Posts Tagged ‘Orlando

02
Nov
09

Finally, the Vacation Post

It was awesome!

We had a wonderful time, with wonderful friends, and any doubts that I had about going to Disney World as an adult were silenced after the first couple hours.

Of course, that might be because I am such a child in some ways (some might say immature, or juvenile) – but it was just plain fun.

We rented a house in Kissimmee, which is just south of Orlando proper, and it was only about 15 minutes from Disney World. It had a pool, and a pool table – really much nicer in some ways than a hotel – much quieter, and since we shared it with our friends Peter and Nanette, it was a lot more affordable than a hotel. The worst thing I can say about it is that we had to buy toilet paper (one roll per bathroom provided – 4 people for a week? Not!).

Brian and I arrived on the Saturday evening, and got settled in – we’d thought about going to Universal Studios theme park on Sunday, but ended up lazing around floating in the pool and just goofing off. Peter and Nanette drove down from Atlanta on Sunday, and arrived in the late afternoon. We had dinner and then went grocery shopping for breakfast and miscellaneous stuff.

We spent one day each at four parks – Epcot, the Animal Kingdom, the Magic Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. They each had their own charms, and each day we spent pretty much the whole day at one of the parks.

My favorite part of Epcot was the Mission: Space ride, and even though we were there from 9:00 am until after the fireworks at 9:00 pm, we didn’t get to see everything.

The Animal Kingdom was my favorite park overall – we started with the Kali River Rapids ride, walked a couple of trails, had lunch, ran to the Dinosaur ride (this is in the high heat/humidity, and Brian with a knee that is due to have surgery a week-and-a-half later), walked more trails, rode on the Safari ride, watched the parade, took in the Bug’s Life 3D movie, and shopped. The Expedition Everest ride was out of service, so we didn’t get to ride it, but there was so much else to do, it was not missed. This park closes at 5:00 pm, so we actually had an early day – went back to the house and cooled off in the pool, went to dinner, played games. Stayed up way too late, but having fun doing it.

The next morning I woke up with a migraine – Brian, Peter, and Nanette went on to the Magic Kingdom without me, but Brian came back in the afternoon and picked me up. We hit a lot of rides and shows, and stayed for the parade and fireworks – the fireworks here were incredible – there were some things I’ve never seen before. Getting out of the park was bad – I was actually surprised, because based on our experience with the other two parks, Disney really knows how to move people. We never had to wait for a tram or had any delay getting out of the parking lots at Epcot or Animal Kingdom – the Magic Kingdom, however, failed to magically whisk everyone out and there was a major wait just to get onto the monorail. We opted to take the ferry, and it was only a little better. When it’s still sweltering hot and your feet hurt, there’s the potential for a major meltdown (surprisingly, we saw very few children going through that, and no adults ;-} ).

The next day was my absolute favorite day of the whole trip. We went to the Kennedy Space Center, and took a tour of NASA. We got to see the shuttle launch pads, the Assembly building (where they put the shuttle together with the rocket boosters), see a refurbished Saturn V rocket, one of their space museums, and walk in a retired shuttle. I grew up reading science fiction, and hearing and watching rocket launches – the only thing that would have been better (besides getting to go into space, of course) would have been seeing an actual launch. Someday!

Afterward we went to the beach – it was great walking in water that was warmer than the pool at our rental house, and I picked up a few shells, and we all tracked sand back to the car.

Our last day we spent at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Great stunt shows, lots of other fun shows, and the most awesome rides I’ve ever been on. We rode on the Star Wars Star Tours ride, and I thought it was really great. Then we went on the Tower of Terror, and I thought it couldn’t get any better (free fall? yeah!). Then we went on the Rock’n Roller Coaster, and wow! I was blown away. Best roller coaster I’ve ever been on. Going on the Star Tours ride again was incredibly tame after that.

The weather was not cooperative at all. We’d chosen October because normal temps are around the mid-80s, and I don’t really do very well with heat above that range – it brings on migraines.  And since we were going to be outside most of the time, we wanted to try and hit weather that wouldn’t be overwhelming for me. So what happens? Orlando has a heatwave the week we’re there – mid-90s, 70-90% humidity. I was amazed (and extremely pleased) that in spite of being uncomfortably hot and sweaty, I handled the heat just fine. All in all, one of the best vacations I’ve ever been on.

jkm

(p.s. Robin spent the week at the “Daisy Hill Puppy Farm” – the breeder we got him from puts him in with her dogs, and he gets to enjoy being a pack dog again – but he was very happy to see me when I picked him up, and then we had other sheltie adventures on the way home – that’s another catch-up post).

04
Oct
09

The Magic Kingdom

Orlando, 7:15 p.m

Looking out the taxi window, on one side a vibrantly gorgeous sunset, all oranges, golds, and a few dark clouds for contrast; on the other a full moon in a deep purple and blue sky.

I’m so tired that it takes me a while to notice that the view out the front window doesn’t match. Drab grey clouds and smoggy yellowish sunset.

Tourists get the window tinting that turns the world beautiful, drivers have to deal with the world as it is.

Truly the Magic Kingdom, for some.




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