Sunday, March 31, 2013

Mary's Visit

Mary is my longest friendship of over 35 years! I was so thrilled when she said she was coming to see me and would bring her two beautiful daughters too! I don't think we have ever had guests here who have gotten so much out of their vacation time - they got so much done during their trip!

I was so happy to share their first trip to Magic Kingdom!

 
We had a fantastic character lunch at the Crystal Palace...
 
 
 Lizzie looks so innocent hugging Piglet...

 
But there's more to Lizzie than meets the eye ;)
 
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The next day we went shopping and over to Celebration for the best icecream in the world...

 
We had a great time at Epcot too!

 
Lizzie had a bit of a grump on and wouldn't let us take photos with the girls...

 
So we just took pictures of ourselves in England...

 
Us: "Lizzie - Mary Poppins is just behind you!"
Lizzie: "Look! I'm not interested in Mary Poppins!!!!"


It's time for a drink - cheers!


Mike went with the girls to swim with manatees in Crystal River. Maddy was moved to tears and Mary said it was the highlight of the whole vacation :)
 
 
I went with the girls to Universal Studios...

 
They also managed to squeeze in: Islands of Advenure. fishing and canoeing at Lake Louisa, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Downtown Disney and Mary's first mud run (pics here!). Thank you so much for coming to see us - hope to have you again really soon :) Love you!


Friday, March 15, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

Two firsts in one weekend!

After a very stressful week at work we took the advice of a work colleague of mine who believes that corporate America is suffering from 'Wilderness Deficit Disorder' and decided to get away from it all completely for a weekend:). We started out with a fantastic 5K by Lake Minneola - it was absolutely gorgeous and Mike won his age division too!! (Running stuff here). Afterwards, we headed over to Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort (which is only about 10 minutes from home:)) with the camping gear that we bought last Christmas that has been in it's box ever since :). Jen and Rich had the camper there - you didn't really think we were going tenting without a back up bed did you?
 
The girls went swimming and biking...


 
...that's some outfit you've got there Maddy...
 
 
We found a spot for the tent...

 
And had a lovely family lunch...
 
 
Then we went for a walk to spot some wildlife. There were tons of deer...
 
 
And so many beautiful birds...I looooove birds :)...
 
 
We even saw an owl!!...

 
This squirrel stole a plum from a trash can and managed to carry it up the tree!
 
 
Beautiful nature everywhere...
 

We went to watch the boat parade and castle fireworks from the other side of Bay Lake at night...

 
And then Rich made an awesome fire...
 
 
I made Mya the world's finest S'more...
 
 
Mike had a go...
 
And burnt his thumbprint off:(...
 
 
Maddy took the camper option while we snuggled down in the tent. It was our first time sleeping in a tent together. It was actually quite cosy in there :)
 
 
Just one night in the woods and Squatch is wearing the same clothes from the day before...
 
 
The day before, Jen ran into River Country by accident, an abandoned Disney waterpark. We decided to go back after breakfast for some urban exploring, Disney-style! 
 
Opened in 1976, River Country was the first water park at the Walt Disney World Resort and featured a rustic wilderness theming, complete with rocks and man-made boulders. It was described as an "old-fashioned swimming hole with "a twist of Huckleberry Finn."  After state law prevented water attractions from being fed by static water, River Country ceased operations in 2001.

Obviously it's all blocked off now, but you can see a bit through the fence. Here's how it looked back in the day...
 
 
And now...
 

 
 

 
Crazy, huh?! Then we decided to do some fishing...
 
 
And before you know it, it was time to go:(. I can honestly say - I felt completely relaxed and refreshed. My colleague was right. I need to get out in quiet nature much more. Cheers!