headed home to call the kids and have an early night.
Saturday morning we checked out and cabbed it to our Port Orleans resort at DisneyWorld! We checked our bags at the hotel since our room wasn't ready and hopped on the magical disney bus to the Animal Kingdom. The African Safari was our first stop. This was the attraction that I wanted to see most when I found out we were going to Disney. It was great. You ride a safari bus through the African savanah in search of poachers. On the way you see all kinds of Native African animals - it was a lot of fun. While we were there we did a water ride where you go over some rapids and down a waterfall on a big round raft. The dinosaur ride there was awesome too - lots of scary realistic dinosaurs roaring at you! We spent a couple hours there before it started pouring - our poncho's came in really handy! We headed back to our hotel and checked into our room....then headed to Magic Kingdom for the real Disney experience! When we got there the parade was just about to start so we quickly grabbed new batteries for the camera and got all the character shots to show the kids. After that we just ran from ride to ride - we did Space mountain twice - the first time I was scared because Keith had told me it was a really scary one. Of course 20 years later, it wasn't nearly as scary! So we went again later in the day. We loved Thunder mountain - I think it was my favorite Magic Kingdom ride - We rode it 3 times in a row. Mickey's Philharmagic was another great one that I'm glad we saw - we were focusing on rides and this is a 3D show but we'd heard it was great (thanks Kristin for the amazing hints and tips!)
Of course we went on It's a Small World and the teacups which are classics that you really can't miss.
The buzz lightyear ride was fun - kind of like the Men in Black ride at universal but a little more kiddish. Fun tho. We thought we were going to really like the Stitch ride - but we both hated it. It didn't have enough interest for adults but was scary for kids...not sure who that is meant for. But try it...maybe you'll like it. Not our cup of tea.
This was probably our best day - the weather was cloudy and rainy which kept the crowds away, so lineups were not bad, and it kept us cool enough that we could run around and do all the stuff we wanted! Looking at the map now tho, I see a lot that we missed - a couple that I would like to have seen like Pirates of the Caribbean and Peter Pan but mostly the kiddie rides that we decided not to do this time. We'll have to catch those next time when we go back - we'd like to take the whole family in a few years when they are older.
I will tell you more about the next two days later.....

That's enough fun for now.


Alyssa 10:44 PM  

Sounds like you had fun. I did not realise you were not taking the kids on this trip. Sounds like you enjoyed pretending to be kids though!!

Colleen Salter 10:37 AM  

So far it seems like you guys had a great time!! Can't wait to here about the rest of the trip. Did your kids miss you or were they happy to be with grandma all the time? See you in two weeks.


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I am mom to 3 kids and in process to adopt another from Ethiopia. I run a home daycare for teacher's kids and enjoy taking pictures. I love God and I love my family! :)

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