Well, I'm back from Florida at any rate. Right now I'm writing from my hotel room in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada.
In a word, Disney was magic. Pure and simple, it was magic.
The drive down went well. Kat and I took it in four hour shifts. We got on the road at about 6 pm and made it to the resort at about 10 am. We were both tired and grungy. We caught up with the family who were just finishing up breakfast. They all headed to Animal Kingdom and Kat and I headed to the room to shower and take a short nap.
From there on out we had a ton of fun. I can't say that everything was perfect. Zoe was tired and cranky at times, but did very well overall. Kat did get a migraine that sent her to the hospital Tuesday night and knocked her out for most of Wednesday. The family drove each of us nuts at one point or the other, but hey, they're family. It is their job to drive us nuts. I really do need to say a HUGE thank you to Uncle Jerry and Aunt Ellen. It was so very nice of them and above and beyond to pay for both rooms for the entire week as well as every one's park admissions. Well, every one's but mine, but I was using up old passes that still had a few days on them, so Kat had payed for that back in 2001 or there about.
I was so impressed with myself. I didn't take my computer and there were only a few moments when I wished I'd had it. Usually first thing in the morning or late at night when I wanted to write my impressions of the day. I didn't even take a notebook with me. Therefore, you're only going to get the most basic overview (that and I'm not sure you really want to read an entire week's worth of ramblings at one time).
So, with the thought in mind that I don't have that many readers and I really don't want to bore them to tears with a day-by-day, blow-by-blow recap of a vacation they weren't on, I'll summarize. I did take tons of pictures. They're all downloaded to my home computer (I'm on the work laptop) and I need to go through them and decide which are worth posting to Flickr.
I thought is was very cool that we spent Earth Day, which was Sunday, at Animal Kingdom. It is a very interesting park, but it still feels 'new' and doesn't have the shade or 'finish' that some of the other parks. They did do a great job with the park and you can't turn around without learning something. There is tons of environmental awareness there, and I was very impressed.
I do believe that Epcot was my favorite. Every corner was packed with fun and education at the same time. I loved everything there. Admittedly, I didn't get much time to explore the countries, but I did walk around them. I really loved both the Soarin' ride in The Land and the Energy 'ride' that stared Ellen and Bill Nye, the Science Guy. It was very funny and very informative. Epcot's fireworks show was also my favorite of the ones I saw.
The Magic Kingdom is just that. Pure magic. If there is any one was to describe why Disney is magic it is because they pay so much attention to all the little tiny details. You're constantly amazed at how seamless and easy things are. The whole place has a story (not to mention a sound track). There's always something to look at while you're waiting in line and lots of shade and fans keeping you cool. Other parks may have the bigger, faster, more adrenaline pumping rides, but they don't have the atmosphere or the unity (for lack of a better word...) that Disney does.
MGM was OK. You can easily do the highlights of that park in a day. Epcot and the Magic Kingdom you can go back to time and again and even do stuff over again but there's always something else. Animal Kingdom is one you want to do either early or late, but not mid-day.
OK, this has been a very chaotic and rambling post. I can't say enough though that Disney is really magic, in all the senses of the word. There's just this feeling you get as soon as you enter the Disney property (45 square miles is what Disney owns!) and it doesn't go away. When you stay on the property everything is right there and within easy reach. The transportation is almost seamless and if there is ever anything even the slightest bit out of whack that they can fix to make your stay even better, they do and quickly. I'm not sure what impressed me the most. In a way though, I am thinking that it is the fact that of the 45 square miles that Disney owns, 1/3 of this is a wildlife preserve and will never be developed. That and there is still 1/3 of the property that is yet to be developed. Everything was so huge as it was!
Gak and I are thinking of going down there for a week next October (we need a real vacation). It's also in the works that all of us will go back down in April of 2009. This is looking to be a group of about 15 or more people, including about 3 or 4 families and some assorted friends.
OK, enough about Disney. Today I'm in Canada. I'll be here until Wednesday. The trip here was relatively uneventful, other than the fact that all day yesterday I had a low-grade fever and either the chills or was sweating to death. Thankfully Excedrin fixes more than just headaches. My head is a little stuffy and I still have a few aches, but I did get some sleep on the plane rides. I also got to watch Eragon. I'm a little mixed about the book. Overall it was good, but it was a bit of a chaotic story that didn't always flow well. (That and some of his influences were a little too blatantly obvious.) It was a good enough read. The movie didn't do the chaotic story justice. Jeffery Irons did great in his role, but it felt like I was watching the Cliff's Notes version of a badly flowing story. It could have been worse, but It could have been much, much better as well.
I hope this week goes well. It should. I need to be on site by about 7am to start training around 8. Hopefully I'll get a decent night's sleep and will be able to do a decent job and not fall asleep on my feet. We'll see.
OK, I've got to finish up a few things and I want to relax a bit before I have to crash. Peace to all and may you find some kind of magic in your life!