Sunday, December 31, 2006

Day 9

Day 9... Can't Believe it!
Since we had a late night at MGM, we decided to sleep in and have a quiet day.
We had lunch reservations at Whispering Canyon Cafe in Wilderness Lodge. This restaurant was recommended to me by the Disney Dining Staff and am so glad I took their advise.

Since the restaurant was at Wilderness Lodge, we had to take the bus to the Magic Kingdom and then Jump on the Boat to take us to the resort! Very fun!! The restaurant is located off the lobby of the hotel and is loud, bold, and a lot of fun! The servers toss your napkins and straws at you saying, "If you want one, catch!", they get on your case, get you to stand up and make fools of yourselves doing the hokie pokie and other strange and wonderful things! :) Lots of fun and a great place for kids and adults who are into a good laugh! -- Great BBQ!! :)

After lunch we went back to the hotel for a little R&R. DD wanted to try out her sketching skills again and work from a character how-to book that she bought. She also wanted to "glam" up a pair of jeans with the "Gemagic" she got from Santa -- that sort of thing.

We left for the Magic Kingdom around 8PM. DD really wanted to go back to Tomorrowland before we left. She loved that area of the park. DH and I wanted to go see the midnight fireworks - The Magic Kingdom showed their New Years Fireworks show Saturday and Sunday which is perfect (we can now see New Years celebrations in two parks!!) I did Video the Fireworks and once I figure out how to upload it I will. What a Fabulous Show -- Like no other!!

....and the adventure continues...

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Day 8

The family got up late (as DD and I didn't get back to the hotel until about 2AM) and went back to Animal Kingdom. Let's just say that Animal Kingdom was a Zoo!! (Yes, pun intended) We went for two reasons. 1) to ride Expedition Everest -- A super cool, super fast Rollercoaster based upon Mount Everest and the legend of the Yeti - and 2) to get Mickey's autograph and picture. We got there around noon and didn't leave until 5PM!! ....we opted to stay for dinner too but holy cow!! The park was busy!! Fast Passes for Expedition Everest apparently ran out for the day at 9AM. It was standing line only and we waited for 2 1/2 hours!! It was worth it but holy cow!! I can't emphasize enough that this week is the BUSIEST week at Disney -- and about the importance of FastPass!!

Anyway, I am glad we went. DD really wanted to go on that ride and now she can say she "tamed the beast!". LOL

From Animal Kingdom we caught the bus to take us over to MGM. By this time it was pouring rain again. At least the rain only lasted about 45 mins and after the big downpour it was pretty much sprinkling -- not too bad at all.

At MGM we went to the ABC Soundstage for the Drew Carey Sound Studio Show (to get out of the rain). We then went to the Muppets 3D Show, rode Star Tours (Star Wars Flight Simulator ride), and took in the Little Mermaid Show too. From there we went to Disney's Animation Studio where we learned about what goes into creating an animated feature. The best part of this area was the art lessons!! One of their animators (or cast members taught to draw LOL) took you through a 10 minute lesson on how to draw some of the Disney Characters. DD loved it so much she didn't want to ride the Tower of Terror (good thing as I certainly wasn't doing that one with her and neither was DH) she wanted to come back and draw some more characters after dinner (We had late dinner reservations in the park). We drew Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and "Angry Donald" Can't wait to scan them for you all to see. Both DD and DH did a GREAT job!!

Our dinner reservations were at the Sci-Fi Drive In Theatre Restaurant. If you haven't heard of this place I encourage you to check it out) The restaurant is set up like an ol' time drive in theatre. A host/ess "parks" you in a car for your meal. (S/he is on roller skates of course). Inside all the cars are arranged around the Big Theatre Screen. You sit in rows (each car holds 6 people -- two in each row) order your food and watch old Sci Fi movie trailers and theatre commercials - you know, like the ones in Grease with the dancing Hot Dogs, etc. Very fun place to eat. I highly recommend it! I did take a picture but because of the lighting, etc in the restaurant it didn't turn out. Maybe there is something on the Disney Website. Just found the link. Here it is: Disney's Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre

....The adventure continues....

Day 7

Day 7 - Epcot Continued :)
Yes, we were back at Epcot today! Love this park! We had the master plan of getting to the park by 10 AM, leaving after our planned lunch, return around 8PM for the Fireworks and Extra Magic Hours. Things being as they were -- we did arrive at 10AM but ended up staying the entire day.. BIG MISTAKE!!! :) LOL.. We had fun though.

The reason we wanted to get to the park by 10AM was so we could get Fast Passes to Soarin' - A ride in the "Land Area" of Epcot that simulates flight. You actually feel like you are handgliding over the state of California. Awesome experience. We did get there on time b ut the passes were for hours later (right around our scheduled 2:30 lunch). So, we went to the Water Exhibit and saw Nemo, talked to Crush - DUDE!!, Played with Bruce, etc. Then went over to the Innovations area and made Molecules, played computer games, stretched RNA, played with carbon fiber (yes... The geek building! -- Both DH and DD Loved it) Also in this building was something DH drooled over - The Segway!! He insisted on trying out this new fangled motor scooter. Go Figure!! That's my Geek!! :)

Lunch was in Morocco at the Restaurant Marrakesh. Great meal - lots of Couscous :) DH and I had the Lamb and DD had the Lemon Chicken. Yummo!! Two very talented musicians played traditional music during the meal and a Belly Dancer also came out to entertain us!! So Cool!!

From Lunch we went and did the Soarin' ride, DH finally got a chance to go on the Segway and low and behold it was 5 o'clock... By the time we got back to the hotel we would have had to return so we opted to stay BUT by this time the 4 days of Disney walking on my one ankle and knee were swollen to the point of painful hobbling. So.. As DD wanted to stay, I opted to get the ECV. Yes, I whimped out. But let me tell you that DD had a ball getting that scooter through traffic and she certainly didn't mind that we got through the lines quicker too!! Well worth the $35 to stay that extra 7 hours... Yes, DD and I closed the park at 1AM. DH decided to go back to the hotel early as he was suffering too. He went back after the fireworks at 10PM -ish.

DD and I did get on Test Track but... Her favourite Ride of the all (so far) was Mission Space!! It simulates Space Flight. Take off, Lunar Spin, etc. She so loved it and I am so glad we stayed!

Here are the pictures from the day -- Hope you enjoy some of our photo merging skills :) Yes, Nan -- DH even smiled in a picture for the occasion!! Enjoy! More to post tonight :)
...The adventure continues....

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Day 6

It's not Raining today!!! Hurray!!! -- but it is still chilly out!! At least the sun is warm and no Rain Poncho needed!! Yahoo!

Today we went to Epcot. We arrived in time for our 11:30AM lunch with the Disney Princesses. We saw, got autographs and pictures with Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Cinderella, Snow White, Princess Jasmine and Belle!! DD's Autograph book that I made her only needs two more signatures!!! Ariel and MICKEY!! Go Figure! Who would have thought that Mickey would have been the last character we see (for book purposes that is)?

The Lunch was held in the Norway pavilion and DD ate more delicious seafood... She chose the Pan Seared Trout as her main course. DH and I had an open faced Grilled Salmon Sandwich and Leek Soup. The Castle -Style Restaurant was lovely and we enjoyed taking the pavilion "ride" that finished with a show on Norwegian history and people -- DD's Papa was just in Norway and I thought he might like to know that she was genuinely interested in the whole exhibit.

We spent most of our time in the International Showcase seeing the exhibits. DD decided that she wanted to do the Kidcot Craft (making a mask and adding paper diecut shapes - one for every country in the showcase). She is enjoying going from pavilion to pavilion getting the Diecuts. She has also been collecting Pressed Pennies wherever we see them (not sure if I mentioned that before) She is collecting the pennies now and after, when we get home, I told her that I would make them into a charm bracelet for her (gotta love the Crop-a-Dile.. a side note for my scrapping readers)

We went to see the Energy Show too. It starred Ellen Degenerous and Bill Nye the Science Guy-- very cool. We are heading back early tomorrow to try Soaring and a couple of other rides at the park. We have Lunch reservations in Morocco but more on that next post.

....And the adventure continues....

Day 4 (Continued) & 5

Well, we are so glad the we went back to the Hotel for a nap (and to get dry) and set out for the Magic Kingdom again for round 2 :) We got there about 8PM and the crowds were still there but manageable (and in better moods :) ). We did take the opportunity to use the Extra Magic Hours and stayed in the park until 2AM. DD still wanted more but -- funny -- was nodding off on the bus ride back to the Hotel. Funny how that happens :)

The Extra Magic Hours are the best! We had no hope on getting on some of the rides earlier in the day but after hours... no problem. For example, we just walked into Stitches Great Escape (awesome "ride" BTW) and earlier in the day there was a 2 hour wait (without the fast pass).

Speaking of the Fast Pass!! I am a TRUE believer in it!! It saves so much time standing around in line!! Best invention in the park-- in my opinion :)

Anyway, DD did all the ride she wanted... Thunder Mountain (twice), Pirates, Jungle Tour (great Bad Jokes!!)and we even dragged her on Its a Small World -- Classic!! :)

Day 5 MORE RAIN!! and Cold! Welcome to Sunny Florida!! The rain didn't last all day... just came in spurts -- but it certainly has made the $7 Rain Poncho a very valuable asset.

Today we went to Animal Kingdom. What a place!! We went on Safari, took the train ride to the Conservation place, saw a few characters... We got there around noon and stayed until 6 and didn't even get a chance to ride Expedition Everest!! Next time!! We did See The Bugs Life 3D Movie. What a GREAT Show. Watch out for the Spraying Acid and the other creepy crawlies that come to find you in your seat!!

After 6 we went to the Luau at the Polynesian Village. What a fantastic show. I think it might even be better than the one at Sea World that I saw last time I was here. They truly make it interactive -- of course!!-- DD learned how to Hula -- but they also added some good ol' Disney touches: some themes to Lilo and Stitch, etc. The meal was a little "Americanized" (No fish, etc) but it was good. Very tasty!!

....and the adventure continues....

Monday, December 25, 2006

Day 4 - Merry Christmas

Here we are in day 4 of our trip -- Christmas Day! Hope you are all having a GREAT holiday!!

Santa found DD in the Hotel... :) She enjoyed going through her loot that he left and was thrilled about "his choices" -- A Gemagic, Pokemon Cards, Chemistry Set, Misc Goodies.... Pretty Cool!! We called the folks (on all sides) and wished everyone a Very Merry Christmas!!!

Not sure if you have been watching the weather service today but Florida was hit hard with a major storm!! We were at the Magic Kingdom when it hit and had to cut the day short. I knew it was bad but didn't realize just how bad until I got back to the hotel room at 5PM and turned on the news. There were "unconfirmed" Tornados starting not far from here and continuing through to Daytona Beach. Lots of people homeless today and thousands left without power- My heart goes out to them this Christmas. The weather is clearing up now and should be cool but nice tonight and for the next couple of days. We decided to come back to the room to get dry and have a nap so that we can go back to the Magic Kingdom tonight for the extra Magic Hours. The park doesn't close until 3AM so we have lots of time to see Mickey!! Can't believe that we were in the Magic Kingdom Today and didn't get out of Tomorrowland -- never mind not see Mickey!

I did snap a grand total of 3 pictures today (so far) I promise to take more later....

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Days 2 &3

Day 2 - Well.... Back on the road Saturday morning. As mentioned in the last post, we planned to stop in Chattanooga TN for a couple of hours to "see the sites". Plans did change as there was no "real life" reenactment happening. Big Bummer!! I did take the "troops" (pun intended) to see some old Battlefield Sites up on Lookout Mountain. Unbelievable sites.... If you can one day, I suggest you go, get out of the car and walk around the mountain. There are monuments and plaques everywhere (some in places you wouldn't expect) -- no guide needed. The stop was good for me -- the history buff. Loved it!!

We did do a touristy thing on Lookout Mountain while we were there... No, it wasn't the cable car... :) We went into the mountain to see Ruby Falls (on DD's request) She wanted to see the caves and this waterfall 256 feet UNDERground. So... off we went :) It was worth the trip into the caves!! Stunning!! Unfortunately, the pics I took of the actual waterfall didn't turn out but I did manage to snap the pic below (and a few others).

After "the detour" :)we got back into the car and drove to our second overnight stop right near the Georgia-Florida boarder - one more day closer to Disney!!! Not sure if any of you have driven through Georgia before but.. Let me tell you , there are LOTS of billboards advertising everything from Hotels, Adult Only Entertainment... And SCRAPBOOKING!!! LOL So, I had to pull over (Sheri - is this the place you were telling me about???) and here's the proof (see pic below)!!

Day 3 - The final few hours of the trip were hard as DDs excitement was kicking into high gear. I know she was resisting the urge to ask the dreaded "Are we there yet?"... Instead she put on the Disney movie High School Musical... And proceeded to watch it twice!! LOL Go Figure. At least she was in the mood!! :)

The Resort we are staying at is STUNNING!! We were so pleased when we arrived and checked in!! What a fabulous place! The people are friendly and the rooms are lovely. Our hotel room is on a corner with windows looking out two directions - 1) to the private beach and 2) to the building's private pool (there is a larger complex one a little further up the lake...) Can't beat Disney!! They certainly go all out for their guests!!

As we are here for 8 Days and have 7 Park Pass Days, we opted to not go to any park today. We went to Downtown Disney instead. Last time I was here it wasn't built. It was great -- Lots of shopping, buskers, even pictures with Santa if you like!! DD insisted on making a princess crown with some of her money... and buying a lanyard and trading pin set as well. She can't wait to trade her pins for ones she sees the staff wearing. She seems to have no problem spending her Christmas Money -- she is budgeting herself though :)

We ate at Capt Jacks... We are on the meal plan here and since DD is 10 years old, she is considered an adult (something she is getting a big kick out of!!). So, she ordered from the main menu - Clam Chowder to start, twin lobster tails and key lime pie for dessert... Talk about in her glory. We did take the pie back to the room with us and Dad did help her out with a little bit of the lobster but wow!! Talk about getting you money's worth. The bill before tip and WITHOUT alcohol was $177!! LOL... DH and I both added lobster to our meals -- guess that didn't help!! Hey, the way I look at it, that meal alone paid for the plan. The rest is just a bonus!! Gotta Love Disney!!

Enjoy the pics!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

DAY 1 - And We're Off

DAY 1 - So today was the big day!! We are off to Florida!!!
We got up at 3:15AM and were out the door by 4AM and heading south!

The drive was okay.... We came in and out of rain but nothing too heavy to make it dangerous. The only difficult part of the trip was getting through OHIO!! ARGH!! What a long boring trip through that State! I remembered from when I drove it the last time but Holy Moly!! I am so glad we are coming back a different way!! :)

DD had a GREAT time playing her "Dream Life" game she got last weekend for Christmas and watching Superman Returns too!! Gotta Love In-Car DVD systems!! :) It certainly made the trip enjoyable for her -- and DH too! He was "requested" to join her in the back to play Dream Life and be her "movie date". LOL... Poor guy!! :)

I must say, I forgot how beautiful Kentucky and the Smokey Mountains are!! I caught myself pulling "a Bob" (my father, for those who don't know) -- "Hey DD!! Look at the mountains!!" "Hey DD, isn't that pretty!!" "Hey DD, check out that view!" LOL My dad would be proud, I'm sure!

So now we are in Knoxville for the night. So glad the hotel had free internet so I could post this!!

DD saw a brochure for a Civil War reenactment in Chattanooga and she is interested in going tomorrow.... So, I think a stop is in order :) Yahoo!! Right up my alley! She is excited about it.... "Kinda like what that girl's father from Sweet Home Alabama did in the movie Mama! I would like to see that!" Very cute. Must take pics!! I hope it's not raining!! :)

....and the trip continues.....

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Vacation Planning in High Gear

As many of you know, My DH, DD and I are driving to Disney on the 22nd to spend Christmas - New Years at the Disney Resort. I don't know who is more excited- Me or my 10 year old!! I am currently planning our drive back. We decided to take the week and make a couple of stops along the way. I have never been through the Carolinas (and have always wanted to) so... I have planning our I95 route back home to Ontario.

So here I am online with a trusted tour book at my side and I see an ad for the Kennedy Space Center. I didn't realize that it is only 45 minutes from Orlando!! Holy Cow! The Geek in me immediately called DH and asked if he was interested in making that our first stop. The answer was YES!!! Of course!! So.... We are going! I can't wait!!

My Favourite movie as a kid was "Space Camp" -- A movie about a bunch of kids at a summer camp program held at Kennedy. They learn the ropes of becoming astronauts and (fantastically) end up in space. I dreamt of being one of those kids and being there myself. So, here I am, 34, and re-living one of my childhood dreams. (I'm getting "Goose Pimples" just thinking about it!)

From Kennedy we will be driving to Charleston - AKA Childhood Fantasy #2. As a teen I was a BIG reader... Of young adult historical romance novels to boot!! LOL -- Who would have thought!?! (you are certainly getting an inside look at my life, aren't you?) Anyway, one of my Favourite Novels took place before and during the Civil War in Charleston. I remember being fascinated with the described sights and sounds of "the south" -- Rainbow Road, the Harbour, and specifically the plantations (the heroine lived in a plantation just outside of Charleston). I loved reading about the era - in all its glory and shame trying to picture what it was like, how I would have felt, what I would have done, etc. So, here I am, back online, and what do I find?? The oldest working plantation just outside of Charleston has a living museum, tours and public access!! I guess I don't have to tell you what we will be doing while we are there! Yahoo! It's a good thing that DD is a history nut. She is looking forward to it as well.

I could go on but this post is getting pretty long. :) I will post pics of our journey for you all to see.... And I can't wait to scrap it when I return.

Until the next post....

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Okay ladies...
Here is the official announcement of the Big Go Scrapping Layout Contest!!
This Contest is Co-Sponsored by 3M and Scrapbook and Cards Today Magazine. The Winner will receive a Gift Package from 3M and will be Featured in an upcoming issue of Scrapbook and Cards Today!! The winner can also expect something from Go Scrapping!!

Contest Details:
* Submit one 12x12 or 8 1/2x11 Layout per month (one in December, one in January and another in February) to Go Scrapping at
* Layouts submitted should be no larger than 500k in size and must be submitted by 12AM PST on the last day of each month.
* Scrapbookers must submit one layout each month in order to be considered.
* Judges will include Karen Ellis (Go Scrapping), Judy Beeksma (Go Scrapping Design Team) and representatives from 3M and Scrapbook and Cards Today Magazine.
* The Winner of the Contest, in addition to being featured by Scrapbook and Cards Today Magazine, will also be concurrently featured on the Go Scrapping Website.
* Submissions will be judged on Composition, Technique and Publishability. All decisions are final
* To qualify. winners must be members of the Go Scrapping Messageboard with a minimum of 25 posts (by contest closing)

Good Luck!! Looking forward to seeing your submissions!!