Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happiest Place on Earth!!!

Well we just got back from Disney World and had a wonderful time!  Florida was amazing, we took so many pics and the room was fabulous!  Our flight left just after midnight, which means that since Sweet was working a different shift, I had to stay in the car while he worked so I loaded up my portable DVD player and watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  Such a great movie to pass time.  Sweet got off work and we headed for the airport. We flew to Florida with a stop in Houston and as you know we fly standby, so we were pretty lucky to have gotten on both planes. 

Anyhoo, we landed at Orlando International, went to get our rental car and my excitement was building to such a peak.  I have never been to Disneyland much less Disney World and I thought I would just explode right there in the rental car parking area.  Yep, blood and guts everywhere, did you get a visual?  We made our way to the OrangeLake Resort, (kudos to the GPS, What What) which is just outside of the Disney parks and a thirty minute or so ride from the airport. The resort was beautiful and huge.  It was such a shame that we couldn’t partake in all the activities they have available because we had a five day pass and intended on using it all five days!

As soon as we unpacked, we went to the store to get groceries and of course cocktail ingredients then made our way to the RiverIsland Grill for all you can eat ribs!  They were so good and Sweet was lovin’ the all you can eat part.  I tried to get a pic of the rib sauce on his face but only got a sticky hand in front of the lens so I gave up.  Ahhh, the memories….

Day 2 was Hollywood Studios which was hilarious because picture me sooooo excited about going and we were just about there.  Just passed the Disney park entry signs.  I look around as we are driving and noticed there were no other cars on the road as we drove.  I pictured another Nat’l Lampoon vacation story.  I would be at the front gates pounding and screaming open, open, open!!  But alas, it was due to a marathon, Whew!   So we parked and went in.  Amazing shows, tours, food, Rock n Roller coaster and Tower of Terror!  Finally the piece de resistance??  The last ever Fantasmic show that everyone wanted to see and we made it in!  It was so awesome.  I cried.

Day 3 was MAGIC KINGDOM!!!!  I could cry right now as I write!  Let me just say if you ever go to Disney, the only two words you need to know?  Fast Pass..  If you work it right, you can hit every ride in the park, from morning to night.  Which of course, we did.  Sweet with his itinerary skills made it happen.  Then night falls and the Electrical Parade, the Castle show and Fireworks was just.. just..  yep I cried.
Day 4 and 5 was Epcot, which at first I wasn’t too sure about because I had had so much fun at the other parks, but I must say I didn’t understand what Epcot was.  It stands for Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow, which you must visit to understand.  That guy Walt, what a chaaraacta! The Future World area with the rides (Test track is a must) and the exhibits is fantastic!  However, the most fun was the World Showcase!  Eleven Countries authentically established with history, food, drink, buildings and shopping.  Loved it!!  A beer from each country was another must!  Oh Yes we did!  Hahaha

Finally Day 6 was The Animal Kingdom and when they created this park, in my opinion, they did a great job!  We did the safari, the express train and the Everest Roller coaster!  (so scary, but we did it three times and I screamed the whole time, each time)  We finished up the day taking pics of the tree of life and Sweet and I played the bongos in the Africa area, I started with one beat and kept the same beat, then Sweet just started playing his heart out, we just happened to time the end of “our song” with the same last tap to the bongo when applause erupted around us.  I look up and we have a crowd around us clapping and laughing.  So fun!

The flight home was fortunately an early flight so we weren’t exhausted for once!  We get home and picked up our pups (missed them so much), then we made our way home.  It is always so much fun to travel, but it is so good when you are home!  Thanks Sweet for another fantastic trip!! 

Luvs U!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Stalking Family and Feelin' Good!!

Birds flying high
You know how I feel
Sun in the sky
You know how I feel
Reeds driftin' on by
You know how I feel                            
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good!

~Michael Buble

So it is a New year and I AM feeling good! 
I have decided this year to try and find the branches of my tree and reconnect with the family I do know and maybe connect with those that I don’t.  I have written of it before when I posted It's a Dogs Life last year.  The thought that I don’t even know the family I grew up with anymore has weighed on me most of my adult life and continues even today.   My daughter is about to have her baby girl any day now so this is the year that I will stalk my family!
On New Years day, I was on my facebook page and as I was going through some posts on one of my friend’s pages, I noted that a post on her wall was made from a name I recognized.  Friends with my friend, was my cousin!  I didn’t know her married name (for shame) but she had included her maiden name, which I most certainly knew.  Excitedly, I went to her page and found that she had been married three years now, had a child and two stepchildren and had just graduated from college.  I suck, was the only phrase in my head.  So of course, what would the long lost cousin do?  I friend requested her.  She accepted almost immediately, and it was so nice to message back and forth to catch up.  (I know, we could have called, but this IS 2012! Who calls anymore?)

Next I looked through her friends as we chatted where I found her sisters and brothers, so of course I requested them and once they accepted, I was listing them as my family!  I was so excited!  The memories came flying back to me as I was looking through their pages!  I felt a little like a voyeur as I strolled through time with a click here and there. They all looked so great! So grown up, some married, some not and their children were all so beautiful.  All the holidays, birthdays and triumphs they had celebrated with their families and friends.  The day was growing melancholy as I looked at my very handsome cousin’s page that now lives on the east coast, with his wife and two children and I teared up a little at how his son looks just like my older son. 

I thought of the times we shared when we were young, like hiding up in the tree in my backyard and throwing oranges down on our siblings.  I thought about how we would give weekend shows to the parents, aunts and uncles with sheets tied around our necks or towels clipped by clothespins while singing Jeremiah was a Bullfrog holding stinky dog brushes as microphones. I thought of all the camping trips we took, our family would take up most of the campsite, just as the reunions that took up most of the parks.

That’s when I decided to hunt everyone down, so I grabbed some paper and had to actually draw a tree to list everyone down, and then I began the stalking. I found that I am quite good at it!  I spent all day doing this while Sweet worked on his bike and after about six hours (yep 6, wheeww!), I even searched for them on the Internet and got all their addresses and most phone numbers.  Yep, real life stalking… I was surprised at how much info I was able to pull up and then the idea blossomed into a full flower right there in my brain.  I was going to create my family tree on both sides and find out where everyone was and write about my journey! 

So I called my dad and told him what I was planning and he surprised me by telling me that he had a tree that one of my cousins had started some time ago and I could have a copy if I wanted to get started.  I guess he was supposed to but hadn’t done anything with it yet.  Actually not really surprised by that, but that’s a whole other story that will be written.  So here I go, on my new dawn, my new day and Thanks to Sweet my new life!