Monday, September 17, 2012

...on Pre-Deployment Leave

David and I just returned home from a long and needed vacation.  We spent the first week traveling north to see family.  Our final destination was to spend a few days in CT with John, Allison, and our new nephew Ian.  Since the trip is 13 hours long, we decided to split the trip exactly in half by stopping in VA to visit extended family.  The first night was spent with Grandma and Grandpa Alden.  Aunt Kathy, Uncle Tom, and the boys all came over for a delicious lasagna dinner.

We made it to CT successfully, where we had 4 days of bonding fun with our brother and sister.  Oh, and Ian is simply precious.  He is a work of art!  Whenever we went out to eat, he was simply content in his stroller/carrier and wouldn't make a peep!  The week with John and Allison was filled with activities like visiting a winery, going to a Submarine museum, going to Boston, and Tastes of Mystic.  It was awesome!  I like them a lot and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet "Baby E."

On our trip back to NC, we stopped in VA again.  We spent a few minutes in Occoquan then headed to Tom and Kathy's house for dinner.  Grandma and Grandpa Alden came over and we had an AMAZING meal of meatloaf and potatoes.  It was simply marvelous!  Because there was a big storm, Grandma and Grandpa Alden lost electricity to their home.  We stayed the night at Tom and Kathy's house instead.

We got back home to find that our kitty feeding system hadn't worked like we had hoped.  I fixed the problem by putting out several bowls of cat food for them to last through the final week of our vacation.  We left for our flight early on Mon Sept 10.  We got to Florida by plane, then took the Florida public bus "LYNX" to get to our hotel and later to get to the parks.  It worked out well, except for the one glitch that I didn't notice in the initial planning of the buses... after David sorted it out, we were good to go :)

Monday was spent shopping for groceries and at a fun Irish Pub near the hotel.  We walked to/from those places because they were such short distances away.

Tuesday "Day 1" was spent at Epcot.  David and I loved being immersed in different cultures - it was like we were traveling around the world!  We had a blast and spent easily 6-7 hours at Epcot that day.  We had Norwegian chocolate, Moroccan kebabs, French pastries, and German bier and brauts.  I met Snow White again!  She's by far my favorite Disney Princess actress.  The way she moves her hands, walks, poses, even speaks is simply perfect.  I also met Mary Poppins that day... I wish it had been Julie Andrews.  We saw a British cover band called British Revolution and had tons of fun dancing to their classic rock!

Wednesday "Day 2" was spent at Hollywood Studios for the most part.  We enjoyed The Tower of Terror twice in a row :)  That was my second time conquering that ride and I'm still proud of myself for doing it!  We had a good time looking at the candid photos that the ride took - I was screaming in sincere horror and David was laughing and relaxed.  In the pictures, he was always looking at me with this expression of, "What is she screaming about?"  Like he had no cares in the world about a 13-story free fall!  After Hollywood Studios, we headed to Downtown Disney where we spent the evening eating and drinking at Raglan Road Irish Pub.  How do I even describe the most amazing food that I've ever had??  I got Shepherd's pie, David had Fish&Chips, we both had a "Flight of Dublin" beer tour, and we indulged in Bread pudding for dessert.  The "Flight of Dublin" consisted of a Harp, Smithwick's, Kilkenny, and Guinness.  The Kilkenny was my favorite because of its creamy consistency- it is a typical amber ale, but uses nitrogen when drafted.  Man, it was good!!

Thursday "Day 3" was spent in Magic Kingdom, but there wasn't much for kids our age.  We spent a very short period of time there and headed BACK TO EPCOT!  hahahaha, can't you tell how much we loved it there?  We had dinner in Germany where we had free reign over a delicious buffet of German food.  There was a live musical performance that was silly and fun!  We did a "Flight of Germany" beer tour, but I can't really recall what it consisted of.  The beer was all very delicious, but none of them are dark and malty, which are the beers that stand out to me.

Friday "Day 4" we spent in Animal Kingdom and... you guessed it... went back to Epcot afterward!  In Animal Kingdom, we enjoyed walking around the zoo/safari type setting they created.  We rode the Himalayan Yeti ride twice and the park was pretty much spent after that.  We ended up going back to Epcot that evening for more drinking and food.  We started with a "Flight of Tequila" from Mexico (we shared it!), David got a Modelo and I got a margarita, then we headed to Britain for a Black and Tan, stopped in Morocco for a gyro, then ended up in Mexico for dinner.  We missed the evening fireworks, but we didn't mind.  That was our final day at Disney and I really think we lived it up!

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