Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Half and half crosses the bridge

Half and half was very excited to cross the bridge and get one step closer to being reunited with mom!

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Halfway to the halfway point!

Mom wants her half and half back, so it's taking a journey to southeastern Michigan. First stop - Border Grill for lunch!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day ten. One more of everything...

Day 10. One more of everything...

It's our last day at Disney, and we spend most of the day in the Magic Kingdom...

One more character meal - breakfast at Chef Mickey's with one more chance to see Donald and Mickey...

One more spin on the teacups...

One more ride in Fantasyland....

One more delightful show...

One more walk around the castle...

One more photo...

One more trip to Dole-Whip Land...

And, finally, one more magical parade just as we were leaving for the day...

One more trip to Disney? At least! We're already planning for 2012!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day nine. Movie magic!

Day nine. Movie magic!

We start out the day by heading to Hollywood Studios. This ends up being a bit frustrating, because everyone else in our resort is also heading there to try and take advantage of the extra magic hours in the morning. We do end up at the park before the general opening, but not before the line to Toy Story Mania is super long. We grab our fast passes for Toy Story, and decide to head around the park and do some of the things we missed the first time around. If I remember correctly, we got the passes at 8:45 am, and the return time is 1pm! These are going quick.

We did Star Tours for the third time (love this, and the wait is short!), the Narnia movie, One Man's Dream, the backlot tour, and the animation courtyard. The line to meet Winnie the Pooh is only two people long (!) so we grab a quick photo and hug with Pooh. Tip: These lines are air conditioned, so go here! They also were the shortest lines we had seen for a character. I don't know if that's always true, but it was today.

We have lunch at the Starring Rolls cafe - this is great. Lovely focaccia bread, chips are included, and fabulous deserts. We can't resist tiramisu. We then head over to see the Lights, Motors, Action! extreme stunt show. Out of all of the movie shows here, this is Deb's favorite. She finally figured out that her camera takes video, so she's imagining she's Steven Spielberg here and taking a bit of movie footage.

After the show, it's finally time for Toy Story Mania! It's basically a video game that replicates carnival games while twirling around in cars. This is fun! Deb beats Paul (this is good for the marriage), but our scores compare miserably with the younger set. At least, we're blaming our poor performance on age, because we're both sore after pulling the trigger so many times.

By this time, it's hot, and close to the time for the next parade. We grab more frozen cokes (Deb is so happy she could burst right about now) and find a seat close to the parade. Once it starts, it is lively and colorful. The dancers are so close to you and their energy is contagious. Deb loves Woody's dance moves. This may become her screen saver at work if she can figure out how to thwart the IT staff who force her to have a boring Windows screen saver.

Dinner tonight is at Cinderella's Royal Table, where Deb is either a Lady, Queen, or Princess, depending on the person who addresses her. We each get a wishing star for the wishing ceremony to occur later. Paul is slightly miffed that he doesn't get a sword, particularly after he sees another adult with one. This may cause problems later. Deb always wishes for the same thing, which Paul thinks is lame. Paul doesn't tell Deb his wish. Hmmm... Deb's favorite princess is Belle, because she actually likes reading. We tried to ask Cinderella for a pumpkin recommendation so Paul knows what to plant, but she didn't have a good answer for us.

We hang around for the fireworks and Electrical Parade. Both are an amazing way to end our next-to-last day at the Magic Kingdom.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Day eight. Around the world on a Segway.

Not content with just going to two continents in one day, we head around the world on a Segway! We get to the park before it opens, and grt some fabulous shots. Look - no people!

Deb gets us in trouble trying to get early fastpasses for test track, and we are promptly escorted to guest services to wait for our segway tour. This is one of the tours available at Disney. We love their tours. The guides are knowledgable, and fun. We start out by training indoors. It feels a bit weird to start with, but we both get the hang of it rather quickly. Getting on and off and standing on them are the hardest. Moving and turning is quite easy and fun.After training, we're ready for the world showcase! We practice our waving first, so we'll be ready to be in our own mini parade. Unfortunately, we can't take pictures while we're riding, so you'll have to settle for one while we're standing still. Don't we look great waving?
We're also color coordinated today. Completely an accident. We actually do this quite a bit at home, too. It's weird, because we get dressed in different parts of the house and Paul picks out clothes before deb even has her eyes open.Any who...

We find out that we're really good on the segways, so we get to do all of the obstacle training, and at the end, we get a special Segway pin. You can only get this pin by taking the tour or trading with Paul. Deb isn't giving hers up for anything! (well, Paul probably isn't, either!)

We spend the rest of the day doing new things in epcot, and once again, trying to stay cool. At one point, deb agreed to go to the Universe of Energy movie just because it was 45minutes inside an air conditioned building. Paul wanted to see the dinosaurs. Deb wanted to sit down and be cool. Amazingly, it was really cool. They actually moved an entire theater of seats around a building, and we were both impressed by the show.

Dinner is at O'hana tonight, near the Magic Kingdom. We got there early because of the heat, and wandered around the resort. Deb had done her research, and she also knew where to find the self-serve dole whips! It was nice to cool down and relax for a bit. In the lobby, we find a hidden Mickey! We're standing on it!

Dinner was crazy! We were bombarded with food. Food is served family style, as much as you want. As usual, Paul ordered more vegetables. He was very happy to have his own bowl of broccoli. The food was interesting, and we had great seats by the window. It was all yummy, but we aren't used to such bounty. At desert, we got a cute anniversary cupcake, and yummy bread pudding with ice cream.
After dinner, we head to the magic kingdom for a little shopping, and then back to our room before the parades start.- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Day seven. From the jungle to France in one day!

How do they do it? Read on!

We start the day back at animal kingdom. Today is extra magic hours, so we wake up bright and early to get to the park at 8am. Yes, you read that right. Deb was up that early on vacation.

We go right to the safari area. We've heard the animals are most active in the morning when it is this hot out out. As soon as we get there, we grab a fast pass so we can do it again, and head out for our first safari. Here are a few pictures.

There are several trails around where you can walk around and get closer looks at some different animals.

Paul even got Deb to go on a water rapids ride. She's not terribly fond of getting wet, but she was game and wearing quick dry clothes. The last time she did this sort of ride, obnoxious teenagers decided to have a splashing match on the boat. This time, there were no teenagers, but she still did manage to get more wet than paul.

We spent the rest of the day wandering around the park, having frozen cokes, seeing the shows, and getting hotter by the minute. Next, we take a bus from the jungle to France. It just takes a few minutes! Ok, well, it is Disney magic. The bus goes from animal kingdom to the ticket center. Then, we take the monorail to epcot.

At epcot, our goal is to stay cool. So, we head to a few indoor things, including our second tour of the land and greenhouses. While on this tour, a little british boy behind us says, "look, mummy, cucumbers!". Do american children even know what a cucumber is?

Dinner is in France, and is lovely. We have a three course meal. We both start with lobster bisque, Paul has roast chicken, and Deb has salmon. Desert is profiteroles for Paul, and creme brûlée for Deb. We treat ourselves to a lovely bottle of wine with dinner. It just seems like the right thing to do.

After dinner, we decide to call it a night. We are both tired, and we have a big day planned tomorrow!

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Sunday, June 05, 2011

Day six. Nothing says love like laundry.

Mickey and Minnie called us this morning to wish us a happy anniversary! Ironically, they sang us the same song that Deb sang to Paul (happy anniversary set to the tune of happy birthday...). Deb wonders if the authors of happy birthday were paid their proper royalty...

It's the midway part of our trip, and nothing says love like doing laundry together.... :) So, after sleeping in and sharing a sandwich for lunch, we wandered to the pool area to hang out for a bit and do our laundry. Deb remembered she can't swim very well, and Paul managed not to lose his contacts in the pool. Here's Paul in his swimsuit..

This is a family blog! Shame on you if you were expecting a shot in his speedo!

We wandered over to epcot and through the park a bit. It's noticeably quieter today. The waiting time for the memo ride yesterday was 90 minutes. Today, we just walked up to it. Again, another surprise. It was a cute ride, which ended with a walking tour through their fabulous aquarium. We may head back here to see more of the shows.

Dinner tonight was at the Flying Fish. We sat at the chef's table. Tim (the chef) and Craig (the sommelier) made sure we had everything we needed. The meal and wine was fabulous. This was a very special meal. At the end, we got a souvenir menu with our pictures on it, and a great desert with "happy anniversary" written in the chocolate. The front row allowed us to see all of the cooking action, including a bonfire from when they build the wood fire for roasting the different foods. If Paul ever needs a second career, he wants to stoke the fire on the grill.

Paul saw this near the rest rooms, and was wondering how many folks still know what this is..

That's all for now..

Have a magical day!

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Day five. It's a wild world.

Or, at least it is at the animal kingdom!

We actually slept in quite late today. You can't keep running in this heat for too long before you just get pooped. Plus, Deb gets cranky if she doesn't get enough sleep.

This park is amazing. Tons of wild life, and you really feel transported to another place. We were just amazed by the trees - it feels like you are in the jungle.

We had dining reservations at Tusker house today, which included reserved seating for the Nemo show. So, we got fast passes right away for the roller coaster, wandered around the park a bit and had lunch.

Paul has a hidden love of dinosaurs, so we headed to the dinosaur area to fill some time before the nemo show. What a hoot! We never expected a carnival in the middle of this park. It made us laugh. The dinosaur ride was really cool,too. Again, we were expecting educational, and were pleasantly surprised by how much fun it was.

The Nemo show is awesome! We weren't sure how they would make a non-musical movie into a musical, but they did it. The cast members also wander throughout the theater to give the impression that you are undersea.

We knew we would want some dinner, so we headed to epcot and mostly just walked around seeing a few shops here and there. We ended up trying a combination plate at Japan with some sushi rolls and noodles. Then, back to room for a little bit of an early night.

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Saturday, June 04, 2011

Day four. Deb finally gets her dole whip!

It was Magic Kingdom all day for us today. We got there bright and early to see the park open, so that we could be on time for our Keys to the Kingdom tour. Mickey leads the way!

Our tour guide Stacey took us all around the park, and showed even the most experienced Disney person a trick or two. She only had to use the riding crop on Paul once, and he stopped causing trouble.

The tour lasted until about 3pm, and took us behind the scenes and underground. We could tell you what we saw, but we don't want Disney revoking our privileges, so let's just say there's a lot of magic behind the scenes. Our tour ended just at the right time and place for the celebration parade. We're usually not big fans of parades, but the pixie dust at Disney has changed our view of parades. Their parades are super cool.

After the parade, we used our newfound knowledge from the tour to scoot along main street and quickly head to adventure land. (shhh... Don't tell anyone else, but you can cut through the emporium all the way to casey's corner). Deb finally got her first dole whip in a float form. This was very refreshing on a hot day.

We then just killed some time before heading to the hoop dee doo at fort wilderness campgrounds. At fort wilderness, we think they found where the special" cast members end up. This cast member tried to get us to stay at fort wilderness, and reminded us a bunch of a vampire. Dark hair, pale skin, a little creepy.

The hoop dee doo was a hoot! Just the right amount of corn and show. The food was fabulous, although we both ate a bit much of it. We laughed, we danced, we had a great time. We also got our seats upgraded (Disney magic!) and were very close to the stage.

On the ferry back to the magic kingdom, we timed it just right. We got to see the fireworks from the ferry. And, we saw some sort of crazy illuminations show while waiting at the dock. Totally random things just keep us smiling.

Needless to say, we are now exhausted and ready for bed. That's all for now!

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Day three. So this is what it's like when it's sorta crowded.

When we went to hollywood studios on day one, we were literally walking up to rides and going on them. We did have to stay for the late show of fantasmic, but that was mostly poor planning on our part. Today, we spent the whole day in hollywood studios, and it just kept getting more and more crowded. We started out by trying to get fast passes to toy story mania, but they were gone by 11am! We knew we got a late start on the day, but wow!

So, what to do... Well, we did everything else! We love all of the Disney shows, so we saw beauty and the beast, voyage of the little mermaid, and the Indiana jones stunt show. Very cool. Beauty and the Beast was Debs favorite.

We also saw muppet vision in 3D, and the great movie ride. These were really great surprises. From the outside, they look pretty random, but once you're in them, they have some really cool special bits with Disney magic. I don't want to ruin it for anyone, but they're definitely worth a look.

Star tours was also on our agenda today. At one point, we decided to go twice. Supposedly, they have at least fifty variations on the ride, so we wanted to check that out, and it had the shortest line. While we were waiting for the second time, somebody came by and handed us their fast passes that they weren't going to use. Score one for us!

We had lunch at mama melrose's, and really enjoyed it. Paul had tuna (medium rare, yum), and Deb had a creamy seafood pasta dish. We've decided that we really like ordering different things and then sharing quite a bit.

Eating lunch at mama's got us reserved seating for fantasmic, so we saw this show a second time. This time, we were much closer to the action, and it was even better than the first time. We really like this show-the water, fireworks, stunts and characters make it something really special. Our pictures won't do it justice, but here are a few...

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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Day two. The British Americans request more vegetables.

Today was a day at epcot and magic kingdom. We started out by finding that there are indeed buses to epcot, but if they are full, they might skip your stop. Note to self: walk one bus stop over to avoid this again!

We started by doing activities in the "land" area to get acquainted with the greenhouses and stay close to them until we had our tour. We really liked the little boat ride that takes you through the greenhouses.

We had a great tour of the greenhouses with Jenna. She answered all of our questions, and took a lot of time to take us behind the seeds. We really recommend this tour. It's only an hour, so it would be great for older kids who want to learn about gardening.

We spent some time doing some rides (soarin' and mission space) and wandering around the international area. The world showcase has turned into one of our favorite areas. We like the surprises here. Yesterday, just as we started eating, the Moroccan band started playing. Today, we met Donald Duck in Mexico, along with a mariachi performance. We've been taking advantage of the photo pass photographers, so our encounter with Donald is on their camera right now.

We had dinner tonight at the garden grill. They use some of the food from the greenhouses for their meals. The table next to us appeared to be scared by the Swiss chard on their plates (and all vegetables). We asked for more! Magically, Swiss chard and broccoli appeared. It seemed they were holding out on the vegetables until you asked for more. Here, we got to interrogate chip and dale about their crocus nibbling in our back yard. They said they would have a word with their cousins. We also got a signed card from all of the characters for our anniversary.

Personally, I really liked farmer Mickey!

Then, Deb finally got her wish. We went over to the magic kingdom, where she got her ears, met Mickey at the town hall, and rode on the teacups. Her camera has pictures of Paul on it, so you'll have to imagine her head in Paul's place.

We shopped a little, learned that it's a small world after all, and came home just before the electric parade so we could get an earlier night and blog a bit!

Have a magical day!

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Day one. No teacups or ears.

After a 4am alarm, three flights (one with a dangerously close layover) and a bus ride to Disney, we have arrived!

Anyone who travels with Deb knows that she gets cranky when not fed at regular intervals. Our travel schedule did not allow for a proper meal along the way, so she was pretty hungry and verging on crankiness upon our arrival at the magic land. Magically, our luggage made it to the room before we did.

We decided to eat at Epcot, but this appeared to be the night no busses were running to epcot. Well, it just seemed that way, but we did decide to take the scenic route and go to hollywood studios followed by a boat ride to epcot. At epcot, we had Moroccan food, well recommended by several Disney veterans.

We then went back to hollywood studios, where Deb dragged Paul onto the Hollywood tower of terror, the rock and roll roller coaster, and fantasmic. We had fun on the rides, and really enjoyed the night show. Since these are all nighttime things in the dark, there really aren't many interesting photos to share...

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