|The fact that a sign is needed is quite scary!|
Every spring break the partner and I make sure to take a trip. This year we traveled to the exotic lands of…….Florida. I have to admit the start to the trip was really pretty awful. We arrived in Florida way after midnight on on the 27th of April. Because of a massive storm, the Orlando airport closed down for a time and our plane was almost diverted to another airport. Luckily, by the time we arrived, the airport was in full operation again, but the baggage handlers weren’t. Due to the closure and one passed out baggage handler, our luggage was delayed about two hours. Oh and the rental car, yep that was an entirely different ordeal. I think we finally left the airport at 4:30 local time.
Driving to the condo we were staying in was a bit interesting. We passed through two toll booths. I’m familiar with the California Toll Roads and the HORRID fast track lanes, but these are optional. In Florida, they aren’t. I’m not completely complaining, we only paid $3.25 (one way). The pain was having to remember to keep some cash handy.
The Condo itself was completely amazing. It was the WorldMark Orlando Kingstown Reef. Each room was painted a tropical color. The King sized bed was exquisite. I can’t wait to stay there again. Oh how I miss it so! I didn’t get to use the pool or other amenities, because my trip was really non stop, no rest for the wicked.
After a short Easter Sunday nap, (5 a.m. to 9 a.m. is a nap) we got up, to drive the hour long stretch of highway, through three toll booths (each way) to Cape Canaveral. This day was really my husband’s day. I enjoyed it too, don’t get me wrong. Atlantis was O.K., we have Endeavor at the California Science Center in Los Angeles and I’ve seen that. The coolest thing to see was the launch site. We sat out on some bleachers and all I could think of was Armageddon and the lyrics to “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing” kept playing in my head. For Easter dinner, we ate at Cici’s Pizza before heading back to the condo. We ate Easter dinner at Cici’s pizza, that’s funny!
The next day was probably the best day of the entire trip. We drove 2 1/2 hours to Port Charlotte, Florida to see my nephew. He’s been in Florida since February 16th. He doesn’t usually head back to Florida until March, but this year he left early for spring training. After watching him play 5 innings, we had dinner at this amazing at Laishley Crab House in Punta Gorda.
|Watching the game|
My nephew (and godchild), husband and I celebrated a late Easter dinner. And by late, I mean the Tuesday after. My mom treated us. She said that it would make her happy to see her loved ones together, enjoying a nice meal. The conversation and company was great. The hardest part was having to say, “See you in September” and “I love you from infinity and beyond.” By the way, there were no toll roads out to Port Charlotte.
We made sure to go straight to bed after our 2 1/2 hour drive (it wasn’t bad, it’s just like going to Santa Barbara, except I wasn’t familiar with the roads or area) because the next day was Disney Day!!! I bought my husband and myself the four day park hopper ticket. I downloaded the app, but was only able to reserve 3 fast passes per day, per park on my mobile device. This was a bit annoying because I also couldn’t use the Fast Pass Kiosk either. I had passes for Space Mountain, Big Thunder and Peter Pan’s Flight.
|Tram ride to Disney World|
What can I say about Disney World? Well, I was completely overwhelmed! It’s huge. I haven’t had my Disneyland pass since 2008. Boy do I miss it! Disney World is really a “world of it’s own.” You enter where you pay for parking, which is really like transitioning to another highway, drive another 3-6 miles to the park you want to visit, hop on a tram to the monorail that will eventually take you to the front gates of the park. If you don’t want to take the monorail, you can take a ferryboat across the “Seven Seas”. I’m just so used to parking in the Mickey and Friends parking lot and taking the tram to the front gate. All of this seemed like a huge waste of time.
The beginning of the day was beautiful. I wore a 3/4 sleeve top and no light sweater (trust me, this is important for later). The first ride we went on was Space Mountain. It was fun, but I like our Space Mountain in California better. Then we went on the Florida lame version of “Autopia”. It started to get very cool and breezy, but I was comfortable. We ate, then went on some other rides. Somehow I got separated from my husband, I forgot what happened, I went on The Little Mermaid ride, this was about 4 p.m.. I got off the ride and it was pouring down rain. My husband was across from the exit of under shelter waiting for me.
|Hiding out waiting for the storm to pass.|
You know how, as a kid, you would count “one, one thousand, two, one thousand” after lightning to see how many miles away the lightning is. Well, I didn’t even get through one before the earth shattering thunder. Thor was out in full force. This rain wasn’t warm tropical rain, this was cold rain and I had no jacket!! Who needs a jacket in Florida? We took shelter in a nearby store and kissed our Fast Pass for Big Thunder Mountain sayonara because outside rides close down when there’s lightning!! I refused to leave before Peter Pan’s Flight. Our Fast Pass for that ride was between 7:30 and 8:30. We went on more indoor rides, even though in some areas of the park we were shin deep in water. We managed to get on It’s a Small World. It’s all in doors! Even when you get on the little boats. This It’s a Small World seemed to tiny compared to ours (I say ours like I own the place or something). It’s one of my favorite rides at Disneyland, so this was a little disappointing.
I was freezing cold and looked like a drowned rat. I needed to get a hoodie and of course so did everybody else—AT THE SAME TIME!! Boy were the shops crowded. Many people were just waiting out the storm. I ended up getting a Stitch hoodie that I probably could have gotten in Anaheim. I asked someone in the Emporium Shop if they had a Jack Skellington sweatshirt, because that’s what I really wanted, and she told me, “Maybe if you want to go all the way to California.” I replied, “I’m from Anaheim.” She was a little rude, but whatever. Another nice lady told me that in Florida, they don’t change the Haunted Mansion for Christmas.
After my search for the “perfect hoodie”, I didn’t need to use it again the entire week. For that day only, the rain did not let up, so after Peter Pan, we cut our losses and went to see Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. I’ve already written a review of the movie in a previous blog posting.
Wednesday was by far my favorite Disney World day. Epcot was so nice. I loved the Land, Ocean and Space theme. I loved the International Gateway. I picked up quite a few nifty things for some nifty people. I loved the topiaries of all the characters in each of the countries. I was disappointed that there weren’t more countries to “visit”. We stayed out of America and LOVED China the best. We didn’t buy anything, most of the stuff we could have gotten in Chinatown in L.A.. We felt the same thing about Mexico, we have Olvera Street right next to Chinatown.
I really loved England and Ireland. I enjoyed Shakespeare’s Garden, it was beautiful and I may use it in my classroom next year. My favorite Disney princess has always been Cinderella. (On a side note, it’s taking me forever to write this post and trying to move these photos into the right spot is a real pain!) I really like this park the best, and no, not because I can walk around with alcohol. I didn’t even drink, it was way too hot! Epcot closed at 9 and after the rain out we had the previous day, we decided to head back to Disney World to see some of the things we missed. Thank God for the park hopper pass. That really saved us! So this is where I realized that getting into Disney World is an absolute headache. We took the monorail and got off. I thought that we were already by the Disney World gates, no were weren’t, we were just at the transportation center! We had to take another monorail to the actual park. It’s all very confusing!
|Heading back to Disney World|
We got into the pack during the Electrical Parade. Disney still has the Electrical Parade? If you don’t know already, I absolutely despise this particular parade. It’s something about the music that gives me the heebie jeebies! We headed toward Tomorrowland and went on the People Mover!! I haven’t been on a People Mover for years. They took ours out to bring in Rocket Rods and that ride lasted only a few years. It was a relaxing end to a fun filled day.
Hollywood Studios was quite interesting. Actually no, it really wasn’t. While there were a few things that I loved, I felt I could have spent another day at Disney World instead. I think it’s because I live 30 minutes away from Hollywood and have been down Sunset Blvd. many times before, that I wasn’t too impressed with the replica. When I had my Disneyland pass I never went to California Adventure. I’m living the actual adventure right now!
What I did love, the Star Wars area. The Walk of the Jedi was amazing. I loved taking a selfie with Kylo Ren. I didn’t even want to go to the meet and greet. It’s not even Adam Driver wearing the suit (isn’t Adam Driver from San Diego?). It’s just some random dude, but when I got into the meet and greet, I couldn’t help but feel giddy, so giddy in fact, Kylo told me to calm down. Star Tours is just like the Star Tours at Disneyland, except for the line in Endor. When this park closed, we headed back to Disney World one last time before our Saturday morning departure. This was bitter sweet for me. I was excited to get home to see our puppies, but I loved being at Disney World and felt that I had so much left to see. We finally rode the Haunted Mansion Doom Buggy. I loved this version. Don’t get me wrong, ours is fun too. This one was located in “Liberty Square”, not “New Orleans Square. The Haunted Mansion was our last ride at That Magic Kingdom.
There were a few rides I didn’t get to go on, like Pirates, Big Thunder and the Dwarves Mine Ride, but that gives me a reason to come back!
|Haunted Mansion a little dark|
On Friday, our last day, we went to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We figured the park closes at 7, we could head back one last time to Epcot, then head home to pack. I loved the Safari ride. I have so many photos on my camera, but I don’t know where my cord is to upload them. I’ll find it soon and then update my blog with more photos. It was fun to see the animals. They have a dinosaur ride that mirrors Indiana Jones. It was fun. There were more things to see than to ride, so wear amazing walking shoes. I had to buy some in Florida because Flip Flops didn’t work out. Other than that, I really don’t have much to say about the Animal Kingdom. Tim went on the roller coaster, but I was too chicken.
Well, that was the end of an amazing trip, except for the food, the food was far from amazing. The food in the park really sucks. If you want to eat at a nice indoor restaurant, make sure to use the app to make a reservation otherwise, you won’t get seated. I know the trip started out crazy, but it was an adventure that I will never forget. Coming home was an adventure too, we almost missed our flight and there was another storm that almost made us miss our layover! I know one day I’ll go back, in the spring only, I can’t imagine what summer feels like.
Next year we’re heading out on a new adventure to San Antonio, Texas. Technically, I’ve been to Texas, our layover was in Dallas. My goal is to visit every single state in the US, even the crappy states, like the states in the middle that no one goes to visit!
|1st time to Epcot. I loved all the flower gardens!|
Happy travels XOXOX from Florida!
|The famous Epcot ball that looks like the Spruce Goose|
|Rain soaked Disney World. This was the middle of the afternoon!|
|Last night in Florida and one last time in Epcot|