Posted in My Travels

Walt Disney World April 19- Day 4

Day 4

Disney Park: Animal Kingdom (open till 9:30PM)

🎂 This day was my eldest sister’s birthday, the one who lives overseas in Sicily. Our daughters wanted to make her a birthday video from the pool first thing to make her day bright.  Something we seem to make offsite for her annually as her birthday always falls during our school vacation weeks.

Like I just mentioned, we got to the pool before hitting the park today; we had a FP starting at 11:55AM for the safari. It was a perfect 80F start with the sun shining and the pool glimmering… and oh look, friends from home!  Yup, we saw more friends from my husband’s hometown at the pool.

Apparently, Bay Lake is the place to be during April vacation.

Because the weather was spectacular, we were willing to sacrifice the first FP for pool time since we had another FP for the safari another day at night.  This day we also reserved FP for Primeval Whirl, for the girls to ride it for the first time, and then Avatar Flight of Passage, for all of us to ride it together.

Going to the Animal Kingdom this day was our first shot at the bus system since our last visit. The buses for Bay Lake arrive at a station on the Contemporary side of the house.  We arrived to the Animal Kingdom only to be greeted by a handsome stranger approaching me.  He was fast talking with his family while holding a paper ticket, basically, asking if we wanted it. It was a free pass to ride Avatar Flight of Passage any time that day (kid swap).   So yea, I took it and thanked him, it was a great start to our day already!

On top of this we were hungry. We went to grab a quick bite to eat at the Flame Tree BBQ (one of the first spots where I had ever eaten at Disney World in 2002); so for nostalgia and love of BBQ’d meat, we have to eat there first each time.  The girls split the mac n cheese topped with pulled pork, my husband the pulled pork sandwich with a beer and me the BBQ chicken salad with a vodka drink!   So, just a heads up that portions of food at this location are crazy out of whack. Like, way too big. My kids split a KIDS MEAL and my husband had eaten some of it too.  I ended up splitting my dish with my husband, and leaving some behind.  As you may be understanding by now, my husband is an eating machine.  haha  He is a pretty big guy, and always ends up eating my food.  Sometimes I feel bad but he doesn’t seem to mind.  🙂 And I love sharing my food and everything with him anyways.

We flew to our first FP, the Kilimanjaro safari! They changed this experience a little. It no longer used the radios or anything that had to do with the chase of finding poachers along the route, which was actually pretty ok. I mean, the last time we rode it there was a little confusion on the ride because the driver didn’t set up the chase quite well and we had to explain it to a family the whole time.

Our next FP was the Primeval Whirl.  A ride the girls were too little to get on during the past two trips to AK.  We all got on it together, which was fun.  I had never ridden it either!  Another ride we didn’t make it on ever in my Disney life, shock and awe.

Is it horrible to say that I didn’t care much for this ride?  I liked the theme and it was silly fun and all, but the jerkiness of the turns at the end of each corner was bothersome.  I felt like an arcade pinball getting whacked around and spun. The girls loved it! Which is all I can ask for because they have been talking about this ride for months! We walked around Dinoland a bit after the ride, but I was pretty excited to get to our next FP… Avatar Flight of Passage!! So I basically forced everyone to get going!!

C’mon, c’mon, c’mon!!

Arriving at Pandora is pretty surreal as you are walking over the bridge.  Especially if you are a fan of the movie, which we all are.  The transformation from Discoveryland to Pandora is done in the most subtle way, then bam right after the river you are engulfed in this new world; so different from the others in AK.  The floating mountains in the valley of Mo’ara looked just like the movie, I wanted to fly up and touch them.  We all couldn’t believe it. The sounds of the animals, and the lush surroundings, all seemed so real.  Disney created such an amazing land, so beautiful.  We walked all around the space before our FP; from the leafy reaches of the Na’vi River Journey to the stone drums to the hidden stores.

Then we got on the Avatar Flight of Passage ride.  AFOP is probably the best ride I have ever been on in my life.  And I am a super scaredy cat of the unknown fast, high swooping rides and stuff, but this ride was so well done that I couldn’t get enough. The seats were super cool. The views were intense, and the 3D was the best I had ever experienced. That smell of the ocean was refreshing and I can still smell it, but my favorite part of the ride, though, was how I could feel the banshee breathing between my legs.  It was a whole lot of amazing details after another.

Never had I been so disappointed for a ride to end than that one.

After we rode the AFOP, we grabbed some fun drinks from Pongu Pongu.  We got a Rum Blossom, which had Passion fruit boba mixed in with two sized straws, for good reason! The drink was yummy and refreshing. Those boba balls were so good!

With drinks in hand, we went over to Discoveryland to grab the girls some Mickey bars (and a frozen margarita for me!) but within minutes we ended up going back to Pandora to ride AFOP again, using that pass from the kind stranger. After riding that twice, and the hour, we decided it was a great time to start making our way over to Asia because we had to be at our dinner reservations within the half hour.  We had made reservations for Yak & Yeti!


But our experience at Yak & Yeti was ….  meh.  The place itself was pretty.  I loved the Asian aesthetic.  And I am only saying our experience was ok because our oldest daughter has an all nuts allergy (which the place was fine for her) but my husband has a sesame seed/oil allergy.  Both cases are pretty clear. They go into anaphylaxis if they eat the actual food, but cross contamination isn’t usually a problem.  Our youngest got the chicken fingers with corn and jasmine rice, our oldest got tuna nachos, my husband got the blackened tuna and I got the tuna salad.  Simple tuna dishes for the most part, right? Well, for some reason it was terribly complicated for the chef to understand not just for my husband but also our dishes, as we stated, treat the entire table as if we have a sesame allergy.. So what happened?  He treated the appetizer, lettuce cups, as a gluten allergy, though it didn’t have sesame..weird, but ok, safe. THEN.  My dish and our oldest daughter’s dish came out riddled with sesame seeds.  SMH.  It was fine, we don’t have any issues, but sucked cause I know he wanted to try those nachos. My husband said his dish was fine in the end, blackened tuna with double jasmine rice, but also that it was not terribly exciting, and that the blackening seasoning was kind of burnt or smokey tasting…which I know he isn’t fond of. We grabbed a few drinks there.. beer, yak attack, a margarita and a sangria, they were nice.

While at dinner, we made a few more FP for the night.  We forfeited our River of Light FP to split up our time because my husband and oldest daughter wanted to ride Everest, but our youngest did not.  So I took her to Dinoland to ride whatever she wanted… TriceraTops and Primeval Whirl. So glad we did this, because as soon as we got off TriceraTops the other arrived and the kids rode Primeval Whirl two times on their own.

I had this great idea to paint everyone’s faces with UV glow body paint before heading back to Pandora for night-time. It was fun to draw the designs on. Though the paint from the bottle was messy, I also used a plastic fork, and the paint wasn’t as brightly lit up as I wanted it to be, everyone looked cute when it dimly glowed or when we got into regular light. Eh. Just goes to showya. Some ideas aren’t worth the cost or time… this was one!!

With faces painted, we went back to Pandora to close out the night.  At this point, the River of Light was just starting so we got a good tip to hit up the Na’vi River Journey, which would have shorter wait times. We couldn’t get FP to this ride at any point before our trip, and wanted to get on it at least once during our two days at the AK this trip.  So. We kept an eye on the app right from dinner, the lines were so long, but we saw the numbers drop little by little.  When we made it to Pandora, we raced right there.  It stated 45 minutes, so we took the leap of faith.

THERE WAS NO WAIT AT ALL!   We were all so glad to get on the ride because it ended up being the last moment to ride it for the night!

We left the Animal Kingdom super tired, but happy.  We did get on the bus to take us home, but someone got an ill tummy, me, and we got off at the Wilderness Lodge.

The best part of our night was actually this stop. Funny enough.

We remembered that the resort had a ferry service to the Contemporary Resort.  We walked to the dock out back to find the ferry-boat just arriving to pick up riders.  The night was perfect, the boat was basically empty.  First stop the boat went to was Fort Wilderness, which was actually pretty cool from this view-point.  It looked like a quaint camp site set on the water, set up in the middle of nowhere. Then we ferried right to the Contemporary, which was about 10 minutes.  It was beautiful.  The warmth.  The breeze.  The view of the resorts from the darkness.  The girls sat arm and arm, and, we did, too.  Well, with my shoulder on his, as well.  I was sleepy.  🙂

Also, this could also be funny for others, but, the driver of the boat was, to say the least, amusing. He was sort of dressed like a boat captain but messy. He was lanky with a 5 o’clock shadow, and spoke slowly, almost like a bit of a Scooby Doo creepy character. We docked at the Contemporary at the same time as another ferry.  The ferry captain of that other boat came over to ours and looked like The Skipper from Gilligan’s Island.  With all these old school show references I had a ball. (I love the TV shows I grew up on!)

Our full day at the Animal Kingdom was a lot of fun.  We loved Pandora, the kids loved all the fun foods and getting on Primeval Whirl, and despite some minor set backs, we ended the night on such a magical note.

Posted in My Travels

Walt Disney World April 18- Day 3

Day 3

Disney Park: Magic Kingdom (open till 12AM- Magic Hours)

We started off this day with some fantastic hot weather, so we changed our FP plans to hit the pool! One of my favorite pastimes is hanging out in the sun.  Our kids remember seeing the pool in old photos, and couldn’t wait to make their way to the featured slide. Which was a lot of fun. Oh and we had to ’emergency’ grab Mickey shaped pretzels and smoothies as soon as the bar opened or my kids “would just dieeeee”, my goodness, they couldn’t wait to eat junk!  But oh hey, margaritas.  🙂

Funny part about this morning was that we ended up seeing another crew from my husband’s hometown hanging out by the seven of them!  haha  I didn’t know any of them, and since they all played football with my husband back in HS I was happy to not talk to them and drink my margarita in the hot tub!  The hot tub was super hot, which made me happy, and it overlooked the Bay Lake, surrounded by trees, it really is a great spot to relax and forget your troubles..and soak achy muscles.  Speaking of which, because all of the bruises were so highly visible, everything I brought to wear was strappy tanks or mini shorts/skirts. I was kinda depressed over it till this Wednesday morning.  I got in my new bathing suit and said screw it if people are staring, I WANT A TAN!  And that was that, I definitely felt more confident about my appearance after that epiphany, and you can see it in my face.  Just happier.

We got ourselves showered and out the door in time to get to the Magic Kingdom right for our first fast pass at 1:20PM for Splash Mountain.  And as soon as we could, we made our way over to Fantasyland for some snacks. First we got a fried twinkie, which I didn’t eat, and then we made it to visit Gaston’s.  While there we took full advantage of the AC for a while, it was super hot out and the girls needed a rest. We snagged a fun table by the fireplace and tried LeFou’s Brew (frozen apple juice with passion fruit foam and a hint of charred marshmallow) and a giant cinnamon roll. Well, I actually grabbed hummus because I just can’t eat sugary junk like my family can all day.

From Gaston’s we got onto Dumbo, the Barnstormer, and then raced up the hill to get on Under the Sea to cool off a bit, which worked great.  As we walked towards Tomorrowland, we checked out some sights of the parade on Main Street USA, then went on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin for some competition with the kids.  They opted to sit on their own, so it was Parents vs Kids.  They won, of course.

From Buzz, we grabbed some iced coffee..and frappuccinos (blerg), walked through The Confectionary to cool off, and we got a caramel apple sample that was insanely good. We then headed back to the hotel to freshen up for our dinner reservations at The Wave.

We had eaten at The Wave our very first family trip to Disney, and we enjoyed it a whole lot.  This night didn’t disappoint either, and we, again, found that the food and drinks were better this year than our last visit.  My husband got pan seared salmon, and I got the tenderloin.  Both dishes were cooked perfect.  The kids had a blast being silly and eating their food, our oldest got crab cakes and our youngest a burger (which was amazing).  Once we paid the check, we changed back into our other clothes, which we weren’t planning but someone forgot something in the room, so why not change out of dresses?

We made a super fast bee line to the MK, and started on our fun night ahead. The walk between the park and hotel is literally five minutes, and the best part of the walk is that it has its own security line that NEVER had a wait and always had the funniest security officers. So walking right into the park a breeze.

The park was open till midnight, so we had a little over three hours left  which meant we had time to get on a lot of the rides we wanted..where first?  BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN!  haha  We rode it three times in a row, and had a blast because we all swear it is faster at night.  From there we saw the fireworks show was about to start, but since we saw it the night before we opted to take a chance to ride Peter Pan. The FP system wasn’t letting us make reservations, so we just winged it where we wanted.  The wait for Peter Pan was listed at 30 Minutes, but sometimes when the fireworks are about to start people flock to it and the wait times can be less.  SOMETIMES!!  So we got into line, something I had never done before because we always grab a FP for this ride.  I LOVED THE WAITING QUEUE SO MUCH!  The whole set up is magical, and we had so much fun playing with the shadow interactive and Tinker Bell’s light.  It was real darling. Plus I got to ride it with our youngest daughter like we had our last time on the ride, which was a lot of fun.  Pointing out everything to her again and enjoying Captain Hook’s demise at the end.

The weather this night was glorious.  Of course I am always wearing a sweater, because I am chilly when it’s 70F. haha I wish I was joking.  Ok, so after Peter Pan we decided to make our way to the front of the castle to see the next show, but then nixed those plans to head over to Winnie the Pooh then Futureland for Mickey bars and a ride on the ppl mover!  I missed the people mover!  Then after this we went over to Adventureland to climb the Swiss Family Robinson tree and ride Aladdin. After the girls decided to target me to get wet by the camel On the second ride together, I called it quits, then they rode it about four more times before we had to pack it in for the night.

Walking out of the park at night is a great feeling.  All the lights, the details, it’s so remarkable.  Sometimes I do wish that our real life downtown was like that, but that is why there is the Magic Kingdom.  🙂

Posted in My Travels

Walt Disney World April 17- Day 2

Day 2First Full Day 

Disney Park: EPCOT (open till 11PM- Extra Magic Hours)

Featured Event: 2018 International Flower and Garden Festival

The Bay Lake Tower is a beautiful DVC resort. Very modern aesthetic. It isn’t decked out with as much Disney kitsch as the other locations, but it has enough. Mickey Mouse is its main feature throughout. Which I love, cuz I love Mickey the most.

We had stayed here during the first half of our last trip and fell in love. The location is key for Magic Kingdom, EPCOT or any monorail service areas. The dedicated pool area is the great with a decent water slide, a kiddie water slide and splash park, and full bar. My favorite part, aside from being a five minute walk to MK, is the scent in the air as you walk in every day. It is intoxicating; just so clean and fresh. Ahh, I love scents, and theirs I just like lots n lots

Ok so this day we gave ourselves a little time to sleep in; it was the first day of vacation after all! The view from our room was the lake view, which was different from our last stay, which was park view. I actually liked our view this time a lot. It was so peaceful in the morning out there, just the breezes, the balcony, me in my pjs and the trees lining the water. Just perfect.

I have certain rituals while on vacation, like first thing in the morning I like to hang out balcony side alone in thought while in my jamz. I don’t care where the balcony is, I am in my pajamas enjoying the morning light!!

We got all dolled up then headed straight for the parks for 10:30AM, before our first reserved FP for Soarin’ at 11:40AM.  Ok maybe I do remember some times…I am jk I am looking at the itinerary I printed for the girls.  heehee

We all love EPCOT a tremendous amount, so we were looking forward to our first full day there.  Plus, my husband and I have only been to the Flower and Garden event before they had all the outdoor kitchens that now accompany it.  So, we grabbed some coffees ..and frappuccinos.. and took off to ride Soarin’.  They have revamped this ride since our last visit four years ago, and even though we loved the original, we all really liked the new one.  Me especially.  I am a big world traveling nerd, so seeing all those landmarks and the castle, well, I left it wanting to actually take off to explore!  Plus, the grassy plains scent they implemented smells so good!!

Soarin’ was the only reserved FP we made, but we ended up walking on Test Track and Soarin’ right after we explored the World Showcase.  Ok, so World Showcase was where we headed right after Soarin’.  Right before we arrived we saw a Cinderella and Belle character meet up being set up, so we took advantage of the short line to meet Cinderella. We love Belle, but we all had a pretty light breakfast on account that this day was reserved to binge eat all day, so we were starving!  Eating was kinda what we did this whole trip, #familygoals, but somehow I came back 4 lbs lighter than when we left… go figure? (It’s def from all the running around and walking)

After the meet up, we took the left side making our way towards Mexico.  We went inside the ruin to shop around then ride the Gran Fiesta with the Three Caballeros!  If you didn’t read that in the “The Three Caballeros” voices, that is just a shame.  Ok, anyways, we love this ride for so many reasons… it’s relaxing, it’s funny, it’s roomy, it’s cool inside, the fireworks at the end, but namely this is the ride our youngest daughter made us float on 8 times in one swoop since the lines were dead, I kid you not.  She is the same child who made us ride it’s a small world fifty times in 8 days, too.  She is so funny.   The ride is a good time, and we noticed that they have added on the three animatronic singing Caballeros at the end. Cute!

From Mexico, we went on to Norway to grab some school bread, of course.  Our kids have been talking about School Bread for four years.  Since the Kringla Bakery was under construction we had to grab it from an outdoor kitchen they had set up.  It seemed different somehow, almost like the bread was denser and whole wheat.  It was still good, we end up eating it again later, but just seemed different.  From Norway we trekked through Germany for some more food and drinks, and for the girls to play their first round of Agent P.  While grabbing some German wine and potato sticks snack for my oldest, I saw a hometown friend with her family there; my husband and hers went to HS together.  Big surprise!  While I was in the WeinKeller talking, the girls went with my husband to get some caramel snacks, and came back with the largest chocolate caramel cookie.  It was so good.

From Germany, you guessed it, we hit up Italy.  We just walked through the shops, talked Italian to a few folks as I smelled some pretty perfumes. Then we perused our way through America into Japan.  Ok, so Sake Mists, one of the drinks I had been dying to try was at the Kabuki Cafe, the first little house on the left in Japan.   The girls got the non-alcoholic kakigori slush, one got rainbow the other blue raspberry.  My husband got the blackberry flavored sake mist and I got (of course, I am Sicilian) blood orange flavored. It definitely did not disappoint, and was so much fun to …eat?  It was awesomely huge and you can’t order one thinking you will continue to walk around the showcase. Nahuh. No way.  You need a spoon, a straw, all hands on deck, and lots of napkins!   Right after we had our drinks, we did another Agent P while shopping around.

After this we walked through Morocco for a minute then landed in France.  Ok, I also have been dying to try the outdoor kitchen’s la vie en rose slushie from France.  I am a big St. Germain fan, elderflower or elderberry anything I just love. Plus it is pink, and so pretty.  🙂  It was listed on the menu to have Grey Goose Vodka Orange, St. Germain liquor with White and Red Cranberry Juice, so it was on my radar.  We first got a Grand Marnier Orange slushie, walked over to the other spot and grabbed a la vie en rose slushie.. which I fell instantly in love with!  We grabbed a tomato tarte, too!

After France, we walked our way through the UK and Canada, then made our way to Test Track to walk on as single riders.  We love love Test Track, but I sorta liked the old way they had the track indoors.  I still don’t understand what the futuristic looking city made from shards of plastic is for.. anyone?  From Test Track we went to Mission: Space, then munched on a Mickey shaped pretzel walking towards the character meeting area.  We got real lucky because both Baymax and Joy and Sadness were less than a five-minute wait each!  We got to interact, and I got to hug everyone, I am a hugger. We then walked around the park a little bit before heading back to Mexico for our dinner reservations.  We had seen the  butterfly garden they had set up before, so we decided to venture in.  The varieties of butterflies were beautiful, and a lot got out (must be native to the area) so as you walked along the park you’d see a dozen giant monarchs fluttering by.

We got ourselves to Mexico just in time for our reservations at La Hacienda de San Angel.  We ate here on our last trip, also the other restaurant in Mexico, but we liked this one a lot.  We had a super fun time talking to our waiter, and with each other. We munched on chips n salsa. Margaritas and cervezas showed up.  The girls got steak tacos. I got the carnitas and my husband got the shrimp tacos.  Everything was actually better than the last time we were there.  As soon as dinner was over we hit up the showcase, and made it to Japan by the time Illuminations was being announced.  We got to cuddle together along the rails and watch the show, it was beautiful as always.  Our youngest didn’t really remember it, or much of our last trips, so we got to see it through her eyes all over again new.

We left Illuminations right as it ended, only to be stopped at the drawbridge in the outpost to watch a boat towing the globe back to its hiding spot.  Which was a fun behind the scenes experience for us all that we actually saw on YouTube before leaving for this trip.  The girls were happy!

Since the park was open later, Magic Hours, we made a bee line back to Soarin’ then finally hit up The Land because we got a FP for it earlier that they couldn’t accept as the ride went down.  Then we decided it was time to make it to the entrance, and on our way out ride Spaceship Earth!

We left EPCOT super happy, and felt like we were finally on vacation after the week leading up to this trip that we all had.  You can kinda see it in my face and stuff, that I wasn’t right, but I wasn’t letting that stop me from enjoying my family and this time off!!

Ok, till next time when we go back to the Magic Kingdom for our first full day there! Yee!

Posted in My Travels

Walt Disney World April 16- Day 1

Day 1 Arrival

Hotel: Bay Lake Tower in Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Disney Park: Magic Kingdom (open till 10PM)

We exchanged rainy and chilly Boston for the blue skies and sunshine of Orlando!  We arrived to the MK at 2:30PM, with fast passes ready to start at 3:50PM. This is the only time I will reference the times because I don’t remember any other day!  haha

We walked from our resort to the park to find the Disney Festival of Fantasy parade being set up, so we decided to beat the crowds by walking through our favorite Main Street USA shop, the Confectionary.  It is just a pretty shop set up to look like the 1920’s, with all the candy and treats set up perfectly, and the smells.  It’s super sweet.  Within five minutes of walking in we encounter Sheila working behind the glass production area assembling white chocolate covered Mickey Mouse apples.  She spotted us, smiled, reached into her drawer, walked around the case to hand us each a white chocolate and cinnamon graham cracker crumb covered marshmallows.  (WHICH WERE SO YUMMY!)

Soon after that we walked over to get some iced coffees and frappuccinos, which I promised the girls they could get a few on this trip (which is something I DO NOT DO OFTEN!).  They were so happy to be sipping their Starbucks on Main Street as we watched the parade.  There was this humongous crude metal constructed dragon that breathes fire you could feel up to yards away; it was so cool to watch go by.

Once the parade passed, we raced over to get a bite to eat before the first fast pass.  What did the girls want? FUNNEL CAKE  hahah  So of course, we ventured to Sleepy Hollow to get some spicy chicken and waffles…and funnel cake.  The chicken and waffles was so spicy good, and big enough for three people!  Holy huge!. Of course, the girls had their funnel cake happily sitting by Cinderella’s castle with their drinks.

Ok, so we caffeinated and ate, and were off to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride. OH MY HOW MUCH FUN IS THAT COASTER!?!?! I had only seen it being built the last time we were at MK, which was a lot of fun seeing the construction crews walking along the top of the mountain.  Before coming on this trip, we watched some videos on YouTube so I wasn’t blindsided with large dips or twirls. Also, I was real nervous with how banged up I was from the car accident, that I was a tiny bit preoccupied with how I would feel. We had such a great time laughing and screaming our bums off, and rocking the whole seat dancing with Snow White.  No issues for anyone on that ride.  We all loved it so much and were glad we made it our first ride of the trip!!

Then we hit up Mickey’s PhilharMagic to cool off and before heading to our next fast pass Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  I love BTM more than any other ride in MK, like, I could go on it all day and just laugh crazily thinking I am going to bump my head on that swooping hill.  haha  I swear one of these times I will.  After this we grabbed some food at Peco’s Bill because our kids love that place, and my husband does too.  We had a great experience with the Mobile Ordering, which we used about three or four times on this trip..even for Dole Whip our last MK day!

After that quick service bite to eat we headed to Adventureland to check out the Tiki Room.  Weird that I had never seen this show, right?  I mean, in all the times I have been to the MK, it has either been closed for refurbishment or something was wrong with it.  Well, this visit we all got to experience this for the first time, and we thought the bird cast was funny..but especially loved the doorway tiki.

After that show, we raced to get on to our last pre reserved FP, the Haunted Mansion.  Ok, so I am the ‘gothy’ one in my family.  I have always LOVED the idea of gloomy, vintage estates, where you are transported into a spooky time where things take humor in death.  So, this whole ride does it right.  From the waiting queue to the entrance into the ride to the CMs acting ghoulish, you are just immersed into this great scene. And, the costumes of the CMs are literally the best in any of the parks, it’s just all kinds of good.

After this we grabbed some Mickey Ice Cream Sandwiches/Bars for the girls, then grabbed a few more fast passes, starting with it’s a small world.  We reminisced on this ride about how many times our youngest made us ride it on our first trip.  Like fifty!  haha.

Then we headed towards the Mad Tea Party since it was still light out; where the girls rode it a few times on their own. THIS IS HUGE GUYS!  They opted to ride a lot of rides, including Big Thunder Mountain, ALONE!!  Leaving me with my Mickey to ride alone, too.  Yes, I actually call my husband Mickey..not because of the Mouse, but because I loved my very sweet Australian friend calling him that when he came to visit us for the first time when we were newlyweds. He traveled with his best friend Michael, who he called Mick, as well as my husband. So, I just started calling him that as a “remember Pat calling you Mick, too?”, that it became a thing for us.

After the tea cups, we ran back to BTM, but first The Muppets in Great Moments in American History was starting so we stopped to watch.  SOooOOoo here is another weird fact about me, I had a huge crush on Fozzie Bear, Rowlf and Animal as a kid.  Yup..  hahah  Just putting that right there.  So anyways, we watched this show briefly, as we were on our way to BTM.  We got onto the ride, and able to get on it a couple of times because wait times were so low.

While walking from BTM, we heard Happily Ever After starting and ran down to catch it anywhere we could.   It was a beautiful display with the castle projections, we all really loved it standing together in a big group hug.  But as we were watching it I said, “who’s with me to split to BTM again?!”, which was all of us!  And the best idea.  We got there with less than a minute wait, letting the kids experience the ride at night. We got to sit in the back which was amazingly fun.  Man, was it a blast.  You could hear our kids laughing and screaming, it was so much fun.  Oh and me too.  I am a laugher.

The night wasn’t over!  The castle had another projections show, Once Upon a Time, which we caught as we were making our way to Main Street USA from Frontierland.  Another beautiful display, and music, which we sang along to.  Then we walked to our resort, which was a cool five minutes from the MK.

We had such a fun start to our trip, our first day out of three at MK.


Posted in Random Stuff

We Are Back!!

Hello WordPress friends!

We are back from…WALT DISNEY WORLD! Wooo! But, really, womp! We had such a great trip that we are all bummed about it being over and back to work and school. Ok, tears wiped, but yeah, Disney has definitely changed some since we were there last; which was four years ago, when our kids were 6yo & 8yo! And I was 3…7. Huh, not as cool to think about that. Haha. But. This trip was all kinds of awesome, as our past Disney trips have been, but Idk, I think this is our favorite Disney trip of them all.

A lot of why I am feeling like this has to do with our girls’ ages. They are at such a great age for all the parks, never missing a beat walking miles a day and still a great age for those family magical moments.

Another major part of this trip’s success was the weather! We left home Monday the 16th with chilly rain and arrived to Orlando to a stretch of 9 days of sunny, breezy, 84F-87F. WOOOTOTHEHOOOO!! I never felt happier to be in FL than this week. We couldn’t of been luckier. Actually, now that I think of it, we were lucky this whole trip together… We got to sleep in some, enjoy a lot of pool time, scored the best additional fast passes each day, Magic Hours were truly magical, the park/resort buses always showed up when we walked to the gate number, when it was supposed to rain we got clouds or a drizzle while we were inside/on a ride, the girls rode EVERYTHING without a fear…it all just really worked out!

Considering before we left how I was a wreck from a car accident. I didn’t really share this with many folks because it was just a lot for me to go through. But yeah, Thursday the 12th, 4 days before our trip, I went to treat myself to a coffee only to be struck by a speeding car that cut me off turning out of nowhere. (notice this one is heart shaped?)

He slammed right into me, so hard that he knocked me/my car a few hundred feet. Thankfully, my car didn’t hit anyone or anything as it was thrust into a parking lot (and I had no clue what had occurred till I felt glass in my mouth and smelled burned rubber). I walked away from the crash with some wild bruising and bruised ribs, a tiny scrape and aches from impact but ALIVE. A ton of wonderful people came to my rescue and defense, witnessing the other driver’s reckless behavior on the road. My car was deemed totaled so we grabbed a rental last night to take us home from the airport. This is depressing me because I didn’t need this, I mean, who does, but now I have the expense of finding a new car.

So ….I am taking a new car and how well this trip went as my guardian angel’s way of saying everything is ok. Brighter horizons ahead. Because every time we talked to either insurance company or I felt down because of all my noticeable bruises while in bathing suits, shorts or tank tops, I saw hearts. It’s a weird thing that happens to me, I literally see heart shapes, and in Disney it was kinda crazy how many we all saw. 🙂

OK, so I am going to draft out my day to day posts and photos over the week between work and stuff. Keep an eye out!

Annnd, is that rain I hear outside!? Yup it is… welcome home.

Hope you all missed me! Hah oxox

Posted in Random Stuff

My favorite poem

Hey guys!

So, Maya Angelou would have been 90yo today. I have always revered Maya Angelou. Her story..her history. Her dance. Her talent. Her perspective. Her rhythm. Her voice.

Because of her, as a teen, I started drafting poetry. I saw her on a TV show once, and I was captivated. How she carried herself with so much strength, poise and grace. Her voice, so deep yet so gentle. Her words so direct but not offensive.

I had never seen anyone like her on TV before.

As a teen, I would keep a small notebook that I wrote in, which I tucked under my pillow every night. It was my special writing place, where I could share my secrets, dreams, draft poems or scribble, or whatever I felt at the moment. Most times poems ran out of me; those that were savagely romantic or the few that were passionately sad. Also, depending on whatever I felt at the moment.

Being a teenage girl was tragic. Haha.

But, Maya Angelou. When I went to ‘google’ how to make Turkish Delights (yup), I saw the Google Doodle of Maya Angelou’s birthday and there scrolled my favorite poem. Still I Rise.

The first time I had heard this poem at school, it woke me up inside. I carried it with me all through time, because its message was just so perfect. For me as a woman. For me as a human. For me just because. I then read it to my daughters when we talked about the meaning of equality two years ago. Again, it burned me inside. And, of course, I cried reading her impactful words to them. They cried hearing her impactful words from me. Seeing it today brought me to re-read it, look her up on YouTube to listen to her speak it… and cry, of course.

I hope you all know this poem, and at the very least some parts by heart. I mean, this poem is everything inspiring. Everything empowering and just everything.

Happy Birthday to the great Maya Angelou.

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

Posted in Random Stuff

Easter 2018

Hey Everyone!

Happy Easter! Buona Pasqua!  Hope those of you that celebrated today had a wonderful day.

It was a great day.  We spent the morning drinking coffee as the kids were opening their baskets. Man, do I love that my husband now drinks coffee, mostly, that he makes me coffee at home.  This has been a big dream of mine, having a coffee brought right to me with a smile. My dreams are not that big I guess.  (Backstory–He wasn’t a big coffee drinker before he got me a Nespresso machine last year. Now it’s a daily thing….so TY Nespresso!)

This was the first Easter that the kids knew about “the Easter Bunny”.  Bittersweet to think back to those days when we laid out carrots and lettuce together waiting on the furry guy to show up…now there’s no carrots or lettuce and I am not furry.  Well, not THAT furry. I wish they stayed younger a little while longer.  I almost have a teenager at home, six months to go till the big 13 here.  OHMYGOD

So, back to today.  After baskets and breakfast, we got dolled up in our Sunday best to hit up mass locally.  THE PLACE WAS PACKED!  I reminded myself to get there a half hour early to park and find a seat, and I am so glad I did.  The seating within ten minutes of us getting there was gone and standing room only from entrance down each aisle.  Insane.

Have I mentioned that I love my church here?  The congregation is wonderful, reminds me of Immaculate Conception in Malden, where I was a member till I moved up north.  This church itself is beautiful, aesthetically, but today they had the most modern bouquets adorning the altar.  They had big blooms of white flowers with yellow sprigs of forsythia, just so pretty I couldn’t help but maneuver myself to look at them the whole mass.  I should really find out who the florist was for those.

After mass, we went up to the Tuscan Kitchen in Salem, NH, our second Easter.  My family and I go there often, I really like eating there.  We met up with my parents and my sister with her family, like last year.  It was a real nice time, the service was great, the food was fabulous but I also had a lot to drink, so I would’ve had fun eating anyways.  The Sicilian Spritzers are too good, which makes them go down way too easy.  I highly recommend them, and to invite me too! 😛

Then after dinner, we made a short stop at home to grab cookies, gift baskets and prosecco, then took a trip to my sisters for a little after dinner drinks and dessert.  The kids had a great time playing and they actually built a fire in the pit of my sister’s yard.  I was pretty surprised, and sorta nervous, but it was great.  We just got home after a whole day out and eating, so I am pretty tired.  Which means I am leaving my day right here and posting some pictures of the day.  I wish I took more, but this just means I had too good of a time to take them.  🙂

Hope you enjoyed your day as much as I did !!  Till next time WordPress.