Going Places

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Well, we’re heading back home today, but before we go, we’re going to make a quick stop at Disney Hollywood Studios. We don’t plan on renewing our Disney Annual Passes next year because we want to do some other things, like Universal Studios, Sea World, etc., so wanted to make sure Adam gets to ride the “Tower of Terror,” which he’s been wanting to go one f-o-r-e-v-e-r!

But first: Pictures!

Family

Family

We had four Fast Passes for “Tower of Terror,” but nooo waaayy was Alex getting on there. So, Adam and the Birthday Girl rode it, while Dad and Alex went to one of Alex’s favorite attractions at Hollywood Studios, “The Frozen Sing-Along Celebration”. And Adam for all his bravado, still needs to hold Mom’s hand (or maybe it’s the other way around)…

Family Family

And the ride went something like this…

Whew! Glad I didn’t ride it! I’ll just stick with the “Frozen” thing!! 😉

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And so we head-off to breakfast, and like everything at Disney, we wait in line…

Heading to Breakfast Heading to Breakfast

We didn’t have much planned at Animal Kingdom today…Fast Passes for “Everest” again, this time it was Adam and me, while Mom and Alex went to the “It’s Tough to be a Bug” show (which Alex loves!). As you can see, Adam has learned where the cameras are, so he can make faces during the ride…

Everest Again

and then, it’s Cindy’s favorite show, “The Festival of the Lion King”…

Lion King

Pomba

We were going to do the “Kilimanjaro Safari” ride, but Cindy and the boys were anxious to get to the pool at the resort, so we left a little early. The pool was really nice…

Caribbean Beach Resort Pool

and so was the beach…

Caribbean Beach Resort

So, while Cindy relaxed and sipped a tropical drink, and the boys ran wild in the water, I slipped-off to the Magic Kingdom to visit the “Hall of Presidents”.

Yes. I went there for that one attraction. Not only is it one of my favorites, I hadn’t see it since they added President Trump. Anyway, I drove to the park, walked to the gate, got on the Ferry to Magic Kingdom, walked down Main Street U.S.A. to Liberty Square and arrived just 15-minutes before the show started.

When I arrived, the Muppets were putting on a show right next door…

Muppets

Soon, the doors opened for the “Hall of Presidents” and the crowd strode in. I had an excellent seat…

Hall of Presidents

and the show was GREAT! As always.

Hall of Presidents

After the show, I walked back out to Liberty Square, down Main Street U.S.A., got on the Ferry back to the gate, walked to my truck, and drove back to the resort. Just so you know, this single attraction journey took about 2-1/2-hours.

Dinner was a BIG BUCKET OF CRAB LEGS at Joe’s Crab Shack and a slice of Key Lime Pie for the birthday girl.

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Tomorrow is Cindy’s birthday and surprisingly, she wanted to spend the weekend at Disney World. I was working in Tampa, so drove up here a little early to check-in and get things set-up. Cindy picked-up the boys early from school and headed down.

Happy Birthday Button

We’re staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and will be spending this evening and tomorrow at Cindy’s favorite park: Animal Kingdom.

Resort Room Looking out the window

We had a few minutes before we had to get to the park, so the boys chilled out for a bit in the hammocks on the beach outside the room…

Hammock

Soon it was time to go, so the boys dumped the sand out of their shoes and we took-off to Animal Kingdom. We had a Fast Pass for the “Expedition Everest” rollercoaster. Alex didn’t want to ride, so Cindy and Adam went on…

Expedition Everest

We also had a Fast Pass for the “Na’vi River Journey” in Pandora, so before we ate dinner, we visited the Na’vi…

Na'vi River Journey

and then took some pictures…

Pandora Waterfall

then, as the sun was going down, we enjoyed our Pandora feast…

Pandora Drink Pandora Meal Pandora Dessert

After dinner, we had our last Fast Pass for the “Rivers of Light Nighttime Experience,” which turned out to be AWESOME!

River of Light

River of Light

River of Light River of Light

River of Light

River of Light

When the show was over, we headed for the gate because the park was closing. What a fun night! Back at the hotel, the boys chilled a bit before bed…

In Bed

but not for long! Tomorrow will be a busy day!

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Well, it looks like the annual sickness has run its course and everyone is feeling better. Though the air is still a little cool, we decided to take the boat out for some fresh air! Charlie was thrilled!

Boat Day

The water was a little choppy, so we had to take it slower than usual (to the boys’ disappointment), but hey, a bad day boating is still better than a good day at work, amiright?

Boat Day

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Jess and the kids came to visit for a few days and the boys were excited to see their nephews and ‘big sister‘ Kameran! Thank goodness for minivans!

In the van

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Boating season has officially started! Today, the boys and I took Charlie out on the water for a few hours…

On the boat

It seems like it’s been forever since we’ve felt the wind and spray in our face…especially Alex!

On the boat

It was GREAT just being outside! It got a little cloudy and we got a few sprinkles, but that didn’t put a damper on our fun!

On the boat

On the way back to the marina, Adam took the wheel for a bit…

On the boat

while Charlie daydreamed…

On the boat

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Well, Dad had to work, so Mom took the boys to Orlando for the weekend!

Mom and the Boys

Although they spent some time at Disney…

Alex and Hulk Adam and Woody

they spent the majority of the time hanging-out at the pool…lounging in the hot tub…and enjoying some summer treats in the middle of winter…

Ice Cream

Ahhh….it’s good to live in Florida!

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ALL ABOARD! With gold tickets in hand and the boys dressed in their pajamas, we boarded The Polar Express in Tavares, Florida, for our trip to the North Pole…

Polar Express Tickets

Today’s experience was our Christmas gift from the boys’ Godparents, Chris and Sherrie, and is based on the more-than-30-year-old Christmas classic, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsberg, and the 2004 animated movie directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Prairie Dogs

Each car in the train had it’s own steward (ours was named “Hannah”), who directed all of the show’s activities, including the conductor visit, the hobo, the reading of the story by the author, singing Christmas carols, and the hot chocolate song complete with dancing waiters in the isle. She also punched the tickets, of course…

Steward Hannah Tickets Punched

When we reached the North Pole, Santa joined us and presented all the kids on the train with “the first gift of Christmas,” a silver bell…

Santa

The whole experience lasted just over an hour and was well worth the two-hour drive to Tavares! Although Adam questioned: 1) why the trip to the North Pole only took 30-minutes (“because the movie was two-hours”); 2) why, upon reaching the North Pole, there was no snow; 3) why Santa’s gray mustache wasn’t white like his beard; and 4) why he couldn’t have more hot chocolate.

( sigh )

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You know the Stephen King movie? Alex assessed the phenomenon and determined it was “creepy” (and I’d have to agree).

The Mist

Hope this burns off, so we can spend some time in the pool before we pack-up to leave!

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So, how do you top a great Thanksgiving dinner at Disney? How about snow tubbing and ice sculptures in sunny Florida? This afternoon we visited the Gaylord Palms Resort for ICE! Featuring Christmas from Around the World. It was a great afternoon, but first, we had to pick-up some caps and gloves for the boys…

Christmas Tree

Naturally, I was wearing shorts, which in the end was really short-sighted…

Christmas Tree

Then, we were outfitted with parkas for what was to be an 9°F winter wonderland experience (and underneath the parka, I was still wearing shorts!)

ICE!

It was fun at first…

ICE!

but, it got colder…

ICE!

and colder…

ICE!

and we didn’t even WORK there!

ICE!

Still, it was pretty amazing and the ice sculptures were beautiful…

ICE! ICE!

especially, the Nativity scene!

ICE!

After the ICE! display, we took a minute or two to warm-up, then visited the Ginger Bread Room…

ICE!

where we built a ginger bread house…

ICE! ICE!
ICE! ICE!

TA-DA! (although I’m not quite sure how much candy went on the house and how much went into Adam’s mouth!)

ICE!

And to cap-off the afternoon, there was snow balls…

ICE!

and some ice sledding!

ICE!

What a blast! (an icy blast, but still a blast!)

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