Sunday, February 23, 2014

Our Disney Vacation 2014 {day 1 & 2}

Between the cold weather, the house re-do, wedding planning, and just being in a rut from normal life stuff, this year's trip came just in time! This would only be the second time that "just the two of us" were going to Florida, and we were very excited! Our first alone trip was in 2011 {the year I was sick most of the trip and we both came home with Swine Flu!!!!}
Despite not feeling all that great, we still managed to have a pretty good time, but nothing to compare to this trip. We kept saying all through the trip that other than the trip we took with both the boys in 2010, this year's trip has been the best trip yet!! The weather was gorgeous and warm and everything about the trip went so smoothly and was very relaxed and fun. I took over 1,000 pictures, so I have to post at least a few of them! 
Thanks to free wi-fi at the resort and my new kindle, I did a few quick posts during the trip {something I don't usually do}.
Along with posting pictures, I want share a little about our trip and give my review of things we tried for the first time {and yes, even after going to WDW 7 times, there are still things we have yet to try}. 
Day 1: Thursday, February 6
Since we drive down, we add a few days for travel going and coming. We decided to leave on Thursday, since we were scheduled to check-in on Saturday morning. We left a very cold Virginia, and started our drive south! The drive was uneventful, just the occasional stop at a rest stop or for gas. I posted a few pictures from our first day of travel here. We stopped for the night in Florence, SC and checked into a Courtyard Marriott. After dinner at Outback, we called it a night.
Day 2: Friday, February 7
A quick breakfast at the hotel and we were back on the road by 9:00. We entered Georgia around 11:30 and it was 55 degrees and sunny!
We stopped for lunch once we entered Florida. It was a little overcast, but 61 degrees. As we got closer to Orlando, we started talking over where we should spend the night. We weren't scheduled to check-in until Saturday morning, but we thought since we were that close to Disney, why not start our vacation a night early. I called WDW to see if we could get a room at our resort and we lucked out and got one!!! We were so excited! We hit quite a bit of traffic......

but it wasn't long before we saw this........

We booked a room only for tonight, so no park ticket or dining plan was included. We were fine with that because we were in Disney and could still take advantage of their transportation and we could eat at any of the resort restaurants or at Downtown Disney. Our biggest problem was deciding where to eat! :O)
I posted before about choosing a value resort this time. We have only stayed at moderates (Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs) and the one time at a deluxe (Beach Club). This time we were booked at All Star Movies. For some reason, I've been reluctant to try a value resort, but we decided to go a little cheaper this time and give it a try. All the benefits of staying on property are the same, it is just a more reasonable option. I went into this trip with the mindset that we were just giving a value a try, but it turned out to be one of our best stays yet! More on this later! :O)
{side note: allears.net is a great resource when planning a Disney vacation}
We got to check-in and a friendly CM helped with our reservation. It turned out though that ASMovies was completely booked, so she asked if we would mind staying next door at ASMusic for tonight and check-in at Movies as planned the next morning. She gave us an upgrade to a preferred room at the standard room rate. Fine with us!
{side note: a room a WDW value was cheaper than staying at Courtyard Marriott}
Our room was in Calypso section Room #1525. Very close to the food court and buses. A great location and the room was very nice!





I checked online to see which restaurants had openings for dinner. We decided on the Grand Floridian CafĂ©, so we took the bus to Magic Kingdom and hopped on the monorail. We ate here a few years ago and it was sooooo good! It is an overlooked restaurant, in my opinion. Located at the Grand Floridian Resort, it is very easy to get to, the atmosphere is awesome, the food is upscale, and the service is great. Dinner did not disappoint.....I had the yummiest chicken and mushroom risotto ever! After dinner, we headed back to the resort. It was so nice starting our trip off with an extra night at Disney! :O)


getting back to normal.....

My life has been crazy since the holidays. The carpenter started on January 13th and the house has been a complete mess for the past month. Throw in a vacation and an upcoming wedding and you have one overwhelmed/flustered/preoccupied/tired lady. Well, actually, the vacation part was awesome! We had a great time and it was a much needed break from all the chaos of the house project. We got home last Sunday and he was almost finished.He worked this week on the built-in and another ceiling, and completed the job on Friday! He has done a great job and we are very happy with how everything turned out. Mom came down a couple of mornings this week to help sort through everything, and I spent all day Friday and Saturday painting the last of the moulding, cleaning and scrubbing, putting things back where they belong, washing windows and hanging curtains. A big plus to having the work done.....a jump start on my Spring Cleaning! :0)
I haven't had any extra time for blogging and I have really missed it. Blogging is therapy for me....and right now, I feel like I need a little therapy!
I like things neat and organized and I like having somewhat of a routine. A month of chaos and mess has been harder on me than I expected! And, in the meantime, I've been planning the shower, which is coming up on Saturday.
It seemed a little crazy to take a vacation right in the middle of it all, but it actually turned out to be the best thing. We not only had a good time, but we got away from the cold weather for awhile.
I want to do a before/after of everything, but I still need a few things to complete each room.
Here is a sneak peek of the bedroom:
new headboard

New trellis pattern curtains
yellow, gray, and white pillows
(had these already)


I bought a white comforter that I can't decide if I really like or not. As of now, my bed isn't set off yet.........I need to make a decision soon and wrap this project up!
 I'll post {after} pictures as soon as the bedroom is complete.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

back to reality......

The saddest part of the trip......the last night. What a great way to end our trip though.....

a favorite: Hoop Dee Doo dinner show

The show is lots of fun and the dinner is soooooo good! Corn bread, salad, bbq ribs, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, baked beans, corn, and strawberry shortcake for dessert.

wordless wednesday: rock-n-roller coaster

best.ride.ever

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

**fireworks**


*Wishes*
{viewed from the beach at the Polynesian while waiting for dinner last night}

*Illuminations*
{viewed from International Gateway after dinner at Beach Club tonight}

Monday, February 10, 2014

a visit to Germany.....

One of my must-dos in Epcot's World Showcase.......

a stop in Germany's caramel shop!!

my choice today........

{*a great snack credit choice on the Disney Dining Plan}

I'll be making a few more stops here before our trip ends!! :O)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

simply divine.....

DeVine that is....one of our Animal Kingdom favorites.
 





The one time Peter asked to have his picture taken.....he's quite fascinated with DeVine!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

magical morning!

We spent the morning in Magic Kingdom and upon entering the park we were stopped by these guys who wanted to give us a special anniversary wish.....with the help of Peter!
They asked us how many years, then asked Peter to join them in a song to me. :O)
 
The Dapper Dans sang "Let Me Call You Sweetheart". All Peter had to do was the "you" part, and they sang the rest.:O)


He actually got into it....


What a special way to start our vacation.....:O)

I recommend getting pins and wearing them during your stay if you are celebrating a special event. We have already had many anniversary greetings, a fresh flower at check-in, and a message from Mickey himself :O) waiting on our phone wishing us a Happy Anniversary!

Our anniversary is actually in June, but since we have been married 30 years {almost 31}, I thought why not celebrate it a little early at Disney!

What a magical morning!!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

on the road again......

and the long drive begins.......


lunch at a favorite spot........

A Cracker Barrel lunch sure doesn't lack the carbs~ but soooooo good!:O)

:O) another family headed to Disney!!!

stopping for the night......just south of the border!

#tbt vintage disney


my very first trip to WDW ~ 1987
{I don't know who was skinnier....me or Mickey?? LOL} We've both fattened up a bit since then! :O)

52 week photo challenge {looking down}



Week #4- Looking Down


week #1- details
week #2- transportation
week #3- silhouette

week #4- looking down