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This home of ours is buzzing with anticipation for an annual event that is just around the corner. Now I am certainly not one to rushtime’s passing, but let’s face it…with the hectic schedules of today’s families, time flies. Our departure will be here sooner than later. The calendar with the proposed daily events is hanging in the kitchen as inspiration to make good choices with our expenses until we go. Caitlyn already has an envelope with her savings stored safely away.

We are excited about a million things regarding this trip. We have done some improvements to our motorhome inside and out for starters. One weekend was spent on a growing checklist of items that needed our attention or we felt would be a benefit for future trips. The outer compartments got a nice fresh coat of paint and some aluminum trim along the bottom to help with road salt and rust. All of the compartments also got emptied, vacuumed and reorganized. My handy husband Jerry made some great dividers for those little things that can get lost in such a large area. Some 2 x 4’s, a chop saw and a screw gun can certainly make organization a bit easier. In our golf cart trailer he utilized some nice handles and cable cuffs for securing a variety of camping paraphernalia to the walls. Jerry also constructed and welded a bike rack to mount to the beams in the trailer. Yes I am so darn blessed to have a handy husband! And even more blessed to have a husband that understands my compulsion for organization. (I hear your chuckle now Grandma Tag-Along)

We have begun our tradition of revisiting some moments whereby a situation could have gone better if we’d only done this or that. I think it’s great that we are all open and honest and share our feelings, not only of the great moments but also of the annoying or frustrating times. This really clears the air for a better vacation. We came up with a great shower system since there will be 5 of us on this trip and using a motorhome shower is by far a different experience than being at home with as much water as you need  coming out of the showerhead at a constant rate – not on and off to conserve as in the RV. So, depending on the upcoming days plan, some may shower at night and some in the morning, maybe in the motorhome or perhaps at the lovely Fort Wilderness showers. Hey, if it works out or not, it’s an attempt to rectify at least. If at first you don’t succeed, try try again, right?!

Something I definately recommend is a tentative plotting of the parks and attractions you’d like to see and do. Having this to refer to is helpful for the planning process and can save you some money. This trip we almost purchased more park passes than we could use in the amount of spare days we had (after all the other things we want to squeeze in). It is so very tempting though, to add on Disney Park days as they are so much less expensive the more you add. Again, because I am obsessive, I made that calendar I told you about and used images for the potential plan of the day. Here’s a mock one because anyone will tell you that you should not post vacation information ;-)

Well Disney friends. That’s all for now. Until next time….

While pool hopping is generally not allowed at Disney Resorts, I can tell you for a fact it happens on a regular basis. In speaking with fellow Disney Resort guests I have heard both ends of the spectrum on this topic. Personally, I say what the heck, let them swim. Each time we stay at a Disney resort it is typically for an extended period of time which usually results in a few days staying put at the Resort. This is where the real vacation time happens. Many of us adults like to enjoy a pool with a nearby bar for the consumption of a nice frozen rum drink while the kids enjoy the water slides and splash pools. Others just want a quiet relaxing waterside sun tanning area where they can read and adjust the melanin levels in their skin tone with the Florida rays.

The problem being is that you can’t always fulfill everyone’s needs at any one specific pool. Also, some resorts cater to a certain demographic. Now I’m not implying anything, but I have gotten cold stares while walking near the pool at the Grand Floridian in my Wal-Mart sandals and “Git ‘er Done” sleeveless shirt. So I can see where Disney is trying to keep each resort experience in tune with the daily room rate. I can also see where guests at a resort with an extravagant pool environment would be quite perturbed to see their pool overrun by immigrants from other resorts. Oh the humanity of it all.

The reality is that if, for example, you’re staying at any one of the Bay Lake area resorts you’re just a short boat ride from several fantastic but different pool environments. The pool at The Wilderness Lodge is an absolute work of art where the parents can sit bar side while the kids play and swim at a masterful creation of Disney water fun. The pool at Fort Wilderness Campground is also fantastic but lacks in sun tanning space and while it offers a game room and snack bar, there is no Bar. Across the water at the Contemporary Resort you have plenty of sun drenched native white sand for tanning, several pool and splash options, and Snack Bar/Drink Bar areas. The Grand Floridian was covered above. As you can see, there’s no easy answer – but there’s definitely a difficult question……. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

See ya real soon, Jerry

With all of the end of the school year goings on, it sure has been busy. We are looking forward to the upcoming holiday weekend as are many of our friends and family. As nice as it is to enjoy an extra day off for some of us, we must also remember WHY we have that holiday. Take some time to reflect on members of the military whose lives were lost. I was reminded of Sea World as I reflected on Memorial Day. When we saw Believe,  the members of the audience were asked, at the beginning of the show, to stand up if they served or had a family member in the military so that they may be honored. It was a heart wrenching moment as 85% of the crowd were at their feet.  It indeed brought many to tears.

Next month, we will be visiting a wonderful aquarium and are so excited to do so. This got me thinking…hope the smoke smell does not bother you…how the heck is Sea World doing these days? I have to tell you we enjoyed our last visit several years ago. As much as I love to admire the sea life, that darn Sea World mime is hysterical. The mimes actually have a fan page on Facebook now.

It’s very fun and innocent to view the world from a child’s eyes as many of you well know. You’re thinking, where’s she going with this, right? Well, one of our son’s favorite things is scat, yup, scat. Animal’s eliminate it and he loves seeing it. Might be bold and a little TMI (too much info) but hey, he’s not touching it! Second to scat would be anything else gross on the ground. Hence, the picture to your right. This would be the remnants of an ice cream cone that was knocked off by a looming fine feathered friend. Don’t worry, I’ll get back on topic in a moment. I just enjoy a good bit of humor occasionally, well frequently really…

Blue Horizons is an immensely colorful show that we all enjoyed. Yes, I loved it more than the kids but they were younger when we made our first visit to Sea World. I enjoy birds, always have. I feed a great deal of birds at home and I get so excited when a new bird stops by my drive thru. Face it, birds don’t really need us to feed them. We are a quick stop, a Seven 11 if you will. Anyway, the Blue Horizons show features birds, and acrobats and dolphins…beautiful costumes too. I would say to go and see it at least one time if you visit Sea World.

The Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island  show is a wonderfully corny, funny and silly show. These remarkable animals are most often right on cue but when an ever so infrequent miscue occurs, it adds so much more humor which generates a ton of laughter from the audience. Again, this show was amusing. My son, Jacob would call it predictable but we realize we’re not on Broadway here people. It’s another don’t miss show.

Of course you can’t talk about Sea World and not mention Believe. We were able to take in a show that featured the late Dawn Brancheau. There was certainly evidence that she held more than a job at Sea World. That was her passion. So many were saddened by her tragic death. I don’t really want to go on about that but rather share with you how much we loved that show. Many times throughout the show, tears were flowing from my eyes like the Falls of Niagara. I’d love to hear about the differences in the show from anyone who has seen it prior to the changes recently made. How does it compare? Is there still a large audience or has attendance dropped. Tell us your thoughts and help out our readers who may be planning a trip to Sew World after they go to Disney World of course!

On a final note to end this with humor…I call this one…”OHH, OOOOOOOHH, WHAT IS IT? WHAT IS IT???” Take notice or the pursed lips if you would.

Until next time…Melissa

Each visit to Walt Disney World my family makes is extremely special to us. Last December the weather was less than Florida like to say the least with temps in the low thirties for a high. These were not ideal conditions for days at the Parks with the little ones. Our remedy to this was to spend the day traveling the World, and what a day it was. We had no schedule, no plans, no reservations, and plenty of time. We saw intricacies of Walt Disney World most people will never see. We toured Resorts we would never stay in, and restaurants we would never eat in. My kids looked around at each resort with the same wonder they have at one of the parks. We all treasure that day where we rode the full rotation of the boat line at the boardwalk and took several long bus rides around the Disney property. It gave us a glimpse of the experiences that the non-RV guests have. We could imagine ourselves staying at the Wilderness Lodge, or the Animal Kingdom Lodge as opposed to our favorite Fort Wilderness. It was a great way to take the time and enjoy each other and Walt Disney World in a leisurely, no stress approach that made it much more memorable. So this is my challenge to you. On your next trip to Disney, loose the plan, throw out the schedule and take a stress FREE and money FREE day with the family seeing the World. I’ll bet you will all count that day as one of your favorites in the future.

See ya real soon!

Jerry